Concealed Carry Holsters - Needs and Wants
When preparing for concealed carry you have to look at the whole picture. A beginner will often chose a concealed carry holster to adapt to his mode of dress. He may deploy a light handgun and a pocket holster to fit his dress trousers. He may select a gun holster based upon a cool factor with little thought to practical use. One example is a poorly made shoulder holster. The overbuilt rig printed under the jacket and the fellow gave the impression he was wearing a brassiere beneath his windbreaker. Others adopt improper covering garments and expose even well designed holsters. When you deploy a certain size handgun and particular type of holster you need to plan ahead and choose clothing that compliments the choice.
All of us like to be well armed and obtain gear that gives us a level playing field with our protein fed ex con criminal class. Adopting a quality IWB inside the waistband holster affords us the opportunity to effectively conceal a fighting pistol that is large and powerful enough to speak with authority on our behalf. If you choose a belt holster then you must select a covering garment that will conceal the full length of the holster. If you elect to deploy the more concealable IWB holster then a good example should be chosen.
All Roads Lead To The IWB holster
A lighter garment that covers the handle of the firearm is all that is necessary. There are compromises inherent in every holster type but when the advantages of the IWB are considered this holster makes for an intelligent choice. The IWB is chosen by those that dress around their defensive gear rather than attempting to make the gear fit the lifestyle. This is the qualifying difference between living the lifestyle and accommodating a handgun in a less serious manner. The IWB concealed carry holster must exhibit several elements. Among these in practical terms is availability and affordability. Cheap is bad, inexpensive is OK but well worth the money is what I look for.
I have deployed holsters in the past that worked well enough until they became wet and the leather decided to rot. A waterproof gun holster is a good idea. An American made holster with an iron clad warranty is another good idea. When addressing the needs of concealed carry one holster cannot answer every equation - but one comes close. As an example for good concealment under a sport shirt the holster should ride low in the trousers. The Alien Gear holster will do so. But if you are wearing a jacket during the cooler months a higher ride offers a superior draw. The obvious answer was once two holsters but now the Alien Gear holster offers adjustable tilt and cant.
The default cant is 15 degrees, which we used to call the “FBI Cant". Lowering or raising the tilt is a big plus. A very tall person would use a neutral cant, a shorter person a more severe angle. The ride or exposure above the waistband is adjustable by raising or lowering the belt clips. This makes for excellent utility. The leather backing is comfortable when worn close to the body. This is a good blend and the essence of the hybrid holster - supple leather married to a rugged Kydex holster. It is high tech, sure, but also good human engineering.
And At The CrossRoads Is Alien Gear Holsters
The holsters illustrated are for 1911 handguns. The user must understand that there is a difference between concealability and comfort. With the Alien Gear holsters a larger handgun such as the Colt 1911, SIG P226, HK P30 or Glock 22 is easily concealed. The holster keeps the handgun close to the body. The handgun does not pinch the body due to the advantages of the Alien Gear design. The smaller and lighter handguns are simply lighter. That’s all. The full size handguns are more capable, more accurate and usually more powerful. A Glock 19 or SIG P 229 is ideal. The Alien Gear holster is a great design. With the lifetime warranty and lifetime trade features, well, here is a highly developed design worth writing about.
|Image: The Alien Gear holster carries the author’s SIG TACOPS in comfort and offers both concealment and a good sharp draw.||Image: The Walther PPK is a classic carry gun. Note the draw angle exhibited- this holster gives the user excellent purchase on the grip during the critical moments when you must the present the handgun quickly.|
About The Author
RK Campbell is a writer in the outdoors, firearms and personal defense field. He has written over two thousand articles columns and reviews and is the author of nine books. My work appears in Gun Digest, Gun Tests, Tactical Gear, The Journal, Voice of American Law Enforcement, Women and Guns, Concealed Carry Magazine, Small Arms Review, Man at Arms, American Gunsmith, Knife World, and other publications.