Selecting the Right Holster for the Job

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This post might get some push-back from my military service friends but I welcome the comments. I have been meaning to write about various holster options for a while and what I believe based upon my experiences with holsters I own and my perceptions of various factors in a grid down situation. I decided to pull out three holsters I own and give my ideas behind their strengths and weaknesses as well as where I see them most likely being used in a grid down situation. This might help you select the right holster for your prepping needs.

A Tale of 3 Holsters

My first holster is the Raven Phantom Modular Holster. This is my concealed holster during the fall and winter months. When it is cooler outside I can easily and consistently cover up with a light jacket to reduce printing. My current weapons are either a Glock 17 or Glock 22 which also works out great because both weapons fit this same holster.

Phantom Modular Holster by Raven Concealment
Phantom Modular Holster by Raven Concealment

The Phantom Modular fits nice and snug against my back and feels great when I am walking or moving around. Sitting in the car is another story and that is another reason why I am looking to downsize my concealed carry to a Glock 30S. The belt in the photo is the 5.11 tactical TDU Belt 1.75” wide and it holds the weapon and holster perfectly fine. The Knife is my Kershaw Leek. There are usually some other EDC items hanging off the other side of my belt also. The 5.11 belt has no metal parts so it is airport naked body scanner friendly. I always opt-out so I have to remove my belt anyway.

The Phantom Modular costs $85 and is great both when nothing is wrong as in the S hasn’t hit the fan yet and you want a great concealment holster. It is also perfect if you are trying to carry concealed when the grid goes down. At the start of any societal unrest I believe it will be better to keep a low profile so walking out the front door looking too militaristic could be bad.

I like this holster because it is dirt simple and tough. You can’t hurt it unless you run over it with a truck. Magazine storage has to come in the form of other options not included, but for simply holding your weapon securely and allowing for a nice smooth draw, the Phantom is great.


 

The second holster is a drop-leg holster and I purchased this so long ago I can’t even remember the company that I bought it from, but there are millions like this and you can find them for around $30. I found one that is very similar on Combat Sport Supply.

Simple and cheap drop-leg holster.
Simple and cheap drop-leg holster.

This drop leg platform was what I thought would be perfect and I am sure that is in no small part due to TV and the movies. Drop leg holsters seem so practical and it makes you look like a modern-day gunslinger, right? This holster has a velcro strap that adjusts to practically any weapon and covers a snap closure. The idea is that you would flip the vecro strap off, unsnap the snap closure and draw your weapon. This might be cheap, but the platform and this holster has some drawbacks.

The first is inherent with any drop leg holster and that is the weight distribution. With the weight of the weapon that low on your leg, running feels odd. You are dragging this gun and a magazine with your leg and it makes you feel off-balance. Also, the drop leg renders your cargo pockets almost unusable. This holster has capacity for one extra magazine and is what I wear into the woods (deep into the woods). I thought that this would make a great holster, but it sounds better than it actually feels in reality. Additionally, the straps seem to ride down and always require adjustment.

One feature that is nice is the holster detachment clip so you can remove the holster without taking your belt off. You can’t do that with the Raven.

My plan for this holster? I will continue to use it when I go hiking as long as I am really in the woods. I wouldn’t take this on a day hike to the state park. If something does happen, most likely one of my kids would get this holster as it is better than nothing, but I wouldn’t buy one like this for your ultimate grid-down holster.


 

The third holster and my favorite is the Rogers Tactical Holster. This is also a drop leg platform, but it has some serious advantages over the cheaper nylon version above. Of course, those advantages come with a price.

Rogers Tactical Holster - My favorite holster.
Rogers Tactical Holster – My favorite holster.

The Rogers Tactical Holster will set you back over $100. It is built using Safariland parts and is used by police forces, military and competition shooters everywhere. The holster features a paddle that you slide inside your waistband. It removes very easily so you can wear the holster with or without a belt and you can remove it without taking off your belt. The ride is higher than a traditional thigh rig so the weight isn’t down as low on your leg. This feels much more natural. It is just low enough so that it doesn’t interfere with body armor.

You also have two magazine pouches that are friction retainers that keep the magazines in without latches or clips. This could save seconds when you really need it. The weapon fit at least for both of my Glocks is flawless and they both slide easily into place. The Rogers tactical holster has an ALS (Automatic Locking System) that keeps the weapon secure. You deactivate this by gently pressing your thumb down and pulling the weapon up. This feature is nice as the thumb release is perfectly positioned where my thumb naturally goes. Removing the weapon is a quick and easy affair and it feels so good, I have to admit that I practice drawing just to hear the perfect movement of the weapon sliding from the holster. You can tell that some serious engineering went into this piece of equipment.

The Rogers Tactical only has one thigh strap instead of two which I think reduces the ride up factor I mentioned above. Overall this feels and works great!

So when would I wear this holster? This is the ‘all hell has broken loose’ holster when you are carrying every single day and aren’t afraid to show it. Just like the drop leg above you can’t wear this if you are trying to be discrete unless you are on the firing range, but when SHTF, this is what I plan on rocking.

Your turn. What is your favorite holster and why?

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22 Comments on "Selecting the Right Holster for the Job"

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Adam Brock
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An interesting multi use holster that one may consider is the OSH by g-code. It’s priced pretty well 40 bucks or so for the base unit,and attachments are around 20 dollars. Each attachment lets the holster do a separate task. Ranging from molle attachment to belt loops for IWB or OWB carry. I haven’t gotten it yet but I’m considering it.
I have two INCOG holsters by the same company for conceal and would by more if they made one for the ppk.

