First Shots: Holster Selection

One of the primary reasons people begin shopping for a holster is because they’re planning to carry a firearm concealed. Some people also like to use a holster when they head to the range, and certainly handgun competitors in the action pistol sports like IPSC, IDPA, 3-Gun and Cowboy Action also need the right holster. The biggest difference between the two is that in the first case the holster is needed to keep a gun from view, while the latter are all about what’s called “open carry.” Across those two types are hundreds of variations in styles and materials. So how do you choose?

The answer to that is carefully, but the first thing you should know before you plop down your hard-earned money for the first pretty piece of hip leather you see is that the reason there are so very many holster styles is because:

  1. Not all holsters work in all situations for which a holster might be needed.
  2. Not all holsters work for all body types.

If you can keep those two things in mind—that holsters are kind of like shoes, where not one size fits all and where sneakers are good for running a few miles but not looked upon favorably in the board room—then you can actually have a lot of fun exploring the many ways to carry a handgun on your person. So let’s look at a few of the styles you’re most likely to come across and explore using as your first holster.

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