Choosing the right holster for your firearm depends on what you need it to do. The holster you choose must meet your carry, training, and even home defense requirements.
The best holsters are made from rigid materials like Kydex or leather and have a belt clip that stays secure on your gun belt. They also offer excellent weapon retention and are comfortable to wear.
Kydex is an excellent material for gun holsters, particularly paddle holsters. It is a strong and durable material that can be molded into complex shapes using heat. It is also impervious to sweat, oil, and other chemicals that can degrade a handgun’s finish.
A quality Kydex holster will be molded to the exact shape of your firearm for a better fit and increased safety. However, this can also increase the cost of the holster.
Another downside of Kydex paddle holsters is that they can be more difficult to conceal under tighter clothing, especially in an IWB position. This can be offset with a cover garment, but it is something that many people will want to consider before investing in this type of holster. Leathers, on the other hand, are softer and offer more comfort. However, they can be more susceptible to wear and tear than other materials.
Paddle holsters are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among law enforcement officers. These holsters, which sit outside the waistband (OWB), feature a paddle, typically rubberized, that holds your weapon in place. Paddle holsters offer excellent weapon retention and are easy to draw from, especially for those who practice their draws regularly.
They are also relatively simple to wear, as they can be attached and removed easily without taking off your pants. They can even be worn over a T-shirt, making them an excellent option for concealed carry.
On the downside, however, paddle holsters may only be suitable for some situations. Since they sit on the outside of your waistband, they may cause printing (the outline of your firearm visible through tighter clothing). This can be problematic in some places where carrying is illegal, so you must test your gear and check local laws before wearing a paddle holster in public.
Paddle holsters are a good choice for those who prefer to carry their weapon in a more concealed position. However, it’s essential to understand how they can be used to get the most out of them.
The paddle can be adjusted for several angles, including a zero cant (straight up), a forward cant, or even a 15-degree reverse cant for those who want to carry their firearm in a cross-draw configuration.
As with all holsters, it is essential to check that the gun fits securely and is not prone to falling out or getting caught on something when wearing a paddle holster. Also, wearing a stiff, properly-fitting belt is recommended to help keep the holster in place and prevent your pants from sagging under the weight of your pistol and the paddle. This is especially true if you are a person who carries a weapon frequently. If this is not possible, you should look into other options for your holster.
Paddle holsters are usually worn outside the waistband (OWB). For some, this position may be uncomfortable. Those with larger midsections may feel their firearm pressing against them when they carry this way, and those wearing baggy pants can risk the holster shifting from its intended location.
However, many paddle holsters feature adjustable retention to allow you to adjust how securely your gun is held in place. This can improve comfort, especially if you’re a heavy-set carrier.
Additionally, suppose you wear your holster for extended periods or participate in vigorous physical activities. In that case, it’s a good idea to choose a paddle holster with active retention that uses a strap, hood, or snap to secure the weapon and prevent accidental release. This will make it easier to draw your firearm when you need to. However, this is only necessary if you’re openly carrying and have the legal right to do so in your jurisdiction. Otherwise, it’s best to wear a passive retention holster.