I received the following as a comment regarding the recent PrepNow! Carry Later guest post – – –
I would like to add few more comments regarding pistol holsters.
I joke with my wife that if something happens to the cattle on our ranch we could live well on rabbit and rattlesnakes of which without effort we raise by the thousands. She was bitten by one of the vile crawling creatures a few years ago and almost died from it. We now carry pistols whenever outside. Our ranch is located in a dusty and windy part of Texas. Working outside taught me anew why the US horse cavalry used flapped holsters. The requirements for working outside and carrying a pistol are different from urban concealed carry and military usage. Wind borne dust and debris are always potent threats to proper functionality of an exposed pistol.
During much of my life I carried a pistol in a belt worn, thumb break, leather holster. A thumb break is essential to secure the weapon against accidental loss and for retention should someone make a grab for it. The latter is optimally minimized by keeping the weapon hidden unless in use. A forward slanting holster draws easier than a vertical holster and provides increased difficulty should someone try to grab the weapon from behind. Cross draw holsters beg someone to take your pistol and shoot you with it. Weapon retention practice should be a regular part of concealed carry training.
Kudos to ANDBBO for mentioning flapped holsters. When I became a full time rancher, I tried carrying pistols in the same manner I did previous, in thumb break leather De Santis, Galco, or Kimber holsters. I was proficient with this type carry and it was comfortable. Thumb break holsters work well in an urban environment when protected by a suit coat but at the ranch, too many evenings saw me cleaning the pistol.
I next tried a modern military style flap holster and found although it reduced cleaning workload, the trigger area and magazine well were still getting full of dirt. This style holster only covers a portion of the grip and also positions the pistol vertically making for an uncomfortable draw. I went through a variety of flapped holsters before realizing that many position the belt loop too low on the holster causing the top of the pistol/holster to flop outward. My saddle maker quickly solved this problem and while he was at it, I had him give the holster a slight forward tilt. He removed the spare magazine pouch from the outboard side of the holster parallel to the pistol flat side and relocated it to the leading edge of the holster. This makes a less wide bulge on the hip. I had him replace the too small flap with a larger one that covered the entire grip with excess to mould around the rear of the magazine well. Finally I had a holster that protected the pistol while still granting albeit slow, access. I had a leather belt tooled with the ranch name and use it with the flapped holster independent of my jeans belt. The separate belt makes it easy to don the holster/weapon when going outdoors.
For outside work carry, one should use minimal oil when cleaning weapons and carefully disassemble magazines and clean them as well. We have a WWII era saddle that is still in good condition. I like leather and prefer leather holsters. Something about canvas and nylon in holsters makes me uncomfortable and many holsters made of the latter are more bulky than needed. Plastic holsters are a slight improvement but I don’t like the ones with a spring catch. I’ve never liked paddle holsters and think that wearing one while working would be hot. I do like the plastic dual magazine carriers made by Springfield. The rail on these make it easy to carry a laser/light for a pistol and they can be adjusted for magazine tightness.
A proper holster specific for intended use is essential for safely carrying a pistol. Thanks to a patient saddle maker I now have several that are functional and will stand the test of time.
Stay safe out there,
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