The other day I gathered up all the holsters I’ve purchased more than the years. I didn’t totally appreciate the size of the pile till I later heard reports of an unexplained gravitational field emanating from my subdivision. Sufficient of that it is time for some spring cleaning. Who amongst us has time for guys in black suits with Jet Propulsion Laboratories business enterprise cards displaying up unannounced? At least Erik Verlinde would be proud.
Anyway, possessing burned by way of a couple of hundred billion holsters more than the years, I’ve discovered a couple of factors about holster attributes, upkeep suggestions, and separating the advertising fluff from actual-life efficiency.
Clip screws unscrew
If you have a holster that makes use of screws to attach clips to the holster physique, then you will want to monitor these screws meticulously. Each and every time you place on a belt holster, the clips move. They also take stress, and move, as you go about your everyday business enterprise. All this tension and shifting benefits in loose screws. You do not want to notice this when your gun is hanging halfway off your belt.
I like to use a drop of blue Loctite thread locker to aid preserve these screws from turning on their personal accord. The blue version can be “released” conveniently with a tiny work but does a fine job of maintaining screws in location for the duration of typical use. Red Loctite is stronger, but tougher to take away when you want to make an adjustment down the road.
The people at Alien Gear have come up with a nifty remedy to the dilemma with their newer models like the Cloak Tuck three.five. Rather of employing screws to attach the belt clips to the holster physique, they use a rotating latch mechanism. The clips can rotate freely but stay fastened. Because the belt clip screws are the ones most most likely to loosen, it is a significant deal.
Retention screws are also a very good candidate for a tiny blue Loctite. When you get the retention setting fantastic, place a drop on the threads to preserve the stress constant. Just preserve in thoughts that you may possibly want to adjust more than time as the holster material loosens with use. Leather holsters are extra susceptible to the “stretching” impact.
Leather is sticky when you reside in a sauna
If you appreciate a fine leather holster (as I do) be certain to exercising it in miserable situations. I reside in the swamps of North America, otherwise recognized as the Lowcountry of South Carolina. That indicates it is not only hot, but I’m quite certain humidity averages 312%. When practicing draws with your holster in your good air-conditioned residence, a very good holster will perform wonderful. It’ll preserve your gun in location even though nonetheless permitting a smooth draw.
Now attempt that exact same practice routine outdoors immediately after you have been in the heat for a couple of hours. You may come across that your draw movement acts extra like a pre-college tug-of-war contest with similarly comical benefits. A “damp” leather holster will not avoid you from drawing your handgun, but it can muck up the motion. With seemingly random sticky and smooth spots, your draw may appear extra like the Disney animatronic Hall of Presidents rendition.
This is not a difficult and speedy observation. Some holsters are far better or worse than other folks. And undoubtedly climate situations add infinity variables also. Just be certain to attempt yours in sweaty and soggy situations so you know what to count on.
I’ve switched to Kydex-shell holsters for the duration of the summer time months for this cause. Oh, and if you carry spare magazines, be certain to verify these also. With extra surface region speak to, leather magazine carriers can be problematic in the summer time.
Paddles pull out
You know what’s embarrassing? Drawing from your paddle holster and watching the complete rig come out—gun and holster. From time to time just the vigorous nature of a higher-speed draw is adequate to extract the complete paddle holster from your pants. In other circumstances, movement all through your everyday travels causes the belt hooks to move about to the point exactly where they no longer anchor considerably of something. What ever the lead to, it is a uncommon paddle holster certainly that will keep in your pants more than the extended haul. If yours hasn’t performed a surprise extraction but, your time is coming.
To stay away from this, you can bite the bullet and accepts the loss of comfort of a paddle and shift to close belt loop mounts. If you are loathe to do that, there is a paddle holster that is in no way failed me—the Safariland 57X GLS. Its paddle is enormous and you could catch a Excellent White with the reduced belt hook. It is, let’s say, aggressive. When you get it on, the tension and generous beneath-the-belt-hook will preserve it in location. It can even be frustrating to take away at the finish of the day. In this case, that is a very good issue.
As with something else, this is 1 of these factors you want to test beneath worst-case situations. Performing a couple of practice draws at house at the variety, you are unlikely to have a dilemma with any paddle holster. Just after wearing 1 for an extended time and undertaking vigorous draws, you are extra most likely to expose a dilemma with the paddle coming out.
1 in 100 “perfect” carry remedy gimmicks succeed more than the extended haul
I have a confession. For years I got stuck in the concealed carry gimmick funhouse. Each and every other month, a person someplace would concoct a new concealed carry system, holster, or device that promised fantastic comfort, security, safety, and effectiveness. You’d believe inventors had packaged anti-gravity holsters to listen to the advertisements and promises.
“No 1 will ever know you are carrying!”
“You will not even know you are carrying!”
“You can get pants 3 sizes also compact when you use our holster!”
“Carry your Desert Eagle .50 with this radical innovation!”
And so on… I have to confess that I have a compact drawer complete of this type of crap. Hey, do not judge, we’re all susceptible to clever advertising at times. Anyway, there are, and will be, new inventions that make your carry life safer or extra comfy, just be skeptical. Most importantly, test, test, and test some extra ahead of betting your life on them.
No matter whether you decide on to use a holster with passive or active retention, it is significant to know how effectively your gun will stay in location till you want its extraction. 1 cause I’ve tossed all these soft and felt inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters is that they have zero retention. Positive, when you are standing straight up or sitting, your gun will keep place just fine. Now attempt operating, fighting, or falling down. Your handgun may possibly or may possibly not decide on to join you in these extra vigorous activities.
Even a passive retention holster, 1 that only relies on friction or tightly molded shape to preserve your handgun inside, ought to hold your handgun tight even though not relying solely on belt stress. For instance, if you stick an unloaded handgun into your holster and turn it upside down, what occurs? How about if you give it a shake or two? If your handgun falls out that may possibly serve as a premonition of what may take place for the duration of a worst-case situation. Now envision how these tests perform out with the added weight of a complete-loaded handgun.
1-handed re-holstering is not necessarily a deal breaker
Whilst we’re speaking about these $19.95 felt holsters, 1 of the most significant cracks against them is that you cannot re-holster 1-handed. Whilst I nonetheless hate these holsters, that is not the major cause they’ve been banned from my rotation.
Persons make a significant deal of eschewing any holster that does not enable you to re-holster with 1 hand. In holster function language, that indicates any model that does not have some variety of rigid or reinforced mouth. It may also refer to a holster variety that is extra buried in your clothes like an undershirt or belly band.
For coaching or variety classes, I agree. You do not want to be drawing and attempting to re-holster with a program like that. For each day carry, I believe 1-handed re-holstering is just 1 of a lot of pro and con attributes to look at. The lack of 1-handed holstering undoubtedly does not ban a holster from consideration. The argument is that if and when police arrive, you will want to re-holster swiftly and safely to stow your firearm and you may possibly not have two hands out there to do that. This is accurate, but re-holstering is not the only way to resolve the dilemma. If a distinct carry system is correct for you for other causes, you usually have the choice of just setting your handgun on the floor and stepping on it.
There’s a frequent denominator right here. To know what’s going to succeed and fail more than the extended haul, you have to test vigorously—over the extended haul. Testing for reliability demands lots of repetitions in lots of situations.