You'll notice a trend in the photo above; a one size fits all approach to making hybrid holsters. Many makers use just a few (in some cases just 1) sizes/shapes of leather backer on their hybrid holsters. That cost saving approach can create a pinch point as the barrel or slide extends past the leather, and also exposes the metal directly to the wearers skin (and sweat). One the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a small gun placed on a large piece of leather that needlessly increases the bulk of the holster.

It seems that the design and finish of many hybrid holsters on the market are driven primarily by the dollar, either through cost of materials or ease of manufacturing. This leaves basic and critical design characteristics (Full grip, access to the mag release, protection from beaver tail grips, separation of the barrel/slide from the wearer) as simply an after thought (Often leaving attention to detail in finishing to be ignored all together).

At SHTF Gear, we select a leather backer for a handgun from 20 sizes/shapes we keep on hand based upon the barrel length, existence of a beaver tail, left/right handed, and gun type (revolver/semi-auto). We choose the smallest leather backer that provides the following:

  • Full separation from the slide/barrel/beavertail grip
  • Full shooting grip
  • access to the magazine release