Finding that "perfect" concealed carry holster is almost a never ending quest for individuals who carry concealed. Most people go through a series of holsters in a trial and error process trying to find the perfect combination of comfort and concealment.

In most cases, handgun owners end up with the proverbial "box of holsters" that end up sitting around without being used.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cowhide Versus Horsehide Gun Holsters

For a number of years there has been a bit of an on-going debate involving whether or not horsehide made a better holster material than cowhide?

If you read through some info online, you'll see there are mixed opinions on the topic. Here's my .02 worth of opinion on the topic:

I've had the pleasure of owning and using both horsehide and cowhide holsters. There are very holster makers who specialize in horsehide any more. Greg Kramer of Kramer Leather, is probably the best known horsehide holster maker. While there are others who do make holsters from horsehide, Kramer was one of the early pioneers to focus on horse as a holster material.

Horsehide is denser than cowhide making it harder to work with and more difficult to dye. That same denseness also makes horse nearly waterproof versus cowhide that is water resistant. Horsehide is harder to get and therefore, more expensive than cowhide.

I have some Kramer horsehide holsters that are over 15 years old and have been worn quite a bit. I honestly think, I could clean up most of those holsters with some good polish and sell them on Ebay for close to what I paid for them 15 + years ago. This is due to the fact that horsehide is extremely durable. Much more durable than cowhide, in my humble opinion.

All things being equal, I would take a horsehide holster over it's brother in cowhide most anytime. Unfortunately, there aren't that many opportunities left to do that and it becomes a budget issue. While cowhide works great as long as it's taken care of, horsehide is a better choice if it's available at a reasonable price.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Importance of a Gun Belt

It's very interesting to read forums and talk to people in person about their experiences with various holsters. It's equally interesting to learn that few of them are using a real gun belt to support the holster.

While many people will try to take a shortcut in this area, it's extremely important to wear a gun belt with your holster. Why? Most regular belts are made from a single layer of cowhide. Those belts are designed to keep your pants up. They are NOT designed to support the weight of a loaded weapon. That's part of the reason that holsters move around on the belt and seem to flex away from the body as they are carried. 99% of all "regular" belts simply do not offer enough support.

Now, am I saying that you have to go out and spend $80 on a "gun belt"? No, I'm saying that a properly designed gun belt will significantly increase the performance and effectiveness of a holster. So where can you find a nice gun belt? My favorite place for info on gun belts is here: Gun Belts.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Finding a Holster for a Ruger LCR

Although the Ruger LCR is realtively new, it's still possible to find a nice concealed carry holster for it. It's important to note that holsters for similar framed weapons (S&W J frame, Taurus 85, etc.) don't seem to fit the LCR as it had a different frame structure.

I like the LCR and it's one of the lightest revolvers I've ever carried. I've seen that Ruger is now making it in a 357 version, although I'm not sure how much I would like that. A 357 round coming out of such a light weapon is going to generate some recoil and muzzle rise.

Since S&W J frame holsters won't fit this handgun very well, most holster manufacturers are having to scramble to start making holsters specific to it. Now that aluminium molds of the LCR are avaialable, you should start to see a number of mainstream makers (Galco, Don Hume, DeSantis, etc.) begin offering LCR specific holsters.

If you read this blog, then you know I'm a huge Don Hume fan as they are a great value for the money. This site has a nice selection of Ruger LCR holsters.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is the Milt Sparks VM2 Worth The Money?

If you spend anytime reading shooting forums, you will most likely have come across a thread singing the praises of the Milt Sparks Versa Max 2. Actaully buying one of these holsters can be tricky as Milt Sparks is running about 12 to 18 months behind, and Ebay has some at a premium price.

A common question that seems to be asked by new and experienced shooters alike involves whether or not the VM2 is worth the money?

My thoughts:

Absolutely. The VM-2 is one of the most comfortable and most concealable gun holsters I've ever owned. People rave about them for a reason. They are extremely well built and can make a number of handguns virtually disappear on the waist.

I have a VM2 for my Glock 26 that is close to 15 years old. Although it looks similar to the design above, it's definitely an earlier model made by none other than Tony Kanaley himself (you can tell who makes any Sparks holster as they are only assigned to one craftsman and that craftsman puts his initials in the backside of the holster. The fact that Tony was still actively making holsters back then kind of dates mine. Not only does that holster still look good, but it wears and conceals my G-26 today just as well as the day it hit my mailbox 15 plus years ago.

You may pay a premium price, but oyu are buying a premium holster. This site has some VM2 holsters that are listed on Ebay already categorized one page for you: Milt Sparks Gun Holsters

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finding Holsters for the Ruger LCR

The Ruger LCR revolver has been on the market now for about 18 months. It's been growing in popularity due to it's lightweight frame and smooth trigger pull.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one right when they first came out, and it's become one of my favorite CCW revolvers. This is big for me as I'm not a huge revolver fan. I carried one on my ankle as a back-up gun all during my 12+ years in law enforcement, but I was never a huge fan.

I have to say that the LCR is slowly but surely converting me over. As a general rule, I've never recommended small frame revolvers to first time shooters due to the poor trigger pulls and truly short range accuracy. However, even my wife, who isn't a shooter in the slightest, had fun running 50 rounds through my LCR. She even commented that this was gun she would feel comfortable using for home defense. Coming from my wife, that's huge praise!!

Finding a good holster this weapon shouldn't really be an issue now. When the weapon first hit the market, everyone sort of assumed that it would fit a holster for most any small frame revolver like a Taurus 85 or J frame. That turned out to not be the case. The LCR has unique dimensions so it requires a holster molded to it specifically.

This place has some nice rigs for that weapon: Ruger LCR Holster.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Glock 26 as a CCW Weapon

I've been a fan of the the Glock 26 since it was released. I had a Glock 19 back when they first came out, and couldn't wait for Glock to release a smaller version.

I definitely think a Pearce mag extension or pinky extension is worth the money as I have large hand and I had some trouble getting a good grip on the 26. The grip extension gives me somewhere to grab with my pinky finger.

Finding a holster for the G-26 isn't al that hard as it's become a very popular weapon. Also, it's important to understand that all the subcompact Glock models (27, 27, and 33) are all built on the same frame so they can interchange in terms of holsters. So a holster for a G-26 will also fit a Glock 27. Although the Glock 26 is kind of bulky (the double stack magazine adds some overall width), it is an excellent choice for concelaed carry using a belt holster or IWB holster. The Don Hume H715M W/C is one of my favorite holsters for this rig as it's not too expensive and does a good job of concealing.

If you are looking for a holster for your G-26, G-27, or G-33 try here: Glock 26 holsters.

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