Your life circumstances affect your “risk profile,” which has as much bearing on choosing the best concealed carry holster as which gun you choose to carry.
I get asked a lot of questions about concealed carry holsters, usually focused on comfort and security for the weapon. Those are important attributes but rank below an often overlooked factor of greater importance—your personal risk profile.
If you’re an armed professional whose employment requires you to go in harm’s way, the most important variable would probably be speed of presentation. This “high-risk” profile would warrant a Kydex-type holster, worn on the belt on the strong side, with a slight forward tilt.
For most shooters in this risk profile, including a civilian whose life situation places them in a dangerous environment, this is likely the carry method that would facilitate the quickest draw from a standing position.
However, if you are a civilian (male) who is fortunate enough to live in a low risk town but must traverse a bad area on your regular commute to work, the most important variable might be ease of access while seated in the car.
For this application an ankle holster may be the best choice, allowing you to get to the gun quickly while in the car. Car-jacking is usually best resisted from within the car. You can present from the ankle in about one quarter of the time it takes to unclip the seatbelt, get through your cover garment, twist your torso radically and present the gun from a belt holster.
Because ankle holsters usually require a smaller pistol or revolver, when arriving at work it can be discretely transferred from its “driving position” to a jacket pocket without getting out of the car.
For women in this risk profile, a belt carry cross-draw would probably be the quickest presentation but it is less comfortable than an ankle presentation for most people and it requires pants.
If you are fortunate enough to live and work in a relatively safe area and want to be armed “just in case,” then the most important tactical variable is likely comfort. If carry becomes tedious it will soon be discarded out of habit.
When choosing a concealed carry holster, both gun and comfort play obvious roles. But keep your lifestyle and personal risk profile in mind, too—it’s critical to getting the best practical fit.
Editor’s Note: Got a question for Joseph Terry about concealed carry not covered here? Log in and post your question in the comments below.
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