November 5th, 2018

HolsterPallooza — 30 Holsters Reviewed by Shooting Illustrated

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun

Here at AccurateShooter.com, we’re more about rifles than pistols. But we know that the majority of our regular readers own handguns, and many also have concealed carry (CCW) permits. Our editors also enjoy shooting pistols, both rimfire and centerfire. Accordingly, we try to provide helpful insights for the pistoleros out there. We found a great article on the Shooting Illustrated website that showcases a huge variety of holsters — 30 in fact. Each holster is illustrated, with pros and cons explained. These are all EDC holsters, meaning those designed for “Every Day Carry”.

SEE Full HolsterPallooza Story with 30 Holster Reviews »

Shooting Illustrated calls this article “HolsterPallooza” and it really does provide a ton of helpful information. Most other holster reviews on the web may feature a half-dozen holsters at the most. In this Holsterpallooza article you can see 30 holsters, with a wide variety of materials, designs, and applications. There are small molded IWB holsters for CCW, conventional on the belt holsters, leather shoulder holster rigs, and even ankle holsters. This is a great place to start if you are in the market for a holster.

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun
Here’s sample of the many holster options reviewed, an innovative hybrid IWB holster constructed with leather over Kydex. That gives you the “best of both worlds” — the secure fit/retention of a molded Kydex shell, with an attractive leather exterior.

Shooting Illustrated explains: “As the interface between your gun and your body, the holster is a vital component of your carry rig. In many cases, the circumstances of your daily life will determine the method of carry you choose. This, in turn, will determine what type of holster you need, which may end up determining the handgun you carry. Therefore, choosing the method and type of holster may be as, or even more important than, choosing a firearm.”

Hickok 45 Reviews CCW Holsters:

If you want to see even MORE holsters for “Every Day Carry” (EDC), check out this video from Hickok 45. This popular YouTube host looks at 15 different IWB holsters from a number of manufacturers. Hickok 45 examines many hybrid holsters that combine Kydex or plastic with leather for increased comfort. He has his favorites… and they might not be what you’d expect. NOTE: As this video has been watched over 810,000 times, you may also want to read the viewer comments. There are many helpful suggestions from CCW holders who carry daily.

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May 18th, 2016

Company Profile: Edgewood Shooting Bags and Gun Leather

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek Rodgers

Edgewood makes some of the best front and rear shooting bags you can buy. And the latest Edgewood rear bag is better than ever, with a new hybrid “slick material overlay”. This combines the shape retention and stability of leather ears, with slick, low-friction material where the stock rides. This “best of both worlds” solution delivers both bag stability and improved tracking. Derek Rodgers, the only man who has won BOTH the F-Open and F-TR National Championships, is using this new rear bag, and he says it’s excellent. He says his gun tracks great with the slick material on top of leather-based ears.

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek Rodgers

You’re probably familiar with Edgewood for its high-quality shooting accessories. You may not know that Edgewood also offers a full line of quality leather holsters. And we bet you didn’t know that Edgewood got its start making tack and bridles for horse riders. Here’s a short history of Edgewood Leather, a family-run business based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The History of Edgewood Leather

by Jack Snyder
I’ve always enjoyed working with leather and still do to this day. Something about starting with an idea and building a useful and hopefully, beautiful piece does it for me. There’s nothing like leather to stimulate my imagination. It brings out my creativity and makes me happy.

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek RodgersI began doing leatherwork as a kid, 12 or 13, and the first piece I made was a pair of shoes. Got a job in a leather shop in the late ’60s and made purses and belts, wallets and sandals — many pairs of sandals. I opened a small retail shop in Estes Park, CO and made even more of the same, adding vests, halter tops, hats, mountain man gear of all sorts from skunk hats to goat fur high-top moccasins.

After a decade or so, I became restless for something new and taught myself bridle work. I discovered a niche market with English riders who were always looking for beautiful, well-fitting show bridles and over a period of about twenty years developed and produced many products for these riders — numerous types of nosebands, breastplates, martingales, girths and many different varieties of reins. At the same time I observed that for every horse and rider there were at least two dogs trotting along beside. I began making dog products which closely resembled their horse buddies bridle work. Sales were good. Leashes, leads, halters and collars showed up at dog shows around the country. My bridles were worn by many champions in every horse discipline — dressage, show ring, hunter-jumpers, and my polo gear became popular among the players. All of that was fun and I’m still proud of those products (still being made today), but it was time for a change. I sold my interest to my partner and tried to retire. Didn’t work, though.

