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How to find the perfect holster?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by CubDriver, Nov 23, 2005.

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  1. CubDriver

    CubDriver Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    I am looking to purchase my first carry holster. I am kind of overwhelmed by the possible selection. I have pretty much settled on a leather IWB or OWB of some sort. How did you get from this point to owning the one you like? I am willing to make an investment in a good holster, but as a student I can’t afford to buy one after another until I have tried them all. Are there stores that you can try different models? If so do you know of any in the Portland/Salem Oregon area?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 29, 2002
    IWB is a good choice, but only if you've got an extra hole or two on your belt. For leather, I like the Milt Sparks stuff, but depending on your preferences and pistol you should check out Mitch Rosen or Eric Larsen (sp).
  3. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    I bought one after the other and spent over $700 till I found one that:

    Didn't rub me raw
    Could be worn in hot weather
    Didn't poke my internal organs
    protected the gun.
    Was easy to draw from
    Easy to reholster,
    Doesn't print
    Doesn't flop around
    Doesn't catch on chairs
    Can be worn while sitting standing and reaching
    Can be worn with different styles of clothing
    Will be appropriate with the desired carry gun

    Whew! Tough criteria...all necessary.

    I ended up with a S&W 642 in a Bianchi IWB on right hip.

    I also carry a nylon uncle mikes IWB with a makarov in the same position when I might need more firepower

    Luckily I was able to sell the failed holsters and make a decent profit on Ebay.

    Failed holsters:

    Bianchi shoulder rig -impractical

    Pager pal -plain stupid if you have any stomach at all

    MOB Small of back flops and catches on stuff

    Beltster- pretty good but you lose a pocket and it doesn't feel very secure after a few months of wear.

    Paddle holster- looks like a cantaloupe strapped to your waist

    Outside waistband high ride- very comfortable but prints and you can't reach for theings on high shelves unless you are wearing a shirt that goes to your knees.

    Hope this helps
  4. mindpilot

    mindpilot member

    Nov 6, 2005
    A Black Box
  5. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Middle of the Mitten!, Michigan
    i was EXTREMELY lucky... my friend gave me a Galco Jak-Slide holster the day i got my CCW permit, and i tried it and loved it... i carry anything and everything in it, from a NAA Black Widow, to a Smitty 4506, a H.S. Double-Nine Longhorn, a Ruger MK1 pistol, and they all fit, and stay put...

    I have since bought and tried a few others (always quality brands) but go back to the old Galco...

    all you can really do is try them out until you find one you like...
  6. Double Maduro

    Double Maduro Member

    Dec 30, 2002

    Check out what I had to say, here.

    http://www.tedblocker.com/gallery.html In the letter titled "So comfortable I forget it's there"

    I don't write letters to people very often to compliment them on good work and friendliness. I posted this in a forum and told them about it and they asked if they could use it.

    They have a showroom at their place in Tigard and you will be surprised by how accomadating they are.

    Give them a call, visit their web site and go see them. They are truly nice folks with a great product.

    Let us know what you decide.

  7. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Presque Isle, ME US
    Basically cub, as noted, you're going to want to try various different styles and makes of holsters to see what works for you. Thanks to the multitude of variance in the human body, there is no single carry method or holster design that is right for everyone. It depends on your preferences and your body.

    For me, it took 8 years of trial and error, but when I finally bought my Milt Sparks VM2, I quit looking. A friend was looking for an IWB holster for his 1911 and I loaned the VM2 to him. It didn't ring any bells for him, and he wound up with a Ken Null holster that gets the job done for him, but chafes me something fierce.

    I will say this though, just like scopes, you get what you pay for in a holster. I've known people that toted pistols for years in cheap mass-market holsters and didn't know what they were missing in comfort until they finally got their hands on a decent semi-custom or custom holster. You might get by with a cheap Uncle Mikes or Galco if you're going to be carrying maybe once or twice a week for a few hours at a time. BUT. If you're going to be dedicated to carrying a gun for 8+ hours a day, everyday, then you really owe it to yourself to check out some of the models from the top makers.
  8. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    +1 on the galco

    I carried one with a 1911 for a while and liked it although it was not perfect for me.
  9. tpdtom

    tpdtom Member

    Mar 29, 2004
    I agree with Marinetech, what works for one may not work for another , and usually , you get quality in leather for a little more cash .

    I've bought about 40 holsters , and generally found that the best makers have a solution that will work for many folks if not most. I include but am not limited to , Alessi , Brommeland, Bulman Gunleather , DelFatti, Null, Sparks.

    Of course I have my own favorites , and I'm going to suggest an OWB and an IWB . For an OWB masterpiece by the living master of holstermaking , Lou Alessi , get a CQC-S . They are a bargain at about $80 . My current favorite IWB is Josh Bulman's PDL holster . I prefer it to some better known favorites primarily due to it's thin profile and wide footprint , which result in all day comfort for me ...Tom


  10. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    North Plains, Oregon
    Hello there fellow Oregonian.

    How are you planning to use the holster? Concealed carry, range carry, etc? If concealed carry is a possibility then I strongly suggest that you buy a quality IWB holster. If not, then consider a quality pancake holster. Don't forget that you need a very, very good belt to pull off carrying a gun, any gun.

    I do not know of any store in the Portland/Salem/metro area that has a stock of holsters available for trying on.
  11. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Nothing but galco's for me too
  12. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Member

    Aug 9, 2003
    Monroeville, PA (Home of the Zombies)
    Brommeland Max-Con 5, and Alessi Bodyguards for me.
  13. pm9596

    pm9596 Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    pike county, PA

    I've had Alessi belt slides for six handguns, great price, great quality.

    Carry a vintage Dick Special day to day, crossdraw. great holster.
  14. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I'm amazed that I'll be the first to suggest looking at the Milt Sparks Versa-Max II.

    Photo reproduced with permission from http://www.miltsparks.com/

    I've owned many hundreds' of dollars worth of IWB and OWB CCW holsters -- and now have only three left.

    Milt Sparks VM-2 (C) for my Sig P220
    Milt Sparks VM-2 (H) for my Sig P245
    Milt Sparks VM-2 (H) for my 1911

    Very comfortable and well-made, but a bit pricey. You should be able to find one, in cowhide, for about $130 shipped from a reseller (e.g. http://www.lightningarms.com/ or http://www.topgunsupply.com/ ). Otherwise -- expect to wait about 6mos to a year from Milt Sparks directly. The $20 savings is not really worth the wait IMHO.

    One legitimate reason to buy direct is if you want to customize, e.g. sharkskin, special colors, etc.

    Have a great one!
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