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Types of Gun Holsters & How to Choose

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Types of Gun Holsters & How to Choose

Selecting the right gun holster is a nuanced process that hinges on personal preferences, the type of firearm owned, and the intended use. In this guide, we dissect the various different types of gun holsters available, shedding light on how to choose a gun holster that aligns with your needs, be it for concealed or open carry purposes.

Types of Concealed Carry Holsters

Concealed carry holsters prioritize keeping your firearm out of sight while ensuring it remains within arm's reach should an emergency arise. This stealth approach to carrying a firearm allows you to go about your day with a sense of security. The different types of concealed carry holsters include:


Inside The Waistband Holsters (IWB)

IWB holsters are a top choice for concealed carry, neatly tucking away inside your pants which minimizes the visible imprint through clothing, a phenomenon known as 'printing'. The material choices like leather and Kydex are crucial as they impact comfort and durability. Leather molds to your body over time, providing a personalized fit, while Kydex retains its shape, making re-holstering straightforward.


Outside The Waistband Holsters (OWB)

While typically used for open carry, OWB holsters can also serve concealed carriers well, especially with the aid of a covering garment like a jacket or vest. They offer easier access compared to IWB holsters and often come with adjustable retention systems to ensure your firearm remains securely holstered yet accessible.


Shoulder Holsters

Ideal for individuals who remain seated or drive frequently, shoulder holsters provide a balance of accessibility and comfort. They distribute the weight of the firearm across your shoulders, making it a viable option for all-day carry, particularly when a waistband carry is not practical.


Pocket Holsters

For small firearms, pocket holsters offer a convenient and accessible choice. They provide a snug fit in your pocket that prevents snagging during the draw. It's essential to choose a design that covers the trigger guard to prevent accidental discharges.


Ankle Holsters

Perfect for carrying a backup firearm, ankle holsters offer a discreet carry option albeit with a slower draw. They are less noticeable and provide an alternative carrying solution when other options are not viable.


Belly Band Holsters

Versatile and adaptable to different clothing styles, belly band holsters are discreet and ideal during physical activities or when wearing attire without a belt. They can be positioned at various points along the waist, providing flexibility in how you carry.


Open Carry Holsters

Open carry holsters are about showcasing your firearm openly while ensuring it's securely holstered and easily accessible. They are suitable for situations where quick access to your firearm is necessary.


Belt Holsters

The quintessential open carry option, belt holsters provide a stable platform for your firearm, ensuring it remains securely holstered while being easy to draw. They attach directly to your belt, keeping your firearm at your side and ready for quick access.


Tactical Holsters

Tailored for professional or military use, tactical holsters offer added functionalities like extra magazine holders or accommodations for lights and lasers. They are designed to meet the demanding needs of law enforcement and military personnel.


Drop Leg Holsters

Positioned at mid-thigh level, drop leg holsters offer an alternative carry option that's easily accessible, especially when seated. They are often chosen by tactical and military personnel for their ease of access and comfort during active movements.


Chest Holsters

Ideal for vehicle operators or those wearing body armor, chest holsters provide an intuitive draw and distribute the weight of the firearm across the chest. They offer an alternative carry position, especially when waist or leg carry isn't practical.


Gun Holster Material: Leather vs. Kydex Gun Holsters

The battle between leather and Kydex gun holsters boils down to personal preference. Leather holsters offer a classic aesthetic and a form-fitting comfort as they tend to mold to the shape of your gun over time, providing a personalized fit. On the flip side, Kydex holsters are modern marvels known for their rigidity, durability, and low maintenance. They retain their shape over time, making reholstering easier and quicker.


Choosing a gun holster entails a careful consideration of your daily routine, the environments you'll be venturing into, and the type of firearm you own. It’s a balance between personal comfort, accessibility, and the level of concealment or openness you desire. Whether you opt for concealed or open carry, ensure your holster choice marries comfort, accessibility, and safety seamlessly. Explore different types and brands, and don’t shy away from testing multiple holsters to unearth the perfect match for your carrying needs. Your safety and comfort are paramount, making the effort to choose the right holster a worthy investment.