Holster advice please! Ruger LCR or S&W airweight


August 1, 2011, 10:38 AM
Iím a little tired of spending money on gear. Iím hoping the advice I get here helps me save a few bucks. I spent a ton of money on holsters and mag carriers when I first started carrying. Over the years, I kept changing holsters until I found two that seemed to work the best for me. Wouldnít you know itÖthe two that worked best for me were two of the most highly recommended ones (go figure), a crossbreed type holster for IWB and a Raven Concealment Phantom type holster for OWB.

Well Iíve decided to start carrying something lighter and smaller than my Glock 19 or 26Ö.really, every time I wear the 26 I find myself wondering why I bothered, it isnít that much more concealment friendly (on me) than my 19. So I bought a Ruger LCR. I like the trigger and it is a sweet little shooter, but I need to send a few hundred more rounds down range and really practice my action drills (particularly reloading). I may end up switching to a s&w airweight, but only time and several hundred rounds will tell. In the meantime, Iíd like some advice.

What type of IWB holster do you like to carry your 38 in?
What type of OWB holster do you like to carry your 38 in?
What type of pocket holster do you like to carry your 38 in?
How do you carry your reloads? (Speed strip on the belt, speed strip in the pocket, speed loader on the belt, speed loader in the pocket, loose rounds, noneÖ)

Pics are always nice, too. :)

Thanks in advanceÖ

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August 1, 2011, 11:07 AM
Been thru the same thing over the years. For some few time my pocket holster has been a De Santis Nemesis. Bought one for a taurus revolver and turns out it works for both a pf-9 i carried for a couple years and now a kahr cm9. I have for the first time in 26 years started to carry IWB. Tried a crossbread mini tuck, i sold it to a friend. Just did not fit great for me. Bought two other cheap junk holsters.

I finally settled on Comp-Tac Mtac neutral. Very well built and you can change holsters easily on the leather backing with some models and at a lower cost if you deside you want to carry your glock again. I also have a kahr cw9 so either fit the comp-tac holster I had a g27 and also could not get use to it-gone now. I appendix carry. That way It is not much different from the pocket and comes more natural and I can draw it in the car or work with it and bend over and not have it print as most all rear side holster will do. Comp-tac has more designs to pick from and 30 days to deside if the one you picked is for you so you could change designs. They cost more than some but a very soft flexable leather very well finished. I never carry OWB. I just don't dress in a style that would allow that year round and try not to change much as is. No left to right or front to back carry change ups for me. Good luck with your choice.

August 1, 2011, 11:33 AM
I use a cheap Black hawk IWB holster for both IWB and pocket. I am looking into getting a Don Hume JIT for OWB and appendix carry, very comfortable holster for under $30, IMHO.

August 1, 2011, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the advice hardluk1! I appreciate the advice! I've bought quality and I've bought cheaper stuff....it is always difficult finding what works for you, and quality doesnt't automatically mean we will like the product in practice.

August 1, 2011, 11:47 AM
I have recently given in and tried a Fobus paddle holster... my attempt at a review here: http://knifeguy68.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/fobus-paddle-holster/

For pocket carry I use a blackhawk pocket holster which seems to work ok.

I have just about stopped using IWB because it is just too uncomfortable for me and belt carry is out as I just dont like having to do or undo my belt to put the holster on or take it off.

August 1, 2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the review, knifeguy68. Try as I may, I just never seem to like paddle holsters. I've tried leather, kydex and polymers like the fobus. I'm just not a fan. I see a whole bunch of people recommending the Don Hume JIT like TimeIsRunningOut mentioned, I'm thinking I' may need to go and see if any of my LGS's stock those. Typically all they have is Galco or Blackhawk. In my experience with bottom-feeders, just about any IWB works fine for me so long as it doesn't ride low and the belt attachment makes for a tilt-free fit.

Thanks for the honest opinions of what you guys have used!

August 1, 2011, 02:11 PM
Here's what I have for my S&W Model 38 & 442:



August 1, 2011, 03:04 PM
I tried a Fobus. I don't care about it and hate the way it mars up the finish on a guns.

For OWB, I have been using an American Pride leather pancake for my SP101. It holds the gun snuggly and pulls it tight to my side. I often wear it 10 hours a day. The good thing is they can be had off of eBay for about 25 bucks.

When it comes to aluminum framed .38's. I don't use a pocket holster. I just drop it in my pocket and go. I've been carrying a Colt Agent like that for years.

