Holster Drawer Wars


Among those of us who carry, the collection of unused holsters is a universal problem. For me it’s four drawers, stuffed to the gills. As an instructor and gun writer, perhaps my collection is … excessive.

This Triple K leather holster fits many SA cowboy guns.

Drawer 1: Leather

The first holster I pulled out was my cowboy by Triple K. Complete with leg tie-down and hammer loop, it fits most SA revolvers.

Next is an OWB Bianchi made for .38/.357 revolvers — ideal for cross-draw appendix carry. I’m wondering why I don’t do that more often because I have some nifty revolvers. With the resurgence in revolver popularity, I may throw one of these in drawer four for a while. Next up is an MTM Custom Leather for a 4.25″ 1911 — one of my favorite guns to carry.

The Milt Sparks Summer Special is an IWB holster that’s received rave reviews for years. Mine is cut for a 1911 Commander, and it’s canted so it wears best at 4 o’clock. Also in this drawer is my dad’s FBI snubby holster made by Bucheimer Clark. Dad was a game warden, carrying an S&W Model 10 in this holster. I’d love to wear it, but it was made before the advent of wide holster belts.

These three Bullard Leather Company holsters handle David’s favorite carry
guns (left to right): medium-size double-stacks, Government 1911s and Commander 1911s.

Drawer 2: Kydex

The Kydex drawer has my first carry holster, a CrossBreed for a Taurus 24/7 Pro. It fits many other double-stack semi-automatics. There are several CrossBreed holsters in that drawer, some with leather backing and some with horsehide. There are two almost identical rigs made by White Hat holsters: a red, white and blue one for semi-automatics and a black one for a revolver.

Several Alien Gear holsters are in here, and I like every one of them. My earliest Alien Gear has leather backing; the later ones have a soft, pliable backing. Although I’ve worn IWB most often, I no longer work at a downtown office, so I can comfortably carry OWB when I want to. One I picked up for OWB is a compact model made by Phalanx Defense Systems. The packaging said it would fit over 150 different guns.

I’ve got several OWB paddle holsters in this drawer. When Texas started allowing open carry, I used these in class to demonstrate various retention methods. One of these, branded by SIG SAUER, has a retention device that pops into the trigger guard when the gun is holstered. Drawing the gun requires pushing and holding a button on the outside of the holster — what we call Level 2 Retention. Another, branded by SIG but made by IWI, is a Level 3 Retention Holster. It has the trigger guard retention plus a hood that snaps over the back of the slide. Drawing requires pushing a lever button with your finger while pushing a plunger button with your thumb. It takes a lot of practice to be able to do it quickly, but nobody is going to be able to grab the gun.

Drawer 3: Catch-All

I’ve a couple of N82 Tactical holsters and I love the backing. The one that works for me has an elastic pocket for the gun with a belt clip that is sewed on.

You’d think I was an Uncle Mike’s distributor by the number of their holsters in my drawer. They’re in my truck and stashed in various places around the house too. Uncle Mike’s holsters are inexpensive, come in various configurations and do what they’re designed to do.

This drawer is home to ComfortTac belly bands, fanny packs and ComfortTac holsters in various sizes. The ComfortTac holsters have foam and some type of retention material between the layers of fabric in their holsters, so they hold their shape nicely.

The Bianchi 101 Foldaway holds an amazing number of small and medium-framed handguns.

Drawer 4: The Regulars

First up is the Bianchi 101 Foldaway — a life-changer. I get up in the morning, put it on my belt, and I’m ready for the day. Want to carry a .38 snubby? Stick it in. How about a 1911 Commander, G3, G19, a P229, M&P, Shield, XDs or XD-M? Sure. Whatever reasonably sized handgun I want to carry fits in the foldaway and is easily covered by my shirttail.

Sometimes I want IWB concealment and use a Bullard Leather Company Dual Carry (IWB or OWB) leather holster. I have three: Commander, Government and one for double-stacks.

Sometimes I carry a Taurus 856 UL in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. The rubberized exterior grabs the pocket and keeps the holster in place on the draw. There’s also an extension keeping it oriented upright in the pocket.

There you have it, one man’s holster collection — developed through plenty of trial and error!

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