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8 On-Target Concealed Carry Insurance Options (2022)

concealed carry Insurance - 1

Updated 07/14/2022

Eight major concealed carry insurance programs are now available to millions of Americans who carry concealed.

What are some of the concealed carry insurance organizations offering plans for responsible armed citizens?

According to a recent estimate by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), over 21.5 million Americans are now licensed to carry a firearm in the United States.

With that many and more legally licensed citizens — including those who keep guns strictly in the home for domestic protection, along with people who open carry or live in one of the dozen states that do not require licenses — the odds are increasing that someone will have to use their firearm to defend against a serious crime.

Arm Yourself With More Concealed Carry Knowledge

Realizing this possibility, at least eight organizations have recognized the need for some type of coverage plan for the armed citizen who might someday act in self-defense. Unlike television, stopping a villain with lethal force isn’t the end of the drama — it’s often just the beginning.

Stepping up to the plate with protection programs are the United States Concealed Carry Association, Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, U.S. Law Shield, CCW Safe, Second Call Defense, Lockton Affinity Outdoor, Right To Bear and Firearms Legal Protection. Each has a slightly different approach to the challenge because in this game, there are problems and there are solutions.

The hard truth is that most armed citizens simply have no idea of the legal minefield they step into the second they press the trigger. As more than one of the people we interviewed explained, from that moment, your life is changed forever.

Learn More: 5 Things You Must Know About CCW Insurance

Even if no criminal charge is filed, because we live in a litigious society, there are attorneys just chomping at the bit to make life miserable for armed citizens in civil court. That’s the reality. Defending a life with a firearm can break people — it can destroy life savings, families and jobs.

What You Need To Look For In CCW Insurance

Whether home, auto or concealed carry, insurance policies cover only certain things. In turn, you need to take the time to consider exactly what each option offers and if it will fit the minimum you need to protect you after a righteous shooting.

While many concealed carry insurance policies cover several expenses you’ll possibly encounter (we’ll get to those shortly), there are coverage areas that are essential in a good plan.

Attorney Fees: This is the meat and potatoes of any CCW insurance plan and should be where you put most of your consideration. Criminal and civil defense doesn’t come cheap and if your case goes to trial you might find a bill that runs up to six figures. It is a good idea to review if a policy covers retainer, criminal defense and civil defense and damages.

Bail Bond: Whiling away in a jail cell is a miserable experience, and is detrimental. You need to earn a living, consult with your attorney and put your affairs in order. All of these are difficult to accomplish behind bars, which is why bail-bond coverage is typically part of a sound concealed carry insurance policy.

Coverage Across State Lines: Insurance laws differ from state to state, which can cause problems if you travel with your defensive firearm. If you tool around the country you must read the fine print of where each policy covers you.

Expert Resources: One of the best ways to protect yourself from the legal ramifications of a lethal-force event is to understand the law and your rights. Access to solid and well-researched resources on these topics and concealed carry training prove invaluable and make you a more proficient armed citizen.

Other Areas Of Concealed Carry Coverage

In many cases, CCW policies go well beyond legal expenses and cover some other aspects you might not have considered, but you’ll possibly be on the hook for:

  • Crime Scene Clean Up
  • Negligent Discharge
  • Spouse And Family Self-Defense
  • Property Damage
  • Firearms Replacement
  • Work Loss Coverage
  • Personal Use Of Firearm (non-defensive)

You’ll find there are other areas covered by some concealed carry insurance plans worth contemplating. Many of them fall within the policies themselves, however, some cost extra. Certainly, they’ll make a plan more expensive, but are heartening, given how quickly expenses can add up if you’re involved in a self-defense situation.

Policy Caps

Insurance, no matter what it covers, has caps. In short, there is a set amount of money it will cover, then you’re on the hook for the rest. This goes for any of the add-ons you might select for your plan, as well.

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Your budget dictates how much you can afford in a concealed carry insurance plan, but you want to make certain you don’t undercut yourself when it comes to coverage. On the surface, something along the lines of $250,000 coverage for attorney’s fees might sound solid, but could potentially shelter you from only a fraction of the total expense.

