Best Gun Holsters Reviewed and Rated in 2018
As a prospective handgun owner, you can think of a lot of things that could go wrong when you put a loaded firearm in your pants without an adequate concealment. Most of us probably hate carrying a holster around all the time but not carrying one is probably out of the question. Holsters are more than just a tactical gear – they not only protect your handgun but also everyone around you. It’s surprising though nobody carries a holster in movies unless he’s a cop. For novice shooters, holsters are just for the defensive purpose which means keeping your firearm within easy reach at all times. There are two ways to do that safely – either duct tape the gun to yourself or get a holster.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Barsony Gun OWB Belt Holster
- Laminate Cordura nylon
- Uncle Mike's Inside-The-Pant Holster
- Durable suede exterior
- Smith & Wesson Pro Gun Holster
- Top grain leather
Should you need a gun holster?
Holsters were initially made for military and security personnel, but now they are an important accessory to handgun users globally. Different types of pistols can be safely housed and easily transported. A holster is the interface between your gun and your body and it’s undoubtedly a vital piece of gear – not just an addition to your tactical kit. For the most part, a holster makes things a lot safer. First, they keep the gun from dropping and more importantly, they usually protect the trigger, both of which help prevent accidental discharge. Plus, it makes sure your hunting handgun remains in the same position all the time, which eliminates the need to fumble with your weapon when you need it the most.
Additionally, with the tight concealed carry laws in many states, it requires you to keep our pistol hidden at all times. Sure, moving around with your gun comes with the territory, but having the right holster makes it easier to conceal your pistol comfortably and fashionably. And when you’re after concealability, you’re after a holster that fits your body type in a desired concealed position that will work well the types of clothes you’re wearing. The designs are form-fitting that restrict guns from getting dislodged and falling off while traveling. Also, a quality concealed carry holster must strike a perfect balance between concealment and accessibility.
Choosing the Best Gun Holster
For someone just starting out, trying to choose among the best gun holsters can be a bit overwhelming. Choosing the best gun hoslters matters more than many gun holders realize. A holster is a part of your hunting gear but many people don’t realize the importance of that part, and it simply slips past them.
So to make sure you’re not one of the many to tell others they should have picked the higher quality holster, you have to understand the variable characteristics of holsters, to begin with. You can save yourself a good deal of this trouble by keeping the following factors in mind as you make your purchase when looking for best gun holsters.
Factors to Consider
Holsters, in general, are designed to offer protection to your handgun, secure its retention, and provide easy access to it. They are particularly designed to be used with one hand, allowing the handgun to be removed and/or replaced with the same hand. They are generally attached to your belt or waistband or clipped to another article of clothing. They are designed with a few objectives in mind: security, access, concealment, and one-hand re-holstering ability.
Security – The right holster should hold the handgun in place while you’re moving, or upside down, running, or while you get in and out of cars. The holster must hold the firearm adequately and it must allow it to fit securely within, without constricting the ability to draw the weapon or return it back to the holster. You’re not going to spend your life sitting still, and you aren’t standing still either when in a fight.
Access – The holster is supposed to allow for easy access so that you can easily withdraw the weapon with one hand and also put it back to safety with one hand. It must provide easy access to your weapon in a short span of time even in compromised situations, like when you’re rolling around the ground or while jumping off or strapped in a car seat. Further, your weapon should always be in a stable position, so that the draw can be hassle free and consistent under stress.
Concealment – It allows you to have the element of surprise when responding to an attacker who’s threatening you with force. A gun is remarkably less dangerous in the hands of someone who handles it properly even under unfortunate or uncomfortable circumstances. This is something you owe it to yourself and others to minimize the risk of your carry. Additionally, it helps prevent those unfortunate situations when your handgun could be accidentally exposed to the general public who may immediately call for law enforcement officers because they see a person with a gun.
One-Hand Re-holstering – The ability to re-holster one handed while still focusing on the threat (a less lethal response) is important. There are incidences people accidentally shooting themselves on the draw or while re-holstering. Speed in one thing, but gun handling and tactics are equally important. One hand re-holstering ability comes in handy when your hands will be tied up with other things immediately after you fire upon a suspect. The ability to re-holster one-handed is absent in holsters made of thin, floppy material. So choose wisely before you make the final decision.
