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The importance of a quality concealed carry holster

Concealed Carry Holster - Blog Feature 1

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over the importance of having a quality concealed carry holster. A quality holster is just as important as your carry gun as the two items go hand in hand in defensive use. Our goal with this blog post is to discuss what one should look for in a quality holster while also touching on other aspects of carrying concealed. Without further ado, let’s talk concealed carry holsters.


Proper Belt/On-Person Integration

It is very important to ensure that the holster mounts properly to your belt or person. While belts offer a rigid means of attaching and retaining a holster, other methods exist which attach directly to your waistband. There are multiple clips and mounting solutions which accommodate multiple methods of concealed carry. One should ensure that regardless of the retention system they use, that it is of high quality and effectively fastens the holster where it needs to go.

Muddy River Tactical
Muddy River Tactical


There is a saying that “carrying a gun is meant to be comforting, not comfortable.” This adage is basically stating that one can expect at least some degree of discomfort when it comes to carrying a gun. This can be expected as in most cases, such as appendix carry, concealed carriers are stowing a holstered pistol into their waistband. Some pants and belts are suboptimal for carry, making the experience uncomfortable for the wearer.

While one cannot avoid the addition of extra bulk into or onto their waistband, there are ways a quality and optimal holster can work for you rather than against you. Quality inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters will typically feature a “wing” of sorts that allows braces against one’s waistband and tucks the gun towards the shooter. This reduces printing and also helps the holstered firearm conform better to the wearer than a holster that simply relies on clips. Outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters designed for carry will typically hug the wearer’s waistline closely in an attempt to not protrude unnaturally from their body.

There are also some holsters which are bulkier than others. This bulk may or may not come from additional mass needed to accommodate weapon mounted lights. Some lightbearing holsters will be sleeker and more efficiently designed than others. Simply put, a bulkier and larger holster will not be as optimal for carry as something with a slimmer form factor. A more efficiently designed holster coupled with quality retention hardware will increase a user’s level of comfort.

Unfortunately, you cannot truly get rid of the feeling of having a gun in your waistband unless you remove the gun and holster entirely. There are ways to increase your level of comfort and improve your overall carry experience. With an optimal carry setup, one will still be aware of their gun but not feel it constantly digging into them and causing discomfort.


Positive Retention

Positive weapon retention is easily one of the most important factors to consider as far as holsters go. If a holster cannot properly retain your pistol, it is basically nothing more than a paperweight. Positive weapon retention will grant a concealed carrier peace of mind and allow them to rest easy knowing that their gun will stay put.

In times where your life is on the line, the possibility of a physical altercation is never off the table. A concealed carrier may still have their gun holstered in the event of such an altercation. It is in times like these where a holster’s ability to properly retain a firearm is paramount. A holster with improper retention can easily jettison one’s carry gun if the situation gets bad enough. This means that a concealed carrier can potentially lose access to their pistol or, even worse, the assailant could simply take the gun.

Proper retention is also important for everyday carry purposes without the added stress of a self-defense situation. Consider the actions one takes in their everyday life, such as sitting, running, walking, and driving. Depending on how poor the level of retention is, a pistol can potentially become dislodged from its holster. This can lead to excessive printing and increase the odds of losing your pistol. In extreme cases, particularly with OWB holsters, one can even have their gun fall out of their holster. This is obviously something that should be avoided.

Many concealed carry holsters will feature ways to adjust their tension and tailor it to your specific carry gun. These adjustments are typically done by tightening a screw or screws on the holster’s body. Some options, such as the Floodlight from PHLSTER, utilize shock cord in addition to screws to adjust the tension of the holster. There is also a degree of passive retention which will be afforded to a concealed carrier by the tension of their belt and fact that their holster is molded for their gun. Ultimately, a concealed carrier should strive for a level of retention which allows for efficient drawing while also positively retaining their pistol. Both of these desired traits can be achieved with quality concealed carry holsters.


Proper Gun Fit

Ensuring one’s concealed carry holster properly fits their carry gun of choice goes hand in hand with ensuring proper retention is achieved. While it may seem obvious that one should get a holster meant to fit their specific gun, there are some concealed carriers who do not take this easy step and utilize austere methods to carry. Many holsters, specifically those of the leather or kydex variety, will be molded specifically for a specific type of handgun. This can be done to accommodate things such as flashlights and red dot sights as well.

There are also holsters on the market that are designed to fit many types of guns. These universal or multi-fit holsters, like other holsters, can be either effective or subpar. PHLSTER and Tier 1 Concealed are examples of companies who make universal fit holsters that are high quality and reliable. The holsters from these companies in particular will retain off of a common weapon mounted light and feature adjustable tension to fine tune their fit. Essentially, one can get a PHLSTER Floodlight holster made to accommodate either a Surefire X300 or an Streamlight TLR-1 and effectively fit a wide variety of handguns.


Reputable Manufacturers/Materials

One should ensure that their holster is constructed from quality materials and comes from a quality manufacturer. Poorly made leather holsters are prone to deformation over time. This deformation is particularly evident with parts of the leather holster bending inward and potentially reaching into the trigger guard. This can be particularly dangerous when holstering a firearm as obstructions and foreign bodies should be kept from the trigger guard at all times.

Subpar kydex holsters and other products using synthetic materials also exist. Low quality offerings can be too rigid, too large, and feature cheap hardware. Options which are too rigid can easily break when tension is applied to them. This also applies to cheaply made products which lack the consistency found on high quality options. Subpar holsters of this type can usually be too big for their intended use and hinder the comfort of the user.

By getting your holster from a quality manufacturer, you will ensure that your holster is made with quality materials and is backed by a quality company. One can find quality holsters from companies like Safariland, Tier 1 Concealed, PHLSTER, and many established custom holster producers.

Tier 1 Concealment Holster + JM Custom Kydex
Tier 1 Concealment Holster + JM Custom Kydex

Accommodating Accessories

If you are using accessories such as lights, lasers, or red dot sights on your concealed carry pistol, it makes sense to have a holster which will properly accommodate them. Many companies offer holsters which accommodate these accessories.

It is especially important to ensure a holster of this type is tailored towards your specific weapon mounted light if you choose to carry one.  This is due to the fact that holsters are specifically molded to fit these guns with that specific light model. Because of this, the retention of the holster is contingent on this light being present on the gun. For example, if you tried to fit a pistol with a Streamlight TLR-7 into a holster made to accommodate a Surefire X300, there would be a considerable amount of play. This would essentially negate proper retention.

Accommodating red dot sights is an easier feat as there simply needs to be enough room removed from the top area of the holster which rests near the rear sight of the pistol. Typically, a decent bit of material is removed to fit a wide variety of potential red dot sights.



All in all, the importance of a quality concealed carry holster cannot be overstated. You don’t want your defensive bottleneck to be your holster, so make sure you get a quality one. We here at True Shot Ammo carry a few holster options in addition to the ammunition we carry. Regardless of whether you want one of our holster options or some ammo, we have got you covered. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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