One thing I see too often as a firearms enthusiast is people skimping on their gear. When in reality, your gun is only as good as the gear you use to carry with. The unfortunate truth is some people are either uninformed, impatient or just plain lazy when it comes to buying a holster. For those of you that own a lower end holster, just because it does what it is supposed to as a holster doesn't mean it is doing it right. So here are a few tips on what to do and what to look for when buying a quality holster.
Do Your Research
Just like any other major purchase in your life, you should always thoroughly research your holster before you buy. The reason I call this a major purchase is because ultimately, your life depends on your gear. If you can't rely on your holster to do it's job day in and day out, you might as well just leave your gun at home.
Quality Does Not Always Come With Price
Do not associate quality with price, this is where more research comes into play. As an example, the MaxTuck holster from White Hat Holsters is a feature rich, high quality holster that gives you more for your money. When comparing the MaxTuck to some of it's competitors, you will notice that this holster comes stock with options that others often charge more for or do not offer. A quality holster will be constructed from the best materials available, yielding a more durable, longer lasting product.
What You Should Look For In a Holster
It really depends on what platform you are considering, as an example we will look into IWB Hybrid Holsters. There are a few parts to these holsters; the kydex shell, the leather backing, and the clips.
You want the kydex shell to be well molded to the pistol and rigid enough to endure daily use. Make sure when fitting your pistol into the holster that the kydex properly covers the trigger guard, this eliminates the possibility of an accidental discharge. Also, make sure that your retention (how tight the holster holds the pistol) is not too tight or too loose. We want to be able to go about our daily routine without the risk of the pistol falling out, but we also need to be able to get the gun out quick if need arises.
Don't Neglect The Leather And Clips
You want a quality piece of leather for the backing. Typically the leather will be cow or horse hide on these platforms and should be comfortable against the skin. Cow hide is usually a stock option, and you can upgrade to horse hide for an extra fee. I recommend horsehide if you live in a hotter climate.
Now on to clips, I am personally a fan of spring steel clips, but there are other options. Make sure that these sit snugly and securely over your gun belt (if you do not have a quality gun belt, stop what you're doing and go buy one). You want the clips to have enough tension so that they stay secure on the belt but not soft enough to bend out of shape when being stretched over the belt. Also, the wider the clips the better. This helps distribute the weight of the pistol, giving you a more comfortable carry.
Ultimately, when shopping for a holster, it comes down to personal preference. Consider multiple holsters for different climates and clothing options. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but you'll find the holster that best suites you.
Until next time, stay safe and keep your head on a swivel.
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