My plan was to shoot benchrest matches, as many as I could. And I did for some time and loved every minute. I’ve made many friends among the shooters, discovering early on that these people are the most interesting, smart folks a guy could ever associate with. To the man, they’ll share what they know with you and even hand you their gun when yours malfunctions during a match, and grin and slap you on the back when you beat ‘em with it!

When I was getting started in benchrest, one aspect of the game was somewhat disappointing to me-the quality and stability of the shooting bags. It was natural with my past leather experience to make what I thought would be a better product. I cobbled up a couple of bags and went to a match in Oklahoma. All hell broke loose. Most of the shooters had to have one. By the end of the summer, I had so many orders for shooting bags, I couldn’t keep up the pace. I was improving the designs, based on the shooters telling me what worked and didn’t work. I was adding new products, experimenting with materials, processes and configurations and having a great time. Completely by accident, Edgewood Shooting Bags was born. My wife Cindy and my two kids Jackie and Aaron jumped in and we became a bag-making machine — always looking to improve and expand upon the products. Jackie’s husband Ryan joined us several years ago and together, we’ve made a pretty awesome team.

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek Rodgers

Edgewood’s New Line of Leather Holsters
Since we’re all avid shooters with many handguns among us, the next logical product to add to our catalog would be a line of high-quality leather holsters. For the last year or so, we’ve come up with what we believe to be the most comfortable, elegant holster out there. Affordably priced, these holsters are are available in many different styles and configurations, for both outside carry and concealed carry.

Latest Rear Bag Design — Leather Ears with ‘Slick Material Overlay’
Edgewood constantly strives to improve its products. Witness the new “slick material overlay” bag ears. This is a major design improvement over our regular “slick ears”. The development of the overall design all started when we noticed some shooters applying household products like talcum powder or dryer sheets to the ears of their bag in an effort to reduce friction and speed up their rifle’s return to battery. We found a material that would achieve this function without the need to raid their wife’s pantry for powders or laundry accessories and began sewing the ears up using this “microscopic glass bead impregnated” fabric. We were happy with the results. However, we soon began to realize that the slick material could have the longevity of our nylon as well as its slick properties, if we found a way to increase its thickness without causing wrinkles or inconsistencies.

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek Rodgers

First, we ended up hunting down some similar fabric with a much higher strength and thickness. It even has a fireproof backing that makes it far more durable — even if shooters aren’t planning on exposing it to temperatures higher than the Arizona desert can offer. This material was definitely superior and even more representative of the quality and durability that shooters have come to expect from products wearing the Edgewood logo. We didn’t stop there, either.

We started experimenting with a way to combine our toughest ear design, which is made from soft leather, with the slick material to create the best of both worlds. We deemed it the “slick overlay” option and many of the world’s top shooters now swear by it. There is no compromise with this ear set — shooters gain all of the advantages of the slick material, in addition to durability and consistency that exceeds even our tried and true nylon ears. Many of our original bags have been punished by shooters for over a decade and are still performing. We expect this design to last even longer.

Edgewood Rear Bag holster leathergoods Albuquerque New Mexico Derek Rodgers

Keeping ahead of the curve with innovations that create and help propel evolution in the sport is a signal of our commitment to retain our status into the future. Along with other new products like our second generation of concealed and open carry holsters, range bags for sighting in hunting rifles, radius front bags for AR-style rifles, camouflage color options and more — we even have a new logo for 2016. Check us out online or give us a call. We’re ready to meet the demands of shooters — from Benchrest and F-Class to concealed carry and IDPA.

Jack Snyder
President – Edgewood Shooting Bags and Gun Leather

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May 15th, 2016

Free eBook for CCW Holders from Beretta

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Do you have a concealed carry permit, or do you plan to carry a concealed handgun in the future? Then you can benefit from Beretta’s FREE 15-page e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders. This eBook, in handy PDF format, helps gun owners select an appropriate handgun (and holster), understand legal obligations and responsibilities, and train effectively with the firearm. This short eBook offers many useful tips to consider, in particular for gunowners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.

Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF

As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.”

