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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone. My name is Spencer, I'm new to the forums here! I've been lurking around and there are some really great discussions and a ton of great information here. So first thank you for being a great resource for firearm owners who live in NY state.


I want to help my friends and family choose a holster that's best for them. Obviously a lot of what makes the right holster for someone is dependent on many factors. All of these questions I have answers myself but I would like some input from a larger crowd.


So question:
How do you guys/gals find the perfect holster? What is your thought process or process in general for finding a good holster? I have several and it seems rather arduous to find one that fits comfortably, the right cant and cut, leather or kydex, IWB or OWB, appendix or 4 o clock position, etc..


Thanks for reading. Hope to start a really great discussion! If this was discussed already somewhere please kindly direct me there and we can close this thread in an effort to keep the discussion consolidated.


Cheers
 

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Good luck! 4+ years and I'm still looking for the 'perfect' holster! The amount of money I've spent on holsters could buy another handgun.

First decision is pistol size; Full-size, Compact, Sub-compact?
IWB or OWB? Appendix can also be very comfortable if you buy the correct holster and you practice enough.
Leather, Kydex, combination, other polymer?

My 1911 is rarely carried, and the only holster I have for it is a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 that I got years ago for a great price. It is a leather IWB and has great retention.

My (almost) daily carry is an M&P Shield in 9mm. I've tried several different holsters and still trying to find 'the one'. I've tried hybrid holsters, and they just take up too much 'space'. I'm a relatively thin, tall guy having a hard time getting IWB to be comfortable. I'd prefer to carry at 3 o'clock but it presses down on my hip bone too much. I do carry appendix occasionally, but only in the winter as I need a heavier garment to hide the 'beer gut bulge'.

I tried an Alien Gear holster, and I don't know if it was my particular holster but the gun moved too much in the holster ('sideways' not up and down). It was also bulky as most hybrids are.

I'm waiting on an order from On Your 6 Holsters for a new OWB to try; but again it is really only usable in winter to prevent printing. For me at least. Larger bodies may be able to hide it better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mikey. That sounds like a lot of $$ in holsters!!

What are the top reasons you dislike those other holsters?
How could those holsters be changed to better fit your body or your needs?
Also, what are your biggest must haves when it comes to holsters?

For me being able to get a good draw is one of the most important considerations.
 

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Unfortunately I think the only way is trial and error. I have tried holsters that most people rave about, and hated them. I have tried holsters that has tons of negative reviews and loved them. I have loaned my favorite holsters to buddies to try and they hate them, and vice versa.

It really does come down to personal preference, and research and reviews only get you so far.

To make it more complicated, it depends on the gun too. Just because you love a holster and carry location with one pistol, does not mean you are gonna love it with another.
 

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One way to narrow the choices down is to determine if you like plastic or leather. I personally hate plastic, all my holsters are leather. My favorite 1911 holster that I have found is a DeSantis Yaqui Slide. Minimal yet effective. I've had one for years and still it's my favorite. My other guns I tend to gravitate to Don Hume JTI holsters. Like ARA stated above, choosing a holster is like choosing a car. There are thousands of options and you have to determine what will work for you.
 

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Ive tried several holsters also. I carry a Shield 9mm and have settled on Alien Gear. Im sure other similar holstrrs are the same, but the first hybreed I bought was AG. As far as im concerened their IWB is perfect for me. I have the 2.0 and it is as comfortable as can be. I seriously can not feel it. It sits perfect and I can draw perfect. The gun is so tight in the holster I can turn it upside down and shake it. However it draws great.
The AG OWB holster I use in the winter because it is very tight against my side. I wear just a tshirt and nobody notices it. The OWB is a little wide but the no printing makes up for it.
My friend bought the same AG IWB 2.0 and hates it, it digs into his side. He is a bigger guy whereas im average size.
 

