So you’ve decided to conceal carry. Aside from the pistol, you’ll also want the perfect holster. Holsters are recommended, as they make carrying more comfortable and provide additional protection around the trigger guard of your pistol.
So what goes into picking out the ideal holster for your needs? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
How do you carry?
Do you appendix carry? Pocket carry? Purse carry? The first step to picking out your concealed-carry holster is determining, if you don’t already know, how you’re going to carry your pistol. Regardless of your style, you're likely to find a holster to match. Identify the option you're most comfortable with—and if you're a novice, talk to your dealer or friends with experience carrying.
What gun do you own?
You’ll also want to make sure you have a holster that will fit your pistol. Some holsters will be more of a “one size fits all” style, while others are molded specifically for certain pistols. For example, this Advanced Tactical holster is molded specifically for the Rock Island Armory Baby Rock 380. When you have a holster meant for your specific firearm, it provides a better fitment and security than a universal-type holster.
What material do you prefer?
The two most popular options for holster materials are leather and molded plastic.
Leather holsters can tend to stretch out over time and may show wear a bit more than a plastic holster. Leather also can require a bit of a “break-in” period. The upside here is that leather has some flex to it, so if a corner needs to bend a little to fit better, it won’t be an issue. It all typically combines for a more comfortable carrying experience.
A lot of plastic holsters are made with Kydex, a plastic built to stand up to heat. Leaving a Kydex holster out in the sun won’t lead to deformation. Another plus for plastic holsters is the extra friction they can provide. Often times the gun will “click” into place (the click noise you might hear when holstering your gun), providing you with the audible reassurance your gun is holstered securely. The tension in some plastic holsters can also be adjusted for a tighter or looser holster/drawing experience. The downside to plastic is its lack of flexibility. So plastic won’t “break in” to better fit whatever nuances your body and carry style may have.
There is a plethora of holster manufacturers to keep in mind when you’re looking around for yours. We recommend Advanced Tactical, as they have several holsters molded specifically for Rock Island Armory pistols.