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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My name is Bucky, and I'm a holsterholic. It's been 3 weeks since I received my last holster by mail order.

Some may know my infamous 70+ holster picture laid out at random.

At some point I wanted to take a more organized picture of all my holsters, and comment on some of the ones I like and why. With the weather being bad, and being on restricted activity due to recent surgery, I thought now would be a good time to occupy my time and my mind. :tease:

Just a quick background, I was born in NJ and lived there until 10 years ago, when I moved to PA (when CCW became a reality). I started shooting on a regular basis about 22 years ago, where I immediately caught the IPSC / USPSA bug. Many of my early holster purchases was based this.

About 12 years ago, moving to PA started to become a reality. My first CCW purchase was a J Frame. This was when I was living in NJ, but spending a lot of time in PA. The thought was a revolver would be much easier to load / unload at the border (can't keep the mag loaded). I also bought a G27 prior to (and in anticipation of) the move. After the move I'd go through a number of carry guns, first a P229, then various Berettas. Next, I found a smoking deal on a HK USPc which became my EDC for some time, and another deal on a P2000SK which added to the rotation. A short 1911 stint, then back to GLOCK, and in the past year my most frequently carried gun.. a G27 (right back where I started). :eek:kie: Of course each new carry gun, came one or more CCW holsters.

The only addition to the CCW story is the last couple years becoming interested in the new breed of small thin autos. First an XDs, and then after it sitting at the factory for a several month recall wait, a P938 was purchased. I love these for times when they're needed, and even though they aren't frequently (EDC) carried, they need holsters too.

So what will follow is all the holsters I have on hand at this time. A quick count puts it a 119! :wow: This does not include the few holsters that came with a gun (like the XD gear, P938, etc). They are packed away in their original cases.

Yes, I have a problem, but at least I should share my experiences.

I've broken each group picture by category.

  • Leather IWB
  • Non Leather IWB
  • Leather OWB
  • Non Leather OWB
  • Paddle Holsters
  • Duty Holsters
  • Shoulder Holsters
  • Alternate Carry Holsters
  • Stragglers (some junk found at the end of the shoot)
  • Race Holsters

NOTE: I know Race Holsters aren't really for carry, but since 90% of these are carry holsters, I hope this is the correct forum.

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am sharing my opinions and my experiences on the various holsters shown. There are many factors, especially body shape that could change how a holster works for you.

Also, none of the holsters shown are for sale, so please don't ask. If I do decide to sell any, I will post them in the classified and will not make mention of it in this thread. This thread is for pictures, reviews, and discussion only.

Thank you.

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IWB Holsters

Leather IWB Holsters:

I love a good leather IWB holsters. I prefer them more to kydex, as I feel they are more comfortable. Over time, many will bend to your shape, making them even more comfortable. On the flip side, I will admit several disadvantages. First off, they are typically more expensive than kydex. Also, a good new leather holster can have a wait time of up to 6 months from some of the better known makers. (Admittedly, some of the kydex makers are getting some surprising wait times.) Kydex will typically as thin or thinner, and will not collapse when the gun is drawn. With leather, it could be as thin, but then will lack the ability to stay open when drawn. Leather could have a thick leather, kydex, or steel band reinforcement which will keep it open, but then that makes the holster thicker.

Back to the leather OWB, if you keep the holster in good shape, they will typically hold there value very well. I had tried the Milt Sparks VM2 twice. Neither time did it work out for me, and when I sold them I get what I paid for them.

Here are my leather IWB holsters currently on hand:

Top Row:
1. Garrity's Gunleather IN-CONSPICUOUS GLOCK G30
2. Garrity's Gunleather IN-CONSPICUOUS HK USPc
(This is and has been my favorite IWB holster since I've owned one - about 6 years. It has a metal clip, with a talon hook, very important. This holster will not come out on the draw, provide you put it on correctly. In addition to the convenience of on / off with the clip, the ride is on the low side with good rake, offering excellent concealment. Also, the leather on the sweat shield wraps up and around the rear sight, keeping it off the skin. This is especially appreciate with my G30 that sport Warren Tactical sights, which are a little on the sharp side. The holster has a leather reinforced band, which does a reasonable job keeping the holster mouth open after the gun is drawn. Garrity is my favorite leather holster maker. Wait times can be on the long side, and the only contact available is email. Last time I emailed, it went unanswered. :frown:)
3. Garrity Gunleather IN-COGNITO G22
(This is my favorite dual loop holster. There is no reinforcement on the opening, but dual offset loops seem to do OK as long as the leather is quality, due to the belt not putting as much pressure on it if the loops we centered to the opening. This model also has the sweat shield that wraps around the rear site. Extremely comfortable holster, mid to low ride offers good concealment. Holster mouth stays reasonably open after the draw. )
4. Garrity Gunleather IN-COGNITO G27
(I got this one used, and the previous owner changed the straps to clips - one of which I recently borrowed for another holster. I don't like this holster quite as much as the previous. Aside from the missing straps, I just think a dual loop holster is overkill for a gun the size of a G27. Also, while this one does have a sweat shield, it doesn't come up and over the rear site like the previous one. At the time I was using it, I had Warren Sevigny sights on my G27, which were even sharper than the standard Warren. I have since switched to Trijicons, since I was getting cut up with this and other holsters I was / am using. )
5. Garrity Gunleather Triskel - Officer's Model 1911
( This holster belonged to a friend of mine - RIP. This is a versatile that can be changed from standard IWB, to tuckable IWB to OWB. I don't think I'd use it for OWB, as I don't like plastic clips for an OWB holster. Speaking of the clips, they are sort of rounded, and don't have a hard ledge to grab the belt. However, while this can be more of an issue with a single clip, it hasn't been an issue with two offset clips. The versatility is great when you have a limited number of holsters, I don't seem to have that problem and lean towards a specific holster for each task / scenario. Also, I've tried tuckable on many occasions and I just find if I have a tucked shirt, I prefer an alternate solution such as pocket or Smart Carry.)

