The United States Concealed Carry Association gun guru, Kevin Michalowski, doesn’t value the need to re-holster your concealed carry firearm quickly. He recommends buying a comfortable, collapsible holster. “I think you’re going to keep this gun out ’til the police arrive,” he opines. And when you need to re-holster, remove the entire holster and re-holster it — which he admits isn’t a particularly efficient process.

To quote Will Smith, oh Hell no. Sure, keep your gun out until the threat is well and truly finished. Don’t be in a hurry to put your gat away. Absolutely. But the last thing I want is the police to roll up and see me holding a gun, especially if there’s a bleeding perp nearby. Who’s the bad guy now?

If the deal is done — say you brandished your gun and the perp scarpered (to use the British expression) — re-holster that bad boy pronto. To do that you want a holster than enables the process. That’s one of the reasons I use an outside-the-waistband Kydex holster. It’s the best solution for re-holstering. But that’s me. Do you use a collapsible holster? Do you practice re-holstering?

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63 Responses to Question of the Day: Reholster-Enabling Holster?

  1. Why would I want to re-holster into a device attached to my belt? Not seeing the problem with removing a holster, re-inserting the firearm, then putting the mated unit back on my belt (when I finally get one). Seems practical and safe. Just looking at my belt and pants from any angle while inside them, I see all sorts of opportunity to screw this up. Fast re-holstering seems even more dangerous. Would it be dangerous to decide that if the threat is over, and there are no police, one can re-holster detached? And if police suddenly arrive, put the gun on the ground and take a step back?

    What am I missing here?

    • All of this. There’s no reason in the world to ever concern yourself with speedy re-holstering.
      The cops are going to take and molest your handgun anyway. Let them pick it up off the ground.

    • You are missing training. Good training will teach you that after a gunfight you should scan your surroundings-360 degrees-before reholstering. “Wolves (bad guys) travel in packs.” More advanced-level training will train you to reholster without looking at your holster, just in case you misjudged the end of the threat. A collapsible holster must still be secured to your body somehow (usually belt clips), otherwise you draw the gun and the holster comes with it. Like all holsters, they can be a pain to get on and off. While your fiddling with getting your collapsible holster on and off, another bad guy takes the opportunity to relieve you of said gun and holster.

      • I’m all for good SA but there’s a big difference between SA and the gunfu chicken head. Expensive training that sounds/looks cool and has lots of buzz words doesn’t equal “good” or “advanced”. If you’re more likely to carry using a soft holster, use a soft holster. Know your gear. If a pack of (bad) ninjas gets the drop on you, it’s not going to be the fault of your holster.

      • Unless you are dealing with gangbangers bad guys definitely don’t run in packs and the empirical evidence is that those who do don”t live by “the leave no man behind” ethic. They run from the sound of the guns leaving their BFF laying on the ground bleeding out.

  2. A collapsible holster seems silly to me. It’s seems like it increases the chances of an ND across the board when part of the holster gets inside the trigger guard.

    That said I don’t think immediate reholster is necessary or even wise in any situation where you were forced to draw. Give it a moment and make sure you do it right. The adrenaline dump will be there any time a situation forces you to draw. You may also have to keep the pistol pointed at someone until police arrive even if you’ve already punched a hole or three in them. Just because they’re down doesn’t mean they’re incapacitated and incapable of doing something else stupid like drawing a backup that you don’t know about.

    While having the pistol in your hand when the 5-0 arrive might not be the best situation it might be unavoidable. Also, I don’t much cherish the idea of having to reach for the gun or show the cops where it is on my person when Barney Fife shows up. Honestly I’d rather drop the mag, lock the slide back, place the gun on the deck and step back from it as they roll up. Now there’s no question about who’s who or where the pistol actually is. Some dumbass cop might still shoot you but at least they can’t say you were reaching for your burner as a justification for blasting you.

    • It is not recommended to be handling your gun as the police arrive. The movement can easily be misinterpreted. Much better off have the the gun on the ground or in your holster.

      • My comment comes from the experience of dealing with the cops after my buddy got shot in the head, again after a one sided knife fight and again when a cop flipped out over a seat belt cutter and physically attacked me while screaming “HE’S GOT A KNIFE!!!” to gain possession of it.

