Posted by Mike C. 19Charlie Tactical Owner on Dec 13th 2016
Perhaps the most common question I receive (other than "how much?" seriously, prices are on my site) is "which holster should I pick?" The answer is, "Well, that depends." That depends on how you prefer to carry your pistol, which pistol you carry, and your state's laws regarding carrying of a firearm. We will assume that you, the customer, are a law abiding, responsible, armed citizen.
In this post I will go over personal experience with carrying a pistol, my opinions are just that, opinions. Certainly not THE way, but A way of carrying. I will also go over each of my holster styles as each one is slightly different.
Do you prefer outside or inside the waistband carry? (OWB, IWB from here on). OWB and IWB differs from Open Carry (OC) and Concealed Carry (CC); OC is carrying your pistol exposed for all the world to see, while CC is hidden from plain view. Your state may or may not allow OC. Personally, I only OC if I am out in the woods, working at a gun store, or on the gun range.
A large-framed American will have an easier time carrying OWB or IWB, as a small bulge of a gun is more easily hidden than on a thin individual where it would stick out obviously.
OWB is my personal preference, as I do not have to wear larger pants, the gun does not jab into my side, and here in Texas OC is legal so printing does not matter if I cover my holster with only a T-shirt and the grip prints slightly. Printing is defined different ways in each state, but it is essentially the gun making a visible bulge through the clothing. Tighter clothes print more easily than baggier clothes or over garments. OWB more easily allows the carry of full size pistols and their higher capacity magazines, full grips, and better accuracy. A forward cant angle brings the grip more inline with the torso and less sticking out toward the rear, creating a bulge.
IWB carry has it's advantages as well. First, it is much more concealable than OWB carry. IWB is best suited to smaller frame, compact, and sub-compact guns. Carrying a full size pistol IWB is quite cumbersome, even for me at 6'1" and 250lbs. Where OWB is generally limited to your hip or slightly behind (3-4 o'clock for a right handed person). IWB allows carry up front near the appendix, 1-2 o'clock, commonly called AIWB. One can also carry IWB at the 4-5 o'clock position, but that is as far back as I would personally recommend.
Small of the back (SOB) carry is highly NOT recommended as reaching all the way behind yourself, out of view, is not practical. Plus, if an assailant were to push you up against a wall or vehicle during a robbery or assault, how are you going to get to your gun? Furthermore, if you were to fall down on your back for whatever reason, you could very well land with your gun between you and the ground. That chunk of metal designed to protect you could fracture your spine! I don't want my lawyers having to defend me against a paralysis case, so I do not offer SOB carry.
IWB also means you may need to wear a size or two larger pants than you would wear sans pistol. Ladies tend to wear tighter clothing; IWB carry would not be comfortable or practical in that situation. Consider OWB, or maybe an off-body carry solution in a handbag or purse.
My holster offerings:
OWB standard: Regular, OWB carry option. Standard belt loops, not much else to say about that.
OWBConceal: A front belt loop and a rear, slightly extended flat wing that pulls the handle of the gun closer to the body. When carrying OWB, you are trying to conceal the grip of the gun as stated above. Also distributes the weight of the gun over larger belt surface area.
OWBSlim: A simpler design, takes up less belt space than two belt loops. Hardware can be swapped for MOLLE locks for wear on tactical vests or belts much more easier than a standard OWB.
IWB with Fold-Over clip: Most basic IWB design, easy on/off with the belt clip. Not tuckable, can be worn appendix or around back with ease.
IWB with soft loop & strut: Slightly more in depth to put on, the soft loop wraps around the belt, and can have the shirt tucked in behind the strut for deep concealment; only the soft loop will be visible from the outside. Can be difficult to put on at 4 o'clock as that is an awkward angle.
Micro trigger guard clip: The most minimal carry method. Tie the cord around your belt, or belt loop, snap the gun in, tuck gun in pants. When the gun is drawn, the clip pops off and hangs free while target is engaged. Can also be tied to any hard point in a vehicle, inside a bag or purse, or simple protection of the trigger in a drawer or nightstand.
I do not offer ankle holsters, kydex is not a good option for that method of carry. I also generally do not make shoulder holsters. However, if the customer provides the rig straps, I have made the shell in the past and can do that. Customer must supply the harness!
I hope that helps you decide on a 19Charlie holster! Feel free to ask more questions through my website, Facebook page, or Instagram. Like and follow those for (almost) daily updates and holster pictures!
All prices are in USD.