- Why Have a Good Holster for M&P Shield?
- What Makes a Great Holster for M&P Shield?
- How to Choose the Best Holster for M&P Shield
- The holster guides
- 1. Relentless Tactical, The Ultimate Suede Leather IWB Holster
- 2. OutBags USA LS2 SHIELD
- 3. Galco AG652B Ankle Glove
- 4. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
- 5. DeSantis Die Hard
- 6. Crossbreed Appendix Carry Aiwb Holster
- 7. Bedone OWB Holster, S&W M&P Shield 9mm /.40
Why Have a Good Holster for M&P Shield?
While the small sidearms like M&P Shield are often a challenge to shovel them merely in the pant or a shirt pocket, we still have to realize all the risks and dangers of that kind of deadly weapon handling.
When using a well-designed holster for M&P Shield, you will avoid anything to be caught up in the trigger area, as it would be possible if your gun were in a pocket. Moreover, with a good holster for M&P Shield, your finger will be off the trigger as you draw.
And finally, choosing a sleek belt holster for M&P Shield will make your tiny single stack pistol virtually disappear under your clothes and on your belt.
What Makes a Great Holster for M&P Shield?
Like all handgun carrying rigs, an excellent holster for M&P Shield should be a perfect marriage between the reliability, security and function. Besides design, for reliability is important that holster securely attaches to waistband, pocket or other body position.
From the security aspect, a great holster for M&P Shield has to cover the trigger guard and provide decent retention completely, so your Shield does not fall out.
Its style defines the holster function, so you cannot expect fast draw from an ankle holster as you would have from the strong side belt holster when you chose a holster with a rigid mouth than you would be able to do holstering and unholstering in a much easier way.
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How to Choose the Best Holster for M&P Shield
When you choose holster for M&P Shield, you should look for quality construction and material as well as concealable design since you probably acquired this small fighting pistol for carrying in deep concealment all day long.
Standard materials for concealed carry gear are leather, molded plastic materials and ballistic nylon. All of them offer benefits and have downsides, but it is up to you, your preferences and your lifestyle to decide what holster material would be best for you.
Depending on holster style, you may find the softer or natural materials are better for IWB holsters and hard, rigid plastic shells are more suitable for OWB carrying style.
On the flip side, the leather holsters need some break-in period and maintenance, the poorly designed nylon holsters are flimsy and lack support. At the same time, rigid plastic materials like Kydex might be uncomfortable and extremely hard-wearing.
Today more manufacturers are offering the hybrid holsters, an interesting combination of leather, Kydex and other materials.
The holster guides
When we are talking about S&W Shields, there are various styles for concealed carry, but the prevailing method is inside the waist band or IWB. In that context will be our next overview, where we will propose several the best holsters for M&P Shield semi-automatics.
As default option for small, defensive handguns most articles recommend inside the pants carrying styles. Besides them, we want to introduce you in this overview, and some other carry methods, also suitable for subcompact guns like your M&P Shield.
1. Relentless Tactical, The Ultimate Suede Leather IWB Holster
For serious concealed gun wearers, the holster must be reliable and functional, so their natural choice will be oriented toward classic materials that combine function, comfort, and durability. Relentless Tactical is offering IWB holster for S&W M&P Shield made of genuine leather and soft suede.
While the Ultimate Suede IWB holster using a thick portion of cowhide leather as a base for the single steel belt clip, the holster body is made of the soft and smooth suede which is not as hard on the naked skin as full-grain leather.
The suede is popular for comfort and moisture regulation, but this material has also been known to be cool against your skin even on a warm day.
Although the Ultimate Suede Leather holster comes without any mean of retention, it features suede made exterior and interior that provides you with a perfect gripping texture for holding a Shield in the holster as well as keeping by tension the whole assemble secured inside of your waistband.
Since the suede material is very thin, it wouldn’t allow you for one hand reholstering, but on the other side, it molds well to both M&P Shield and your body for day-in, day-out comfort and performance.
