I get asked many times per gun show what is the best concealed carry holster. I have been selling concealed carry holsters for over eight years, have owned more holsters than I can count and seen a ton more. All of this has given me a little bit of insight.
One of the first things I ask is how do you want to carry? You need to determine if you want to carry your gun using a shoulder holster, in the pants, on the belt, belly band, ankle holster, pocket, wallet, pouch, etc. The second item to consider is how big and heavy is the gun? A Desert Eagle 50 caliber hand gun that is the size and weight of a Volkswagen beetle will not work for the average person where a J-Frame revolver, 3” semi automatic or the popular .380 caliber pistols work great.
Other items to consider include your body type, size, weight and are you male or female. These affect how you can carry, how easy it is to conceal, how comfortable it is to carry and how easy it is to draw your weapon. So what are your options? We offer many types of concealed carry holsters for men and women and some of them are described below.
Wallet Holster – One of the most popular pistols in today’s market is the .380 caliber pistols made by Kel-Tec, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, etc. These small but power pistols make an excellent concealed carry gun and can be concealed in many ways. One preferred method is to carry them in a shoot-through wallet holster. This allows you to fire the gun while it remains in the holster. This wallet holster also improves your grip and accuracy. When looking into these holsters, make sure the gun remains very secure while in the holster, is made of quality materials, does not have rivets (causes the holster to snag when drawn) and their warranty. These holsters are also available for pistols with the Crimson Trace or Insight lasers. Read also: CCW Shoot Through Wallet Holster
Pocket Holster – Another simple way to carry a gun is in a pocket holster. These holsters have a rough or sticky surface on the outside and remain in your pocket or pants when your gun is pulled. They reduce the imprint of the gun when it’s in your pocket, keep coins from getting stuck behind the trigger and hold the gun in place when it’s in the pocket.
Shoulder Holster – This style of holster requires you to cross draw when retrieving your gun and you usually have to wear a over garment. Many shoulder holsters require you to attach parts of the holster to your belt or pants,resulting discomfort when bending over. Because of there loose design, the gun and magazines bang against your ribs, resulting in discomfort over a short period of time. When I had this style, my ribs became sore after a few days of having my XD 40 banging against me for 10 hours a day. Other shoulder holsters are designed without all of the extra straps, are light weight, adjust in a few seconds, can be washed and keep the gun and two magazines comfortably against your body for a all-day carry. They are available in three sizes and two different colors so they blend into dark or light colored shirts or blouses. They fit J-Frame revolvers, 2.5 compact up to 5″. full size guns.
Belly Bands – Belly band holsters are very concealed by allowing you to hide your gun between your waist and pants/skirt/shorts beneath your waistline. Some of my customers also wear them exposed and because their design, you can position your gun almost anywhere around your midsection. These holsters work best with the smaller J-Frame revolvers or 9mm, .380 caliber guns up to a 3.5″ barrel. My Belly Bands provide pouches for an extra magazine plus a cell phone, wallets, etc, and include an ambidextrous holster, allowing for left, right and cross draw.
You may also hear a lot about Inside the Waist Band (IWB) holster. This style of holster is warn inside the waist band and usually requires you to loosen up your belt one or two notches to allow for the size of the holster and gun. You may even need to go up one pant size to get everything to fit. Depending on the manufacturer, the holster is form fitted to fit only one gun or you can get a “universal” holster that fits thousands of guns and allows you to draw your gun right, left or cross draw. The IWB offered by Gunner Security allows you to carry your gun 15 ways. You can conceal carry guns ranging in size from small .22 caliber to full sized 45 caliber, Taurus Judge and the Desert Eagle. It sounds crazy but this unique holster really lets you do this and it works great.
Ankle Holsters – They allow you to carry a small gun strapped to you ankle. This style of concealed carry is usually reserved for your backup gun. While they work well for loose fitting pants with normal to large sizes legs, the tight fitting “boot jeans” will not work well, and wearing cowboy boots makes it impossible for a fast draw. When looking for a concealed carry ankle holster, make sure it’s padded on the side that is against your ankle and it comes with a calf and retention strap. The calf strap keeps the holster from twisting around on your leg and helps holds the holster in place. The retention strap holds the gun in the holster. Also, ankle holsters using lambs wool or leather tend to get hot when warn in warm weather.
We just added the Outdoors Jogging Holster to our product line. Jogging/Outdoors concealed carry
As you can see, there is no one, best way to carry concealed. It comes down to what works for you. I read in a NRA publication that the average gun owner has 6.5 holsters for every handgun they own. Hopefully this article will help you when selecting one or two holsters for concealed carry personal defense.