One of the hottest trends in concealed carry right now is the idea of ditching a traditional holster and using what are known as trigger guard holsters. These nifty contraptions are designed to cover the trigger while carrying the gun and reduce or eliminate altogether the possibility of a foreign object entering the trigger guard and manipulating the trigger. Considering the biggest risk of carrying a gun in your waistband is the possibility of a negligent discharge, these products make ‘Mexican carry’ a much safer option than it was in the days of Serpico and Miami Vice.
Trigger guard holsters offer several benefits over their more traditional holster cousins. Many IWB or OWB holsters are bulky, uncomfortable and inconvenient to strap on for a quick trip to the grocery store. Trigger guard holsters on the other hand offer convenience, affordability and comfort.
Trigger guard holsters come in a few different varieties. In its purest form the trigger guard holster is a simple piece of kydex that clips over the trigger guard and allows you safely carry your handgun without a holster. You can stick it in a pocket or carry in a purse and not worry about accidental discharges. The downside to this style is that it requires the use of two hands to ready your firearm. One hand to draw the weapon and a second hand to remove the trigger guard cover.
This is overcome on most models by including a lanyard that attaches to your belt. This lanyard allows you to draw your weapon with one hand. By drawing the weapon from your belt and pulling up to a shooting position the trigger guard holster is yanked clear by the lanyard attached to your belt. Many would consider this style to be the minimally acceptable trigger guard holster for concealed carry. In many cases you may only have one hand free when you need to draw your weapon and a firearm with an inaccessible trigger doesn’t do anyone any good.
The final form for the trigger guard holster is also the closest in form and function to a traditional IWB holster. This style incorporates a belt clip into the holster and allows you to clip the gun onto your belt or pants. This serves a similar function as the lanyard allowing you to draw the weapon and clear the trigger guard with one hand and in one motion. The belt clip also serves to hold the gun in place much more securely than just jamming it into your waistband.
As the years have progressed and we’ve seen traditional holsters become increasingly expensive it’s a breath of fresh air to see minimalistic and affordably priced alternatives hit the market. However there are some shortcomings that should be weighed in your decision on whether or not you should use a trigger guard holster for your everyday carry.
The first problem with trigger guard holsters is the lack of retention for most models. While shoving your gun into your waistband is certainly convenient, it can lead to the gun moving out of place or in the worst case falling out of your pants. While a traditional holster attaches to your pants and securely holds your firearm in place, the trigger guard holster is susceptible to movement and more likely to become unsecured in a struggle.
This movement of the firearm can also cause problems when it comes training with your firearm. Repetition is the key to effective training and your consistency can suffer greatly if the firearm is free to shift, slide or rotate, causing your firearm to be in a different position every time you attempt to draw it. This may not be an issue for everyone, but it’s worth considering how it may affect your effectiveness with your CCW.
The final drawback on the trigger guard holster will be more important to some people than others. For those who always carry an extra magazine there are a plethora of holsters available that include a mag carrier, giving the user the ability to carry that extra magazine on the same rig that carries their weapon. You lose this ability with the trigger guard holster. A lot of people don’t carry an extra magazine with their CCW, but if you do you’ll need to find another solution for carrying that spare.
Trigger guard holsters are certainly a cool revolution in the world of conceal carry, they provide convenience, affordability, comfort and ease of use. However they aren’t as secure as traditional IWB and OWB options. Like everything else, when it comes to your ability to protect yourself and your family, we can’t tell you what is best. We can only give you the information to help you make the most informed decision for yourself.