Concealed Carry - Best Holster


October 29, 2007, 12:59 AM
I currently own a Glock G19 with an XD 45 Compact (4" barrel) on order. Sometimes, I'm going to want to conceal. I've done some research and the many choices are confusing. Many people prefer IWB like Crossbreed or HighNoon Split Decision or Comp-Tac, others like OWB models from various manufacturers. I need some expertise.

All things considered, how do you guys weigh in? Does body type/build help determine the best solution?

Please list your recommended choices for both IWB and OWB as well a brief reason for your decision.

Much appreciated!

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October 29, 2007, 02:16 AM
Welcome to the forum...

You see so many different opinions about holsters because carrying comfortably is a very personal thing. As a matter of fact carrying one pistol a certain way might not appeal to you with a different pistol. If you are like most of us within a few years you will have a large collection of many different holsters and finally put them up for sale.

I carry a J frame revolver and prefer front pocket carry. When in the woods I carry a 4" .357 Magnum in a DeSantis Scabbard holster. I have MANY holsters I liked when bought but I seem to find their way into the box in the closet.

First, decide the method of carry that's most comfortable to YOU.
Second, find a quality holster that will fill that choice.
Last but not least, if you belt carry make sure you get yourself a good belt. A good belt is key to carrying comfortably.

There are countless quality holster makers around, some with reasonable prices, some not so reasonable. I've found that DeSantis ( and Don Hume ( make quality products for a fair price.

October 29, 2007, 02:33 AM
like mentioned above I have several for each gun in my closet.I would suggest going to your dealer when your xd comes in and trying some on with both guns.I have tried on probably every holster at my dealers and still haven't found the magic one

October 29, 2007, 02:41 AM
First of all, get a sturdy box. You'll need it to store all the hoslters you'll end up with, I did.

I tried lots of different ones; IWB, OWB, kydex, leather, cant, no cant. I settled on a VMII because it just felt better to me.

Good luck on your search.

October 29, 2007, 02:52 AM
I've been thinking about how to answer your query and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to answer it satisfactorily, but I'll try.

It is not so much a question of IWB or OWB as it is a question of wardrobe, habits, environment and build as well as other factors.

You have to look at what you will be wearing when you are carrying and what will it cover. It may be that you will have several holsters that you alternate between to meet what you are wearing at the time.

Personally I alternate between a pair of Galcos, one is a small of the back and the other is an avenger. Both are OWB, but then my wardrobe usually allows for something to hang down the couple of inches that both of these extend down below my belt. The differences in them for me is that the SOB centers the weight on my belt better, allowing me to carry with greater comfort (and we are talking about a full size 1911) for longer periods of time and I can present faster from the SOB than I can from the Avenger (perhaps a bit of an anomaly but that's me). The Avenger offers me a bit more security for crowded areas because I can very casually hold my elbow on it and prevent any but the most determined person from putting their hands on it.

I will likely be adding an IWB to the pair though as both of them, while comfortable and secure as well as easy to get to, require a wardrobe that allows something to hang over the top of them and my movements have to be restricted enough so as to not pull up on the garment revealing the muzzle. An IWB would resolve that, but it would be a trifle more difficult to present from. I'd also need to ensure that my waistbands were a bit more relaxed as well. the IWB model that most appeals to me is another Galco, the NSA II. I like it because the belt clip is less conspicuous than the others and since it is off the center line of the gun, adds less bulk.

Those are what works for me and why, but you will have to look at what you wear and how you wear it before you can take into account what might work for you.

October 29, 2007, 02:57 AM
First of all, get a sturdy box. You'll need it to store all the hoslters you'll end up with, I did.

good tip my cardbord box has seen its better days

October 29, 2007, 03:01 AM
I carry my 642 & 442 in a DeSantis Nemisis pocket holster, Alsi have a Galco IWB for them too. My Glock 26 rides IWB in a Uncle Mike s Skdekick, I used to have a Galco for it too but the velcro irritated me. My Glock 19 has been currently riding in a Paddle holster OWB but is very easily concealed with a loh gshirt or jacket. And my Ultra Kimber is looking for a new holster.

