Gun Gear

Tips for Choosing a Safe, Comfortable EDC Holster

A guest article by Jason Hanson I own a lot of holsters. I literally have a box that’s overflowing, full of holsters that I’ve tested over the years. I’m sure that I’ll be testing holsters for the rest of my life, but for now, I’ve found a few that work well for me and I’ll give you their names in a moment. But first, I want to mention a story out of Michigan that someone passed along to me. A woman was carrying concealed using a bra holster. The story didn’t mention the exact type, but irrespective of the brand, this woman couldn’t get the holster to fit right and was adjusting it on her bra trying to get comfortable.

Somehow, she ended up with her finger on the trigger and the muzzle of the gun pointing at her face as she was looking down at her bra trying to fix the holster. She pulled the trigger, shot herself in the face, and ended up dying at the hospital.

To carry his full-size 1911, the author prefers the Milt Sparks Versa Max 2, top, a leather ITW holster. He carries his Glock 19 in Dillon Precision’s Clipper-DL, bottom, also an inside-the-waistband leather holster. Click here to see our selection of holsters.
To carry his full-size 1911, the author prefers the Milt Sparks Versa Max 2, top, a leather ITW holster. He carries his Glock 19 in Dillon Precision’s Clipper-DL, bottom, also an inside-the-waistband leather holster. Click here to see our selection of holsters.
What a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided by following just two firearms-safety rules: 1) Never put your finger on the trigger until you’re on target and ready to shoot; and 2) Never point the muzzle of the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.

However, it’s unfortunate that the holster design made it so easy to point the gun at herself. Obviously, this is a design flaw, and I’ve never recommended anything in that vein to any women who’ve taken my training.

Besides such a design being dangerous, another reason I don’t like holsters of this type is because it points the muzzle horizontal, so you are muzzling your arm anytime you raise it, and you are also muzzling anyone who’s standing next to you.

Instead, when choosing a holster, you always want to ask yourself, “Will this holster cause me to violate any of the safety rules?” You also want to ensure your holster holds the gun firmly, and the gun won’t slip out of it if you’re running or even just getting in and out of a car. An easy way to test this is by simply turning the holster upside down with the gun in it.

What’s more, a holster has got to be comfortable. When you get a brand-new holster, put it on, and walk around your house with a safe and empty gun in the holster. If the holster is so uncomfortable that you have to adjust it every other second, then return the holster. Because if it’s that uncomfortable, you likely won’t end up using it, and if you do, you’ll draw too much attention to yourself every time you make an adjustment.

Don’t forget that a good holster will allow you to get a firm grip on the gun while the gun is in the holster. Over the years, I’ve tried several “creative” holsters (ones that look like a cell phone case) and I could never get a good grip on the gun, which means I was having to adjust my grip during the draw, which is never a good thing.

Last, remember that every holster needs to cover the trigger guard. There are a few companies that make “minimalist” holsters that simply clip onto a belt and have no protection for the trigger. I think this is a terrible idea, and I would never use one of these holsters. All it takes is one instance where a shirt or drawstring gets caught in the trigger and you end up shooting yourself in the leg.

So what holsters meet my criteria? For my 1911, I use a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2. This is a leather, inside-the-waistband holster, and it makes carrying a full-size 1911 very comfortable. It will run between $120-$140.

The holster I use for my Glock 19 is an inside-the-waistband leather holster called the Clipper-DL, which is sold by Dillon Precision. This holster is made for many makes and models of guns and costs $65. I also own several Kydex outside-the-waistband holsters. There are several companies that make these types of holsters, such as Bravo Concealment, Tac-Tech-Cal, and LIION Defense, to name a few.

For my pocket-carry guns, I use a Kydex pocket holster, and like the other Kydex holsters, there are several companies which make these designs, such as Aholster, F3 Holsters, and Alabama Holsters.

You and I are fortunate to live in a time when there are so many holster companies making so many quality products. Take your time when purchasing a holster, and make sure you can return it within 30 days if it doesn’t work for you.

Most important, never purchase a holster that clearly violates a safety rule and causes you to endanger yourself or someone else.

  Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and The NBC TODAY Show. To get a free Spy Flashlight from Jason, visit  

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Comments (25)

  1. The answer to that is yes. I have had to buy pants a full size bigger to accommodate my IWB holster and gun. Otherwise you are very uncomfortable with everything cinched up, assuming you can even fasten your pants. I am a size 36 normally, and I find that buying size 38 pants.shorts works our perfectly.

    You can also get elastic waistband pants made specifically for CC from LA Police Gear and 5.11. Of course, they aren’t jeans, but to be honest, I do security work and these are the kind of clothes I wear anyway, so no big deal. Either way, when you decide to carry, you have to make certain adjustments in your wardrobe but it’s worth it in the long run.

  2. Crossbreed makes an excellent IWB holster custom fitted to your gun. I carry my full sized XD .45 daily in it comfortably and safely.

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