Surprising Facts About Actual Defensive Handgun Use
You may be surprised to learn when and how handguns are actually used for self-defense. Most defensive uses are at very short range and the incident only lasts a matter of seconds. You need to be prepared, and train to be proficient drawing and aiming your weapon. And remember, shooting is a last resort, when a safe retreat is not available.

55% of gunfights take place in 0-5 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Here are two (2) sample pages from Beretta’s CCW eBook.

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

Beretta CCW Ten Tips Concealed Carry Guide Instruction book

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March 19th, 2016

Walther PPS M2 — Small Gun, Big Performance

Walther PPS M2 pistol carry firearm handgun test review 9mm

Jay Christopherson is AccurateShooter.com’s systems administrator — he keeps the servers up and running. Jay is also a very talented rifle shooter who holds a carry permit. Recently, Jay acquired a Walther PPS M2, a compact, defensive carry pistol. Here Jay reviews that pistol, which is now his “go-to” handgun when he chooses to carry a firearm pursuant to his CCW permit.

The Walther PPS M2, Single-stack 9mm is a Comfortable, Reliable Everyday Carry Pistol.
Looking for a new carry pistol in a single-stack, 9mm configuration, I tested out the slim (1″-wide) Walther PPS M2, with three different magazine capacities. For someone who has carried a 5″-barreled, .45 ACP model 1911 for the last few years, the switch to a single-stack 9mm was a big change — but a welcome one in terms of weight and comfort. I like my big 1911, but the PPS M2 gives me the feeling that if it’s needed, it’ll be a safe, effective, and reliable option. I still love my 1911, but when it comes to carry, the 1911 will stay in the safe while I “pack” the smaller, lighter PPS.

Click Image for Large View of Pistol Specifications Sheet
Walther PPS M2 pistol carry firearm handgun test review 9mm

Like many of AccurateShooter.com’s readers, I have a permit to carry a concealed firearm and I use the privilege regularly. I’m no great shakes with a pistol, having focused most of my efforts on long-range rifle shooting, but I do spend enough time at the pistol range to ensure that I am familiar with my weapon and comfortable shooting it out to ranges where I might encounter a situation requiring its use.

Part of being responsible is selecting a carry weapon that you can be comfortable with, both using and carrying. Now, I’ll admit that I’ve focused a lot on the former, but not as much on the latter. I’m an unabashed fan of John M. Browning’s crowning (in my opinion) achievement, the Colt .45 ACP M1911. My current 1911, with a 5” barrel, is not the easiest pistol in the world to carry comfortably. While I love shooting it, carrying it is another situation altogether. I’ve tried many different configurations, but found myself carrying it less and less.

And so, I decided that I needed to enter the world of the 9mm single stack for a carry weapon. There are a lot of reasons why I chose to go that direction, but it’s a highly subjective and personal subject (some of the arguments out there are pretty heated), so I won’t bore you with mine. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of available information for you to make an informed decision. To help with testing, Walther Arms was kind enough to provide a new Walther PPS M2, in 9mm, for evaluation.

Walther PPS M2 pistol carry firearm handgun test review 9mm

Three Magazine Options
Along with the PPS M2, Walther provided three magazines — the 5-round standard mag plus 6-round and 7-round extended magazines. I tried all three magazines, both for carry/fit, and at the range to see if they would affect my ability to shoot the pistol. For reference my hands are roughly 9.25″ wide — according to the Internet, the average hand size for a male is 7.44″, so I guess I’ve got larger than average hands. The shortest magazine was a bit too short for me to grip comfortably — my pinky finger had zero engagement and my two-hand grip suffered for it. The middle magazine let my pinky engage the grip partially, but was still not ideal. The longest magazine fit perfectly. My guess is that if your hand is in the average range, the middle magazine will work for you. For women, I think the smallest grip will work nicely. My wife has an average hand span for females and thought that the smallest grip felt pretty natural for her.

The trigger is fair — the takeup is smooth, the trigger breaks relatively cleanly and predictably, but a rough spot on the Glock-style trigger safety lever wore against my finger, leaving it feeling a bit raw. It’s fairly minor and something that can easily be resolved. And even with my larger fingers, I still had no problem with trigger guard clearance. Disassembly is fairly easy, though the take-down lever takes some effort to work. [Editor — on the PPS M2 I tried at SHOT Show, the small slide-stop lever was hard to manipulate.]

