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Here is some advice in helping you select the proper holster for your needs...
As far as choosing a handgun, that is something we feel is a personal preference, and as long as it is something that is safe and able to be reasonably concealed, then obviously you should use your best judgment as to what works for you, as there are many choices, some better than others.
My personal favorite is a custom 1911 5" .45acp
The first step is to decide what the purpose of the holster is for:
Is it for use with a concealed carry permit?
Is it for use during target and or range shooting?
Is it for use for security duty or law-enforcement work?
If your decision is to use this for concealed carry, then the best choice will be a holster that holds the handgun tight to the body, and allows the user to draw in most situations quickly and effectively. Let's face it, if you are ever in a situation where your life depends on your making the split-second decision to draw your weapon in defense of yourself or others, then the last thing you need is to fumble around with a holster while trying to draw. When you're in a stress situation, which is most likely how your state of mind will be when you are justifiably drawing the gun, you will have to have the confidence in yourself and your gear (holster/gun).
In almost every case, when you have decided that you need to draw your gun in order save your life or spouse's or kids', most people won't have much time to fumble around with thumb straps, so we don't advise them for most people.
There are 4 main things you will need to be concerned about:
1. Effective carry... You will need to know your holster will perform under extreme circumstances. We all carry a gun for protection for situations we cannot think of in advance. If you are drawing a gun in a stress situation you holster needs to be of high quality and perform how you need it to. Don't expect a loose fitting holster to do well in many situations. A design needs to afford you the confidence in a quick yet sturdy draw. Practice, practice and more practice.
2. Proper concealment... You don't want some thug seeing it, and trying to steal it from you, or starting trouble with you (and yes there are criminals that stupid). Again, that can be avoided with a high-quality and well designed concealed leather holster. In most situations you don't want people to know you are carrying a concealed handgun on you. Someone who does not believe you have the right to carry, legal or not , licensed or not may call a store manager or police on you and will have to hassle with that even though you are lawfully carrying. You can avoid that with a very good concealed carry holster, that will effectively hide it under most articles of clothing.
3. Gun retention... You need to be concerned about gun retention in the holster. The design should incorporate enough friction that allows safe retention on the weapon during increased activity or stressed situation. Perhaps you fall or get into a fight. Just about anything will hold a handgun but someone who is serious about concealed carry needs to be seriously concerned with gun retention.
Here is a story about a man who's gun fell out of his holster while in the public bathroom.
4. Comfort... You will want to be comfortable with the holster on all day, and while driving in your vehicle. Some holsters are comfortable while driving and some are not. Leather is very forgiving and more flexible than plastic, and will hold up a lot longer and is also far more silent.
We have come up with several different holsters for different purposes. If you are looking to conceal your gun effectively, allowing you to draw in an emergency, all while being comfortable, then the IWB (Inside-Waist-Band) holsters are what we strongly recommend for concealed carry. In fact, it is the only type we recommend for concealed carry use where you want your gun to actually be concealed. You have to worry about the grip and the angle of the gun when carrying concealed. You don't want the grip poking out the back of your shirt when you move or bend over. You don't want the holster to be seen if your shirt comes up a little bit and exposes the gun/holster. A good IWB holster will eliminate that.
Having said that, not all IWB holsters are equal, far from it.... I can't say that strongly enough...
Please look at our IWB section of our web site and we suggest the M-11 or M-12. The M-11 is one of the best IWB concealed-carry holsters we make. It is very comfortable, you can wear it 16 hours a day and miss it when you have it off. You will look forward to having it on rather than feeling annoyed with carrying a gun. You will soon realize after a week or so wearing, it that you have made the right decision. Below are some real pictures of the M-11 style of holster with a medium-sized gun and plain jeans with a simple T-shirt.
If you need further assistance please feel free to call, so that we can help you.