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I like Bob Durbin's IWB . He lives in Dansville ...585- 335-3832 The folks at Rochester personal defense helped design it. He makes a quality product . This is something to read from the RPD web site even if you don't go with a Durban holster Rochester Personal Defense - SafeInRochester.com, Self Defense Classes, Firearms Training in Rochester New York

http://nyfirearms.com/forums/accessories-gear-sale/93363-durbin-iwb-holster-s-w-shield.html

http://nyfirearms.com/forums/accessories-gear-sale/93424-durbin-owb-leather-holster-glock-21-a.html
 

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Thanks Mikey. That sounds like a lot of $$ in holsters!!
Most quality holsters start at $50-60 for kydex.. although a few can be found cheaper. I want something that will be comfortable and last for years.

What are the top reasons you dislike those other holsters?
How could those holsters be changed to better fit your body or your needs?
Also, what are your biggest must haves when it comes to holsters?

For me being able to get a good draw is one of the most important considerations.
I've kept all of the holsters I've purchased, as 'backups'... as you put it, getting a good grip is a priority. The holster should provide a full-handed grip and not allow my fingers to scrape against something. (actually had that happen with a holster once)

Second 'must-have' is good retention; if I'm slouching on a couch or rolling around on the ground (don't ask), I don't want my firearm to fall out. Most holsters are good about this.

One of my favorite holsters was an OWB Kydex by the now-closed-down (apparently) ROC City Holsters, ordered for my M&P9c.. very comfortable, fits close to body. I'm hoping my On Your 6 holster is similar to it.

Something else to think about I forgot to mention: what will you be doing? Standing, sitting, etc.. Driving for any length of time with 3 o'clock or more can be painful. Appendix rules for this.

I may have to look into leather as my next option..
 

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Both my carry pistols ride in Bob's leather holsters--got the second one last week. I can wear all day and drive for a couple hours with no discomfort at all. Both are for normal size pistols. Nice thing is Bob lets you try his (custom made for your pistol) holster and then pay for it.

Posted by Livingston: //Quote: I like Bob Durbin's IWB . He lives in Dansville ...585- 335-3832 The folks at Rochester personal defense helped design it. He makes a quality product . This is something to read from the RPD web site even if you don't go with a Durban holster Rochester Personal Defense - SafeInRochester.com, Self Defense Classes, Firearms Training in Rochester New York

Durbin IWB holster for a S&W Shield

Durbin OWB Leather Holster for Glock 21 //Quote
 

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From my limited knollage It seems to be a very personal decision. Eveery ones body is differnt . People wear cloths diffently. I personally use a iwb hybrid holster (aliengear) . I have zero issues with it and don't notice im wearing it at all. if I move it an inch either wayit can become uncomfortable . Or if I wear it to high or low it can be uncomfortable . Whatever you decide give it a chance move it around a bit and see if it works for you.
Aliengear is going to be mentioned alot it's inexpensive and it has a 30 day trial where you can return it if you don't like it. I have a 1.0 and 2.0 the 2.0 is more comfortable but the 1.0 seems to be better made. I have no expiriance with the 3.0 . They also started making gun belts and offer a combo deal with a holster. I ordered a belt myself haven't got it yet so I can't tell you much about it.
 

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Good luck! 4+ years and I'm still looking for the 'perfect' holster! The amount of money I've spent on holsters could buy another handgun.

First decision is pistol size; Full-size, Compact, Sub-compact?
IWB or OWB? Appendix can also be very comfortable if you buy the correct holster and you practice enough.
Leather, Kydex, combination, other polymer?

My 1911 is rarely carried, and the only holster I have for it is a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 that I got years ago for a great price. It is a leather IWB and has great retention.

My (almost) daily carry is an M&P Shield in 9mm. I've tried several different holsters and still trying to find 'the one'. I've tried hybrid holsters, and they just take up too much 'space'. I'm a relatively thin, tall guy having a hard time getting IWB to be comfortable. I'd prefer to carry at 3 o'clock but it presses down on my hip bone too much. I do carry appendix occasionally, but only in the winter as I need a heavier garment to hide the 'beer gut bulge'.

I tried an Alien Gear holster, and I don't know if it was my particular holster but the gun moved too much in the holster ('sideways' not up and down). It was also bulky as most hybrids are.