2nd Row
1. Brommeland Gunleather Max-Con V - G27
2. Brommeland Gunleather Max-Con V - G30
3. Brommeland Gunleather Max-Con V - G22
( This is a very close second favorite of mine in the dual loop category. The tail piece adds a little bit of comfort / pressure distribution, but it's sweat shield lacks the rear sight wrap around piece. Like I said, a close second. The big benefit is they are a little more obtainable, as there are a few distributes that are stocking these holsters. There is no reinforcement in the mouth, but the leather is very stiff and it is a dual loop. Therefore the mouth stays open pretty good after the draw.)

4. TT Gunleather Mike Special - Commander size 1911
( This is a great dual loop holster. Admittedly, my 1911 carry phase was very short lived, so I don't have a lot of time on this holster. This one has the steel band option, which does make it a little thicker than the Brommeland or Garrity. However, you can get this holster without the band. If you are looking to do a lot of practice with an IWB, this would be a great choice. The band is supper rigid, and the mouth stays perfectly open, as good as any Kydex holster. The leather boning is exquisite, and even the belt loops are boned, which is a really nice touch. )

3rd Row
1. Milt Sparks Executive Companion - GLOCK 30
( This is my favorite holster of the Milt Sparks lineup. I only discovered it when I was looking for a holster for my Beretta 92c. Someone on the Beretta forum was selling one, and it worked out really well. I would next order one for my Cougar L, and later find a nice used one for a G27, all three have since moved along. Wish I still had the one for the G27, but the other guns are gone so no use for them. This is a very comfortable holster, with a mid level ride. The holster tail adds to the comfort and also makes it a little easier to put on, like a shoe horn if you will. Like most Milt Sparks IWB holsters, there is a steel reinforce band on the mouth, making the mouth stay perfectly open after the draw. Good holster, by a well known maker. Wait times can be long, and while some dealers stock Milt Sparks, the Executive Companion is not as common)
2. Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 - GLOCK 22
3. Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 - GLOCK 23
( The SS2 is a great no nonsense IWB carry holster. Pretty similar to the Executive Companion, without the comfort tail - for lack of a better word. This also has the steel band, so the mouth stay perfectly open after the draw. If you order one, you are subjected to a long wait time. However if you have a common gun like a GLOCK, 1911, Sig P226, P229, there are several dealers that stock them, including Brownells. )

4. Andrews Custom Leather MacDaniel II - HK P2000
5. Andrews Custom Leather MacDaniel II - GLOCK 27
( This is an single offside loop holster, similar to the famous Mitch Rosen ARG. Some people love the single offset loop, some hate it. I have mixed feelings. If you can get one that is stable, doesn't move around too much, it can be pretty nice. When I got the one for the P2000, it worked out pretty well. Later I would get one for the G27, and it would come part way out with the gun on the draw, even though the fit was no tighter than the one for the P2000. I even tried swapping the loops, but the G27 holster still didn't stay put on the draw. I think the single attachment point being a single screw, it allows the holster to pivot if it's not super tight. Mitch now makes the ARG with a sewn loop, which prevents that from happening. However, a sewn loop means you need to thread the belt, which makes putting it on and off a chore. BTW, the MacDaniel II has a steel reinforced mouth, keeping the holster perfectly open after the draw. )
6. ETW Holster - Sig P938
( I wanted a holster NOW after getting my P938, and found this on eBay. It came with a single spring clip, but the clip didn't have a Talon like the Garrity, or an opposing / inner ledge like the DeSantis. Therefore it would come out when you drew the gun. In the pic it is shown with a C-Tac clip that I stole from the Garrity G27 holster, which wasn't original on the Garrity either. It made the holster somewhat usable until a replacement could arrive. The leather is soft and doesn't stay open when the gun is drawn. With the single offset loop, the holster can move around a lot. )

Bottom Row:
1. Kramer #3 Horse Hide - GLOCK 30
2. Kramer #3 Horse Hide - 1911
( The Kramer #3 holster has a mid to high ride, with a lot of rake. This makes the holster very concealable, but at the same time the gun is very accessible. The leather is SUPER hard, almost feeling like a Kydex holster in some ways. This of course keeps the mouth perfectly open on the draw. The holster is not just hard at the mouth, but the entire holster is rigid, making the holster extremely strong. That said, it makes the holster feel more kydex like than leather, in the comfort area. The leather is also on the thick side too, which is why I moved away from these after a short period of time.

3. AKJ, ConcealCo - HK USPc
( This is a dandy unique holster, offering the stability of a dual offset loop holster, with the smaller foot print of a single offset loop holster. The holster comes very stiff, and just when you think it's broken in, it's not. I previously had one for a G27 purchased new from Brownells. It took two of us to pull the gun out of the holster. The one pictured here was purchased used and already broken in. Comfort is moderate, and concealment and accessibility are pretty good. There is no mouth band per say, but the front strap of the holster is reinforced which keeps the front part of the holster open, so reholstering is not too bad. I can't get an idea at the moment of availability. It appears Brownells no longer carries this line. I went to the manufacturers web site, and every link I click on gets a script error. )
4. High Noon Holster Hidden Ally - GLOCK 27
( This was my very first IWB holster. This is a tuckable single metal clip holster made out of glove leather. Glove leather is super thin and super soft. However, it completely collapses as soon as the gun is drawn. It is a straight drop holster that is VERY low on the belt, making concealability excellent, but the gun access suffers. I find myself thumbing the rear sight of the gun on the draw to get it out comfortably. The metal clip is excellent in retention, as the bottom loops around to hook the belt firmly. In order to allow for that loop, the clip is slightly oversized for the belt, in order to be able to clip it properly. This will lead to a little movement, but not so much that it is an issue. The glove leather lineup is ready to ship, so availability is very quick. If I were looking for this type of holster again, I'd opt for the Split Decision, which is a slightly higher ride and a 15% cant. I think the gun would be more accessible in that configuration. )

5. DeSantis Suede IWB - Sigma .380
6. DeSantis Suede IWB - J Frame
( These holsters are ultra thin and soft, which makes them very concealable, but also completely collapse on the draw. They feature an excellent, strong steel clip with an opposing ledge - the inside of the clip has a ledge. This not only makes the clip super strong on the belt, but it also works very well without a belt. I have used the J Frame holster with heavy sweat pants and worked really well. The Sigma holster was given to me, and I found the Kahr P9 Covert fit quite well in it. )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Non Leather IWB:

For my opinions on Leather vs. Kydex IWB, see above under the Leather IWB Section.