        Cops want to know where all the weapons are and have them secured immediately. They will generally be aggressive in pursuit of this goal. Even after they had the scene secured in the first instance three of them damn near shot me for reaching for a Camel Filter.

        Place the weapon on the deck and step back. That’s an action that cannot be misinterpreted and it removes the gun from your possession completely. This is what experience tells me. No way am I giving one of those retards an invitation to yell “He’s got a gun!” because I actually have a gun. No fucking way in hell.

    • Thanks. Hadn’t thought about the potential danger of pulling a gun out of the holster while faced with a cop. Looks like grounding the weapon would be safest.

      • Iny experience drawing in the presence of the fuzz after a DGU probably would get you shot.

        They’ll completely disarm you and pat you down. They may even cuff you. Consider it like concierge service complete with a shitty massage. At least you aren’t obligated to tip for the rub down.

        I just don’t want the gun in my possession at all at that point. IMHO, based on experience, that’s asking to get shot. The whole “Good guys wear holsters” mantra sounds good on paper but IRL it’s bullshit. They won’t see it unless you’re OCing and even if they do they won’t care. At all. There’s no law of physics that says a guy with a holster can’t shoot a cop and the police know this.

  3. Never use a collapsable holster. Lots of reasons that holstering might be needed. Here’s just one: Active shooter situation. Once the threat is dealt with you need to reholster ASAP before someone mistakes you for the bad guy.

  4. Crappy collapsible holsters are fine if ya can’t afford anything else to tote your gat, since it does beat shoving said heater in your pants! There are good leather and Kydex holsters that are available for very little more, and they are well worth the expense in my book, your money, you choose.

    • Yes. It as if the “soft holster” guys hadn’t been around for the Cross Breed Super Tuck and its many (some good) clones. Once I tried one I never looked back.

      Having had some experience with this, holstering your pistol so that it is available again from concealment should the engagement be extended by surprise…isn’t a problem. When-and-IF the law shows up you raise your hands high, tell them exactly where the pistol is, and let them remove it. I’ve been through this routine twice in fourteen years. (Hey, its a safe town.) I had to pick up my pistol later at the PD, but so what? I just filled the holster with a different one.

      I wouldn’t dream of putting my pistol on the ground after a good shoot or lawful presentation unless there were LEOs within sight. If we didn’t see the first aggression coming, what gives us the super-senses to dismiss the chance of a follow-up?

  5. I’m a OWB Kydex kind of guy. While I don’t see the need to re-holster quickly, I can imagine a scenario where I want to re-holster in as low-key a manner as possible. And yes, I practice.

  6. Wow. This is horrible advice. You do NOT want the police rolling up to a shots-fired call with a gun in your hand. Once the threat is over: scan your surroundings, once the situation is safe, re-holster. Police see a gun in holster, their first thought is “good guy.” Gun in hand= “bad guy.” Why? Because criminals tend to use waist bands, not holsters.

    Any legitimate training course (see, e.g., FrontSight, GunSight, etc.) will teach this procedure. Even a 2-hour CCW lecture will teach you that collapsible holsters suck and are a good way to shoot yourself under stress. People who have no training shouldn’t be making instructional videos.

    • I don’t care who teaches that. I call bullshit.

      The cops are three for three with me on that and I’m not looking to make #4 the time they actually shoot me.

      It sounds an awful lot like these guys are teaching theory and have never actually had the cops roll up to a scene where there was a violent altercation and they were present. I have. I’m gonna go with experience over theory no matter what tacticool name is attached to that theory.

    • Kevin is an active duty police officer, not someone with no experience. I find his advice to be legitimate. This one of those things that no one will come to single answer on; got to do what you feel comfortable with & live with the outcome. Don’t forget every situation is unique & no one answer fits all.

      • These types of postings are about one thing: ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” The postings are not slams. The postings are not mandatory. The postings are not commandments written in stone. Consider the ideas presented (regardless of the tone), and determine if there is something valuable for you. Differing ideas are not bad, nor are the cause/justification for bullying others. Don’t want a soft holster, why not? Don’t want a hard form holster, why not? What are the peripheral considerations for one thing or another. No one is shooting at us, no stress is applied. These are mental exercises to keep us sharp, not political arguments to win or lose.

