Help a Newbie Find a Holster


October 15, 2010, 05:46 AM
Hey ya'll -

So, here's the deal - the wifey and I will be honeymooning in AZ in a few months, and it will be the first time in my life that I'll be able to actually carry a pistol like a free man.

As I'm not a fan of Mexican carry, I need to find a holster. I really know jack about holster options, so let me just give you some info about me, and how I plan to carry, and hopefully ya'll can point me in the right direction. If there is any more info needed to render the proper info, I will gladly answer whatever I can.

Ok, so - the known info:

Lefty. Plan on carrying a Bersa Thunder 9 UC.

My clothing consists of dickies shorts or slacks and usually an un-tucked T-shirt. Sometimes I'll wear an open button-down shirt over top, but not usually. Hoodies when it's cold out.

I don't usually wear a belt, but understand that I will probably need to change that when I carry.

I am a fat guy, so I really don't have a "waist line" like you skinny/in-shape fellas do. More like a beer belly & muffin top. :(

I have no preference when it comes to OC/CC. I have the feeling that I may want the ability to do both, depending on where we happen to be on a particular day. Not sure if this means that different types of holsters are necessary, or if I can just go with one holster and use a cover garment when I want to conceal.

I don't wear or otherwise use leather goods, so I'm specifically interested in synthetic options only, please.

And that's about all I can think of at the moment. Sorry if this is a totally dumb question, but I've never carried in any way, shape, or form, so I have no idea where to start. We don't get to travel often, and MD is still in the dark ages when it comes to carry, so I want to make sure I'm able to take advantage of this little window of freedom while I can.

Many thanks in advance!

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October 15, 2010, 10:01 AM
A belt is a must, the stiffer the better. I like leather holsters the best. Ebay is a good place to start, Don Hume are nice holsters for the money. Be ready to start a used holster box as you will go thru many types of holsters. I would start with an IWB from Hume till I found that perfect one. Good Luck.

October 15, 2010, 10:05 AM

I had a BT9/UC. It was an excellent pistol.

I would recommend you call FIST holsters (New York) and order a Kydex (extremely thin) IWB..

Price is reasonable ($45 or so), and you will not find a thinner, easier to hide in an IWB holster.

I have several, all are excellent.

Just another option.

Best Wishes,


October 15, 2010, 10:17 AM
BossHogg - Thanks for the recommendation, but unfortunately, leather isn't an option for me. I had a look at the DH website, and didn't see any kydex or similar synthetic options, was there one that you know of that I might have missed?

PX15 - If you don't mind me asking, why'd you get rid of your UC9?

And thanks for the recommendation - I thought I'd already looked at their stuff, but I guess not. Looks promising!

October 15, 2010, 11:30 AM

A combination of things I believe..

I had too many other compact, sub-compact 9's, and the size of the BT9/UC was just a bit too large for me to cc easily.

I still have a fine Firestorm FS22, which is a neat rimfire plinker (basically a BT380 in 22cal.) and the BT9/UC was always amazingly accurate and reliable, but I'm a runt, and the nomenclature "Ultra Compact" is somewhat of a stretch regarding the size of the excellent BT9/UC, don'tcha' think?

I'm an old fart, and my tastes change with the wind, so something came along that I wanted and (being retired and poor) I had to dispose of something to acquire something else, and I had 6-7 other 9's..

But having sold the BT9/UC I only have good things to say about it. In fact I think the entire Bersa/Firestorm line of firearms are excellent pistols, and amazing values in today's gun buyer's market.

I'm thinking the period when I let my BT9/UC go I was in lust for one of the CDNN "A" grade,Lower Saxony Police surplus HK P7's.. In fact I liked my first one so well that I sold several other pistols/revolvers to buy two more.

Here's the P7 selling the BT9/UC helped finance for me I believe.

But while we're discussing guns, IF you get interested in a smaller, easier to conceal pistol I would recommend you look at the fantastic (in my experience) Ruger LCP..

The LCP is only a 380cal. but is so small and concealable that it is very, very easy to cc.. In fact when I cc a larger pistol (generally my CS45) I STILL have my LCP in my back pocket. (Or my LWS380).

I believe the Ruger LCP offers a tremendous value in mouseguns, and the three my wife and I have, up to this point, have been 100% reliable and surprisingly accurate at self defense range.

I know there are a zillion new 380's on the market, but for my money the LCP is the pick of the litter.

