How to Select a Holster

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

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There are many ways to conceal a handgun, but some are better than others. Some techniques are comfortable, while others aren’t. Some positions are hard to access, while others are lightning fast. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and I will cover all of that with you in this article. I don’t claim to know everything about concealed carry, but I do have a large amount of experience with this topic. Not only have I carried a concealed handgun everyday for years, I am also the President of Old Faithful Holsters. Old Faithful Holsters sells tens of thousands of holsters each year and I personally designed every model. I’ll cover inside the waistband (IWB) holsters, outside the waistband (OWB) holsters, shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, and pocket holsters.

A very popular type of holster is the inside the waistband holster, commonly referred to as IWB. These holsters will ride between the waistband and the body and have some type of clips that usually attach to the belt to hold the holster in place. They are normally less comfortable than outside the waistband holsters; however, they conceal much better and can be quite comfortable if properly designed. They are also easily accessed, because they are tactically located close to your hands. They are typically available in nylon, leather, plastic, and leather/plastic hybrids. While they all have their pros and cons, the nylon holster is the only one I consider to be virtually unusable.

I believe nylon IWB holsters to be inferior products and I recommend you don’t consider using one for concealed carry. While it is certainly better than carrying without a holster, it has some serious shortcomings. The primary faults of a nylon holster are its lack of retention and its instability. I have personally had a pistol fall out of a nylon holster in public when I first started carrying a concealed handgun. That is a scary situation and one that is easily avoided by choosing a holster with proper retention features.

One type of gun holster that provides good retention is a leather IWB holster, which can be molded or unmolded. Molded means that the leather has been “worked” to fit a particular pistol perfectly, which provides retention. Unmolded leather gun holsters are just made to be the same general shape and size and lack active retention. Both may or may not have a thumb strap, but the thumb strap isn’t necessary for tightly molded leather holsters. The upside to all leather holsters is they are usually very comfortable, because the leather absorbs the sharp edges of a handgun; however, it’s Achilles heel is its inability to stay open without a pistol in it. When the pistol is withdrawn the pressure from your belt will collapse the opening, making re-holstering a dicey situation. It’s cumbersome and I consider it to be a safety hazard to pry open a holster with one hand, while holstering a gun with the other.

Plastic gun holsters don’t collapse when empty, because of their rigidity and are usually made of either ABS or Kydex. They are molded to fit your handgun exactly. Both ABS and Kydex materials are great for holsters and normally provide great retention when properly designed. Some even have a button that you must press in order to draw your gun, which is a great feature if you practice enough to use it reliably. The mouth of the holster will stay open when you pull your gun out, which gives you the ability to re-holster you weapon with one hand. The downside to plastic holsters is that they can be very uncomfortable for inside the waistband carry. The hard plastic can really dig into your skin making all day carrying impractical. Some people don’t experience any discomfort, but many do.

If you want the best features of the leather and plastic gun holsters with none of the compromises you’ll need the leather/plastic hybrid holster. They normally use Kydex, plastic, and leather. The part that comes into contact with your skin is soft leather, while the part that covers the outside of the gun is hard plastic. You can re-holster with one hand and you can wear it all day comfortably. A quality hybrid holster will have good retention and the best ones even have an adjustable retention so you can set it to the tightness you prefer. This is, in my opinion, the best type of holster for everyday carry.

Outside the waistband holsters are commonly referred to as OWB holsters and are a great way to carry a handgun either concealed or in the open. They also offer fast access, due to their location on the hip. There are two main types of OWB holsters that civilians use. They are the paddle holster and the slide holster. If they are designed to ride high on the belt, they can be great for concealed carry. Just drape a shirt or jacket over them and you are good to go, but be mindful of your weapon when you lift your arms or bend so you don’t accidentally brandish your weapon. Pistols with short barrels work best for this setup, because longer barrels are harder to hide under a shirt.

Paddle holsters are usually plastic holsters molded to fit your gun exactly. They have a paddle that slides inside the waistband while the rest of the holster that holds the gun hangs on the outside of the pants. They are easy to put on, inexpensive, and function fairly well if it is a quality holster. However, some have been know to break where the paddle connects to the holster and usually aren’t as secure as a quality slide holster.

