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IDPA Holster Question

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by TexasGlockster, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. I have a wonderful IWB holster that I love to carry with, but can see what an advantage it is to have an OWB holster for competition. I want something that is IDPA compatible, though that's not the only type of competition I will be shooting.

    Any recommendations for OWB belt holsters? I'm not opposed to all leather holsters so long as they have a reinforced opening.

    Right now there are two that particularly strike my fancy, though I'm not sure the second one qualifies for IDPA:

    Also, while on the subject, can someone explain to me the advantages and disadvantages of having a straight cant as opposed to an FBI cant for competition?

    EDIT TO ADD: This is for my Glock 23 by the way.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  2. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    A vertical cant holster is slightly more flexible and can be worn more easily at different positions on the belt: i.e., appendix, crossdraw, or at, say, 4:30. An, 'FBI', 15 degree, forward cant holster is, pretty much, limited to use at either the 4:30 or 8:30 positions on your waist.

    Personally, for range use, I like to use a Blackhawk SERPA holster mounted on a paddle, and fitted with a 15 degree reverse cant; or a Blade-Tech holster worn straight up, and fitted with a Tek-Lok clasp. The best leather (street) holsters I've ever used came from either Matt Del Fatti, or Wm. Tucker. (Del Fatti makes easily concealable and very comfortable ITB holsters; and I particularly like Tucker's, 'HF-1' because it's OTB, rides tight against the body, and patterns no more than a typical ITB holster.)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012

  3. mingaa


    Dec 3, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    I have a Blackhawk Sepa that I like a lot for all around use BUT I use a Comp Tac paddle straight up at 3 o'clock in most competition. It is simpler than the Serpa and extremely well made - works like it's not there.
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    The Gladiator looks OK.
    The International is a drop-offset which is not allowed in IDPA... unless you are female. And it might be too extreme even then, you'd have to have the actual measurements and check the rules.

    Arc's holster "fitted with a 15 degree reverse cant" is not allowed in IDPA, vertical or muzzle back "FBI" cant is all you can have.
  5. Thanks for the clarification on the cants. Is one "faster" than the other?

    And thanks for the Comp-Tac paddle recommendation. I originally wrote it off because it didn't have a leather backing or a sweat guard but considering that I'll mainly be using this for competition I'll probably tuck my shirt in anyway, so no problem there.

    Any other recommendations out there?
  6. Comp tac straight drop paddle holster is all I use for IDPA. probably one of the best designed paddle holster out there. one of the best thing about paddle holster is that you can position your holster around and not limited by your pants belt loop location. good luck and have fun!
  7. Ok, the plastic (non-serpa) blackhawk holster is legal, works great, and now you can get them at Wal-Mart for $19.99

    I have used the non-serpa blackhawk for years and I have made Master in both USPSA Production and SSP in IDPA.

    I can't see myself spending $60-$70 when there is a perfectly good holster for $20.

    Thus it leaves more money for bullets to practice or compete with.

  8. checkyoursix


    Dec 15, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    This one is used by many, it woks perfectly for IDPA.

    Either this one or the paddle version, whichever you prefer. They have a competition kit you can save some $.
  9. Jagr

    Jagr Czech Sensation Millennium Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Car Lot, NC
    I gave up all the gamer stuff a while ago. I shoot what I carry generally. I might shoot my G17 with the fiber optic though. I normally carry a G19. IWB holster, carry gun. All I change is my ammo when I get to the range. When the ammo is old I shoot that in a match too.
  10. Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  11. Same here, that's how I started. At first I used a blackhawk serpa OWB that was clearanced for my clip-draw, then I made an IWB holster and removed the clip-draw. For about 2 years now, I've shot IDPA, GSSF, and took a 2 day class at front sight with my IWB holster. I've changed my gun, to a customized 1911, but I still use my IWB holster, about 8 o'clock. I've considered going back to an OWB holster, but I can draw pretty quick with my IWB, as I've become quite proficient with it. Also, it's comfortable, since I wear it all day, every day. I go to the range, and it all feels the same. Also, my grip and the position of my gun are always constant.

    With whatever you use, practice will get you better times than the most expensive gear. The sport is designed around concealment, and "realism". Also why I don't wear a photographer's vest.
  12. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    I don't shoot in competitions anymore (back and neck injuries!), but, for a GOOD holster for 'practical' retention (from loss/dropping, NOT from someone taking it away from you!), the Bianchi "Askins Avenger" is a fantastic holster.

    I haven't been able to find it in Bianchi's catalog, but, Galco has the "Avenger" holster.

    I've carried a Combat Commander and also my Gold Cup NM in the Askins Avenger, and it is easily concealable, durable and has a re-inforced opening for ease of re-holstering.

