That's a Paddlin' - How to Wear a Paddle Holster

Glock 48 in paddle holster made by Falco

Paddle holsters offer a popular and secure method for carrying handguns, making them a favored choice for concealed carry. Whether you're a seasoned gun owner or new to firearms, understanding how to properly wear a paddle holster is essential for safety and practicality. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to ensure the safe and efficient use of a paddle holster.

Paddle on leather holster made by Falco

Holster Selection and Mounting

Start by choosing a paddle holster designed specifically for your firearm model. This ensures a proper fit, secure retention, and ease of access. Consider your intended use, whether it's for concealed carry, open carry, or competition shooting when making your selection. The paddle holster used as an example in this article is a Falco Holsters model C137 meant for the Taurus G4XL T.O.R.O. Falco has a wonderful full-fledged selection of paddle holsters for virtually any concealed carry handgun out there.

Prior to any handling, always ensure your firearm is entirely unloaded. Remove the magazine and visually inspect the chamber to confirm it's clear, placing safety as the top priority. Slide the paddle attachment on your holster inside your waistband or between your pants and belt. Position it on your body according to your preference, with common positions being the strong side (usually on the hip or behind it) or the appendix carry position (front of the body).

OWB carry paddle holster positioned behind the hip

Paddle holsters typically don’t lend themselves well to the appendix carry style, so paddle holsters are almost exclusively carried at the 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock position simply because that’s where the curve in the paddle fits best on most people. That being said, many paddle holsters can be fitted with alternative hardware in order to allow them to be carried more suitably in the appendix carry position.

Glock 48 in leather paddle holster by Falco positioned on the hip

Adjusting for an Optimal Draw

Many paddle holsters feature adjustable retention screws. Use these to achieve your desired level of retention. Secure the paddle to prevent any unnecessary movement. When re-holstering an unloaded firearm, exercise caution. Ensure the firearm is fully seated in the holster and securely retained, particularly if your holster lacks a thumb break or other retention mechanism. The C137 model in this article features passive retention only, so what I am looking for is a tactile feel for when the firearm is properly “locked” in the holster.

Some paddle holsters allow for adjustments in terms of cant (angle) and ride height. Customize these settings to suit your comfort and concealment needs. If you're carrying concealed, it's crucial to ensure your clothing effectively conceals the holster and firearm, preventing any outline from being visible.

Drawing from paddle holster

Before carrying your firearm, practice drawing it from the holster safely and smoothly. Maintain trigger discipline, keeping your finger straight and away from the trigger until you've decided to fire. Always adhere to proper holster discipline. Keep your trigger finger straight and away from the trigger while holstering or drawing your firearm. Avoid letting your finger enter the trigger guard unless you're ready to fire. It’s also a good idea to always look at your holster to have a visual reference while reholstering.

Leather paddle holster by Falco

Final Thoughts

Wearing a paddle holster is a reliable and secure method of carrying a handgun, whether for self-defense or other purposes. Safety and correct technique are paramount, and it's essential to seek professional training in firearms handling and concealed carry. Additionally, always follow established safety guidelines, inspect and maintain your holster regularly, and understand and adhere to local laws and regulations of your state, country, and local municipality. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can confidently wear a paddle holster while ensuring the safety of yourself and those around you.

Luke Cuenco

Luke Cuenco


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