Slide holsters can be constructed of plastic, nylon, leather, or leather/plastic hybrids. They are called slide holsters, because you slide your belt through slots cut into the holster and also, because you can slide the holster around a bit on your waist to find the perfect position. However, it will only slide a few inches in either direction until it runs into a belt loop. As long as you pick a quality holster, you should be ok with any of them. My personal preference for OWB is a hybrid holster that has leather against the skin and plastic on the outside. A good hybrid holster will have leather that covers the top of the pistol to keep is from digging into your side. The bottom of the barrel doesn’t need leather behind it, because it won’t normally contact your body. You also want to make sure that the plastic on the outside goes all the way to the end of the barrel, though, so it will be protected from impacts.

Shoulder holsters are a convenient way to carry a pistol if you spend a lot of time driving. Your gun will be easier to access in a seated position, but there are some serious trade-offs. The largest drawback is that most of them place the pistol in a horizontal position. This is considered unsafe by many, because the firearm will be pointed at other people, even though it is in a holster. I have the belief that once the pistol is holstered, it is safe to carry in a horizontal position IF the holster is a quality holster that properly covers the trigger and has a proper retention system. Another drawback of the shoulder holster is that if you want to hide it you have to wear a jacket. Dinner in a warm restaurant can become very uncomfortable. Shoulder comfort is often a complaint as well. The shoulder straps can really dig into your body and it can get very heavy after a few hours. A well-built rig will have wide shoulder straps to avoid comfort issues and will attach to the belt to avoid swinging.

Ankle holsters are typically used as a way to store a backup gun. I don’t believe this is a good way to carry, even for a backup gun. Multiple issues arise when carrying on the ankle. First, the gun is much more difficult to access than a weapon stored on the upper body. It is also more difficult to draw your weapon unnoticed, which may be necessary in some situations. Another problem is that the holster stores the gun BETWEEN your legs, which leads to banging around on the shinbone and ankle of your other leg. Let’s also not forget what happens when we sit down – your pants go up. You’ll need to be extra careful that you don’t expose your weapon in public. A better way to carry a back up gun is in your pocket.

Pocket holsters hold your pistol upright and easy to access in your front pocket, which offers some distinct advantages. First it’s fairly comfortable if your pants aren’t too tight. However, perhaps most important, is draw speed. You can keep your hand on your gun without anyone knowing and whip it out at a moment’s notice. Some carry a gun in their pocket without a holster, but if you carry a gun in your pocket, you absolutely need a holster or your handgun will get tussled around in odd positions and you risk accidental discharge from the uncovered trigger. You don’t need to spend a lot of money here and it’s the only time I will say a nylon holster is up to the job. I recommend a five-shot hammerless J frame revolver, such as a Smith and Wesson 642, for this position. They are inexpensive, reliable, and have no hammer to snag on the way out. I also recommend that you keep it on the weak side of your body if this is a back up gun (that means your left pocket if you are right-handed). If you want to carry in your pocket, but your pockets are too small, do not fret. Your local seamstress will be happy to modify your pockets to make them deeper for a modest fee, but most men’s jeans won’t have any trouble with space.

That covers most of the common methods to conceal a weapon. There are other ways, such as purses, fanny packs, or holsters that look like cell phones, etc., but they’re not what I would recommend. For most people, I recommend a quality hybrid IWB; however, if you wear your pants tight, you’ll probably want to go with a high riding OWB holster. If neither of those appeal to you, consider a pocket holster with a handgun that’s small enough to draw quickly.

Thomas Tedder

President – Old Faithful Holsters

Pro Gun Argument

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Blog | 3 comments

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Concealed carry is catching on in a big way. Times have changed dramatically from a few short decades in the past. Not that long ago a ‘total handgun ban’ was a popular idea and most Americans viewed the second amendment as a right to own rifles and shot guns, but not handguns. Thank goodness things are finally starting to get better; however, there is still a lot of work to do. We all need to be familiar with a good pro gun argument. The tired arguments of the anti-gun establishment persist and it is left to us to ensure these mistruths are removed from intelligent conversation. The only way to do that is by knowing the truth and replying with facts when the anti-gun zealots attack with emotional or hypothetical anti gun arguments.

