There are always different price levels in this industry, some products will cost more just because they are made in the US and others may be cheap, but still get the job done. There are always “options” and not always something that is better than the other. The one thing we know is Desantis makes great holsters and it’s a name brand with a very diverse product line. For leather Concealed Carry holsters, you can expect Desantis Holsters to not be the least expensive, but they are almost always worth the investment. I did have some issues with the designs of the Kydex Scorpion design but they seemed to have figured that out and designed better tuckable kydex holsters like the Scorpion II and the Prowler.
The Cozy Partner seems to be the most popular Glock 19 IWB leather holster because it’s about as New York as you can get. I know people using those holsters for decades. Desantis holsters are also some of the best looking holsters from the Shoulder Rigs, IWB Holsters, Paddle Holsters and tuckable holsters. If you are working on duty, off duty, CCW or Security, there are some staple holsters from Desantis as well as very new Kydex options.
One of the biggest things you run into when carrying a firearm here in Pennsylvania are the changes you have to make when the weather changes. Lots of people in our neck of the woods have a Summer Carry and a Winter Carry. Pocket guns aren’t what they use to be, plenty of people are packing 9mm pocket guns and it doesn’t mean 32acp, 380 or 38 Specials anymore. There are still a few companies out there that don’t understand that you need deep pockets, especially hand pockets, if you want to win people over to wearing their stuff. Good pocket holsters are meant to break away from the gun when drawn, but not all materials are abrasive enough to work all the time. The other thing you have to know is pocket holsters wear out.
You expect to spend around $20 for a pocket holster, and some nylon styles are almost have that and sometimes get the job done. Safariland seems to have the edge on duty holsters like no other, but we still often send our customers to Desantis Holsters to find Leather and non-leather holsters. The Desantis Nemesis pocket holsters have a reputation for outlasting nylon holsters. They will get you covered for many of the Glock Firearms, Sig Sauer pocket guns and Smith & Wesson Body Guard as well as all of the various J-Frame revolvers.
We’ve learned a lot over the years about directing our customers to the right products, and we’ve also learned to not get talked into a trap and end up with a customer coming back to us blaming us for a bad decision. People walk in our store and say ” I want a comfortable holster” or “I’m a 36/32 in 5.11 Tactical pants what size am I in Tru-Spec”. The answer to that is, we don’t have an answer, it’s something they have to determine for themselves. Part of the problem with shopping for a holster is that you don’t know if you like it until you are wearing it for awhile. There are always things you can change, like getting a better gun belt the supports the weight of a firearm better, but there’s a point we tell people that you really need to pick a smaller gun or consider pocket carry.
Pocket carry seems to be far more popular these days than it was before, probable because so many holster makers are seeing all of the compact 9mm and .380 pistols. The Glock 42 and Glock 43 are extremely popular and probable the best options are pocket carry for these guns even though there are some decent Desantis Holsters that are IWB. The Desantis Nemesis holsters have been around for a long time and are designed to grip onto the material inside your pants pocket and pull away if you were to draw the gun. If you have a soft cotton liner in your pocket beware. these pocket holsters have a high failure rate with regular clothing and need a little bit of friction. There are a few variables like pocket dimensions ect but if you are pocket carrying, the clothes you were are very important.
One of the first things to factor in when you are looking for a holster is security, your personal comfort and whether you want a quick on off holster. I’m a big fan of paddle holsters for a reason, but we sell a lot of the Desantis Thumb Break Scabbards and the Desantis Speed Scabbard holsters. Thumb break holsters are considered to be old-school to some people, but releasing a firearm this way is very natural, just look at all of the Safariland ALS holsters, the new Elite Survival Holsters and the 5.11 Thumb Drive holsters. Desantis Leather is probable in the Top 3 Category for best looking or nicest looking leather. I have holsters that are 15yrs old that even though they have wear, are still very sturdy.
