Bad HolsterSteven Lieberman
“So.. how was the class?”
“It was awesome, thank you for doing this.”
“Did you learn something?”
“Yeah, I learned a lot.”
“Well thats great! That is what we hope for every time we run a student through one of our courses.”
“Probably the most important thing I learned: I’ve got to get rid of this piece of @#$!! holster and get a new one!”
“Well.. yeah.. you had problems with that… I’m not sure I would completely discredit the holster, a lot of people love those… but I agree… for what you are training for that might not be the best system for you.”
“Damn right… it’s a piece of @#[email protected]#$”
No… it is a quality product… it’s just that you were given bad advice… when you bought the holster you were just looking for a “holster”.
Well… you got one.
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But if I had to haul cargo daily between my home and work, a smart car would be a terrible idea… For that application a truck would be a better fit. Likewise, if I had to constantly parallel park in the city my F-150 might be more of a pain in the neck and that Smart Car might look real attractive.
Your gear is specialized… you need to understand not only how it works… but if it is appropriate.
What our client was referring to was a retention holstering system. He knew he needed a holster for his CCW qualification shoot and he did what many people do: Bought the first thing that came up on Amazon Prime.
Every holster has unique properties and frankly I am now convinced that very few can be completely dismissed as garbage. Since we all have different body types and different carry requirements some are simply more appropriate than others.
I had been completely dismissive of Sticky Holsters. (These are fabric holsters that…well… “stick” in your clothing and allow for multiple carry positions.) My chief concern was that they really did not allow for re-holstering, and… well… not wanting to sound like a snob,… they are inexpensive.
Our good friends at Packin’ fur Defense sell these, and we were brow beat into finally trying one. Kavon… our Artemis Armorer shared the same concerns about this holster as I did… though… if you know Kavon, his pre-trial evaluation was more laced with expletives than mine.
When he finally, begrudgingly put his 1911 into one and slipped it into his waistband his evaluation was just as elegant:
“Shit… I love it.”
It would be horrible as a range holster… but for concealed carry… especially since Kavon often rides a motorcycle… it is perfect.
When we do our live fire range work I usually wear a 5.11 TacTec plate carrier. Unfortunately, the ZZZCustomHolster that I normally wear on my belt sits too high when I wear the carrier and my draw stroke becomes complicated.
Marty at ZZZCustomholsters was kind enough to develop a special drop holster that I use for the specific times when I’m wearing my plate carrier.
It is a great holster… but only really appropriate when I have a carrier on. It would be worthless for concealed carry.
Our student was upset with his holster because it had a retention device built into it. Because of that retention button the speed of his draw was effected. For open carry this retention device makes sense… but for concealed carry, or general range work it serves no purpose.
Now… if this is the holster that he plans to carry daily then it is incumbent on him, or anyone, to practice with it.
He quickly realized though that the retention system was at best superfluous, at worst it presented a potential safety hazard.
For his purposes the gear that he chose was not going to work. Like using a standard screwdriver on a phillips screw… it can be done…. but it is not the most efficient or practical method.
The solution: buy a new holster! When we realize the gear that we have is not functional or appropriate, we must be willing to change it. That does not mean the gear in and of itself is useless… just not appropriate for the task at hand.