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View Full Version : Help me narrow down my IWB holster choice


db4570
February 4, 2013, 11:42 PM
I have a new-to-me S&W CS9 (a small metal 9mm auto) I need to get a good IWB holster for. I plan to wear it at (what is it, 4 o'clock?) right over my leather jeans patch, behind my hip bone.

My biggest criteria are safety, followed by conceal-ability (very important), and comfort.

I am leaning toward the ones with two clips, front and back, thinking that it would give extra stability as well as get the clips away from the body of the gun to decrease thickness. This Crossbreed Supertuck gets good reviews from users, and looks like it is well designed: http://tinyurl.com/3c28l83

But I also like the idea of the 2 leather straps with snaps instead of the clip, just because I think they might be easier to fasten than the clips, which I always seem to have a bit of trouble with.

That Crossbreed also looks like a giant slab of leather. Does something like that get really hot and sweaty against bare skin, or just feel like a big appendage after a few hours?

Lastly, I tend to like the thumb-break strap for extra security. If I am not concerned about the extra fraction of a second necessary to unfasten it, is there another disadvantage to the thumb strap? The Crossbreed, and some other holsters I have looked at and liked don't have it, so it further narrows my choices.

I lean strongly toward good quality leather rather than plastic or fabric.

So let's hear about your recommendations and favorites for this type of gun and carry situation.

David

JimmyR
February 5, 2013, 02:13 AM
I carry a few weapons IWB for those times when I want to CC. I live in Indiana, and we are able to OC or CC as long as we have the license. I will CC everything from my Karh CM9 to my CZ-75 IWB. For a larger, steel weapon, I have to throw in my lot with the crossbreed style holsters (I use an Old Faithful brand, just what fit my needs). They are comfortable to wear, and make concealing your weapon easy. I have never used the snap-loops, but the metal clips aren't bad once you know where you want them on your pants.

For my Kahr, and sometimes for a Beretta Tomcat, I will use a Galco Softuck, but its just a single j clip. Nothing fancy, but for a small pistol I don't need much.

Now you mentioned your desire for a retention strap. Most IWB holsters I have seen do not use a strap for retention, since the weapon is already a) concealed from prying eyes and b) secured in place by the holster and the belt. When you say you like the "security" of a thumb break better, my question is why? You should not need a thumb-break if your holster/belt are providing adequate retention and yoru attire is providing adequate concealment. I'm not anti-retention-> every OWB holster I use for carry purposes has some form of active retention, mostly in the form of a thumb-break. I just don't see the need for it in an IWB holster.

loose_holster_dan
February 5, 2013, 06:59 AM
for 5 o'clock carry, the best solution imo is one of the wide base leather holsters. for price and quality, i usually go with ubgholsters (http://www.ubgholsters.com/iwb.htm) to satisfy this need. depending upon what ride height you want, i like the canute and striker models. striker rides a little lower.

/dev/1413
February 5, 2013, 07:27 AM
A few interesting IWB options from a local shop, family run, very high-quality workmanship - http://www.wildbillsconcealment.com/wildbill/shop/. I haven't bought an IWB from them yet, but based on OWB and paddle models, will do so soon. Good luck with your search.
-ralph

foxytwo
February 5, 2013, 08:11 AM
The Crossbreed and Kholster holsters with clips are, for me, easy on and off. I wear mine at 3 oclock but you will have to experiment where is the best position for you. I found at 3 oclock it is easier to sit or drive, but comfort comes secondary to having a gun handy.

db4570
February 5, 2013, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the replies.

re: JimmyR:
When you say you like the "security" of a thumb break better, my question is why? You should not need a thumb-break if your holster/belt are providing adequate retention and yoru attire is providing adequate concealment. I'm not anti-retention-> every OWB holster I use for carry purposes has some form of active retention, mostly in the form of a thumb-break. I just don't see the need for it in an IWB holster.

It sounds like when you are talking about security you mean primarily someone grabbing the gun, correct? What I'm thinking about more is the gun falling out. For both work and play I do a lot of crouching and bending and climbing and squeezing in and out of cars, etc. I have owned guns for many years, but have never CC'd much, and am gradually getting back into it. I'm still getting used to the feel of the gun pressing against my body at different angles and in different positions. Maybe I'm worrying about a non-issue.

It does seem that the thumb strap for IWB is not offered or is even frowned upon by the different manufacturers, and probably for a reason. So I will probably abandon that criteria.

