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What Makes A Safe Holster? - The 4 Main Features Your Holster Should Have!

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on October 16, 2020

Estimated 5 Minute Read

What makes a safe holster -

When it comes to Holster Safety, it really comes down to 4 main features that are "must-haves."

After that you can consider "nice to haves" or "bonus" features.

The 4 main features you want to cover with any holster you are thinking of buying are:

1. Trigger Guard Coverage - Anything short of perfect is not good enough!  

  • The holster should be flush to each side of the trigger guard with zero gaps or space whatsoever between the holster and the trigger guard. We want zero chance that anything could get between the holster and trigger guard, we do not want to leave anything to chance here.
  • If we can see any of the inside of the trigger guard it is a massive fail. 

Perfect Holster Trigger Guard Coverage

2. Retention: - This means the Gun is not going to fall out of the holster!

  • We do a test with an unloaded firearm and with the gun in the holster. We lightly shake the holster upside down and if the gun stays in the holster it passes the test. Adjustable Retention is ideal.

Adjustable Retention Holster

Holsters with sloppy retention are bad for a few reasons.

  • There is room for stuff to get in there and obstruct your draw.
  • A holstered gun is a safe gun, so let's keep it that way. You want to know the gun isn't going to fall out when taking your holster off.
  • Also if someone is wrestling for your gun you don't want to make it easy for them.

3. Consistent unobstructed access to a Full Firing Grip 

Full Firing Grip Access

  • You should be able to get to the full grip of your gun 
  • You want complete access and must be able to consistently draw your gun without knocking into anything on the holster impeding your draw.
  • You need full clearance for your bottom three fingers to get to the grip and your full thumb must be able to get right on the back side of your grip to form your full grip.
  • If your fingers are hitting any part of the holster every time you go to draw, it fails this test. 

4. Non-Collapsible

When you draw your firearm, the holster should not collapse closed as this makes it hard to re-holster safely. Many negligent discharges happen when people are fishing with the muzzle trying to re-holster into a flattened holster.

This is common with leather, sticky or nylon inside the waistband holsters, but equally applies for all holsters.

You don't want to be muzzling yourself trying to re-holster, or flagging your hand trying to open the holster to re-holster.

If you are doing a lot of draws it's going to be a pain re-holstering every time safely and it only takes one time for a negligent discharge catastrophe. 

For me, there's too much room for mistakes to be made if the holster is collapsible. With firearms, there is always some risk and we want to manage and eliminate as many risks as possible - a flattened holster is one we can avoid. 

So now we know the 4 key features a safe holster should have.

Let's look at the reasons why we LOVE custom Kydex Holsters.

The great thing is that they check all 4 boxes! 

1. Trigger Guard Coverage - Kydex holsters are made to give the trigger guard coverage to the exact millimeter. They sit flush, with zero gap as close to the trigger guard as possible, leaving no room for error.

When re-holstering the gun it "clicks" into place retaining on the trigger guard safely. 

2. Retention - Kydex Holsters don't just have good retention, they have adjustable retention.

You can tighten your holster to lock down on the gun for a tight draw, or slightly loosen the retention screw to have a looser draw. This way you can fine-tune your holster for the perfect draw.

This is something that is not possible with leather, nylon and other materials out there. 

3 Full Firing Grip - A Custom Kydex Holster is cut so that the full grip is perfectly exposed for a full firing grip every single time. No obstructions whatsoever and the right parts of the holster are covered and the parts of the gun we need uncovered are uncovered. 

4. Non-Collapsible - A Kydex Holster is always open and will never flatten closed. They're sturdy and will be ready to receive the firearm easily for a re-holster every time. Also, the back-side of the holster gives you a hard surface to guide the gun into the holster safely every time.

Bonus features (nice to haves):

Aside from checking all 4 boxes on safety, Kydex Holsters have some bonus features that you won't get on a Nylon or Leather off the shelf option.

Optic Cut - Leather and nylon holsters will probably cover the top of your slide all the way back to the rear sight taking away the option to have a Red Dot optic on your gun. However, you can get your Kydex holster optic cut to accommodate a Red Dot Optic.

Suppressor height sight channels - If you decide to run a threaded barrel, compensator, or a red dot with raised sights, all of the non-custom options are going to be too tight to the top of your sight and your sights would snag on the inside of the holster.

Cleanliness - You can clean a Kydex Holster easily to wash away any dust or debris with a little bit of water and a wash-cloth. 

Hopefully, this article helped you consider some things when you are next holster shopping!

We do think Kydex holsters check all of the boxes - What do you think?

Leave us a comment below on what you look for when Holster shopping!

Thanks for reading guys! 

1 comment
by Ron Peterson on March 09, 2021

Do you have a holster for a fmk 9mm


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