Is A Paddle Holster Good For Concealed Carry?
Paddle holsters have been a subject of debate among law enforcement personnel and gun owners for some years now. By understanding their advantages and drawbacks, one can make an informed decision about whether or not they are the right choice.
Paddle holsters were originally designed for police personnel with a desk job, who had to take their gun on and off for court appearances or rarely had to wear one. Daily, regular concealment is not their strong suit but they can be used for it.
So let's dive in to unravel the pros and cons of this unique type of gun holster.
Advantages of Paddle Holsters
Unlike traditional belt holsters, paddle holsters don't require the user to thread their belt through the holster loops. This allows the wearer the flexibility to easily put on and take off the holster as needed.
Paddle holsters are generally lighter and less bulky, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Combined with a high, tight ride position, paddle holsters usually are fairly efficient to draw from.
Drawbacks of Paddle Holsters
While the paddle design makes the holster easy to put on and take off, it does come at a cost. Paddle holsters are generally less stable than belt holsters.
Paddle holsters with a subpar attachment design are also known for being far less secure, easily drawing free and in some cases even working their way loose.
Unless worn underneath a large, loose article of clothing, paddle holsters do not offer the same level of concealment as inside the waistband (IWB) holsters or shoulder holsters. Classically, they're worn under a suit coat with a casual cut like a sport coat or blazer.
They aren't impossible to conceal, but depending on the specific paddle holster you have...but they aren't as easy to conceal as an IWB holster.
Should You Use A Paddle Holster? What Should You Look For In One?
The best use-case for a paddle holster is if you need an OWB holster for light duty or more casual wear, unless you get one that's designed for a more secure attachment.
Look for a paddle holster that has retention lips. While you can put the paddle over the waistband, typically this feature lets you use the holster as a quicker-detaching belt slide. That gives you the best of both worlds; faster donning and doffing, but an attachment that's secure enough to actually carry.