For the past 50 years, I have been wearing a handgun almost every day during this period of my life. Over those years the weapons have carried from my 26 years in law enforcement to the years I have spent in the field as a hunter and shooter in general.
Today I carry at all times for personnel defense, and what I have learned over all these years is that when you carry a gun every day the type and even weight of the best owb holster you select will dictate to a major degree just how much you’re actually going to carry your weapon.
Why do you ask? Because in general if the selected weapon is not a good fit for the polymer or leather holster, you have selected you’re going to leave the whole mess on the bedside stand or in the gun safe most of the time.
In military or police settings the basic duty holster is not a part of this discussion at all. These holsters are large, heavy as in military weapons retention systems, and when your searching for a comfortable holster this is not anything close to what you should be looking at.
The following will be a basic review of some holster types that can meet the needs of the individual that ants to carry concealed regardless of the style of dress or time of year which can be a major consideration when selecting that holster rig.
Top 11 best owb holster reviews:
1. Urban Carry Lock Leather Hybrid OWB ( Pancake) holster
When carrying a full-size auto, or even a wheel gun, which seems to be the trend nowadays a workable solution is to consider the Urban Carry Lock Leather Hybrid OWB ( Pancake) holster,
This holster is a molded outside the waist system and is an open / conceal model. This holster is made from leather w/ Kydex Advantage.
The holster provides both comfort and weapons retention safety. Standard leather holsters unless well cared for can tend to stretch and cause a weapon to become dislodged. Also to be considered is the fact that the pure Kydex holster is stiff and not comfortable at all. This special blend of Lydex material solves the comfort and safety problem by remaining soft, but still retaining the weapon very well at the same time.
This is a retention holster, and the system is built directly into the holster wall itself. This holster is available for over 1000 different models from wheel guns to automatics. It handles big weapons but also is very workable when downsizing the carry handgun.
2. Glock Concealment Express OWB.
Here we have an outside the pants holster that can be used for concealed carry or open. The Express is a belt loop style holster and to my way of thinking about the best possible system for retaining the weapon under all types of open or closed carry conditions.
Basically a pancake holster in design and made from Kydex the holster is going to be stiff and will tend to take down blueing fast from the carry weapons surface. Aside from that the holster is a good design for larger Glock weapons and would seem to be well made using metal fittings on the belt loops. The holster is performed to the exact specifications regarding each individual handgun model that they are fitted for.
The trigger guard on this holster protects the trigger from unintentional discharge, and also is offered by a design that allows side-mounted optics. The open-cut design also allows for suppressors, threaded special barrels, and other related design features on handguns. This system is fully adjustable for can’t angle and is a high ride design that will allow the least possible amount of muzzle exposure when concealed carrying a handgun.
This holster is built for Glock handguns in all models that are in current production.
3. Outlaw Brand Black Carbon Fiber Kydex OWB holster.
This simple carry system is made for over 200 different handgun models. The holster is made from black carbon fiber material, uses solid retention fittings for belt loops, and is molded for each weapon that it is offered for.
These are very simple holsters that will display the lower part of a weapons slide. Design much like the conventional pancake holster the system rides high on the belt, and if a short barred handgun is holstered it will cover up with ease. Belt loops are standard 1.5” Pricing is very reasonable fr a service holster.
The system retains a one-year warranty.
4. Cardini Leather OWB Holster foe S&W J Fame, Ruger LCR, and SP 101. Also other shot 2.25” 38 Special handguns.
This holster pattern as offered by Cardini is my standard carry model but infer a different brand name. These holsters are designed for the S&W Model 60 Chief Special, and other related snub nosed 38 / 357 classed handguns.
Set up as a belt carry holster the belt loops are a bit offset so as to make the resting position of the holster tip a bit forward. This is to facilitate ease of drawing the gun. I carry my Model 60 at all times, and I mean save for standing in the shower I have it with me. Using the Small J frame handguns, you almost don’t even realize a gun is at your side. While some folks like t walk around with big guns the truth is that most professional police officers both retired and in service love the small wheel guns as second backup weapons, or primary weapons when working plain cloths.
During my years in service, I observed almost as many bad guys taken out with these sub compact 38’s as I did with larger frame wheel guns and autoloaders.
The Cardini leather holster will fit almost all sub compact wheel guns. This covers Smith, Ruger, Colt, Taurus, and off brand models as well.
5. Pusat Holster Revolver 38 Special
This high quality leather holster is a carry tool by undercover cops, belly gun second gun dog watch troops on the street and anyone that knows the real world of self-defense gun fighting. IN three second time three round will be fired at a range of three feet. No need for massive firepower or big guns that take forever to get into action. This holster is nicely made outside the pant system that with a flick of the hand the weapon is forward and in the firing position. Well set up for a left or right hand draw. These holsters are made from hand selected and vegetable cured cowhide. The leather is hand dressed with edge smooth out for a good feel and slick exiting of your weapon. The holster carries a warranty payback of 100% in the event you don’t like the product.
