A holster isn't just an accessory; it's a crucial piece of your firearm setup, ensuring both safety and accessibility. Let's explore the key factors to help you make an informed decision.
1. Consider Your Firearm and Intended Use
The first step in selecting the perfect holster is to consider your firearm and how you plan to use it. Different holsters are designed for different types of guns, so ensure your choice is compatible. Also, think about whether you'll carry your firearm concealed or openly, as this will greatly influence the style of holster you need.
2. Retention, Security, and Safety
Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a holster. Look for holsters with adjustable retention levels to ensure your firearm stays secure. Some holsters come with retention straps or locking mechanisms for added peace of mind.
Make sure that your holster checks the following boxes:
- Completely covers the trigger/trigger guard and prevents access to the trigger while holstered.
- Maintains it’s shape throughout use. (A holster that changes shape could cause the trigger to be pressed upon re-holstering)
- Allows for a safe and efficient holster draw without adding unnecessary risks. Retention mechanisms activated by the trigger finger expose the shooter to added risk.
- Has adequate retention- Does it hold the handgun in place until the shooter intends to remove it?
3. Holster Material Matters
Holsters come in various materials, each with its own set of pros and cons. The most common materials include leather, Kydex, and nylon.
Kydex: Known for its durability and retention, Kydex holsters are great for open carry and offer quick draws. They're also resistant to moisture and sweat. Currently the preferred and our suggested material for both IWB and OWB carry styles.
Leather: Offers comfort and a classic look, but may require a break-in period. Quality leather can be suitable for certain firearms, but we do not recommend this material for daily carry.
Nylon: Lightweight and affordable, nylon holsters are versatile but may lack the retention of other materials. Since this material lacks retention we do not recommended it.
Combination: Some holsters combine two or more materials, offering the benefits of both. For instance, a leather exterior with a Kydex interior provides the comfort of leather and the retention of Kydex. However, combination materials will still run into the issues that both materials have such as the leather breaking down over time.
ADDED NOTE: A sturdy belt is just as important as a quality holster! Your holster, in most instances, will attach to the belt and needs to be well fitted and secure to your body.
4. Carry Style
Your preferred carry style plays a pivotal role in holster selection. Here are a few common options:
Inside the Waistband (IWB): These holsters are worn inside your pants, making them great for concealed carry.
Outside the Waistband (OWB): OWB holsters are worn outside your clothing, offering easy access but less concealment.
Shoulder Holsters: Ideal for larger firearms. Results in a very difficult draw and is only used in very specific circumstances. Not recommended for daily carry.
Ankle/thigh Holsters: These are suitable for small, lightweight guns and offer discreet carry. This style of carry will result in a slower draw due to location.
5. Comfort and Accessibility
A comfortable holster that allows quick and easy access to your firearm is essential. Test different holster types to find one that suits your body type and ensures a smooth draw.
6. Practice and Training
After selecting a holster, it's crucial to practice drawing and holstering your firearm regularly. Familiarity and muscle memory can be life-saving in high-pressure situations.
7. Legal Considerations
Finally, be aware of your local laws and regulations regarding holster carry. Ensure your choice complies with all relevant legislation.
At Midwest Shooting Center, we understand that choosing the right holster can be overwhelming. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you make the best choice for your specific needs and preferences. Stop by our range and retail store to see our wide selection of holsters and accessories, and don't hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have.
Remember, responsible firearm ownership includes selecting the right equipment, like a suitable holster. Stay safe and stay informed, and enjoy your shooting experience to the fullest with the perfect holster by your side.