  13. I like the price of the Comp-Tac paddle but that Galco Avenger is one seeexxxxy holster.:hearts:
  14. 2. Criteria of an IDPA Approved Holster


    A. Must be designed for concealed carry and suitable for all

    day continuous wear.

    B. Must be worn on a standard belt of no more than 1 ¾” width

    that must pass through the belt loops on the shooter’s pants.

    C. Must fully cover the trigger of the firearm.

    D. Must carry the firearm in a neutral (vertical) or muzzle rear

    cant, but have no adjustable cant backpieces. Holster cant that

    is adjustable by removing bolts and repositioning the backpiece

    is allowed. Exception: IWB style holsters do not have to meet

    this particular criterion.

    E. Must hold the firearm with enough tension to allow the

    wearer to complete normal daily tasks without fear of losing

    the weapon.


    F. Can have no offset backpieces and/or belt slots. The holster

    may not offset away from the belt and/or body.
    No gap is

    permitted in the following areas:

    1. From the body to the inside of the belt.

    2. From the outside of the belt to the inside of the

    backpiece and/or backside of the holster.

    3. From the outside of the backpiece to the inside of

    the holster.

    If you look through the belt slot area of the holster with it on

    the belt/body, you should not be able to see any daylight. If

    you can see through this belt tunnel area, the holster is not


    Holster/backpiece must be constructed of “normal thickness”

    common holster making materials, no filler is allowed to hide

    an offset. In simple terms, the back of the holster must be held

    tightly against the outside of the belt for proper concealed carry

    (for questions, refer to #1 above and re-read the “Purpose”

    section in the front of this rulebook).¹

    G. Must be constructed of normal thickness common holster

    making materials (leather, Kydex, plastic, nylon, etc.).

    H. May not position the firearm where the breech face (autos)

    or rear of the cylinder (revolvers) is below the center of the

    belt. NO drop loops are permitted.³ Holsters for females may

    position the breech face of a pistol or rear of the cylinder of a

    revolver up to 1 ½” below the center of the belt.

    NOTE: IWB style holsters are exempt from this criterion.

    I. Must hold the firearm positioned on the body so an object of

    ¾”width cannot pass between the shooter’s body and the inside

    of the firearm when the shooter is standing straight and


    J. Must be positioned on the belt in a location that will keep the

    center of the trigger pad behind the centerline
    4 of the body.

    NOTE: Modification of current holsters and ammunition

    carriers to meet IDPA criteria is acceptable.


    NOT Permitted:

    A. Cross Draw Holsters.

    B. Shoulder Holsters.

    C. Small of the Back Holsters.

    D. Holsters designed and/or marketed as “competition”


    E. Muzzle forward or ‘on the belt’ adjustable cant holsters.

    Those that allow the cant to be adjusted by the shooter while

    the holster is on the belt are not allowed.


    Holsters with an adjustable cant via removal of bolts

    and repositioning of the backpiece are approved if set for

    neutral or muzzle rear cant.

    F. Drop loop holsters.³

    G. Positioning of the firearm where the breech face (autos) or

    the rear of the cylinder (revolvers) is below the center of the


    H. Cutting of the front edge of the holster more that 1¾” below

    the breech face on pistols or 1” below the rear of the cylinder

    on revolvers.

    I. Offset back-pieces and/or belt slots.³

    J. Gap in the following areas:

    1. From the body to the inside of the belt.

    2. From the outside of the belt to the inside of the

    backpiece and/or backside of the holster.

    3. From the outside of the back-piece to the inside

    of the holster.³


    Not legal Legal

    K. Seeing daylight when looking through the belt slot area of

    the holster with it on the belt/body.³

    L. Any type of filler to hide an offset.

    Exception – Police or military officers may use their duty rig, but

    ALL retention features of the holster MUST be used and all belt

    equipment (mace, handcuffs, etc.) must be present.

    ¹ NOTE:

    Holsters for females are exempt from F. criteria, but may

    not cant the handgun away from the body past 90 ° to the ground.

    ² NOTE:

    Female shooters are exempt from this test.

    ³ NOTE:

    Female shooters are exempt from this criterion.


    The seam on the side of a shooter’s pants may or may

    not indicate where the centerline of a shooter’s body is located.

    For IDPA purposes, the centerline of the body originates in the

    center of the armpit and goes straight down... Per the IDPA rule book, if using an OWB holster, you're not allowed to adjust the cant of the holster, I use a Blackhawk! paddle holster, & double mag pouch for IDPA, I use the same holster w/ 2 double mag pouches for USPSA & they work great for competitions. I have no complaints. but I carry with an IWB holster.