Types of Gun Holsters

by Hayden Cooper
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gun holsters leather

These are many types of gun holsters available today and they are made from various materials such leather, kydex and nylon. It is important to understand that gun holsters are a necessity for those who intend to carry a gun. There are numerous benefits of using a gun holster.  No matter which type of holster you use, they are all designed to keep the gun secure and to keep you and others near you safe from accidents. 

However, before you choose a gun holster, it is important to understand the various types of holsters to see which one bests fulfills your requirements:

    1. Outside the waistband gun holsters (OWB)
    2. Inside the waistband gun holsters (IWB)
    3. Shoulder gun holsters
    4. Ankle gun holsters
    5. Thigh gun holsters
    6. Pocket gun holsters


1. Outside the Waistband (OWB) Gun Holsters

Outside the Waistband (OWB) Gun Holsters

OWB holsters are worn outside the waist and are secured by either velcro or a buckle. OWB’s have been around for quite a long time. These type of gun holsters are normally worn by the police and other law enforcement agency personnel.

The main advantage of these holsters is that it provides fast and easy access to their firearms. It also acts as a deterrent as your firearm is clearly visible to others. These type of holsters can be removed easily and quickly by the holder.

OWB’s are not primarily used by the police alone. There are often used by people who have an issue in carrying their weapon inside their waistbands due to health problems or any physical limitations.


2. Inside the Waistband (IWB) Gun Holsters

Inside the Waistband (IWB) Gun Holsters

Inside-the-waistband holsters are designed to be worn on the inside of the pants. They are typically made from a thin material such as leather or Kydex, and can be worn on all sides depending upon your comfort level. IWB are normally held in place by a simple clip attachment making them easier to put on and remove as well.

The main advantage of an IWB holster is that its ideal for those who want to carry a weapon without attracting too much attention. With an IWB holster, it does not require you to wear a jacket every time you go outside to conceal your weapon. They are used widely by undercover police detectives who do not like to draw attention towards themselves.

Although IWB are great for smaller guns however with a bit of effort they can be used for bigger guns. A major disadvantage of these types of gun holsters is that it makes it a bit difficult to draw your gun in an emergency.


3. Shoulder Gun Holsters

Shoulder Gun Holsters

Shoulder gun holsters are an excellent alternative to traditional hip or thigh holsters. They can be worn on the shoulder. These holsters are great for people who have to wear a suit or dress for work, as they conceal the shape of the gun. This style of holster is also great for people who don’t want to wear their gun in the same place every day because it can be worn on either side of the body.

A shoulder holster gives unmatched freedom of movement and balance while traveling, walking and standing. Shoulder gun holsters are used mainly by professional bodyguards. Even if you are carrying a larger and heaver gun, a shoulder holster makes it more comfortable as the additional weight is not added to your thigh.


4. Ankle Gun Holsters

Ankle Gun Holsters

Ankle holsters are an excellent choice for a concealed carry gun. They are small, lightweight, and easy to conceal. Ankle holsters have been around for decades now and have been growing in popularity ever since. Ankle holsters are a great option for those who are not comfortable with carrying their firearm on their waist or in a pocket. It is also the most convenient option for those who want to carry their firearm when they’re wearing dress clothes or skirts and don’t want to worry about the bulge of a traditional holster.

The most common type of ankle holster is the elastic band type which wraps around your leg just below your calf and secures with Velcro straps.

Ankle gun holsters are also used by gun owners who need access to a backup gun for emergencies. Some major drawbacks of ankle holsters is that you can only carry smaller guns, takes longer to access you gun and they tend to get dirty quicker due to their location.


5. Thigh Gun Holsters

Thigh Gun Holsters

A thigh gun holster is a holster that is placed on the thigh. The advantage to this type of holster is that it provides easy access to the firearm, and is ideal even for heavier weapons as it does not put weight around the waist. It is used frequently by law enforcement agencies since most of the gadgets they have can only be attached to the waist. However, a gun can easily be attached to your thigh thereby freeing more room around your waist and allowing you to carry other items.


6. Pocket Gun Holster

Pocket Gun Holster

Pocket gun holster is a small holster that can be easily concealed and carried in your pocket or purse. These holsters are designed to work with a variety of different firearms, and they are typically made from leather or nylon.

The purpose of the pocket gun holster is to keep your firearm close and secure while you’re on the go. The idea is that if you’re carrying it in your pocket, it will be readily available for use when needed. They however can only be used for smaller guns.

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