I think I’ve made myself clear on the small gun vs big gun front. But the market has spoken: a large percentage of American gun buyers find the new breed of palm-sized .380s perfect for pocket carry. Or holster carry. Or shoved in a glove box. Or something. Maybe . . . this? The main man over at gripus.com is working on a new holster design for his Ruger LCP. Apparently, the huge range of IWB, OWB, paddle and pocket holsters for rat (as opposed to mouse) guns just don’t do it for him . . .

When I tried to carry mine in an inside-the-waistband holster it was so small it almost got lost, was hard to draw and, since I work for a living in west Texas, the sweat made it necessary to clean and oil the weapon almost nightly to prevent rusting.

I tried carrying it in my hip pocket and my front pocket with and without a pocket holster. I still rusted it, had trouble drawing it smoothly and had to clean the pocket lint out of it every night to ensure reliability.

Sweat can be highly corrosive; even plastic guns have a lot of metal bits. You can reduce your sweat’s acidity dramatically by cutting down on tomatos and tomato sauce, citrus fruits and citrus drinks. But sweat is also salty, which is not metal’s best friend. So yes, it’s a good idea to wipe down a sweaty gun ASAP. If sweat’s your deal, an inside the waistband holster is alway going to be an acid trip.

In terms of pocket holsters, a lot of people buy gear without grippy bits on the sides of the material that hold onto the pocket lining during a draw. Wrong answer. God knows there are enough variations on that theme to satisfy the most persnickety pistol packer (e.g. recluseholster.com), made by people who dislike lint.

Finding the right holster is a matter of trial and error. Mostly error. If you don’t have a drawer full of unloved holsters, you probably aren’t trying hard enough. Any carrying system will require a great deal of practice at the range and yes, maintenance. And/or replacement. As for this idea, I’ve got four major issues.

1. It requires two motions: unsnap and draw. The unsnap part may seem like a no-brainer, but adrenalin has this funny way of making anything but gross motor skills a bit of an issue. A task you can perform a thousand times without trouble in a “normal” situation can become impossible under stress (no matter how slowly you breathe). One move is better than two.

2. How do you keep the top part of the case out of the way (i.e. falling back down in front of the hand)?

3. How do you get your hand around the grip? Ideally, your thumb slides on one side of the grip and your fingers on the other. The case seems to put the gun flush to the rear surface. You’d have to kinda prise the gun out.

4. As the bottom drops down when you unsnap the top, accidentally unsnapping the top will expose your rat gun. And speaking of unwanted attention, “With the advent of so many portable electronic gadgets today it draws very little attention.” Be that as it may, hiding it would draw even less attention.

Just as there is no perfect gun, there is no perfect holster. In pursuit of the least bad, remember that you’re not Inspector Gadget. Simple is best.

4 Responses to New Holster Solution for .380s. Or Not.

  1. One of the first rules of quality holsters is to be able to obtain a full, complete grip on the gun while in the holster. This holster does not offer that.

  2. Good holster options for mouse guns are hard to come by, and this novelty holster doesn't make the choice any easier. Don't expect firm gun retention during dynamic movement (like moving for cover, or reaching for your wallet to pay for the groceries) but DO expect immediate police attention, open carry laws or no, when it flips open in the checkout line.

    For comfort and ease of presentation, few options are better than a decent paddle holster. (As a bonus, they can be very affordable too.) But mouse guns gun lose much of their concealment qualities when carried in low-riding, outside-the-waistband holsters like paddle designs.

    I like a closed IWB holster (preferably of Kydex or something rigid and nonporous) for a combination of concealment, solid retention, and uniform presentation. Reduced comfort is the compromise: some shooters can't stand the feel of cold hard Kydex inside their trousers, so my choice isn't for everyone.

    Remember that comfortable smooth leather will be a sponge for perspiration and salts inside your waistband, and that any soft IWB holster can give inconsistent presentations when worn with different pants or belts. A soft IWB that draws smoothly from slightly relaxed-fit trousers can grip the gun too tightly to draw cleanly when worn with more athletic-cut blue jeans.

    Whether your gun is worn inside or outside the waistband, I CANNOT stress enough the benefits of wearing a specially-designed and reinforced gun belt. I'll be doing an article on these in the near future, but don't wait for me to blather about it before you buy one. Find a good price (mine was $15) and get one; they make any gun seem many ounces lighter and smaller on your hip.

  3. how long would it take to send one to northeast Arkansas? very interested!! is there a return police?? Thanks Ang

  4. what is the cost of this holster? new holster solution foe .380s or not, very interested in this holster thanks Angie

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