1791 Gunleather offers artisan-quality, 100-percent American-made holsters made by four generations of professional leather crafters who work with premium native heavy steerhide. At SHOT, the company unveiled its new UIW (Universal Inside the Waist) holster for guns of various barrel lengths with rails and lights/lasers. This double-stitched holster is ambidextrous and highly versatile.
Alien Gear’s new ShapeShift Modular Holster System should be available soon. The Idaho firm touts this as a groundbreaking design offering an “endless array of custom carry options.” One holster can be adapted to many different carry positions, from an IWB position to a thigh rig and any other carry method you might require. Made in the U.S., all of the parts needed for the transformations are included.
Makers of Kydex carry systems right here in the U.S., this Texas company released its DOS (Drop Out of Sight) IWB holster for deep concealment. Tough and durable, it can be made in options for pistols with lights. Bravo offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
Clinger Holsters recently introduced the Trump Tuck IWB holster. Users can adjust the cant from 0 to 30 degrees for strong-side carry, to a negative cant for a crossdraw setup. It also has soft loop retention straps, and users can adjust the ride height. The holster body has a small profile so it won’t print.
Comp-Tac produces the Cavalry holster specifically for pocket guns. A hybrid holster combining Kydex with a leather backing, it is ideally sized for IWB carry. Adjustments can be made for cant and retention as well as ride height.
Doesn’t this woman-owned holster company have a great name? Concealed Carrie offers elegant off-the-body carry options in leather, and buyers can choose exotic prints like ostrich and alligator if desired. Recently, the company’s line has expanded into men’s concealed-carry items under another clever brand name: Concealed Cary.
Crossfire is known for producing a number of holsters, including the Undercover, which is designed for revolvers. All of the holsters are made in the U.S. and carry a limited lifetime warranty. One new rig is the EDC, a hybrid inside-the-waistband holster designed for extreme comfort and easy concealability. It is small, low profile and contains a comfort panel for extended wear.
Founded in 1972, DeSantis Gunhide is one of the largest holster manufacturers in the world. Recently, the company expanded its extensive lineup to include the Mini-Scabbard, which is made of ballistic nylon and thermoformable materials. It features an adjustable tension device and accommodates belts up to 1.75 inches wide.
Headquartered in Texas, this company specializes in custom thermoplastic holsters and accessories in a variety of colors and patterns. The name is derived from the “dual retention” of the systems. At SHOT, the company introduced the SafeCarry Ranger and the Micro Tactical Pro, which can be adjusted for strong-side hip, small-of-the-back or IWB carry.
DSG Arms recently began offering carry rigs under the DSG Holsters name. Already in use by law enforcement personnel throughout North America, these holsters are made of Kydex. The new DSG Alpha fits pocket guns and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
El Paso Saddlery has been making holsters in Texas since 1889, and it’s known for its beautiful Western rigs. The company also produces modern variants, including the new Summer Cruiser IWB holster in rough-out cowhide for natural adhesion to clothing. A metal reinforced rim at the mouth keeps it open for easy reholstering. With a forward cant and a polished interior for easy draws, it is available for several small pistol designs.
Based out of Israel, Fobus is known for producing holsters from a proprietary material that is considered superior to Kydex. New for 2017 is the inside-the-waistband XDSC holster, and variants are available to fit a number of popular compact semi-autos, including the Beretta Nano, Springfield XD-S, Ruger LC9 and S&W M&P Shield.
New in the Galco lineup is the Scout IWB Gen 2. The rough-out steerhide “grabs” clothing and stays put while the polished interior helps ensure a smooth draw. It is an open-top holster with no cant, and right- and left-hand models are available for both semi-autos and revolvers.
With the new Opti Carry Slim from Gold Star Holsters, “Opti” stands for options. Capitalizing on the same features of the original Opti Carry, only with a slimmer clip, this new design fits tighter to the body, especially when worn in an OWB position. The holster is made gun-specific using a combination of Kydex and Hermann Oaks leather.
This woman-owned, family-run company has been offering concealed-carry handbags for more than 12 years. The company unveiled several classy handbag styles this year, and prices begin around $100. Gun Tote’n Mamas also branched into off-the-body concealed-carry options for men to include a soft-sided leather briefcase and a leather iPad case for under $200.
High Threat Concealment is a veteran-owned business that specializes in tactical gear. At SHOT this year, the company offered both IWB and OWB options molded from a high-impact PVC/acrylic alloy that can withstand extreme temperature and rough use. The company’s “no heat” vacuum-forming process avoids the stresses common to traditional heat forming.
