What Type of Holster is Right for You?

Finding the right holster for you can give you decision paralysis. Do you want to conceal carry? If you are concealing, is your full-size FNX 45 going to stick out? Do you need a leg holster? What material is best for you? Does the style you want hold your specific gun? These questions and more are highly important when choosing a holster for your gun. Here is what you should consider when choosing a holster. 

Alien Gear Holsters

Concealing IWB or OWB

The two most common types of concealed carry are inside the waistband, or IWB, and outside the waistband, or OWB. There are a number of different ways to carry a holster for both, from the appendix carry that sits in front of your hip on your strong side, to the small of your back, or a 3 o’clock carry. No matter where you want to carry, you need to choose the right type of holster.

A holster for appendix carry will not sit comfortably and correctly in the small of your back, for instance. What you are wearing matters, as a loose shirt can generally cover most concealed carry options, but not all. Weather is also a factor, as IWB holsters can cause sweat if it is hot out. OWB holsters are also used for open carry, much like the cowboys of old. Overall, your holster should be comfortable to use. Both types are perfect for compact guns meant for concealment, such as a Glock 27 Gen 4 subcompact chambered for 40 caliber cartridges.

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Shoulder Holsters

There are plenty of other options available for concealed carry, such as ankle carry, belly bands, bra holsters, and pocket holsters. The shoulder holster, however, was made famous by Miami Vice, and while not nearly as popular thanks to modern-day concealed holsters, it’s still a somewhat popular option. It’s used by those who find waist holsters uncomfortable, who frequently need to remove their firearm from its holster, and for handguns that are too big for other concealed carry options.

Leg Holsters

A more tactical option for those in law enforcement, the military, or who wish to open carry is the leg drop holster. These can sit on the leg or thigh, helping get the right height for a smooth draw with your arm. These usually attach to a belt and have a single or double leg strap for support.

Choosing the Right Material

There are three main options for holster material: leather, Kydex, and hybrid. Leather needs to be broken in, but has flex and give, making it comfortable. It requires care and upkeep over time, and has a slower draw than Kydex, but gives excellent retention and has been a go-to for more than a century. Kydex is a type of hard polymer, molded to specific firearms. You need to be absolutely certain the holster you choose is meant for your specific gun. A Glock 21 Gen 4 will not fit in a Kydex holster meant for a Glock 41 due to the difference in total length. It does not offer the retention that leather does unless there is a locking system. A hybrid mixes Kydex and leather and often relies on belt pressure for extra retention. They are affordable but wear out quicker than either material on its own.


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