View Full Version : Paddle Holsters: Deliverance or Destruction?

October 17, 1998, 11:50 AM
In the current SWAT magazine, Warren Buttler pens an article about the bane of paddle holsters. I figured it would be a good discussion topic.

In the article, the author puts forth that the very design of the paddle holster is against the warrior mindset. The easy on, easy off holsters have made for people who keep taking their guns off at every possible opportunity. The author also doubts the security of the mounting system.

My thoughts: to start, I would also tend to agree that taking one's weapon off all the time leads to complacency as well as a loss of direct control of the weapon. Though some in law enforcement need frequently to divest themselves of their weapons for court, it is just as practical to simply put the pistol itself into the court weapons locker instead of removing the entire holster rig. Many paddle holsters have poor belt retention designs. The best of the breed, IMO, are the Safariland holsters which have a hook on the OUTSIDE of the pants, which tend to catch the belt if the rig slides up. Either way, I'm not really confident that these rigs will adequately retain the weapon if a wrestling contest for the weapon ensues. The worst part of the paddle design is that it causes the grip of the weapon to be pushed in toward the body. On thumb break holsters, this is extremely uncomfortable, and makes for a very awkward presentation as well. The only redeeming factor for the paddle holster is that women, whose business fashion tends not to favor heavy belts and pants with belt loops, can benefit from the added support and flexibility in placement that the paddle designs offer.

What's the bottom line? I wear a belt mounted holster daily, and prefer to suffer with the belt than have the imagined convenience of the paddle rig. If you're going to carry a weapon, take it seriously and take it everywhere.

Rob Pincus
October 17, 1998, 01:14 PM
I use Paddle holsters like a mad man at the range (read- in my back yard..)
I hardly ever use them for CC, but at the range, they are a great solution. My normal time at the range is a flurry. I load up a ton of magazines at the house then head out to shoot with three or four different handguns. 75% of my practice is always form the holster one or two shots, then back to the holster, so having a holster that fits the gun is very important. Paddle holsters make this an easy thing to achieve without having to take off my belt everytime.

Now, I know the argunment is "you should train with what you really wear." and I do, just not as often. The paddle holster on the hip comes very close to my duty rig, and that is when I will most likely need to draw and fire.

October 19, 1998, 03:05 PM
Hilton, I have zero exp. w/paddle holsters myself, prefering belt holsters. What you said about taking it seriously and taking it everywhere really rang true for me. I'm a mechanic and don't carry while working but i do carry to and from work. It is a 30ft walk out the door to my truck but i still put the gun on. When i've caught myself not wanting to i just think today could be the day. none of my friends carry but when we're in one of the cities nearby they almost always ask if i'm carrying. Not that i would abandon them if the crap hit the fan but i think you need to be responsible for your own saftey. Sorry this went off topic. byerly

October 20, 1998, 03:52 PM
Padle backed holsters are a kind of a short stop. I use one with my HK USP, an Desantis Viper model, with a Kydex paddle. It is not as secure as my old duty rig, but it sure is great when I am around town and realize I need to run into a post office!

November 20, 2005, 04:00 AM
What ever kind of holster U get, U can't go wrong with Bianchi International. Ask any cop, he will tell U.

November 20, 2005, 11:20 AM
Hilton, I'm one of those guys who, of necessity, must put on and take off my weapon frequently during the day. I can't legally carry at work (I'm a college instructor), but I can and do carry everywhere else. Like many, I agree that a belt holster is generally much more secure and likely more comfortable than any paddle. I tried a variety of paddle holsters by Galco, Bianchi and various others with no luck. Very recently, however, I finally came across one that really does work perfectly. In fact, it is unquestionably the most reliable and comfortable holster I've ever owned, bar none. It is the MSP made by Kramer Handgun Leather ( http://www.kramerleather.com/ ). MSP stands for "Michigan State Patrol." Kramer designed this holster specifically for the plaincloths officers of that organization, and the department purchases them in quantity from Kramer. One of the many things I like about this holster is that it comes with a removable snap strap that fits under and over the belt to give additional security. The holster positively will not come out of your pants when you draw the weapon, which could indeed be rather embarassing in a confrontation :eek: . These holsters are not cheap by any means, but then, good equipment rarely is. The cowhide version runs $120, and the horsehide version $135. Each holster is formed specifically to fit a single weapon, so don't expect to use it in "one size fits all mode." I own two of these, one for my S&W 637, and the other for my Glock 33 and use one or the other on virtually a daily basis.

November 20, 2005, 12:23 PM
at only $20 fobus is a great deal.
mine are bade for use with or w/o belts
made in israel, they are specially designed with a triggerguard tension that requires an amount of straight up pull, where its about impossible for someone to take your gun.
also the required amount of pull to remove the gun from holster would prevent a small kid from shooting the gun.

Don Gwinn
November 25, 2005, 07:14 PM
Well, to be fair, the FOBUS wasn't very well known in 1998.

November 26, 2005, 09:22 AM

November 26, 2005, 03:14 PM
"Warrior mindset".


Wear any holster you like.......or none at all.......but don't complain to me if: your gun falls out; your holster falls off; your gun discharges without intent :D

I use high quality holsters (I include the $20 Uncle Mikes Kydex belt holster) like Galco and Sparks, but
I have learned many lessons in life the hard way, like Yaqui Slides don't work for concealed carry LOL. POSITIVE RETENTION REQUIRED.

November 26, 2005, 03:17 PM
true, don
didnt notice that
funny how a 6 year old thread, like herpes, wont go away:)

December 3, 2005, 12:19 AM
i never knew what a paddle holster was until I bouht a CQC holster from blackhawk for my P2000. I didn't know what the heck this extra plastic thing was... one day bored mounted the holster to it.

I like it but I fear that in a stress situation that I'll somehow miss pressing the serpa retension button and pull the entire holster rig off my pants instead of just the gun... that'd be bad...

Also, I was just watching the 2nd season of "24" and noticed all the desk agents had paddle holsters where the field agents had belt holsters.. then again Jack Bauer frequently carries mexican style and he's an ungodly pistol shot. :D