Types – The most popular variety is obviously the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster which rides inside of your waistband between your undergarment and your pants, and they attach to the belt with loops or hooks. These are the most concealed types of holsters, but require trousers that are about an inch more in the waist that you normally wear. A summer special type IWB has the rough side of the leather on the outside to help keep the holster anchored in one place. Belt-positioning of an IWB holster varies based on personal preference.
Outside-the-Waistband, on the other hand, has not only to deal with what’s up above the belt line but what is below as well. This requires a suit jacket or a garment long enough to cover the muzzle of the holstered weapon.
Draw – You should be able to quickly and easily draw your weapon from your concealed holster. The draw has to be consistent and reliable, and the holster must lend itself allowing you to have a complete grip on your weapon while still allowing releasing any retention devices. Well, you also need consistency to want to have a fast, smooth draw. Drawing your gun is directly connected to how you holster your gun and how to move through the draw depends entirely on where you draw your gun from. The clothing you wear each day will likely require different holsters to worn in different ways with different styles.
Retention – You need to be able to access your gun in a hurry if there’s even the slightest possibility of an assailant attacking you with deadly force, as your life of that of another person depends on it. The level of retention is entirely up to you, but generally, a level 1 – or friction retention holster – would be a great choice for anyone who carries a pistol inside the waistband. In simple terms, retention is an important concept to grasp, whether you open or concealed carry. Retention levels will vary from internal devices in the holster to simple thumb breaks that will help you retain your weapon if you’re engaged directly with an assailant. A Level 2 consists of two retention devices, such as a strap and internal retention device.
Holsters that lack a proper fit and no retention device may not retain the weapon properly. A thumb break is a safety device installed on many holsters and sheaths to prevent a weapon from drawn unintentionally. If your holster has a thumb break retention strap, you may need to stretch the strap before you get it to snap. There are many kinds of retention devices available on concealment holsters which usually involve one or more digits of the drawing hand releasing as the gun is drawn. A poorly fitting holster might cause problems with everyday use which could dislodge the pistol from the holster.
Hold – A holster that doesn’t grip properly and comfortably isn’t worth wearing at all so that when something unexpected happens, you don’t want to add a loose weapon to the equation. A loose holster can be useful at times, but you won’t appreciate your gun flying around while dodging bullets, or because you just tripped or jumped. Also, make sure you obtain a full firing grip when the gun is in the holster. This way, you don’t need to adjust the grip each time you draw your weapon.
Safety – When looking at a perspective holster, it should cover the trigger guard well to make sure none of the holster material protrudes into the trigger guard, which could affect the trigger. You can practice excellent trigger control most of the time, but will you be able to do the same when something unpredictable happens on the line? You might also be careful to never reveal your concealed weapon but accidents happen when you least expect them. One main area of consideration depends on the individual who carries the gun and where they position the holster. So it’s wise to invest in a holster with good safety features.
Materials – The quality of workmanship and the materials used in the making of a holster – this is the area where you can see the most variety of differences between manufacturers. The build quality is perhaps the area that needs your full attention. The last thing you need is a terribly designed holster. The leather is by far the most popular choice among armed citizens. High-quality holsters from the renowned companies are generally of good quality, and custom-made holsters are generally the top-quality holsters made from all the industry-grade materials. A poorly made holster, on the other hand, could possibly interfere with your draw during an emergency. So invest in something solid.
Comfort – Last but not the least, the comfort which is in the feel of the beholder. The right holster not only provides an optimal concealment solution but also allows for a quick access to your firearm with ease. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your holster looks on the outside or how it feels on the hands if it’s not comfortable you are not going to wear it on a consistent basis. So make sure you’re comfortable with a holster before you make your purchase.