The Relentless Tactical Ultimate Suede Leather IWB Holster is non-tuckable and will be great holster for S&W M&P Shield owners who needs basic rig for a concealed carry.
2. OutBags USA LS2 SHIELD
Full Grain Heavy Leather IWB Gun Holster
Outbags is a small family-owned company known for the quality leather IWB holsters made for a wide verity of handheld firearms. If you are looking for a more classic look and warm, natural feel material, a full-grain heavy leather holster from the Outbags is a prime choice and an ideal solution.
The LS2 inside-the-waistband holster is somewhat molded to the M&P Shield’s shape. It means that after a little breaking in, it will secure your Shield so reliable not allowing it to fell out even when you hold your holster upside down.
The Outbags leather holster is an Inside Pants Holster designed for side carry (3 or 4 o’clock position) or appendix style only. This inside the waistband style (IWB) holster has a single retaining metal clip to hold to your pants and belt.
Built from the thick and stiff leather and with reinforced holster mouth, this gun sheath allows for the easy holstering and reholstering. As if with most miniature inside the pants holsters, there are no additional retention devices to slow down your draw.
While its carry position is limited only to the front of your pants near right pocket, the OUTBAGS LS2 for your Shield is offering an authentic, full-grain leather and a snug and secure fit at a very reasonable price.
3. Galco AG652B Ankle Glove
Galco Gunleather is one of the biggest names in the gun leather industry and company with a very long tradition. While their fame is based on shoulder rigs, that became famous in the TV series, Galco also has a very competitive series of holster intended for other carry methods.
When you need an alternative for concealed carry, or you want ultra-deep concealment, Galco is offering an ankle holster known as Ankle Glove. The Galco ankle glove rig consists of quality saddle leather gun compartment and a wide neoprene band with Velcro closure. For added comfort and wearing at long periods of time, the holster backing is made of sheepskin padding.
The premium saddle leather is detail molded to fit your Shield and provide firearm retention. As with other quality leather holsters, Galco holster portion will need some break-in time, but after that, it will suit your Shield like a glove.
The Galco shipped this Ankle Glove open-top holster in two models, one with thumb break retention strap and another with tension unit. The model AG652B Ankle Glove for M&P Shield comes with a safety strap and reinforced thumb break for speed of draw.
This neoprene ankle band accommodates ankles up to 13″, so it may not be a perfect holster to wear around your boots. Except that, the Ankle Glove provides very good comfort and an unobtrusive carrying of your Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.
4. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
Alien Gear is well known for their line of Cloak Tuck and ShapeShift hybrid holsters designed for inside-the-waistband (IWB) concealed carry.
In short, Cloak Tuck 3.5 is a hybrid IWB holster for M&P gun made of two portions of different materials. A backing plate consists of a spring steel core covered by a multi-layer backer. The backer has a soft neoprene side placed towards your skin and a thermo-elastomer layer on the exterior side.
While the neoprene with steel plate provides flexibility and a moisture barrier, the top texturized surface known as an Alien Skin serves for durability and an aesthetic appearance.
Using that flexible holster base, you can attach a custom-molded retention shell built of a thick layer of Bolton. In fact, designed as a half-shell, it is a part of Alien`s interchangeable shell system. That universal shell system allows you to switch the shells for different firearms enabling you to carry a variety of handguns with one holster.
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 is an upgrade from the Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster, with touches from ShapeShift models. Compared to older versions, it is a better tuckable IWB holster due to the smaller backer similar to the ShapeShift.
Unlike the standard screws at the earlier 3.0 model, the Cloak Tuck 3.5 uses a method of twisting into the correlative holes on the backing part.
5. DeSantis Die Hard
Best Ankle Rig for M&P Shield 9 40
DeSantis Gunhide is one of the best holster makers in the world for a few last decades. They are a leading manufacturer of high-quality gun accessories not only from the leather but also from the nylon and Kydex.
That said, the Die Hard ankle holster from DeSantis is crafted using only top-grain saddle leather as a gun compartment and a lined, elastic neoprene leg band that rides well on the ankle. This rig uses thick neoprene foam lined with a sheepskin that provides a soft cushion between the platform and your leg.
