Choosing Your First Holster: Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry
Choosing a holster for your new firearm is one of those things that you may not have thought about at first.
If you just bought a new rifle, then a holster won’t be on your list of things to get. Instead, you’ll probably be more interested in a long-range rifle scope or other attachments.
For a new pistol, however, a holster to carry it in is a must-have. Depending on your needs, both open carry and concealed carry holsters are available.
Like any tool, a pistol is only as good as the holster that carries it. If the holster fails you when you need it most, then the handgun will be just as useless.
Keep reading and I’ll break down everything that you need to know to choose the best holster for your handgun.
The 3 Rules of Holster Safety
Regardless of the type of holster that you choose, there are three main things that you need to look for. By checking these things, you’ll know that your holster is reliable, safe, and secure.
Coverage and Grip
There are two key things you want to look for in a holster: trigger coverage and grip. You don’t want there to be any chance that your firearm accidentally misfires or discharges when you least expect it, so make sure you get something that covers your trigger. The other side of this is making sure you can get a secure grip on your weapon when it’s holstered. Fumbling with your firearm while trying to unholster it is a recipe for disaster, so make sure you purchase something that provides trigger coverage and provides you with a solid grip on your firearm.
The Firearm Sits Comfortably In the Holster
This means that the holster isn’t significantly larger than the firearm that it’s holding. That way the handgun isn’t rattling around loose and it can’t be jostled.
At the same time, you also need to make sure that your holster isn’t so tight that the handgun gets stuck in it. That doesn’t help anybody if the time comes that you need to use it. This can be circumvented by purchasing a holster from Falco Holsters that are made specifically for your handgun.
Ease of Use
Basically, make sure that you can consistently, smoothly, and safely draw and re-holster your firearm every time. Comfort is also one of the most important aspects as well, so make sure you purchase from somewhere that accommodates all shapes and sizes (like Falco Holsters).
Different Types of Holsters
There are five main types of holsters to consider. The kind that’ll be best for you depends on the way you grip your pistol, your dominant hand, and personal comfort. The different types are:
- Outside the waistband holsters, or OWB.
- Inside the waistband holsters, or IWB.
- Pocket holsters.
- Shoulder holsters.
- Ankle holsters.
All of these work well for concealed carry, with the exception of the OWB holster. You can carry OWB, but you’ll need to adjust your wardrobe accordingly. It’ll be the easiest in the winter and fall to really make this style of carrying work.
From here, you’ll want to decide if you want molded plastic (polymer), leather, or nylon as your holster material. Each material has its own pros and cons.
Mainly made of polymer, these tend to be the cheapest and easiest to make and purchase. Unfortunately, because of that, they also tend to be very brittle and break easily. However, Falco Holsters works instead with American-made Kydex exclusively. You can expect great durability and reliability from these.
While you might save money upfront, you might end up spending more in the long run by having to replace one after another if you don’t purchase one from a reputable seller.
A quality leather holster will cost you $50-$100, but can last for more than 5 years. They get worn out over time, but the initial investment in high-quality materials makes for a purchase that will be well worth it.
These tend to be the most difficult to break in due to their initial stiffness, but once they’ve properly molded there’s no comparison in comfort.
Most nylon holsters today are a combination of a few different materials. This makes them versatile, affordable, and lightweight. Nylon holsters (from Falco Holsters) are unique in the fact that they can be produced for the rarest firearms with all kinds of accessories since they don’t require exact molds to be made.
Another important factor to consider is the retention level of the holster. A holster can be Level I, Level II, or Level III.
The higher the retention level is, the harder it will be to draw your pistol from your holster.
Some people prefer higher retention so that their pistol is never accidentally drawn or dislodged, while others prefer lower retention for ease of access. The easiest way to solve this is to get a tensioning screw so you can adjust the retention as necessary.
For most people, the best bet is to find a holster that completely covers the muzzle of your firearm and has a thumb strap across the back. This allows you complete control of your handgun.
Breaking Your Holster In
Holsters rarely come ready to use. More often than not, you’ll need to break it in before you use it.
One of the most important things to test is its comfortability, particularly if you’re using a concealed carry holster.
Because let’s face it, if it’s not comfortable to use all day then you’re not gonna use it. And that really defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Make sure that the holster that you buy has a warranty of at least 14-30 days (Falco Holsters offers a 30-day buyback) so that you can try it in a number of situations. That way if you hate it, you can swap it out for a different model.
The perfect holster for you is the one that you find the most comfortable, wearable, and usable. If possible, go to your local gun store and check them out in person.
Either way, make sure you purchase yours from a company that’s reliable and well-known for its products. Make sure to get recommendations from your range buddies and stick with what you know. If you want to check all those boxes, well, we have an online store just a click away.