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Old October 4, 2012, 08:00 AM   #1
Pistolgripshotty
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Paddle vs. Belt holsters

I'm looking for a good holster for open and concealed carry. I just can't decide if a paddle holster is better or a belt holster is better for (in and out the car, walking up stairs, picking stuff up; you know everyday movements that kinda stuff) . I kinda want to hear anybody's opinions or experiences with either holster. Being that I am a shotgun guy..... I am used to slings and this will be my first holster purchase. Thanks!!!
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:53 AM   #2
Shadi Khalil
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What kind of gun?
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:11 AM   #3
Doc Intrepid
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Just one guy's opinion, but I've used and own both.


If you're in a position where you need to remove your firearm on occasion - such as police officers who must remove sidearms and secure them in lockers before entering certain parts of court buildings; or even a lawfully armed civilian who wants to enter a commercial business with a "no firearms allowed" sign posted - then a paddle holster makes sense. It allows you to remove and replace your firearm/holster with the least inconvenience.

If you're NOT in that sort of position, however, get a belt holster. In my experience belt holsters do a better job of ensuring your firearm stays in the same location and position on your body, and that can be beneficial in a lot of ways - particularly if you're carrying concealed.

Each type of holster can be beneficial, it just depends which situation you'll be finding yourself that determines which one may work best for you.

JMHO. YMMV.
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Old October 4, 2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
this will be my first holster purchase.
Trust me... it won't be your last.
Everyone starts out with what they think will work... based on any variety of information sources. Then, after you try something for awhile and understand the realities of wearing a handgun all day, every day... you'll start to search out more specific "holster objectives", based on you and your individual needs.

Figure in the cost of a good gun belt. Dress, casual or whatever in-between... you'll need a real gun belt to support the holster properly, even if it's a paddle rig.

C
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Old October 4, 2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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IMO, the paddle hosters sound like a great thing, but I've never been able to conceal carry with them. They're ok for open carry or a range holster. I'd go with a good leather belt holster either IWB or OWB over the paddle everytime. Good luck and get that extra holster box started.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Check out Lobo:

http://www.lobogunleather.com/
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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You'll find that type of carry method and what gear to use will vary on opinion as much as the opinion's on what type pistol to carry...and, at the end of the day, just like what pistol we choose to carry and for the same reason's we choose that particular pistol(it does the intended job and we're most comfortable with it) is the same reason's we choose the mode of carry and type of holster/rig we pick.

I'm no expert by any means but I'll give you a couple of my thoughts/preferences:

1) doesn't matter which style holster you choose, if it attach's to your belt, then a good belt is paramount. It's the foundation of your rig.

2)with either style holster you choose, get a good,sturdy holster that gives the gun support and stays where you put it. You don't want the pistol shifting around in the holster nor do you want the holster shifting locations on your belt.

3)regardless of which style you choose, you'll have difficulty when traveling, seat belted in the car with either discomfort or being able to access quickly.

4) inspect your holster for wear and when the leather softens or stretch's and gets loose on your belt or your pistol gets loose, replace it.

For the most part, I pocket carry. When I do carry on my side I prefer leather Bianchi paddle holsters. They work for me as the paddle style seems to spread the bulky feeling of the rig out a bit.

Too, I'm sure you will get more valuable response's. Bottom line is you'll probably end up with many style's before settling on one that suits you.
Again remember, no matter what, a good belt is essential.

Started on this response early this morning before any posts and just now finishing it hours later.

Shadi Khalil had a very good question...

...
Quote:
What kind of gun?
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:57 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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I've never cared for paddle holsters. Among other things, they don't seem to hold the gun in closely enough to the body for good concealment.

If one needs a holster that he can put on or take off quickly and easily, and that also hugs the body and is very secure, a number of makers produce holsters with snap loops. Of this type, I like the Milt Sparks Axiom.
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Old October 4, 2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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The only real advantage of paddle holsters is the ability to remove them easily. They may make sense if your pistol is going to be on and off several times a day, but otherwise a decent belt holster is likely to serve you better. I prefer IWB holsters with snap belt loops so that I can take it off fairly easily when I have to, but putting them back on requires undoing your belt.
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Old October 4, 2012, 05:18 PM   #10
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Personally, I prefer belt holsters. Paddle holsters, though easy to put on and take off, sit out further from your side than do belt holsters. So, they may be more comfortable, in many cases (as they may not cause the gun to dig into your side), but are harder to conceal.

