In the last issue of Foreman’s Forum we talked about the need for a proper, well made holster for your gun. Now we are going to talk about the various styles of holsters. There are some great ones out there which are available for those who either carry concealed or just want to keep a gun at home for self protection. There are also some holsters, in my humble opinion that you, need to stay far away from. So here is the good, the bad and the ugly.
The first group of holster styles I am going to discuss is the UNSAFE ones. These are the ones which, in my opinion, will get you into trouble. Now I am sure there are some who will disagree with me, just don’t do it where I get hurt, or I have to watch you get hurt.
Cross Draw Holsters: There used to be quite a few local, state and federal agencies who issued “cross draw” holsters. I used to work for one such agency. Not to mention their name, but it’s the one south of Alabama and Georgia. They no longer issue such holsters to their officers. The idea behind such a holster it is much more comfortable to wear and draw a “cross draw” while sitting in a car and driving for 8 hours or more. That’s where the good ends. During the action of drawing, the shooter in the very least, “flags” their other arm. By “flag”, I mean pointing the gun at something you do NOT want to destroy. The “cross draw” also flags other people who may be behind and to your side as you bring the gun around to point it at whatever is threatening you. Most shooting ranges have banned cross draw holsters for just that reason. Shoulder holsters also come into the same category as cross draw. They look good in the movies and TV, are easily concealed under a coat, but they are dangerous.
SOB holsters: No, not that kind of SOB. Small of the Back is what SOB stands for. Again, the dangerous part is who and what are you flagging when you reach behind your back and draw. If you were to fall, you could sure mess up your tailbone if you fell on your gun and it hit your spine.
Cheap nylon holsters: I mentioned this my last forum. Your holster MUST be designed to stay gapped open after you draw. Cheap nylon and some cheap leather holsters are just not designed properly.
Ankle Holsters: I wore an ankle holster when I was in uniform, for about 21 years. This was my “backup” if my duty weapon was empty, or got taken away. Until well designed high security retention holsters came into the market, some law enforcement officers were shot with their own gun. An ankle holster might be considered for citizens who carry concealed. Ankle holsters are great for when you are sitting, such as in a car. But, to draw the ankle rig, you must kneel down and pull your pant leg up, to draw the gun.
Belly band holsters: These are great for concealment but can be hard to access. These look like one of those weight reducing elastic girdles, with a pocket to hold your gun. I don’t recommend these unless you’re working deep undercover.
Belt holsters: Think of your belt as a clock with the buckle at twelve o’clock, the right hip is three o’clock and the center of your back as six o’clock. The two o’clock, three o’clock and four o’clock positions are all easily concealable, and readily accessible. Whether you use an inside the waist band or outside the waist band, it is entirely up to your preference and comfort. You must practice hundreds of times with an unloaded gun using your holster, so your muscle memory will kick in during a high stress incident.
The best holster is what works well for you. For concealed carry, you will need to wear clothes which cover the holster and gun. The holster should hug close to your waist. The holster must cover the trigger and should be specifically molded to fit your gun. Both women and men can wear jackets or shirts that are un-tucked and cover the gun. Don’t let your gun go naked!
For firearms training, Paul can be reached through e-Mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.PaulForeman.com. Paul is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. AHA Certified Instructor in First Aid, CPR & AED, and is a retired Deputy Sheriff, from Lee County Florida.