xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Holster, holsters, holsters! ~ The Prepared Guy

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Holster, holsters, holsters!

WHY do I have SO many holsters!?  The answer: Because, when I bought them I really didn't know what I was doing.  You may also have the same experience.

Many of you, I am sure, have tried lots of different kinds of holsters like I have.   Inside the waist band (IWB), outside the waste band (OWB), tuckable, leather, kydex, sticky, one size fits many, pocket, shoulder, appendix carry, small of the back, ankle, etc., etc.   There are SO many different options that it can be difficult to choose.

Those of us who carry often, if not everyday, and have different handguns, have at least two or possibly more different kinds of holsters for each pistol.  I would bet that many of those holsters never get used anymore, or maybe never got used much at all.  Why?  Because you probably didn't know what kind or type of holster you really needed or exactly how you were going to carry.  That's OK, because like everything else, it takes trial and error to gain knowledge.

Allow me to help you shorten your learning curve a bit with a few tips from a guy who has already been through the process.

Tip #1.  Stay away from "one size fits many" holsters.  Yes, they are cheap, and you get what you pay for.  Proper handgun safety is not just about how to properly handle a handgun but also how to properly carry and store it too.  Soft holsters, like many of the one size, do not provide the trigger with the best possible protection and do not typically hold the handgun firmly and securely.

Tip #2.  Choose a holster that was made specifically for your model of handgun.  This will ensure that the trigger is adequately protected and that it stays in it's holster until you choose to remove it. These are usually molded to an exact fit.

Tip #3.  Use a quality leather. or other stiff belt that is at least 1"wide. There are many concealed carry systems that do not use a typical belt but have their own belt or other way to bind it close to your body.   So far, I haven't found anything that I like in this arena.  If you are a woman and do not wear a belt, one of those other methods may work for you.  I am focusing this blog post on typical holsters meant to be worn on a belt because I do not know of any better way that allows you to both comfortably carry the weight of the pistol as well as access it as quickly.  Carry it on a sturdy belt at your waist.  Your ankle is much too far away to reach for your pistol and be discrete or quick about it.  This may be a great place to carry a back up gun such as a lightweight compact revolver.  Anything heavier will just become annoying.

Tip #4.  Bring more gun to the fight.  The right belt and holster will allow you to more comfortably carry a full size or compact handgun.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a fan of pocket pistols as your EDC gun.  I will concede that unless you have NO other option to carry it is better to have something than nothing.  You will be much better off to adjust the way you dress to the kind of weapon you carry than the other way around.  You should have your gun ON you at all times.  Having your handgun in a bag or otherwise away from and off your person can spell trouble when it's critical.  

Tip #5.  Don't cheap out.  Next to your choice of handgun your holster selection is the most critical for every reason I listed above.

Tip #6.  Comfort is paramount!  If your holster is not comfortable you probably will not want to wear it all the time.  Mine goes on after the shower and before my shoes and stays on me until I put my jammies on and tuck myself into bed.  The less often you carry your handgun the more often you are vulnerable.

I have narrowed my choice of brands down to just a few.  Sure, Galco are nice.  They make a quality product for a decent price.  I've own plenty.  Blackhawk too are very good.  There are lots of others that make quality products as well.

The company I want to highlight today is Stealth Gear USA.  As I write I am wearing the brand new Flex OWB holster.  I feel pretty special that I have one before it is even available on the web site yet.  This holster is so light, slim and high riding all I need is a t-shirt to conceal it.  Ok, it does print a little more than an IWB holster would but honestly, I don't care.  I perceive a little higher level of comfort initially having it outside of my pants, at least compared to my Galco King Tuck IWB holster which I had worn for several years, but a much higher level of comfort over the length of a full day.  Because of how high it rides, and how flexible it is, I can easily wear it all the way around from appendix carry in the front to 4:30 - 5 o'clock in the back.

The quality is superb and second to none, and they are made right here in the good ole US of A.  Besides the excellent quality, the feature that really stands out to me is how high it rides on my belt.  This is a good thing and in no way restricts movement.  When I reach for the pistol nothing is in the way because of it's height above my belt.  With a slight bend at my torso as I lower my center of gravity and prepare to move, which I have incorporated into my drawing stroke, I am able to get a perfect positive grip on my weapon the first time, everytime.  The right words I believe to describe the feelings I get are; intuitive and natural.  Love it!  No, really!

Another unique feature that caught my attention on this Stealth Gear USA Flex OWB holster is the Kydex at the muzzle of the pistol is wrapped under protecting the edge of the barrel.  I assume that this is meant to further eliminate the possibility of the pistol being pushed up and out of it's secure place in the holster from whatever I may lean against.  I like that little extra added measure of safety.    

I will have my hands on the Onyx IWB very soon and will give you my thoughts on that one as well, but for now I am more than happy (almost nearly ecstatic) with the Flex OWB by Stealth Gear USA.  I am truly loving this OWB Flex holster and will be wearing it as my EDC go to holster for the foreseeable future.

Watch the PrepperConTV YouTube channel for my video review coming soon.

But seriously, check out www.stealthgearusa,com.



Where do you feel is the best location for this holster? I just received one and still playing with locations.

Great question. For me, the best location is at approximately 4 o'clock. This places the front belt loop right at 3 o'clock on my hip. It varies slightly depending upon the location of the belt loops on the pants I am wearing. This location allows for the majority of the firearm and holster to be behind me so that it does not alter my profile. (It doesn't make my waist look wider and thus expose that I'm wearing something on my hip.)

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The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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