A Customer's Perspective...
When carrying a concealed firearm, you need a reliable and comfortable holster that allows you to carry day in and day out. There are a multitude of holster brands and feature options on the market to choose from, which can make for a difficult search for the perfect concealed carry holster. Buying multiple holsters to try out is great if your budget is endless and you don’t mind having a collection of sub-par holsters lying around afterward collecting dust! Your two main options for a durable and reliable holster are kydex or leather construction – but which should you choose?
I am often asked by other professionals what type of holster I prefer when I’m off duty and carrying concealed. I prefer kydex holsters for a number of reasons. When carrying a kydex holster in the waistband (IWB), you do not have to rely on your body “squishing” the gun in the holster to keep it secure. With a leather or nylon holster the retention is supplied by the pressure of your body against the holster. On one occasion when carrying my concealed firearm in a leather IWB holster, I had to break into a run and my gun wiggled its way out and slid across the pavement. This loss of retention was not only highly embarrassing but extremely dangerous! I was also quite unhappy with the new ‘custom’ scrapes down my gun after I’d retrieved it.
Leather holsters tend to also be thicker than kydex holsters, which makes them a great deal bulkier and creates a more obvious imprint through your clothing. Kydex is a lighter material, so wearing a kydex IWB holster allows you to carry comfortably for longer. Leather breaks down far more quickly from sweat and the elements – there is even a risk of leather actually wearing the finish of a gun down due to sweat and moisture retained in the leather. Kydex allows for a faster and more consistent draw, and when drawn the holster does not collapse like leather. Kydex holsters also offer modular and switchable options from IWB to outside the waistband in just a few minutes. When wearing out of the waistband, I feel when wearing a kydex holster I get a closer and higher ride that conceals better than leather. I also have a light installed on every pistol I carry; with leather holsters, light-compatible holster choices are limited or nearly impossible to find. Finally, for those looking to stand out, kydex holsters can be created in any color rather than plain old boring brown or black.
I have carried almost every holster there is and I rely on Per-Sec holsters more than any other brand. I choose them over others for their impeccable quality and attention to detail. Production time is at least half that of many other brands. Per-Sec’s new customizing department now allows for the ultimate level of personalization – colors, patterns, and designs. I think having the ability to customize your holster to that degree is a really nice advantage over other kydex holster manufacturers. I have carried Per-Sec holsters for everyday carry and at numerous shooting schools and put them through tons of real-world stress. One such test was a Defoor handgun course that really tested the durability and performance level of the holster - when we started shooting in the morning it was eight degrees and snowing! Despite the extreme temperatures, my Per-Sec holsters withstood running, shooting under cars, and ground fighting.
If you’re in the market for the best all-around concealed carry holster, opt for Per-Sec kydex holsters over leather for durability, comfort, and performance.
Former Army Ranger