There are plenty of IWB holsters to choose from but I’ve often avoided leather for IWB due to the climates I am usually carrying in. There is some angle adjustability with these Desantis Holsters with a 3 slot option. You can play with the different angles and learn why canted holsters can be good. This is something I often suggest for Medium or Large Frame firearms like the M&P 9/40, Sig Sauer P229, P226 or hopefully soon the Sig 320 which really has become popular. Glock firearms are still very popular and these holsters good for Winter Carry or Detective work.
We can’t accommodate everyone in this industry because the tactical world is much like the restaurant business. What do you want for dinner? Are you for Italian Food, Seafood, going away camping? There are a lot of advantages with Kydex holsters but we’ve seen so many of them break, that leather still seems to have an edge for longevity, even the cost of various types of leather holsters can vary in quality and features. I’m still old school with shoulder holsters, especially when I’m toting a large frame revolver or semi-auto handgun. The Galco Miami Classics are still very popular with detectives but there are plenty of people buying smaller “off duty” handguns and recently many of our Law Enforcement are looking for Diamondback .380 holsters and Glock 42 holsters. It always takes awhile for the holster market to catch up to the sales of new firearms but if it’s a good firearm, someone is going to make a holster for it.
If you are looking for leather holsters, we often point people towards Desantis Holsters, Galco Holsters and Don Hume holsters. Each of these holsters has different qualities and styles and the vary from expensive to inexpensive depending on the one you want. If you are looking for inside the waistband gun holsters there nylon holsters like the Elite Survival Systems belt clip holsters which are very universal and fit a lot of firearms and are also ambidextrous. The Desantis Insider is pretty popular because they are a little over $20 but leather sometimes has its drawbacks in very hot weather. The new rave seems to be tuckable holsters and Galco Holsters has a pretty big selling rate for the Smith & Wesson bodyguard, check out all of the products we sell and if you don’t see what you are looking for feel free to ask.
If you are going to a gun show this weekend and you are looking for a new firearm, please be aware that getting something that recently came out might mean not finding a manufacturer that makes a holster for it. We’ve been really happy with Elite Survival Systems in recent years because they tend to be the first ones to have something available whether it’s a Ruger LCP or Ruger LCR with or without a laser or more recently the Glock 42. It’s hard enough trying to find .380 ammo or magazines for the Glock 42 but we had several customers pick them up right after SHOT Show and happily found a belt clip holster or a pocket holster right off the bat. If you are going to drop the money for a customer kydex holster, that’s probable the next possibility of getting a holster.
Right now we are monitoring several gun holster manufacturers to full fill some requests from various customers about some of the new Sig Sauer firearms but it’s not a good idea to invest in holster inventory if we have no idea if the firearm is going to gain traction in the Law Enforcement Community and become an active duty weapon. Desantis Holsters and Galco Leather holsters are 2 companies we highly suggest checking out because they seem to be on the ball of producing some of the nicest leather goods and also have a growing Kydex and Kydex/Leather hybrid gun holster product line. The Galco Kingtuk and the Desantis Scorpion and Desantis Intruder Gun Holsters seem to be hot items because the two clamp holsters although they take some getting use to have a very stable platform and don’t wobble like many single clip holsters do.
Sticker shock just goes with this business, people that have no idea why things are priced the way they are but it’s extremely rare for me to personally say something in this industry is over priced. Recently several customers have told us they had issues with certain weapon mounted lights and all I could tell them is there is a reason why people spend another $100-$200 for Surefire flashlights over some of the lesser expensive weapon mounted lights. In the 10yrs we’ve been in business nobody has returned a Trijicon ACOG saying it won’t hold zero and the glass fell out. I’ve had it happen to me personally with 2 optics, but both of those were under $200.
The same is going to go for firearm holsters and I can tell you from personal experience that I have broken, and had plenty of inferior holsters before I started increasing my investment amounts. I’ve had plenty of broken kydex holsters in my life but have not ever had any Leather Desantis Holsters break, tear, or rattle. There are plenty of magazine pouches I’ve used where once they were broken in, the mags started to rattle and it was just downright annoying. A customer recently returned a Don Hume holster that had the finish peal off it but I told him that’s why they are $20. The closest Desantis holster to that design started at $54.99 and nobody returns them because the colored peeled off.
