You likely spent weeks, months, or even years selecting the right handgun for your concealed-carry needs. You’ve tried various cartridges, considered the differences between revolvers and pistols, and meticulously reviewed the top handgun manufacturers.
So why would you choose the first holster available?
If you are going to conceal-carry a firearm, you must take your time and choose an appropriate holster for your specific needs…
Understand the Various Holster Types
There are numerous types of holsters, and you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can make an informed decision. Knowing the qualities of outside-the-waistband, inside-the-waistband, appendix, shoulder, pocket, and ankle holsters will help you make a smart choice. And as we’ll discuss later, you may need more than one.
Finds the Right Balance Between Release and Retention
The ability of the holster to hold the weapon, which is often called “retention,” is vastly important. Proper retention, however, is a balancing act, as the holster should hold the firearm firmly, with zero chance of it falling out, yet should allow for a smooth, unobstructed draw in the event of an emergency.
Don’t Neglect Comfort
While many concealed-carry owners are concerned with draw and retention, you should never underestimate the importance of comfort. If your holster is not comfortable, you’ll never wear it, which defeats the purpose of having your permit at all.
Joseph Terry, a retired law-enforcement officer writing for Gun Digest, recommends leather holsters because, as he says, they are more comfortable and will, overtime, conform to your specific use.
You’ll Likely Need Multiple Holsters for Various Settings
Before purchasing, we recommend trying various holster styles to see which type works best for your personal use. You can likely sample various holsters at gun shows and shops, although whether or not you can try it with your weapon will depend on the situation.
Also, over time you will likely discover that one holster is not enough for year-round use. You may use an inside-the-waistband holster covered by a jacket during the winter, then use an inside-the-pocket holster in the summer, when wearing layers of clothing is not an option. Having various holsters for warm vs. cold weather or casual vs. formal settings will allow you to carry your personal-defense weapon in a responsible manner, no matter what the situation.