Top Row
1. PJ Holsters Deep Concealment IWB - GLOCK 22
( A more detailed review of PJ holsters in general below. I wanted to comment on this model, as I can make a G22 completely disappear under a t-shirt. Concealability is excellent, and because of the rake, gun access it pretty good giving almost a full grip. The down side is, since it is so low on the belt, the gun hits the chair when I sit. Not too bad, but noticeable. Would probably be a little better in a shorter gun like a G23)

2. PJ Holsters Standard IWB - Sig P938
( Although I've only had these two holsters for less than a year, these are currently my favorite Kydex IWB holsters. The clip is excellent, and has a sharp right angle ledge grabbing the belt super strong. It is very unlikely that this holster will come out with the gun. Also, since the clip is part of the holster body, there is no opposing piece other than the holster body itself, making it much thinner than bolt on clips. Because of the design, you are limited to how high of a ride you can get, but I prefer holsters to sit lower in the waist band, so that is ok for me. If you were to break the clip, it's new holster time. As stated, I've not had the holster that long, but so far it seems reasonably rugged. A very simple, thin holster for a decent price. As for availability, wait time has gone up a bit from my first holster to the second. I like the design, so it was worth the wait IMO. )
3. Comp-Tac Infidel - GLOCK 30
( This is the older style Comp-Tac holster. I prefer the way Comp-Tac made the older holsters which I assume were hand molded. The newer ones appear to be injection molded. This is medium ride height, with standard cant. Concealability is reasonable, and gun access is superb. For a Kydex holster, it is reasonably comfortable. The clip does not have a sharp ledge on it, so the gun can come out on the draw. In my experience, this was even more common on the Wilderness belt. If you keep your belt really tight, it should stay on OK. Looking at the newer models, it appears the clip may have a better grab. In my experience, availability is excellent. I've had 9 holsters from them, and none of them took more than 9 days to receive. I had one I didn't like (there new DOH with the new mold), and they took it back without question. Great customer service. )
4. Blade Tech IWB Holster - GLOCK 27
( I got this Blade-Tech holster when I traded a G19 for a G27. I'm not sure of the model name, and looking on their web site, I do not see it. This holster has a medium ride height, offers good concealment and excellent accessibility. Comfort is so - so, being Kydex and having a small footprint. The belt clip holds really well, but partly due to the J clip is really tight. Getting them onto a decent gun belt like a Mitch Rosen or Comp-Tac can be quite a chore. Once locked in, it's not going anywhere. The difficulty of putting it on has lead me away to using this (my lazyiess showing a pattern? Not sure what Blade Tech's turnaround time is these days, but when last time I bought is was 3-4 months. )

Middle Row:
1. Crossbread QwikClip - G30
( I don't know what to say here. I was looking for a simple IWB holster that would work as a tuckable. Well, I've learned that I don't like hybrid holsters - again just me, I know a lot of people love them. I don't like tuckable holsters. I don't prefer single offset loop. Again these are all my preferences, so you may ask, as I ask myself, what made me buy this holster. To start off though, turnaround time was pretty good, a couple weeks IIRC. The retention is good, and there is an adjustable ride height. The footprint is small too, which did attract me to this holster. One thing I don't like is they wrote my last name on the back of the holster in pen. I haven't tried to get it off yet, but that could make the resale an issue should I decide to sell it. So good holster, like the adjustability, just not my cup of tea in many respects. )

2. Uncle Mikes IWB Holster - Sig P229
( Like most things Uncle Mikes, very inexpensive, readily available and pretty rugged. The belt clip has always been a mystery to me. It can go on a couple different ways, none of which seem right. Admittedly I bought this to have something temporarily while waiting on custom leather. :embarassed:)

Bottom Row
1. Orca Nylon IWB Holster - GLOCK 19
2. Orca Nylon IWB Holster - J Frame
3. Orca Nylon IWB Holster - P229
4. Orca Nylon IWB Holster - Beretta Elite 2
( These were very inexpensive holsters that are no longer made as far as I know. And they worked really well, for what they were. The front strap is reinforced, so they stay reasonably open after the draw. They have a somewhat low ride, giving good concealability, while also giving full access to the gun. As far as comfort, they do have some flex like leather. So, they can be comfortable, as long as the nylon isn't touching your skin! Yes, boxers are a must with these holsters. )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
OWB Holsters:

Leather OWB Holsters:

