Some Holsters Updates, and Mexican Carry

I'll begin with Mexican Carry. This term may be somewhat ethnocentric, but since it's the one in use around here in the southwest, I'll stick with it. We have a retired law enforcement officer in town who carries a pistol tuck into his waistband and belt. Often, only part of the grips are visible and it appears the gun may slide down his leg and drop on the floor at any time. You can tell he has something to do with law enforcement by looking at his cap, which has a badge embroidered upon the front declaring him to be a retired LEO. Sometimes he wears his badge on his belt or shirt, but usually only on special occasions when there are tourists in town. Most of the locals don't bat an eye when they see someone walking around wearing a holstered gun.

When I first saw him in a local eatery and spied the grips of the Glock sticking out above his waistband I mentioned that he might want to get a holster for that. He disagreed, saying he preferred "Mexican carry" over a holster. I wondered if he might be in danger of a negligent discharge and getting shot by his own gun, but he assured me that the pistol had been especially made to prevent that. Looked like a basic Glock to me. No manual safety, just the trigger safety, but I didn't feel like pursuing the notion so I let it go. He's a nice man and since our law enforcement people are spread really thin around here, it is good that he is around, helpful and visible. I just worry about him and that Mexican carry.

That brings me to holsters. I have been testing a few different models for a few months now. I believe one of the critical aspects of concealed carry is having the right selection of holsters for the individual. We all are different, different sizes, weights, shapes and opinions. There is no all-around right holster for everyone. The only "right" holster is the one that you will use, and use consistently. In fact, there are "right" holsters, plural, for any concealed carry proponent because conditions and firearms change. Here, winter approaches, the days are getting cooler and the nights cold. Soon it will be mostly cold and we will be wearing heavier clothing, sweaters, down vests, hoodies, coats... all of the normal cold weather clothing. Gone will be the light shirts, t-shirts, and blouses of summer.

It will be much easier to carry bigger handguns more comfortably. A good OWB leather holster can be easily concealed beneath winter clothes much easier than with summer garb, for example. You options have increased.

Also, as I've discussed before, some holsters are suitable for some people but not others. I have a friend in town who carries a Glock 9mm, but hates IWB holsters. He's always wearing some kind of over garment. I will often carry a S&W Shield in a kydex IWB holster under a T-shirt. Some occasions call for a small pistol in a pocket holster. The main thing is that you need to develop your own small carry systems based on your build, preference (hate IWB?) and the outfits you'll be wearing. You'll need more than one holster and you should get a few good ones that will last and that you will use with comfort and confidence when you need them.

If you don't have a gun and holster combination that you like, and are comfortable with, you won't carry, and that can mean you might not have your firearm for protection when and if you finally need it. Hence, my frequent postings on holsters, and the small group of them I've been using and testing for months. I sometimes read reviews (these are especially prevalent on gun forums) of holsters that have not been used enough to properly evaluate them. There is a honeymoon period with holsters, as there is with any new acquisition. Sometimes the new thing we buy is immediately perceived as a bad deal. It's wrong, doesn't work right or broken. But, often, people will get a new holster, try it for a day or three and give glowing reports of how cool it is. Many times these same holsters end up in a box with a dozen others, unused and unloved because after some time had passed, issues developed that were not recognized at first. That's why I give them a good work out before I report back on what I think.

I have been testing IWB holsters from SwapRig, Cook's Holsters, Blade-Tech, pjholster and D.M. Bullard all summer and into the fall. My preferred carry is in the appendix position, so these holsters all accommodate this. Now, when I grab the Shield, I usually reach for the Cook's IWB kydex holster as my preferred carry, except when I don't have to worry about cover and am wearing something more than a T-shirt. Then, I will as likely go with the D.M. Bullard IWB with belt loop.

These two work the best for me, although all of them do a good job of providing security, access and comfort.

The Cook's is surprisingly comfortable especially for a kydex holster, and it has the advantage of an adjustable belt clip, secured with two screws. This enables me to fine-tune the cant on the gun for best concealment, and, if I want to wear it strong side on or behind the hip, I can adjust for that too. Bullard's holster is similar in that the angle of the belt loop can be adjusted for different cant positions and, being leather, is more comfortable and covers more of the gun between the body and metal than the Cook's. Besides, I like the feel and look of well crafted leather.
http://www.cooksholsters.com
http://www.dmbullardleather.com

The SwapRigs are excellent IWB (and, with some models, also OWB) carry holsters because of three things: outstanding customer service and attention to details; quality workmanship and materials and the ability to swap out "skins" (kydex shells made to fit a particular handgun) inexpensively so that your holster can be used for practically any handgun you have or will get in the future. If you like the hybrid style – leather backing, kydex shell – then you should consider SwapRig holsters. They provide value for the money and Swap-Rig's service is among the best.
http://www.swaprigholsters.com

The IWB Blade-Tech Klipt holster is not made from kydex, but from injection molded plastic that is light and tough, and, happily, inexpensive as synthetic holsters go. You can get one for under $30 which is a good deal these days for a well made holster. I recommend these especially if you are looking for a budget holster, or something to try out with IWB carry before moving to a more expensive solution. http://shop.blade-tech.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_13_131&products_id=66548#!prettyPhoto[Product]/0/

With any of these holsters you can be assured of quality, comfort, security and good access to your firearm and that you shouldn't resort to Mexican carry.