Holsters are to guns like purses & shoes are to women there is no right or wrong just what suits your fancy and works best with what you're wearing.

Ala Dan
October 29, 2007, 07:13 AM
IWB: John Bianchi model 6 worn inside the pants, with belt clip over your
pants and underneath your belt. I've used one on Johns all leather 6's
since 1975; and it holds up really well under constant use. All of my S&W
J-frame revolvers are carried in this same, original holster.

IWB: Kirkpatrick Compact Undercover Rig- when carrying my .45 ACP's. A
well made, custom holster designed to fit your firearm. Quality at an afford-
able price. + nice persons too do business with~! ;) :D

October 29, 2007, 07:41 AM
For my 4" XD45 Service, I chose the Max Con V by Brommeland Gunleather. This is a super comfortable IWB holster. It is well made and the price was reasonable when compared to other custom holsters.

October 29, 2007, 08:17 AM
I tried about a dozen before I got a Milt Sparks VM2. It is all I use now and ordered another one for a different gun. :)

October 29, 2007, 08:42 AM
+1 on the VMII.

October 29, 2007, 09:38 AM
Comp-Tac Minotaur aka MTAC.

-Very comfortable IWB.
-Reasonably priced ($80)
-You get it FAST!! (ordered mine 2 weeks ago, arrived 6 days after ordering)
- You can buy additional bodies for $35 (I have 2 XD's and a Sig p220, bought the XD "slide" body which takes different length barrels and the Sig Body). Holster for 3 guns: $115.

I went with the "C" clips and love it. very comfortable holster.

October 29, 2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks a lot guys. I'm trying to not go through a dozen prior to finding one I like. Are the Hume 715 or the High Noon Split Decisions any good? The prices are right
Keep the recommendations coming.

October 29, 2007, 03:03 PM
Both are nice IWB holsters. I carrry a P95 in the Hume IWB and haven't found a need to look any further.


October 29, 2007, 03:37 PM
I own a M&P which is similar in size/ shape to both Glocks and XD's. I have several options and normally carry in either my fobus OWB kydex paddle or my Uncle Mikes IWB size 5. They are both cheap holsters but have performed very well. I the Uncle Mikes works phenomenally well for me. I know most people bash the cheap holsters but for me they work. So what I have to say is that start with the cheap stuff you might get luck and if nothing else it will give you an idea on the TYPE of holster that will work with you.

October 29, 2007, 05:04 PM
For flexibility, take a look at the FIST Kydex adjustable holsters. Most flexible is their tuckable IWB, which I USUALLY wear outside the shirt, but can tuck a shirt over for those occasions when I don't have another cover garment. The adjustable model lets you set the cant continuously from forward to backward (for cross draw) with nothing more than a coin to loosen and tighten the locking screws. You also have a choice of belt attachment options (something like 8 of 'em). Be sure to order the ($5) Body Protector option, though, or you'll be wearing the back end of the slide in your side all the time.

The kydex is quite thin, so it adds very little width to the gun, although the tuckable mechanism does add some thickness that a non-tuckable model wouldn't - the price of the flexibility it offers.

Mine was delivered in a couple of weeks. It's probably not the cheapest holster out there (although there are a lot that are a LOT more expensive) but it will let you fool around with different settings to see what works best for you, which may reduce the number of other holsters you'll buy in your search for carry perfection. Eventually, if you decide you want something different you may have a better idea of just exactly what it is that you DO want.

Wayne G.
October 30, 2007, 11:09 AM
I'm 6'1 and 185 lbs. ~32" waist. I use IWB exclusively (around the 4:00 position) w/ forward cant. I have no problems with IWB. I've carried all of the pistols/rigs below at various times with nothing more than a pair of shorts and untucked t-shirt and had no problems with printing.

I've got:

(Leather) Milt Sparks SSII for 5" 1911
(Leather) Milt Sparks VMII for Sig P220 Carry SAS
(Kydex) BladeTech IWB (dual loop) for XD45 service model
(Kydex) Quick Cover IWB from Custom Carry Concepts for Steyr M9A1

All of these holsters have sweatguards (or shirtguards if you will). That is an important feature for me.