1. Alessi CQC-S - GLOCK 27
( This is currently my favorite OWB holster for CCW. It is my most worn holster over the past year or so. I got tired of constant IWB carry, and this holster with the small G27 conceals very well. The holster is real easy to put on and off, being lazy that is a plus. The gun presentation is great, but like most good leather holsters they need a break in. I picked this one up lightly used, so it was mostly broken in. They are a bit pricey new, but the nice thing is that there are a couple of stocking dealers, so if you have a common gun, turnaround time will be quick. Not sure on the wait time if ordering factory direct. Like many high end holsters, they retain the value well, so if you get one and don't like it, you should take much of a loss. Of course, the less common the carry gun, the harder it would be to sell it. )
2. R Grizzle Leather Georgia Snap - GLOCK 30
( This is a holster similar in design to the CQC-S. The leather work is really well done. It doesn't hug the body quite as tight as the CQC-S. One thing I prefer on the CQC-S is the straps are put on the belt by threading down the top, then under. This holster threads from the bottom up. A minor nitpick, but again, the easier the better for me. The dual snaps on each side hold the belt really tight, but wonder if they are a bit of an overkill. The wait time was really good for a premium custom leather holster. I ordered 1/8/13 and it shipped 3/12/13. Looking at the web site now, it appears they made some changes, and now list the Georgia Snap 2. Instead of side by side dual snaps, the snaps are on top of one another. The cost is a bit cheaper than the CQC-S too, which is a benefit. )
3. Mitch Rosen Express Premier - Commander 1911
4. Mitch Rosen Express Premier - HK USPc
( The HK holster was my first OWB holster with snap loops. Of course, I was really pleased with the easy on / easy off of the straps. This is Mitch Rosen's express line, which is a budget line. The leather is still quality leather, but doesn't have all the nice bone work of the premium line. The snaps thread from the top down, which I prefer. On difference with this holster over the previous two is the way it is designed to hug the body. The front portion of holster is even with the back of the holster, while the rear comes more from the center. The previous two holster have each side aligned with the center. What this does is pulls the butt side of the gun in tighter to the body, at the expense of less pull on the front. My theory is that this design may be more aligned to a 4:00 - 5:00 carry. With 3:00 carry, it just seems the front / slide / rear sight is jotting out a little more than I'd like. I good holster at a decent price. Not sure of turnaround time from Mitch Rosen, but there are few stocking dealers, including Brownells and Dillon. Of course, if you want a more finely crafted hand boned version, Mitch Rosen offers the same model in the premium lineup for $70 more.)

Middle Row:
1. Mitch Rosen 5JR - G23
2. Mitch Rosen 5Jr - G30
( This is my favorite OWB CCW holster of those that have traditional belt loops. The leather work and boning are top notch. The gun holds really tight to the body. The fit is great, and like most premium leather holsters, a break in period is needed. Not sure if any dealers stock the premium line, but this holster is also available in the Express line for almost half the cost. For now, my lazy self will be using the models with straps just for convenience. )
3. Mitch Rosen President Express - G30
( This holster is similar to the 5JR with one notable exception. Like the premier holster listed above, the front is offset giving more pull to the back of the holster than the front. Like the Premier, I would expect this to work a little better in the more rearward position. This model is the express, but is available in the premium lineup as well)
4. Don Hume H710 - GLOCK 27
( This is a very economical belt slide holster. The belt slide meaning it has an open bottom, so theoretically you could use this for anything from a G27 up to a G35. However, note with any open bottom holster, if you sit and something hits the bottom of the gun, it's going to have a tendency to push the gun up and out of the holster. Another thing to consider is being so economical, there is no real boning done to the leather. The gun is held in more of a friction fit, rather than hugging the gun like the better leather or a Kydex holster does. Also, this holster doesn't stay completely open on the draw, but doesn't close so much to hamper reholstering too much. It does hold the gun really tight to the body. Very nicely priced and ships immediately for many models. Many stocking dealers. Not a bad option for a budget holster. )
5. Galco Jak Slide - Sig P229
( This particular holster is somewhat out of place here. It's not really and IWB or OWB. This holster is designed to hold the gun between the belt and the pants. A very simple design and conceals surprising well. A little better than an OWB, while being a little more comfortable then IWB. The one drawback to this particular design is that it completely collapses when the gun is drawn. I used this model with much success in my early CCW days. Interestingly, it doesn't look like a gun holster once the gun is removed. Like most open bottom holsters, you need to be mindful the if bumped from the bottom, the gun could be pushed upward. Being a softer leather, the tension on the gun is going to be mostly relative to the tightness of your belt. Like most Galco products, turnaround time should be reasonable quick. There are Galco stocking dealers, but this is an oddball holster so it may not be stocked. )

Bottom Row:
1. DeSantis D2 - G17
( To be honest, this holster was recently given to me, and I haven't spent much time with it. DeSantis gear is usually moderately priced and ships in a reasonable time frame. )
2. DesSantis 089 / Mini Slide - G30.
( I got this holster as a gift for doing some computer work for someone. The leather is on the thin side, and doesn't hold the gun that well. It also has a tension screw, which should be a warning sign. That said, the gun is held close to the body and conceals well. Being a slide holster, same warning applies. That would mean that this holster should work with a G21 as well. I haven't really used this holster all that much, but appears to have much use to it. Not sure why, as other DeSantis holsters have held up well for me. )
3. DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard - J Frame Enclosed hammer.
( This is a nice little thumb break holster for a J Frame. The leather isn't near the quality of a premium leather holster, but this one is better an has better boning than the mini slide. This model has two forward belt slots, to allow for a straight drop or forward cant. There is a tension screw as well. The thumb break is positioned well for a natural thumb release on the draw. Web site says to allow 4 weeks for shipping. )
4. Don Hume H721 - GLOCK 27
( This holster is similar in build to the H710, with the edition of a sweat shield, and the fact that this is not a slide holster. Like the H710, the leather seems of reasonable quality, but there is no boning giving more of a friction fit. Gun is held tight to the body and draw presentation is reasonable. Like most Hume products, prices are very reasonable, and should ship quickly. )
5. Bianchi #196-2 - Sig P226
( Picked this up in a bargain bin a long time ago when I had a P226. Haven't had a 226 for some time now, so haven't used it in a while. What I do recall is that it doesn't hold the gun very tight to the body. It's almost like an old school duty holster. The leather is on the thin side, so it does have some flex on the belt. Not sure if this is even made anymore. )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Non Leather OWB holsters:

Note, does not include paddle holsters, duty holsters, or race holsters.