Concealed Carry Insurance Options

Concealed Carry Insurance USCCA

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)

Pros
One of the most established and largest – 660,000 paying members – concealed carry-focused associations in the country, United States Concealed Carry Association brings a lot of gravitas to the game. The company’s focus is what it calls its “Three Pillars”—mental, physical and legal preparedness. In turn, the company offers firearms and concealed carry training and resources with membership, as well as an insurance plan that many consider among the best available.

Cons
A deal-breaker for some, USCCA is geographically limited. While membership is available in most states, New York, New Jersey and Washington state residents are out of luck. Also, while not exactly a con, the Platinum and Elite plans cost more money than the entry-level Gold plan despite not offering any extra-legal services. The Gold plan already grants full access to USCCA’s self-defense liability insurance and all the benefits that it includes. The two more expensive plans merely grant access to USCCA’s CCW knowledge resources. If those options interest you, there’s nothing wrong with them, but be aware that if all you want is CCW insurance the Gold plan is all you need.

Membership
Gold Plan: $29 monthly/$299 annual; Platinum $39 monthly/$399 annual; Elite $49 monthly/$499 annual

Legal Resources

  • Self-defense liability insurance for defense expenses with no limits for covered self-defense incidents
  • $100,000 bail expense
  • $2,000,000 annual aggregate liability limit
  • $10,000 for any combination of “incidental expenses”
  • Up to $750 per day loss of earning coverage
  • You choose your criminal defense attorney
  • 24/7/365 access to Critical Response Team

Other Resources

  • Access to USCCA’s CCW-related knowledge resources.
  • Concealed Carry Magazine subscription

Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network (ACLDN)

Armed Citizens Legal Defense

Pros
There are some weighty names from legal, self-defense and firearms areas at your disposal with the organization. In turn, you have some true firepower if you go to trial. Right off the bat, with Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network you get up to $25,000 for bail and $25,000 for an attorney, of your choice, for both criminal and civil cases. As legal proceedings go on, the network can provide more monetary support for criminal, civil, appeals and retrials. Furthermore, it’s an inexpensive organization to become a part of, $135 your first year and $95 per year after.

Cons
ACLDN is not an insurance plan – it’s a pre-paid legal service – so its coverage isn’t as extensive as many others. It doesn’t cover civil damages or compensation while you’re in court or firearm loss protection. Additionally, further monetary support, past the initial $25,000, goes through a review board before it’s awarded. And there’s no tiering to the program – it’s one-size-fits-all.

Membership

$135 Initial 1-year Membership; $95 1-year Renewal

Legal Resources

  • Up to $25,000 paid to the member’s attorney by the Network if the member has been involved in a self-defense incident
  • Further grants may be available
  • Up to $25,000 to post bail on behalf of a member who has used force in self-defense
  • Access to Network’s affiliate lawyers
  • Case review by network experts
  • Access to Network’s expert witnesses

Other Resources

  • Eight-DVD set of lectures explaining the use of deadly force for self-defense, the legal aftermath of using a gun in self-defense, and how attorneys prepare the court case defending one who used deadly force in self-defense.
  • Monthly journal

U.S. Law Shield

US Law Shield

Pros
What you get for the price of the plan is among the biggest selling points of U.S. Law Shield (originally known as Texas Law Shield). Essentially, there is no cap on the coverage of legal fees, both for criminal and civil proceedings. This is incredible peace of mind, given how quickly those expenses add up. For $10.95 monthly payments and $19.95 set-up fee, that’s a lot of coverage. No wonder the Texas-based program has some 700,000-plus members and keeps growing. Not the case at one point in its history, the plan is presently available in all states–except Washington, New Jersey and New York–as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

Cons
First and foremost, you have to use an attorney from the network that they choose. This is potentially a turn-off for many, with good reason. In all likelihood, this will be the most important lawyer you’ll ever hire and you’ll have little say on who it is. The other issue, many of the coverage areas that come standard in other policies are add-ons, geographically limited, or unavailable. A good example, nationwide coverage costs another $2.95 a month, which may or may not make a difference to you.

