Choosing a personal sidearm takes significant research, time, and forethought. A gun that fits your shooting preferences is comfortable in your hand, and easy to use is something you likely considered time and again while making your choice.
What you may not have considered is that the same care is required when choosing the perfect gun holster. Whether in an open or concealed carry state, wearing a sidearm only works if you have a well-fitting and secure holster that allows you a proper draw of your gun.
Need help figuring out what kind of holster is right for you? Read on to see what points you need to consider before you buy.
Gun holsters come in a variety of materials that have both advantages and drawbacks.
Leather is a popular choice, as it is a snug and durable fit that will last you many years. Leather can stretch out over time, so some minor occasional maintenance is needed to shrink it to a tighter fit.
Thermoplastic holsters are perfectly fitted to your firearm and have a slim profile with rugged durability. Since they are a perfect fit, they do not lose shape when you draw your weapon. Plastics can warp slightly over time if exposed to high heat, however.
Carry Style & Lifestyle
Consider the laws in your state when determining the kind of holster you will carry. An open carry citizen or on-duty LEO will have different needs than that of a gun owner in a concealed carry area, and the law should come first when determining your holster type.
Secondly, consider your lifestyle. Many people will choose a top-open holster that rests in the waistband. However, some holsters are designed for the ankle, the bra band, the underarm, or even a handbag. Particularly active individuals or those who might carry in unusual situations may need a more specific type of holster.
Positions & Retention
You should choose a holster that is comfortable with your strong side. Good holsters come in left or right-handed varieties, with carry positions that suit your draw style. Make sure the angle of draw and positioning of the holster allow you to remove your firearm in a moment's notice.
A holster should have a dynamic retention that prevents someone else from easily removing it. The holster should be secure, especially ones that are bottom-open, so your weapon is not at risk of coming loose or falling out. Make sure it fits snug but comfortable way.
Consider that an IWB (in waist-band) holster may require you to wear a size up in pants for an ideal fit.
A Gun Holster for Every Sidearm
You may have to do just as much research and testing with a holster as you did when choosing the gun it belongs to. Careful consideration of what works best for your state laws and carry style will ensure you get the right gun holster, the first time.
It may be wise to choose a secondary style of carrying for different purposes, such as for athletic wear or under a heavy jacket. Having versatile options will help you be prepared to carry, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.
For the best selection in holsters for your gun, check out our Find My Gun Holster tool. You can search by the gun maker for a convenient way to get a look at what holsters exist for your sidearm.