Is there any practical role for nylon holsters?


Bartholomew Roberts
February 24, 2008, 03:28 PM
When I first started carrying a pistol, I used to carry "Mexican" style. This works well enough, though I did end up with the pistol down the pants result several times. I eventually decided to by an "Assault Systems" nylon holster (pretty high speed, eh?).

To my surprise, it was worse than Mexican carry in a lot of ways. The pistol not secure without a thumbstrap and with a thumbstrap, the fit was not ideal as it was a "one-size-fits-all" holster. Not only that but instead of the pistol ending up in the pants, the nylon holster tended to dump it out on the ground. It also had the butt of the pistol constantly shifting position.

I then gradually made the switch to better holsters (mostly leather and kydex) and ended up very happy with Milt Sparks.

Today, I saw a post discussing nylon holsters and I started thinking "Why would you ever want one of those? Do they have any role at all for anyone who is serious about carrying a pistol?"

About the only role I could think of was for certain military applications. I have a Tactical Tailor nylon holster on a chest rig and while it still has many of the problems common to nylon holsters, it does serve a particular niche role there better than any of the other solutions I have seen. Am I being too hard on the nylon holster? Is it better than nothing?

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February 24, 2008, 03:32 PM
I like nylon holsters only for securing my loaded guns in the house. They keep the trigger covered yet still allow easy access. Makes for an additional layer of safety moving from safe to nightstand etc. They also don't hold moisture like leather.

Other then that I cannot see a use for them in a carry role short of military or police.


February 24, 2008, 03:36 PM
I used to buy them cheap on e-bay in the old days. Now the only non-leather holsters I ever use for carry is pocket holsters. Even at the range. I use my old nylon ones for storage to keep them from getting scratched. I have some with a spare mag pocket and sometimes I store a HD weapon with a reload in one of them.

February 24, 2008, 03:48 PM
People on extremely tight budgets use them. I used an Uncle Mikes pancake rig for several years before I got my Galco HiJak for my Witness 40. That nylon rig worked quite well, but the leather worked better. :)

February 24, 2008, 03:52 PM
I use a Blackhawk nylon belt slide. It is a universal holster and is VERY universal. I've carried everything from my Kel Tec P3AT to my Raging Bull .454.

February 24, 2008, 04:05 PM
*shrug* I have a "cheapo" nylon holster that I use for (about) 4 o'clock carry. Bought it at Scheel's Sporting Goods for my Taurus PT111. Never had a problem with anything falling out, and the only shifting occurs when I push the gun about - it grabs firm pretty well. The angle at which it sits will change a bit by, say, 15 degrees total, but that's just fine - that angle change makes it a hell of a lot more comfortable, as the same angle is not comfortable while standing as when sitting.

I'm 6'2" and as skinny as a bean pole, and I can run, jump around rocks, crawl under desks (part of the work I do), and what have you without the gun becoming much more than an outline (provided I'm wearing the right kind of clothes).

It's my 3rd holster. 1st was an Uncle Mike's; 2nd was the same kind of cheap nylon holster I've got now; and third was this holster. The first two wore out over the past 4 or so years.

Oh yeah, and leather against sweaty skin starts to stink on a warm day, particularly when it's warm day #2 or #3 in a row!

ETA: Oh yeah, the holster I've got looks almost identical to this, just take off both of the straps and it'd be the same:;jsessionid=OSFE0HHJYVIFTLAQBBKCCN3MCAEFKIWE?id=0054356229126a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0340703&cm_ite=0054356229126a&_requestid=54007 It's held in the holster by a combination of the tension of the holster design and the belt.

February 24, 2008, 04:52 PM
Especially for CCW, I think it's a rite of passage that many pass, before they realize that if they spend a couple of extra bucks for better gear, their lives will drastically improve. :)

I open carried a .357 S&W when camping/shooting in an Uncle Mikes nylon holster. It had a velcro strap for retention and since it was dusty and dirty, I didn't have to worry about ruining an expensive kydex rig or a finely crafted leather setup. When I first carried concealed, I did so in an open top IWB no-name holster with my Makarov, carried cross-draw style. It was pretty uncomfortable, but better than no holster at all. Not sure if it counts in the same category, but I still use a nylon belly band when a situation dictates it.