Making leather holsters in Colorado since 1952, Hunter turns out handcrafted items made by American craftsmen. In fact, some of their employees have been there over 40 years. New offerings for small Glocks like the G42 and G43 are available in right-hand configurations for around $90.
Kaos also makes its Kydex holsters exclusively in the U.S. The holsters are ambidextrous with adjustable cant capabilities. The clips are made of injected polymer, and all of the edges are smoothed for snag-free carry. The company’s newest holster, the Fusion Plus, can be configured for IWB or OWB carry and comes with all of the necessary parts.
Pistol Wear makes innovative holsters for use with all styles of clothing. The company’s holsters are soft but incorporate the favorable properties of rigid holsters. Breathable and lightweight, they work very well when you’re jogging or otherwise active in loose-fitting clothing. Pistol Wear’s latest patent-pending design is the PT-2. Designed for small semi-autos and revolvers, it has a outer pouch wall insert to prevent the gun from printing. It provides noise-free access and is hand washable.
As the name implies, with every Sticky holster, retention is based on the friction between the supple rubber exterior and compression in the waistband or pocket. The interior is woven Cordura nylon with closed-cell foam between the layers that conforms to the gun’s profile. There are no hooks or clips, so each holster is ambidextrous, and breathability was a big factor in designing these rigs.
Tagua makes 100-percent cowhide holsters with lifetime warranties. But this year the company has stepped into the polymer world with the CZY-APP, which fits multiple small pistols. Another introduction is the IPH 3, an ambidextrous leather holster adjustable for three different carry styles.
Home of the “No Bull” guarantee, Talon produces traditional leather holsters in the U.S. using only American components, including Hermann Oak leather. The company was started by a career LEO who knew what worked and what didn’t, and he put that knowledge into his products. New for this year are tuckable and IWB pocket holsters that fit the newer subcompacts from Kahr and Glock as well as models that accommodate lasers.
New to SHOT, Telor Tactical utilizes knowledge from the medical industry—specifically the wheelchair cushion industry—to build holsters and carry systems that are comfortable and stay in place. A breathable layer of Sil-Air silicone foam is placed between the inner and outer layers of each holster. This construction is durable and does not hold in body heat. Telor’s newest offering is the Comfort-Air IWB holster, with two sizes to fit many of the compact and subcompact guns on the market.
The G2, the second generation of the original Urban Carry IWB holster, is made of 100-percent saddle-grade leather in Tennessee. Developed with user input, the G2 rides below the waistband for comfort and requires a lift-and-draw technique. It also has a custom steel clip to withstand pulling in stressful situations. Two styles for different guns/mounting options and a laser-compatible version are also available.
The Ulticlip was designed to replace spring clips on existing holsters and provide 10 times the retention force with a smaller footprint when the holster is clipped to a belt or clothing. The Ulticlip is 100-percent American made. There are two sizes to cover most holsters on the market.
The Protector S2 from Versacarry is a leather OWB/IWB holster for right-hand carry. Users can choose between black or distressed water buffalo leather. The holsters are hand-crafted in Texas from the highest-quality materials. The Protector S3, also an OWB/IWB rig, is a versatile design that can be adjusted to fit most handguns.
Once a person decides to carry concealed, a good holster and/or carry system (perhaps several) is necessary to safely and comfortably carry the firearm. An amazing array of options is available, including totes, handbags, fanny packs and more. Kydex and thermoplastics are produced in multiple colors and patterns, and traditional leather is still a very viable option, giving consumers a myriad of choices. A number of vendors introduced new items at this year’s SHOT show. Here are some of the best holsters and carry systems we found.
- RELATED STORY: Massad Ayoob’s 11 Pieces of Recommended Shooting Gear
For more information on the holsters featured in the gallery above, check out the following sites:
1791 Gunleather UIW
Alien Gear ShapeShift
Bravo Concealment DOS
Clinger Holsters Trump Tuck
DeSantis Nylon Mini-Scabbard
El Paso Summer Cruiser
Galco Scout IWB Gen 2
Gold Star Holsters
Gun Tote’n Mamas
High Threat Concealment
Pistol Wear PT-2
Urban Carry G2
Versacarry Protector S2
This article was originally published in ‘Pocket Pistols’ Spring 2017. To subscribe, visit http://outdoorgroupstore.com.
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