Belt slide holsters


Sergei Mosin
January 24, 2013, 07:21 PM
The USP .45 I just bought came with a Cobra Gunskin Classics belt slide type holster, which appears to be discontinued. I've never owned a belt slide holster before, never even considered one - what are the positives and negatives of this type holster?

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January 25, 2013, 04:17 PM
It depends on what you call a belt slide holster, I suppose.

My understanding of a belt slide, and I've studied holsters in pretty good detail for a few years, is this design...

However, I did get a pretty good lecture from a holster maker forum member telling me that is not a slide style holster. Regardless of his definition, just about all other holster makers call the model in the Lobo catalog a belt slide.

In any case, the advantages of the design, in my opinion, are they are usually pretty quick to draw from, are lightweight and compact, and you can use the one holster for different sizes of the same pistol, such as the subcompact, compact, and full-size Glocks in the same caliber could all use the same holster (actually you could use the one holster for even more models of Glocks as the slide are all pretty close). You could use the same holster for a 1911 Government Model, Commander, or Officer.

The downside I've experienced is the possibility to catch the muzzle (I'm using a 5" Government model in my slide holster, so I have more muzzle sticking out the bottom than if I had a shorter pistol) on an armchair when sitting down and nearly launching the pistol out of the holster. The other problem I've had is the muzzle always contacted with some seam on my pants. Most noticeably the back pocket seam on my jeans, especially during reholstering. I've even ripped a hole in my pants at that junction point. Look down a few pictures in the blog from Sarges Roll Call to see a Simply Rugged CID holster. You can see the muzzle position in relation to the back pocket. The muzzle of my pistol sits basically in the same spot.

In the big picture, holsters are very inexpensive compared to the cost of a gun. If I can afford the pistol, I can afford to buy a specific holster for that gun. I don't think I'll buy another belt slide. For me, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The Lone Haranguer
January 25, 2013, 08:43 PM
Some "pancake" type OWB holsters that cover the full length of the gun are called "belt slides" - usually prefixed by "full coverage," "full length," you get the idea - by their individual makers. Those are fine. But I don't like any belt slide that leaves the slide and muzzle exposed. If your cover garment rides up, instead of the bottom of the holster, people see your gun. Sitting down on a chair can hit the muzzle and try to push the gun out of the holster. And front sights can snag the bottom of the holster on the draw. If this situation applies to you, there is some appeal to one holster being usable for different lengths of the same "family" of guns, but I think this will wear thin after a while, and you will be happier with a holster to fit each gun.

January 26, 2013, 12:11 PM
Pro's are minimal weight and low profile. Some folks won't even realize it's a holster if it does not contain a firearm.

Cons, provides less protection for the firearm. Most don't have any sort of safety strap. Although one or two do have thumbbreaks.

Personally, I like them. I regulaly carry a full size 1911A1 in one. I have one that's specifically made to carry crossdraw (my preferred method). Others, because they carry the handgun more or less vertically work either stong side or crossdraw.

By the way, probably the lowest profile "holster" is the Beltster. I have several in different colors and orientantion.

January 26, 2013, 04:23 PM
The reason I wouldn't use one is what keeps me away from most OWB holsters, they are harder to conceal than IWB.

January 26, 2013, 04:41 PM
I have a belt slide similar to the one in post #2. Biggest issue I have with it is that it's difficult to re holster as there is no stiffening of the top of the holster.

I also have a Yaqui Slide. It carries my 5" 1911 nicely.

Neither one offers much protection to the slide of the pistol. I had my 1911 in the Yaqui Slide one day and had occasion to climb an aluminum step ladder to perform some task in my garage, and ended up putting a huge nasty scratch on top of the slide.

Also, since the front sight is exposed below the body of the holster, unless it is the tiny GI front sight, it is very likely to snag during the draw.

There is also pretty much 0 retention.

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