There is a super tough polyurethane coating on the leather surface to keep your Shield protected from dirt and water.
The holster has reinforced mouth for optimal reholstering, which is appreciating feature by many serious IWB wearers. As an added bonus, the interior comes with a smooth leather lining for a quick, silky draw that also serves to protect gun`s finish.
Marketed as Model 014, DeSantis Ankle Holster is precision-molded to fit and hold the M&P Shield 9mm securely.
While DeSantis Die Hard Ankle Holster perfectly molded to match with a Shield, the retention is further bolstered with a thick strap and classic thumb break for extra hold.
6. Crossbreed Appendix Carry Aiwb Holster
Right-Handed, Black, M&P Shield 9 40 mm by CrossBreed Holsters
The Appendix Carry Holsters are extremely popular for small to medium handheld gun such as the S&W M&P Shield. CrossBreed Holsters, LLC company, is offering several models of AIWB holsters purpose-built to be carried in between the 12:30 and 2 o’clock position (appendix carry).
The CrossBreed Appendix Carry holster is a typical representative of the company`s hybrid design since its construction envelope several materials. This concealed-carry rig includes a hardened molded plastic pocket for a firearm, a backing made of a cow or horse leather and a single metal belt clip mounted in front of the weapon. A black metal spring clip allows you to adjust this hybrid holster for ride height and cant.
Though the CrossBreed designed this holster to secure your Shield on the front of your body, you can also wear it in the cross-draw position.
Typically for IWB configuration holsters, the Appendix Carry AIWB holster by CrossBreed doesn’t have any retention strap or thumb break, but it comes with retention type Level 1 – friction. This Crossbreed Kydex holster shell is hand molded to hold a specific firearm by a friction fit.
The CrossBreed Appendix Carry is relatively small and almost ideal for pocket guns like the M&P Shield. Because of its smaller dimensions, this Crossbreed IWB gun carry gear is comfortable enough to be worn by women, so it is often called the Women’s Appendix Carry Holster or for short, the WACH.
7. Bedone OWB Holster, S&W M&P Shield 9mm /.40
Tactical Outside the Waistband Belt Holster Fits Smith Wesson M P 3.1″ Shield 9 mm, Barrel, OWB Paddle Holster, Right-Handed
With overwhelming amounts of Inside-The-Waistband (IWB) holsters for concealing a small or medium-size gun on the market, it is a real challenge to find the best holster for M&P Shield holster designed for an outside the pants carry.
However, besides some notable names and brands, there are also small veteran-owned companies such as Bedone manufacturing Outside the Waistband holsters (OWB) that fit S&W M&P Shield 9mm/40 pistols with 3.1-inch barrels. Bedone also makes an IWB Kydex holster for Shield 9mm.
The Bedone is a paddle style holster made of a combination of polymer and specially injected materials for durability and better comfort.
The smooth interior of soft silicone material is non-abrasive to a firearm’s finish and ensures quick draw and reholstering. We also like the holster`s spacing on the top side engineered to preclude any scratching between the iron Shields sights and the holster itself.
The wide paddle platform is attached with a single large clip to the belt and the carry angle can be adjusted up to 30 degrees. Although a low-cost holster from an off-brand, the Bedone OWB polymer rig comes with an Auto Lock Mechanism that provides immediate security upon re-holstering followed by a clear click sound.
While the retention is solid, you can release this automatic lock button easily with a finger press at intuitive placed the release lever.
Although the Smith & Wesson Shield is one of the most popular small handguns for concealed carry today, we have successfully avoided an exhaustive list of carry rigs for this ubiquitous semi-automatic.
We prepared an excellent choice of holsters for the M&P Shield made by mainstream gun accessories makers but also shine some light on the lesser-known manufacturers and brands.
Both of them deserve to be on our list since their holsters are particularly useful for conceal carry and usually are the best compromise between the reliability, functionality and safety.