There are several types of concealed carry gun holster on today’s market. Generally, what determines the type of gun belt clip is personal preference. To help gun owners make informed concealed carry decisions, this article features a general guide, explaining different holsters and accessories.
- Clips – Techna Clip offers an easy to conceal, comfortable clip that is easy to install, does not add extra bulk and allows gun carriers to conceal their gun anywhere they can clip it. They offer several gun belt clips, including the Sig P238 gun clip, Ruger LC9 belt clip and several other popular models including the Glock, Smith & Wesson, Springfield and nine soon-to-be introduced models.
- Belt Holsters – These types of holsters mount to belts’ slots or loops. While these offer good concealment, they do draw attention to a strange looking hip bulge. Belt holsters are made of leather, nylon or plastic. Leather requires a longer break in time, but ultimately offers slightly better concealment. To keep guns securely in holsters, there are several commonly used methods: tension screw, thumb break, ALS lock, Serpa lock and a rotating hood. Several belt holsters have repeatedly caused accidental discharges due to the location of the release button. The Blackhawk Sepra has been restricted from several shooting schools and policy academies due to these issues. Some belt holsters are not petite friendly, which puts shorter people at a disadvantage when using a higher gun. Additionally, people with inflexible shoulders may have more difficulties accessing their guns in emergencies.
- Inside the Waistband Holsters – These offer more concealment than standard belt holsters. Available in nylon, plastic and leather, leather is the most secure, but offers a slower drawing time. Plastic is fast to draw, but is also the least secure. Some of the waistband holders are designed to tuck into shirts, making them even easier to conceal with baggy clothing.
- Pocket Carry – Traditional pocket holsters keep the gun securely intact and help cover the trigger guard to prevent accidental discharges. Some of these even offer additional space for extra ammunition.
- Fanny Packs – Generally out of style, fanny packs used to be popular in the 80s and early 90s. Drawing a weapon from a fanny pack requires two hands and is a slow process. In fact, in studies that compare real holster wear versus fanny packs, the latter has a longer draw time.
- Ankle Holsters – Ankle holsters require two hands, as they require one hand to roll up pant legs and another to grab the pistol. There are few sufficient ankle holsters and they generally work best with lightweight gun models.
- Shoulder Holsters – Most firearm trainers opt not to use shoulder holsters, as they are uncomfortable, bulky and not easy to conceal.
Each gun requires a different style of holster. It’s important for concealed gun owners to determine which type of holster best fits their individual gun, physical frame, reach and is comfortable for all-day wear.