Holster in depth – OWB Holsters

So I had a request to give a somewhat broad description of the different OWB holsters I’ve designed over the years and how I see them being used.

So the current list of OWB holsters, Crossroads, Overpass, Badwater, Overland, Appalachian, and Classic Tom Threepersons. That’s a fair amount of holsters however I’m going to group some by concept here going forward to break them down in groups more less. The Crossroads, Overpass and Badwater are all based on a pancake design so those will be discussed together. The Overland and Appalachian are based on the Bruce Nelson Professional design also known as the Avenger from other makers. And the Tom Threepersons holster pretty much stands alone on my current designs, I do however have plans for more rigs within this “classic” series of sorts I’d call it, which is my take on more traditional designs.

Alright so pancake designs we’ll go chronologically. The Crossroads holster was my first OWB holster design, and still dang good. You’ll find more often than not that when I design a holster I aim for a large capable design first then fill in the more niche designs from there. So the Crossroads is my most versatile OWB holster. It works for concealment and it’s comfortable and being a strong side hip holster it works for most people. It’s a great option still 9 years later despite my newer releases.

Next up is the Badwater holster, this design was intended to be a replacement for a paddle holster. As strange as that sounds, the reason behind that is it’s quick on and off the belt with the snaps and conceals better than a paddle holster since it puts the belt attachments outside of the main portion of the holster. Which means that it’s thinner and allows for better concealment. It solved the problem of guys who wanted to be able to toss a holster on and off, and just added a new feature. The downside is the snap loops themselves are thicker than say the loops of a Crossroads holster. So comparing the two they are both very comfortable, the Badwater is quicker on and off the belt, but because of those loops doesn’t conceal quite as well but is still quite good.

The Overpass is the newest in the line up, it’s a combination of allot of things. There was a design I liked, but there were some things I didn’t like about it so I came up with my own concept based on the mechanical properties of the other holster. IE how the forces were transferred to the belt etc. So my holster looks nothing like the holster it carries like, and I won’t give a makers name since he didn’t give me permission so this design is a variation on the function of his design with a completely different look and in my opinion a more concealable and comfortable platform. In that sense I’d say thanks for not giving me permission it made me build an even better design as a result;) But back to the holster itself, the design is basically a flat back Crossroads with very minimal width compared to other designs. The reason it can be so much smaller is because of the way the belt runs through the holster, it makes for a very comfortable rig that is slightly less concealable than the Crossroads holster. What I like about it, is comfort with little break in, and it carries better further forward at around 3 o’clock for skinnier guys than the Crossroads holster because of the smaller width, it’s got less bend to happen over that short distance.

Alright onto the Bruce Nelson Professional based designs. My Appalachian was the first, it is at the basic level a reinforced mouth Avenger/Professional style holster setup for negative cant crossdraw. It isn’t a typical concealment holster, Crossdraw seldom works well for concealment because you bring the profile of the gun outside of the shape of the body. More neutral cant will conceal better but makes the draw much more cumbersome. So this is a driving/crossdraw holster without much emphasis on concealment at all. It can conceal but it really and truly wasn’t designed for that. Another note because of the way it rides to get a full grip it’s very high on the belt, so you’ve got to beware it will abuse a belt with a heavy gun, if you’ve got a floppy belt do not use this holster.

My OverlandĀ  was second, that was a basic revision of the concepts I built out from the Appalachian. Same idea but also strong side with minor cant and reinforced mouth. What it does differently than allot of Avenger/Professional rigs is it’s lower riding than many of the earlier versions, and integrated the reinforced mouth. This makes again not the absolute best concealment holster, but it’s a great range holster. It can conceal but the stacked loop behind the gun adds some thickness and doesn’t pull the front in as tight to the body. That also though allows a little easier grip on the gun itself since it’s not quite as tight to the body. Great holster, but only slightly a concealment holster. Also with heavier guns this is a skinny holster, so it’s concentrating the weight of the gun over a smaller area, heavy duty belt is required for a heavy gun in this style of rig.