August 1, 2011, 03:17 PM
Thanks for the pic, ColtPythonElite. I like something that holds it fairly tight against the body and kind of high. I picked up a cheap, no name $15 yaqui slide type deal just to carry it when I go shooting (don't feel comfortable carrying until I get more comfortable reloading and shooting it). It doesn't keep the butt tucked in really close and I hate that.

August 1, 2011, 09:28 PM
This VERY thin and inexpensive ebay find is the only IWB that I find comfortable for my 642. The key seems to be the clip next to the trigger guard, and not next to the cylinder which adds additional width to the package.

I don't usually wear a belt holster, but this one from Caldwell Gunleather (also an ebay find) holds the butt of the gun in tight. A speedstrip rides in a Diane's pouch.

I have a bunch of pocket holsters, but the Mika is my favorite. Inexpensive, and stays put when the gun is drawn, each and every time.

August 24, 2011, 07:43 PM
I have had the nylon and plastic holsters. The Glock and Fobus seems ok for range use. Uncle Mikes seems more rigid and I like it a bit better. Or should I say I like it less than the other two. Good fire starting material if stranded in the bush.
My bottom line is the composites like Crossbreed are great IWB holsters.
Other than that I will take leather any day.
Milt Sparks, Simply Rugged , Galco, De Santis, Safari Land, Bianchi to mention some will be here long after the nylon , plastic cheap holsters.
You get what you pay for , your life can be lost due to fifty more bucks spent on a good quality rig. Your choice my friends for the range it may not matter, but for serious business. Don't pinch the pennies.

August 26, 2011, 01:08 AM
I mostly carry a G26 in a CompTac MTAC IWB. I find it supremely comfortable, especially in the summer when the back of the holster is against my skin. But even the G26 does get a bit heavy.

When I carry a S&W 442 it's in a Side Guard Tuck Clip - a tuckable IWB model that is stiff enough to remain open after you draw the gun. Picture here http://www.sideguardholsters.com/holsters/TuckClip.htm . It's a pretty hard holster, very functional but not as smooth and soft as the MTAC. I would have gotten another MTAC for the revolver, but they're only made for automatics. The CompTac 2 O'clock IS made for revolvers, but I've had all kydex IWB holsters before and find them uncomfortable unless I can wear an undershirt - not possible around here in the summer.

If I were you I'd also consider the Crossbreed QwikClip http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/QwikClip/tabid/93/List/0/ProductID/5/CategoryID/1/Level/1/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName, the Crossbreed SuperTuck http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/SuperTuckDeluxe/tabid/90/List/0/ProductID/1/CategoryID/1/Level/1/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName (which is about equivalent to the MTAC except without the smooth leather lining on the back) and the Kholster Little Moon http://kholster.com/images/LCR-LM.jpg. The Kholster is cheaper than the others, and I usually end up trimming them down from their full crescent shape once I figure out just how I want to wear the thing - they come with a lot of extra leather.

All of these holsters are IWB and tuckable, which is what you're used to. All of them take some time to arrive.

August 27, 2011, 07:28 PM
Pocket holster= Galco horsehide, or Mika.

Belt holster = a custom leather piece.

Mostly I carry it in the Galco, or in a Smartcarry.

March 23, 2013, 12:36 PM
Any idea if a finely molded leather holster made for a J Frame will work good enough (safely) for a LCR or KCLR?

Sergei Mosin
March 23, 2013, 05:21 PM
Any idea if a finely molded leather holster made for a J Frame will work good enough (safely) for a LCR or KCLR?

Probably not if it's molded. The LCR isn't quite the same size and shape as the J-frame. Even some of the non-molded leather holsters intended for J-frames don't work very well for the LCR. Best to get one designed around the specific model you want to use it with.

March 23, 2013, 05:31 PM
Holy Zombie thread!

And the LCR is reportedly better fit for SP101 holsters.

March 23, 2013, 05:41 PM
I carry my j- frame in an uncle mikes pocket pouch. Works great and was less than $20.

March 23, 2013, 06:32 PM
Thanks a lot Segei and Sid.

I know about the zombie thread, but there's plenty of room on the Internet, and this thread came out on top of simple google query of "LCR fit j frame holster".

March 23, 2013, 06:44 PM
I have an LCR 22 as well as a 442 Pro Moon Clip.

For Outside the waist band I have a Lobo Model 1 Pancake for the 442. I have an Lobo Enhanced Pancake that I had Ray not bone the cylinder flutes on for the LCR 22. I also has an LCR 357 at the time.
Ray makes very nice holsters.

