Buying A Concealed Carry Holster For Someone Else - A Few Things To Keep In Mind
Shopping for that special someone is always a trick. Giving the gift of a great inside the waistband concealed carry holster that's backed by a lifetime warranty is certainly a wise decision. In this article, we'll go over some of the considerations you may want to consider when buying a concealed carry holster for someone else.
Make sure you know if they're left-handed or right-handed
It sounds silly but sometimes people just don't think about right or left hand preferences until the day arrives. The look on someone's face as he or she opens the gift box to see a reputable, comfortable holster – priceless. That follow-on glance when they realizes it's a right-handed holster and they are left-handed? Yep.
Sounds pretty basic but just check. You may be surprised to find out someone who writes with his right hand may shoot with his left due to “left eye dominance” (aka cross eye dominance).
Picking The Gun Holster For The Right Person
If you're buying a gun holster as a gift for someone, make sure that you're getting the right holster for the right person. Is this a holster they're likely to actually use? Does it fit in their lifestyle? Or is it likely to wind up gathering dust in a drawer?
To know that, you must first know the person in question. Do they have an active, outdoor lifestyle? Do they go to the range a lot? Or do they mostly just wear the gun here and there?
You should also know a little bit about the various open and concealed carry methods. Chances are you'll likely find one (or maybe even two) that the person you're shopping for is most likely to use. Think about the things that person likes and chances are you'll identify a holster to match.
First you have IWB Carry, or inside the waistband. The typical inside the waistband holster is worn between somewhere around the wallet and the point of the hip. It usually requires an untucked shirt to conceal effectively. These are the most popular type of CCW holster, as they are comfortable and functional for most people. If the person you're shopping for is very meat-and-potatoes in their approach to things, this is a solid choice of holster.
Some people prefer what's hip, smart and uber-modern, and just such a person is likely to prefer appendix carry. An appendix carry holster tucks into the front of the waistband, concealing easily and being easily accessed should it need to be. That said, people tend to either love it or hate it; rarely could a person be said to "take it or leave it." It either suits a person or it doesn't. Those that appendix carry DOES suit, however, tend to only want to carry that way.
OWB carry, outside the waistband, is something of a chameleon. Depending on the type of holster, this holster type can be used to conceal and carry or to just open carry. Some holsters will let you do both, others are open carry only. Gun choice and body type all come into play.
A belt slide holster will usually ride high and tight, letting the user conceal if so desired or wear openly. This is a popular type of OWB holster, and is one of the classic holster design types. Concealment usually requires some layering, such as an untucked shirt or a jacket. If the person you're shopping for consistently wears clothing like that, it's a good pick.
Other OWB designs are generally good for open carry only. These are good holsters for when concealment is desired, like wearing at the range, in the outdoors, or around the house where no one cares if you're concealed or not. Typically, people will carry in a holster like this on occasion, but will revert to a more traditional CCW holster when concealment is desired.
Shoulder holsters are for people who want to conceal but generally have difficulty doing so with anything on or about the waistband. Wearing a shoulder holster does require dressing for success, so to speak, meaning that the person with a shoulder holster has to choose clothing that will let them attain concealment while wearing it. Shoulder holsters are much like appendix carry holsters; people are definitely shoulder holster fans or they're definitely not.
Ankle holsters and ankle carry are generally used for carrying a backup gun, though some people will carry their primary - or rather only - carry gun in this manner if carrying on the waistband is impractical. Almost anyone can carry in this method, though be careful to select a holster that offers good support for the pistol and adjustable ride height, so it can be worn with multiple types of footwear.
A drop leg holster isn't very good for concealed carry - you can't unless you're wearing a trench coat - but is fantastic for open carry, as it sits in a very comfortable position. The pistol is in a natural location for fast, easy access and it also enables carrying a gun when the waist is otherwise occupied. That makes it ideal for both general purpose use on a range, wearing around the house, but is also well-suited for the uniformed officer wearing body armor and the outdoorsman wearing a pack with a waistbelt.
If you get an idea about the person you're buying the holster for, you'll likely be able to figure out what suits them best.
Get The Right Concealed Carry Holster For The Right Gun
If you're going to get someone a concealed carry holster as a gift, you'll want to make sure you're getting the right concealed carry holster. As mentioned, you need to make sure you're getting the right kind of holster for the person in question but you also need to get the right holster for the right gun.
How do you know what's the right gun? How do you find out if you don't know?!
Well, there are a few ways of knowing.
First...just ask. It isn't that hard. You just ask them what gun they have and you go from there.
Or you can engage in an act of subterfuge! Generally, gun people like talking about them. What you start with is telling them you were thinking of getting a carry gun or new carry gun, what would be their recommendation and so on. Eventually, they'll say "well I carry a" and boom - you now know what sort of gun they have.
What you definitely DON'T want to do is get either a universal holster or holster for the wrong gun. This guarantees the holster won't fit very well or won't fit at all. The person who has received the gift must then get it exchanged to get the right one - or you will - and that's a hassle.
After all, one of the factors that makes a holster worthwhile to carry with is that it properly fits the pistol that is being carried in the holster. Therefore, make sure that you get the holster for the right gun before bestowing the gift of comfortable carry on someone.
Make Sure There's A Holster Return Policy
Another thing to bear in mind if buying a holster as a gift for someone is to check that there's a return policy with the holster company. It's like buying clothing or any item a person might wear; unless you know to an absolute certainty that it will work and they'll love it, there's a chance they may have to send it back.
Alien Gear Holsters strives to make holsters that are comfortable to wear, but not everyone
enjoys perfection necessarily will agree, which is why part of Iron-Clad Guarantee is a 30 Day Test Drive trial period, during which the holster can be returned.
After all, what one person finds comfortable or fits them may be completely untenable for another. Therefore, a good return policy is a good idea for such an item, be it a flannel shirt or a concealed carry holster.
Giving a holster as a gift for the holidays? Check out our holiday holster deals.
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.