I have news that is going to rock the gun world. Ready? There is not one ‘World's Best Holster'. I know, I know, this is a paradigm shift in the world you thought you knew. You may be cursing me right now, claiming your holster is the best. But there are millions of others stating the same thing, and they may not be using the same holster you are. Did they miss the boat, and using an inferior product? Nope, believe it or not, there are thousands of factors that make people unique and thus, they have different needs and preferences.
Of course, there are holster designs, materials and other factors that make a holster more appealing to a larger demographic. But this broader appeal doesn't make it ‘the best' choice for everyone. In fact, one person may have two or more favorite holsters! If you're still with me this may be the most earth-shattering development since the United States put a man on the moon … or did we?
Hopefully, you picked up on the sarcasm. Now that we got the fact that there is no such thing as “the best gun holster,” let's tackle another topic: The idea that a concealed carrier can have one holster for every occasion. There is truth in the fact that holster selection is very personal. Many times it comes down to trial and error. In another article, Col Findley did a great job of laying out the Essential Criteria For Selecting a Concealed Carry Holster. There are some things that are absolutely necessary …
Some Basic Truths:
We can't overlook the obvious. Any holster you use should meet some basic requirements: the protection of the trigger, and securing the gun to your body. In my mind, these are non-negotiable attributes. I know you're saying but there is so much more that determines a good holster from a bad one. Absolutely right.
Accessibility to the gun, the material used, ability to re-holster with one hand, adjustability etc., are but a few of the many attributes that factor into a good holster. But factors like these vary in importance to people, dependent on the specific application. This is why you may have a few favorite holsters that you wear under different circumstances.
All things being equal, an outside the waistband (OWB) holster will be faster to draw when compared to an inside the waistband (IWB) holster. But OWB holsters are more difficult to conceal, so some accept the trade-off. Deep-concealment holsters (those that place the gun below the belt-line) are IWB holsters that take more time to draw from. But sometimes deeper concealment is necessary, and some accept the trade-off.
Fastening the holster to a good gun belt will provide the most solid platform, and help in securing the gun to your body. Because of their job, style or what they happen to be doing at the time, the person may not be wearing pants with a belt. Holsters that do not attach to the pants or clips like the ulticlip are alternatives that people can use for these occasions.
Gun retention during an intense fight or the fact that you may not be able to re-holster with one hand are situations that expose the limitations of these types of holsters. But when compared to the option of not being able to carry at all, some accept these trade-offs.
The Bigger Picture:
Instead of debating which is “the best holster” for everyone, how about finding what holster is “the best” for you? Not only for your typical daily routine but for those atypical times when you need to carry in a different way. You weigh the trade-offs that you are willing to make so you can have your gun with you in every situation. Understanding the limitations of a specific method of carrying is a good way to come up with a plan to mitigate them. For example, a deep concealment holster is more difficult to draw from. Knowing this to be an inherent drawback, one should practice their draw and lessen the effect.
Why Good People Don't Carry All The Time:
Many people don't carry their firearm during certain activities because their primary, holster isn't ideal for that situation. This leaves the person with two options, not carry a gun at all, or find a holster that will work for these times. The compromise may not allow re-holstering with one hand. Maybe it takes more practice to get to a point where the draw is quick enough. But at least they have their firearm accessible.
I haven't found many things in life that are all pros and no cons. But we all use our own scale to make our individual decision. I have my favorite holsters. The ones that after tweaking and adjusting seemed to work. I have a couple that I wear nearly every day. These are my go-to holsters, and fit my checklist for an ideal holster. I have one I wear when I want more discretion and have to conceal more deeply. I have found a couple that work nicely when I am outside or around my home and wearing athletic gear without a belt.
Luckily, there has never been a better time to be a concealed carrier. There are so many innovative holster designs, allowing people to carry where previously they could not. So don't give up on carrying your firearm no matter the scenario. It may require some trial and error and some trade-offs, but with some determination, you can overcome the struggle. Heck, even a concealed carry purse is better than nothing.
Have you struggled to carry during certain activities, or while wearing different clothing? Did you fall trap to someone's advice telling you that their holster was the best, only to find out that it didn't work for you? I would like to hear how you were able to overcome the issue. Leave a comment, it may help someone with a similar challenge.
Protect yourself and those you care about. God Bless.