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What would John Wayne say about his favorite Conceal Carry Holsters? When he attempted to rescue his niece in The Searchers can you remember how quickly he grabbed his pistol from the holster? How about when he took on old west murderers in True Grit? Although I love those movies, the real answer is: Who gives a crap?

The more we evolve from old westerns to cop dramas, the more people start thinking that flashy holsters mean more than functionality. All you need to know is which holsters are best for quick draws in dangerous situations. Sure, comfort comes into the mix as well, but effectiveness is the winner when someone threatens you.

      Let's review some of the more popular
best concealed carry holster options
    you have to choose from:
  • Inside the waistband holsters
  • Outside the waistband holsters
  • Crossdraw holsters
  • Shoulder holsters
  • Ankle holsters
  • Pocket holsters
  • Bags and fanny packs
  • Paddle holsters
  • Back holsters

What Makes the Perfect Holster for Quick Draws in Dangerous Situations?

What's the reason to purchase a gun? To protect themselves and others, or to use for sporting. What's the reason anyone buys a handgun holster? To get that gun out in the open as quick as possible and pull the trigger. When it's not in use the holster is used to protect it from harming anyone.

    I have a few rules when looking for the perfect holster:
  1. It doesn't snag when drawing
  2. It requires minimal fiddling with your clothing
  3. It sits close to your hand
  4. It lets you move around while drawing your handgun
  5. It's comfortable and doesn't cause more harm than the threatening person

So, let's narrow down our search. Back holsters violate Rules 3 and 5 since they aren't all that close to your hand and they can severely hurt you if you fall on your back.

Paddle holsters, being carried outside the waistband, slide in and out with relative ease. This doesn't mean they are less easily retained, but occasionally may shift slightly with movement. However, this can be easily countered by properly securing a paddle holster with a quality gun belt.

Bags are not always within reach, and your fanny pack is a pain to wear whenever you are sitting down. It's also not the safest way to pull out your firearm when in danger.

A pocket holster works wonders for concealed carry, but I'd rather trust my pocket with change and receipts than a gun bouncing around. These also require smaller handguns. Have fun pulling out a little pistol when it's caught in your deep pockets.

Check out our article on ankle holster effectiveness to learn how they are great for backup options, but they restrict your movement too much, a direct violation of Rule 4.

Shoulder and crossdraw holsters come in as our runner ups, since lots of concealed carriers spend loads of handgun training time with these holsters and feel comfortable drawing a weapon from across their body. That said, they typically require open shirts to access. You're more likely to see these types of holsters in a cop movie than any realistic situation. Our final contenders are outside the waistband holsters and inside the waistband holsters. Which one prevails?

Outside the Waistband OWB Holsters

For concealed carry, an outside the waistband holster is tricky. In the winter you should have no problem covering the holster up with a long coat, but hot months require a dangling shirt that doesn't need to get tucked. Since the holster is outside the waistband you have direct access to the gun, with a quick tug of the shirt. It's close to your hand, your body is free to move and snags are minimal. Take a look at our OWB Holster:  Alien Gear Cloak Slide OWB Holster

Inside the Waistband IWB Holsters

Inside the waistband holsters have similar benefits for quick draws as outside the waistband holsters. The only problem I've seen is that you might have a slightly tucked in shirt that hinders your draw, and the holster is closer to your body, causing a more probable snag on your shirt. Take a look at our IWB holster:  Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster

Since they are so close, I tend to opt for the outside the waistband holster for the ideal quick draw situation. You don't have to get new pants to fit the holster, and it works well in most situations for concealed carry. The item that puts it above inside the waistband holsters is the fact that the holster is just slightly closer to your hand and you have a lesser chance of snagging your clothing.

Let us know in the comments section if you agree or disagree that outside the waistband holsters offer the quickest draw in dangerous situations.

Joe Warnimont

About The Author

Joe Warnimont is a writer for technology, marketing and survival/weapons companies. He manages a successful writing blog called Write With Warnimont. Ever since earning his rifle merit badge he's taken an interest in gun legislation and self defense. You can find him riding his bike in Chicago or camping in Wisconsin.