10 Best Gun Holsters
1. Barsony Gun OWB
- Premium quality concealment holster
- U.S. Cowhide leather for durability
- Closed-cell foam padding for superior comfort
- Superior hold and comfortable to carry
- Easy draw and re-holstering
- Great for open carry
- Lack of comfort
2. Smith & Wesson Pro Carry LT Gun
- Hand-molded design for comfortable carry
- Finest Inside the Waistband Clip-on
- Extreme durability and versatility
- Superior weapon protection
- Ideal for both left and right handed users
- All day concealed carry for low-profile tactical use
- Holster might seem a little sloppy
3. Uncle Mike's Inside-The-Pant
- Versatile inside-the-waistband holster
- Durable suede exterior for great fit
- 4-layer ultra-thin laminate for comfortable carry
- Quick draw and re-holstering
- Moisture barrier keeps perspiration off the firearm
- Weight distribution is heavier above belt line
Made of premium Buffalo Hide leather
Feels like a fine leather glove
Fits most medium and large sized handguns
Superior hold and trigger coverage
Ideal for IWB concealed carry
Not sturdy enough
5. UTG LE Grade Ambidextrous Belt Holster
- Premium synthetic material for durability
- Enhanced concealed carry holster
- Velcro holds both sides of the thumb break for better retention
- Soft padding for a superior hold
- Fully adjustable Velcro snaps
- Adjustable belt loops for efficient carry
- Superior weapon protection
- Universal design fits most pistols
- No cons
6. BLACKHAWK! Serpa CQC Sportster Holster
- Injection-molded heavy-duty polymer for maximum durability
- Advanced SERPA technology for efficient retention system
- Paddle attachment for civilian concealed carry
- Audible click after re-holstering
- Quick draw and re-holstering
- Easy to use active retention system
- Ideal for self-defense and range use
- Not suitable for every kind of gun
7. Taigear Belt Loop Airsoft Pistol Holster
- Ideal for low-profile tactical use
- Civilian concealed carry
- Maximum protection at a pocket friendly price
- Belt attachment for quick draw and re-holstering
- Large magazine pocket easily holds extra magazines
- Ideal for medium-sized sidearm
- The strap might be problematic
- Not ideal for long handguns, more than 7 inches
8. Condor Tornado Tactical Leg Holster
- Efficient wrap-around design for easy carry
- Fully adjustable for all large and medium sized pistols
- Velcro straps for thumb break
- Better retention system for a superior hold
- Adjustable magazine pouch for extra mags
- Quick draw and re-holstering for right hand users
- High-quality materials and durable construction
- Ideal for range use and low-profile tactical operations
- Medium quality
- Not so handy for civilian concealed carry
9. AlphaHolster Belly Gun Holster
- Ideal for left, right, and both hand draw
- Lightweight ventilated elastic for increased durability
- Wrap-around design for a snug fit and secure hold
- Fits most medium and large sized handguns
- Easily carry up to three spare mags
- Highly functional belly gun holster
- Tactical use and civilian concealed carry
- Hard to conceal under most clothing
- Belly gets sweaty
10. BLACKHAWK! CQC Serpa Carbon-Fiber Concealment Holster
- Blackhawk’s signature SERPA technology for unparalleled weapon protection
- Efficient retention system for quick draw
- Audible click upon re-holstering
- Durable and easy to use concealment holster
- SERPA Auto lock release for ease of use
- Very small and stealth
- Lacks comfort
Although there are different types of holsters designed to conceal a gun, there are several instances where other holsters won’t suffice – whereas some specifically designed holster will make it easier for you to carry your weapon. They come in various shapes and sizes, designed for all kinds of body types. However, we’ve focused on only the best holsters you can get your hands on.
Wrap-Up – The Final Word
Holsters are completely a personal choice and there’s no particular design or make that everyone’s going to like. But at the same time, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a holster. Comfort is the key, and over time you can adapt to just about anything. Regardless of what you choose, you should allow it to adjust to your body for at least two weeks before making a change. You’ll likely to forget you’re actually carrying a gun, as your body will adjust to the feel. Remember, the best advantage of a holster is the fact that you can secure any type of handgun in the holster. So you don’t have to buy multiple gun holsters to conceal different types of handguns. After all, your choice among the best gun holsters is a matter of personal preference.