Gun Holsters Frequently Asked Questions
Which gun holster should I order?
Depending on what your needs and preferences are, here are your options:
Gear Holster – This single belt clip gun holster is easiest to put on and take off. It has a very small footprint. Its cant and ride height is adjustable. Plus, it’s ambidextrous. It works great in the appendix position or behind the hip.
IWB Hinge Holster – Our Flagship gun holster conceals better than any other holster on the market. The high level of concealment is achieved with our patent-pending “Hinge-Tab” technology. Plus dual belt clips give a very stable ride. It’s tuckable as well. It’s designed to work behind the hip (from 3:30 – 5:30). It can be converted into the OWB Hinge Holster, Gear Holster, or Low Ride Holster.
OWB Hinge Holster – Because this gun holster works off the same platform as our IWB Hinge Holster, it conceals about as well as an IWB Holster. It can be converted into the IWB Hinge Holster, Gear Holster, or even the Low Ride Holster.
Low Ride Holster – This holster works great with dress clothes or where you might need great concealment. It rides really low on the belt and is tuckable. It’s best suited for appendix carry.
Comfort Cling – Pocket Holster / Clipless IWB Holster – This high friction gun holster clings to your clothing so it stays where you stick it. The interior of these gun holsters for pistols is low friction so that the gun draws easily and smoothly. It holds your gun upright in your pocket and allows you to present the gun quickly. It also sticks in just about any position inside your waistband. When you draw your handgun, the inside the waistband holster stays put.
What positions can a concealment holster be carried in?
There are four main positions that people carry their concealment gun holsters in: appendix, behind the hip, 3:00, and pocket. You’ll have to decide for yourself which carry style conceals better and which is most comfortable for you.
Appendix – Appendix is carried in front (from 1:00 – 2:00). Our Stingray holster configured to zero degrees works best for Appendix Carry.
Appendix carry is gaining popularity. Many say that you can present the firearm faster. Another benefit is that it’s harder for a bad guy to take the gun from you. Of course longer-barreled guns are harder to carry in an appendix gun holsters if you plan on sitting much.
Behind the Hip – Behind the hip is the most common carry style. It’s considered the most comfortable way to carry concealed carry guns by a majority of Concealed Carriers. The Stingray configured at 15 degrees, the No Print Wonder, the Ultra-Conceal OWB, or the Comfort Cling gun holsters can be carried behind the hip.
It’s important to note that when a gun is carried in behind the hip gun holsters, a strong cant helps with concealment. It also makes it easier to pull the gun forward when un-holstering it.
3:00 – This is when your weapon is carried directly on the hip bone. Our Ultra-Conceal OWB Holsters work best for this position. It’s very uncomfortable to carry directly on 3:00 in an IWB holster. However, it is very common to carry at 3:00 in an OWB holster. The cant you use in this position depends on personal preference. Some prefer a zero degree cant and some prefer a 15 degree cant in the 3:00 position.
Pocket Carry – Slower presentation but very comfortable. It’s also quite concealable. Our Comfort Cling gun holsters works great for pocket carry. It’ll hold your pistol upright so the grip is always ready at the top of your pocket. When you draw your gun, the pocket holster stays behind while your gun easily comes out.
Why is level 1 retention most common for Concealed Carry?
Level 1 retention means that retention holds the gun in the holster. There are no other mechanisms holding the gun in the holster. A concealed carry holster is less likely to have a mechanism other than friction holding the pistol in the holster for a few reasons.
- Additional time is needed to draw a weapon from concealment. In a life-threatening situation, every fraction of a second counts. If you need to draw your weapon from a concealment holster, you’re already losing a fraction of a second. If you add another step (such as a thumb release) to the process of drawing your weapon, another crucial fraction of a second is added to your presentation.
- Extra training is required for a Level 2 gun holster. A stressful situation floods your system with adrenaline. That makes it very hard to think clearly. When adrenaline floods your system, muscle memory acquired from hundreds or thousands of hours of practice is the best chance of drawing and using your weapon effectively.
- There’s a lower chance of a bad guy noticing your handgun when it’s concealed. Therefore, there’s a lower chance of a bad guy trying to un-holster your weapon from a concealment gun holster. So there’s less need for a second level of retention in a concealed carry holster.
What are the best guns to carry in a concealed carry gun holster?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. However, a good approach is this: carry the biggest gun you can comfortably conceal given your daily activities and wardrobe. Of course, your daily activities and wardrobe can vary greatly.
Why should you carry the biggest gun possible? That’s a simple answer. You can shoot better with bigger guns. They recoil less, enable faster follow-up shots, and are generally more accurate. Plus, they can carry twice the ammo.
There are a few size categories when it comes to handguns:
Pocket-sized .380 – These are guns like the Ruger LCP or Kahr CW380. You can almost always carry a pocket-sized .380 if you can’t carry anything else. These are very easy to throw it into a pocket gun holster or an IWB gun holster and they conceal better than any other category of pistol.
