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[Series] Making It Work: Having trouble re-holstering? Try this!

You've been there before. You buy a holster at a great price only to realize that you got what you paid for. The thing is impossible to mount and unmount to your pants, and re-holstering is out of the question. The holster gets chucked and you buy something else 3-4 times the cost. 

We've already covered this in the first blog post to the Making It Work series, but you can adapt and apply a bit of finesse to make the holster work for you. Something to note: our family will always recommend buying higher quality holsters with features to meet your needs- never settle! However, this post is made for those who want their current holster to work, despite its shortcomings. The shortcoming we will focus on here is re-holstering when a holster that has lots of flex and bend to it.

Robert Farago wrote a great piece on when to re-holster your weapon. We'd like to offer the how. We recommend understanding the when before you move on to the how that will be offered below.


As an example, we will be using one of our Nylon IWB holsters. - specifically the CT3A Nylon IWB for the M&P Shield. These holsters are made for maximum comfort, convenience, and concealment. This unfortunately comes at the cost of little rigidity in the holster and becomes difficult to re-holster one handed.


Once the pistol is drawn, the holster will collapse under your waistband. It's not difficult to see that re-holstering in this state will be challenging!

Our suggestion? Instead of fishing and digging for the holster (yikes!), unmount the holster itself and bring it up to your weapon. Again, this is assuming that the proper time has come and all threats are neutralized. Try several dry runs at home and develop a fluid technique that works best for you.


This brings us to our bonus tip: If your new holster is difficult to put onto your waistband, try safely inserting your pistol first. The gun will provide the much need rigidity to make mounting easier.

February 08, 2017 by OUTBAGS USA

[Series] Making It Work: Breaking in leather holsters.

NOTE: We took this photo purely for fun. You do not want to carry a pre-broken-in holster that requires more than 10 lbs. of force just to draw your weapon!

For those that have lots of carry experience with leather holsters, we all remember our very first.

Remember that bit of panic that sparked inside you when you inserted the pistol for the first time? Remember how impossible it seemed to remove the pistol? I still taste the instant regret (or as my wife would put it: "instagret") washing over me.

For those trying your first leather holster, you were probably in this very dark place recently. Not to worry! All leather holsters that are hard molded need some time to break in. Our family would like to share our favorite methods here!

But before we get into that, our family suggests not using any type of oils, wax, or other solutions to soften the holster. These conditioners might soften the leather right away, but will continue to soften with use until it has absolutely no retention for your firearm. These oils and waxes are meant for gloves and shoes- things that are meant to flex and move with your joints. Holsters are not made with the same intent, so please tread carefully when applying these things.

Method 1

The "I'm way too excited and want to start using this holster ASAP" method

0. If the pistol is already stuck and will take the strength of Thor to remove it, try grabbing the "ear" and slightly bending it in both directions. Should loosen the holster enough to remove the pistol.


1. Insert the unloaded pistol only halfway into the holster. Perform a slow and controlled twist motion with the firearm (grab the grip, not as it's shown in photo). You should feel the holster instantly open up. Repeat this step until the desired retention is achieved.


2. Optional: If the muzzle fits into the barrel-end of the holster, perform the same step as #1 but with the first inch of the muzzle inside the holster from the opposite end. This will help open up the part of the holster that will cause the most wear on your gun.

3. Depending on the weather and other conditions, you may need to repeat these steps for the next several days as the leather "learns" the shape of your gun. It's a great method to adopt when you need a quick break-in before using the holster for the day.

Method 2

For those that have time.

 Youtuber deputysheriff100 has a video demonstrating his method of working in leather holsters. It's genius. Watch below:

Here's the short version:
1. Wrap your gun with two pieces of wax paper. Make sure to cover the surface that will contact the leather. Make sure the waxy part is facing away from the gun.

2. Insert the wrapped gun into the holster. Then remove from the holster. Repeat about seven times.

3. Leave the pistol and wax paper inside the holster over night.

We like this method because it adds a very thin layer of wax to the inside of the holster and will marble the interior leather fibers over time. Nothing gets soaked into the leather, so over softening won't be an issue here.

December 06, 2016 by OUTBAGS USA

[Series] Making It Work: Introduction • Search for the perfect holster.

Welcome to our first blog series: Making It Work.

Ah yes. The mystical search for the "perfect" holster. Many have attempted it, many are still looking. Let me pump the brakes early: we don't think the perfect holster exists. Nothing beats the reward of taking what is given and making it work for you.

However, this does not mean that manufacturers are freed from the responsibility of providing quality, reliable, and comfortable holsters. The truth is the exact opposite! Our family at OUTBAGS USA works hard to make sure holsters are designed and handcrafted to fit the needs of most of our users. The key word there is most. We aren't afraid to be honest on this front, and if you've read our About Us, you and I are already on the same page.

Most of the time, when a holster is created to solve a specific issue, it has to sacrifice other features or elements to achieve this. Kydex holsters provide a good example of this.
We love Kydex holsters, btw. Hoping to make our own very soon!

Kydex holsters solve the following problems:
1. Holster does not need any breaking in.
2. Many have adjustable retention.
3. Sweat proof and keeps moisture away from the pistol.
4. Maximum concealment.

As a result, Kydex holsters create the following problems:
1. Will wear pistol's finish much faster than nylon or leather holsters.
2. Audible sounds are produced when drawing the pistol- not ideal when necessary to be discreet and avoid directing the threat's attention onto yourself.
3. Not very comfortable for certain body types.
4. Extreme rigidity restricts movement in certain carry positions.

Let's now imagine two groups of folks searching for their "perfect" Kydex holster. Group A could consider the pros to outweigh the cons and jump on board. On the other end, Group B finds the cons to be deal breakers and looks elsewhere. Going deeper: the honest folks of Group A aren't in denial of the drawbacks of Kydex holsters, but made sure to adapt so it works well for them. This is what makes effective carrying so rewarding- making it work for you and becoming proficient with it. 

Our family is on a mission to offer many more styles of holsters to provide a variety of carry flavors (sounds delicious) to our customers. We don't expect everyone to have the same taste, nor would we ever force it! Search for your gun's make and model here to see what OUTBAGS USA currently offers for it.

Your turn: which type of holster works best for you? Our family would love to hear about your experience!

November 10, 2016 by OUTBAGS USA