      • “Kevin is an active duty police officer, not someone with no experience.”

        Keeping in mind that I have no idea who “Kevin” is, let’s examine this claim shall we?

        For the purposes of examination I will assume that your statement is correct.

        Kevin is a cop. How often does he get to be on the receiving end of the police rolling up on his DGU when he’s not in uniform? Probably never but certainly nearly never. When he calls 911 after his DGU does he identify himself as a cop? Nearly certainly. Once the police are on scene and have established his identity does Keven get treated the way the rest of us non-LEO’s do? This is what might well be called a “whole different kettle of fish” because Kevin is not just someone OCing legally or with a CCW permit.

        Yeah, Kevin’s opinion is a theoretical based on what he’d like to think he’d do in a situation where he knows more than he actually does IRL. In other words, I take his opinion with a grain of salt because, quite frankly, I expect Keven to shoot my ass and even if Kevin doesn’t shoot my ass there’s a pretty good chance his retard partner Bob will.

        The fact that he hasn’t fucked up yet doesn’t mean that he won’t. Now, don’t take that as a knock on Kevin, I’m merely pointing out he’s human and therefore makes mistakes. I’m also pointing out that for every good cop like Kevin (assuming he’s right about what he says) there is at least one other cop who’s a shitbird and the funny thing about GSW’s is that they don’t tend to give a fuck about the intelligence or the intentions of the person who caused them.

        Given the situation and where the information is coming from it sounds like Kevin’s opinion doesn’t outweigh my personal experience. At absolute best be moves this from 3/3 to 3/4.

  7. The threat is neutralized perhaps as late as when I see or hear the police pull up. I will reholster then and then only unless I am going to administer aid to any of the wounded. I do agree that I want to do that early enough that the Po-Po don’t see me as a potential threat. But as JK says above, I want to ensure that there are no more threats. In some of the sketchy areas I try to avoid, I would worry about somebody’s crew showing up before the police arrived.

  8. In IDPA, I use the same desantis IWB hybrid holster that I use for CCW. (I don’t think that collapsible holsters are even allowed.)

    I want a holster that I can practice with, drawing and firing. Reholster capability is essential to me.

  9. Seems to me this whole discussion is missing a big point in favor of using a design that makes it easy to re-holster the gun: practice. If you’re carrying a gun, you should probably be spending some time practicing your draw (with an empty gun, of course). Having a holster that you have to take off, re-holster, then re-position on your body every time you want to put the gun back in it is going to make such practice extremely tedious.

    • ^ Bingo.
      You need to practice the whole drill: Clear your cover garment, draw and fire, while trying to beat a shot timer.

      Reholster, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

      A collapsible holster makes this tedious and potentially dangerous.

  10. You are supposed to pull your gun back to your body and swivel your head left and right with a devilish grin on your face. I see it all the time on YouTube so it must be what you are supposed to do…

  11. It depends on your priorities. When concealment is a priority, low profile collapsible holsters do a great job of keeping your gun unobtrusive. Right now, due to winter conditions, I’m rocking an OWB kydex holster for ease of access. During the less Hoth-like months of the year, I roll with a simple leather IWB collapsible holster that lets me pack almost a full-size handgun unobtrusively.

    Realistically speaking, rapid re-holstering is a low probability need at the tail end of a low probability event. I’d be much more concerned about more mid-range probability issues such as reduced concealability or comfort.

    • A well made non-collapsible holster, of which there are many such as Mitch Rosen and High Noon or Cross Breed, add at most a quarter of an inch to the width of your rig, and the collapsibles are very nearly the same. And they greatly reduce the risk of an ND when reholstering a loaded gun. As the vid says, there is no way to do so safely without removing the collapsible holster. Maybe it is just the metal clip on the High Noon I have, but that sucker is HARD to get off and HARD to get repositioned in the exact spot that is most comfortable (especially without dropping my pants). So I am quite happy that it is not collapsible.

      That said, if you are pocket carrying, even with nothing else in that pocket, it is best to remove the holster before reholstering your gun.

