A Holster is an article of clothing used to carry a gun, usually a pistol, for a quick withdrawal when needed. A holster provides a certain level of security and protection while allowing for a quick withdrawal in case something happens. Different holsters have different levels of compromise. Choosing the right amount of compromise is important in any case, as often a person carrying one will have to draw the handgun quickly. Failure could result in death.
Often a holster will be in the shape of a pouch, and also often specialized for a class or lineage of certain guns. Sometimes they have a clip to angle it properly. Pouch holsters often have a fair amount of protection depending on the materials they are made of, which are often leather, ballistic nylon, and kydex. Generally these holsters are attached to the waist or in the vicinity.
Types of HolstersEdit
There are many types of holsters available to one looking to buy one. Choosing the right one for yourself is vital to what you may need it for. All holsters, no matter what type it is, are made to carry and provide easy access to a handgun.There are:
- Duty holsters- designed to be carried openly for people where concealment is not an issue, but retention and appearance are (such as security and law enforcement). Duty holsters can be made of leather (plain, basketweave, or glossy), nylon, or plastic; they are designed to be attached to a duty belt, and worn on the dominant side. Duty holsters are generally only found for service and compact size handguns.
- Tactical/Military holsters- Designed for military use. They are usually made of nylon or plastic. They may be made in a camouflage pattern to match the wearer's uniform. They are often of a drop-leg design. Some military holsters still use the old flap design (also referred to as a "suicide" or "widow maker" holster), which is cumbersome and slow on the draw, but provides greater protection for the holstered firearm against the elements.
- Concealment holsters- As the name suggests, are designed to be easily concealed, as well as lightweight and unobtrusive; they are generally designed for subcompact and compact handguns, since they are easier to conceal. They can be designed for full-size handguns, however.
- "Sporting" holsters- cover the widest range, from holsters with maximum access for Fast Draw shooting, to highly adjustable holsters used in IPSC and pin shooting, to old-fashioned holsters used in Cowboy Action Shooting such as the Bridgeport rig, to high retention, maximum protection holsters used for handgun hunting, to simple holsters used to hold a handgun while out plinking. Like any sporting equipment, sporting holsters evolve to maximize the benefits given the rules of the game, where applicable, so the competitive sports have the most specialized holsters.