February 24, 2008, 05:26 PM
I use an old no IWB name nylon holster (sans clip) to pocket carry my 638. it keeps lint/dirt out of my revolver and breaks up the shape pretty well.

Ohh ya Trempel the above mentioned nylon holster was purchased for my makarov also:) I have since graduated to leather belt slide holsters for most of my CCW needs!

February 24, 2008, 05:34 PM
I use nylon holsters primarily in the truck. Clip it to the middle seat belt throw a newspaper fat food bag or similar over it. Secure in a hard stop, handy and hidden. Thts bout all I use em for.

A man with a gun!
February 24, 2008, 07:42 PM
I use a covered military style Binanchi holster attached to my back pack.

It's absolutely perfect for keeping those pesky Manzanita stick, twigs and leaves out of my pistol when scrambling through the brush. And since it's covered, I don't have to worry if my pistol is going to be there or missing next time I check. It positively stays put and keeps it dry!

For that, I love nylon!

The Lone Haranguer
February 25, 2008, 12:53 AM
I then gradually made the switch to better holsters (mostly leather and kydex) and ended up very happy with Milt Sparks.
Something to use until you can get your Milt Sparks? Those are taking over six months now.

I too find little use for what another member calls "cloth-and-sponge pouches" - they are better than nothing at all, but not much. Some nylons are better than others, e.g., Bianchi AccuMold.

Although they are of soft leather and a nuisance to get the gun into, the Mister Softy or Bare Asset IWBs from High Noon will at least hold the gun.

February 25, 2008, 03:01 AM
I carry my 1911 in a nylon IWB with no problems.
It's secure, and I can get to it easily if I ever need to.
Now having said that, I would like to "upgrade" to something nicer.
Problems is, not very many places carry holsters around me, and I'd really like to be able to have the holster in my hand before I buy it.
To me at least, it's sorta like buying a pair of shoes, it has to fit.
So, until I find the right one, I'll keep the nylon one.

February 25, 2008, 09:49 PM
Something to use until you can get your Milt Sparks? Those are taking over six months now.

Bingo. I've been using a KNJ nylon holster :barf::banghead: while waiting for my El Paso Saddlery rig to arrive.

February 27, 2008, 12:40 PM
I think they make fine holsters for home defense guns. A $15 holster can safely hold a handgun, an extra magazine, and a flashlight clipped to it.

Mr. Designer
February 27, 2008, 12:53 PM
I have a Uncle Mike's Super Belt Slide Holster. It don't seem too bad.

February 29, 2008, 01:50 AM
I have a Gunmate™ IWB that works just fine for me I think it cost all of 16$ at the Sports Authority I wear it right behind my hip . I've never thought my gun was unsecure in it. & the nylon is stiff enough to holster the weapon easily.

February 29, 2008, 02:14 AM
Bartholomew Roberts,

There is a place for these nylon inexpensive holsters.

At a private range, we had some Uncle Mikes with the plastic clip, we used to transport guns to and from . It might be a range gun the gunsmith took home to mess with, or a students gun.

The belt slide (picture of one above) added to what we had for folks to use.

We did CCW at some places and part of what we did was after the students shot a variety of guns to find what fit them, they tried on holsters. We had some, and other folks would bring in some.

Ladies, assisted ladies. Physically limited assited Physically limited. And so on.
Nobody fussed about "they don't make stuff for girls or handicapped !".

Instead, we had some inexpensive ones done up by a shoe shoe fella...altered , and these allowed more options on holster fit.

So folks could see little tweaks to assist them.
Order a new holster, and shoe repair fella tweaked to fit.

Emergency use.
We kept some extra "universal fit" and other around.
If a person needed a holster, heck even a gun, we had something for them to use.

Some guns were taken to hurricane folks with universal holters, same as with some tornado folks.
Just a .38spl maybe, with one of these holsters, still it worked for emergency use.

Some are fastened in hiding places in offices and businesses.
Inexpensive and screwed into something.
One gal keeps a .44 mag in one - handy.
I put a BHP in a place not long ago for a business setting.

Old Leather ones work, just the used holster bins are some times bare...