I'll look at some of the different brand suggestions. I'm personally familiar with just some of the bigger brands: Bianchi, Alessi, Galco, but I like the idea of supporting the smaller guys, as long as I don't have to wait too long.

Keep the suggestions coming!

David

Nathan
February 5, 2013, 10:11 AM
I would suggest you look at Milt Sparks Holsters. They make a couple of large print leather holsters which carry big guns well. My 5" 1911 disappears with my HR Limited(like a versa max) or what ever that model was. It does not make me hot as you suggest. I do kind of wish it had a bit of rough leather to grab my underwear and keep my pants up better. This isn't much of an issue, except when transitioning from walking to vehicle a lot.


Thumb breaks are generally reserved for where required by rule or poor holster fit. I think once you try a higher level holster like Sparks, UBG, etc, you will see why.

Willie Sutton
February 5, 2013, 10:26 AM
But I also like the idea of the 2 leather straps with snaps instead of the clip, just because I think they might be easier to fasten than the clips, which I always seem to have a bit of trouble with.



I think that replies who are giving advice on retention straps might re-visit the OP's posting: He is specifically describing the use of leather straps as opposed to clips for attachment of the holster to the belt, not for retention of the handgun into the holster. RTFQ, RTFA as my physics professor used to say.

I carried a full sized 1911 for two decades in a Milt Sparks Summer Special, which used this method. It was entirely satisfactory in every regard.

I now carry in a hybrid holster, very similar to the KHolster, made by a local maker in Milwaukee (while I waited, actually... ). It has proven to be more than entirely satisfactory. It is more comfortable and more stable than the Summer Special ever was. It uses the standard clips, and they have been just fine. This hybrid style of holster (leather paddle and Kydex retention) has really become the gold standard for CCW.

If anyone near Milwaukee needs leather, I strongly suggest Brew City Holsters. The owner is a Milwaukee LEO, is a good guy, and does good work FAST. I literally dropped off my Kahr at 09:00, ran errands for two hours, and came back to pick up the holster. He has a website that is under construction, but google it and you can find the placeholder site that does have his email address. I am perfectly satisfied.


Willie

.

db4570
February 5, 2013, 11:00 AM
I think that replies who are giving advice on retention straps might re-visit the OP's posting: He is specifically describing the use of leather straps as opposed to clips for attachment of the holster to the belt, not for retention of the handgun into the holster.

Nope. I wanted both, but am now leaning away from the retention strap, thanks to suggestions here. RTFQ ;)

I like the suggestion on the holster maker you know. I will contact him.

The Kydex thing is new to me. What are the advantages of it or a hybrid over leather?

Thanks!

David

jd3020
February 5, 2013, 11:20 AM
I use crossbreed holsters for concement. Once the leather is broke in you can't hardly tell your even wearing it. Cross breed offers different belt clips for their holsters. The only draw back is that it takes about 6 weeks to get on but that is because they are hand made. A great plus about them is that they are USA made. Most holsters are now being imported from over seas.

comn-cents
February 5, 2013, 11:41 AM
My favorite http://www.blade-tech.com/Inside-the-Waistband-IDPA-APPROVED-pr-820.html

Live Free
February 5, 2013, 12:00 PM
I've been using the crossbreed supertuck for over two years. After the initial break-in you really don't notice it. The breaking period is perhaps more the use getting used to something on their hip as it is softening the leather.

I live in South Texas, it's always humid here. I selected the horsehide due to this, it was a good choice. Maybe it's not as pretty, who cares' it's hidden.

Many people like the CompTac MTAC. I've never tried one. It seems good and I would not hesitate to buy one of these. http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=95

I notice the new Beretta Nano has a new holster that looks remarkably like the Cross breed supertuck. interesting... http://www.berettausa.com/products/beretta-bu-nano-hybrid-holster-iwb-rh/

Whatever your choice, buy a good gun belt. I like the belts from the beltman, I own several, they are now the only belts I own, I will never purchase an inferior belt again. http://www.thebeltman.net/

good luck.
LF

Willie Sutton
February 5, 2013, 11:00 PM
The Kydex thing is new to me. What are the advantages of it or a hybrid over leather?


Retention is one... which brings us back to that. Kydex holsters are adjustable for retention with a heat gun. The hybrids have leather between you and the gun for your comfort against rub, and to stabilize the holster. The Kydex is a good way to make a holster that can be re-holstered one handed and still have good positive retention.