    • pwrserge,

      You are SPOT on, “It depends on your priorities. When concealment is a priority, low profile collapsible holsters do a great job of keeping your gun unobtrusive.”

      I use a collapsible holster outside my pants, inside my belt. It makes my medium/full size handgun invisible with any reasonably sized shirt. There are venues where truly concealed is my highest priority, by far and away. Therefore, I will deal with some level of difficulty reholstering.

      Speaking of, the difficulty of reholstering into a collaspible holster is that you absolutely MUST look at your holster to rehoster and, most likely, use your off hand to make sure your holster is open and your shirt is out of the way.

      And before anyone claims that puts me at risk of continued attack because I have to look at my holster, I say balogna. If someone just attacked me, I had to draw/shoot, and the attacker either vacated or is laying on the ground apparently incapacitated, I am NOT in a hurry to reholster my handgun. I am inclined to wait for at least two minutes after I believe the threat has dissipated before worrying about reholstering. During that time, if all appears to be calm, I will alter my stance, body language, and position to minimize or outright conceal the fact that I have a handgun in hand. If police suddenly appeared (doubtful within two minutes of an attack), I would simply place my handgun on the ground and step away.

  12. Another issue with this advise, in my opinion, is that it discourages training. One thing Martial Arts has taught me is to train as you will fight. That means that you should practice/train drawing your gun and firing. If it’s a pain in the arse to re-holster and start again, people will not train themselves to draw and fire. Re-holstering is important for the practice element alone.

  13. Are we overanalyzing this? If I had to reholster, it means I survived… And I’ll sure take my sweet time putting my gun away.

  14. I don’t understand why this is still an issue. If the situation warranted pulling your gun out of the holster, the cops are going to be coming. If the threat has been neutralized, the proper place for your gun is on the ground. The first thing the cops will do is secure any weapons on the scene, and you don’t want your gun in your holster for two reasons. #1 Do you really want a cop to fish a gun out of your holster? #2 If the gun is in your holster, it looks like you are trying to hide it from the cops, which will reduce your credibility. You want to distance yourself from the gun as soon as the cops are there (while following any directions they are giving you).
    Have no illusions, if the cops show up you WILL lose your gun, at least for a while (it is now called evidence). Don’t be an idiot, think through how an encounter will actually go and remember to always put that gun on the ground. You can always pick it up again if you were mistaken in clearing the area of dangers. If, for some reason, you are still holding the gun when the cops show up, drop that bad boy as soon as you are aware of the first officer getting close. Even in an active shooter situation, a trained cop isn’t going to be blasting away at the first person he/she sees with a gun, he/she is going to wait until that person is a threat to others.

  15. In a non-law enforcement role, I can’t think of many reasons to reholster quickly. And everyone should practice drawing and reholstering so that they are safe in doing both. And just NO on collapsible holsters.

  16. My Kydex holsters do a great job of a.) concealing my full sized handgun, b.) being comfortable enough, and c.) keeping my gun right where I put it last.

    Reasons I want to reholster.

    I need both my hands (first aid, dragging someone behind cover, flagging down a cop arriving on scene, etc.) more than I need a gun in my hand at the moment. But I might still might need a gun at some point in the not too distant future. Hence – gun in holster. Both hands doing two handed things until one or both of them need to be shooting again.

    • Yep, when the cops come, both hands should be over your head.
      I’m not leaving my gun on the ground. I’ll leave it visible with my hands on my head.
      They can secure it and me while they conduct their investigation.
      If I’m still on the scene. Might have been a situation I had to shoot my way out of.
      I will have my lawyer handle it after that.

    • You shouldn’t be doing anything but scanning for threats until you are 100% certain that all threats have been eliminated. You especially should not be holding a gun while trying to wave a cop down, that is a really good way to end up room temperature.

  17. Reholstering doesn’t need to be accomplished with speed, but to assume that once you draw your firearm it must always remain drawn is foolish. Just as you can’t really predict all the situations that might result in you drawing your handgun, you can’t predict the situations that might call for you to holster it, either.

    What if your wife or a bystander gets shot in an altercation and you need to attend to her? What if YOU get shot? What if – due to extenuating circumstances – you need to flee the area for your own safety and call in the incident from a few blocks away? You can’t assume that you’re going to be able to stand around, gun drawn, and wait the minutes or hours until the cops arrive.