Membership
Individual $10.95 monthly/$131.40 annual; Two Adults $21.90 monthly/$240 annual

Legal Resources

  • No cap on attorney fees criminal and civil
  • 24/7/365 access to Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline
  • Non-emergency access to independent program attorneys
  • Option to purchase Bail Bond and Expert Witness add-on coverage

Other Resources

  • State-specific educational videos, law updates, and online resources

CCW Safe

Pros
No cap for criminal and civil legal defense, both covered up front, is the most eye-catching aspect of the CCW Safe plan. Up to $100,000 in bail bond protection doesn’t hurt either. These are generally the meat and potatoes of any concealed carry insurance program and this one has them in spades. In addition to that, the plan has up to $1 million of civil damage protection through its basic permit-holder plan. CCW Safe also offers a multitude of options, including policies for constitutional carry states, home defense and active and retired law enforcement. Note, the coverage differs from plan to plan, so read the fine print.

Cons
While the plans overall are among the most comprehensive, there are a few caveats. You can choose your attorney, however, they must be vetted by CCW Safe first – this may or may not be a con, depending on how you look at it. The constitutional carry plan only works in your state, so you’re naked once you cross the state line. And there are certain conditions CCW Safe spell out up front that will negate your policy, such as the use of force against a family member or someone in your residence with your permission. CCW Safe is also not available in New York, New Jersey or the state of Washington (except some NY LEOs).

Protector Plan

$179 annual

Eligibility
Retired/Active Military and Law Enforcement with a concealed carry permit

Legal Resources

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • $500,000 bail coverage
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered upfront
  • Unlimited Investigators covered upfront
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered upfront
  • All trial fees covered upfront
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Spouse and children under 18 covered in home only
  • Up to $5,000 in red flag law defense
  • Up to $250 a day of work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $1,500) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up home
  • Appeals and expungements covered

Add Ons

  • Spouse $100
  • $1 million bail coverage $50
  • $1 million dedicated civil liability $220

Defender Plan

$209 annual

Eligibility
Valid Carry Permit

Legal Resources

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • $500,000 of bail coverage
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered upfront
  • Unlimited Investigators covered upfront
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered upfront
  • All Trial Costs covered upfront
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $5,000 in red flag law defense
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $1,500) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up home
  • Appeals and expungement covered

Add Ons

  • Spouse $100
  • $1 million bail coverage $50
  • $1 million dedicated civil liability $220

Constitutional Carry

$299 annual

Eligibility
Constitutional Carry States

Legal Resources

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • $250,000 bail coverage
  • Attorney fees
  • Investigators fees
  • Experts
  • Appeals and Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to $5,000 in red flag law defense
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $1,500) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up home

Add Ons

  • Spouse $100
  • $1 million bail coverage $50
  • $1 million dedicated civil liability $220

Home Defense

$299 annual

Eligibility
In-Home Coverage For You And Family

Legal Resources

  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Up to $250,000 in bail coverage
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered upfront
  • Unlimited Investigators covered upfront
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered upfront
  • Up to $5,000 in red flag defense
  • Appeals and Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home

Add Ons

  • Spouse $100
  • $1 million bail coverage $50
  • $1 million dedicated civil liability $220

HR218

$399 annual

Eligibility
Active, retired, and former law enforcement officers that meet the requirements for the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA)

Legal Resources

  • Coverage for Criminal, Civil and Administrative Actions
  • Access to our 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Critical Response Team on site
  • $1 Million bail coverage
  • Vetting of Attorneys by National Trial Counsel
  • Unlimited Attorney fees covered up front
  • Unlimited Investigators covered upfront
  • Unlimited Expert Witnesses covered upfront
  • All trial fees covered up front
  • Firearm Replacement during trial
  • Up to $5,000 red flag defense
  • Spouse and children under 18 covered in home only
  • Up to $250 a day work loss while in criminal or civil trial
  • Up to 10 sessions (up to $4k) for a licensed counselor
  • Up to $3k for crime scene clean-up home
  • Appeals and expungements covered
  • Dedicated $1MM Civil Liability coverage

