OWB holster choice... Need a little insight!
This is a discussion on OWB holster choice... Need a little insight! within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; New handgun owner looking for help wading through the myriad of OWB holster options. I'm looking for primarily a range holster for a small single ...
December 18th, 2013 12:02 AM
OWB holster choice... Need a little insight!
New handgun owner looking for help wading through the myriad of OWB holster options. I'm looking for primarily a range holster for a small single stack 9 mm with the possibility of CC at some point in the future. I've kinda' narrowed it down to the below list, but they're all slightly different in form and function. Based on what I've read I assume the handgun should ride high on the belt, with a slight forward cant. I understand that ultimately it'll probably take a few holster purchases to find out what works best for me and my build, but hopefully you can help me make a better edumacated guess with the first purchase.
1. Blade Tech Eclipse $70
2. Praetor Defense $55
3. Comp-Tac Belt $79
I'm leaning towards one of these three. I like the idea of using kydex as opposed to leather for range use. These three are all trim in width and support many positive reviews on the intertoobs. And I think the price of all three is reasonable.
Also of interest:
4. Fox Hybrid
The idea of a hybrid holster seems appealing, and I like the clean look of the Fox. How does the leather stand up to repeated draws/use?
5. Raven Phantom modular
6. Bravo Patriot
I call these two a kydex "plate" because, well, they're huge like a plate. Maybe someone could explain the function of using a large square piece of kydex to enclose a handgun rather than trimming the excess away? These two also seem to get high reviews for concealing well.
7. High Noon Topless
8. DeSantis Mini Scabbard
Many folk rave about the Mini Scabbard, and Falia fawns over the High Noon (I admit to watching ALL of her videos on a slow day at work recently!). I'm just not sure leather is what I'm looking for.
So there you have it. School this noob on OWB holsters 101. I appreciate your insight.
December 18th, 2013 12:08 AM
Welcome to the forum. The perfect holster(s) for you depend a whole lot on your body size, shape and condition of your joints - all of them: shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc. That is because part of holster choice is dependent on the position you will be wearing it.
If you share some details about your height and weight, waist size, etc. without getting TOO personal, perhaps people can make better suggestions so you won't wind up buying 20 holsters when you only need one or two.
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December 18th, 2013 12:12 AM
OWB holster choice... Need a little insight!
I cannot speak to any of those. What I can tell you is the galco cops leather holster works great and is very cost effective. I picked mine up for 35 bucks with a thumb break. I expected to try it out for a while, 1.5 years in and it's my daily holster. Many others have come and went (in the drawer) but the galco is still my go to.
Old faithful holsters IWB is my secondary.
Both conceal well. The cops rides high and right to your side. A light jacket or vest covers it fine.
Best of luck in your search. There is no lack of options. Btw anything you buy will be ridiculously tight. Once you buy it spend some quality time bearing it in.
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December 18th, 2013 12:39 AM
5'9" and 150 lbs. Lean and scrappy build. Think Steve Buscemi with the shoulders of a rock climber.
Again looking primarily for OWB range use. I will be signing up for a Frontsight defensive handgun course in the coming months. They recommend a kydex OWB worn on the hip.
December 18th, 2013 12:47 AM
I've been using the Blade-Tech Eclipse for a couple of years now for 1911s, and I just got another one for the CZ-75 that lives here. They get pretty hard use in weekly steel matches, esp. the 1911 holster, and it's been holding up very well. I recommend the Tek-Lok attachment, as it gives you some flexibility as to ride height and belt width.
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December 18th, 2013 12:56 AM
Everything in holster design involves compromises among the 4 basic factors of comfort, accessibility, security, and concealability. Whenever one factor is emphasized there will be compromises in the other factors. There is no "perfect holster" for every user or situation any more than there is a "perfect handgun".
That said, probably the most useful holster for a broad range of applications would be a good pancake-style holster, worn just behind the strong-side hip on a sturdy belt. Very good for comfort, accessibility, security, and concealability under most circumstances.
December 18th, 2013 02:11 PM
Firstly, I would not pay too much (example Desantis) for my 1st holster - I know I didn't have a clue at first. I have 3 holsters that sit in a drawer that I don't use because I didn't like them for one reason or another. Wasted $$
A high riding holster can conceal better than a holster riding on your hip, but the gun in the hip holster (like in the westerns) is easier to get to. What kind of gun and what length barrel?