BobW
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I haven’t properly field tested them yet, but I found a solid deal on the Blackhawk Omega VI ‘airborne’ holster, so I wound up buying one. Its very similar to the generic version you purchased, but with around the house testing, felt it was very adjustable, and stayed in place very well. I paid $34 in a closeout deal. I have an Uncle Mike’s that’s not all that different than yours, and it flops around and generally doesn’t stay in place at all. I’m not any kind of fanboy, but the milspec version fits well, and I’m hopeful that more… Read more »
usmarinestanker
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What, no mil spec 1911 leather shoulder holster?

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I don’t know why we get issued this piece of crap for the M9 (I also don’t know why we get issued that piece of crap either….)

In the Fleet I bought a nylon drop holster like you have posted in your second blurb. Ten years later it still works well and is simply what I’m used to. Perhaps one day I will get something better, but other preps need to come first.

Ultimately, that sweet little Rogers deal looks pretty awesome.

Jeremy
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http://www.tacticalholsters.com/product/INC/ECLIPSE.html

My EDC holster. I carry appendix, this is my go to.

For anything else it would be OWB in kydex.

Joe Oravec
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OK, while you have three holsters featured here may I suggest a 4th? My wife works for http://www.winthropholsters.com . They have holsters starting at about from $17 on up. Right now all their holsters are discounted for the holidays. These are custom leather holsters made to your weapon. They also have a Brick and Mortar store in Lakewood, Ohio. You can bring your gun in a have the holster made to fit. They can also customize for Laser sights, and other things. That is if they don’t already carry your holster in stock. (1911’s , Glock) They also can make… Read more »
Doug O
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Drop legs holsters seem to be loved by all those that have never worn them or have not had to wear them for an extended period of time (Like army ponchos that preppers claim to love even though they just cause you to sweat profusely, cause water to run down and extra soak your legs and boots, and then leak through within 10 minutes of a heavy downpour anyway…but I digress). You are right drop legs bounce around when you try to run and suck when trying to ride in a cramped vehicle (not to mention having to take them… Read more »
Pat
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I know what you mean by mounting your handgun on your plate carrier and thought about doing that myself. I am not worried as much as some are about the muzzle being pointed in their direction for the same reasons you mention. It’s just a preference I guess but I agree that if it gets that bad, I will be wearing my plate carrier too.

BobW
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Doug, I hear what you are saying about drop holsters, but I see it from a different angle. No, drop holsters are not perfect. They are essentially purpose built for the combat environment. For ‘all calm’ carry, they are a bit floppy, are unconcealable, make your leg sweat like heck, and generally feel heavy on your leg. But if the S really has hit the fan, I don’t want my protection strapped to something I might have to jettison under duress. Connected to a belt, it’ll take surrender to get the thing off a person, just like an ‘on the… Read more »
Doug O
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BobW, you make some great points. My go to set up is actually a light weight chest rig (no plates, 4 AR mags, 2 pistol mags, small IFAK, and knife) and a custom kydex pistol holster attached straight to my belt. You are correct, for the individual on the move light and fast are key. For me the plate carrier fills more of a static defensive posture.

Adam
Guest

Interesting holsters. I have not seen your safariland variation before but I always prefer a holster with a retention of some kind. My summer holster is a Galco iwb and for cooler weather I use a Blackhawk serpa. I have used the cqc line for several years and like them pretty well.

Pat
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I still am not a fan of IWB holsters probably because I don’t buy my pants big enough to give me that much extra room. I have never tried one so I can’t really comment. I still want to try a belly band or something and maybe I’ll give that Galco a shot.

Adam
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I can vouch for the need to add a couple inches to the waist to compensate for your extra gun girth, but it conceals pretty nicely. I can’t speak of the belly band type, haven’t tried it. The idea of adding a layer of spandex in the summer months is a turn off for me. Galco leather is much nicer than the uncle Mike synthetic iwb I used, but it lasted for several years which was impressive for what it was.

Snake Plisken
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Everyone who carries has their own ideas of EDC and holsters and rightfully so. Use what works for you. Personally, i hate all that sh!t hanging off me. Depends on what I’m carrying that day. If I have my KelTec 9mm I put it in my right jacket pocket with the spare mag in my left jacket pocket. Or during the summer i’ll fit the 9 into my right front pocket of my cargo shorts and the spare mag in my left pocket. When i feel I need heavier firepower I’ll occasionally use a paddle holster but just as soon… Read more »
Pat
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Opinions are what I really like about the comments on our site Snake, so keep em coming! I am similar to you in a lot of respects. Summer time I pocket carry because it is so much less trouble to me.

Thomas Paine in the butt
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Thomas Paine in the butt

I’ve been using an inside the pants holster I made mumble mumble years ago. Its been through 4 different pistols and currently houses a Glock 21. Although it may be retired soon as I trimmed it down for its last tenant, a Glock 30, and the current resident is larger.

The way that Rogers rides up close to the hip reminds me of cowboy style holsters.

Pat
Guest

What materials did you use Thomas? Did you have a pattern or did you get crafty with a hot glue gun and an old baseball mitt?

Thomas Paine in the butt
Guest
Thomas Paine in the butt

I used oil tanned latigo, rivets and milspec snaps on the belt loops. I patterned it with the idea to smooth the lines of the weapon under clothing. I also used a forward cant to make drawing easier from the seated position. By using belt loops instead of a flap it give me more flexibility in positioning the piece.

Primarily what I make is medieval armor for reenactors so the holster’s build to take a beating.

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