How tight is ideal for OWB rangework?

This is a discussion on How tight is ideal for OWB rangework? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm sort of embarrassed to ask this one, but realized that my whole carry time has either been IWB, SmartCarry, or pocket carry... I'm going ...

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Thread: How tight is ideal for OWB rangework?

  1. #1
    cj [OP]
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    How tight is ideal for OWB rangework?

    I'm sort of embarrassed to ask this one, but realized that my whole carry time has either been IWB, SmartCarry, or pocket carry...

    I'm going to be doing a class soon which suggests an OWB holster for their range work.

    I have a cheap Uncle Mike's kydex that's so tight, when I go to draw it pulls the belt (and my pants) way up before finally releasing (and I want to know what kind of company thinks it's a good idea to Loc-Tite their 'adjustable retention screws' in place?).

    I'm thinking of throwing together a kydex holster, but I'm really not sure how tight to make it, and the UM is a bad example.

    Is there a standard or test (like holding the holster upside down and making sure it stays in?) for how tight the retention should be?

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    you should train with what you carry if it is allowed IMHO.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Is the holster really "that" tight, or is the movement a function of lack of tension in your belt and pants. I don't use kydex, but you could pick me up by my holster and it and my belt/pants wouldn't move more than an inch or so.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Loose enough that you can get a smooth draw, but tight enough that it stays put until you draw it.

    Are you using a purpose made gun-belt, or using a store bought normal belt?
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    cj [OP]
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    In the Uncle Mike's case, the holster really was THAT tight (and other reviews of the holsters have the same issue). I managed to crack the Loc-Tite and adjust the tension, but am not particularly fond of the design (sticks out too far to be comfortable), so I'm planning to make my own, just trying to gauge how tight it SHOULD be.

    As for the belt, I've used both a Wilderness Instructor belt, and the 5.11 belts I normally wear.

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    The old standby is to hold the holstered gun upside down and shake. If it doesn't fall out it's good to go.

    Not so sure how realistic that test is. The last time I was upside down and shaking was hanging on the jungle-jim in fourth grade, and I don't anticipate doing that any time soon.
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    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Snug enough so if you turn the holster upside down, the gun does not fall free. It should not require such a strong tug, that your pants give you a wedgie. The Fobus holster I HAD ( will no longer use a FOBUS ), was that way, so ttght the gun had to strongly jerked free, pulling up my belt and pants.

    Comtac and Side Armor make some great kydex holsters, that function really nice and smooth.

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    Senior Member Array ks kid's Avatar
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    Not sure about the tests, but I use a Blackhawk CQC holster and it replaced a Triple K seceret agent after 16 years of use. Both are leather with a thumb break. I carry OWB during the winter and use them for training and range work. Holster go in the same location as my IWB. No issues with retention with either.

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    Check with your range/training company about your holster. I recently used a KHolster (IWB SuperTuck style holster) for a 4 day defensive handgun course and did so quite successfully. They recommend an OWB also, but said my IWB would be fine. After it was finished I was glad that I chose to use my every day carry method.

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    "and the UM is a bad example."

    In more ways than one.
    Get rid of it.


    Why don't you just pick up a Blackhawk Serpa CQC on Ebay and use it?
    You can probably get one on Ebay for $30.00 (more or less) and that should work out more than fine as an OWB for your course.

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