After having carried my 1911 around quite a bit, I found the Walther PPS M2 to be much lighter and easier to carry (I use a Clinger holster). I rarely notice it, even when getting into and out of a car. With the PPS M2 it’s easy to carry without “printing”, at least with the appendix carry method I prefer.

General Function and Accuracy Testing
I took the pistol down to the range to test it out and get a feel for it. I bought a variety of 115 grain FMJ ammunition to test including PMC and Blazer brass-cased 9mm. I ran about 400 rounds through the little Walther. None of the ammo experienced any sort of issue and the pistol never failed to perform flawlessly. With 400 rounds through the PPS M2 cleanly, I am confident to carry the PPS M2 when I feel the need to carry.

I set up targets at 15 feet and 30 feet — remembering that I’m looking for a personal defense/carry pistol and that I don’t practice for competition! At both ranges, shooting all three magazines, I had no problems putting together groups that are more than accurate enough for “center mass”.

Walther PPS M2 pistol carry firearm handgun test review 9mm

Walther PPS M2 pistol carry firearm handgun test review 9mmDuring a second testing session, I shot the pistol for accuracy with my forearms rested on sandbags. The results were impressive. Above is a seven-shot (7-shot) group at 10 yards (30 feet) with the CCI Blazer Brass ammo. At right is a group shot at 5 yards (15 feet), forearms rested, with the PMC ammo. The one shot that went up outside the group was probably me, the shooter. Remember this is a very small, light-weight pistol that does have some muzzle flip. I’ve seen other tests done with the Walther PPS M2, at longer ranges in the hands of skilled shooters and producing much cleaner groups.

Summary — Walther PPS M2 is a Keeper
Overall, I really like the 9mm single stack Walther PPS M2. It’s a very handy, manageable pistol. After testing the gun for AccurateShooter.com I decided to purchase the pistol and keep it. That’s the ultimate vote of confidence. This gun shoots comfortably, accurately and reliably, and most of all, the PPS M2 is comfortable to carry. When I choose to carry, should I ever need a firearm, I have every confidence in the Walther PPS M2.

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June 17th, 2014

Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry — Miculek Offers Good Advice

Jerry Miculek Open Carry concealed videoThe inimitable Jerry Miculek has produced a clever, yet thought-provoking video about concealed and open carry options. If you ever carry a handgun for protection (whether open or concealed), you should watch this video. Jerry offers sensible advice about concealment, gun retention, holster choice, caliber selection, and handgun safety.

Jerry also demonstrates practice drills that help you draw your gun safely and get a round on target quickly. Jerry points out that a gun in your pocket may be useless in a risk scenario if you can’t draw it out quickly and smoothly. Jerry also offers advice on open carry rigs that you might use around a ranch or farm. Miculek believes “ranch carry” rigs should have positive retention so that the gun won’t fall out when the user is climbing in and out of vehicle or doing physical tasks.

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June 18th, 2013

Innovative 5.11 Holster Shirt for Warm-Weather Carry

concealed carry holster shirt 5.11 accurateshooter.com5.11 started out as part of the Royal Robbins line of clothing for rock climbers. 5.11 Tactical became a separate company in 2003, and now 5.11 Tactical ranks among the 250 fastest-growing private companies in the country. 5.11 Tactical gear is popular with military and LEO types as well as civilians who want tough, durable clothing. Recognizing the vast market for concealed carry gear, 5.11 has come up with a cleverly-designed under-shirt with twin pockets (right and left) for a small handgun.

5.11’s holster-shirt allows the wearer to comfortably carry a small revolver or auto-loader securely and discretely. When worn underneath an outer-garment such as a Hawaiian shirt, the carry weapon doesn’t print. Riding under the arm in a 6.5″ x 7.5″ pocket, your firearm is hidden from view but easily accessible. The opaque mesh concealment pockets feature reinforced fabric support panels over the shoulder to prevent sagging when carrying. The main body of the shirt is constructed of Dri-X-treme, an anti-microbial, quick-dry fabric. This shirt, made from an 80% polyster/20% Spandex blend, is designed to fit snugly. The 5.11 holster-shirt is offered in both Crew-Neck and V-Neck versions, white or black, starting at about $60.00. An NRA signature version is sold through the NRA Store.

concealed carry holster shirt 5.11 accurateshooter.com

concealed carry holster shirt 5.11 accurateshooter.com

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October 12th, 2012

Handy Products from NRA Store Catalog

The NRA Store’s Catalog has hundreds of interesting items for sale, ranging from belt-buckles to a ballistic calculator watch. There are plenty of unique gift items — how about a “Don’t Tread on Me” blanket, or a stag-handle NRA Tomahawk?