The anti-gun crowd has forever argued that blood will run in the streets if we allow everyone to arm themselves. They point to large cities overrun with crime as examples. They cite the high murder rates and decry all of the “gun” violence. HA! As if a gun ever committed a single crime. Their imaginary utopia of a peaceful society can only exist if we ban ALL guns, they claim. Apparently, our violent criminals will toss their hands up and admit defeat in the absence of firearms.

After the theater shooting in Aurora, CO a few months ago, Sen Dianne Fienstein hit the Sunday Morning News shows reviving her dormant pleas to Americans to ban these “semi-automatic assualt weapons” and “high capacity magazines”. However, I didn’t hear her begging for us to come to our senses and outlaw homemade bombs. Why? Well, they are already illegal, of course. Wait, if they are already illegal why did James Holmes boobytrap his entire apartment with explosives before he carried out his shooting rampage in that infamous theater?

I know … maybe it’s because criminals don’t care about our laws. Stricter gun laws wouldn’t have saved lives in the theatre that night, because that madman was hell bent on destruction and could have achieved his goal just as easily with one of his homemade bombs or probably a machete for that matter. In fact, he probably could have done much worse.

The real truth that the anti-gun folks will never admit is that we are all safer when we are ALL armed. If only two or three responsible citizens had been armed that fateful night, James Holmes could have been stopped quickly. Unfortunately, this tragedy occurred in a “gun free” zone. By outlawing weapons, we ensure that only criminals and cops have them. That scenario works out wonderfully for criminals who become more powerful than the citizens they prey upon. Sure the police would still have guns in that scenario, but they aren’t that great at preventing crime. They most often react to crime and investigate crime as proven in the Aurora massacre.

The real truth is that a firearm is an equalizer. Things are different now in most states for those of us responsible enough to arm ourselves. No longer do our wives and daughters have to fear the overwhelming strength of a sexual predator. No longer do the physically handicapped and elderly need to fear violent criminals. No longer do our husbands and fathers have to fear a drug-addicted thug looking for an easy mark.

In actual practice, the more citizens that are armed, the lower the crime rates. The logic is very simple – criminals aren’t so damned brave when their targets have the ability to defend themselves. A firearm empowers every citizen with the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones and any argument to the contrary is not just illogical, but irresponsible.

Thomas Tedder
President, Old Faithful Holsters

Concealed Carry States

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

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Below are the concealed carry states and those that choose to ignore the constitution.

“Unrestricted” states do not require a permit to carry concealed.

“Shall issue” states will typically issue a permit unless you give them a reason not to.

“May issue” states might issue a permit. Good luck.

“No issue” states do not recognize the constitution. Good luck.



Montana (Outside of city limits)






















New Hampshire

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota






West Virginia








New Jersey

New York
District of Columbia


How to Use an APPENDIX IWB holster (AIWB)

Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Blog, Videos | 1 comment

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In this video, I talk about how to wear and use an inside-the-waistband appendix holster (or IWB). I also discuss how to draw and shoot from this style of holster.

First we need to understand exactly what an inside-the-waistband appendix holster is. It is called an inside the waistband (or IWB) holster, because it’s carried between your pants and your body so the gun is “inside the waistband”.

The appendix IWB holster is typically worn between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which is what makes it an appendix carry.

If you picture a clock around your body with 12 o’clock at your navel, you can picture where these positions are. 9 o’clock is on the left side and 3 o’clock is on the right side. Appendix carry can be worn anywhere in between.

The exact position where you’ll wear the holster will depend upon your individual body type and preferences. So just play around with it and see what you prefer.

I explain this for a right-handed person, but a lefty will be exactly the same. Just use the opposite hands.

The appendix holster is typically worn on the strong side of the body, which is the right side for most people. At this position, it normally positioned as a neutral cant, meaning that the holster is straight up and down and the pistol will be withdrawn straight up.

When we move the holster over to the left side, this is typically called a crossdraw. Most people probably think of a crossdraw as having a reverse cant (which means the gun is tilted back toward the right side. This is great for an outside the waistband holster (or OWB), but it doesn’t really work that well for an IWB. What happens is that the grip of the pistol gets rotated down too close to the belt making it hard to get a good grip on it. Another problem is that the muzzle rotates UP toward the belt and this puts too much of the handgun’s weight above the belt, which isn’t very secure.
So if you want to carry cross-draw with an IWB, we believe that it is best to use a neutral cant.

