Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?

Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?

This is a discussion on Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've had a few OWB Leather Pancake Holsters for different guns; I like how close they carry to the body, but something I've noticed is ...

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Thread: Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?

  1. #1
    Member Array toasterburn's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?

    I've had a few OWB Leather Pancake Holsters for different guns; I like how close they carry to the body, but something I've noticed is sometimes the leather will flex or bunch or something and will grab the gun too tightly, making it difficult or impossible to draw it out. Does that happen to anyone else? Is it just me? Am I doing something wrong?

  2. #2
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    It sounds as though the holster is poorly made, poorly designed or both.
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    Member Array JeffreyR's Avatar
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    I guess first question would be what brand of holsters? Drawing while sitting/standing? Where is your holster located?

    I use relatively inexpensive OWB leather pancake holsters. DeSantis Speed Scabbard or a Galco FLETCH with "FBI" cant.
    Worn between 3:00-4:00 position. I don't have any issues like you describe.
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    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    My pancake holsters are custom models, one by a forum member. That particular holster is superb, offering adequate retention but no problems drawing. The other custom holster is a bit more snug, but no particular problems drawing. Both hold close, and are worn between 3:00 and 4:00.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toasterburn View Post
    I've had a few OWB Leather Pancake Holsters for different guns; I like how close they carry to the body, but something I've noticed is sometimes the leather will flex or bunch or something and will grab the gun too tightly, making it difficult or impossible to draw it out. Does that happen to anyone else? Is it just me? Am I doing something wrong?
    My first OWB leather holster was an Alessi that was made when Lou Alessi was still alive. It was for a G26. I don't recall what it looked like very well so I'm not sure if it would qualify as a true pancake. I really knew very little about holsters at that time. At any rate, the holster was so very difficult to draw from to the point that I replaced it with a Raven Concealment Phantom, hence my screen name, G26Raven.
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    Retired holster maker here (only 43 years experience, so bear with me on my lack of knowledge):

    Everything involved in holster design involves compromises among the 4 basic factors of comfort, accessibility, security, and concealment. Whenever one factor is emphasized there will be compromises in the other factors. Only the user can decide which factors are most important for his requirements and how much compromise he is willing to accept in the other factors.

    There is no such thing as the "perfect holster" any more than there is a "perfect handgun" for every user or situation.

    Pancake holsters (which I started making in 1972) offer a very good balance of comfort, accessibility, security, and concealment for many users and situations. Pancakes may not be perfect, but nothing else is either.

    You just can't have "high", "tight", and "close" without some compromises in ease of access. The "higher", the "tighter", and the "closer" the ride the more compromise there will be. You are trading off some accessibility for comfort and concealment, with reasonably good security.

    Think about it. Why don't people all use thigh holsters riding on the outer leg about wrist height for a standing person? Because there is literally no comfort, limited security, and zero concealability. Maximum accessibility but very little else.

    Decide what is most important to you, then consider what you are willing to compromise on. Then discuss your decisions with an experienced holster maker and see if your wishes can become reality. HINT: During my years in the business I constantly dealt with, and joked about, the recent graduates of "Holster Genius School" who always had an idea in mind for the "perfect holster", just waiting for a craftsman to make their dreams come true. Total recipe for disappointment, guaranteed.

    Glad to be retired, by the way. I don't miss the lectures from recent "Holster Genius School" graduates at all.
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    Distinguished Member Array Novarider's Avatar
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    Is it new? If so it might not be broke in yet. Wrap your gun in a plastic baggie or saran wrap and then put it in the holster. Let it sit overnight then try the draw again.
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    I have an OWB holster that my G30 fits in fine, but the minute I tighten my belt and the holster bends around my waist, the gun binds in it. I'm assuming the leather will eventually bend/stretch/adjust to accommodate the increased curvature when worn.

    But then, maybe not. That's why I have more than on holster.
    OD* likes this.
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  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array MB53's Avatar
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    I haven't had that problem with my pancake holsters.
    Get a good one and it should draw fine.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array The Fish's Avatar
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    I have a Raven OWB Phantom with pancake attechment.
    It's the best holster I have for draw,comfort and concealability...wish they still made them.
    I don't own any leather holsters.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    List of things it could be.

    Belt, some belts carry well and some not.
    Waist size, if you have a small waist it can cause the holster to flex more
    Leather weight, lighter thinner leather can flex more
    50/50 molds will get pressure on the gun from the belt side more than other styles.
    Gun makers don't make guns with holster makers in mind. Some guns have design issues that make holster fit and use a bit more difficult. Sharp edges, loaded chamber indicators, and other stuff that can get hung inside a holster

    If you are wearing it between belt loops it might not be fitting right. Sometimes they seem to fit between until you put the belt on. I always wear mine with the belt loop behind the holsters. Thread the back of the holster, then the belt loop, then the front of the holster. If you try to force it between loops it could flex the holster wrong.

    OWB is pretty much all I carry. After break in I don't have too many issues with the holster being too tight. If it's a sometimes issue I bet it's either something you are doing or something is changing.
    muzzleblast likes this.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array The Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    List of things it could be.

    Belt, some belts carry well and some not.
    Waist size, if you have a small waist it can cause the holster to flex more
    Leather weight, lighter thinner leather can flex more
    50/50 molds will get pressure on the gun from the belt side more than other styles.
    Gun makers don't make guns with holster makers in mind. Some guns have design issues that make holster fit and use a bit more difficult. Sharp edges, loaded chamber indicators, and other stuff that can get hung inside a holster

    If you are wearing it between belt loops it might not be fitting right. Sometimes they seem to fit between until you put the belt on. I always wear mine with the belt loop behind the holsters. Thread the back of the holster, then the belt loop, then the front of the holster. If you try to force it between loops it could flex the holster wrong.



    OWB is pretty much all I carry. After break in I don't have too many issues with the holster being too tight. If it's a sometimes issue I bet it's either something you are doing or something is changing.
    I do it the same way...can be a PITA but worth it.
    chiefjason likes this.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    My primary carry holster is a ten year old D.M. Bullard Combat holster in Tiger Shark leather lined with calf skin leather for a government model 1911. I carry it at 3:00 on my belt with the spare magazine at 9:00. I have no issues drawing while standing or sitting.


    Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?-holsters.jpg


    My new Springfield Armory TRP Operator 10mm has a rail and wouldn't fit the holster. I bought a Ted Blocker holster with a metal reinforced opening. No issues.


    Does anyone else have trouble Drawing from a Pancake Holster?-ted-blocker.jpg


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  15. #14
    New Member Array rlggray's Avatar
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    I have not experienced that with any of my pancakes. I do have one that has a little more cant than I prefer though, which forces me to wear it a little further back than I like. 😠

    Needless to say, it spends most of its time in the holster box.

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