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man holding pistol in holster

What Makes a Good Holster?

A good firearm holster is the one you reach for time and again. Depending on your needs, such as concealed carry or competition holster, you’re going to look for different features. 

Product Quality

Investing in a well-made holster can be pricey. But if you want a holster that will last, it's worth it. Cheaply made holsters tend to migrate around your body instead of staying put where they’re safely and easily accessible. If a holster doesn’t stand up to daily activities such as walking, driving, or doing yard work, it’s probably not one worth purchasing.

Some of the favored materials for gun holsters are:

  • Ballistic Nylon
  • Kydex (molded plastic)
  • Leather

These are not only durable materials but easily customizable as well. Take, for example, the new 45 Blast Canik COMP holster. It’s manufactured out of Kydex and features custom finishes such as camo, tungsten, and classic black. 

Custom Molds for Retention

Buying a generic holster can leave you wanting more. If it’s not designed to hold your firearm of choice, it won’t hold your gun in place where you want it. You should be able to holster your firearm without worrying that it will fall out, or reposition on your body due to physical activity.

There are a lot of holsters available for specific firearms, with the added benefit of adjustable tension screws to ensure the gun stays put. These custom molds are designed to fit one specific type of firearm so it’s the right fit every time.

If your holster isn’t molded for your firearm, there may not be enough tension to keep it in place. Or, your holster might have a cumbersome flap or strap over the grip to hold it in place. Going back to 45 Blast’s new holster, it’s custom molded to fit both the Canik TP9 SFX and the Canik TP9SF Elite Combat pistol, with or without a 45 Blast compensator attached. 

Accessible Grip

Retention shouldn’t be so secure that you don’t have access to your firearm’s grip. You want a holster that both holds your firearm in place and allows you to safely and conveniently grab the grip to draw.

To access the grip, you shouldn’t have to slip your fingers inside the holster or wiggle the firearm out. With practice, you should be able to move fluidly to draw your firearm from the holster without a hitch.

Where to Carry

This brings us to the question of where one should carry a firearm. Daily activities, body type, and reason for carrying will influence the best place to position your firearm.

  • 3 o’clock - Holstered directly on the strong side hip (dominant side).
  • 4 o’clock - Holstered just behind the strong side hip.
  • Appendix Carry - Holstered in front of the abdomen, directly in front of the navel, or just to the side.
  • Small of Back Carry - Holstered in the small of the back, behind the body.
  • Cross Draw - Holstered around the ribcage, under the non-dominant armpit.
  • Ankle - Holstered in a boot, or around the ankle above the shoes.

The 45 Blast COMP holster can be worn either at the hip or around the ankle thanks to the inclusion of a 1.5” elastic strap.

You can change up the positioning of your holster if you’re carrying for different purposes. For concealed carry, of course, your holster must keep your handgun out of sight at all times. You have more flexibility if you’re carrying for other purposes.


Holstering outside the belt is ideal for open carry. The firearm is easily accessible, and it’s comfortable to have the holster outside the waistband.

Shoulder holsters are a preferred open carry option for those who spend more time sitting, such as driving or at a desk. 


Belt holsters are typically the fallback for most types of carry, even duty and tactical. It puts the firearm within easy reach.

Shoulder holsters can be cumbersome for duty or tactical carry, as it’s a lot of gear to have strapped on the upper body. It can also come across as aggressive in an active duty situation, as it puts the firearm(s) on full display.

Chest holsters can be comfortable for duty and tactical carry while driving, while still offering easy access to draw.

Drop leg holsters are another choice for active duty police officers or military members. They’re not as popular due to the somewhat awkward position, and the tendency for the holsters to migrate around the leg.

Remember, the right holster for you is the one that allows you to comfortably and safely carry your firearm of choice. 

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