New to CCW - Need holster


June 26, 2014, 12:13 AM
I jut got my CCW permit in the mail, now I'm in need of a holster. I want to carry IWB between 3:00 and 4:00 (right side). Problem is, I'm a big guy. I've recently lost 60 lbs, but I still have some belly that is slightly in the way at 3:00.

I'm totally new to IWB holsters however, and have (obviously) never worn one. Up until now I have just used an Uncle Mikes molded holster for my G17 when carrying at the rangem, around the house, etc.

I'm hoping THR brain-trust can educate me on the pro and cons of the different sytles of holsters. Any help you can provide would be very well received. Thanks!

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June 26, 2014, 03:15 AM
Fist holsters are awesome. Great quality for the money, especially leather.

June 26, 2014, 07:19 AM
One of the most well regarded holsters available is the Milt Sparks Versa Max II (VM II).

It is generally hard to go wrong with a VM II, as most really like them, and if you don't, you can usually sell a very lightly used VM II for about what you paid for it.

Many do find IWB just doesn't work for them. In this case, and especially if you haven't carried at all before, there is some advantage to a dual use holster. One that can be worn IWB, but also can be converted to OWB. If you find you just can't stand IWB carry, you still have a perfectly good OWB holster without buying another holster.

Two options are…

Raven Concealment Phantom

Simply Rugged Cuda

June 26, 2014, 07:32 AM
You need a real gunbelt, too

I've had great success (as a fat guy) with BeltMan belts and CrossBreed holsters.

The gun belt means your gun is held up by the stiffness of the belt, not cinched in by how tight you can crank it.
Spread out holster-to-belt attachment points mean it is more stable and the overall width of gun+holster+belt+clips+pants is minimized.
A custom-molded holster means it holds correctly and releases cleanly.
Leather on the inside means comfort for you.
Kydex on the outside means a good fit you can easily adjust if needed.

June 26, 2014, 07:56 AM
bigfatdave's point is an excellent one.

You need a real gunbelt, too

The belt is often more important than the holster. Make sure you follow the belt makers measuring instructions. The proper belt size will not be your jean size.

The Beltman is an excellent option. Less dressy, and less expensive is The Wilderness Tactical Instructor Belt. The 5-stich option is a good way to go.

June 26, 2014, 12:45 PM
JTQ adds a good point to my post
The belt is often more important than the holster. Make sure you follow the belt makers measuring instructions. The proper belt size will not be your jean size.

A good belt with a so-so holster will work
A superb holster on a junk belt will be uncomfortable and unsecure

June 26, 2014, 01:34 PM
Thanks guys! This is great advice. I think I'll start w/ a better belt like suggested, then look into the holster. Looking at prices, it looks like I'm going to be in the $150-$200 range for belt anf holster. More than I was expecting. :(

But then, I'm cheap. lol

June 26, 2014, 02:14 PM
I'm a cheap bastard too.

It is cheaper to buy quality first, rather than 3-4 junky holsters and repeated department store belts.

June 26, 2014, 02:20 PM
In the long run, it sure is. Sadly it's often easier to come up w/ $60-$70 several times, then it is to come up with $150 once.

Silly kids, they eat too much. ;)

June 26, 2014, 02:30 PM
I've used a Wilderness 5-stitch and a Raven Concealment Phantom that allows for both IWB and OWB carry for several years. it is a pretty economical solution.

I've actually been saving my pocket change in an empty 3L water bottle to buy a complete rig - holster, belt, and mag pouch from one maker to make sure I get a good fit with all the pieces. It's taken about five years (I seldom pay with cash in this credit card era, so I don't get much change), but that bottle is almost full. I suspect I have a little over $300 now.

June 26, 2014, 04:02 PM
In short, Id spend the $$$ on a high quality brand.
A cheap mall-ninja gun show holster will fail when you need it. :mad:

There are a few choices. Id highly suggest a holster format you can modify or change quickly like a Blackhawk SERPA, Safariland, Blade-tech, etc.
You can wear different belts or carry the holster in a cross-draw, FBI cant, high-ride, etc. Most Kydex or polymer holsters are well made & cost less too.
As noted get a good belt & mag holder. Always carry at least one spare magazine. Even if you have a 15/16/18 round pistol, be ready to handle a problem or have extra rounds. Extra magazines also help balance out the weight.
Remember that a holster is part of a system. Check into Robert Hindi, The Hindi Method. He's a veteran Las Vegas Metro PD officer who teaches about duty gear & how to benefit from how/where you put stuff.

Keep your holster & gear clean too. :D
That's a good hint I heard in the late 1990s, from Walter Birdsong .

Here's a few sites to check; .

June 26, 2014, 04:22 PM
Great holster for newbies

June 26, 2014, 04:38 PM
Sadly it's often easier to come up w/ $60-$70 several times

I understand, and talk about income/budgeting/etc is off-topic for this forum, so I'll try to keep my finance comments simple & brief. (if you really want to discuss it, feel free to PM)

Save your change, trim what you can from incidental expenses, and get the good stuff with what you save.
And I'd get a quality belt first - get 1.5" unless you wear dress pants all the time and then buy holsters that fit this most common size belt.

For a few years, I simply didn't spend $10 bills. I use cash a lot (which helps save money) and whenever I got a $10 it went into a box in my sock drawer. That was my "gun money", and it supplied guns/ammo/holsters for quite a while. The same would work with $5 bills or a designated weekly/per paycheck/monthly amount.
Of course, being debt-free helps with the monthly budget now and a new holster has NOW become an incidental expense - but when they weren't (only 5 years ago or so, really) I saved & bought quality, because shelling out $55 three times is more expensive than shelling out $90 once.

If you like Glock, there's a Glock model from pretty much every holster maker.

Here's a link to the CrossBreed Seconds website:

If I were in your shoes ...
I'd save a few bucks & get a CB 2nd holster & mag carrier, then get the BeltMan quick-ship belt ...
...and carry with those until the Glock wears out

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