Top Row:
1. Comp-Tac Belt Holster - G21
2. Comp-Tac Belt Holster - 1911
3. Comp-Tac Belt Holster - G34
( This is the old style Comp-Tac holsters. They are my favorite holster for IDPA and 3 Gun. They also make a decent carry holster if wearing a jacket, but probably wouldn't conceal too well under a shirt of any kind. I will usually wear the holster to and from match, switching guns along the way, like carry the G30, then switch to the G21 for the match. One feature I really like on these holsters is the way they did the retention. Instead of molding the holster to indent into the entire trigger guard, they put a single indent near the very front of the trigger guard. That means when you draw the gun, the resistance / retention is much shorter. In other words after the gun is lifted less then 1/2", the gun is clear. Other makers mold into the entire trigger guard, so the resistance is much longer. Like I said earlier, Comp-Tac changed the way the mold their holsters, but I prefer the old style much better. I did have one of the new style, and it seemed if you didn't pull the gun straight upward, the gun would lock into place, even with the tension screws backed way out. They now use a square ledge in the trigger guard for retention, rather than the single dimple. One thing about Comp-Tac, turnaround times are excellent. Pricing isn't too bad, and they run specials from time to time. Customer service is excellent. )
4: Safariland Laminate Holster Body on a Blade Tech DOH belt loop - G34:
( This is a Safariland laminate holster body with suede lining attached to a Dropped and Offset belt loop. I assembled this holster specifically for USPSA production division. What I like about the body is the holster retention is pure friction. And while I did criticize this for a carry holster, for a competition holster it is a benefit. I can have the gun held in the holster purely by gravity, which allows for a very fast draw. If I need more retention, just tighten down the screw, which I added a thumb screw adjuster for convenience. )

2nd Row:
1. Blade-Tech DOH (newest gen) holster - XD .40 4"
2. Blade-Tech DOH (oldest gen) holster - Beretta Elite 1A
3. Blade-Tech DOH (first stingray model) holster - XD .40 5"
( These are three generations of the Blade Tech dropped and offset holster. This is one of the most popular holsters for USPSA Production division. As far as the holster bodies, there are two things that I like less on these than a Comp-Tac body. For one, the kydex over wraps the trigger guard. In other words, when I grip the Comp-Tac, my middle finger is in contact with the guns trigger guard. On the Blade-Tech, my finger is dragging the holster. BTW, nothing that can't be addressed with a belt sander. Also, the Blade-Tech has holster fully molded to the trigger guard. The difference between the three different variants is the attachment piece. The second one show, the earliest, has the DOH built into the holster. The other two, they are both bolt on, and the DOH piece is separate, so you can convert the holster to a standard, non DOH holster. The newest model, first one in the row, has the adjustable piece for the belt size. I like this one the least. The belt part is somewhat flimsy, and I've had the adjustment piece come out. I actually like the early stingray style, with the non adjustable part. This part is solid, and it holds the belt better than the original model, or the newest gen. )
4. Blade Tech Belt Holster - GLOCK 21
( This is the standard Blade Tech belt holster. It has the latest style belt loops that is adjustable for belt size. This also needed a lot of belt sander work to get the trigger guard even, or slightly less than the holster body. As you can see, this got replaced with a comparible Comp-Tac holster. BTW: My experience with turnaround times from Blade Tech has been more than twice as long as Comp-Tac.)
5. Blade Tech "Duty Holster" - STI 5" 2011 with Long Wide Dust Cover
( This was the first holster I purchased for 3 gun, back before there was any standardized 3 gun rules. Some of the early stages required very strong gun retention, so I thought the thumb break strap would be good. They also used to recognize power factor, so the .40 was more advantageous than the 9mm. Today, I use my G34 and standard Comp-Tac holster for 3 gun. BTW: This model holster uses the brilliant Tac-Lock to attach to the belt, which allows very easy to put on and off the belt. )

3rd Row:
1. Wilson Combat Practical Holster - Beretta Elite 1A
( This was the first holster I used for IDPA, originally an E2 holster followed by the E1A holster - which BTW still works for the E2, but has room for railed guns. This holster holds the gun tighter to the body than the Comp-Tac, making it better for carry, but not as advantageous for IDPA. This has a suede lining, which is very easy on the guns finish. I am not sure of the turnaround times for this holster, and there is a limited number of guns they are available for. )
2. Blade Tech Injection Molded Holster - 1911
( This is the budget line Blade Tech holster. Very inexpensive and ships quick. The Kydex is thin and flexible, yet seems to be pretty durable nonetheless. )
3. Uncle Mikes Kydex Holster - GLOCK 17
4. Uncle Mikes Kydex Holster - HK USPc
5. Uncle Mikes Kydex Holster - 1911
( These are early version of the Uncle Mike's Kydex holster that no longer seem to be made. They are made from a very durable Kydex. The molding seems to be a little overdone making for very tight retention. The belt loop holds the gun off the body a bit, making concealability suffer. These were very cheap at the time, I think $15 or so. )

Bottom Row:
1. Don Hume JIT Slide - S&W N Frame Revolver
( OK, so I had to cheat here, this holster actually is leather. But since I already wrapped up the leather OWBs when I found it, I snuck it in this pic. Sorry. Anyway, I had picked this holster up as a quick fix for IDPA, but also just to have something to carry my model 29. This holster is much better boned than the same holster I have for the G27. It holds close to the body and retention is good. Price was really good and it shipped within days, which is what I was looking for at the time.)
2. Galco Matrix - Sig P229R
( This is a plastic slide model with straps to fasten to the belt. Of course, big thumbs up for easy on and off. It holds the gun really tight to the body. However, it also holds the gun REALLY tight. You could pull a muscle trying to draw the gun. There is no tension screw, and being it's plastic, I don't see it breaking in either. Wish it didn't hold the gun so tight, as I could see possible putting a little more time in with it. )
3. GLOCK Sport Holster - small frame GLOCK
4. GLOCK Sport Holster - small frame GLOCK
( Two different versions of the GLOCK sport holster. One has a fixed loop, the other is fixed but can be opened up for wider belts. Holds the gun very tight to the body, and makes a really decent CCW holster at a very low price. Of course, as far as I know, they are only available for one brand of gun. ;) )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Paddle Holsters:

Top Row:
1. Safariland 518 - GLOCK 19
2. Safariland 518 - GLOCK 30
3. Safariland 518 - Beretta Cougar
( Like most paddle holsters, the gun is not held quite as tight to the body as a IWB or tight fitting OWB holster. These holsters have thumb breaks, which would be a nice feature for an open carry option. For CCW, I would think you'd need a jacket or cover garment to conceal the gun effectively. Under a T-Shirt, these would print badly IMO. The holster has a hook to catch on the belt or clothing if going belt-less. Would recommend a good belt with these and most holsters. Of course, bonus points for ease of taking on and off. )

4. Safariland 5181 - 1911
5. Safariland 5181 - GLOCK 19
( Pretty similar to the 518 minus the thumb break. There is leather that goes up both sides of the slide, but not over. Should note that these, as well as the 518s are older models with leather "paddles". Newer ones, I believe, have a composite paddle.)

