Gun Holsters

Gun Holsters provides reviews, articles, and listings for all types of gun holsters and pistol holsters. We cover gun holsters by Galco, Comp-Tac, Don Hume, Mitch Rosen, Fobus, Safariland, Uncle Mike's, Bianchi, 5.11, Blackhawk, and many others.

Basic functions of a holster

Holsters are generally designed to offer protection to the gun, secure retention, and ready access. The need for ready access is often at odds with the need for security and protection, so the user must decide how much they are willing to compromise on ready access to gain the security and protection. Picking the right compromise can be very important, especially in the case of a defensive weapon holster, where failure to access the weapon quickly, or damage or loss of the weapon due to insufficient retention or protection could result in the user's death.

Holsters are generally designed to be used with one hand, allowing the firearm to be removed and/or replaced with one hand. To be able to return a gun to a holster one-handed, the holster should be made from a fairly stiff substance that holds its shape, so that the holster won't collapse without the firearm inside to give it support. Too stiff, however, and the holster might be prone to breakage if it is pressed between the wearer's body and another object, such as a chair or wall.

Holsters are generally worn attached to a person's belt or waistband, or clipped to an item of clothing. Some holsters may also fit inside a pocket, where they add stability and protection to the weapon, keeping it secure in the pocket. Holsters are generally kept near the waist, chest, or upper thighs of the user, where they may easily be reached. Other holsters may be behind the back, at the ankle, or even inside the pants, if they are intended to be concealed.


Since holsters are best made from fairly stiff yet tough materials, there are a limited number of common choices. The traditional material, particularly for handgun holsters, is leather. Leather is commonly considered attractive, and can be found dyed in many colors and/or embossed with elaborate designs for cosmetic reasons. Ballistic nylon is a commonly used fabric for holsters, as it is stiff, wear resistant, and thick enough to provide protection. Molded plastics, such as Kydex, are also becoming popular.

In the case of handguns, there is also the "string holster" whose usage was taught by the OSS during World War II. This is simply a loop of string or cord, attached to the belt or a belt loop, placed inside the pants at the waistband, into which the muzzle of the weapon is inserted. This provides a modicum of retention, while maximizing concealability and lightness of weight.

Firearms holsters

Holster designs for firearms cover a wide range of shapes, materials, and retention/release mechanisms, from simple leather pouches hanging from a belt to highly protective holsters with flaps that cover the entire handgun, to highly adjustable competition holsters that hold the handgun at a precise position and release instantly with the right pressure. The wide range of types indicates the highly varied circumstances in which holsters are used, and the varying preferences of the users.

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