We reviewed loads of holsters for almost every gun manufacturer out there. Below you’ll find a list of brands we covered so far.
Concealed Carry Holsters – These days there are a nearly unlimited number of concealed carry firearms available on the market, and along with that, there are also a nearly unlimited number of concealed carry holsters.
From shoulder holsters to IWB holsters to OWB holsters to pocket holsters to ankle carry holsters and so on, the options for concealment holsters are about as diverse as they come.
What is the best option for concealed carry? Honestly, it depends on the situation. No mode of carry is perfect. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, one of the most common ways to carry is ‘strong side hip’ and either IWB or OWB. This means that the weapon is holstered on the hip of your dominant side, either in an open carry or inside-the-waistband carry holster. This allows natural and fast access to your gun to draw, but it has a disadvantage in the sense that it’s difficult to draw while sitting down, especially in your car.
This is why some people will turn to alternative options such as appendix carry or shoulder holster carry. Shoulder holsters require a jacket or other kind of garment to keep them covered, and while appendix carry may be in a more convenient location than strong side hip, it’s also not very comfortable.
Sometimes, pocket carry will be the only option you can go with. If work requires you to wear a tucked in shirt, for instance, either pocket carry or ankle carry will be your only choices. Both of these methods are discreet, but they only permit the smallest kinds of handguns to be concealed properly.
As far as what to look for in a concealed carry holster, regardless of what carry position you desire or require, the following four requirements MUST be meant with no exception:
- The holster MUST cover the trigger guard of your firearm
- The holster MUST be high quality
- The holster MUST offer suitable retention for your firearm and stay secure when the firearm is drawn
- The holster MUST be comfortable for you to wear (or else, you won’t)
The best advice you can receive will be to buy several kinds of holsters and experiment with them until you find one you like. Yes, this costs more money, but it will be worth it if you truly want a holster that you actually enjoy carrying.
Open Carry Holsters – One of the major pluses of open carrying a firearm over conceal carrying is comfort. Open carry holsters are almost always more comfortable than concealed carry holsters because you can just strap them to your hip without them digging into your body anywhere.
As with concealed carry holsters, there are many different types of open carry holsters as well, as well as many different materials used. The most common is a strong side hip OWB holster made out of nylon, Kydex, leather, or similar materials.
Out of these options, Kydex and leather are by far the most popular as well as the highest quality. Kydex is very durable, while leather is quite comfortable and will mold nicely to your gun. Nylon holsters are often cheaper and not as nicely built. Most notably, their retention is often weaker in addition to offering less protection for the firearm as well.
Many of the same rules for selecting a concealed carry holster apply to an open carry holster as well. Namely, your holster must be high quality, it must offer suitable retention, it must be comfortable for you to wear (or else you won’t carry it), and it must FULLY cover the trigger guard of your firearm.
Galco, Fobus, Blackhawk, DeSantis, Tagua, and NSR are just a very small handful of the nearly limitless number of companies making open carry (as well as concealed carry) holsters today. Each of these companies also manufacturers open carry holsters in a wide variety of different styles and materials.
It should be noted, however, that open carrying a firearm is really only for special occasions. In almost all instances when you’re out in public, concealed carry will be much preferred to avoid attracting unwanted suspicion.
Open carry, on the other hand, is more preferable for when you’re out in the woods, hunting, hiking, or really just when being away from city limits.
One more point to be made is that it is possible to conceal carry an open carry holster so long as you wear heavier enough clothing, such as a jacket or sweatshirt or coat. There are many people who will carry their full size duty gun in an open carry holster during the colder months, before switching to something smaller and more concealable during the summer.
Beretta Holsters – Beretta is the oldest firearms maker still manufacturing guns today. The one weapon that they are easily the most well known for the is the 92FS or M9 pistol. Not the easiest pistol to conceal, the 92-series of pistol would be best carried in an OWB holster on the strong side of the hip or otherwise in a shoulder holster. If you were to go to the concealable route, either a shoulder holster or an IWB holster would be preferable.