Middle Row:
1. Safariland 568 "Will Fit" holster - Medium Frame 4" Revolver
( Picked up this holster when I needed something quick for IDPA SSR division. This holster has additional adjustments, and a movable block inserted so that it can be sized to fit a variety of different guns. I use this on the very rare occasions when shooting my S&W 586 in IDPA matches)

2. Safariland 568 "Will Fit" holster - Mid size auto
(Same as above, but fits various mid size autos, to include P229, P2000, USPc, GLOCK 23. Like other Safariland paddle holsters, not effectively concealable under a t-shirt. Good for range work and / or IDPA. )
3. Bianchi #59 - H&K USPc
(Not quite as rigid as the Safariland holsters, maybe a little tighter hold on the body. Still not effectively concealed under a T-Shirt. )
4. Blade Tech Paddle Holster - 1911
(This is from the budget line of Blade Techs holsters. A little different, this holster has the belt hook on the paddle, and not the holster body. This would lead me to believe the proper way to wear this holster is under the belt, but outside the pants. )

Bottom Row:
1. Blackhawk CQC Serpa - GLOCK 17
2. Blackhawk CQC Serpa - XD .40 4"
( Probably familiar to most people hear, this is the paddle version of the Serpa holster with it's famous / infamous push button locking system. These holsters do tend to hug the body better than the older Safariland holsters I have. )
3. Fobus Paddle Holster - GLOCK 21, supposedly
( I won a certificate for a Fobus holster and decided I'd get one for my G21. Well, the fit is WAY too tight for my G21. I don't think you are suppose to break in a plastic holster?? ;). It actually holds the G17 pretty well, but you can see some gaps that shows it really wasn't made to fit the G17. Fobus told me that I could send it back for replacement, but didn't feel it was worth the cost of shipping. )
4. Uncle Mikes Paddle Holster - L Frame 4" revolver
( This came with my L Frame. The paddle doesn't really have anything to secure it to the body, other than friction. The adjustable thumb break is kind of awkward as well. This came with the 586 I bought. Other than trying it on, can't say I've ever used it. )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
"Duty" holsters

I'll specify up front that I am not LE. Started experimenting with these holsters when I started the ACT 235 training at my buddy's range. (In PA Act 235 is needed by armed security, armored trucks, etc.).

Top Row:
1. Safariland 070 - Beretta 92FS
2. Safariland 070 - Sig P229
( Probably consider old school by today's standard, I really like the 070 holster. This is a true triple retention holster, meaning 3 concerted steps are needed to release the holster. I found with practice, I got pretty quick at releasing the gun. Placing the gun in place takes a bit more doing. What's nice is there are plenty of these holsters to be found on the used market, and for good prices. Considering the audience we had, this was a plus for encouraging security workers to get a more secure holster. )

Bottom Row:
1. Blackhawk Level 3 Serpa Duty Holster - GLOCK 17
( This is Blackhawk's offering in a duty holster. I'm not quite sure how this is rated level 3, as there seems to be only two things to do to release the handgun. Picked this up a on whim, as I didn't have a duty style holster for my G22, which is my preferred full size defense handgun. I had read that if the spring loaded mechanisms get dirty, they could fail to release. While I have never seen this happening, it does make me wonder about a spring loaded release mechanism. )

2. Safariland 070 - 1911
(See Above)
3. Safariland 6280 - P2000
( This is a level 2 retention holster and from what I can tell is one of the more popular style holsters in use by LE today. This provides decent security from the locking hood device. The release is manual, so no reliance on springs / auto release. According to Safariland, this can become a level III by tightening the tension screw, and level IV by adding an optional sentry piece. While not only quick to draw, reholstering is also fairly seamless, a big advantage over the 070 )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Shoulder Holsters:

Top Row:

1. Desantis 011-C9 - HK USP .45 (I think)
(This was my first shoulder holster. Picked it up in the bargain bin at a local shop. It didn't even have a mag pouch for the opposite side, so the store owner pulled one off another rig, which is why the mag pouch is black. For the longest time, didn't know what gun it was made for, but it seemed to fit just about everything. Holsters and mag pouches have snaps to attach them to the shoulder rig. Also, the mag pouch has snaps on all 4 sides so you can position it with mags facing downward or forward. I always thought facing forward was more natural, just like the gun is positioned. The wide strap for the gun shoulder is wide and comfortable. The negative is that there is only a single strap across the back which goes across the back along the neck. As the weight of the gun pulls forward, you can feel the pulling against the neck, which is very uncomfortable for me.)
2. Pro Bond R301 - 1911
(Picked this up off a local member on this sight in my very brief "I'll carry a 1911" phase. A decent holster, with decent pricing and was readily available. It has the more common cross straps across the back, which is more comfortable than the single strap.)