Second Call Defense

Second Call Defense

Pros
Of all the options, Second Call Defense perhaps offers the widest spectrum of tiering. You can get into their entry-level plan for $9.95 a month or choose their “Cadillac” plan for $34.95 per month. The top-tier plan is fairly comprehensive, offering $100,000 of coverage for criminal defense attorney fees and $1,000,000 for civil. Furthermore, in the top-end plan, you’re eligible for up to $250,000 in civil damage protection. You also get to choose your attorney.

Cons
The entry-level plan is pretty close to “better than nothing.” It only covers $10,000 of legal fees pertaining to a civil case against you and is very limited in its criminal defense – up to $100,000 toward your attorney fees, $2,000 for a retainer and $1,000 for bail bond. Is that worth $10 per month? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

Basic

$9.95 monthly; $119 annual

Insurance Protection
Criminal Defense Protection – Up to $100,000
Civil Defense Protection (accidental shooting) – Up to $10,000

Financial Support

  • Immediate Cash for Bond – $10,000
  • Immediate Attorney Retainer – $2,000

Rapid Response Team

  • 24/7 Emergency Legal Hotline
  • Personal Crisis Manager
  • Nationwide Attorney Network Access
  • Local Attorney Referral within 24 hours
  • Emergency Contact Notification

Training & Education

  • Member Newsletter
  • Self Defense News

Add Ons
Spouse $48 annual

Defender

$14.95 monthly; $179 annual

Insurance Protection

  • Civil Suit Defense Protection – up to $500,000
  • Civil Suit Damages Protection – up to $50,000
  • Criminal Defense Protection – up to $100,000
  • Accidental Shooting Protection – up to $50,000

Financial Support

  • Immediate Cash for Bond – $50,000
  • Immediate Attorney Retainer – $5,000
  • Aftermath Cleanup – $1,000
  • Compensation While in Court – $250/day

Rapid Response Team

  • 24/7 Emergency Legal Hotline
  • Personal Crisis Manager
  • Nationwide Attorney Network Access
  • Local Attorney Referral within 24 hours
  • Emergency Contact Notification
  • Expert Witness Coordination
  • Gun Retrieval or Replacement
  • Psychological Support7 – 20 sessions
  • On-Site Assistance

Training & Education

  • Member Newsletter
  • Self Defense News
  • Online Training

Add Ons
Spouse $60

Ultimate

$34.95 monthly; $399 annual

Insurance Protection

  • Civil Suit Defense Protection – up to $1,000,000
  • Civil Suit Damages Protection – up to $250,000
  • Criminal Defense Protection – up to $100,000
  • Accidental Shooting Protection – up to $250,000

Financial Support

  • Immediate Cash for Bond – $250,000
  • Immediate Attorney Retainer – $10,000
  • Aftermath Cleanup – $2,000
  • Compensation While in Court – $500/day

Rapid Response Team

  • 24/7 Emergency Legal Hotline
  • Personal Crisis Manager
  • Nationwide Attorney Network Access
  • Local Attorney Referral within 24 hours
  • Emergency Contact Notification
  • Expert Witness Coordination
  • Gun Retrieval or Replacement
  • Psychological Support – 40 sessions
  • On-Site Assistance

Training & Education

  • Member Newsletter
  • Self Defense News
  • Online Training

Add Ons
Spouse $80 annual


Firearms Legal Protection

FLP_Logo_Web-Header
Pros
A bit overshadowed by some of the larger players, Firearms Legal Protection nonetheless offers impressive coverage. Again, a tiered program, FLP allows armed citizens to choose a plan that best fits their budget and needs. And as far as entry-level options go, they offer an impressive one: uncapped attorney fees for civil and criminal defense for $16.95 a month. As you go up the ladder, the more expensive plans offer some of the total coverage many look for, such as firearm loss protection, compensation while in court and the choice of your attorney. Also, an interesting and timely twist, all FLP plans cover against Extreme Risk Protection Order, or “Red Flag” laws, accusations.

