A three-point locking mechanism with a thumb-activated pivot guard is referred to as a level 3 holster. A quality level-3 holster is a type of firearm carry option that goes beyond the traditional gun belt and hip holster setup, allowing you to comfortably and conveniently transport your weapon without putting it in the car or causing an obstruction. These devices feature a strap that goes around the lower portion of the rib cage just above the waistline, with two straps that cross over each other and then attach to a buckle that sits just above the knee. When you run, the force from gravity pulls the leg forward, which gives the appearance of natural gait while significantly lessening the impact on the joints.
The best level-3 holsters are made out of durable materials like nylon or polyester, making them suitable for use in any surroundings or climate. They should also be easy to operate and require minimal effort to conceal your handgun. The size and weight restrictions of these holsters vary depending on what features they come equipped with; some have additional pouches attached, while others come with a built-in harness. Below we take a look at some of the top products on the market featuring this specialized product line.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Level 3 Holster
When shopping for a new level 3 holster, there are several factors worth considering. The following section looks at these in detail.
The main use of a level 3 holster is to keep a gun safe until you need it. This could be an emergency or just a quick adventure with your friends. Either way, having a quality product that keeps your weapon secure makes sense. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a level 3 holster without needing it, then opt for a convertible one that allows you to change the way you carry your firearm.
Depending on the style and pricing point, holster materials might vary substantially. Generally speaking, however, they’re made from plastic, leather, nylon, fiberglass, and steel.
- Holsters made of plastic are typically less expensive than those made of metal, but they are also more prone to damage. Additionally, they don’t fare well in hot weather or in direct sunshine.
- Leather holsters have been around since the days of Westerns when guns were carried on horseback. Leather is tough and holds its shape, though it does absorb moisture and must be cleaned regularly.
- Nylon holsters are soft and flexible. They’re great for comfort as well as protection because they mold to your body. However, they don’t withstand extreme heat or heavy wear very well.
- Fiberglass and steel are stronger than all other materials except titanium. These durable metals make excellent holsters that will last longer and stand up to abuse better.
Size and Shape
Level 3 holsters come in many sizes and shapes. For instance, some fit inside pockets, others attach to belts, and still others look like traditional shoulder rigs. Here’s what you need to know about the different options available:
- Inside-pocket holsters aren’t really designed to keep your gun safe; instead, they’re meant to allow you to access it quickly when needed. As such, they’re not usually secured very well.
- Belt holsters are generally attached to your belt using two or three adjustable straps. They’re great for keeping your handgun accessible but might not offer the security of an enclosed container.
- Shoulder rig holsters consist of a set of straps that go across your shoulders and a hook that attaches to your neck. They Are similar to a traditional military uniform and are intended to ensure that your arms are ready to fire at any time.
While most people buy a level 3 holster to keep their gun safe, there are other ways to increase the security of a firearm. One option is a cable that enters the gun’s handle and attaches to a pad on your wrist. Another is a button on the grip of the gun that activates an alarm when pressed.
The material used to create level 3 holsters should be strong and pleasant to wear. All day long, you’ll be donning it. Before spending money on a purchase, ensure that you examine the material and evaluate the level of comfort.
There are numerous styles of level 3 holsters including classic double-star, triple-star, four-point harness, and dogleg. Each has its own advantages, so choose the one that’s right for you.
- Double-star holsters feature two or three straps that cross over your torso and a large loop that goes over your head. This arrangement offers good support and balance, making it easier to draw your gun quickly without fumbling around.
- Triple-star holsters have three or four straps that run across your torso and a larger loop that goes over your head. This configuration provides even better balance and support, making it harder to drop your gun accidentally.
- Four-point harnesses have a bit of a dog leg shape, with four straps that go across your torso and waistband. This design helps prevent accidental drops and gives you a place to hang a flashlight or knife if you need to reach into your pocket during emergencies.
- Dogleg holsters have a modified “L” shape with five or six straps that go across your torso and hips. This design reduces pokes from fingers while drawing your gun and increases stability, making it safer to mount a light or throw a punch.
Types Of Level 3 Holsters
There are a lot of options out there for you to choose from when it comes to purchasing a new holster. The key is knowing which type you need before making your purchase.
An OWB holster is the most common and what most people think of when they start their search for a gun holster. It’s worn outside your waist, so it keeps your firearm safe and protected while allowing quick access through a front draw.
The biggest advantage of an OWB carry position is comfort because your body naturally provides padding and support where needed. However, this also means that you’ll have less control over your pistol as well. You won’t be able to move your fingers along the barrel or adjust the tension on the strap in order to accommodate different sized firearms.
An IWB holster is worn inside your waist, so it keeps your firearm secure and protected while allowing easy access through a rear draw.
This option offers more flexibility when carrying larger handguns since you can slide your hand into the waistband and reach around the muzzle of the weapon without removing your pants. This makes reholstering much easier as well. However, this style of carry does require additional effort to conceal properly. If you’re wearing shorts or bathing suits, you may not be able to effectively cover up the handgun with your clothing.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing holsters for this guide, we relied on personal experience with concealed and open-carry holsters from a range of manufacturers. In order to choose our top picks for the best holster, we first looked at what features were most important in a good holster.
We then searched for holsters that had those features. Finally, we read feedback from users who had actually purchased the holsters to get their thoughts about which ones were the best.
Frequently Asked Questions About Level 3 Holsters
What is the most comfortable holster for a level III?
This depends entirely on your body type and lifestyle. People who sit all day might want something that’s more comfortable than an IWB, while those who stand or walk around all day might prefer an OWB.
How tight should my level III holster be?
Your level III holster shouldn’t be too loose or too tight so that your trigger finger can slip off the trigger guard and cause the hammer to fall if you’re not careful when you draw. It should fit perfectly enough to prevent the pistol from rattling around inside the holster. Before using it with anything other than a little item tied to your belt, make sure it fits properly.
Is it legal to carry a concealed weapon in Alaska without a permit?
In general, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is illegal in the United States. However, there are several exceptions, including open carriers, military members, LEOs, etc., as well as state laws allowing certain categories of people (such as teachers) to conceal carry without a permit. As always, it is best to double-check your local regulations and restrictions.
What exactly falls under a level 3 holster?
A level 3 holster has an auto lock that disengages whenever the index finger is moved along the slide, a pivot guard that disengages when the holster is driven down with a master grip, and adjustable pressure on the trigger guard.
Is a level 3 holster necessary?
Holsters with a Level 3 rating offer the highest level of security. It would be challenging for someone to take your firearm.