My Tom Threepersons holster is the first in a “classic” series, this is my “modern” revisions of classic holsters. They have the “look” but don’t necessarily function exactly like the older designs. So in this case, the original holster was designed with strap retention, and generally an open trigger guard. Well I put some modern retention into the rear though it’s not as strong because of the design as a modern design because the forming is on the rear only. I made the strap removable because I don’t care for retention straps generally, and I covered the trigger guard just like I would on a modern holster. So these are for someone who wants a more classic look with some modern features we’ve come to expect of new designs. I want to note here, there isn’t anything wrong with the original designs, but I don’t like to build exact copies of any holster. I prefer to take an idea and add my own ideas to it and design my own version. So that’s what these will be;)

Alrighty that’s a pretty long winded post but I hope that clears things up as always feel free to comment and I’d be happy to answer any questions you’ve got;)

(I’m having an issue with my hard drive so I don’t have an image of the Overpass etc right now, these were pics I had handy to use in the post)

Holster in depth – Texas Holster

Full Coverage Elephant hide Texas Holster

Let’s start with an oldie but goodie;) The Texas holster, I designed this holster in late 2009 and I’ll say it’s still to this day a favorite design of mine as well as one of the most versatile and useful holsters I’ve ever built. There has been allot of minor variations over the years but the broad concepts have remained the same since the initial prototypes.

So why did I design it?
Well this was my first actual design and first holster I started working on and it was to solve my own problem at the time. My wife and I were traveling at the time living on the road and in south Texas. It’s hot in south Texas even in the winter months and me being from the Upper Peninsula I don’t deal with the heat well. So I needed a way to carry in lighter clothing and I’ll be honest up till this point in my life I was an occasional carry guy. I didn’t have a comfortable carry solution I just hadn’t found anything that worked for me. And worse the things I found like vertical shoulder holsters really didn’t work in that climate or mode of dress. So I needed something that would allow me to carry a gun within shorts and t-shirt type of weather with a fairly high level of concealment. And the Texas holster not only accomplished that, but it actually went further, it allowed me to carry a full sized 1911 and later dual mags in that mode of dress comfortably.

Plain Natural Texas Holster

How do I use it?
For myself the Texas is still my general go to when I need to conceal a firearm. I can conceal with say an OWB rig but IWB like the Texas is easier to insure concealment and less headaches for me. So if I’m going to town I’m 99% wearing a Texas holster with one of my carry guns, I do change between large and small guns depending on the level of concealment I want or the weight. But being that it’s comfortable for me it makes the Texas the most versatile holster I make for me, if I had only one holster it would probably be a Texas. I can carry it in almost any situation without much issues and it works well. That doesn’t mean it’s not a compromise to some degree for certain situations but the vast majority of the time it works for me.

Another plain Texas in Mahogany

Who’s it for?
Well I see the Texas as I mentioned as very versatile. Actually I’d say for most of my customers it’s a great starting point and covers the most bases. I often get requests for holsters outside of the normal range of designs. But more often than not it’s because someone used a bad example of a particular position or design and decided it wouldn’t work for them. As an example I can’t tell you how many guys have said “I can’t do IWB” and then I’ve put a Texas holster on them and they changed their minds. So if you want to conceal fairly well, and have what I think is one of the most comfortable designs available for the position then the Texas rig is a good place to start. Then you can somewhat fill in other niche holsters after the fact to fit into other parts of your lifestyle or modes of dress to better serve those niches.

A little wild, gator and ostrich leg trim

Now one caveat to that statement. If you are say in an environment where a niche holster design works better all day everyday then great use that rig. I’m not saying this is for everyone, but for most guys I think this is a great versatile starting point.

Holster in depth – Introduction

So welcome to my new series of sorts, I know seldom do I post here and I’ve been branching out via social media and whatnot the last several years with this type of discussion. I wanted to put it all in one place, so it’s going here and the blog and will be cross posted to the social platforms.

What is the purpose, so I get allot of questions about my various holster designs and how they fit into the lives of the guys and gals carrying. Sometimes it’s difficult to over the internet convey exactly why I designed a rig or what purpose it’s intended to serve. So this series as a whole will cover many things. Primarily though it will be why I built a particular design and how I personally use that design or the feedback I get from customers on how they use that design.

Hopefully that will give guys a more in depth idea and make it easier to make a selection on what holster they want or need for a particular application.

If you’ve got any questions you can post them here in the comments or ideally email me luke@adamsholsters.com so we can run through things and figure out what the best holster is for you. Note, this series isn’t for everyone, this is for those guys who are trying to find more information about a particular holster or in that research stage prior to buying. Though other people may get value from it if they are just curious about a particular design also. Fair warning they likely will not be short posts and they will not likely come out on any reliable schedule;)

Take care!