Holsters We Love

The Galco Gladius 212Bholster.


By Kevin Michalowski


A good holster keeps your gun hidden, but also provides access.It makes the gun easy to draw and provides a level of protectionfrom a gun grab and the day-to-day bumps and scrapes that come withcarrying a gun. A gun owner should look at a holster as part of aself-defense system.


With all that in mind we at Gun Digest rounded up a bunch ofholsters and decided to talk about the ones we like best. This isby no means a comprehensive look at all the available CCW holsterson the market. This is just a representative sample of styles,materials and carry options. If we missed your favorite holster youcan tell us about it and either of our websites: gundigest.com or www.tacticalgearmag.com. Click on the forumsand tell us what you think.


Now, on to the holsters, in no particular order.


The lead-in photo is Shannon sporting a Galco Gladius 212Bdesigned for the 1911 platform.  The 212B is typical of Galcoquality with double stitched top-grain leather and a hammer strapthat holds the 1911 as is should be carried, cocked and locked.


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The open-bottom design means it is light and smooth to operate,but there is nothing to protect the front sight from being bumped.The belt attachments are snapped straps that hold the pistol highand tight for easy concealment under a jacket or untucked shirt.But none of us were complaining that Shannon showed it off a bitfor the cover photo. All in all this is one solid piece ofgunleather. MSRP. $97.95 from www.usgalco.com.


Staying with the high and tight considerations, Gould andGoodrich offers the B807 paddle holster. It doesn’t show it on thewebsite but my holster came with an interchangeable belt loopattachment. The test holster fits the Glock 17/22/31 models and isalso an open-bottom design to let dirt fall out, but this designkeeps the slide and front sight covered. It includes a snapped topstrap for retention and double-stitched top-grain leatherconstruction. The molding is perfect.


The attachment points for this holster are amazing Both thepaddle and the belt loop let you adjust the cant and are strong butnicely contoured to keep the gun close to your body. A word ofwarning about the paddle: Once you put that paddle holster on,don’t plan on moving it to another location without a struggle. Itflat-out stays where you put it thanks to two internal hooks thatgrip the bottom of your belt and two small tabs that pinch thingstogether. This holster is not coming off your belt. The B807 isavailable in brown or black for several different pistols. MSRP:  $88.93 from www.gouldusa.com


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It would be inappropriate to discuss the Phantom in my pants,but you can blame Blade-Tech and their Phantom, Inside theWaistband (IWB) holster. This model was again molded to fit theGlock 22 and it works perfectly. In fact is disappears socompletely under an office camo shirt that no one in this officenoticed it through a whole day of meetings and break roombanter.


The Kydex is tough and lightweight while being rigid enough tohold the pistol but flexible enough to be comfortable. The sweatguard  running up the back of the holster keeps the pistol offyour skin or your undershirt for extra comfort. The attachmentpoints are rubber straps hooked up with my favorite retainers,“pull-the-dot” snaps.


You can pull those snaps from any angle you like and they willnot release until you pull at the dot. The snaps can also beadjusted to fit three different belt widths. If you want tocomfortably hide a full-sized pistol like a Glock, check out theBlade-Tech Phantom, it is available for more than20 differentpistols. MSRP: $24.95 from www.blade-tech.com.Next Page


Recommended Resources for Concealed Carry

Gun Digest Book of Concealed CarryTheGun Digest Book of Concealed Carry

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery

Effective Handgun Defense, A ComprehensiveGuide to Concealed Carry

Find more resources at