Holster Draw Comparison
There are a lot of different concealment holsters available and each one supports a different style of carrying. How you carry is truely up to you and will depend on the size of your gun, your body type, and the level of concealment and access that you want.
We won’t be discussing all of your holster options but just hitting some examples of the most popular ones.
The first we’ll discuss is a standard draw from an outside the waistband hip holster. This is our standard because the firearm is very accessible, pretty comfortable and is a good position for any body type. Outside the waistband hip carry is commonly used for open carry but can be used for concealed carry with the right clothing. Although it isn’t optimal for concealment, it would be optimal for ease of access and use. With this as our baseline carry position, now we’re going to work our way through some of our favorite concealed carry positions.
First off is inside the waistband concealed hip carry. This normally would be hidden by an open shirt or jacket. This is a very accessible and comfortable carry position. The only thing in your way is your shirt or jacket and it can be moved quite easily. The biggest downside is that it isn’t the most concealable option. This position is more commonly used by those who prioritize access to their gun over concealing their gun, such as private security, secret service, special agents, and even some civilians.
Next we have the 4 O’clock position. This position tends to be more concealable but also slightly harder to get to. The biggest obstacle is clearing your clothing out of the way to get good access to the gun. Most people tend to find this position comfortable across all body types. One thing to be aware of is that with the gun behind you it is harder to keep track of whether or not you’re gun is printing and if you’re clothing is revealing the gun after some active movement. It can be very common for your shirt to ride up over the gun after sitting and standing a few times. This leaves the gun out of concealment, which tends to go unnoticed by the carrier of the gun.
The last position we will talk about is the appendix carry. This is one of the fastest drawing positions with the proper training. However, there are certain risks that can’t be ignored. Appendix carry requires training and consistent practice in order to be performed safely. Like the other carry options, the appendix carry requires the shooter to move their clothing in order to access the firearm. This takes time but is usually quickest with the appendix carry. Not to mention that it is much easier to keep track of the status and the concealment, or lack thereof, when the gun is on the front your body. One of the biggest drawbacks for appendix carry is that some people find it to be very uncomfortable despite its advantages. Depending on body type, some find it to be very comfortable and others find that they can’t carry in that style at all. Most people notice the greatest discomfort when sitting down for extended periods of time. Appendix carry usually tends to lend itself better to slimmer people and is easier to conceal if you are wearing button down shirt, especially one with a darker pattern.
There are a ton of different holster options and carry positions to choose from and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It can be difficult to pick the right holster off the bat. Most of the time, if you can’t borrow a friends holster to try on, the shopper will need to do some homework on the holster that they are most interested in and think would be best for them. Then, just be prepared to try your holster position for a month or two just to find out that it’s not the ideal position for you. While you are still experimenting with holsters it may be better to purchase a holster that is still safe and retains the gun well but may not have all the bells and whistles. After carrying for a few months, if you decide you like that position then you may consider getting a higher end holster. Or, maybe you find that the holster you have does the job just fine and there’s no reason to upgrade. Either way, make sure you choose a quality holster that has good retention and protects the trigger guard well. After that, make sure you understand how to properly draw from your holster. The point that we can’t stress enough is the inherent danger with drawing and reholstering a gun from any holster. Good quality gear, proper professional training, and consistent practice is necessary to insure your safety and the safety of others. Without perfect trigger and muzzle discipline things can go very wrong very quickly. Please get the proper training and practice to make sure you are doing more good than harm.