Bottom Row:
1. Galco Miami Classic - 1911
(Previously belonged to a friend of mine. He also added the double column mag pouch for his LDA. This is probably the most popular shoulder holster, based on the original "jackass" shoulder holster system made popular by the TV show Miami Vice. It is a quality holster and works pretty well. They are a bit pricey, and currently are listed on Galco's site for about $200)
2. KL Null Upside Down Shoulder Holster - Sig P229
(I always liked the concept of an upside down shoulder holster. I remember Robert Culp using one in The Greatest American Hero. I thought it would be more concealable than a horizontal, but faster access than a traditional vertical. This model is supposedly designed to support guns with suppressors. The holster is very minimalist and concealable. However, the draw is unusual in that you need to lift the gun up and twist it to undo the snap.)
3. Bianchi X2000 Phantom - 1911
(Another pickup from the bargain bin. This holster was in new condition when I got it and was used quite a bit, although mostly range time. This is a vertical holster with a break front design. It uses elastic straps to go across the back on to the other arm. While it is a lot less material, it doesn't offer the ability to carry any magazines or accessories under the opposite side. The holster itself is rather thick and bulky. The holster secures to the belt via a wide leather strap incorporated into the holster. One thing you don't want to use with this rig is a 1911 with front cocking serrations. Makes for a very rough draw and will grate leather as it passes through the break front opening)
4. Aker 101A - HK USPc
(This holster is almost identical to the Pro Bond holster mentioned about. So much in fact I suspect they are built in the same place)

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Alternative Carry:

Top Row:

1. Unknown Fanny Pack
(I bought this off a friend immediately after he won it at a shooting competition. I had this pouch many years before I had my CCW, and although I used it quite a bit, it didn't include carrying a firearm. This particular model does have adjustable straps with Velcro on the inside to be configured as a holster to hold the gun. The down side of this pouch is that it doesn't have "break away" zippers, so you would have to unzip the pouch to access the firearm)
2. Coronado leather Fanny Pack
(This is the model I choose to use on those rare occasions a fanny pack is needed. It has a dedicated gun compartment, but now holster or straps. However the compartment is perfectly sized for a small to medium framed gun, so the gun doesn't move around much. Also, it has break away zippers in the gun pouch, so all you need to do is grab the leather tab, or corner of the pouch with your weak hand and pull down to expose the gun. It unzips just enough to get good access to the gun grip, but not so much that the gun would come falling out. A nice well made unit and attractive piece in my opinion)

Middle Row:
1. Gould & Goodrich B716 Ankle Holster - GLOCK 27
(I've only had a couple ankle holsters, and to be honest I just don't like them. I find the weight on my ankle very distracting, even if carrying a lightweight J frame. This holster is very bulky to begin with, coupled with the weight of a G27, it's just too much for me. The leather strap is wide and would need to be cinched up tight to hold the gun.)
2. DeSantis G2 Ankle Holster - J Frame
(This one I have worn a few times, but still was uncomfortable with the added weight on my ankle, even with the lightweight 642. A decent holster, this one has an elastic strap which you could cinch up tight without cutting off circulation. I experimented with ankle holsters for that rare dress-up tucked in shirt option. Now that I have a smart carry, I don't bother with Ankle holsters anymore)
3. Tactipac FusionPac holster - small frame GLOCK
(This is an interesting design, basically a holster with it's own belt. I was attempting to find a holster to wear under a tucked in shirt, without having to use a tuckable style holster. This fits the bill pretty well. It features an elastic wrap around belt. I would have liked the elastic to be a bit more robust. Wearing under a belt is OK, but it you want to use under sweatpants, you're going to really want to cinch it up. Also, I remember the turnaround time to be much longer than I would have thought.)

Bottom Row:
1. Smart Carry - Springfield XDs
(I had been reading about these holsters for years, and resisted buying one, for reasons now I can't even remember. Now when I need to dress up, this is my go to holster. When I say dress up, I'm usually talking suit - for business casual, I'll typically defer to my RKBA pocket holster. This holster was originally ordered for my XDs, but after it got sent off to recall land, I began using it for my P938. Admittedly, the pouch is a little big for the P938. Being I've lost a bit of weight, I'll eventually need to replace it with a smaller waist size model, which I will order specifically for the P938.)
2. Flash Bang Holster - J Frame
(I ordered this as a present for the wife. We tried fitting it to her but it was either uncomfortable, printed too much, or both. Saw the women modeling it on the web site, and it seemed to work for them. I guess looser shirts are needed to make this work.)

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

These are a few holsters that I came across after the photo shoot.

Top Row:
1. Nick Mathews IWB dual loop - 1911
2. Bianchi ?? - S&W L Frame revolver
( A nylon holster that is actually fitted to the gun quite well. The downside is the belt loops are on the weak side allowing the holster to flop. )
3. Uncle Mikes SideKick IWB
( Very flimsy holster, with a weak plastic clip. )

Bottom Row:
1. Uncle Mikes Sidekick Paddle Holster
( This came with one of my used gun purchases. Never had occasion to use it )
2. DeSantis 024 - PPK / PPKs
( Quick note on this holster, the clip is different than all my other DeSantis holsters in the under locking piece is on the outside of the clip. I suspect this is not as good of a design. This holster is new in wrap, so I've never tried it, don't have a PPK )
3. DeSantis Very Deep IWB suede - J Frame
4. DeSantis Very Deep IWB -soft leather J Frame
( These two holsters allow the gun to ride below the belt line, so you could go it with a tucked shirt. I did on occasion use the suede one some time back and it worked OK. I just found it very uncomfortable when sitting. )

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Race Holsters:

I know these aren't really good for carry, but it completes the collection. I hope you don't mind.

No reviews on these, as they're not really carry holsters. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on these.

Top Row:
1. CR Speed Holster -1911 5"-7" adjustable
(my wife's "race" rig)
2. Bianchi Hemisphere Holster - 5" 1911 + Comp
3. Bianchi Hemisphere Holster - 5" 1911 + Comp
( Shown with custom insert I made to hold a standard 5" 1911 without compensator. One rig is setup for single stack, the other is for wide body 1911s )

Bottom Row:
1. CR Speed Holster - GLOCK small frame
2. Ernie Hill Jet Holster - 5" 1911 + Comp
3. Safariland 008 - 5" 1911
4. Safariland 008 - 5" 1911 + Comp + Scope Mount
5. Safariland 008 - Springfield P9 (CZ75 clone) + Comp + Scope Mount.