I'm waiting on an order from On Your 6 Holsters for a new OWB to try; but again it is really only usable in winter to prevent printing. For me at least. Larger bodies may be able to hide it better.
Nice thread Spencer!

I'm a big guy with a fair sized junk food repository. I carry a revolving cast of handguns. My primary EDC's tend to be a .357 Ruger or Smith revolver in summer and an M&P full size .45 or 1911's in winter. For backup, I carry the M&P Shield 9mm.

My favorite holsters tend to be OWB, in leather, with thumb breaks. Of course, depending on the gun, only certain manufacturers make holsters for them. My two favorite ones are the Galco Hi Fletch or Desantis ones. I haven't settled on one for the Shield just yet. I do have a Desanfis ankle holster for it, and it is OK, but I actually find it so concealable, that I often pocket carry it as it is barely larger than an IPhone 6 in an Otterbox case.

The one difference I did notice between the Desantis and Galco holsters has to do with grip clearance. I have big hands, and have found that some of the Desanfis ones with the tensioning screw can interfere a little with my hand when drawing, whereas the Galco's don't have that issue. I removed the screw on some of my Desantis holsters and prefer that.
 

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Shoe Arm Sports gear Gesture Glove
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Here are a couple of Belt Speed Scabbards from Ritchieholsters.com that I recently got. Brown one is for a 4" S & W k-frame Mod. 64 -- Black one is for a Glock 42, present for my son for a recent purchase. If you like leather, these are top quality holsters, worth checking out their site. Small two-man shop and talked with them several times previous to purchasing. Really nice guys, and I will be back. I've had other holster like these & these are up there with the very best.
 

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I have a Keyhole IWB Hybrid holster for my M&P 40c I am of the larger size and find it very comfortable at the 4-5 oclock position. I am going to be ordering one of their OWB holsters here in the next week or so.

www.keyholeholsters.com Mitch the owner is a great guy and the customer service is hands down the best I have EVER experienced. I had to send my holster back to have the cant adjusted. not only did he adjust the cant he made an entirely new kydex shell to insure the holster was perfect at NO CHARGE..
 

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Spence
Holsters are like woman, it takes a few to see what fits best. Where I am located I find holsters at a couple of pawn shops and get a good deal on them, I buy them even if I don't have a gun to fit them. Some day I might pick up the gun that fits the holsters. When friends need a holster I let them take one if I have one that fits. I have around thirty or so handguns and most of them have holsters, all bought at bargin prices. My everyday carry is in a cheap nylon holster that I tuck in my right front pocket, I can carry it exposed or tucked in my pocket. Very comfortable and there when I need it, I've carried this particular gun every day 24/7 - 365 since I bought it. I'll occasionally carry a larger full framed gun in the OWB holster in addition to my pocket Smith 642 Airweight.

You'll buy several before you find what's right for you. New York is a had place to find anything used in the gun hobby. EBay is a good place to look for used items, if you don't like it you can sell it and recoup most of your money.

I need to get a good leather shoulder holster for when I will be doing a lot of driving, For driving now I just have a gun close at hand in case of an emergency should arise.

I bought a cheap Davis 38 caliber derringer for pocket carry at home night time when I put my PJs on so I can have a gun in my pocket while at home after I get ready for bed, Lately I have been crarrying it in my vest pocket durring the day in addition to my 642, I have a holster for it that it fits in, but use it only to store it in my dresser when not in use.
 

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I don't like kydex. Allesi, Durbin or Galco if you don't want to wait! Leather holsters just seem right to me but I also don't like polymer guns for the most part. I'm like a 70 year old in a mid thirties body.
 

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Everyone who carries regularly will end up with a box of holsters that for whatever reason did not work out. Nature of the beast. And while you are at it the best holster is useless without a proper purpose designed gun belt to hold it. I have seen people complain about "bad holsters" they are trying to hold up with a 2 pound gun and spare mag an a cheesy five dollar crap belt which is a frequent problem. A good gun Beltis a MUST
 

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^^^^ This. I bought a hand made double layer belt from Rusty Sherrick about 16 years ago and it still is in great shape and supports my carry pistols perfectly. No pants droop carrying a Sig P229 all day.
 
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