AR15 Cleaning MatAmong the many catalog items, two smart, utilitarian products caught our eye.

AR15 and m1911 Cleaning Mats
The NRA offers handy waterproof, stain-resistant Zorb-tech cleaning mats for black rifle shooters and 1911 fans. Printed on the 40″ x 14″ AR15 mat (item SA 21577, $16.95) are complete AR parts schematics, plus cleaning guide and AR assembly instructions. If you’ve ever fiddled with all the little parts on an AR15 bolt assembly, you’ll know how handy this Assembly/Cleaning mat can be. A smaller cleaning mat with 1911 pistol schematics sells for $13.95.

AR15 Cleaning Mat

Magnet gun holderMagnetic Gun Clamp
For years we’ve been wanting a product like this. This simple magnetic device allows a handgun to be stored out of sight, yet instantly retrieved in an emergency. The device is simplicity itself. No more fumbling with jury-rigged holsters or hard-to-access drawers.

A magnet strong enough to lift 10 pounds is sealed in durable, scratch-resistant plastic, and backed with a mounting bracket. You can easily place the magnet under countertops or on the side of a cabinet or desk. (On steel surfaces the magnet will grip without screws or through-bolts). The NRA Rapid Access Gun Magnet (item SA 24385) costs $27.95.

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December 12th, 2009

Half-Off Pricing on Kahles Hunting Scopes at CDNN

Texas discount vendor CDNN Investments has released its latest 2009-5 catalog (30 mb PDF file). As usual, the catalog features big discounts on handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Among the many bargains, we spotted two exceptional deals in the latest CDNN catalog….

Kahles opticsHalf-Price Kahles Hunting Scopes
CDNN acquired a selection of 1″-tube Kahles Helia CL hunting scopes and is selling them at liquidation prices. Kahles is a highly respected Austrian optics-maker. We wouldn’t say that Kahles is on a par with Swarovski or Schmidt & Bender, but Kahles scopes are very high quality, with excellent glass, etched reticles (no reticle wires to drift or break), wide field of view, +2/-3.5 diopter eyepiece, and very good fit and finish. If you’re looking for a quality 3-9 or 4-12 hunting scope, here’s a chance to own a premium European scope for a “below wholesale” price.

CLICK HERE for CDNN KAHLES Scope Sale Order Page.

Kahles scope sale

Kahles scope sale

Mikes holster saleUncle Mike’s Holster for $9.99
CDNN is selling the Uncle Mike’s straight drop belt holster for half price — just $9.99. Models are available for popular Beretta, Glock, HK, Ruger, S&W, SIG, Springfield, and Walther pistols. The holster is made from injection-molded Kydex. Injection molding allows for a MUCH more precise fit than the typical folded-over Kydex holster. This editor has used this injection-molded Uncle Mike’s holster for my Glocks and HKs, and the fit is excellent. The handgun is secure but the draw is easy. Injection-molding allows nice straight corners, so the plastic doesn’t bind or grab as with many “hand-made” Kydex holsters. If you want an “on the belt” holster, I highly recommend this model. You may be surprised to see how much better it works than holsters costing 5 or 10 times as much.

Don’t be put off by the low price. This editor owns and uses Uncle Mike’s injection molded holsters for various handguns. I consider this the best outside-belt holster I’ve ever tried. It is clearly superior to a $85 Blade-Tech Kydex I had for an HK USP, and, I have to admit, it works better than the pretty $125 Milt Sparks leather holster I had custom-made for a 1911. The straight-drop is ideal for range use, and in a vehicle you can wear it on the left-side as a cross-draw (CCW permit required). These holsters fit close to your belt and all metal fittings are recessed or covered so they don’t scratch your gun. IMPORTANT: All plastic/Kydex holsters will cause some wear on high-gloss blued finishes. If your pistol is high-gloss blued, I suggest a soft leather holster instead.

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