View Full Version : Holster Comparisons

October 14, 2005, 03:39 PM
I apologize, I'm sure everyone is sick of Holster threads, but hey, I thought I'd ask the experts.

My situation is this: I have a Springfield XD9 4". I did extensive research on many IWB holsters because that will be my main method of carry, and ordered a Milt Sparks Executive Companion that I'll receive in 10-16 weeks. Therefore, I need something I can use while I'm waiting. I'm looking for a decent OWB holster to round out my options, but I don't want anything too expensive as I already know that I like the Milt Sparks and will be using that most of the time once it arrives. I used a Kydex Uncle Mike's Belt Slide holster during my CCW class, and it did the job, but I'd prefer leather if I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for it as well as a bit of a cant, which that one didn't offer. I'm looking at the Don Hume Open Top, but it appears as if the trigger guard isn't completely covered. I haven't seen one in person, so I can't tell if it's to the point that I'd worry about it.

What should I be looking at that I can get fairly quickly to tide me over until my quality Milt Sparks arrives?

Thanks for your help.

October 14, 2005, 04:27 PM
Leather is more expensive than Kydex. If you're looking for a temporary holster you should consider Kydex. Personally I like if better than leather. I have a couple of comp-tac holsters that I think are great. www.comp-tac.com

October 14, 2005, 05:11 PM
Ross OWB for $35 at Sportsmans or online. That's my exclusive OWB and it's perfect.

October 14, 2005, 05:33 PM
10-16 weeks? Jeez, and I was thinking 4-6 for a FIST was too long.

That said, consider Hume holsters, which you can get for a fair price over at gunnersalley.com.

October 14, 2005, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the replies so far. Does anyone have anything bad to say about the Hume Open Top for carry?

October 14, 2005, 06:46 PM
Not sure why I didn't add this to my initial post, but.. I have a Hume J.I.T. which is small, cheap, and efficent, but despite the fact that I really thought I'd want to carry OWB, I dislike it. Strongly. I'm a rotund kinda guy, and I wear my pants over my gut, not under. As such, the JIT rides too high for me, and I think sticks out too far, even with a stout gunbelt to hold it to me (did you buy a belt, coz you'll want it).

I'm in the market for a new holster for a new firearm, as much as I want OWB, I tend to see that they're either just too big and obvious, or ride too high. The price of the JIT, or some of its siblings, is cheap enough to let you try it out, that's for sure.

October 14, 2005, 06:51 PM
I've got a 1.5" belt on order from Rafter S. Gunleather.

October 15, 2005, 02:03 PM

Some holsters are made to ride high, and I do not like them. I find a holster that rides low enough so that the gun clears close to the top of the belt does much better. Milt Sparks I-BAK does that, and holds the gun close to the body. Take a look. http://www.miltsparks.com/

Note that the front of the holster is cut low.
I find high ride holsters tend to let the weight of the gun pull the grip away from the body, and do not conceal as well. I find that the I-BAK conceals well under a shirt outside the pants.

I think the secret to a concealed OWB is a low ride pancake.


October 15, 2005, 04:31 PM

Great fitting holsters and Great service :)

October 15, 2005, 04:49 PM
Jerry...I admit I'm no expert on this, so I'm anxious for your input..

Pancake holsters are, usually, pretty large, though aren't they? I mean in the amount of hip realestate they take up?

I should really get out to a shop and take a look at what's up for offer. The range I shoot at has a rack of holsters and see what's up. Previous to that, I'm mostly stuck with the world of mail order, which makes it hard to eyeball things up. :)

(hmm, is this 200 or is the next post #200?)

October 15, 2005, 06:05 PM
Pancake holsters are not especially large. The important things are to get good ones that are thin, and fit the gun well. Some holsters are made of thick leather, and that makes them somewhat thicker than others.

The first time I saw a Milt Sparks ExC IWB it thought that leather that thin was not going to get the job done. I had a couple of holsters from some highly thought of makers, and the leather was much heavier. But as I learned, I saw that thinner is better, especially on an IWB holster. It is also an advantage in an OWB. Make sure it is reinforced at the mouth so that the gun can be reholstered with one hand. That may not seem such a big deal, but it is, and it is my opinion that a holster which does not hold the mouth open is dangerous when reholstering.

Others here have as much or more experience than I, and will have some good inputs. I have over two drawers full of holsters that are never used, because I did not know the best makers, and so bought some middle of the road holsters. As time went on, I knew that if I was going to carry a gun I wanted a top notch holster, and belt, that would hold the gun securely while remaining tight against the body, plus release the gun when drawn.

Don't skimp on either the holster or belt. My favority belts are by Rafter S. They are tops, but less expensive than most of the big names.
I have three and have given a couple more sharkskin belts to my son and son-in-law. A friend has a Mitch Rosen rig, and the Rafter S is equal to the Rosen in my view.

Some of the best makers of holsters are Sparks, Alessi, Del Fatti, and Brommeland. A few others are probably as good. Probably Sparks has the shortest lead time, but that will be 2 - 4 months.

I hope others will chime in here and give opinions. None of us has used all the makers holsters or belts, and so in total can provide some helpful information.

Feel free to ask other questions if you desire. Go to the holster sites, and see what they offer, and then ask questions as to their service and quality.
Plan on spending close to $200 for a top holster and belt. It is cheaper in the long run.


October 16, 2005, 08:05 AM
I paid $5 for a used Kydex Uncle Mike's............

October 16, 2005, 10:46 AM
the belt must support the holster and a flimsy one will alway cause even the best holster to become unstable. Checkout this quality belt maker.

October 16, 2005, 11:08 AM
Here would be my first choice.
This is the Galco M7X "Matrix" (available for XD's) shown with my G17 and 1911. It's easily one of the most comfortable OWB rigs. I'd prefer something that covers the muzzle, but for $22 it's a no brainer.

The snap loops attach to the belt and are secure. The gun rides tight against the body and doesn't "lean out" if you're wearing a decent belt.

October 16, 2005, 05:52 PM
The Galco Matrix is the most comfortable holster for OWB that I have found for the Glock 30 - which is a fat gun and I, unfortunately, am somewhat fat too. About 4:00 o'clock you can forget it is there - sitting, standing or being active. If you can wear a cover garment it should conceal well too.

October 17, 2005, 04:46 PM
two best I have found
K & D holsters and Milt Sparks Versa Max 2