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Concealed Carry Holsters: How to Choose the Best Concealment Holster for you and your Gun

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Always be prepared: Concealed carry clothing & holsters that match your lifestyle

By Corey Graff, Online Editor


 concealed carry clothing, concealed carry purse

Concealed carry holsters for women are the same as men, except a woman’s clothing style may make conventional strong side hip carry more difficult. Then again, a concealed carry purse is an option for the ladies, too.

The best concealed carry gun is the one you have on you when the fight takes place. That means the best concealed carry holsters are the ones that let you comfortably carry your handgun at all times.

The simple fact is that no one likes to be uncomfortable. Even the staunchest gun-toter will be tempted to leave her gun at home if the path of least resistance means not risking exposing the gun or enduring an uncomfortable day of steel digging into one’s side.

Handgun trainer Clint Smith says that the carry gun is not supposed to be comfortable, but comforting. I say the carry gun will only be there to comfort if it’s reasonably comfortable to carry. The key is to view this as a lifestyle change and invest in concealed carry clothing, a concealed carry purse if you’re a lady or even a concealed carry vest. There are lots of choices when it comes to concealed carry clothing for men, too.

Concealed Carry Holsters Should be Comfortable

Comfort is but one factor in selecting concealed carry holsters for your everyday carry gun, but it’s a biggie. Get a holster with a good suspension system that won’t flex. Combined with a rigid, high-quality gun belt — which is equally important in the comfort equation — a hard plastic or thick leather holster will bear the weight of gun and cartridges best.

Don’t skimp. Avoid so-called “universal” holsters that claim to accept any type and brand of gun. These are often flimsy, cheap nylon numbers. They will not properly secure a firearm. A shifting handgun will never be comfortable and you’ll betray your being armed by having to constantly fiddle with the thing.

Consider the weather when choosing concealed carry methods. During warmer months, you can’t beat an Inside-the-Waistband holster for concealment under t-shirts and summer wear. Concealed carry holsters for women are a bit trickier — but keep in mind that a purse pocket is an option for a carry gun.

 iwb holsters,
smart carry

An Andrews belt slide holster (Outside-the-Waistband, OWB) for the Detonics CombatMaster .45. A good example of custom concealed carry holsters fitted to a specific handgun model.

Don’t get a generalist holster. Instead buy several specialized types — Outside-the-Waistband (OWB), iwb holsters (inside the waistband holster), ankle, shoulder harness, and pocket — for various situations. The holster must compliment your wardrobe. In my opinion, iwb concealed carry holsters are the most versatile of the lot.

Match Your Concealment Holster to Your Gun

Buy a deep concealment holster that is matched to your gun by make and model, even barrel length, like this CQC Standard Glock Model. A custom or semi-custom holster that holds the gun securely, yet will release it when the moment of truth comes, is critical.

Consider retention systems. For concealed carry, you don’t need a retention holster. But if you sometimes carry openly, a release latch to prevent a gun grab is a must.

Always think smart carry. Think safety. Just because your gun is holstered doesn’t mean you get to ignore the firearm safety rules. The holster should retain the gun in a position where the muzzle is never pointed at anyone or any body part of yours, whether you’re seated or standing. For this reason I like the strong side holster.

Buy the highest quality holsters for concealed carry you can afford with an eye toward comfort. A concealed carry holster is like a seatbelt. It needs to be always worn to do its job when needed. Get a comfortable one and you’ll always be armed — regardless of what you’re wearing or doing.



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Corey Graff is the Online Editor for His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as guns from the World War II era.