October 31, 2007, 02:54 AM
Are the Hume 715 or the High Noon Split Decisions any good?
Like I said in my first post, DeSantis and Don Hume are quality products for a reasonable price. That Don Hume is a good place to start and if you don't like it you didn't spend a lot.

After going through many different brands and types I own only DeSantis, Don Hume and pocket & IWB holsters from Mika. Mika's holsters ( are not pretty but they work very well. You should look at his IWB Holster ( before you buy. I'm also very fond of the DeSantis Speed Scabbard ( holsters. for my 3" and 4" revolvers.

October 31, 2007, 09:59 AM
I carry an XD-40 Service in one of two holsters. The most comfortable of the two is my Fist Basic #12 OWB pancake holster. It holds the gun tight enough to my body that I can conceal easily with an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt. I can wear it from the time I get up until the time I go to bed with minimal fatigue.

I also have a CrossBreed SuperTuck IWB. It is extremely comfortable for an IWB, but I do get tired of wearing it after about 8 hours. I don't think there is an IWB in existence that can make stuffing a 2 pound gun down your pants truly comfortable, but the SuperTuck makes a good stab at it. There are three main things I like about this holster: It's thin. There is leather between you and the gun, which helps with both sweat and comfort. It's very adjustable.

October 31, 2007, 10:18 AM
welcome to THR, it is really what ever feels best for you. i have several different guns that i carry and different carry options in the future. check out don hume they make great stuff. i have a open top leather padel that is great which carries my Khar k-40 and i plan to get another in the future to use with the xdsc. for the xdsc i now have a kydex iwb, as well i have a galco shoulder holster set up for carrying either the xd service or the sc.

there are lots of good makers out there, i prefer paddle to belt and i prefer owb to iwb.

EOD Guy in VA
November 2, 2007, 12:27 AM
I use the Blade-Tech UCH for all my carry pistols. Why? ... Quality construction, thin, durable, adjustable retention, adjustable cant, able to tuck in a shirt, keeps moisture away from pistol, easy re-holstering, keeps hammer from digging into my side, can be cleaned with simple soap & water, no creaking leather when you move, should last a lifetime, great customer support, and probably some more I forgot

chris in va
November 2, 2007, 12:36 AM
Oh man, you're going to get a thousand different answers. I've certainly got a pile of holsters sitting in a box.

Couple things to find out. First, how strict are the CC laws in your state? Will 'printing' cause panic among the masses and land you behind bars, or can you open carry there as well. Will you be wearing primarily t-shirts or heavy jackets? Do you like having some sort of retention, or a quick draw?

Lots of stuff to ponder. I have a few different CC guns, so each holster is different. Currently I have my Sig 22O in a decent OWB with thumb snap. Sometimes I like it in my Blackhawk with retention device. Deeper concealment, the P11 with factory belt clip.

But really a decent all-purpose holster for concealment with jacket is a good leather OWB. They fit close to the body and feel decent enough when carrying.

November 2, 2007, 12:58 AM
This is to subjective. I recommend Milt Sparks but the waiting time is a long one.

November 7, 2007, 08:50 PM
Tried them all. Very happy with my crossbreed and my Comptac CTAC. Both IWB and tuckable as well as slim.

November 7, 2007, 10:26 PM
I like a fobus, or a blackhawk.

November 7, 2007, 10:28 PM
fobus or blackhawk paddle holsters, I like to be able to remove the whole rig when I enter a place where ccw isn't allowed without taking off my belt and all.

November 7, 2007, 11:44 PM
Here is my new IWB

I was split between Versa Max 2(which has an incredible reputation) and the one I purchased. The reason I did not go with the VM2 was because
1. They are local and for a first concealed holster it was important for me to be able to have someone to talk to to get used to this type of carry.
2. Cost of the Milt Sparks was about $50 more once you get the extra clips, these were included with the Blocker holster.
3. The wait was 4 weeks longer.
4. The metal clips are virtually invisible.