Basically I consider the BT9/UC as a fantastic 9MM pistol, but just a wee bit too large for this elf to cc easily. If I had kept mine it would have been an excellent home defense, or vehicle choice.

I believe there will be times when circumstances, wx, etc. will not allow you to carry a firearm of the size of the BT9/UC, and for those times a reliable 380 mouse gun is supremely preferable to having no firearm in your defense.

Best Wishes,



October 15, 2010, 11:36 AM
PX15....Those pocket holsters look great. Excellent detail and craftsmanship from what I can see in the pic.

October 15, 2010, 12:04 PM
I carry a S&W 642 in a simple nylon holster made by Elite tactical systems. It's an IWB and has a metal belt clip that can be reversed for left- or right-hand carry. I used the same holster for a Kahr CW40, which I no longer have since I prefer the revolver.

I also have a pocket holster made by Elite. The 642 is slightly bulky for pocket carry but I often wear 5.11 covert tactical pants, which have roomy pockets. I'm sure the Bersa will be lower profile.

I rarely use nylon holster with a paddle, although I don't recall who makes it. I've only used it for OC situations, which means hiking in the National Forest.

October 15, 2010, 12:04 PM
joe security:


The holster for the Seecamp was made for me a couple of years ago by R.J. Hedley.. R.J. was the "guru" of all things holsters on the Seecamp forum until his passing a year or so back.

R.J. had taught his Daughter, Lisa K, to make holsters and when I wanted a new rear pocket holster for my LPC I contacted her and she kindly made one for me.

In years past I had a Keltec P32 that I carried in a rear pocket holster that had the disturbing habit of the mag becoming accidentally released by pressure, and also after several years of daily use the holster her Dad made for me had developed a tendency to "lean" or "list" slightly in the pocket as there was more pistol weight on one side than the other.

Lisa suggested a recessed area, or better yet a hole in the back of the holster where the mag release button on the LPC would be when in the holster in the back pocket. She added a small ridge or a double thickness of leather along the very bottom of the holster from side to side to help keep it stable in the back pocket.

Both features can be seen in the photo's below.

I am more than pleased with my new Lisa k "Hedley" holster.. My LCP has the Crimson Trace Laser, and the Innovative Arms slide refinish/nite sight upgrade, and it fits perfectly in the holster Lisa K made for me.

R.J. was a classic, both as a gentleman, and a master of leathercraft.. Lisa K is following in his footsteps as a quality leathermaster..

Best Wishes,


October 15, 2010, 12:10 PM
Kydex holsters




I am sure you'll get other suggestions but this is a start.

October 15, 2010, 12:50 PM
PX15 - I hear you 100% on having to sell in order to finance new purchases - I live on a pretty tight income, and even if I didn't, I'm generally not one to build up a collection of "safe queens", you know? Seems silly to have all that hardware just sitting there looking pretty.

Haha, I appreciate the recommendation of the LCP...but if you're an elf, I'm the Yogi the bear - 5'10", 300+lbs. I like the looks of the LCP, but the one time I had a chance to handle one at my local shop it became quite clear that my fat ol' sausage fingers weren't a good match, lol. I should have no problem concealing the UC 9. :D

Thanks once again for the help!

HookAndBullet - My wife has a 642, and while she's still on the fence about carrying while we're down there, I'll pass along the mention of Elite Tactical. Gracias. :)

Swinokur - thanks for the links, I'll have a look now. :)

October 15, 2010, 01:02 PM


October 15, 2010, 02:22 PM
CrossBreed SuperTuck holster with CrossBreed belt. Very comfortable carry for skinny or fat. :D

October 15, 2010, 02:33 PM
Mudinyeri - Thanks, but I'm specifically looking to avoid leather. They do look pretty sweet though!

October 16, 2010, 06:28 PM
[QUOTE]I would recommend you call FIST holsters (New York) and order a Kydex (extremely thin) IWB../QUOTE]

This is excellent advice and I suggest that you follow it! FIST offers a comprehensive selection of holsters in both leather and kydex. Their ultra thin kydex produces an absolutely effective and elegant carry situation. Read their net site carefully as there is a lot to learn there too. Good luck!

October 16, 2010, 09:05 PM
Dairycreek - Indeed, I'm looking very closely at FIST, as well as the offerings over at Both seem like excellent options, just trying to weigh the pros and cons. :)

Thanks for the input!

October 18, 2010, 03:32 AM
Just curious, why no leather?

October 18, 2010, 03:40 AM
Archangel - I'm vegan, and therefore do my best to avoid the use or consumption of animal-sourced products.

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