6. Galco Fletch High Ride Belt Holster.
This is the holster I use when I carry my Government 1911 in a 4” barrel Smith & wesson, or my CZ Pointman 1911 45 ACP. This is a class act professional grade holster that makes use of the can’t angle position for fast draw, hand stitch belt loops that are pure comfort, and positive thumb break for again fast safe operational movements when extracting the weapon from the holster.
This holster rides high on the hip and well out of the way of pockets, your upper leg when seated, and the muzzle is concealed when even just an untucked shirt is being adorned.
This holster is hand molded by an individual craftsman at the factory. I know as I have been a guest writer at Galco, and as such walked through the complete manufacturing process involved when building this holster model as well as their full line of holsters. Most will not know it but this company has custom built many of the holster rigs used in some of the most famous movies ever filmed. Walking into the man offices at Galco you see a complete display of those superstar motion pictures as applied to the gun rigs that are on display.
I have selected this brand holster when I carry my very high quality Colt Python, or Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum, that I have retained from police service for the past 40 years.
As a second every day and well used holster I use the Safariland high ride leather holster when I carry my Smith J frame Chief Special. This holster is again very high grade and professional quality. As used almost every day for the past 30 years the holster is still very serviceable lacking any issue in terms of retaining my snub nosed 357 magnums.
I could say that for the most part this is the most used holster I own, and I own a pile of them for a wide range of serviceable field weapons. Selected grade cowhide, double stitched and lacking any abrasive geommets or studs that contact the weapons surface inside the holster.
7. Bianchi Leather belt slide holster.
Bianchi offers well-made commercial / professional grade holsters for the individual that carries a good deal of the time, and still wants a product that will not need replacement in a few years.
This holster is open top as a hip holster, made of very high grade leather and molded to each individual weapon, and is set at a low profile making it a good choice as a concealed carry option.
Designed for Glock 43 handguns, but be advised this company will offer holsters for just about anything being made in wheel guns or automatics today.
8. Relentless Tactical – The Ultimate Leather Gun Holster
In the Relentless brand designed holster, we have a system that is very flexible in that it will holster all types of basic 1911 style framed automatics.
The holster uses the three slot system that allows the user to adjust the weapon to a sharp angle draw or a more conventional position. This pancake holster will fit high on the hip keeping the grip frame almost under the elbow when in a standing position.
The hoster is hand made in the USA, and can be carried on the strong side or as a cross draw system. If it is worth anything to you the reader This design is a favorite of mine and I carry a whole tot of handguns both in the field and during my day to day activities.
9. Versacarry UGA1BRN Guardian Holster.
This holster is a quality product built by Versacarry and in this case the Arc Angle Design. This company will offer a complete package consisting of a holster belt, single or double stack mag pouches, and a matching holster for the handgun of your choice.
This outside the waistband right hand only is dressed with the cross symbol being a nice touch.
This holster will ride high and out of the way. The unit is designed for concealed carry and as such no requirement for compressed affiliated leather features to control dirt and dust as would be the case in an open carry field gun holster system.
Current information is limited in this case. If interested contact the company directly for additional data on the product.
10. 1791 GUNLEATHER 1911 Holster, Right Hand OWB Leather Gun Holster for Belts fits All 1911 Models
Here in the Gun Leather brand holster we have a system for the automatic that is a right hand OWB outfit that is built of all 1911 style weapons with 4 through 5-inch barrels. The holster is double stitched and made of 100% American steer hide. The lather is reinforced at hard points and is designed for the professional carry situation when the large frame auto is considered.
Being hand molded the holster will not cut your weapon to pieces causing the bluing or finish to rub away quickly as some other designs and brands will produce. This holster is offered with a full lifetime of the owner warranty. A quality product with a quality backing systems.
11. Concealed Carry Iwb Kydex Holster.
Here we have the all synthetic holster the has been lined to protect the weapon to some degree, and is designed more as a combat style rig. This type of holster is waterproof and in general safe from just about anything as offered up by the elements. For the day to day use it is a bit over the top, but that is the buyers choice when it comes to selection being a good many of these units are sold every day to shooters. The drawback to any rig of this type and material is that they are noisy, and when you want to stay concealed and the holster cracks as the weapon is drawn it can turn everything into a very bad day indeed. The holster has a grip retention system for safety and it is designed to be used for all general carry situations.
The plastic holster is offered by many different companies and many of them have popped up within the past decade or so. When buying these and even the simple fabric holsters you’re getting into a different class of weapons carry systems. The cloth holsters are workable for the short haul, but are not safe in my opinion when addressing full time day to day carry,
Plastic holsters as in the unit just reviewed are great combat style rigs, but try getting into a movie theater chair for two hours with one and you will get my point. As you can see I am not a fan of either. However, that stated it is not my call. Most fabric holsters like the Uncle Mikes brand by example and anyone of a dozen or more plastic models are just fine for the deer hunter that wants to haul a hand cannon into the woods once a year with the gun sitting in the gun vault the rest of the time.
Today with carry laws across America very open and many individuals taking advantage of the right to carry the holster business has never been greater. Remember, select the holster rig you’re going to use with care. This is a system you will live with from day to day just like the shoes you select, or your jacket choice for the trip out the door.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material of over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world including Russia and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American west and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Big Horn mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design, and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems.TM. Web site www.metrogun.com.