It’s safe to say that I have a few more holsters than the average. I sorted through them this week and boy howdy was that a big job. But now they are all neatly organized, labeled, entered on the spreadsheet, and sorted into specific boxes so I should — at least theoretically! — always be able to find the one I’m looking for from now on. Although I suspect a few of them escaped the cataloging, and are hiding underneath the furniture somewhere.
How many holsters, you ask? Well… there are enough to let me use a new one every single day for six months without repeating any. Plus another six weeks or so of holstered purses. Hey, it’s my job!
The funny part is, I’m still carrying the same model of gun I chose when I first started shooting. That’s weird. Even weirder: I carried my first holster for nearly three years before I even bothered sampling anything else, because my first holster worked so well for me. After more than a dozen years, I still carry the same gun model and the same basic type of holster when I’m not deliberately trying something new for the job. So I guess you could say I struck it lucky right off.
That’s not normal.
Normal is going through a half-dozen holsters the first few months you carry. Normal is choosing a first gun, then selling it, then buying another, going through at least three or four other guns — smaller, bigger, thinner, more capacity, round and round and round we go — until you find your One True Sword. Normal is doing that until you run out of either patience or money. But I wasn’t normal. I was fortunate.
I chose my first gun like this: I wanted something really, really reliable. I didn’t want a revolver, because they didn’t hold enough ammunition. I wanted the least-expensive ammunition that would do the job, because we were always broke. The gun had to be small enough to carry. Also, did I mention reliable? Reliable was really important. I gave my list to my expert friend, and he said, “Hm. You want a Glock.” That’s how I ended up with my Glock 26 in 9mm. Since neither of us really knew what we were looking for, it was sheer dumb luck that the gun turned out to fit my hand so well and suited me in so many other ways. 1
Holster shopping was even more fortuitous. My permit to carry came in the mail one day, and the next day my friend said, “Let’s go get you a holster.” Well, okay. We got in the car and drove up to the Blade Tech factory. When we got there, the person behind the counter asked what I wanted. I wasn’t sure. She showed me some choices. I said, “That one.” Then I sat down and waited while the guys in the back melted one into shape for me. 2 When the holster was done, I stepped aside to try it on, anxiously adjusting my clothes around the awkward new bump on my hip. Then I turned around and worriedly asked, “Does the holster make me look fat?” 3
Nobody had told me not to do this, so I immediately loaded my gun and carried it home in my new, untried holster. 4 Hmm? Oh, because I’d never drawn from it, of course, and had no real idea how secure or insecure it was. You should always try out a new holster using an unloaded gun or a dummy gun, to be sure everything’s working well before you go live with it. I didn’t know.
Anyway, the holster pile’s a lot bigger now. It started growing when I started writing, and has kept growing ever since. Because I absolutely refuse to write anything about a holster I haven’t worn, almost all of my holsters have some wear marks on them. Some of them I’ve worn quite a lot, while others I’ve worn just enough to know how they work (or, sadly, how they don’t work for me). I’ll be introducing you to some of them over the next few weeks.
- I even thought it was cute, which — my friends assured me — was also not quite a normal way to think about a Glock. ↩
- I don’t think they do that anymore. The company’s a lot larger now, and uses a different manufacturing process. Back then the company was tiny, and I think they used the founder’s wife’s hair dryer for melting stuff. Well, maybe not. But they weren’t a big business by any measure. ↩
- No, I didn’t know why my buddy laughed. It’s a reasonable question. ↩
- Yes, we stopped at Wally World on the way home. ↩