Cons
As far as entry-level concealed carry insurance is concerned, it’s only applicable to a self-defense event that happens in your state. You can get nationwide coverage, however, you’ll have to spend more. Also, it’s presently only available in 30 states, so Firearms Legal Protection is somewhat limited geographically.

Basic Individual

$16.95 monthly; $199 annual

Eligibility
Coverage for one person in their home state.

Legal Resources

  • Uncapped attorney fees for defense for criminal and civil cases
  • 24/7 emergency hotline
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order Coverage

Premium Individual

$27.95 monthly; $329 annual

Eligibility
Multi-State Coverage

Legal Resources

  • Uncapped attorney fees for defense for criminal and civil cases
  • 24/7 emergency hotline
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order Coverage
  • Bail bond protection up to $250,000
  • Expert witness/investigator fees
  • Lost wages reimbursement
  • Firearm confiscation payment
  • Incident scene clean-up fee
  • My FLP mobile app

Premium Family

$44.95 monthly; $539 annual

Eligibility
Multi-state comprehensive coverage for member, spouse and minor children

Legal Resources

  • Uncapped attorney fees for defense for criminal and civil cases
  • 24/7 emergency hotline
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order Coverage
  • Bail bond protection up to $250,000
  • Expert witness/investigator fees
  • Minor children coverage
  • Lost wages reimbursement
  • Firearm confiscation payment
  • Incident scene clean-up fee
  • My FLP mobile app

Right To Bear

right-to-bear-insurance

Pros
A new player to the game—as in just last year (2021)—Right to Bear has leaped into the CCW insurance game with booth feet. No surprise, the company is under JJE umbrella, the parent of Palmetto State Armory. Offering four levels of coverage, each multi-state (excluding New York, California and Washington), the company offers fairly comprehensive coverage with options for any budget and a fair selection of useful add-ons. Additionally, policy extras, such as psychological support, seem thoughtful.

Cons
Close attention has to be paid to how each policy pays out, given there are per incident and aggregate total limits. Accidental Discharge coverage is an additional expense.

Bronze

$10.95 moth/$115 annually

Insurance Protection
Civil/Criminal defense liability coverage up to $50,000
$25,000 per incident/$50,000 aggregate total

Add-Ons

  • Spousal Coverage $48
  • Compensation in Court $35
  • Bail Bond Reimbursement $75
  • Accidental Discharge $75

Silver

$20.95 monthly/$235 annually

Insurance Protection
Civil/Criminal defense liability coverage up to $500,000
$250,000 per incident, $500,000 aggregate total

Add-Ons

  • Spousal Coverage $60
  • Compensation in Court $35
  • Bail Bond Reimbursement $75
  • Accidental Discharge $75

Gold

$33.95 monthly/ $385 annually

Insurance Protection
Civil/Criminal defense liability coverage up to $1,000,000
$500,000 per incident, $1,000,000 aggregate total

Add-Ons

  • Spousal Coverage $80
  • Compensation in Court $35
  • Bail Bond Reimbursement $75
  • Accidental Discharge $75

Platinum

$50.95 monthly/ $595 annually

Insurance Protection
Civil/Criminal defense liability coverage up to $2,000,000
$1,000,000 per incident, $2,000,000 aggregate total

Add-Ons

  • Spousal Coverage $100
  • Compensation in Court $35
  • Bail Bond Reimbursement $75
  • Accidental Discharge $75

Included On All Policies

    • Multi-State Coverage
    • Psychological Support
    • Expert Witnesses

Lockton Affinity Outdoor Personal Firearm Liability Insurance

Lockton Affinity

Pros
Offered by a subgroup of the Armmlife company, this option is officially called Lockton Affinity Outdoor’s Personal Firearm Liability Insurance, and this is a true individual coverage plan. This makes it different than the majority of the companies on this list that instead offer memberships that gives access to insurance policies or prepaid legal defense. Advertised as coverage for responsible, smart and legal gun owners, Lockton’s different plans are easy to understand with four clear tiers offered depending on the coverage needed. Regardless of the plan chosen, they all will cover lawful personal defense instances, accidental discharges, hunting/shooting accidents and lost or stolen firearms.

