Once you’ve chosen a concealed carry firearm that works well for you, the next step is choosing your holster. The decision may seem less important, but remember: your holster will determine how safely and efficiently you can access your firearm in the event of an emergency.
Defense In Depth assistant manager CJ Clevenger says that there are several things to keep in mind when buying your holster. “Probably one of the biggest things people overlook when thinking of concealed carry is a sturdy belt,” CJ says. “I wear a parachute-type belt with a cobra buckle, but thick, tough leather will do just fine.”
Holsters are most commonly carried on the hip. These are often broken down into IWB (inside-the-waistband) and OWB (outside-the-waistband) holsters. Any of these holsters can be carried in several different locations along the belt line. The most common locations are the 4-5 o’clock position (for right-handed carriers) and the appendix position.
Here are examples of three basic IWB holsters sold at Defense In Depth. The outer holsters are made of neoprene, a materials that is inexpensive and fairly comfortable, but wears out more quickly.
The center holster is made of Kydex, a durable material with adjustable tension, usually molded for specific models, allowing a quick and easy draw. “They are great for a weapon-mounted light, or a threaded barrel, or any attachment to the firearm that most companies don’t account for when mass producing,” CJ says. “A lot of people don’t find it as comfortable at first, but after a while, you don’t really feel it.”
By definition, one of the most important aspects of concealed carry is keeping the firearm undetectable. When the outline of a concealed firearm shows through clothing, it is called “printing”. This should be avoided whenever possible. Clothing (and therefore the weather) is a big factor in choosing between IWB and OWB holsters.
“During winter months, it’s easier to get away with OWB because people are often wearing jackets or layers, CJ says. “The reason why I prefer carrying IWB at the appendix position is that unless you’re wearing something skin-tight, you don’t have to worry as much about printing.”
CJ says that carrying at the appendix also lets him easily check to see that the firearm is sufficiently concealed, and reduces the chances of revealing it while bending over or sitting down.
There are other considerations as well. Will you need active or passive retention? How will your body type play into your decision?
Finding the right holster for you — and figuring out the best location to carry it — is a task that’s personal to each individual shooter. Come in and check out our large collection of belts and holsters, then let our team help you through the process of finding a way to carry that’s safe, comfortable, and efficient.