Image by Oleg Volk. Used with permission.
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Holsters offer a safe, effective and utilitarian manner with which to carry your guns.  Leave the carry sans a holster to criminals, amateurs who don’t know any better and fools.

Holsters protect your gun, aid in comfortable carriage and keep your firearm in a consistent position and location on your hip.  A well-fitted holster will also prevent your gun from falling out of your waistband into the blue water of a porta-John, or the public toilet, while doing your business.

It also helps ensure nothing gets into the trigger guard and causes the gun to fire while re-holstering.

Sometimes in the gun culture, we talk about Mexican carry.  It has nothing to do with Chipotle.  Instead, it involves stuffing a gun into your pants sans a holster.

Image by Oleg Volk. Used with permission.

Bing.com only has 30,400,000 returns for “shot himself while putting gun in pants.”

And even if successfully stuffed into the waistband, plenty of things can go wrong.   Best case scenario, you lose control of your gun and it falls to the ground or skitters across pavement at the worst possible time.  Not only will scratching up your gun’s finish not help the gun’s value, but it may result in criminal charges.  A worse outcome involves self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The worst-case scenario involves your gun accidentally discharging and wounding or killing a bystander.

The same goes for pocket or purse carry.  Carry with a holster so the gun remains secured in position, with the trigger group covered to ensure virtually no risk of accident bangs.  Chapstick, lipstick, keys and other pocket- or purse-dwelling objects can find their way into the trigger assemblies in unholstered handguns.  Sometimes, if the planets align in the wrong way, those objects may cause the gun to fire.

Image by Oleg Volk. Used with permission.

Alternatively, for those carrying in a pocket, a pocket holster may help preclude the gun falling out of the pocket.  More importantly, it’ll keep the gun oriented in the proper position to draw (or simply fire.)

Don’t be like “that guy” who went to the pulmonology clinic in Peoria, IL with his Derringer rolling loose in his windbreaker’s pocket.  Not only was the medical facility posted no guns, but the man didn’t have a clue that his Cobra .38 Special Derringer was most certainly not “drop safe.”

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about the incident which happened only a couple of days before I visited the same office.

The story I got when I talked to the medical staff differed somewhat from the news article. While the tech took my blood pressure, she told me what happened with mild amusement.

She said her fellow tech went in to update this guy’s medication list. As they talked and she entered the changes, this guy’s jacket fell to the floor. The pistol discharged with an incredibly loud pop (go figure) and the round went through the base of the chair and struck our irresponsible gun owner roughly at the base of his right butt cheek.

Initially, the medical staffer didn’t see or feel any new perforations, but then her patient asked her to call for help. At first she seemed incredulous that the round had hit him from below. But sure enough, he had ruined the chair and a perfectly good pair of pants.

Fortunately for our hero, the round missed his femoral artery by millimeters. “Otherwise he might have bled to death before he made it to the ED,” my tech added.

Later, I found out ISP revoked his carry license.

Don’t be “that guy.”  Use a holster.

Really.

It remains in everyone’s best interest to carry using a properly sized and fitted holster.  It’ll keep you and those around you safe, the gun secured, and if you need it, the carry rig will keep your Roscoe properly oriented for ease of access in an emergency.

 

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80 COMMENTS

  1. FYI, last month I saw a guy open-carrying “Mexican-style” a handgun. True-to-type, the guy was Mexican, in Mexico. A cop (so, he didn’t need a permit).

    We encountered this cop and his partner (open-carrying a holstered handgun) blocking the road. (Don’t know what reason.) Since we had to stop and turn-around I had a good opportunity to see the Mexican-carry and satisfy myself that he really was Mexican-carrying.

    • Or have the separate trigger safety engaged, such as exists on my EDC.

      So, I’ve been carrying IWB appendix without traditional holster, but with minimalist “gun clip” installed and trigger safety engaged. Quite a while, actually, and I began carrying 25+ years ago. Never once had a mishap, ND, or fall-out. But according to John in his article, I don’t think like he does and am therefore a “criminal, amateur who doesn’t know any better, or a fool.”

      TEHO. If you can properly and safely carry in the manner that’s most comfortable for you, then do it. Let others worry about themselves if they can’t handle your method.

  2. I agree with the author. Except, he didn’t go far enough. It should be a quality holster. Don’t forget the belt. It’s going to have to support a lot more than a pair of pants. If the weapon busted your budget eat a few bologna sandwiches and save your pennies. Remember, quality isn’t inexpensive, but it is worth it.

    • I agree. A good belt makes a big difference. It should be a holster made specifically for that gun. I don’t recommend anything generic.

    • I have one holster. A Nemesis for my Taurus 709. No one can tell I’m carrying a gat. My wife wants a micro 9 so I may lose that holster…

    • Lets expand on quality holster: Glock requires a hard sided trigger area, and that should include any part of the holster that the trigger guard has to pass thru.

      NO NYLON OR LEATHER. Despite the reinforcing in some, composition or leather will break down over time and can bend into the guard to catch on the trigger.