Cons
As a true individual insurance policy, nothing else is offered alongside the coverage. While many of the other options on this list include coverage as well as various hotlines and legal/training resources, all Lockton offers is insurance.

Plan Limits With Annual Pricing

  • $75 Annual: $250,000 Combined single limit/$50,000 Defense reimbursement sublimit
  • $125 Annual: $500,000 Combined single limit/$100,000 Defense reimbursement sublimit
  • $175 Annual: $1,000,000 Combined single limit/$150,000 Defense reimbursement sublimit
  • $265 Annual: $1,500,000 Combined single limit/$250,000 Defense reimbursement sublimit

Conclusion

That, essentially, is what each of these self-defense insurance plans offers: an advocate rather than just a public defender who might, or might not, have a full grasp of self-defense, much less any sympathy for an armed citizen. It might come as no shock at all to many people, but not all attorneys sympathize with gun owners who fire in self-defense.

People can take their chances with a public defender, or they can rely on the experts associated with these concealed carry insurance membership programs. Clearly, a lot of thought went into each of these efforts, and the ultimate beneficiary is the armed citizen.




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Concealed Carry

Customization and Concealment: How to Modify Holsters for Perfect Fit

example-concealed-carry-shot-against-white

Finding the right holster for your firearm is essential for comfortable and secure concealed carry. However, off-the-shelf holsters may not always provide the perfect fit for your specific needs and preferences. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of holster customization, offering tips and techniques to modify holsters for a personalized fit that ensures both comfort and concealment.

Understanding Your Needs: Identifying Areas for Improvement

detail-9mm-pistol-holstered-policetype-holster

Before diving into holster customization, take some time to evaluate your priorities when it comes to concealed carry. Consider factors such as comfort, concealability, retention, and accessibility. Determine whether your current holster meets your needs in these areas or if there are specific areas for improvement.

Examine your existing holster for any discomfort or issues that may arise during daily carry. Common pain points include pressure points, sharp edges, or inadequate retention. Take note of these areas as they will guide your customization efforts to improve overall comfort and functionality.

Holster Modification Techniques: Tips for Customization

One of the most common methods for holster customization is heat gun molding. This technique involves using a heat gun to soften the holster material, typically Kydex or polymer, and then molding it to fit your firearm more closely. Be cautious not to overheat the material, as it can lead to warping or damage.

If your holster lacks sufficient retention or is too tight, consider adjusting the retention screws or adding retention devices such as adjustable tension screws or retention straps. Experiment with different settings until you find the right balance between retention and ease of draw.

To address discomfort caused by pressure points or sharp edges, consider adding padding or cushioning to your holster. Options include foam padding, adhesive-backed fabric, or leather lining. Apply padding strategically to areas that come into contact with your body to improve overall comfort during extended carry.

Concealment Enhancements: Tips for Discreet Carry

Example-of-concealed-carry

Adjusting the cant and ride height of your holster can significantly impact concealment and comfort. Experiment with different cant angles and ride heights to find the optimal position for your body type and carry preference. A slight forward or reverse cant can help improve concealment and draw efficiency.

Consider adding concealment wings or clips to your holster to enhance concealment and stability. These accessories attach to the holster and help distribute weight more evenly, reducing printing and improving overall comfort. Choose options with adjustable angles and tension to customize the fit to your body shape and clothing style.

For added safety and concealment, consider modifying your holster to provide enhanced trigger guard coverage. This can help prevent accidental trigger access while ensuring a smooth and consistent drawstroke. Add-on trigger guard extensions or molded-in trigger guard covers are available for many holster models and can be easily installed.

