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how to holster a handgun

Re-Holstering a Firearm - How To Properly Re-holster A Gun

Before using a concealed carry IWB holster for the first time, always unload the pistol. And while holstering said pistol, if you feel the holster compresses in any way, shape, or form on the trigger – adjust that holster or get rid of it.

If you don't trust your firearm's trigger to not bump up against something in the reholstering process – or you don't feel confident enough in your abilities to reholster it without injuring yourself or another – don't use that gun. Get a different one. Alternately, you can practice with the one you want until you are at the skill level where you feel confident.

Safely Re-holstering a Handgun starts with two things:

  • Training to holster/reholster
  • Starting off with the right holster

A lot of injuries occur every year from concealed and open carriers attempting to reholster a pistol or revolver. We're going to give a few quick tips on some good ways to minimize your risk.

How to holster a handgun:

  • When drawing from the holster, your index finger should be clear and off the trigger.
  • When reholstering, your finger should be clear and off the trigger.
  • If using a holster shell with high-retention, use the right shell specifically molded custom for the pistol – not a shell made for any handgun.

How to Reholster a Single-Action and Double-Action Pistols:

The trigger mechanism for an SA/DA pistol is slightly different than a striker-fire. If the hammer is back, it's ready to fire. Don't depend on a manual safety to do its job – rely on actual safety. If your pistol has a decocker, decock it before putting it back in the holster.

How to Reholster a Striker-Fire Pistol:

Striker-fire pistols generally have a much more sensitive trigger. There's also no hammer to indicate where it is in the cycle of fire. This shouldn't be too much of an issue, though, because you're using a high retention Kydex holster with a backpad that puts positive support on the pistol once its in the holster. Right?

The reason why we promote Kydex shells is because they're custom form-fitted to the model of pistol you're using. That means when you put your pistol in its holster, its trigger guard is protected.

Re-holstering with Tight Waistlines And Cutting Corners

reholstering a gun

Let's be honest – a tight waistline shouldn't be a risk to reholstering a firearm. It is, though, if you've been cutting corners. If you have a cheap fabric IWB holster or worse yet – an unsupported trigger guard pocket holster – you're setting yourself up for a negligent failure.

Get a holster that supports the gun. The trigger guard should be protected at every step of the reholstering process. If it isn't – re-position your holster, loosen up your waistline – do whatever you need to do to correct this issue.

Owning and carrying a firearm puts you squarely in the seat of responsibility for how that firearm is treated and cared for. Assuming the laws of thermodynamics or smokeless gun powder don't apply will leave you in a bad situation.

In conclusion, protect yourself and those around you by responsibly training with your concealed carry pistol – and that means using the right type of holster and practicing your draw.

James England

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.