One fellow has an inexpensive nylon sewn in his insulated coveralls.
Conceals his .357 revolver just fine, easy to access when wearing these coveralls.

February 29, 2008, 08:26 AM
When I first started with carrying a handgun in open carry, I was restoring log cabins with antique tools and methods.
I'd be out in the woods all alone for days and some parts were very very snakey.
Being an avid gunnie since I was 12 or so, I read the gun rags and was a fan of Seyfried and JTAffin. So, I went out and bought my Bisley Vaquero and did all the little neato tricks (I hotrod everything I have... It's probably a southern thing) like the belt mountain basepin, etc. After I got all that done, I needed a holster.
I was OC'ing, so I didn't mind bulky. And, I was wrestling logs and using tools like an adze, broadaxe, spokeshave, chainsaw, etc. So, I needed to protect my nice new vaquero.
The strap in the nylon Uncle Mike's held it in by the hammer just fine. The nylon protected the finish. It even carried my old Enfield 38 for a while until I realized I could see the bullets going downrange when I fired it.
So, the Nylon served a purpose for me in doing rough and tumble backwoods work.

But, like any good Seyfried or Taffin fanboy, I dutifully bought a nice Milt Sparks leather holster for the Bi-quero. But, the nylon uncle mikes is what I still use when I'm out and about in the back country. I'm not crazy about a stinky leather holster either when I'm out packing for days.

March 1, 2008, 07:53 PM
Yes Jesse L, I too have been waiting for over 5 months for my El Paso Saddlery holster to be delivered.
As for nylon holsters, y'all should check out the Eagle Industries nylon holsters, I have 2 concealment rigs, 1 for my CZP01 & 1 for the USP. They are great gear! We were issued Eagle holsters in the service and I have been a big fan of them since!

March 7, 2008, 08:13 AM
Bart, as has been stated earlier, I think anyone who gets into concealed carry goes through that growing phase. Most grow past it, but a few don't.

If you only carry on those <ahem> "special occasions" . . . like that trip to the 7-11 in the "bad" part of town to get the ice cream for your pregnant wife at 2am . . . you'll never get past using those cheap Nylon pouches.

Once guys start carrying more than a few hours at a time, more than once or twice a month, things start clicking. And especially if you start training or shooting in organized shoots like IDPA . . . you just can't get by with those bargain basement nylon pouches with a clip sewn on it. Drawing the gun out and seeing the holster still attached tends to slow times down a bit . . .

But I do think they still have a place for me. I'm not going to use one for serious business, but I'll take a quality universal nylon pancake to the range for new shooters. Very often they won't have a holster at all, and it helps to have someplace proper for them to put it when working with them. I'll sometimes use them for sims work when I'm roleplaying the criminal, too. Criminals often "Mexican carry", and I don't like sticking a gun with sims rounds down the front of my pants without trigger protection. I can use a cheap nylon pouch holster and still give the same effect for the student, seeing how a VCA presents his gun.

March 7, 2008, 09:51 AM
I use it in my truck. The hook side of the velcro keeps the holster nice and stuck between the seats in my F-150... works well and the holster says put.

lee n. field
March 7, 2008, 08:39 PM
Utilitarian range or field holster for a gun you're not sure you want to keep.

March 8, 2008, 12:31 PM
If you want/need a drop leg rig, the Nylon ones have many advantages over the kydex or hard shell ones from Blackhawk (excuse me, BLACKHAWK!) and Safariland.

The Safariland, especially, sticks WAY the hell out on your leg, and tends to knock on things. Not so much of an issue dismounted, but a real pain in the butt if you're getting in and out of vehicles.

For hunters and others who require stealth, Kydex is loud when you draw.

Softer cordura holsters will be gentler on your leg, too. It's not to say that the Safariland rig is uncomfortable (I know, I wore one for nine months), it's just I think the soft holsters are moreso, and aren't as bulky.

The Safariland is nice in that you can reholster one handed, though. Just push the gun back in and snap the hood shut.

Pity they won't make it for a S&W N-Frame. :D

There are quality nylon holsters out there, and not just "tactical" stuff. Check out the Grizzly-Tuff Chest Rig (, which might be just the ticket for the hunter or outdoorsman. It was reviewed HERE ( at

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