The cant of this holster is adjustable, but they set it up for me in the shop and I have had no need to adjust it. I was wearing it the first night I got it around the house when my mother in-law came over. She didn't notice it till I mentioned it because it sits so deep.

In the future I plan on getting a smart carry holster for the M&P as well and a S&W J Frame 638 with a pocket holster. That should cover my needs in any weather.

EOD Guy in VA
November 14, 2007, 03:13 AM
I use the Blade-Tech UCH for all my carry pistols. Why? ... Quality construction, thin, durable, adjustable retention, adjustable cant, able to tuck in a shirt, keeps moisture away from pistol, easy re-holstering, keeps hammer from digging into my side, can be cleaned with simple soap & water, no creaking leather when you move, should last a lifetime, great customer support, and probably some more I forgot

Tom Fury
November 14, 2007, 03:58 AM
If you're a beefy guy, I can't think of anything more uncomfortable than a Glock in a IWB (I'm not, and personally say the same thing for myself).
I know you're getting lots of opinions, but I would not choose to carry a Glock IWB as I would find it uncomfortable; and I believe that maximum concealeability involves choosing a system that lets you almost forget the gun is there, and not betraying the fact you're carrying by any "tells" from adjusting constantly to avoid discomfort.
Many carry aficianados also recommend if you're going to the IWB that you buy your slacks a waist size larger to accommodate. I'm echoing what someone pointed out; buying clothes to accommodate your concealed carry lifestyle requires some thinking (I don't buy short Ike or golf style jackets anymore; all belts are chosen just a little thicker, and wider to accommodate holsters; I also have a couple of very dressy holsters and mag pouches).
I sometimes carry a Commander in a Milt Sparks Summer Special IWB and have a few pair of pants like this.
I like Don Hume JIT's, De Santis speed scabbards and Galco Concealeables. I also own Alessi (DOJ), El Paso (Street Combat) and Bianchi (Avenger). I prefer OWB, and keep a Galco shoulder holster (Miami Classic for winter) I really like pancake, or Avenger style with some rake, and the sweat flaps some makers feature.
Have you tried ebay as a source for some of these named holsters? I say this because there are some excellent designs that aren't made like they used to that still show up there (Bianchi Avengers come to mind) and some of the custom guys' stuff that if you buy on ebay you can miss out the waiting period.

Cheers, TF

November 15, 2007, 06:46 PM
Very fond of Nate is a good guy and does quality work.

Steve B.
November 16, 2007, 10:53 PM
Any quality holster similar to the Sparks VMII would get my vote. The Watch Six is cheaper and actually thinner than the VMII. I have a Watch Six for my Glock 26 and a VMII for my Kimber 1911 4". Both are great.

November 16, 2007, 11:23 PM
All good suggestions. I have a Fobus paddle that I like because I can clip and unclip and it is comfortable. Only necessary to have a "cover shirt". The unbuttoned collared shirt works well. Unbuttoned Hawaiian shirts can be great cover, and they scream "I'm not carrying a gun" which can be helpful. I also have a Hume pancake holster for my 1911 and a kydex IWB that I use rarely for that. As stated above, it depends on what you need. Now, here's where I will probably incur some slaps, but this works great for me. I work at a place that is business casual. So, no untucked shirts or true cover garments would work and they would look silly and bring more attention than you need when you are trying to carry. So (man, I'm gonna suffer for this) I bought a Kangaroo belly band. Originally, I bought it for my Taurus five round .357 but found my Glock 23 works really well in it (a thought for the XD if you need to carry this way). It has an elastic over the shoulder support and isn't too uncomfortable as long as you aren't too heavy (it can roll up if you have a belly, I'm told). It's a matter of what is comfortable for you. I have a friend that cannot stand to where a belly band. I just love being able to carry a larger handgun and not carry on the waistband. I'm currently sizing up the Galco X project as a more serious contender for this, but it doesn't seem to actually be designed for that and I'm still a little confused by the rig, I hate to admit.

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