A high high riding gun with a long barrel can be difficult to access easily regardless of the cant.
You have the best body for concealed carry (wide shoulders, narrow hips and no belly) so most holsters will work out for concealment. For range use ease of access and reholstering would be what I would look for.
Kydex is great for reholstering - what I'd look for in Kydex would be adjustability - some are adjustable in cant and/or ride height. Isn't Fox adjustable?
With adjustability you can customize the holster a bit to your body. I have an adjustable Kydex holster which is leather lined so as not to scratch the finish of my gun. I do use that Kydex holster. Thanks to that adjustability I was able to discover what I liked best in height and angle.
I don't really like the clunky look of most kydex and prefer leather, which gets better/easier to draw with more draws and time. Lobo Leather actually makes good reasonably priced leather holsters in a variety of colors and styles.
Good luck and let us know what you decide!
December 18th, 2013 02:18 PM
I find holsters to be a very personal thing. What one person likes, might not be the best for the next guy or gal. I think that you should do like I did... buy one of each holster manufactured and end up wearing one or two of them!
But seriously, you should try to put your hands on a few at the LGS. I am partial to Kydex OWB, and leather/Kydex IWB.
December 18th, 2013 02:36 PM
High Noon Slide Guard for my LC9. Holds it nice and tight. I can cover it with a t-shirt.
December 18th, 2013 03:46 PM
To guess you'll pick your "perfect" holster on the first try is like being a Cleveland Indians fan. Hope springs eternal...but don't bet the farm. Heck, be like the rest of us, read, watch, study, ask & listen. Then throw multiple uncomfortable pieces of junk in the dead holster box & go buy a Milt Sparks SSII HH (horse hide). You seldom see a used one...for sale!
Whoops! Summer Special is IWB. Okay, Nexus. Be prepared to wait 10-16 weeks.
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December 18th, 2013 04:44 PM
Thanks all for the great info! Just to be clear I'm not looking for the perfect first holster, just a well-informed first purchase. I hear what everyone is saying about finding what works best for me, and will be in Reno this coming weekend, so I can poke around at Sportsmans Warehouse and Cabelas.
December 18th, 2013 07:56 PM
Front sight will not allow Blackhawks Serpa as they have issues with the retention method. I used the regular Blackhawks with no issues. I really liked my training there but be aware, they want things done their way. Not a bad thing as they are open to suggestions but while they may adopt your suggestions it won't happen while you are there. You will do it "their" way while you are ther, at least for the first couple of days. After you have tried their approach (assuming you are taking the 4 day course) then they ease up a bit if you have another method, as long as they don't see a safety risk.
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December 18th, 2013 08:26 PM
Be sure to check out X-Concealment products too. They run right around $70 too.
They do their kydex in more of an avenger style (not the Raven type of pancake) and the material is stamped with faux stitching. They do ask for your waist size when ordering. The offset of the holster is determined by your roundness I guess. I have one I bought from the classifieds here and I have no idea what size its supposed to be and it fits me just fine.
The Coyote tan ones are really nice looking. I am wearing one right now.
December 18th, 2013 09:31 PM
I have one for my Px4 Storm Compact. With about 15 degrees cant, it conceals well. And, the extra cant helps when sitting in a car seat.
December 19th, 2013 12:47 PM
The big name stores usually carry the same mass produced stuff like Blackhawks, Galco, etc. so you may not see a lot of the brands you listed in your post when you visit Cabelas or the other shop you mentioned. The big variable is the gun you buy, especially with the mass produced brands making for the most poular shapes/models. Example, if you buy a Glock you'll find a lot of Kydex holsters, if you buy a revolver you'll mostly find it available in leather.
The Praetor Defense you list for $55 is a good choice - it looks like there's a curve built into the back/belt entry exit points which would conform to your body (which is not flat at the belt line of the body); not all makers incorporate that. It's also cheap which is perfect for a 1st holster
Kydex is quite practical because the gun can lock in with a nice click so you know it won't fall out if you bend over :) It's easier to reholster than most leather holsters. I wouldn't buy a honkin large mess of plastic like the "plate" versions you mention, which can get heavy and uncomfortable IMO to put on the hip, so I would certainly choose a trim version.
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