The 92 has established itself as one of the most iconic pistols in the world due to its distinct look, heavy presence in movies and video games, and the fact that its served as the standard sidearm for numerous law enforcement agencies and militaries all over the world, including the U.S. military (though it is currently being phased out in favor of the SIG Sauer P320).
Additional pistols that Beretta currently manufactures include the Nano (a single stack 9mm meant for concealed carry in either an IWB or pocket holster) the Px4, (which is noted for its rotating barrel design and available in a full size, compact, or subcompact variations), and most recently the APX (which represents Beretta’s first entry in the striker fired market and is also available in three sizes).
In this regard, Beretta manufacturers a wide variety of handguns from full size duty pistols to concealable firearms that can be carried in the pocket to DA/SA Wonder-9s to striker fired pistols.
But through it all, it’s the 92 that Beretta remains the most well known for. In production since the 1970s, there are many different variations of the 92 today as it continues to evolve, with the most recent and innovative development being the M9A3. As one of the most popular pistols ever made, the number of aftermarket parts and accessories for the 92 is endless, and that most certainly includes holsters.
You may also like to hear that Beretta manufacturers holsters of their own, including kydex and leather holsters and IWB and OWB. Their holsters come with the Beretta logo imprinted on the side, so it can go nicely together with your Beretta pistol. Granted, Beretta only makes holsters for their own guns (at least so far), so that will be something to keep in mind.
Browning Holsters – John Browning was one of the most successful gun designers the world has ever seen, if not the most successful. He most notably designed the 1911, Hi-Power pistol, M1917 and M1919 machine guns, Auto-5 shotgun, Winchester 1894 lever action rifle, and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR).
Today, his name lives on with the Browning Arms Company. The company only manufactures a limited number of pistols today: two 1911s chambered for the .22 LR and .380 ACP cartridges, and then the Browning Buckmark in .22 LR.
Recently, in 2018, the company announced that they would no longer be manufacturing the Hi-Power in any form. The Hi-Power had previously been in production in the form of the Hi-Power Mark III, which was a development of the previous two versions of the Hi-Power.
As one of the most successful firearms ever designed, millions of Hi-Powers can still be found floating around the world and you can most certainly find used models in excellent condition. Nonetheless, it is the end of an era with the discontinuation of the Hi-Power.
If you own a Hi-Power or want to buy a used one, the best type of holster to purchase for it would likely be an OWB leather or Kydex holster. You can carry it concealed if you want to, though honestly, there are better and more modern designs available in today’s world.
With the end of the Hi-Power, the most notable pistol still remaining in the Browning arsenal is the Buckmark pistol. The Browning Buckmark is the second most popular .22 semi-automatic pistol sold on the market today, coming after the Ruger Mark series.
Both the Buckmark and the Ruger Mark (today the Ruger Mark IV) are excellent pistols. The Buckmark is favored by many for having a superior perceived trigger pull and ergonomics. It also has a natural point of aim and is an excellent option for target shooting, plinking, pest control, or small game hunting within reasonable distances.
A Browning Buckmark would require a longer holster in order to accommodate the extended barrel. A leather or nylon OWB belt holster would likely work best in this regard.
CZ Holsters – Every firearms manufacturer seems to have their ‘flagship’ model of handgun, and in the case of CZ, it’s undoubtedly the CZ75 pistol.
Developed in 1975 (hence the name), the CZ75 is also one of the world’s most successful pistol designs and is extremely widespread in military, police, and civilian use throughout the globe. In Europe in particular, it is one of the most popular pistols in civilian hands, especially in the Czech Republic where the company and pistol originated.
The CZ75 is noted for being one of the original ‘wonder-nines.’ Wonder-Nine refers to a semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm Luger and with a double-stack magazine and DA/SA trigger operation. Other examples of wonder-nines include the Beretta 92, Taurus PT92, and the SIG Sauer P226 to name a few.
