Cheap Nylon Holsters – Just Say No

Almost any time the holster conversation comes up, it’s a must to mention the necessities of a good holster. Access, concealment, retention, durability, and safety. We, as gun writers, often comment that you should stay away from the cheap nylon holster. We toss in an Uncle Mike’s joke and often move on. For us, it’s often self-explanatory why we stay away from the cheap, unfitted, craptastic, garbage-tier nylon holster. I’m someone who likes to ask why and to know why. So I figured I couldn’t be the only one who needed to know why they should avoid the cheap nylon holsters. 

You start shopping for holsters, and all of a sudden, things start getting pricey. You go to a reputable company like Phlster, and sticker shock can set in as you realize a good holster can easily cost in excess of 50 bucks or even a hundred bucks. That seems nits, but that’s because you might not understand the work that goes into making a good holster. If you don’t understand why quality holsters cost so much, so you turn to the cheaper side of the internet. Holsters can cost ten bucks if you look hard enough, and it’s easy to hit buy it now. So let’s explore why that’s a bad idea. 

Poor Fit 

Nylon holsters often come in sizes, and these sizes are supposed to roughly correspond to the size of particular firearms. The problem we have is that they never really fit well. They allow the gun to move up and down, as well as side to side. This isn’t great for a holster, and poor fitment will lead to all sorts of issues. A holster should be molded for that specific firearm with very few exceptions. A molded holster ensures a solid fit, which ensures the gun comes in and out with ease and carries in the same position no matter what. 

Horrible Concealment 

These holsters are almost always unnecessarily bulky. The thick flexible nylon material and general square shape make retention difficult, and honestly, it’s a downright pain. The big, bulky holster prints like crazy. With IWB options, these holsters are still bulky and often quite uncomfortable. Concealment isn’t admittedly always an issue. Maybe you are open carrying, but with that in mind, realize everyone is judging you and your crappy holster. Even in that case, they are unnecessarily bulky and silly. 

Terrible Retention 

Retention with this craptastic nylon holster often involves a crappy nylon thumb strap secured by a button that is not worthy of your pants. Because these holsters are designed to provide a multi-fit design, the strap is often adjustable, and you can count on it coming loose when carrying. Sit the gun fits poorly into the holster. It provides no passive retention either. When you walk, run, or step, the gun likely bounces and jumps, making it only a matter of time before it plops out. 

Safety Issues 

The flexible, soft nylon these holsters are from offers really crappy protection from accidental discharges. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that using one of these holsters changes it to a negligent discharge. That bendable material can bend inward and interact with the trigger in an unfavorable way. They also don’t offer much protection to the trigger. The loose nature of these holsters makes it easy for crap to get inside them and for that crap to pull your trigger. 

Slow Access 

Remember how we mentioned due to poor fit and retention, the gun flops around in the holster? That’s bad enough, but it also creates an issue with access. How do you become good at drawing a firearm that moves inside its holster? You are going to have a tough time building muscle memory if the gun is moved forward half an inch. This compromises your ability to get a good grip on the gun and makes access a nightmare. 

Cheap Nylon Holsters Suck 

Stay away from the cheap nylon holster. They are so hated for a reason. These things aren’t safe and are only appropriate for airsoft guns. Hopefully, now you know not only that you should stay away from these holsters, but why you should stay away from these holsters. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.