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22,879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Pocket Holsters

Top Row:
1. RKBA Holsters Revolver Pocket - J Frame Left Hand
2. RKBA Holsters Flat Bottom Pocket - Sig P938 Right Hand
( Of the limited number of pocket holsters I've used, these are my favorite pocket holsters. The P938 holster being the most recent, while the J Frame holster was the second pocket holster I got. The holsters hold the gun on the looser side, which to me is a plus for a pocket holster. They seem to fit my pockets really well, and the leather has a bit of flex which really makes them comfortable. Between the looser fit and the outside hooks, the holster has virtually no chance of coming out with the gun. In fact, it's an effort to get the holster out of the pants, usually requiring the removal of the gun first. The holsters have a bend to them, so they are specific to right hand or left hand. I am a right handed pistol shooter, but am left eye dominant and as of 4 years ago a left handed long gun shooter. I originally went for left handed pocket holsters, thinking if I ever used the pocket gun as a back up, it should be left hand accessible, with the primary gun being more right hand accessible. My circumstances never had me carrying more than one gun at a time, so just recently I switched to right pocket carry, which is why my older one is a left handed model, the newer a right handed model. Also of note, these holsters are very reasonably priced, $36 and ship in 2 to 4 weeks. I received emails when I placed the order, when they started work on it, and when it shipped, which is a really nice touch. )
3. TT Gunleather Pocket Holster - Springfield XDs Right Handed
( This is an exquisite holster, and the leather work far exceeds any other pocket holster in the picture. The holster is pretty stable in my pockets, but not quite as much as the wider foot print RKBA holster. There are no pronounced offset hooks to secure the holster in the pocket, instead there is a sewn in thumb ledge that allows you to push the holster downward on the draw. Failure to use this ledge, could result in drawing the holster in looser pocketed pants such a Khakis. Pricing not too bad for a holster of this quality, but turnaround times can be a few months, as can be expected for premium leather. )

Middle Row:
1. Alabama Holster Front Pocket Holster - HK P2000SK Left Handed
( This is an economical and effective kydex pocket holster. Very reasonably priced and mine shipped fairly quickly. It is very stable, considering the P2000SK is a bit on the large and heavy side for a pocket carry. I got this before the XDs or P938 existed, where I wanted something more for carry than a J Frame. It actually worked pretty well in khaki pants, but not so well in the thinner full dress pants, based on the size of the gun, not the holster itself. The holster is pre-bent and has a thumb ledge to push off of when drawing the gun, making it left / right hand specific. If you fail to use the thumb ledge, it is still unlikely to pull the holster out with the gun, but it will lift up some on the draw. )
2. pocket / wallet holster - Springfield XDs
( This holster has a flat panel that goes towards the outside of the pocket give the same exact footprint as a wallet. The leather is on the thick side, so having that extra leather piece does make the holster on the thick side. Also, being the outer piece is completely covering an XDs, it is a bit on the large size. Note, according to the web site, this holster is designed for rear pocket carry. Even so, I can't fit this holster in some of my pants pockets, including the rear ones. Also, not sure I like the idea of sitting on the gun. Heck, I try to minimize when I have to sit on my wallet. As for retention, when you draw the gun, the flap hinges away from the holster, allowing it to grab solid in the pocket ensure the holster doesn't come out on the draw. I think this is a bit much for the XDs, and that this holster is better suited to smaller guns like the LCP or similar. )
3. Don Hume Front Pocket #3-2 - J Frame Right of Left hand.
( An economical leather offering from Don Hume, which is typically a stocking item. In the brief time I used this holster, I felt the gun shifted in the pocket more than I would like. The hooks are on the small side and there isn't a push off ledge. Also, the holster is smooth on both sides, making it slippery. I've found it is very easy to draw the holster when drawing the gun. Note: The previously review pocket holsters are all rough on the inside giving it a little more friction to hold with in the pocket. For an economical holster, the boning and the finish are quite nice on this holster. )

Bottom Row:
1. DeSantis Super-Fly - J Frame right or left hand.
( This is an excellent pocket holster from DeSantis, made out of a super tacky material. This material will adhere very well to the inside of a pocket making it very unlikely to come out with the draw. So tacky, the intentionally removing the holster can be a chore. There is a flap under the trigger guard that adds stability, and it's soft so it can bend to either side depending on what pocket you are using. There is additional flap to help break up the outline of the gun, and it's attached by Velcro so that can be moved to either side based on what hand you are carrying for. Another option is to remove it entirely, as the added bulk does not warrant any benefit it shows to have for concealability. I only installed it for the picture. I found mine NIB on eBay and ready to ship, so turnaround time is immediate and price was reasonable. )
2. DeSantis Nemisis - J Frame
3. DeSantis Nemisis - G23 and similar
( This is a long time staple for pocket holsters. A very popular choice, around for many years. It uses a rough surface to secure the gun in the pocket. It works reasonably well, but depending on how loose the pockets and how tight the gun, it is possible this could come out on the draw. A very common holster, reasonably priced and ready to ship. In my opinion, for a few dollars more the Super-Fly is a better option from the same company. Unless of course, you have need to place and remove the holster throughout the day, than this may be a better option. )
4. Ahern Pocket Holster - G27
( I received this as a gift not too long ago. I have only tried it out at home, but never worn it out and about. It's a very soft holster with a very loose fit. The leather is rough on the outside on both sides of the holster. There are no pronounce hooks, or is there a thumb ledge, but between the rough texture and loose fit, it would seem to me it would stay in place on the draw. I have no info on availability or turnaround times for this particular model. )

· Registered
2,928 Posts
Bless you
That is SOME collection.
I feel almost ashamed to say i have ONLY three holsters and one fanny pack.
I have returned or traded probably a dozen assorted, fobus, kydex, shoulder, and one IWB.

I would love to wear an IWB, but, you might say my muffin top gets in the way.

· NRA & SAF mbr
6,397 Posts
Holy smokes! Impressive collection and an impressive effort at reviewing them. I didn't even read any of it (yet). But, wow!

My first holster was a CBST. I've bought several since (maybe a half-dozen), and I keep going back to the first one (CBST).

Funny how we become gear-freaks, though. I have a Spyderco "problem." I also have an ammo "problem." I can't afford my gun "problem." Well... I've got a nice little collection, but my wish list is long!

Fun post / thread!
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