      On the other end of the holster, you can’t use the kind which grabs the trigger guard and locks it into place unless it’s made for that specific model, and they will insure your use. It’s the kind with an outside button to release the gun, which requires forcing your finger down to activate while pulling it out. What happens then is your finger has muscle stress and “memory” exerted against it, then it slides into the trigger guard and curls, firing the gun.

      Those holsters are largely banned in official use now, because of insurance liability. If you are not a practiced quick draw McGraw, they might work ok. One other issue is that some combinations of wrong holster and wrong gun – a user being “resourceful” who “repurposes” the holster, may find the guard catch pushing the trigger when the gun is forced down into the holster. Oops.

      If you choose to use one, get a snap cap, load it, holster it as many stupid ways as you can and see for yourself it’s safe.

      Another area: Holsters that wear inside the waistband. Those were invented recently, in the time line of holster usage, and they were intended for deep conceal carry in abusive jurisdictions where even uncovering the gun was punishable by a criminal citation. You flash, you go to jail, and it was enforced. FL for one IIRC. Now, many jurisdictions allow open carry, and IWB isn’t necessarily the best way to carry, either. It requires larger waist sized pants to fit, about two inches bigger, and a hard stiff holster to remain open and keep your pants UP when it’s removed. A larger belt is required, too. When not using the holster, how they wear many not be compatible with ordinances on public exhibitionism. And if you have the more mature figure of an older adult, your waistline to hip area may be an inverted funnel which means the ol gut forces them down your anatomy and you then earn the Plumber’s Apprentice Award for Distinguished Revulsion of Anatomy in Public. Even wearing outside the waistband is difficult with that physique.

      That is where an honest evaluation of what you should be doing, realistically needs to be done, and no, cinching up the belt may result in an incredible amount of pressure on a nerve cluster in your hip joint which will eventually react.

      Ask some of us how we know.

      If you don’t have washboard abs and the waistline isn’t smaller than your hip line, belt carry at all is going to be problematic. Own it, correct it for better health, and in the meantime, avoid that style and carry safer. Shoulder holsters worked for decades and still do.

      Too bad Brauer Bros isn’t around when we need them.

  3. I don’t Mexican Carry however I have to take issue with the article. For example hits on a Bing search isn’t evidence and it’s dishonest to claim it is. Further the articles example of Mexican Carry home bad relies on a gun that’s notoriously unsafe carried in any manner. Finally the article ignores decades of carry by police and armed citizens alike. Carry of a pistol like a 1911 or High Power with a proper belt isn’t a disaster.

    • I also should point out his example of an accidental discharge didn’t result from Mexican Carry but pocket carry.

    • I carried Mexican style for years, back in the 90s. I always carried a S&W 3913 or a SIG P239. Both had long, heavy DA pulls. No worry about an AD.

      I carry in a holster now, of course.

  4. What a terrible choice of holster for the prime photo!
    1. holster does to fit the gun, there is no boning to match it to gun’s shape
    2. belt loops on holster are too big for the belt
    3. belt does not appear to be thick enough to properly support a holster

    Apparently sex appeal is valued higher on this site than proper equipment. Shame.
    This is why you should rely on profession instructors, not internet articles.

    • ‘Apparently sex appeal is valued higher on this site…’

      Um… duh. Who pissed in your Cheerios?

    • Its not an indicator of value preference, its just there isn’t any need to point out the obvious so why not enjoy the scenery

      • So, I just spent five minutes staring at the picture, and I still don’t see the pistol or holster you’re talking about… must be a VERY effective camo pattern ?

  5. So many comments… so little space…. 1) Generic holsters are not by definition bad or unsafe so long as they safely contain the gat. See Uncle Mike’s, Desantis, etc. 2) Belts narrower than the holster loops, slots, etc. are not intrinsically dangerous, just ask Galco, et.al. 3) Clips and holster grips work well for certain types of firearms; see Barami hip grips, etc. There are differences in administrative handling that reduce the risk of an ND. 4) The derringer ND example is a set-up to prove the author’s point. Even the Cobra derringer has an active hammer block safety. 5) What the heck is an “accident bang”?

    • So much wrong info, so little time

      Generic holsters are an awful choice. A properly fit holster will not only secure the gun better, the release will be better, irregardless of the Uncle Mike’s and Desantis garbage.

      Belt loops on the holster that are larger than the belt will not support the holster well, enabling it to move around, irregardless of the Uncle Mike’s and Desantis garbage.

      OldProf49, get some professional training

        • Are you really so stupid to state “Irregardless” is not a word? or a werd?????????

          WTF? On drugs? drunk?

        • Yes, ‘irregardless’ is a real word. It’s not that useful, in some circles a person is considered illiterate if they use it, and its not considered “proper” English, its considered a nonsense word.

          Its been in use for over 200 years, and is used by many with a consistent meaning of “regardless” – and that’s the only reason its defined in the dictionary, because of its commonality. Its not defined in the dictionary because its actually a proper word. A lot of people hate it, but it is a real word.

        • Booger is correct. It is a real word, but not a proper word. If one means to say “regardless” then just say “regardless.” Why add the extra syllable and make yourself out to be ignorant?

