Gun Accessories: How to Choose the Best Holster
Most states allow certified individuals to carry a handgun on their person, as long as it’s concealed. All they need is a concealed carry permit to do so. Thousands of these permits are issued every year across the country.
The main reason is that people want to protect themselves, in an age where mass violence is on the rise.
Most people that do have a concealed carry permit will put a lot of thought into their handgun selection. But what they fail to realize is that getting there are certain gun accessories that are vital to have, if you ever plan to rely on your handgun in an emergency situation.
Having the best holster for your handgun is critical to accessing your gun in key moments. So why are holsters important, and how can you purchase a holster the right way to ensure maximum personal and gun safety? Read on below to find out now.
Why Holsters are Important Gun Accessories
Most people don’t carry their firearms around on a regular basis. That’s because doing so is generally illegal. So rifles, shotguns, and most handguns stay at home, locked up in a gun safe.
Or if they are brought to the shooting range, they are cased until they arrive. Only those citizens with concealed carry permits can generally carry a handgun in public.
And they don’t just put a handgun in their pocket, belt, or purse. Doing so could be dangerous. Rather, they use a holster.
Holsters secure the gun in place, ensuring it doesn’t move around and accidentally disengage the safety. A gun holster will usually strap to your leg or waist and stay hidden as you go through your day. But they should be easily accessible, as you never know when disaster is going to strike.
In certain circumstances, a holster that sits outside the waistband — and is easy to see — may be sufficient. These are commonly seen in law enforcement officers.
Holsters are the only practical and safe way to carry a handgun. And they aren’t limited to those with concealed carry permits heading out into public either.
Many hunters will holster a handgun when they are out into the field. In the event they encounter a predator, like a bear, wolf, or mountain lion, they can use their handgun to fire warning shots, scaring off the animal. Handgun ammo is much cheaper than hunting rifle cartridges.
In a last resort situation, they can use the handgun on the predator if it advances. Trying to hit a close-range target with a hunting rifle can be very difficult.
How to Buy a Holster
So you know you need a good holster that you can rely on. But how do you choose a holster that works for your needs and your handgun? Here’s what you need to know.
Concealed Carry Holsters
Concealed carry holsters are the most common, and most practical solution. Not only are they designed to hold your gun securely, so you can go throughout your day. But they also need to stay hidden beneath your clothing without making it obvious that there’s a gun under your shirt.
They need to be as low profile as possible, as well as comfortable since you will probably wear them all day.
You can get holsters that sit inside the waistband, which work well for concealment but might not be the most comfortable if you sit all day. Outside the waistband, holsters attach to your belt or pants and are more comfortable but more exposed.
Shoulder holsters will sit in the space beneath your armpit. You’ll need to wear some type of jacket or overshirt to keep it concealed. They work best for those who sit or drive a lot throughout the day.
And if you have a compact handgun, then a pocket holster might work well. They are very practical and will prevent excess movement or snagging compared to letting your gun sit freely in your pocket.
Open Carry Holsters
Not concerned with keeping your handgun concealed? Then you can get open carry holsters, which are more comfortable and can fit larger handgun models.
Belt and shoulder holsters are the most common as they keep the guns out of the way.
Open carry holsters will come with more features and design options, since limiting bulk isn’t that important. Having one of these in your arsenal is useful for times where concealment is unnecessary and an easier carry solution would be helpful.
Tactical holsters are used by those in law enforcement and the military. For soldiers, the use of holsters is to carry a backup weapon, and having to draw a handgun fast isn’t the priority.
So these are often drop-leg holsters, where the gun is a bit more out of the way.
Law enforcement officers require quickdraw capabilities. They usually use tactical belt holsters with efficient retention systems, making it easy for them to release the handgun, but almost impossible for anyone else that might try.
When looking at holsters for sale, you’ll see three main materials; leather, nylon, and Kydex (a hard plastic).
Leather is the most popular for concealed carry, where comfort is king. Leather will mold to your body over time, making for a comfortable fit that you hardly even notice.
Kydex is a rigid, durable plastic. Kydex holsters are shaped for specific gun models, creating a perfect fit, which allows for varying retention systems. They are bulkier than leather but easier to keep clean.
Each holster has a retention system that secures the gun in place until you need it. Simple systems include a flap or a strap that folds over the top of the gun. They are secure but slower to access.
But those add bulk and are generally reserved for open carry and tactical holsters. Most concealed carry holsters use friction to hold the gun in place, so the additional fabric isn’t required.
With a retention screw, the degree of friction applied can be adjusted, depending on how easy or difficult you’d like it to be to remove your handgun.
Don’t Underestimate a Good Holster
Gun accessories like holsters can be just as important of a decision as to the gun itself. You can’t overlook these crucial pieces of gear, as they will determine the functionality and practicality of your gun.
If you plan to have a handgun in reach when disaster strikes, you had better buy the right holster.
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