Tucker Background Top Left
Tucker Background Top Right
Tucker Background Bottom Left
Tucker Background Bottom Right

Product Options

Our Guarantee

Video Links

Join Our Newsletter

<< Back to Blog
Function v. Appearance: What Matters in a Good Holster

Function v. Appearance: What Matters in a Good Holster

on 23rd Jul 2021

By Ben Baker

When it comes to a good gun holster, function is far more important than appearance.

A good holster puts your gun at your fingertips. A good holster is comfortable. A good holster is tough.

Truly great holsters offer, in this order:

  • Fast access to your gun

  • Comfort

  • Durability

  • Good looks
  • Basic Holster

    A simple, basic holster holds a gun until you need it in your hand. With that as the most basic definition, a holster can be your pants' pocket, a purse and even a bag on a string around your neck. Carrying a gun that way is idiotic. Some people carry a knife on a string around their neck.

    A holster also needs to keep your gun safe. Safe means:

    1) protecting it from the elements

    2) from being accidentally discharged

    3) on your person in such a way that can't just fall out of the holster when you are not paying attention to it.

    It also needs to stay out of the way as much as possible.

    These needs must be balanced against your ability to draw your piece when you need it. For instance, a hard side gun case with a lock is a very secure way to carry a handgun. You cannot get it out of the case when seconds matter.

    A great example of a holster that combines all these requirements is the Tucker Gunleather HF1 leather belt holster. It remains our most popular belt holster. Additionally, it looks great. I remember a customer calling me to say he had just received his HF1 for his 1911 and that he had a problem. I asked what the problem was and he said, “I don’t know whether to wear it or to frame it.”

    It’s a beauty whether your order it plain or fancy.

    Pretty Holsters

    Many pretty holsters are for looks. How easily you can get to the gun is not important. Costume holsters, like this one are not meant to carry a real weapon. Look closely at this rig and you can see it is very impractical even for muzzleloader pistol. The buckled straps look good but have to be released to get to the gun.

    Most pretty holsters are meant for show, not real use. Fringed leather, studs, rings and more may look good, but they will get in the way when you need your gun for serious business.

    Speed Holsters

    On the other end of the spectrum are fast-draw, competition or speed holsters. These holsters are meant to just carry the gun. They have a minimum support structure. Protecting the gun from the weather, looks and such are not important. Speed is the only thing that matters.

    Pro shooter Doug Koenig shows his rig and the reasons for it in this National Shooting Sports Foundation video on holsters for competitive shooting. About halfway through the video, you get a closeup on the holster which shows nearly all of the gun is exposed.

    Best of Both

    You can get the best of both. You can get a holster that provides easy access, a fast draw and still looks amazing.

    Tucker Gunleather customers regularly open the box holding their new holster and are amazed by the beauty that comes with a fully functional holster.

    Depending on the style holster you get, you can add a concho, sometimes called a medallion, to the holster. You can also order two leather colors, again depending on your holster choice. Tucker Gunleather also offers custom leather stamping to further add to the appearance and character of your holster.

    Every leather holster that leaves our workshop goes out with a lifetime guarantee against defects in our work. Kydex clips are not covered, but the leather is. We even give you 90 days to test drive the holster to make sure it is right for you.

    Beauty and function come together at Tucker Gunleather. We prove it daily.