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Concealed Carry Holsters - How to Carry and Be Comfortable

Updated on June 18, 2012

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Concealed Carry Holster
Concealed Carry Holster | Source

Concealed Carry Holsters Selection Tips

There is a wide variety of concealed carry holsters and choosing the right one can seem overwhelming. Selecting the appropriate holster is a very important decision. Pick the wrong holster and you will find you are not carrying very often, perhaps because it is uncomfortable or awkward to use, or both. The reason to have a handgun is to carry it, so choosing from the various concealed carry holsters is an essential part of your self-defense strategy.

Concealed carry holsters fall into several categories: ankle holsters, inside waistband holsters (IWB), pocket holsters, outside waistband holsters (OWB), shoulder holsters, and “Smartcarry” holsters.

Ankle holsters offer a good level of concealment, but are generally a slower draw. Clearly, wearing a firearm at one’s ankle will bring some inherent clothing restrictions and will work best with a smaller gun.

One of the most popular of concealed carry holsters, the IWB, is a good choice for many people and allows for a quick draw for most. Since holster can be worn anywhere around your waist, you can customize the position of your firearm so it best fits your body type and comfort in drawing. There are few clothing restrictions when wearing an inside waistband holster other than making sure your weapon is not revealed, a process known as ‘printing’, when you bend over, crouch, or reach overhead. Your clothing will however need to be a bit larger in the waist to allow for the size of your weapon.

Pocket holsters are a great option for a person who might not always have a belt, or finds the IWB style uncomfortable. These concealed carry holsters are simple to use and since the guns they hold are small, they allow a person to carry just about anywhere.

Outside waistband (OWB) concealed carry holsters are not as popular as they once were, but they do allow a gun owner to carry a larger caliber weapon. Since your firearm is carried externally on your belt, it can be more difficult to conceal your weapon, but it can work for people who always wear a jacket or do not tuck in their shirt.

Shoulder holsters are another option for people who wear a jacket. Since the weight of the firearm is distributed across the shoulders, many gun owners find the shoulder holster a very comfortable option. These concealed carry holsters may be an especially good choice for those who do a lot of sitting, whether at a desk or in their vehicle.

The ‘Smartcarry’ holster is a fully contained unit that consists of a pouch that holds your gun and spare magazine. The pouch is part of a rig that fits around your waist, similar to an IWB, but it does not require a separate belt. These concealed carry holsters work well for anyone who doesn’t want to wear a larger size pant, or is wearing clothing that doesn’t allow for a belt.

Picking the right concealed carry holsters is like picking a pair of shoes. It must fit your body, your lifestyle, and the way you like to dress.

The best holster is the one that works for you, the most often, allowing you to carry as often as legally possible. In order to find the right one, be willing to experiment with a variety of concealed carry holsters until your find your perfect fit.

Your Preferred Holster

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    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 5 years ago from The Midwest

      Many CCW holders eventually wind up with a "holster drawer" where sad, lonely no-longer-used holsters can rest in peace and commune with one another. For some people it's love and marriage with the first girl you date... others need to play the field a little bit before making that decision. Finding the right holster has a resemblance to that process. :-)