The CZ75 is an enormously successful handgun and is available in a seemingly countless number of variations, including some made by other companies. It is available in a host of different calibers and sizes, with the smaller models having a shorter grip and barrel to be preferable for concealed carry.
These compact models of the CZ75 would be best served with an IWB holster, and preferably either leather or Kydex.
The most recent pistol made by CZ is the CZ P10C. This pistol took the firearms industry by storm when it was introduced in 2017, and was designed to be a direct competitor with the Glock 19. To this end, the P10C is a mid-sized, polymer framed, striker fired 9mm pistol with a 15-round magazine.
It’s what many people call the ‘perfect’ size of handgun, as it is large enough to be used for duty use while also being small and compact enough to conceal carry, and while offering plenty of firepower. However, the P10C is also a little bit shorter and lighter than the Glock 19 (by a tenth of an inch and two and a half ounces respectively) and the grip angle is also different.
A CZ P10C would be a good choice for home defense, concealed carry, or as a general duty sidearm to have in a disaster/SHTF situation. As a result, you would want both an OWB and an IWB holster for the weapon.
Glock Holsters – Ah, Glock. The firearms company that every other company is compared to these days it seems, or at least when it comes to pistols.
One of the best things that Glock did is make different sizes of the same firearm. Yes, other companies had done this before hand (Colt made a smaller version of the 1911 in the form of the Commander, for instance), but it was Glock who really rolled with it and made it mainstream.
That’s because the Glock 34, 17, 19, and 26 are really all the same gun. It’s just that they have different grip and barrel lengths. A G19 is a G17 with a chopped down slide and barrel, and a G26 is the same thing only to the G19. A G34 is simply a G17 with a slightly extended barrel for a longer sight radius.
The smaller Glock pistols will also accept the same magazines of their larger counterparts. You could conceal carry a Glock 26 with a 10 round magazine, but also carry a 17 round magazine from the G17 as your spare for greater firepower. The magazine will protrude beneath the grip of the gun, but it will still function just fine.
And that’s just with the 9mm Glock pistols. Glock does the same thing with other calibers such as with the .40 S&W and .45 ACP models as well. For example, the G22 and G27 are chambered in .40 caliber, and the G21, G30s, G36, and G41 in .45 ACP.
Other companies have followed Glock’s lead and do the same thing. For example, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Walther, HK, Springfield, Canik, and SIG Sauer all offer different sizes of their same pistols now. At the very least, most companies offer full size and compact models of the same gun.
When it comes to looking for holster for your Glock, it really depends on the application. For concealed carry, you’d most likely want an IWB holster made out of either Kydex or leather and with either a strong clip or belt snaps.
But certain types of Glocks could also be carried elsewhere. For example, the G26 is small enough to be carried on an ankle holster, and the G42 and G43 are small enough to be carried in most pockets.
The Glock pistol has also developed a well-deserved reputation for reliability and durability. Another big plus to them is their nearly infinite aftermarket support. Spare magazines, parts, and accessories are incredibly easy to find for a Glock, and of course, this includes holsters.
In other words, you should have absolutely no problem finding a high quality holster for your Glock. Virtually every holster companies makes holsters fitted for the different Glock pistols.
Ruger Holsters – Ruger makes a very wide variety of handguns, ranging from pocket .380 autos to target .22 LR pistols to duty 9mms to classic 1911 .45s to .357 and .44 Magnum revolvers.
But out of all of the semi-automatic pistols that Ruger makes, the one that they are perhaps the most well-known for is the LCP in .380 ACP. This is Ruger’s best-selling pistol and has been since it was first introduced in 2008. In fact, it was the LCP that largely got the public interested in the concept of the .380 pocket pistol for concealed carry.