Customizing your holster allows you to tailor it to your unique needs and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and secure carry experience. By identifying areas for improvement, exploring modification techniques, and enhancing concealment features, you can create a holster that fits you perfectly and provides reliable performance day in and day out. Remember to take your time, experiment with different adjustments, and prioritize safety throughout the customization process. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can transform your holster into the ideal companion for concealed carry.

Has this guide helped you to pick a holster? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Gear

Holster Materials Demystified: Leather vs. Kydex vs. Hybrid Options

pistol-holster-black-background

Choosing the right holster material is crucial for effective and comfortable concealed carry. Each material, whether it be leather, Kydex, or a hybrid of several materials, offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. This guide will help you understand the differences between these materials, aiding you in making an informed decision based on durability, comfort, maintenance, and functionality.

Leather Holsters: Traditional Comfort and Elegance

detail-9mm-pistol-holstered-policetype-holster

Leather has been used in holster manufacturing for centuries due to its durability and the unique way it conforms to the firearm and the wearer’s body over time. A well-made leather holster can last for many years if properly cared for. Leather’s natural give ensures that it doesn’t scratch or dent your firearm, protecting the finish over long periods.

One of the primary advantages of leather is its comfort. Leather holsters tend to be more flexible than Kydex, which allows them to mold to the body’s contours, providing a personalized fit after a break-in period. Aesthetically, leather also has a classic look that appeals to many gun owners who appreciate its traditional appearance and craftsmanship.

The main drawback of leather is its higher maintenance requirements. Leather needs to be regularly cleaned and conditioned to prevent drying out or cracking. It is also less resistant to moisture compared to synthetic materials, which can be a consideration in wet climates or for everyday carry.

Kydex Holsters: Modern, Durable, and Low Maintenance

Kydex is a lightweight, thermoplastic material that is both durable and maintenance-free. Unlike leather, Kydex does not warp, crack, or require regular conditioning. It is highly resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for humid environments or active individuals who might sweat during carry.

Kydex holsters offer a firm, secure fit that doesn’t change over time, which means consistent retention and a reliable draw every time. These holsters are generally designed to offer an audible click when the gun is properly holstered, providing additional security feedback. Kydex is also easier to clean; usually, a simple wipe-down is all that’s required to keep it in good condition.

The primary disadvantage of Kydex is that it can be less comfortable for extended wear, especially directly against the skin, as it does not conform to the body the same way leather does. Additionally, the rigid nature of Kydex can sometimes cause wear on the finish of the firearm with repeated drawing and holstering.

Hybrid Holsters: Combining the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid holsters are designed to offer the best features of both leather and Kydex. Typically, these holsters use a backing of leather (or sometimes a breathable synthetic fabric) that rests against the body, providing the comfort and flexibility of leather, coupled with a Kydex shell that holds the firearm. This combination ensures that the holster is comfortable against the skin while maintaining the structural integrity and easy re-holstering benefits of Kydex.

The leather backing of a hybrid holster conforms to the body, similar to a full leather holster, improving comfort for daily wear. The rigid Kydex shell keeps the gun securely in place and allows for smooth, consistent drawing and reholstering without the holster collapsing.

While hybrid holsters attempt to offer the best of both materials, they may also inherit some disadvantages. The leather component may still require maintenance, and the overall bulk might be greater than a single-material holster. Additionally, depending on the design, the sweat protection for the firearm might not be as robust as with a full Kydex design.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Needs

When selecting a holster, consider your personal needs, daily activities, and the environments in which you will be carrying. Leather offers a traditional, comfortable fit at the expense of greater care and potentially less durability under extreme conditions. Kydex provides excellent security and low maintenance but may sacrifice comfort. Hybrid holsters balance these factors but check that the design fits your specific requirements and comfort preferences.

Ultimately, the best holster material depends on your unique situation and preferences. Testing different materials and types can provide firsthand experience and help you make the best choice for your concealed carry needs.

