Sometime back I was asked for holster suggestions for a 1911 pistol. I responded at that time it is a very personal decision. What brought it to mind again was my wife got a new cover for her cell phone. I’m not sure how many she has tried, but she stated she finally had found the right one. Unfortunately holsters are a bit like that.
If you are trying to make a holster decision the first thing you must decide is how am I planning to carry the pistol. If it is going on your belt it can go outside the waistband or inside the waistband. If outside for concealed carry you will need to be able to cover with a shirt or coat and not ‘print.’ If inside the waistband then it becomes even more challenging. There are holsters which allow you to tuck in the shirt over the grip of the pistol. You can have the gun at any number of angles, called the cant, or can carry it at the side, further back on the hip, or in the small of the back. For me the small of the back is comfortable, for day in and day out carry, but finding the right holster is challenging and if you fall on the pistol it is a horrible place to have it. Some say the position of your arm to draw the pistol is more difficult, but I seem to find it more comfortable and easy. I believe it all depends upon the person and their physique. You also can carry on a shoulder harness which in some cases attaches to your belt and in others does not. Yet another way to carry is inside a pocket. The possibilities are endless and most people end up with a drawer of holsters which did not make the cut.
Another thing to consider is will you need another magazine or speed loader. Many will say emphatically yes, I’m of the school of probably not. The reason to carry a concealed weapon is to stop a threat, if I need to reload the firearm to stop a threat I am certainly in a place I should not have been in the first place. During stressful situations your clarity is going to be impaired so even the finest shot might have issues under extreme pressure where a pistol is drawn in defense of life and limb, but personally I am going to try to get out of that situation and place something bullet resistant between me and my aggressor if at all possible. I don’t see me reloading, I’d probably become an instant expert in Parkour.
So if you are making a holster decision, think about what you want and need and if possible try out a few options before making that ultimate purchase. Once you have made a decision, unload the pistol and practice drawing it from concealment. It will take several thousand repetitions for the movement to become fluid and engrained in you muscle memory so practice, practice, practice. One final note, if you are of the camp who says, “I am going to have a spare magazine or revolver speed loader”, you need to practice reloading the pistol as well. It does you no good to drop one magazine, reach for the second and have it turned around backwards because you have not practiced how it would be retrieved under pressure.