The LCP is a pocket-sized pistol that holds 6+1 rounds of .380 ACP. But while it was incredibly light and small and easy to conceal, it also suffered from snappy recoil and a long and gritty trigger pull. Ruger sought to remedy this by releasing the LCP II in 2016. This model of the LCP features improved ergonomics, a slightly heavier weight in order to tame recoil, and most importantly, a much lighter trigger pull.
These features all make the LCP II a much easier gun to shoot than its predecessors. And as an added bonus, it also ships with a free Ruger pocket holster. The pocket holster is surprisingly high quality considering its essentially a free bonus, featuring a hook and a sticky material to ensure it remains seated in the holster when the weapon is drawn.
Additional handguns that Ruger makes include the 1911, the SR series in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, the LC9S Pro, the Security 9 (essentially a dramatically scaled up version of the LCP II and chambered for 9mm), the American, the LCR snub nose revolver, the SP101, the GP100, and the Redhawk and Blackhawk revolvers.
What are some kinds of holsters that you would need for these guns? Well, the LCR snubnose revolver would be best served with a pocket or an ankle holster most likely, the LC9S Pro you would need an IWB holster for, and their large pistols and revolvers you would want an open carry leather or Kydex holster.
All in all, Ruger is one of the largest gun manufacturers today and they make an impressive variety of handguns, as well as other firearms. You will find no shortage of holsters that you personally need for your Ruger firearm.
Sig Sauer Holsters – SIG Sauer is a company known for their premium products at a high cost. The most popular guns in SIG’s pistol line up are the 220 series. These include the P220, P225, P226, P227, and the P229, among others. These pistols are all metal framed with DA/SA hammer fired trigger operations.
They are very widespread around the world, and while they can cost nearly a grand a piece to buy, the machining is impeccable, the reliability excellent, and the overall build quality would suggest a price of nothing less. These are true duty pistols and ones that fully deserve the price SIG demands for them.
The P226 in particular was the main sidearm of the Navy SEALS for many years until it was most recently replaced by the Glock 19, and the P229 in .357 SIG remains the standard issue sidearm of the United States Secret Service.
Another pistol from SIG Sauer that has seen them compete with Glock is the P320 striker fired pistol. This pistol is unique for being what is called a ‘modular’ system. It basically means that the trigger and firing system can be removed from the frame of the pistol and then put into a larger or smaller frame. You can also swap out the slide and barrel.
In other words, you can in just a matter of seconds transform your full size duty P320 into a compact or subcompact the model. The United States military really loved this feature so much that they chose the P320 over the competing Glock 19x to replace the excellent but also aging Beretta M9.
Finally, the most recent pistol from SIG that has created a lot of buzz is the P365. This is a concealable 9mm pistol that is the same size as a single stack 9mm (think Glock 43 or Smith & Wesson Shield or Walther PPS) and yet it has a double stack magazine to offer you other ten or twelve rounds.
No other company has accomplished this yet and the P365 is being rightfully acclaimed as being a game changer on the market. A single stack gun with a double stack capacity? That’s just downright impressive.
There are also no shortage of holsters for SIG firearms. Your best bet would be either an OWB or IWB holster like the ones made by Blackhawk, Safariland, Galco, Tagua, or the like. SIG doesn’t really make pocket-sized guns (either than the P238 in .380 ACP, which is essentially a Colt Mustang clone).
Smith & Wesson Holsters – There are few gun companies as American as Smith & Wesson. Colt and Ruger would be the only rivals to Smith & Wesson for the claim of ‘most American gun company.’
So, where to begin? Smith & Wesson is probably most famous for their revolvers. The M29 in the .44 Magnum chambering, the M686 in .357 Magnum, and any of the J-frame .38 snubnose revolvers would by far be their bestselling offerings. In fact, Smith & Wesson sells more of the 442 hammerless revolver in .38 Special than any other gun.
The J-frame can be carried OWB, IWB, or in a pocket holster or ankle rig. A pocket holster is the most common place to carry it because it fits snugly in without printing. The J-frame is a popular choice of ‘backup’ gun for both civilians and law enforcements alike.
