Types of Holsters On the market

The most crucial part of using a gun is to have a license; when you have successfully acquired a license, you should think of a holster that befits your gun to keep it safe and help you carry it comfortably. Most people decide the kind of holster they want since they started the training for the gun. But you might still find it hard to choose an exact type of holster because there are various holsters for different kinds of firearms. 

There are three primary purposes that a gun holster serves. The most important of the purposes is Security; the holster must hold the firearm securely so that the owner can access it at any time. The second purpose is safety; while securing the gun, it should also keep the trigger safe from accidental contact. And the last of the primary objectives is to keep the gun at an access point to be drawn quickly in challenging moments. And your holster choices should also be made considering the situation you need it for. The holster suitable when on patrol might not be ideal for a shooting competition. 

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Holster

It would be best if you were careful when choosing a holster for many reasons, and the most important reason is to be ready always. Some of the tips that might help you select the right holster are in the list below.

  • The most important thing to consider is the most natural part of your body to place the holster. Knowing the part of your body that your reflex would recognize fast would go a long way in helping you choose the best holster for you.
  • Holsters come in leather, plastic, and nylon form. Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why you should consider carefully according to the purpose you want the holster to serve.
  • There are three levels of retention when we talk of holsters. They are Level I, Level II, Level III. And the lower the retention level, the easier it is to draw the gun from the holster. 
  • You should also not forget your reason for carrying a firearm when choosing the holster. If you need the gun for a shooting competition, you have to ensure the holster you are taking does not go against the competition rules.

Types of Holsters 

There are mainly five sorts of gun holsters. They are Outside the Waistband Holster (OWB), Inside the Waistband Holster (IWB), Shoulder Holster, Ankle Holster, Pocket Holster. These different holsters are in different levels regarding concealment and comfort.

I would be explaining some of the characteristics, benefits, and disadvantages of each of these holsters below. This explanation would also help you decide the best holster for your needs.

  1. Outside the Waistband Holsters (OWB)

Outside the Waistband Holsters are the types of waistbands designed to be worn outside the bands of your trousers. There are two types of OWB Holsters; Paddle Holsters and Belt Holsters. Some of the benefits of OWB Holsters are:

  • One of the fastest to draw
  • It can carry all gun sizes
  • It can also take gun accessories

And some of the Cons are:

  • It requires an oversized shirt or an overcoat to conceal
  • It can be uncomfortable in some conditions, like when driving

The Paddle Holsters is made in the shape of a paddle with a flexible mechanism. It is easy to detach and also be taken off quickly when there is close physical combat. 

The belt Holsters can be worn on the belt, but unlike paddle Holsters, it is easier to conceal without a print. It is also secure because you cannot remove the holster except when you remove the belt.

  • Inside the Waistband Holsters (IWB)

The IWB Holster is designed to be clipped to the belt such that it is inside the waistband. It is easily concealed because the pants or shorts would cover it, and the belt would provide support, especially when it is a smaller firearm.

Some of the benefits of the IWB Holsters are:

  • It is easily concealed regardless of the attire
  • It can be easily detached when you don’t need it anymore

And some of the Cons of IWB Holsters are:

  • It gets uncomfortable when worn for longer periods
  • It has accessibility issues because the gun is inside the waistband
  • Shoulder Holsters

This Shoulder holster is designed to be worn around the shoulders, and the pockets are on both sides of the rib. It is the type used by popular Hollywood character James Bond.

It is a comfortable holster to carry the different sizes of guns, including the larger sizes. But you would need to wear a jacket to conceal the firearm.

Some of the benefits of the Shoulder Holsters are:

  • It is comfortable
  • It can carry bigger handguns 
  • It can also carry other accessories for the handgun

And some of the Cons of the Shoulder Holsters are:

  • It needs an oversized jacket or coat to conceal the firearm
  • It has slow accessibility
  • Ankle Holsters

Ankle Holsters are strapped to the ankle. It is easy to conceal, given that your pants cover your ankle. But it can also be inconvenient when the pants are tight around the ankle. Some of the benefits of ankle holsters are: 

  • It is the best way to carry an extra handgun
  • It is easy to conceal

And some of the cons are:

  • It is slow and hard to access the gun
  • It cannot easily conceal larger guns
  • The pants must be loose around the ankle
  • Pocket Holsters

Pocket holsters are designed to keep the gun in the pocket. You might just put the firearm in your pocket without a holster, but you should use a pocket holster because of your safety. Also, the pocket holster would not make the gun print noticeable from your pants.

Some of the benefits of pocket holsters are:

  • It is easy to access
  • It is very convenient

And some of the Cons of pocket holsters are:

  • It can’t conceal larger guns
  • It has a slower draw when compared to other holsters
  • It requires pants with loose drapes to conceal the firearm

Common Holster Categories

However, holsters are also categorized based on the purpose they’ll be serving in the list below. Continue reading to know the holster most suitable for you. 

  1. Concealed Carry Holsters

Concealed carry holsters are the most common types of holsters. As the name implies, it needs to be covered and secure with fast access to the firearm. The ideal way to wear this type of holster is with a holster shirt. The holster shirt would allow you to reach your gun faster.

  • Competition Holsters

For different shooting competitions, there are different rules regarding gun holsters. Some contests would need you to shoot a series of targets fast. You also need to consider how much comfort you want with your holster and ensure the convenience does not affect your speed and flexibility.


Globally, firearms production is increasing, resulting in more increases in holsters and other gun accessories. For each of the types of holsters, various brands of holsters are produced. 

But you should always keep the safety, security, and accessibility factors in mind when shopping for the best type of holsters for the purpose you want; that is only when you would get the perfect holster for you.