Do you have a preferred material for your holsters? Why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry Essentials: Choosing the Right Holster for Your Firearm

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When it comes to concealed carry, choosing the right holster is as crucial as selecting the firearm itself. A good holster not only secures your weapon but also ensures comfort, accessibility, and concealment. Whether you’re a seasoned carrier or new to the world of concealed carry, understanding the different types of holsters and what makes them suitable for certain situations can help you make the right choice for your needs.

Understanding Holster Types

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters

IWB holsters are one of the most popular choices for concealed carry because they offer excellent concealment. Positioned inside the wearer’s pants, these holsters sit just behind the hip or at the appendix position. They are designed to conceal the gun effectively beneath a lightly draped shirt or jacket, making them ideal for those who wear casual or business attire regularly. The key is to find an IWB holster made from a comfortable material that minimizes discomfort against the skin.

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Holsters

While OWB holsters are less concealable than their IWB counterparts, they are often more comfortable for extended wear, especially if you spend a lot of time seated, such as driving or working at a desk. These holsters sit on the outside of the pants, held close to the body by a belt. OWB is a preferred choice for open carry, duty carry, or when using larger frame pistols that are harder to conceal inside the waistband.

Pocket Holsters

For those preferring to carry smaller handguns, pocket holsters are a viable option. These holsters protect the firearm from debris and lint while ensuring that it stays upright and accessible in your pocket. The holster’s design also masks the shape of the gun, helping to prevent ‘printing’ (when the outline of the gun is visible through clothing), thus maintaining concealment.

Material Matters: Selecting the Right Fabric

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Leather Holsters

Leather is a traditional choice that combines durability with comfort. Over time, leather holsters can mold to the shape of your gun and body, offering a custom fit. However, leather requires maintenance to keep it supple and functional, and it might not perform as well in very wet conditions.

Kydex and Other Synthetics

Kydex, a type of thermoplastic, is a popular alternative to leather due to its robustness and low maintenance. Holsters made from Kydex are resistant to water and sweat, making them suitable for humid climates. They also retain their shape over time, which facilitates quicker re-holstering. However, they might be less comfortable against the skin than leather and can wear the finish of your firearm faster.

Hybrid Holsters

Hybrid holsters combine materials, usually leather or a soft fabric backing with a synthetic shell. This design aims to offer the best of both worlds: comfort from the backing material and durability and easy access from the synthetic shell. These are particularly popular among those who carry daily as they balance comfort and functionality.

Fit and Comfort: Ensuring a Proper Holster

Custom Fit

It’s crucial that your holster fits your firearm snugly. A good fit prevents the gun from shifting, falling, or being difficult to draw. Most holsters are built for specific models, which means a one-size-fits-all approach might not be the best when it comes to holsters.

Comfort

Comfort is key, especially if you plan to carry your gun daily. A comfortable holster should distribute the weight of the gun evenly without chafing. Padding can be crucial, particularly for IWB carriers. Test different holsters to see how they feel when sitting, walking, or bending.

Retention and Accessibility

Good retention keeps the gun securely holstered but allows for quick drawing when necessary. Some holsters offer adjustable retention screws to tighten or loosen the hold on your firearm. Moreover, ensure the holster does not obstruct your grip; when drawing, you should be able to get a full grip on the handle.

Concealment and Practical Considerations

Pistol in the holster.

Concealment

Choose a holster that keeps your firearm out of sight but within reach. The best concealed carry holster offers a balance between accessibility, comfort, and invisibility. Consider your daily activities and the type of clothing you wear when selecting a holster for optimal concealment.

Practical Considerations

Lastly, consider other practical aspects such as the ease of holstering and unholstering, the holster’s profile (does it add too much bulk?), and its compatibility with your wardrobe. Some holsters, especially those designed for deeper concealment, may require practice to achieve a smooth and quick draw.

Choosing the right holster is a personal journey and often a matter of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to test different types, materials, and positions until you find the perfect combination that offers safety, comfort, and confidence in your ability to carry concealed effectively.

Do you have any tips for people looking for holsters? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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