Steve Comus – GUN TALK

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Friday, October 28, 2011
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Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hodgdon CFE 223 Powder

Handy Handgun Holsters
Every handgun needs its own holster. There has to be some way to carry these handy sidearms. What kind of holster is best? Depends on a myriad of factors, including body configuration and tastes.


The tactical evolution has furthered the development of holsters more than everything before. Literally, holsters are now measured by their performance characteristics.


When it comes to performance, BLACKHAWK! has been at the fore with its Serpa synthetic holsters. For handgun models that fit the Serpa line, this is a handy and effective way to carry.


A couple of years ago I visited BLACKHAWK! headquarters in Virginia and was impressed with their entire line of high performance gear. The outfit was founded and run by a bunch of former Navy SEALs. ‘Nuff said. They were serious about gear that worked.


Hence, discussion focused on why things were made with the materials that were used, and why the various design features like a lock were there, and why there were where they were on the gear itself. Everything started with the requirement that it enhanced the performance of the user.


The Serpa line reflects this mind set in that it works in any environment (like wet and cold as well as dry and hot, and anything between), it secures the pistol from falling out or being grabbed by someone else, yet it keeps the pistol literally at-hand and ready for instant use.


The carbon fiber composite material is hard and is made to fit a specific model of pistol perfectly. The Serpa lock engages the trigger guard as the pistol is holstered and holds the pistol in-place until it is drawn. And, because of where everything is in relation to everything else, when the pistol is drawn, the hand is already holding the pistol in a way that results in it being ready to fire. Re-holstering is so easy and effective that there is no need to look. That’s nice.


Serpa holsters are made for many of the more popular handguns on the market today. Mine is for the S&W M&P 9mm (handily, it also fits the M&P 40 and M&P 45, as well).


For hunting with longer-barreled revolvers, there is a dearth of such high-performance holsters. No problem because the purpose of a hunting holster is merely to carry the handgun until it is time to use it.


Most important for hunters are the holster material and whether the holster needs to cover the entire handgun.


Traditional leather is nice, but if the environment is likely to be hostile (very wet, for example), then ballistic nylon holsters are nice. If the hunt likely will involve encountering a lot of heavy brush, it can be nice to have a full flap on the holster to protect the handgun while keeping debris out of the holster.


Simply put, the holster needs to carry the handgun handily while not interfering with the shooter.


In other words, the holster should enhance the carry of a handgun, not frustrate it.


Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at


hunting holsters 

HUNTING HOLSTERS BASICALLY need to carry the handgun until it is time to use it. A full flap can be nice in heavy brush, and environmental concerns can dictate holster material – usually leather or ballistic nylon, as shown here.

Reader Comments
Very cool Steve.. I love your gun reviews and I collect guns and everything related. Your gun talk keeps me coming back to this sitte. I would like to see something soon on best options for mid-long range, deer hunting rifles and scopes. Something that will reach out 300 or more yards Functionality is way more important to me than is ornate wood or engraving, etc..
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