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|05-11-2016, 09:42 AM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
Your favorite concealed carry holsters
Like many here, I've tried a gazillion different holsters over the last few decades and these days I have some real strong feelings and preferences on holster selection.
Absolute favorite holster maker
These days it's Eric Larson at HBE Leatherworks. Used to be Milt Sparks, but Eirc has him beat these days (but Sparks is still first rate in every way).
I'm all about IWB holsters, and HBE's Com III has been a fantastic performer for me. First with my Hi Power, and currently with my 1911's (and I have one on the way for an anticipated purchase of a CZ P01). What I love about it. Well it's exceptionally well made, looks fantastic, but it's made with concealed carry well in mind. The leather is as thin as you can get and still maintain first rate quality. It DOES NOT have the reinforcement at the mouth of the holster, which is great for a range holster but wholly unnecessary for a daily CC holster. It has really NOTHING that doesn't absolutely NEED to be there, and everything that does. the extension to cover the grip safety and hammer make this holster exceptionally comfortable.
Here's my HBE Com III after 9 years of carry
Milt Sparks VM II is one of the most popular holsters out there, and for good reason; it's world class in every way. These days I'd rather have the Sparks Criterion, but the VM II has served me SO well over the years. The VM II has a couple things I don't care for in a CC holster. Leather is thicker than I prefer, reinforcement at the mouth, and the risers on the belt loops; all of which could be done away with to the betterment of this holster (and have been on the Criterion). Still, even with "features" I don't care for, this is a straight up world class holster and one of my absolute favorites.
After 12 years of carry she still looks nearly new.
I'm also a HUGE fan of the Mitch Rosen ARG design as designed by Massad Ayoob; it's an outstanding design (carrying in one as I write this). The one belt loop rather than two works out perfectly. I don't have a preference between one or two belt loops, but I'm here to tell you the front loop really doesn't matter. Ayoob had it right when he came up with this design, it carries exceptionally well.
A less expensive and perhaps more versatile knock off of the Rosen ARG is the El Paso Saddlry "C-Force". The leather is thinner, it's rough side out, and the boning isn't nearly as precise which ends up making the holster a bit more versatile when it comes to what you can stuff in there. Mine can fit my Beretta 92 or my CZ 75, or a Sig 229/226/220; all of which will stay put perfectly depending on how much I cinch my belt. But I carry my full sized Beretta 92 about as easily as I carry my LW Commander in my HBE holster; that's impressive.
Here's the thing about the C-Force. It really doesn't look like a really "nice" holster, or it doesn't look all that impressive. But it carry's just as well as the Rosen ARG, it's cheap at around or under $80.00 to your door, and generally you'll have your C-Force in around 3-5 weeks, rather than 3-5 months. I personally think it's the best deal in an IWB holster these days...but I'm not giving up my HBE anytime soon.
Something I've found as a pattern with holsters over the years.
- Belt is just as important as the holster
- Holster is as important, or even more important than your choice in handgun (oh yeah, I went there!!)
- Buy top quality, and you only buy once (I may sell guns, I DON'T sell holsters)
- Cheap holsters often lead to just not carrying the weapon you bought that holster for
- You can get world class gunleather at a reasonable price (EPS C-Force, Rosen ARG Expres Line)
- It's nice to own a "BBQ" holster; you just like putting it on more when it looks fantastic...even if you're the only one who knows how fantastic it looks
So what are your favorites and why?
|05-11-2016, 10:42 AM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
The what: Crossbreed Supertuck
Got two and a Rosen ARG. Wear one of the Crossbreeds for my gubmint models or M&P compact almost exclusively.
The why is that I can wear them while doing exterior maintenance, driving or pretty much anything else and nearly forget I'm wearing a holster.
And a big 10-4 on the belt.
I was at a SHOT show in FL a few years back and bumped into Jim Cirillo at a booth.
We said howdy and he commented on my Rosen belt. To this day I couldn't tell you what color shirt he was wearing let alone who made his belt...
Last edited by WaltGraham; 05-11-2016 at 10:51 AM.
|05-11-2016, 11:37 AM||#3|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas
If I don't make it myself then its either a Mitch Rosen of from El Paso Saddlery.
Here's one of the El Paso Saddlery belt and holster rigs I've got.
And this is a pocket holster I made for my Colt Pony
My Milt Sparks are the old Heritage which seems to be a discontinued model and the Summer Special
Oh, I've some Bianchi holsters - a 50 year old No. 5 for my j-frames and a 30 year old upside down shoulder rig also for j-frames.
