Being able to secure your firearm is an important aspect of being a responsible gun owner. There are many different types of holsters available and new gun owners sometimes do not know which holster is the best for them. The style of a holster is an important choice for several reasons.
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When I first started carrying I was looking for a holster that I could easily carry without showing the large footprint and was comfortable and easily maneuverable. I have to admit for the longest time I wouldn’t carry my firearm due to not having a comfortable and concealable holster.
I went through several different types and styles until I found the one that fit me and my gun perfectly. There are several types of holsters from inside the waistband to the outside-waistband models including paddle and belt clip holsters.
Today we’re going to discuss paddle holsters and how they compare to belt holsters.
What Is A Paddle Holster?
What is a paddle holster? A paddle holster is a way of securing your handgun using a flat-concave-shaped piece of plastic or leather that is designed for your firearm to lay on the outside of your pants while being supported inside your waistband.
Paddle holsters can be made out of several different types of materials depending on the use and preference of the gun owner. Paddle holsters are generally made with three different types of materials. Leather is one of the most popular materials gun holsters are manufactured from however, Kydex has become a popular material in the last 20 years because of its durability and ability to repel water but is also vulnerable to high heat.
Ballistic nylon is another choice of material used in paddle holsters with its high tensile strength and cheaper cost to produce however it tends to warp its form after normal use.
What Are The Advantages Of A Paddle Holster
A paddle holster has several advantages and the number one advantage to this type of holster is being able to remove your firearm and holster quickly from your body without having to undo your belt.
A paddle holster is especially helpful for people that get in and out of cars constantly. Some people choose not to carry due to the uncomfortableness of a firearm holster and this allows the ability to quickly make adjustments without taking your belt off.
How Does A Paddle Holster Keep The Gun Secure?
There are two types of retention devices that lock the firearm in place which are used on holsters. A thumb break retention device has a strap or piece of plastic that must be unsnapped or disengaged to allow the gun to be drawn. Another type of retention device used on holsters is a device that has an internal lock that attaches to the trigger guard area that has to be unlocked via a button before drawing your weapon.
Paddle Holsters VS Belt Holsters
Paddle holsters and belt holsters are the most common style of outside the waistband holsters but there are some differences between the two holsters. I previously mentioned one of the advantages of a paddle holster is the ability to slide off and on easily and quickly but a belt holster isn’t easily removed because it is attached to your belt which makes removal a little more time-consuming.
Paddle holsters do extend a little further out from the body than a belt holster. The advantage to this incline away from the body is to provide an easier draw for the gun owner.
A belt holster has the advantage of being a little more secure than a paddle holster due to its closeness to the body causing the firearm to move less. Belt holsters have a lower profile and do not have as much footprint on your body under your clothes.
Most paddle holsters have the ability to sit at different angles from a straight-up angle, forward angle, or even a reverse angle. A belt holster can only slide a few inches before a belt loop will stop your ability to adjust.
The paddle holster can be adjusted on the fly and moved around to any part of your pants avoiding something like a seatbelt in your car quickly and easily. Some paddle holster models have adjustable ride heights which allow a user the ability to lower or raise above or below their belt height.
How To Wear A Paddle Holster
Some people wonder how to wear a paddle holster. The paddle holster uses friction on the paddle to keep it securely attached to your clothing’s waist. A paddle holster doesn’t require the use of a belt which makes it compatible with many different styles of clothing however the clothing must be tight or the waistbands must have very little wiggle room.
Sometimes it’s best to wear clothes that are slightly larger and loose than your normal clothing to help with concealment. Another important aspect to consider with a paddle holster is the fit of the firearm you will be carrying.
Holsters must be purchased that fit your specific firearm for the safety and security of the firearm. Gun owners can use a paddle holster for several guns but it should secure the weapon tightly to prevent any drops for slips.