4 Tips for Choosing Your First Gun Holster

best first ccw holster

You've heard of the equilateral triangle for workmanship? “Fast, cheap, good” Choose two, the old joke goes.

When it comes to choosing from the best concealed carry holsters, thankfully that triangle doesn't apply. In this case, we have a square and each quadrant is essential.

Comfort, affordability, security, and concealability.

Unfortunately, a lot of gun holsters out on the market seem to only espouse maybe three of those four. Meatloaf may have said two out of three ain't bad – but three out of four is still failing. You need all important form factors for a concealed carry holsters.

Here are some things to test out when you're shopping for your first gun holster.

4. Comfort

best pistol holster

If the gun holster is not comfortable – you're not going to wear it. And in order to pass this test, it has to make it through a full day's worth of activity. If you feel your firearm jabbing into your hip or back, it's a disqualifier.

Test 1: Put on your concealed holster and firearm of choice. Go jump in the car and go for a thirty minute drive.

Test 2: Try wearing your concealed carry holster throughout a work day. If that involves moving around and lifting things – great. If it involves sitting at a desk – just as good.

Your holster should accommodate your lifestyle – not the other way around.

3. Affordability

For high retention, usually a form-fitting plastic shell is required. And if that's the case, then you're going to need a different gun holster shell for all the variations of concealed carry weapons you holster. So, right away – you're looking for an affordable solution.

Either a holster system that is configurable for multiple weapons or an individual solution for each weapon. Which is going to be more affordable in the long run? The real answer is the one that serves your needs best.

Test 1: Price compare purchasing a holster system that can accommodate all your guns or individual holsters that only work with a few.

2. Security

most comfortable gun holster

Are you flagging the guy behind you in the grocery line? Do you find your holster jostles about or dangerously grips the wrong parts of the firearm? If you do, you need to find a secure holster that keeps your concealed carry firearm secure.

You want to know when you reach down to your inside the waistband holster, the pistol grip will be located exactly where you put it when you loaded it in. No movement left or right, no up or down – right where you want it.

Test 1: Put on the inside the waistband holster and look in a full length mirror. Is the weapon facing a dangerous direction?

Test 2: Unload your firearm and put it in the holster. Jump up and down while wearing your concealed carry holster. Do a couple jumping jacks or star jumps. Your weapon shouldn't go anywhere.

1. Concealability

concealed holster

It's a concealed carry holster. That means it ought stay as far out of sight as possible. If it is big and bulky, unwieldy or awkwardly positioned – it's not hidden. If it makes you uncomfortable, thereby causing you to fidget or adjust, it's inevitably drawing attention to you.

Test 1: Put your concealed carry firearm in its most ideal position, i.e. where you practice your draw from. Now put on a polo shirt or covering layer. If you aren't printing, your holster is doing something right.

Are you a first time buyer of a concealed carry holster?
What are some definite things you're looking for in a holster system?
Tell us in the comments section below.


About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.