The solution for holster comfort issues.

By Seth R. Nadel

In over 50 years of carrying handguns concealed, I have tried almost every kind of holster, for both revolvers and semi-autos. Some were perfect for certain uses, while others went directly from the package to a few days use and then into the dreaded holster boxes, never to see the light of day again. Some of the early all purpose holsters were so big and clumsy, they never left the store! But progress had been made!

We live in a remote area, where long trips by car or truck are common. It’s only a 20 mile round trip for us to pick up our mail. The nearest city is 2 hours away, and a major city is 4 to 5 hours. As a result, we spend a lot of time on the road. I favor a strong side holster for my handgun, but the combination of bucket seats and seatbelts can make accessing the gun difficult to impossible. And there have been a few times where I thought I was going to need more force than just my voice or hands, and I wanted my handgun.

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The holster mounted to the paddle, with the small and large belt loops showing the engagement teeth, and the only tool you need – a Phillips head screwdriver. The XD does NOT come with the holster!

Fobus Roto Holster

Enter the Fobus Roto Holster – a fully adjustable paddle rig. The paddle attaches to the body of the holster via a single screw, so the relationship of the paddle to the holster is infinitely adjustable. You get to chose the precise angle to wear your pistol with the paddle holding it to your beltline. The paddle attachment point has “teeth” that engage other teeth on the back of the holster body. That is how you get to set the precise angle of the holster to your belt – all the way from muzzle forward to “FBI cant” back. Retention is also adjustable, so you can retain the gun if you select an odd position or tilt. You can even get belt slide attachments for dress or even duty (2.5”) belts. I have found the security of the paddle good enough to skip using the belt slides. After a couple of hundred draws, from various positions and in different clothing, the Fobus Paddle holster has never left it’s position.

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The back side of the holster, set up for cross draw.

Fobus is an Israeli company, and I spent a couple of months in Israel a long time ago. I found the Israelis to be a very practical people, particularly when it came to living under constant threat from their neighboring countries. Their total focus is on things that work, and this model follows through to their holster designs. All Fobus holsters retain the guns well, but allow for a smooth, fast draw.

Driving With A Holster

On those long drives, it is far more comfortable to wear my gun in a cross draw position. It eases the sitting position while allowing access while belted in, should that become necessary. As we are far more likely to be in a car wreck than need to use force, keeping your seat belt on is the priority. I do not want to be seen moving my holster from strong side to cross draw or the reverse in some parking lot – it is sure to result in some unwanted attention. But the Fobus Roto holster gives me two options for that kind of change.

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The problem (no cover garment for clarity).

I can just use the holster on my strong side, and remove it (one of the benefits of a paddle rig), change the angle, and use it as a cross draw. Unfortunately, that would require using a philips head screwdriver, and as a born klutz, I would be sure to drop the screw under my seat at some point. Option two is my preference, having a second Fobus in the car or truck, already set for cross draw. Thus I can get into my car, close the door, discretely insert the paddle between pants and shirt, and move the pistol to the cross draw position. Upon arrival, I just remove the gun back to the strong side holster, slip the paddle holster off and leave it in the car (out of sight of course), and go about my business.

The cross draw position is also useful if your day includes sitting in long (usually boring) meetings in chairs with arms. I am lucky that I no longer have to sit through these ‘get-togethers’, usually know for taking hours and accomplishing little or nothing. Now, I only sit through short, snappy meetings where work is allotted and we get on with it! Even so, a Fobus Roto holster can be handy when the duration of the meeting is unknown.

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The Fobus Roto solution.

Evolution Of Paddle Holsters

For those of you new to paddle holsters, they have come a long, long way. Back in the early days, I tried a strong side paddle holster from a big name maker for my revolver. The paddle was fairly long, a steel plate covered with leather. It was OK, until I tried it in a Combat (now Practical) match. I did OK on the first two runs, but number three was a pure speed exercise. The whistle blew (it was the days of whistles, stop plates, and stopwatches), and I drew like lightening – sort of. I drew my gun, but the paddle came out of my pants and the holster came along for the ride! I stripped the holster off the gun and fired the required shots – and then was grateful that this happened in a match and not on the street! Of course that holster went into my holster box, never to be worn again.

The Fobus Roto holster is nothing like that old rig. First of all, the paddle is wider, and contoured to fit your body. It is also covered with some kind of material that adheres to your clothing – it’s not sticky in the sense of leaving a residue, but it holds the rig in place until you decide you want to remove it. It also has a pronounced ledge that catches on the bottom of your belt, insuring the holster stays put.

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When words are not enough! Photo taken with the compact SUV door closed!

Final Thoughts

With the low price point of the Fobus Roto holster, you can afford to get two – one set for strong side carry (if that is your preference), the other for cross draw while seated. Or, you can try to convince your bosses to use “stand up” meetings, where no one has a chair – it really shortens those meetings when the boss has to stand! Personally, I think you will have better luck with getting a Fobus Roto and being comfortable during the meeting, or that long drive across country!