Thursday, December 3, 2009

Paddle Holsters

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Paddle holsters are very popular due to their comfort and the ease with which you can take them on and off. But they do have drawbacks. Paddle holsters rely on friction between the paddle and your pants and undergarments to remain in place.

Paddle holsters are a compromise between comfort and retention. Because of this, they should never be worn open, only concealed. Undercover or plain-clothes officers who use paddle holsters should only use ones that have belt guides or hooks that catch on the belt and help prevent the holster from being detached too easily. The weak point of the paddle holster is the link between the holster and the paddle. Early models could literally have the holster ripped away from the paddle in a disarming attempt by a bad guy, leaving the criminal with the gun and holster and the paddle still securely held in the trousers of the person who was previously wearing the gun.

Modern paddle holsters have a reinforced section between the paddle and the holster, and most feature hooks or other devices to help the holster grip onto a belt preventing the entire thing from being pulled out while drawing the weapon. The Blackhawk! SERPA paddle holsters for example have a plastic tab that secures the holster in place. Others like the Fobus Roto Paddle Holster use a small ledge on the outside of the paddle that engages the belt or waistband to prevent the paddle from being inadvertently dislodged.

Comfort is often a deciding factor for people who carry concealed handguns. If a holster isn't comfortable, it's all too easy to just decide to leave your pistol at home. As everyone knows, a pistol on the nightstand does you no good if you find yourself in an encounter while out and about. If you decide to go with the comfort of a paddle holster, you simply need to be aware that this holster design is for concealed carry only, as paddle holsters do not have the same retention ability of other types of holsters. As always, practice using your holster frequently, and most of all, stay safe out there!

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