I have a Tuff Products JR Roo, and a Nemisis for pocket holsters. The Mica pocket holster would be my recomendation. I have no issues with the ones I have, but I am Sure the Mica is a better holster.

Speed Strips: I pocket carry them, I have 2 pockets sewn in the inside of one jacket to hold 2 of the 7 round Quick Strips loaded with 5 rounds. The tabs stick out the top. I have a couple Tuff Products Nylon Belt Pouches for the Quick Strips. I also have an old Bianchi #22 Brown Double Dump Pouch.

Speed Loaders: lots of options, HKS Turn Knob, Safariland Comp I, and J Jet Loaders.
The HKS and Comp I's I normally carry in a jacket or vest pocket.

The J Jet Loaders can be carried in a jacket or vest pocket. I make Big Creek Kydex Carriers for the Safariuland Comp III K and L Frame sizes, as well as the J Jet Loaders. The fastest speed loader reload for the J Frame is a J Jet Loader carried infront of the holster in a Big Creek Carrier.

Moon Clips: My 442 Pro Moon Clip uses a 5 shot moon clip that works with most ammunition except Winchester. The moon clip reload is going to be pretty close to a J Jet Loader when the moon clip is carried infront of the holster on the belt in a California Competition Works SAM "Shoot A Moon" Carrier. They make a J Frame 5 shot moon clip carrier now. I have 2 of the 5 Shot J Frame SAM carriers that I keep loaded up with 135 Speer Short Barrel 38+P. I carry either 1 or 2 reloads depending on where I am going.

In snake season I will carry a Quick Strip in my pocket with a couple shotshells and some plinking 38 Special, along with my belt carried serious ammunition.

Practicing with Speed Strips, and getting good with a J Frame.

Get a Ruger LCR 22, S&W 43C, or 317. These are all 8 shot J Frame size 22's. To get good with the snub 38 try and wear out the 22.
To practice Quick Strip reloads with the 22. Get Tuff Products Model 1022 Quick Strips. They are a 10 shot ammunition carrier. Now load them with 7 rounds in pairs skipping a shell for cylinder clearance between pairs. You can put 2 shells in the chambers at a time just like loading a 38. With a 38 you load 2 + 2 + 1. With the 22 Quick Strip you load 2 + 2 + 2+ 1 and index the empty chamber under the hammer.
I recommend ordering the 22 Quick Strips directly from Tuff Products. Going direct you can get them in Orange. Much easier to locate on the ground after a reload. They may even have them in Pink for the wife to practice with.

Good Luck


Sergei Mosin
March 23, 2013, 08:41 PM
If we're going to have a zombie thread, we might as well make it a proper one. I pocket carry my LCR; at the moment I'm using a Blackhawk! size 4 holster, although I might try a Remora at some point. The Blackhawk! does try to come out with the gun sometimes. I originally bought it for use with my wife's P238 and it works better with that gun. The LCR is a pocketful in my Wranglers and tends to print rather badly, but I could probably solve that problem by going up a size (or losing 10-20 pounds, which I need to do anyway.) Switching from the big Hogue grips to boot grips might help too.

My reload is a 6-shot speedstrip carried in my watch pocket. I've been carrying it with six on the theory that it's got six holes and you never know when an extra round will come in handy, but I was practicing reloads just now and the extra round was getting in the way on the last chamber. Then you've got to pocket the extra round if you're going to have it for later use, which takes more time than dropping the strip, so I'm not really sure that carrying the sixth round is actually a benefit.

I don't use a speedloader for my LCR for a couple of reasons - one is that the whole point of this gun (for me) is pocket carry, and there's just no room for a speedloader in that mode. The other is that the only speedloaders of which I'm aware that work with the LCR are HKS and 5-Star models, and both of those are the twist type. I much prefer the Safariland Comp-II and I'm hoping that one will become available for the LCR.

March 24, 2013, 08:12 AM
Because I can make my own fear, I've tried every style of holster known to man (leather) and have concluded the cross draw pancake is the carry mode I like best.


March 24, 2013, 09:04 AM
I agree with Rayban.After trying alot of leather,I chose a cross draw pancake.
Comfortable for me both sitting and standing.Didn't have to move my cell phone.
I had a custom one made with a body shield from Winthorp on ebay.Really like it.

Beau Bo
March 24, 2013, 11:38 AM
OP - Since a Crossbreed type worked well for you before, why change? I have a Kholster for my LCR and really like it.

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