Whether or not your shirt is tucked in won’t make much of a difference with this technique, but you SHOULD practice the same way that you normally carry.

With your left hand, reach down and grab a big firm handful of your shirt and really yank it loose and high out of the way. It won’t matter much if your shirt is tucked in or not. Pull hard and fast. You want to make sure that your shirt is completely out of the way before you reach for your gun.

Now that your shirt is out of the way, find the gun. At this point, your hand should be directly above the pistol. Get a good, firm grip. Leave trigger finger off of the trigger. You need to have your firing grip before leaving the holster.

Pull pistol straight up.
Twist your pistol forward. You can actually fire from this position if you need to.

Now let go of your shirt with your left hand. Bring it back over and meet your right hand, then bring the pistol forward.

Fully extend your arms into a shooting position. You can actually start firing your pistol while it’s in close and keep firing your weapon all the way through this maneuver’.

Make sure to practice this over and over until you can do it without even thinking about it. In a real life situation, you don’t want to have to think your way through this. You want to be able to react.

One final note, with this style of holster, the gun will take up some of the room in your pants. If you wear really tight pants, this option may not be right for you. Some people choose to buy some pants that are one size larger than what they normally wear, but most find this unnecessary. If you want to know if an IWB holster is right for you before you spend your money on one, a good test is to unload your gun and stick it in your waistband. If it fits easily, you should be OK. If your pants are too tight to fit the gun, you probably need to buy some bigger pants first or consider an outside the waistband holster (or OWB).

Also, be sure to checkout Old Faithful Holsters for a great selection of IWB Holsters & OWB Holsters.

How to Use a concealed carry IWB Hip Holster

Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Blog, Videos | 1 comment

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In this video, I talk to you about how to wear and use a concealed carry inside the waistband hip holster. I also discuss how to draw and shoot from this style of holster.

I’d like to start off by thanking Mr. Massad Ayoob who was generous enough to share some of his knowledge on the subject with me. You can learn a lot at his website at

Now, I’d like to point out that my pistol is unloaded. There is no magazine and the chamber is empty. When you practice, you should take the same precautions. Also, no one is behind the camera.

First we need to understand exactly what a concealed carry inside the waistband hip holster is. It is called an inside the waistband (or IWB) holster, because it stows between your pants and your body so the gun is “inside the waistband”.

One thing to note right off the bat is that the width of the gun will take up some of the room in your pants. If you wear really tight pants, this option may not be right for you. Many people choose to buy some pants that are one size larger than what they normally wear, but most find this unnecessary. If you want to know if an IWB holster is right for you before you spend your money on one, a good test is to unload your gun and stick it in your waistband. If it fits easily, you should be good to go. If your pants are too tight to fit the gun, you probably need to buy some bigger pants first or consider an outside the waistband holster (or OWB).

This holster is typically worn between 3 and 5 o’clock.

If you picture a clock around your body with 12 o’clock at your navel, you can picture where these positions are. 3 o’clock is on the side and 5 o’clock is just about directly over the back pocket.

The exact position where you’ll wear the holster will depend upon your individual body type and preferences. So just play around with it and see what you prefer.

Whether or not your shirt is tucked in won’t make much of a difference with this technique, but you SHOULD practice the same way that you normally carry.

I’m going to explain this for a right-handed person, and a lefty will be exactly the same. Just use the opposite arms.

1. The first thing you need to do when drawing your weapon is to find it. It sounds like common sense, but you really do need to practice finding your gun and getting a good firm grip on it. When you’re in a crisis situation, you’ll have to rely on muscle memory and instinct rather than high level thought processes.

Start off by bringing both of your hands back simultaneously to where your holster is. The right hand needs to come straight back. Massad Ayoob tells me that the biggest mistake he sees is the elbow way out here like a chicken wing. Make sure to keep your elbow in.