    The gun guru didn’t think this one through very well.

    • If there is the posibility of a threat still out there, your gun should still be in your hand. If you have to flee for your own safety, your gun should be in your hand. You, sir, are the one that didn’t think it through. You really want to be fumbling with a holster while running away, or when your adrenaline is spiking because your wife or someone else needs medical attention?

  18. If you don’t practice reholstering safely, then you’re not going to be able to do it if you ever DO need to. Will you ever need to? Probably not. But you probably won’t need to draw quickly or shoot accurately either, but you practice that, right?

    RIGHT?

  19. Definitely will reholster after threat is neutralized…if threat is neutralized…but I’m never going to let that weapon out of my possession until the police relieve me of it.

  20. Never heard of this “gun guru” before, but as someone who has carried a handgun for business purposes over 20 years there are times when you need to reholster your weapon immediately. These include the need to go “hands on” in a situation. Quality leather gear (belt, holster and mag/ammunition pouches) are of the utmost importance, don’t go cheap.

    Standing around with your roscoe in your hands and your pants around your ankles as you fiddle f*ck with an Uncle Mike’s holster is not sound advice.

  21. I practice deliberate holstering just about every time I carry, its almost its own little ritual even though my Glock is always condition three. Its good to practice and build confidence in the equipment for when I finally get my ass up and get permission from the state to exercise my God given rights. I do use quality equipment but it only takes one ND for any reason to ruin your life.

    Now when I was rolling through CMCC(coaches course) in the USMC, I dropped my M9 back into that cheesy uniform holster any which way I liked because it had a manual safety / de-cocker.

  22. This guy sure has a lot more faith in the police than I do. Scan for threats and re-holster (carefully), or put the piece on the ground. You’re itching to get shot if you have a weapon (OR holstered weapon) in your hand when the cops roll up. All they want to see is your big, beautiful, empty hands.

  23. Yeah that’s totally what I want: a holster that flattens out when I draw my gun, so my pants loosen and possibly start falling down in the middle of a gunfight.

    AND the police get to shoot me thinking I’m the perpetrator? Sign me up!

  24. “But the last thing I want is the police to roll up and see me holding a gun”

    The cops are perfectly willing and capable of perforating you if your gun is in a holster, on the ground or in your home safe.

    Hell, they’ll shoot you if you’re lying on the ground, on your back, with your hands up. And when you ask them why (if you’re still alive), they’ll tell you that they don’t know.

  25. “That’s one of the reasons I use an outside-the-waistband Kydex holster. ” Same here . More confortable than IWB, and regardless of what most people think, is very concealable.

  26. In uniform you need to be able to transition between holding someone at gunpoint and going hands-on. Being able to re-holster is very important. As a conceal carrier my gun is an escape route unless I’m in my home. I use it to escape. If that means I scare off a bad guy by pulling it, fine. If it means I have to shoot someone who is attacking me until he drops, fine. But I’m not sticking around so his buddies can find me… so once the threat is down, I’m gone. I’ll call the police from two blocks away. And re-holstering is not the priority.

  27. Debate all you want. If you have an open ridged holster you have the option to re-holster easily with one hand or not as the situation dictates. If you have a floppy nylon gun sleeve, you have fewer options.

    I like more options.

    Also removing a floppy nylon gun sleeve looks awfully furtive from some angles.

  28. If you use a soft holster, no one who knows what they’re doing respects you because they have zero positive qualities.

    If nothing else, it means you’ve never trained in anything resembling a realistic scenario.

    That’s really all there is to it.

  29. A buddy of mine showed me those and while unique and innovative my only question was “how the hell would you practice drawing and firing. It’d take like 20 mins to go through a mag”

  30. Quick re-holstering is probably the last thing I would ever worry about. Get a holster that it comfortable and safe that you’re most likely to carry everyday. However, if your holster easily collapses- it makes it more likely that you’ll have a negligent discharge when re-holstering if you’re not being careful.

  31. I had a collapsible n82 Tactical (ironic name) with elastic gun pocket. It made practicing draws a real PITA. I had to loosen my belt to reholster every time, which limited my practice. Never again.

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