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|05-11-2016, 12:32 PM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
EVERYTHING is right about that photo. Classy rig, and I love the old school Herrett's skip line checkered grips. Out of fashion these days, but I remember back in the late '70's & early '80's when every custom 1911 inside American Handgunner had a set of those grips or it just wasn't cool.
My old Milt Sparks Summer Special was the fist truly "good" holster I ever got. Until then my "good" holsters were made by Glaco. And let's just say that these days I'm not too much of a Galco fan.
But when I got the Sparks, my Galco was first set aside, then eventually given away. I still have a couple of Galco holsters sitting around, but they rarely get used. I will never get rid of my old beat up but still hanging in there Galco Avenger; it's an excellent holster.
|05-11-2016, 04:34 PM||#5|
Join Date: Dec 2002
I build my own leather, but usually carry a Kahr K9 in a Blackhawk 5-5-10 Urban Carry fanny pack.
I built a Kydex interior holster to better position the K9 in a more upright position.
Here's my own design of cross draw holsters for my S&W Model 66's, one standard 2 1/2 inch and one limited production 3 inch.
These have reverse seams so the front seam forms a sight channel.
These are FAST when worn slightly farther forward then normally done.
With a coat or shirt over the gun, you can clasp your hands in front in a non-threatening manner.
One hand is on the tail of the shirt, the other is RIGHT on the gun.
All you have to do is lift the shirt and the gun is super fast out.
In fact, since your hands are right on the gun this holster is possibly the fastest CCW there is, much faster then a strong side, plus it's readily available when sitting.
With your hands clasped in front, the gun is protected from a grab attempt.
Sometimes I carry in a shoulder holster.
This is my latest take on the old Stein Leather Company "Snatch Holster".
The retainer strap isn't a thumb break, it's a pull-through heavy-duty snap.
To draw you just give the gun a slight yank and it pops out.
|05-12-2016, 11:01 AM||#7|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Antonio, TX
DON HUME pancake holster & gunbelt is all that I bought till Hume sold out a couple of years ago.
(The best holster/belt for the $$$$$$$$ imVho.)
|06-04-2016, 01:17 AM||#8|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Wild Bills No Such Agency for both my P2K and Sig 229. It is a takeoff of the holster Mas designed, very well made. I'll put a pic up tomorow
|06-04-2016, 05:03 PM||#9|
Join Date: Sep 2005
I've been pretty loyal to Safariland. I don't recall the exact model I'm using for my M&P9. They discontinued the version I've got and went with the same holster body but with a different belt loop setup.
Ken Null is very, very good too. The first one of his holsters I bought, I looked at it and thought "I spent how much on this?????????" Then I wore it. Money well spent.
I've made myself a couple IWB holsters when I couldn't afford to buy one. It isn''t rocket science.
|02-28-2018, 03:10 PM||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: 29.62 N 81.219 W
I'm not afraid to admit that I gravitate to the Miami Classic.
Haven't had a bad experience with Galco yet.
Is Kirkpatrick still working with Americain Sales & MFG. CO. out of Laredo? Been allot of years since I've ordered any of those rigs. But they never failed in form or function. JMHO.
|02-28-2018, 04:31 PM||#12|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Since the Photobucket debacle deep-sixed my pictures I'll repost them.
1. Is a reversed seam cross draw for a S&W Model 66 Combat Magnum with a 2 1/2 inch barrel.
The "shark fin" hammer protector is on both the front and back. This keeps the hammer from snagging the clothing or skin.
2. Is a shoulder holster for the same gun.
The snap is a pull-through. All you have to do is grab the gun and pull and it pops out.
3. and 4. Is a cross draw for my Kahr Arms K9.
It has a "mutant" back seam that's both a standard and reverse seam.
It has the protector only on the back to protect skin and keep sweat off the gun.
5. Is my Blackhawk "Urban Carry" fanny pack, also known as a 5-5-10, for the ability to draw the gun and fire five shots in five seconds at 10 feet.
Of the fanny packs, this one is probably the fastest draw of them all.
I'm not really set up for working with Kydex but I made a internal holster for it to properly position the gun for a fast draw, and to prevent bending over, sitting, and moving around to accidentally depress the magazine catch and allow the mag to pop out slightly.
The Kydex shrouds the mag catch to prevent that.
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