Reader Joel recommended Andrews leather in response to my request for a holster for my L frame Smith and Wesson. He points out that I didn’t specify, and that made me want to do a holster post. Like most of us who carry on a regular basis, I have dozens of holsters of different types. Some worked, some didn’t.

Like many people who begin to carry, my first holster was an Uncle Mike’s gun sock. I soon learned better. Since then, I have tried many, many types. Some worked out well, and some went into a box in storage, never to be heard from again.

Here are a few notable mentions:

IWB holsters:

Andrews’ Leather. I  own 4 copies of his McDaniel II. I like the holster, but it has one big flaw that means it sits in my holster drawer, rarely used: it only has one belt loop, at  the rear of the holster. This means that it quite often pivots around and the pistol gets stuck in a position that is not easy to draw from.

(Photo from Andrews Leather)

For inside the waistband appendix (AIWB) carry, I have an Aliengear Shapeshift appendix. This is another hybrid holster with soft nylon back and Kydex front.

MTAC hybrid holster by Comp-Tac. This is a hybrid holster that places leather on the side of the gun pressed against your body, and Kydex  wrapped around the other side of the weapon. This is for when I want to carry at the 4 or 5 o’clock position. I own two, and I like them because they are tuckable. You can wear a tucked in dress shirt over them, and they become invisible. I also like the fact that it is soft leather being pressed into my side, and not hard plastic.

Winthrop IWB: This is probably my most used holster when it comes to IWB carry. The only disappointment is that it will not fit the 9c while the Holosun is on it.

IWB holster from Diamond D Leather in Alaska. These guys do great work. This is a great IWB holster, and they make great gun belts. I use this one for carrying my full sized M&Ps.

Belt holsters (OWB):

I also have a couple of Saddle Style holsters from Andrews that I like, but I can only carry with that one when I can wear a cover garment. It fits my S&W 9c with the Holosun sight.

There is another holster stamped with his logo in the drawer, but I cannot remember which one it is, but I can’t say which one it is, because it isn’t in his current catalog. I don’t use it often, but it appears like a version of a belt slide holster.

Don Hume JIT slide holster. This one is left over from my IDPA days. I was able to draw my Sig229  very quickly from this holster. It still gets used from time to time in classes or if weather permits a cover garment. It is probably the most comfortable holster I own, and it fits nearly every auto I have.

Desantis speed scabbard: This has to be one of my favorite slide holsters. It fits my S&W9c perfectly, even with the Holosun on it. 

Sneaky Pete makes a nice holster that hides my S&W shields pretty nicely. My son says that he finds it hard to believe that they are legal, but I find that most people just assume that it is a case for some sort of electronic device.

Pocket carry:

Galco G119 L: This is a leather pocket holster. I carry my J frame 642 in this one because it is easy to just drop it in a pocket of my shorts when I am going out the door to work outside, mow the lawn (although I don’t mow anymore. I have people for that) or just a quick run to the store. It is fast, convenient, and works for those hot Florida days when you can’t wear much in the way of clothes.

Ankle carry:

Galco ankle holster. I sometimes carry my J frame in an ankle holster. I used to do this a lot when I was a paramedic. Just wrap the holster around my boot, and pull my EMS pants over it. No one knew that I carried it, except my partner.

Miscellaneous carry:

Possum Pouch crotch holster. This is great for carrying in places where it is legal to carry, but they discourage carry to the point of cursory searches, what I call non permissive environments. You can get a .380 Bodyguard or a J frame revolver past most security with this- wear a big belt buckle- it sets off the magnetometer, you lift your shirt, security guard sees belt buckle, waves you on.

I have  belly bands, which I find uncomfortable. The material finds a spot and digs in.

I have a fanny pack that I will still sometimes use to carry while I am out running, because there is just no other way to carry with jogging shorts and a light t shirt on. I used to carry like this a lot when I lived in the Orlando area, because tourists used to wear them all the time. Now that I am not in the Orlando area, I rarely use it.

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