Holster Peeve

For the last few years, I’ve seen these holsters advertised in the discount catalogs – a strong side holster with a built-in magazine pouch. Something has always bothered me about these kinds of holsters, and my wife is tired of hearing me talk about it, so I’ll give it away here.

Say I’m using my gun drawn from this holster, and I need to change magazines. But the holster is on my strong side, so I have to move the gun to my weak hand, draw the holster, then either change magazines left handed and then move the gun back to the strong hand, or move the gun and change magazines.

All that extra gun handling, under stress, seems like a great way to drop the gun.

On first glance, it looks like a great way to carry a spare magazine. But for me, that’s way too much to have to learn to make this holster (or kinds like it) a good idea for me. I prefer to just carry a spare magazine in my left rear pocket.

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If anyone has experience with these kinds of holsters, good or bad, please let me know in the comments.

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There, I’m done.

Evolution of My Holster Rig

My competitive holsters, from 1993 to present.

About a week ago, I was asked by Walt in PA about the magazine holders I use for USPSA competition. I told him that I have been using the standard Glock Magazine Holder ever since I got into competition, for a number of reasons.

First, it’s what I use for every day carry, if I use a mag holder. Second, it’s lightweight and cheap. So cheap, I’ve never found anything else that meets my needs, for the price.

While my choice of mag holder hasn’t changed, I can’t say the same about my holsters.

The picture above shows my competitive holster collection, as it has evolved from 1993 to today.

When I bought my first Glock 17 in 1992, I went that same weekend and bought a very inexpensive nylon, one-size-fits-all holster, and I used that holster for club competition for about 3 or 4 years. It’s made by Gould & Goodrich, and I don’t know the model number because that part of the tag is missing now. The inside is a nice suede.

When I took up IDPA in 1995, I bought an Uncle Mike’s Kydex paddle holster. Because I carried my gun at about 4 o’clock at that time, I adjusted it to the maximum forward cant that I could. I still use it for IDPA.

At that time, I used a stiff leather belt, laced through my belt loops, as a gun belt.

Then, in 2002, when I took up USPSA, I changed from a 4 o’clock position to a 3 o’clock position, right on my hip, and I bought an Uncle Mike’s belt slide holster. About that time, I found a Bianchi competition belt on sale, and I started using that. I like the competition belt because it’s a little more rigid than the leather belt, and I can take the belt off and on a lot easier.

In 2005 or so, I started experimenting some with my draw stroke, and I changed my technique a little. Before, I moved my hand below the gun and swept it clear with the fingers, then grabbed the grip as I brought the gun to bear.

However, I found that this technique didn’t yield a consistent grip, so I changed, so that my first movement was to grip the gun with my strong hand, high, with a good shooting grip. Then I would draw the gun, while bringing my support hand in.

I found that the belt holster made the gun ride just a little too high, and someone suggested I try an offset holster, that mounted the gun lower.

Uncle Mike’s belt slide holster, left, versus BladeTech DOH holster, on the right. Note that both belts are at the same level. The gun rides almost 3 inches higher with the belt slide holster.

I ended up buying a BladeTech “DOH” double offset belt holster, that’s adjustable for cant at two points. After some experimenting, I have it set at a neutral position, not canted in any direction. I wear it right behind by the point of my hip bone, per the Production Division rules.

I find that the 3 inch difference between the belt slide holster and the DOH is enough to make my grip a lot more consistent.

Yes, I still have all these holsters, and many more. But that collection is for another day.

Holster Review – Don Hume H715-M IWB

Once upon a time, when I carried my Glock 17 inside the waistband, I used a cheap, non-branded split leather holster, that I bought for $4 at a big box sporting goods store while my wife was next door buying throw pillows.

I didn’t carry my G17 inside my pants very often. It was painful after just a short while carrying. The back of the slide dug in, and the extended magazine release, which wasn’t covered by the holster, pinched my skin whenever I moved.

A few years later I got a smaller Glock 19, and it was a little better to carry than the G17 with this holster, but not much.

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Then, a couple of years ago, I was on a business trip in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and I had an extra hour before I needed to be back at the airport for my flight, so I dropped by Cheaper Than Dirt. (Actually, I made my flight plans with a trip to Cheaper Than Dirt in mind.)

I had never given much thought to a leather IWB holster, but there on the Don Hume wall was a great looking little number for the G19, priced at $22. I decided to give it a try, and I’m glad I did.

The holster fit is just right. I use “just right” on purpose. Leather holsters are fit to the gun they hold, and not all of them are done well. For instance, I have one holster with a fit that looks really great, so that the outside of the holster looks just like my gun. But, it is fit so tight to the ejection port that the leather has been cut by the trailing edge of the ejection port by the repeated action of holstering and drawing my gun.

On the Don Hume, the interior of the holster is shaped to the G19 just enough to hold the gun in place. Retention is excellent, while the draw is smooth, with no hesitation or hold up.

Coverage of the gun is excellent as well. The trigger and trigger guard are completely covered, and the barrel doesn’t extend past the end of the holster at all.

The holster rides higher on my pants than the old one did, and at first, I didn’t like that. The difference isn’t much – the Don Hume rides at about the trigger, and the old holster rode at the magazine release – but after some practice, I find that I can draw my gun a lot easier with more of the gun elevated.

The problem I had with the magazine release pinching into my skin is solved in this holster. While the mag release isn’t covered, the holster material is thicker than the length of the release, so that it does’t even reach my skin.

The top of the holster is reinforced, so that the holster is held open while it is in place in my belt, even with the gun removed. As a test, I’ve carried the holster empty for several hours, and the holster never collapsed. re-holstering is smooth.

The leather finish is excellent, without blemishes or streaking. The belt clip is just right, too, and holds on to my 1-1/2 inch belt without slipping off, yet isn’t too stiff that I can”t easily remove it with my thumb.

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Based on two years of using it at least 4 times a week, I can enthusiastically recommend the Don Hume H715M holster for the Glock 19.

The next time business takes me to Fort Worth, I’ll probably pick one up for my G21.