    • an “accident bang” is when you didn’t mean to but she is still there sleeping next to you when you wake up in the morning

  6. ME: CCW since ‘94; hundreds of hours of “professional training”, mostly from LEO trainers; box of holsters, including generic and custom; no ND’s, embarrassing drops or printing faux pas incidents.
    d: deliberate misinterpretation of my post; lots of snark; questionable carry experience; $$$$ for custom holsters.

  7. I have drawers full of holsters I have tried, and have spent over a thousand dollars over the years. Generic holsters suck. Spend the money and get one molded to your firearm. I finally went with Simply Rugged, and have one for each one of my handguns. As the name says, they’re rugged, require little care, and hold the firearm in place.

  8. Anyone who believes the grip and thumb safety on a 1911 pistol makes it safe to carry stuck in the waistband should know that the legendary Texas Rangers have had at least 3 documented negligent discharge incidents in the last 3 decades involving 1911 “Barbecue Guns” the famous lawmen prefer to carry. The most recent was only 3-4 years ago and occurred on an East Texas firing range resulting in a gunshot wound to the Rangers leg. The second occurred in the bathroom stall of an East Texas bank and resulted in a gunshot into the ceiling as the Ranger attempted to hang his 1911 by the trigger guard on a coat hook. And the third in West Texas that occurred after the Ranger retrieved his 1911 from his vehicle and stuck in his back waistband, resulting in a gunshot wound to the Rangers buttock. The only safe way to carry ANY type of semi auto pistol, especially a 1911 is in some type of holster that both properly fits the pistol and safely covers the trigger.

    • Three accidentall discharged in thirty years. Before I get all fired up about that I would like to know how this stacks up against Departments carrying other weapons.

      • Quadrupled down! Wow! Since it obviously sailed right over your hard head I’ll try to explain. If one of the worlds most legendary and elite group of lawman have experienced life threatening negligent discharges of loaded unholstered pistols, ANYONE could suffer similar or worse injuries if they practice similar unsafe carry, handling, or storage of firearms.

        • Personal insults impress me alot so does three discharges in three decades. Any one who has served as a soldier or a police officer can relate accidental discharges with any number of weapons including Glocks, Hammer fired DA/SA guns and revolvers. It’s gun handling and not gun type.
          Let’s be clear the issue isn’t 1911 pistols it’s Mexican Carry and that’s been done for decades. Don’t believe me? Take a look at period photos.
          Don’t like it don’t do it I don’t care but when you make bizzare statements like you have just been lucky for 25:years expect to be challenged.

        • You’re STILL missing the point.

          Hint: the point is not “you must carry a glock because 1911s are dangerous.”

  9. How is hanging a 1911 from a coat hook related in any way to Mexican Carry?
    Worth noting that at least one Secret Service agent removed his pistol from his holster while using the restroom and forgot it.

  10. I used to “mexican” carry, then read the carry law in this state, says the gunm has to be holstiened.
    Also knew a guy who shoved a Llama45 in the back of his pants to answer the door and shot himself in the ass. He said it was the pistuls fault.

  11. I site evidence and ask for it
    You clearly have none so.you fall back on disjointed undocumented claims. Site evidence not internet lore.

  12. The model in the blue crop top (first picture) needs instruction. The initial hand grip must be in the web between thumb and index finger, firmly against the beaver tail.

    Perhaps her hand is too small for a 1911.

    That’s all I could think of – then my eyes wandered.

    • models don’t need to look like they are doing something correctly, they only need to showcase the product in some manner that’s “attracting”. 99% of the people here reading this article have taken note of the woman and her “figure” but still saw the holster – and seeing the holster is the point of the picture.

      It was like companies in the car world that put out their product calendar with a good looking bikini clad (or sometimes naked) woman on each month page. Years ago before society became this writhing mass of crybaby emotional sensitivity ‘me-me-me’ political correctness where every one is some color even rainbow and rights are subjective and only relative to if someone can decide you have them or not – the product for the calendar company, their sales would increase at the beginning of every month when the page was turned to expose that months model then sales would decreased towards the end of the month then increase again when the new month page was exposed.

  13. Incorrect! I have for years pocket carried WITH my keys in the same pocket. It was actually my key to success in doing so. You see I’ll never forget my gun or my keys if they’re together, in fact I like to make sure my keys are wrapped INSIDE the trigger well.

  14. One of my favorite stories my Uncle ever told me. There was this old sheriff in his town, a quiet place to be sure but not exactly Mayberry, who carried an old Colt SAA with a short barrel stuffed down the front of his pants with the load gate flipped open holding on his belt. My Uncle, a young lad at the time, approached the old man at a Fair and says “Excuse me sir, but isn’t that dangerous?” The old man, intentionally missing his meaning said “Son, if it wasn’t dangerous I wouldn’t carry it.”

  15. “Don’t be like “that guy” who went to the pulmonology clinic in Peoria, IL with his Derringer rolling loose in his windbreaker’s pocket.”

    He’s from Peoria, no one cares if he shot himself. You’re better off dying from a gunshot than living in Peoria.

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