A quality leather gun holster is a must-have accessory for both new and experienced shooters. They should be used regularly to practice your marksmanship skills and get comfortable with how they feel in your hands. The best leather gun holsters are made from high-grade leather and have a sturdy yet adjustable design that keeps the weapon secure while you are shooting.
They should also look attractive enough to carry in your pocket or anywhere you need a small, reliable firearm without the worry of it getting damaged or causing injury. Many people keep their guns in a safe for protection or to show off their marksmanship skills. Having your safe allows you to do so without the worry of losing or damaging your firearm. The best leather gun holster should not only safely store your firearm, but also fit the particular make and model of your gun. This guide explores what factors one should consider when shopping for the right holster and reviews some top models on the market.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Leather Holster
The best leather holster for you depends on how well it fits, how much space is available in your car or truck, and what style of firearm it works with. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a new leather holster.
When selecting a new leather holster, size matters! The two main measurements are length and width. To determine which one will work best, measure along the side of your gun where the handle would normally be attached (the top of the pistol grip) and then compare that measurement to the measurement from the front of your neck down to the tip of your nose. If the two numbers don’t match up, you probably need a larger size. However, if they do, you might want to try a smaller one first.
Also, think about where you intend to wear the holster and whether any additional padding around the waist or chest area might help secure the fit. Finally, check the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer to see if there’s an equivalent sized product made specifically for women.
Leather holsters come in many different materials, including Kydex, nylon, polyester, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and stainless steel.
- Kydex holsters tend to be very durable because their material is so hard. This makes them resistant to cuts, scratches, and impacts. They’re also flexible, allowing the holster to move with your body as you move. However, this durability comes at a cost; these holsters tend to be heavier than other options.
- Nylon holsters are another tough choice due to their flexibility and lightweight nature. These are often used in racing gear because they’re highly resistant to punctures and tears. However, they don’t hold up well in high-impact situations such as off-road vehicles, heavy machinery, and firearms training.
- Polyester holsters are typically made of plastic bottles recycled into clothing. While not as tough as metal, they’ll hold up better than both Kydex and nylon and have a lighter weight.
- Fiberglass and carbon fiber are stronger than steel but more delicate than plastic. As a result, while they wont get damaged from rough handling, they can easily snap or tear if dropped on a hard surface.
- Stainless steel is generally reserved for industrial use only since it tends to be extremely strong and durable. It’s also usually quite thick, making it difficult to comfortably wear under clothes.
There are several common styles of leather holsters, each with their own benefits and considerations.
- Classic leather holster has a straight leg from the hip to the footplate and a flat backside without any extra features.
- Rivets that go through the belt loop and fasten onto the opposite sides of the holster serve as a secondary security feature. However, they’re not required and may be removed if necessary.
- A padded shoulder strap is standard equipment on most classic leather holsters. Shoulder straps provide a comfortable way to carry the handgun without using hands or arms. Some models even have removable shoulder pads that allow the user to take the weight off during long periods of activity.
- Many manufacturers now offer adjustable belts instead of traditional riveted loops. Adjustable belts allow the user to fine tune the fit of the holster, making it feel more like a second skin.
In order to ensure proper functioning of your firearm, make sure the following components are present within the holster:
- Safety catch – A safety catch allows the user to quickly engage or disengage the lock without pulling out the gun.
- Locking mechanism – A locking mechanism keeps the gun away unless actively trying to draw it.
- Grip – A good grip ensures control over the gun even during vigorous activity.
You should feel at ease wearing the holster you choose. For instance, a holster that allows you to carry a firearm for an extended amount of time while also not chafing your skin or requiring regular adjustment is necessary. Fortunately, leather has comfort as one of its benefits over a lot of other materials. Over time, leather adapts to your body, following the lines of your body. This has the effect of making leather holsters more comfortable over time. For instance, leather is more compressible than plastics. It is more flexible.
Types Of Leather Holsters
Leather holsters come in a variety of different types, and it’s important to know which one you need before you spend your hard-earned money on one. Leather holsters are designed for specific uses, so it’s best to pick one that fits the type of work you will be doing with the gun.
An outside-the-waistband holster (OWB) is worn at the front of the hip or over the appendix. The actual placement depends on how much concealment you want from an OWB holster. Most people prefer some level of concealment, but not necessarily full cover. The most common place this style of holster is used is by law enforcement officers who may be wearing body armor and carrying long guns. This can also be a good choice if you plan on concealing a firearm under normal circumstances because there isn’t any bulkiness associated with the design.
An inside-the-waistband holster (IWB) is worn where your dominant hand naturally hangs when you draw your weapon. It is inserted into the waistband of your pants, usually via loops or buttons, and held firmly in place using friction. The most common places wearers insert their IWB holsters include the strong side at the four- or five-o’clock position, and the weak side at the 10- or 11- o’clock position. These positions are determined by drawing a line down the center of your abdomen and noting the number “4” or “5” on the left and right sides.
Most people find it easier to reach behind their back while drawing from an inside-the-waistband holster. However, many people have issues reaching all the way around their torso due to various physical limitations.
A shoulder holster is worn to carry either a pistol or another item like a bag of magazines. The item being carried is attached to the holster via straps, and the whole setup is then strapped across the shoulders. Shoulder holsters tend to be very comfortable, especially since they don’t interfere with mobility during use. However, they aren’t as practical as other options. Since the entire weight of the gear is borne by the shoulders, these kinds of holsters require constant readjustments throughout the day to maintain proper balance. Additionally, since the equipment needs to be pulled up over the ears, it can get in the way during reloads.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing holsters for this guide, we relied on personal experience with concealed and open-carry holsters as well as input from other experts.
In order to find out what consumers thought were the greatest holsters, we also looked at user reviews. In order to find out what people are saying about various brands and models, we also examine numerous online reviews. However, there were a few instances where we did pay greater attention to businesses or products if they provided a unique offer, such as free shipping or a free magazine subscription. Additionally, we kept in mind that the trigger guard was totally covered by these holsters, so anything extra that helped you conceal the trigger guard was a benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Leather Holsters
What is the most comfortable gun holster?
The answer to this question depends heavily on what you intend to use it with. For instance, if your firearm of choice happens to be a revolver, then a soft-sided wallet or purse might not provide adequate protection.
How tight should my leather holster be?
Your leather holster should fit snugly enough so that when you sit down, you can comfortably reach around and draw/holster without having to move your hip away from your belly button. If you wear a belt, make sure it fits snugly enough where you don’t have to turn sideways to draw/holster.
Can I wear a leather holster with body armor?
Absolutely! Some manufacturers advertise their products as being “body armor compatible” which means they will either fit inside or outside of your uniform depending on how you want to carry. Make sure you check out the specs before purchasing to ensure compatibility.