Larger revolvers like the M29 or M686 would require a larger OWB leather holster. These big revolvers are not designed to be carried concealed; they are designed to be open carried and usually out in the woods where they can be used as defense against dangerous gang. A leather OWB holster on the strong side of your hip, and with a proper snap for retention, would be the most preferable.
In terms of semi-automatic pistols, Smith & Wesson’s previous 3rd Generation DA/SA pistols based off of the M39 (such as the 5906) have been phased out in favor of their M&P line of pistols.
The Smith & Wesson M&P (and now the M&P 2.0) have really established themselves as the main competitor to Glock. They are polymer framed, striker fired guns available in .22 LR, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. They are also available in target, full size, compact, and subcompact variations.
The best-selling pistol in the M&P line up is the Smith & Wesson Shield, which also has a 2.0 model. The Shield is simply a single-stack sized M&P with a staggered magazine. It measures less than one inch thick and is incredibly easy to conceal carry IWB. An IWB holster, either leather or kydex, and with a strong clip or belt snaps would easily be your best choice of holster for the Shield.
Smith & Wesson also sizes the M&P line even smaller with the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard chambered in .380 ACP. This is a .380 ‘pocket rocket’ that competes directly with the Ruger LCP or the Kel-Tec P-3AT. As such, it’s small and light, but also has minimal sights, snappy recoil, and a long trigger pull. There’s always a trade off to everything, right? Your best choice of holster for the Bodyguard would be a pocket holster that covers the trigger guard and offers proper retention so it remains in the pocket when the weapon is drawn.
Springfield Holsters – Springfield Armory is another large name in the gun world. The one gun that has by far attracted the most attention, at least the gun that is still being made today, is the M1A series of rifles, which is essentially a semi-automatic civilian version of the M14.
When it comes to handguns, the line of pistols that Springfield is by far the most well known for is the XD series of pistols. Originally produced in Croatia as the HS2000, the XD is preferred by many as a so-called ‘Glock alternative.’ Just like Glock, the XD series is available in a wide variety of calibers, sizes, and configurations.
As with the Glock series of pistols, full size, compact, and subcompact variants exist for the XD, and the smaller models will accept the larger magazines of the bigger pistols. The magazines will protrude beneath the grip, but it offers you more firepower in an overall smaller package.
When it comes to concealed carry, the best option from Springfield would either be the XDS or the XDE. Both of these pistols are single stack and carry either 9mm Luger or .45 ACP ammunition in the magazine. The main difference between the two is the XDS is a striker fired pistol, whereas the XDE is a double action/single action hammer fired pistol.
One thing that stands about Springfield XDs is their 1911-style grip safety. This safety is located on the rear of the grip and it must be depressed in order for the pistol to fire. This is perfectly natural because it is the palm of the hand that would depress against the grip safety, but it is something to keep in mind. Those who do not like manual safeties are often gravitated away from the XDs, and for that reason alone it’s easy to see why.
Speaking of 1911s, Springfield also makes a wide variety of 1911s in their lineup and they are considered to be among the finest production versions in the world. Their most inexpensive model is a parkerized G.I. 1911 that resembles the M1911A1 issued from World War II to Vietnam. They also make tactical models with tactical rails and extended safeties and beavertail hammers, as well as target models with raised and adjustable sights.
Taurus Holsters – Say the name ‘Taurus’ and you will often hear groans…groans that reflect the reputation Taurus previously had of building cheaply priced and cheaply made firearms.
It is true that Taurus is a gun company that markets towards those on a budget. It’s rare that a Taurus pistol exceeds $500 in price, or even $400. Most of their guns are sold in the $150 to $375 range.
Despite this reputation, in 2013 Taurus underwent new management and also underwent a new period of transformation with it. The company strove to make higher quality guns but at a lower price point, to offer people the ultimate ‘quality on a budget’ handgun.
