How to Choose a Holster for Your Gun: A Comprehensive Guide

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If your handgun is not just for collection, and you carry it around, having a right holster is a must. A holster helps you to avoid losing control of your gun, prevent it from accidental discharge, and protect it from wear and tear.

Are you intending to buy a holster? Looking for reviews but still can’t decide on which one to buy? Finding a holster for your gun is not as easy as you think. You need to consider your needs, your budget, and a lot of options. This needs a little research on your part.

Do you want some help on deciding? Here are some tips and steps on how to choose the right holster for your gun.

What you need to know about holsters

Before you choose the right holster, you need to know first the type or model of the gun you are using because there are different specifications for each holster. For example, a glock 26 holster will not fit other handguns.

A holster is a holder for carrying a gun. It is usually made of leather and is attached on a belt or under the arm. Its functions are:

  • to secure your gun so you can make sure that it is in your possession
  • to protect your gun’s trigger so you can avoid accidental firing
  • to put your gun in a steady position so you can easily and effectively draw it

There are six types of holsters depending on how you want to carry your gun. These are:

  • The Belt Holster. This holster, as the name implies, will be attached to your belt. There are two types of this holster – outside the waistband (OWB) and inside the waistband (IWB) holster. OTW holster will be placed outside your pants, usually at the side you use to draw and shoot. This type allows quick drawing. IWB holster will be in between your pants and your body, in front of, in, or behind your hipbone. This type is easy to conceal.

OWB Holster


IWB holster


  • Pocket Holster. This holster will be tucked in your pocket in an upright position. This allows easier drawing.

Pocket Holster


  • Shoulder Holster. This holster is attached to a strap and keeps your holster at your sides. This can be concealed by wearing a jacket. This allows the gun weight to be distributed in your upper body.

 Shoulder Holster


  • Ankle Holster. This holster is attached in a wide neoprene or padded strap that will be wrapped around the ankle. This allows concealment and convenience and can be used for small backup guns.

Ankle Holster


  • Purse and Bag Holsters. As the name implies, these are purses or bags that are specifically made as holsters. It is mostly for convenience.


Bag Holster


Purse Holster

How to choose the right holster for you

Step 1.  Know your budget.

This is the first thing you need to consider for you to be able to maximize your money. Your budget will play a big role as you consider your price versus quality options. Also, it will be a waste of time if you finally decided on which holster to choose and then your budget falls short.

Know your budget!


Step2. Choose a method of carry that will suit your needs.

I recommend that you choose a holster that will work for your lifestyle. This includes the type of clothing you wear and the activities you are engaged with.

The type of clothing you wear will affect the concealment of your gun. For example, if you usually wear a long shirt or a jacket, there will be no problem in concealing a gun in an OWB holster. If you wear shorter shirts, you can use an IWB holster. Since only the grip of the pistol is exposed in this type of carry, it will be easy to cover it.

If you are usually staying in your office, wearing a suit and just sitting on your desk, it will be convenient to use a shoulder holster. You will have no problem in hiding it in your suit and it will be more comfortable since it will not dig into your waist unlike when you use belt holsters.

If you are constantly in close contact with people, choosing an ankle holster would be the best option as you will not have a problem on constantly bumping with people and they will not bother to look at your ankle as you talk.

Another factor to consider in choosing your method of carry is how you will use your gun. If you want a holster that lets you quickly draw your gun, you should go for IWB or OWB holsters.

Choose a method of carry

Step 3. Consider the size of your gun and the size of your body.

If you have a small frame, it would be hard to have a large gun positioned at your belt, so I don’t recommend belt holsters. You can use a shoulder holster and conceal it with a jacket.

You should also consider that ankle holsters and pocket holsters are best only for small guns.

Consider your body size

Also read: Getting a Handgun that Best Suits Your Needs

Step 4. Consider which holster makes you most comfortable.

Choosing a comfortable holster greatly contributes in your decision on whether to carry your pistol regularly, or just leave it in your house. You may not think of this factor to be important but you will realize it when you get to the point that you have to regularly adjust your holster because you feel uncomfortable. For example, choosing the best IWB holster feels more comfortable to carry.

Consider which holster makes you most comfortable

Step 5. Know what type of material you want.

Materials used for holsters can be leather, nylon, or molded plastic. The type of material you will choose may also depend on your method of carry. It is good to choose leather if you are going to use IWB holster. If you are out for hunting and you are going to carry a handgun in a shoulder holster or OWB holster, it would be good to choose nylon. If you want a concealed carry on the belt without a need for a retention strap, molded plastic would be the best choice.

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Know what type of material you want

Step 6. Check the holster’s retention and reaction.

In order to say that a holster is performing its role, it has to meet these two requirements: to keep the pistol secure when it is not needed (retention) and to have fast access to the pistol when it is needed (reaction).

Check the holster’s retention and reaction

Step 7. Test your holster.

Test your holster as soon as you buy it. Try to walk, sit, and draw your gun while using it so that you can still return it if you found any problems. Just make sure that the place is safe.

How to Choose the Best Holster for Your Handgun?

right holster for your gun

Test your holster after you buy it.


I hope this article helped you choose the right holster for your gun. Although a lot of factors need to be considered in choosing a right holster, you should weigh your options such that it will fit your needs. Also, you should make sure that the holster performs its main functions well.

Did you like this article? If so, please a comment below and share this with your friends. Thank you for reading!

Guest post by Joseph Gleason

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