My actual preference is for very simple holsters. I like the belt slide type - especially those with adjustable tension.
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Old October 4, 2012, 05:41 PM   #11
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I experimented with a paddle holster for a time and, while it was quite comfortable, it was just to bulky to be easily concealable. The two best belt holster types that I've found are pancake-style holsters for small-to-medium guns as they have a very flat profile and Askins-style holsters for medium-to-large handguns because, while a bit bulkier, they do a better job of tucking the butt of the gun in close to the body.
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Old October 4, 2012, 06:38 PM   #12
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I've only owned one paddle holster and didn't like it. As Frank Ettin observed, it just doesn't draw the gun up close enough to the body. In addition the the Sparks Axiom Frank mentioned, look at Rosen's Premier Expressline (http://www.mitchrosen.com/new_produc..._products.html) or Ritchie Leather's Close Quarters Quick Release. http://www.topgunsupply.com/ritchie-...quick-release/. I have one of each and like them.
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Old October 4, 2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
I've never cared for paddle holsters. Among other things, they don't seem to hold the gun in closely enough to the body for good concealment.
My experience as well. Paddles holsters, while good in theory, don't seem to execute as well as a good belt holster.

Speaking of belts, a good leather gun belt is just as important, or more important, than your holster. Keep in mind that the belt supports both the gun and holster.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:01 PM   #14
chris in va
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I've used both. For every day concealed carry I much prefer the belt holster. Generally speaking they hold the gun much closer to the body.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:13 PM   #15
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreyzhorse
...Speaking of belts, a good leather gun belt is just as important, or more important, than your holster. Keep in mind that the belt supports both the gun and holster.
Excellent point that's worth repeating. One needs a stout belt. Look for belts from holster makers that are designed to support a gun properly.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:16 PM   #16
Hogtown
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use both ,like paddle for winter carry wearing coat or jacket because of the reasons everyone has mentioned they tend to hand a little loose, no jacket, then its back to pancake. you need a good gun belt no matter how you carry
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:24 PM   #17
igousigloo
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For concealed carry IWB or some type of tuck is necessary. Paddle or belt do not hold it close enough for this to work.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:02 PM   #18
wpsdlrg
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"For concealed carry IWB or some type of tuck is necessary. Paddle or belt do not hold it close enough for this to work."


I think that this is a bit of a whopping generalization. Many carry every day (myself included), using an OWB holster, with no concealment problems. I personally do not care for sticking a gun inside my pants - or for the idea of having to wear over sized pants to accomodate a pistol.

But, to each his own.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:18 AM   #19
vito
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Any recommendations on where to get a good holster belt? Living in IL I only carry when out of this state, and have used pocket carry exclusively (of a 380 Ruger LCP) but have been thinking about getting an IWB holster supported by a quality leather holster belt for a larger gun. Recommendations?
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Old October 5, 2012, 01:52 PM   #20
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ive only found one paddle holster i liked and use occasionally, and thats one made by wild bill. When you tighten your belt it really makes the holster hug your body, and it rides high enough you can carry concealed with your shirt untucked.
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Old October 5, 2012, 01:52 PM   #21
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There are many holster manufactures that also make belts as well. A 'google' may get a few in your area.

Too, if you are familiar with a custom leather shop or tack shop in your area, most likely you can get a respectable belt from them.
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Old October 6, 2012, 03:03 PM   #22
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Only worry about paddle holsters I have is that, if grabbed by an opponent, the holster & gun would come out together. I kinda like my holsters to stay attached to me in a fight.

At one time, there was a paddle holster with a snap-loop that fitted around the belt for extra security. Does anyone still make that kind of holster?
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Old October 6, 2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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I have resorted to making my own holsters. They fit the gun and my way of carrying.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:46 PM   #24
Jack Bauer
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I apparently am the only one who finds one paddle holster conceals better than it's belt-looped counterpart: the Blackhawk Serpa. And before anyone gets into the "Serpas are dangerous" BS, I've used the Serpa for over ten years in duty situations, competition and training, and the Serpa is no more dangerous to use than any other holster I've ever used, and is easier to draw from.

That being said, for my body type, I find the paddle version of the holster conceals much better than using the belt-loop attachment. What I don't like is the new hooks they've attached to the paddle. I might as well wear a belt holster, as it's almost as hard to remove as a belt holster; I do have to undo the belt to get it off...but I do like the Serpa paddle holster, and it does conceal quite well under an unbuttoned shirt...
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:02 PM   #25
Nathan
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I can't really say what holster you should have. I do think paddle holsters are a specific use holster.

If you want a paddle holster so you can take the gun out and secure it, I would suggest you get more comfortable securing your gun out of the holster. I find for entering a posted no CCW place that leaving my holster on and securing the firearm is best for carrying, best for unholstering, best for securing(holsters can be big), and best for reapplying the gun to my body.

By this, I mean I wear my holster empty into posted non-CCW places. Leather is legal, as far as I know.

Also, a first holster should almost always be an OWB pancake style. I like this holster for it's high ride concealment, ease of draw, weight distribution, etc. To me, this is the best CCW holster design. With a decent cover, it is the easiest to carry.

Paddle type is about the worst for carry. Paddle's are usually thick, let the grip flop, and are not the best for supporting the weight. Stiil, I own 2 for CCW without a belt or for when the holster absolutly needs to come off.
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