Now with your left hand, reach far around as close as you can get to your holster. Grab a big firm handful of your shirt and really yank it loose and out of the way. It won’t matter much if your shirt is tucked in or not. Pull hard and fast. You want to make sure that your shirt is completely out of the way before you reach for your gun.

2. At this point, your hand should be directly above the pistol. Get a good, firm grip. Leave trigger finger off of the trigger. You need to have your firing grip before leaving the holster.

3. Pull pistol straight up. Your holster may be angled forward, but when you pull straight up, the gun will come forward some. You probably can’t actually lift the gun straight up from the 5 o’clock position, but picture in your head bringing the gun straight up as you draw your weapon.

4. Twist your pistol forward while still at the hip. You can actually fire from this position if you need to. It’s best to angle the top of the pistol away from you at about a 30-45 degree angle to make sure the slide doesn’t hit you when it cycles and to keep the empty brass away from your face.

4. Now let go of your shirt with your left hand. Bring it back over and meet your right hand, then bring the pistol forward.

6. Fully extend your arms into a shooting position. You may have figured this out already, but you can actually start firing from the hip and keep firing your weapon all the way through this maneuver’.

Make sure to practice this over and over until you can do it without even thinking about it. When you are swimming in adrenaline, you don’t want to have to think your way through a this. You want to be able to react.

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Old Faithful Holsters Design Explained

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Blog, Videos | 0 comments

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If you’ve tried lot’s of other holsters and think it’s impossible to comfortably conceal a pistol you’ll be amazed at how well our holsters perform. Every holster we make was designed first and foremost to be highly concealable.

The element of surprise is very important in a self defense situation and a holster that gives you away is lowering your odds of survival. Our inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters are designed to be completely tuckable. The only visible parts are the discreet clips that attach the holster to your belt. Concealability is very important, but it is not the only trait of a good holster.

We also firmly believe that a holster has to be comfortable, because if your holster isn’t comfortable the odds increase that you will leave home without it. I’ve heard the old saying that “A gun shouldn’t be comfortable, it should be comforting”. I couldn’t disagree more; it should be both. If you can’t comfortably carry your gun all day, you’ll find times when you just leave it a home. Criminals don’t wait for you to be ready so if you intend to always be able to protect your family and yourself, you absolutely MUST learn how to comfortably carry your pistol.

Our holsters are designed with a very nice piece of leather to keep the gun off of your skin. The shape has been designed to allow a fast, confident grasp on the grip of the gun and wide tabs to help distribute the weight of your gun.

The plastic outer shell that won’t collapse so you can re-holster your weapon easily with one hand. You won’t find a more comfortable holster anywhere and that’s written right into our guarantee.

When we designed our holster, we didn’t stop at comfort and concealability. We made sure that it is also the most functional holster available. Most other hybrid holsters use rivets to attach the shell directly to the leather. This is OK when your holster is new, but it can cause problems when your holster has had time to break in. What happens is that over time the leather begins to form to your body, but what you may not realize is that the leather also forms to your gun. On the back of the holster, the leather may bulge and create a pocket around the gun, which loosens the holster. If your holster has rivets, the only way you can tighten your holster is to either cinch in your belt or remold the plastic yourself.

Our holsters are designed better. We have an adjustable retention system, which allows you to tighten or loosen the holster as you see fit. So after your holster has been fully broken in, if it has loosened, all you have to do is tighten the screws that hold the shell to the leather.

Our holsters are also adjustable for cant and ride height. If you want your holster to have a different angle, just raise or lower one of the clips. If you want your holster to ride higher or lower on your waist, all you have to do is raise or lower both clips in the same direction.

All of these features make our holster highly concealable, incredibly comfortable, and very functional. It’s very important that you choose a holster that has met this criteria, because you will be more likely to carry your weapon to protect your family and yourself from criminals who have no regard for human life.

Try our holster for a month. If you don’t agree it’s the most comfortable, concealable holster you’ve every worn, we’ll gladly buy it back with no questions asked. Our holsters also come with an unconditional and fully transferable 50 year warranty.

So check out our list of gun holsters from our website to find the holster for your gun and send us an email if you have any questions.

Tough Stuff

Posted by on Apr 14, 2012 in Blog, Videos | 0 comments

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Horsehide vs Cowhide

Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Blog, Videos | 2 comments

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