New to Guns and Concealed Carry: What do I look for in a Holster?

This is a very common question that many new carriers ask in the forums.

The main things you need to successfully carry concealed are:

  1. A reliable firearm that you're comfortable shooting.
  2. A good sturdy gun belt with at least 2 layers of material.
  3. A safe, quality holster.

The above mentioned are all you need to successfully carry concealed (or open for that matter) and are not too hard to find.

Good firearms to start out with are single stack 9mm's. They're easily found and numerous in quantity. You can't really go wrong with any of the most popular: Walther PPS, PPS M2, Glock 43, Shield 9mm, XDS 3.3, etc.

Most of the time carriers will start out with a single stack 9mm and work their way up in size once they're confident they can conceal more capacity.

A good gunbelt is a bit trickier. Just because a belt has "Tactical" in it's name, does NOT mean it's a good gunbelt. There's nothing "tactical" about a single layer nylon belt. It is not stiff enough to hold your gun upright even while carrying inside the waistband. These belts (or single layer leather "gun belts") will cause the whole gun to tilt outwards causing your firearm to print. Even if you're carrying a $200 awesome holster. DO NOT buy into the "gun belts" that are single layer leather. These will do the same.

For an awesome Dual Layer Nylon Tactical Belt, we highly recommend our TacBelt.

Good Nylon Gun Belt

The Tacbelt is a dual layered nylon belt with a low profile buckle- perfect for carrying at the Appendix Position, on the hip IWB or Open Carrying. The belt is sturdy enough to carry your loaded Glock 19 daily without sagging.

Another great belt option is the Dual Layered Bullhide Gunbelt from the Beltman. There's a reason Beltman is #1 when it comes to gunbelts- he's the best. At 1.5" wide this belt will fit through any belt loops, is perfect as an everyday belt or dress belt, and the quality is second to none.

Good Leather Gun Belt

Third on the list is a safe, quality holster. This can be found in many of the holsters sold by reputable companies. But here are the aspects of a holster that you need to look out for:

  • Sturdy material that won't sag or degrade overtime.
    • If you're going to go with leather, make sure the mouth of the holster- where your firearm goes in- is reinforced so it does not "wilt" over time. If the material becomes flimsy in this area, you may end up having a nasty negligent discharge and lose a butt cheek.
    • This is what is so great about Kydex- it stays the same year after year with no wear, no matter what the weather. Just don't leave it on the dashboard of your car in the heat. It's thermoform plastic and will lose it's shape if left in extreme heat.
  • Make sure the TRIGGER GUARD and the MAG RELEASE are covered. The last thing you want is that trigger being manipulated or the magazine to fall out. I will never understand why companies don't cover the mag release.
  • Also necessary- Adjustable Retention. Having a holster inside your waistband is NOT enough retention. I've seen guns fall out in Home Depot while someone was bending over to grab something. Not a good look.

For a great started IWB Holster, Try one of our Quick Ship Holsters.

Best Starter Holster for Concealed Carry

These holsters ship in about 5 days - or less if we have your firearm in our 24 hour holster section - and they can be returned for a FULL refund or exchanged for a custom holster if needed. These holsters come with the most common specs for IWB carry. You have 30 days to decide what you want in a holster.

If you take our advice, you won't need to spend any more money than necessary in the long run. All of the gear recommended above will last you years, if not decades.

Give us a call or leave a comment below for any other questions regarding Concealed Carry!