During my 1,900 hours as a defensive shooting instructor one of the dominating questions I was asked was about holster selection.  In my experience this is the hardest one to answer.  I have good news and bad new for you:  The perfect holster match for your body shape, selected firearm, carry position, and attire exists.  It’s also likely to be the fourth or fifth holster you try.

Dara, Theis, Alien Gear, Clinger, Raw Dog Tactical, High Threat Concealment, 1791 Gun Leather, Coast, the guy down the street, and that latest-and-greatest brand they push at the local gun store.  They all are the perfect match for someone, just maybe not you.  What makes them either the prefect match or not depends on features, comfort threshold, carry position, cost, and mission of the day.

Personally I break one of the fundamental tactical rules and rotate between a few different holsters and handguns depending on my attire and tasks for the day.  This is a tactical no-no because it means that my draw and pistol handling will vary from one combination to the next.  Fortunately thousands of rounds and hundreds of hours of training along with weekly practice give me a false sense of confidence in my decision.  Besides, if I wasn’t willing to try different combinations how would I know what worked best?

The video below has some knowledge nuggets that with any luck can help you find a favorite by your third or even second attempt instead of fourth or fortieth.

Now this guide is merely a guide and not a definitive end-all, be-all of holsters.  The same considerations listed above have applied to me and so I can’t speak to holsters for every gun model, carry position, or clothing type.  What I can say is that using my Bersa BP9CC in an Alien Gear holster with Ulti Clips I’ve been able to comfortably conceal at a trade show while wearing slacks and a tucked-in dress shirt.  I love my Grand Power P11 and found it to fit nicely and ride very comfortably in an outside-the-waistband from 1791 Gun leather.  My Walther PPS M2 rides very nicely in my No Print Wonder from Clinger Holsters.  For the worst-case scenario my Walther P99AS is easily concealed in my SOG bag which also houses an Ally One from Angel Armor.

Yes, every one of those links takes you to more information about those options, so bookmark this page and use this as a guide and hopefully we’ll help you feel safer sooner than unguided exploration might have done.  Let us know what you carry and in what in the comments below.