Hand-sized .380 – These are guns like the Glock 42, Sig P238 w/extended mag, or Kahr CT380. You can get an extra finger on the grip compared to a pocket-sized .380. If you have small to medium sized hands, you can even get a full grip on them. With the right ammo, these are viable self-defense pistols.
If you want to carry your pistol in an Inside the Waistband gun Holster but need the best concealment possible, this is a great size of pistol to meet your objective.
Single Stack Nine – These are guns like the Glock 43, M&P Shield, and Walther PPS. Single Stack Nines are by far the most popular pistol category for Concealed Carry. You typically get 6-9 rounds of 9mm man-stoppers in a package that’s usually less than an inch thick.
These are very easy to conceal in a good concealment gun holster. Plus 9mm ballistics have proven man-stopping power. While these pistols only have a few rounds, they are very easy to have on you in most situations.
Subcompact Double Stack Pistols – These are guns like the Glock 26, Walter PPQ Subcompact, or the XD Mod.2 Subcompact. these are basically chopped down versions of service-sized pistols. For instance, the Glock 26 is basically a Glock 19 with a shorter barrel and grip.
These pistols typically hold between 10 -13 rounds of ammo. Many of these pistols also have optional extended mags as well. These extended mags can expand firepower up to a formidable 15 – 19 rounds of ammo. That’s impressive!
These pistols work great with Inside the Waistband holsters. The short barrels can work great in appendix carry gun holsters as well. Longer-barreled guns are difficult to conceal in the appendix position for most people if they plan on sitting much. These pistols usually have barrel lengths between 3 – 3.5 inches so they work really well in appendix or behind the hip carry.
The grips are usually chopped down as well. Your pinky is very likely to be dangling in the wind. That can be remedied with an extended mag or pinky extension though. Many shooters find this these pistols the perfect compliment to their service-sized pistols.
They have the same manual of arms and feel. Therefore, much of the training from the bigger gun transfers to the smaller version. Carrying a Glock 26 is a great compromise if you can’t carry your Glock 19.
Compact Service Pistols – These are guns such as the Glock 19, Sig P229, or Sig P320 Compact that are just slightly smaller than full size service pistols. These pistols generally have a slightly shorter grip and/or barrel length. For instance, the Glock 19’s shorter grip holds 15 rounds of 9mm vs the Glock 17’s 17 round capacity. Plus the barrel is about a half inch shorter.
Some pistols like the Glock G45 split the difference. It has a Glock G17 frame mated to a Glock G19 barrel and slide.
This is usually the largest size pistol that most Concealed Carriers would consider concealing. You get most of the benefits of a full size pistol. They handle well, generally recoil less and carry quite a bit of ammo.
If you can find room on your belt for this class of pistol, you’ll be more prepared for a dangerous situation than you would be with a smaller pistol.
Full Size Service Pistol –These are what military and police usually carry in a duty gun holster. No pistol can touch the stopping power of a rifle or shotgun. However, if you have to defend your life with a handgun, you’ll have a better chance of survival with a Full Size Service Pistol.
These are pistols like the Glock 17, Sig P226, or Sig P320 Full Size. They typically have 4 – 5 inch barrels and full size grips. The 9mm versions typically carry 15 – 17 rounds (or more with extended mags).
There are some “crossover” pistols like the Glock G19X.
These size pistols take careful planning to carry in a concealed gun holster. It can be done if you plan your wardrobe carefully. A jacket will obviously conceal these pistols. However, you can conceal these pistols in a No Print Wonder Holster (an Inside the Waistband holster) as long as your shirt isn’t too tight you can definitely carry a pistol of this size.
The benefit of these pistols is that you can have the type of gun that handles better than most other pistols. With that level of capability and firepower, you’ll have a very comforting loadout. For some Concealed Carriers, carrying a comforting pistol is more important than carrying a more comfortable smaller pistol.
Do many people carry a mag pouch?
Yes. Many concealed carriers will prefer to carry either a backup pistol, spare mag, or both. There are many reasons to have a backup plan when preparing for an armed confrontation. Every day that we leave our home with a pistol and concealment gun holster, we’re preparing for the possibility of an armed confrontation.
Having 6-8 rounds of ammo and a pistol can turn the tide in your favor when a predator crosses your path. It can literally save your life. However, it’s also possible that 6-8 rounds of ammo might be 1 round short of saving your life.
It may be that your 6-8 rounds of ammo is 10 rounds short of stopping the threat. Most confrontations only require a few rounds, but not all.
A spare mag can double your ammo and increase your odds of surviving an armed confrontation with a predator. Clinger Holsters makes top ranked gun holsters but we also make top notch mag pouches. These easily slide into your pocket.
These mag pouches have many benefits. They keep your mag conveniently in your pocket, the keep the mag upright in your pocket, they also protect your mag from damage. Damaged mags are one of the main failure points in a pistol so it’s extremely important to keep your spare mag protected.