A good belt is more than half the battle. You're better off with a crappy holster on a good belt than the other way around. Buy the best you can find.


Willie

.

db4570
February 5, 2013, 11:19 PM
Is the Kydex more or less likely to put wear marks on the gun?

I agree with the belt advice. I have been getting mine from this guy, and they are amazing: www.leathergoodsconnection.com . They last forever, are very rugged, and look great.

David

JimmyR
February 5, 2013, 11:45 PM
It sounds like when you are talking about security you mean primarily someone grabbing the gun, correct? What I'm thinking about more is the gun falling out. For both work and play I do a lot of crouching and bending and climbing and squeezing in and out of cars, etc. I have owned guns for many years, but have never CC'd much, and am gradually getting back into it. I'm still getting used to the feel of the gun pressing against my body at different angles and in different positions. Maybe I'm worrying about a non-issue.

Retention is simply the holster's ability to hold the gun in place. With a proper belt, your gun shouldn't move around at all, and should remain in place, unless by crouching bending and climbing you mean double backflips on a trampoline.

Another possibility, if you want to CC and you are concerned about your active lifestyle might be an ankle rig. They are a little more limited in their applications in terms of gun size, wardrobe, draw speed, etc., but a good ankle holster keeps secure in almost any situation. I especially reccomend them while driving, since it keeps your firearm on both on your person and easily drawn from a seated position.

db4570
February 7, 2013, 09:37 AM
I think I'm going to give the Supertuck a try. I like that the belt clips are off to the sides to reduce thickness, and I keep hearing great things about it.

It's not particularly hot or sweaty in the summer, though? With all that leather covering your skin?

David

baccusboy
February 9, 2013, 08:03 AM
db:

Any holster will wear on your gun. Kydex will a bit quicker than others.

KO3422
February 9, 2013, 11:00 AM
I'll throw out a few. It's more personal preference and what's comfortable to you.

Comp-tac MTAC
Crossbreed
Milt Sparks
Alessi
Brommeland
Del Fatti

Water-Man
February 9, 2013, 11:25 AM
lobogunleather.com

CCLLC
February 11, 2013, 06:18 PM
Go to criticalcustomsllc.com, they will do a custom holster for a good price!

Rinspeed
February 11, 2013, 11:04 PM
I have a bunch of nice IWB holsters from some of the best and two favorites are the Sparks SS and Alessi Talon Plus.

Spats McGee
February 12, 2013, 09:51 AM
I can't help you narrow your choices much, but I'll go ahead and throw out the one that I use. For, oh, a year or a year and a half, I've been using a Theis IWB: http://theisholsters.com/

I selected the horsehide/kydex hybrid that Tommy Theis makes and I've been very happy with it. I have recently been carrying in an OWB that I just got, but I've got no complaints about my Theis. Some of my pants just aren't baggy enough for IWB to be as comfortable as OWB. :o

For a belt, I use an Aker B21: http://www.akerleather.com/off-duty-belts.php?cat=off-duty-concealed-carry-gunbelt&name=Concealed+Carry+Gunbelt I needed a gunbelt that doesn't scream 'GUNBELT' and this one serves me very well.

Pukindog12
February 12, 2013, 11:45 AM
http://shieldedholsters.com/

I have a couple from this place and they are my favorite. I like them even more than the CB I have.

coachteet
February 12, 2013, 11:44 PM
Milt Sparks is what I'd recommend.

Puddle
February 13, 2013, 08:56 PM
I have comp-tacs for most of my IWB carry needs. Minotaur is the specific one, if I recall. The leather backing makes them very comfortable and the design of the hooks allows you to tuck in a shirt (if you really want to). I never tuck in my shirt with them however. But they make my SIG 220 disappear with no problems and that isn't what most people think of when they think of a 'carry' gun.

JimDandy
February 18, 2013, 08:17 PM
Check out Kramer gun Leather. They use Chicago screws instead of snaps, so you can't take it on and off, without undoing your belt, but I haven't has much luck with any IWB doing that really well anyway.

As for your concerns of the gun sliding out... I think you're worrying about MOSTLY a non-issue. It's not unheard of, a guy lost his pistol in a movie theater in Oregon recently, and it was found by a couple kids on a field trip that had some Eddie the Eagle training. But that's the only story I've ever heard of a guy losing his concealed carry while carrying. Sure you get used to having it there, and eventually stop pulling your pants up every time you stand up or get out of the car... but I still have a pretty good idea that I have a several pound handgun hanging on my belt.