Much of the Concealed Carry world is about personal choice and our diverse product line of Don Hume gun holsters should fulfill most of our customer needs. If you are not looking for a locking holster and want something fast and easy to and comfortable to wear, try the Don Hume Jit holsters for your Glock 19, Sig 239 or whichever semi-auto or revolver you need. The Jit holster sits securely on your belt and sits at a very comfortable level for easy retrieval. Pocket holsters are must to avoid problems with firearms rotating and the pocket holsters will place your holster in a secure upright position and help keep lint and other nasty things a pocket can hold away from your handgun.
If you’re looking for a durable, clip on holsters it’s hard to beat Don Hume holsters. Don Hume holsters in soft pocket clip on, waistband clip on with thumb break, front pocket ambidextrous, Ankle safe and much much more. Don Hume holsters are made for your concealed carry gun or duty holster needs and are made for your revolver or semi-auto. IWB is hands down the most concealed carry friendly method and the IWB clip on gun holsters are very reliable if a good gun belt is used. Pocket carry is becoming more and more the norm these days with more reliable compact semi-auto guns. The pocket protectors are a must for anyone trying to keep lint off a firearm which can affect the reliability and performance.
With so many changes taking place to firearms these days, it’s hard to keep up with all of the gun designs, Desantis Holsters has options for full size, medium size autos and many of the popular .380 CCW guns. The firearm industry has grown so much in regards to concealed carry and holster makers have had to really stay on top of the demand for .380 caliber pistols. We are a stocking dealer for Desantis holsters and our most popular Leather gun holsters. Desantis has a holster for you if you are carrying a small compact firearm like the Ruger LCP or if you are looking for a traditional leather shoulder holster. The Desantis Scabbard with thumbreak is still a popular holster for Law Enforcement and Under Cover police. The Speed Scabbard is basically the same holslter without the thumb snap retention. Desantis inside the waist holsters are also available in different types of material. Desantis also has ankle holsters and Kydex holsters. Large frame guns like the Beretta 92 or Glock 21 need a lot of support and balance due to their size and weight.
The Desantis Thumbreak scabbard is still one of our most popular Detective and Law Enforcement holsters and even though there are Safariland holsters and Blackhawk Serpa holsters in wide use, thumb break holsters are still in use. There are always varying degrees of retention in gun holsters but Desantis holsters has their staple of leather holsters, but so-tuck holsters for the Smith & wesson bodyguard and Diamondback .380 pistols are in wide use for off duty Law Enforcement. My personal preference is the Desantis Speed Scabbard due to it’s 2 position belt options and the fact there is no need for me to use any retention, it is an excellent outside the pants holster, and the Desantis gun belts are a good match for any medium or large frame semi-auto.
I have a large number of guys that are detectives or just got hired for a job, and sometimes even first time concealed carry holders that don’t have the slightest idea of what they want. People come in here and ask me “do you have anything for a Glock 26” and point to the holsters I have thinking I’m going to point them to a holster. I then bombard them with “inside the waist” or “outside the waist” “do you want a leather or kydex?” “Righted or left handed?” It not until i start talking about which hand holster they want do they give me any sense of knowing what to say. I don’t think you can compare holster shopping to anything else because it’s not like shopping for tactical pants or gloves. With crime like home invasions and a slow economy people that have money think more about protecting their homes and assets.
I think Kydex probable outsells leather now but with so many people putting lights on their guns it made shopping even harder. Our quick fix or go to problem solvers are the Elite Survival Systems holsters but gun holsters like Fobus are the starting point for the majority of our new gun or concealed carry permit holder. They are very easy to put on and work well with most belts. I do highly recommend people get a good gun belt like a Desantis leather belt, Blackhawk pistol belt or a Wilderness belt. They are much easier to use than putting on a belt through or snap on holster. Getting into retention holsters is another level but sometimes people have to have the right starting point and only an experienced shooter will be the source for good info.