A good holster is essential for any serious gun owner. First a foremost, a holster protects you against accidental discharge, which can have very serious consequences. In addition, a well designed holster should allow you to carry your weapon for long periods, either openly or concealed, without being uncomfortable.
Beyond these two basic requirements, the best holsters available today come with a vast range of additional features, making choosing the correct one for you difficult. It’s critical to read reviews about your holster before you purchase to avoid buying the incorrect size. Here are four factors to take into account when choosing a new holster.
1. Weapon Security
Weapon security should be your first concern when choosing any holster. When buying a holster ensure your holster will hold your weapon securely, and one that also provides sufficient safeguards against accidental discharge.
Some of the best holsters now offer fully adjustable retention screws. These mean that it is possible to adjust the tightness with which the holster grips your weapon. This is useful if you own several similar weapons, because you can adjust the holster for each.
It is also especially useful for those who shoot in competitions, but also carry their weapon on an everyday basis. For competition, you can slightly relax the hold your holster has on your weapon for greater draw speeds, and then tighten it back up again for normal carrying.
Another thing to look for is the trigger guard mechanism. The guard on your holster should ideally cover the entire trigger mechanism, to avoid accidental discharge.
2. Ease of Access
Ideally, you want a when buying a holster get a holster that holds your weapon securely, whilst also allowing you to draw it really quickly. In the real world, though, there is a slight compromise to be made between security and ease of draw.
In general, the more deeply concealed your weapon is, the slower you will be able to draw it. This is why competition shooters use outside-the-waistband configurations.
Another feature to look for is variable cant – the angle at which your weapon sits when in the holster. Different people prefer different cants, and you can even adjust this angle depending on the situation.
If you carry your pistol concealed, it goes without saying that you want a holster that hides your weapon well. With larger weapons, this can be a little difficult, because longer barrels are hard to hide.
A major obstacle to concealing you weapon is printing, where the outline of your pistol is visible through your clothing. Though some people worry unduly about this, it can be a problem. Accordingly, even many minimal holsters now feature additions which help to break up the outline of your weapon.
Of course, if you are shooting in competitions, concealment is less of an issue. In these situations, you want a holster that will allow you to draw quickly, because if you are standing on the range everybody already knows you have a pistol!
Last, but of course not least, look for a holster that will provide years of reliable service. Whilst it may look like hard-case holsters, typically made from extruded plastic, will last the longest, this is not necessarily true.