One such example of how Taurus improved themselves dramatically is with the PT111 Millennium pistol. The original generation of the PT111 received mixed reviews at best, but the second generation of the pistol (called the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2) has received nearly universal acclaim for being a reliable and well-made pistol while offered at a price of just around $200. It’s a compact concealed carry DA/SA striker fired 9mm pistol with a 12-round magazine capacity (or 10 round with the .40 caliber PT140).
A PT111 or PT140 is one of the best carry options for those on a budget but who still desire a reliable pistol. An IWB holster with a strong steel clip will be the best choice of holster here.
Another popular pistol from Taurus, only this one has long held a solid reputation for being excellent in quality, is the PT92. Decades ago, Beretta produced the 92 pistol for the Brazilian military and set up shop in Brazil. Taurus bought out Beretta’s factory, and along with it, took their blueprints and factory workers.
The result was the 92 clone called the PT92. The biggest difference between the PT92 and the 92FS of today is that the PT92 has a frame mounted safety and decocker. This means that the safety is less awkward to engage or disengage. Furthermore, the slide can be racked back without running the risk of accidentally engaging the safety. And as an added bonus, the PT92 can be carried locked and locked, or with the hammer cocked back and the safety engaged, so you have a first single action trigger.
The PT92 is also a more cost effective option than the 92FS because the cost of producing it in Taurus’ factory is less and it has a slightly lesser quality finish than Beretta (although the internal parts of the components of the gun are ruggedly built and some are even interchangeable with Beretta parts and vice versa, which is pretty cool).
While the PT92 is much too big for concealed carry (okay, it can be done, but still it’s difficult), it is an excellent pistol to keep strapped to your hip either in the outdoors or in an SHTF/disaster scenario. A leather or kydex OWB holster that straps to your belt is the best way to go here.
Walther Holsters – Last, but certainly not least, we come to Walther, which is perhaps the single most underrated gun company in existence today.
Think of the name ‘Walther,’ and the gun that you most likely think of first is the Walther PPK. It’s one of the most iconic guns ever made, and even though it may be outdated today as a result of its sharp edges, metal frame, and slide safety, it’s still a classic enough of a gun to be worth owning. A leather shoulder holster would no doubt be the best choice of holster for the PPK (and underneath a tuxedo to really add to the effect).
In terms of modern firearms, Walther’s strongest offerings lie in the P99 series of pistols. The P99 is a truly unique firearm, in that its a polymer framed striker fired pistol like a Glock, but it also has a DA/SA trigger operation. The first shot is long, while all subsequent shots are short and light. The trigger can also be decocked with a button you press on the slide.
But if you don’t want to have a first long trigger pull, most models of the P99 come with the AS trigger mode. This means that you pull the slide back a quarter of an inch and the gun will be cocked; the trigger will be in the same position as the DA trigger mode, but it will also be much lighter. This trigger operation truly is one of a kind.
In 2011, Walther developed the P99 into the PPQ, which is basically a P99 only with improved ergonomics and a Glock-style SA-only trigger. The PPQ’s trigger is wildly renowned for being one of the very best factory striker fired triggers on the market, if not the best. There are multiple variants of the PPQ today, including a subcompact model that was recently released, and it is available in .22 LR, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.
One more pistol from Walther worth of note is the PPS. This is a single stack pistol similar in size to the Glock 43 or Smith & Wesson Shield. The first generation of PPS debuted in 2007 and it largely paved the way for the 9mm single stack design of pistol to flood the market, as many more gun companies followed suit.
In 2016, Walther evolved the PPS into the PPS M2. The PPS M2 features improved ergonomics, a rounded trigger guard, and eliminates the European style of paddle magazine release into the American style push button release instead.
Both the PPQ and PPS can be carried in either an IWB or OWB holster. The PPS is also small enough that it could be carried in an ankle holster or in a pocket holster if your pocket is large enough to accommodate it.