Friday, September 30, 2011

Choosing A Concealed Carry Holster

As more and more shooters apply for concealed carry permits, the need for concealed carry holsters is going to become more important. By concealed carry, I'm talking about a holster or carrying method that allows the weapon to worn in such a manner that it is completely concealed from the view of others. A number of states that allow concealed carry permits have specific requirements that the weapon has to be completely concealed or they are in violation of the terms of the permit.
Concealed carry holsters include a number of different holster styles such as pocket holsters, ankle holsters, inside the waistband holsters, and belt holsters.
Depending on a number of variables, each style of concealed carry has different strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, with proper selection, nearly any of those holster styles would work for concealed carry. Some of the variables that come into play with concealed carry holsters include the following:

  • Size of the weapon

  • Body type

  • Climate
It's important to review each of those variables individually to gain a better understanding of how they affect the performance of the holster.
Size of the weapon - This is a very important variable as it will play a direct role in the availability of gun holsters. A large handgun will potentially rule out the possibility of ankle or pocket carry, which will reduce your overall holster selection. A large handgun may also impact your level of comfort while carrying concealed. Although this may sound trivial, comfort will be very important as it will impact how often or frequently you carry concealed. I can just about guarantee that you won't carry an uncomfortable handgun or holster for very long. If you can't find a "comfortable" gun to carry, at least find one that is tolerable.
Build - Body type of build is probably the least favorite variable to discuss as it forces people to evaluate their body type when choosing a gun holster. The fact is not all body types are going to work with every type of CCW holster. For example, IWB holsters are a very popular CCW holster. Not every body type can get away with IWB carry no matter how small the handgun is. Folks that are very thin or those that have a spare tire may not be a candidate for IWB carry. People in those situations (trust me, I'm one of them) will be best served to look at some type of alternative type of carry. Many people become discouraged when they realize that IWB carry, and some will forgo carrying concealed because of it. The truth is, if you make a good choice and select a reasonably sized handgun, you can find some other carrying styles that are extremely effective. I've a nice little Kahr PM9 that goes with me nearly everywhere in a front pocket holster.
Climate - Although many people don't think that much about it, climate can and will play a major role in concealed carry. To a certain degree, climate will dictate the type of clothing that you wear, which in turn will play a part in your concealed carry. Hot or humid climates will usually require shorts and short sleeves, while cooler climates allow for more clothing, which translate to easier concealment. Warm climate locations can pose the biggest challenges to concealed carry as clothing is minimal. In this situation, weapon selection becomes paramount. Warmer climates also can eliminate some potential concealed carry methods. For example, if shorts is the preferred pants in that climate, ankle carry and ankle holsters won't be an option. Take climate into consideration when holster shopping.
Hopefully, you will find the information presented here beneficial as you start shopping for a concealed carry holster. Try to find the best method and holster that fits your personal preferences.