Here at The Hungry Handgunner, we like guns. We like shooting guns. We definitely prefer to carry a gun. Which makes holsters kind of an important discussion point. How comfortable they are, how easily they can be concealed, cost, durability…. those get discussed ad nauseum. But what about safety? Think back. When’s the last time you and your buddies talked about an unsafe holster? Do you know of any? You will after this article.
Sometimes a design comes along that just makes sense. Ergonomics are great, the holster is molded to specific models. It’s affordable, comes with a multitude of mounting options, can be found at Wal-Mart and other common establishments. But what if I told you, people started shooting themselves drawing from this holster? What if I told you that if you took a hard fall on your gun, or got grit in it, that the weapons retention system could, and has, locked up, making your sidearm stuck fast? You may have guessed, but this is the SERPA, by Blackhawk that I’m speaking of. I carried one, both for work in the Navy, and off duty as a civilian. I personally never had any issues with mine. But…. a quick google search will reveal a startling amount of bad news when it comes to these. If you are dead set on a holster with retention, the Safariland with the ALS lock is a great alternative.
Now that we got the SERPA out of the way…. there are some terrible holster designs floating around. So many, in fact, that I started compiling a list of each make and model and quickly abandoned the idea. If I list out some “must haves” on a holster they would all be disqualified quickly, so we will go that route.
- A holster needs to cover the ENTIRE trigger of your firearm. If something can get between your holster and trigger, you have a ready made negligent discharge waiting to happen.
- A holster needs to be secure. It needs to stay on until you want to take it off. A good belt helps with this, but holster design is also paramount.
- If you are regularly exposing the muzzle of your sidearm to mud or other potential barrel obstructions, it would be a good idea to have a holster which protects against this.
- Some level of retention is necessary. I don’t think every holster should have a thumb snap or anything like that, but it needs to hold your firearm securely enough so that your sidearm will not just fall out if you bend the wrong way, etc.
- Nothing on the holster should be poking the trigger. If you have a leather holster, and it’s worn out, watch for this. If it has a thumb break strap, watch for this. You could very easily have a bad situation waiting to happen.
So, what do I recommend? I personally am a big fan of Kydex holsters, of varying styles. I have an appendix holster for my M&P Shield by Gearcraft that is outstanding. I have an outside the waistband holster for my CZ P-09 Urban Grey from Black Rhino Concealment. (Veteran owned company) I also have used Alien Gear’s hybrid design for carrying my Glock 19 for going on 3 years, without fail or issue. Links to these manufacturers are below.
We all spend a great deal of time selecting our carry guns. It is my opinion we should put the same energy into how we carry them and what is keeping them accessible and secure. Thanks for reading!