You don't have to search very hard to find different variations of the requirements for a good concealed carry holster from highly trained and qualified individuals. Some are more detailed than others, but most versions touch on these things:
-Provides Retention: The firearm needs to stay put. This is generally tested by acrobatic movement of some sort. Go on, you know you want to go back to grade-school and test your cartwheel skills.
-Provides Quick Access: If it's you against the bad guy then your holster better position your firearm in such a way it aids in drawing quicker than he can.
-Prevents Negligent Discharge: The trigger needs to be covered with rigid enough material that uninvited and foreign objects could not penetrate it.
As I worked on my art and craft project this weekend, the kydex shell and lanyard pictured above, I really spent some time thinking about what MY holster requirements would be, and which of them would be most important.
To start - Absolutely!! I agree 100% with the requirements above! BUT, here is the deal - I'm a details girl, and though all of these are really great requirements for a good holster, NONE OF THEM ARE MY #1 REQUIREMENT.
MY #1 CONCEALED CARRY HOLSTER REQUIREMENT:
Simply put, it must be comfortable enough that I'll actually wear it. Yep! THE ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE REQUIREMENT. The one I simply will not give up and the one I focus on first when considering concealed carry solutions. The holster can meet all the safety criteria in the world and it will do you no good if you won't wear it. My goal in pointing out comfort as the first area of focus is to get you thinking outside the box.
If you first focus on the requirements that say a holster must "Prevent Discharge" and "Provide Quick Access" you'll find experts discourage the use of soft holsters because they don't have"proper" trigger guards. Some also discourage them because they are often designed with velcro or hook & eye retention which can slow down your draw. If you focus first on comfort however, you might end up with one of these soft-bodied holsters - HOW DARE YOU! I'd actually say GOOD FOR YOU MY CONCEALMENT CONNOISSEUR! NOW - LET'S MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE!
Did you know you can have both comfort of a soft holster AND the amazing retention and protection of kydex? If I'd ruled out soft holsters based on the above
rules, I'd have never realized if I velcroed a kydex shell to the inside of a Hidden Heat Lace II I'd have a hard trigger guard AND I could do away with the extra steps to remove the velcro strap, because the kydex shell now also retains my firearm and that strap isn't needed! WAY COOL!
I might have also missed that I could use a lanyard style kydex trigger guard in a Can Can Concealment Hip Hugger multiple ways. The first way is by pulling the lanyard through the bottom of the holster and tying or clipping it to my belt-loop. No alterations to the holster required! Another way is, like mentioned with the Hidden Heat Lace II option, add some velcro to the inside of the pockets, place the kydex portion of the lanyard on the firearm and insert it in the holster pocket. SCORE!
So, you see, THE OTHER SAFETY REQUIREMENTS MATTER, I JUST DON'T THINK THEY COME FIRST. First find the holster you will wear. I guarantee you can find a way to make it safe for your situation. If you've not considered modifications to a holster then I'd say you are limiting yourself. Consider the times when you did something like have clothing altered, put something in your purse to organize it, or put heal pads in your favorite dress-shoes. You didn't complain about those modifications, and they were not designed to save the life of you or someone you love - It's absolutely worth the effort.
Something else to think about - Many holster requirements assume your firearm does not already provide the safeguards some experts say the holster should. For example, I currently carry a Sig Sauer P938. By design I chose a firearm with an external safety, so with or without a hard trigger guard, I have to first disengage that external safety before the trigger can be pulled. That also means uninvited objects making contact with the trigger won't make it unintentionally go bang. For me personally, this removes the need for any soft holster modifications. On the other hand, if I were carrying my Glock 43, which has no external safety, I would absolutely consider some modifications to some holsters. As I said, I'm a details girl, so there are always different things to consider when selecting the holster right for you.
SO HERE IS TO COMFORT FIRST, creativity and the removing of barriers to your confident concealed carry! For endless possibilities with your concealed carry holster solutions visit HERCONCEALMENT.COM.