How to Wear a Paddle Holster [Overview + Video]

| Last Updated: July 9, 2021

Paddle holster is a popular choice among handgun owners because of their comfort and convenience. It is an outside the waistband holster that utilizes a paddle for a secure and easy attachment to your waistband.

However, you must learn how to wear and make adjustments to it in order to use it effectively and properly. Furthermore, you must be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a paddle holster so that you can decide when to use one.

In this article, we have handpicked a few of the best paddle holsters available so that you can easily pick the one best suited for you.

Comparison Chart of the Favorite Paddle Holsters

  • Constructed from Premium Genuine Leather
  • Hand molded to provide a snug fit
  • Open top allows fast drawing
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  • Perfect for an active lifestyle
  • Auto-lock retention feature keeps the firearms secure
  • Polymer construction gives it affordability
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  • Best for the money
  • Able to fit multiple models and brands of firearms
  • Auto-lock system ensures user safety
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How to Wear and Adjust a Paddle Holster

The procedure outlined below will help in swapping the belt slide and paddle attachment and adjust the cant of your OWB holster. Paddle holsters are a wonderful choice for people looking for an easy and quick on and off gun holster. The belt slide attachment allows you to attach your paddle holster to your gun belt. Simply pass your belt through the attachment to wear the holster. For the paddle holster, just pass the attachment into your waistline. Bear in mind that customizing your paddle holster means you will have to disassemble your product.   

1. Remove the washers and screws that hold the holster frame together. Detach the holster frame and remove the black spacers and keep them aside.

2. After the gun holster frame is removed, remove the steel flex plate and the rubber retention covering. Keep these parts aside also.

3. Unscrew the belt slide or paddle attachment from the nylon backer. Keep them aside.

4. The angle of both the belt slide attachments and the paddle can vary from 0 degree to 15 degrees in both directions according to your preferred position of the cant. The directions shown on the nylon backer will help you relocate the proper weld nuts.     

5. Once you have decided your holster cant, attach your belt slide or paddle to the nylon backer with the help of cap screws.

6. Now take the steel flex plate and put it on the rigid nylon backer. The four weld nuts should be protruding through the holes. It is easier to work with two weld nuts on one side at a time.

7. Place the retention covering over the nylon backer and press it down to fit it in position.

8. Replace the four spacers onto the weld nut heads. Press while twisting to make sure that the spacers are secured.

9. Put the holster frame over the black spacers while making sure that the four holes are aligned.

10. With the flathead screws and washers that you set aside earlier, secure the holster frame. Tighten until you achieve your desired retention level.

The following video will better help to demonstrate how to make proper adjustments to a paddle holster. Make sure that you watch this video before carrying out the necessary adjustments.

Preparing for a Paddle Holster

Before using a paddle holster, it is vital to take certain steps for proper preparation. Not only should you prepare your holster, but your firearm as well:

Decide on a Convenient Model

For concealed carry, it is better to choose a smaller subcompact type handgun. However, you can also use any other handgun according to your preference. If you are using a long-barreled handgun, you will need to carry this holster a little higher on your waist.

Safety is of Utmost Importance

Safety is a key consideration when working with weapons. Before going any further, ensure that your handgun is safe to use. You can perform a finger check, or if you are going to be working with a loaded gun, always keep the safety on and make sure that the gun is not charged.

Prepare the Paddle Holster

Some paddle holsters come in fully functioning designs, while some can be customized according to user preference. If you want to make changes to the belt attachment and install a paddle to your holster, you should refer to the instructions provided in the user manual. These changes can be easily carried out with the help of appropriate tools.

Check the Fit

Place your gun inside the holster to ensure that it is a snug fit. Once you are satisfied that your gun is seated properly, put your weapon aside.     

Tips for Wearing Paddle Holsters

There are a few things that you should know before using a paddle holster. Make sure that you follow the tips given below as they not only increase the effectiveness of these holsters, but will also add to your comfort and convenience.

  • Use a belt. Even though you can just clip the paddle holster to the waistband of your pants, using a gun belt will keep the holster in place. Moreover, it will prevent your pants from sagging due to the weight of the handgun and the holster.

  • A paddle holster is designed to provide a firm grip on your weapon. However, carrying your weapon at 15 degrees (FBI cant) is quicker and more effective.

  • Use appropriate clothing such as a coat, jacket, and untucked loose shirt to conceal your paddle holster easily.

  • Adjust the position of the paddle holster when you sit, drive, walk, bend, or run to ensure your comfort.

  • Practice as much as you can with your holster so that you can react accordingly when you need it.

Review of Our Favorite Paddle Holsters

Having purchased a gun, you are not always comfortable carrying it around in your pocket. Not to worry! The following paddle holsters will make things easier for you as they will provide a go-to system for everyday carrying:   

Best Paddle Holster:
Premium Leather OWB Paddle Holster

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  • Sight rail space protects the muzzle and leather sight
  • Can be switched between vertical and horizontal stances
  • Ergonomic design makes it convenient to put it on and take it off
  • Moving polymer paddle allows adjustment of carrying angle
  • Customized retention with the help of an adjustable tension screw


  • Cant on the holster is limited

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have found this leather holster from MASC to be a great product as it fits their Glock 43 like a glove. The snug fit and ease of putting it on and taking it off has made it particularly popular among users, and they highly recommend this product. They also like that there is no odor and the interior lining is nice and soft. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This paddle holster supports the high quality, innovative design, which is preferred by security personnel and all Glock owners due to its practical design and safety features. Its wall thickness allows it to maintain its strength and durability. It is an odorless, nature-friendly product that is designed with the very best quality leathers.

Who Would Use This Most

This is an ideal paddle holster for Glock owners as it provides them with a perfect fit. With just the right adjustable retention, this holster is very comfortable to wear. It keeps the grip and the stippled frame of the Glock away from the user’s skin, thus making it perfect for even the pickiest holster wearer. Moreover, it fits belts that measure 4.5 to 5 cm, which makes it perfect for various uses.

Bottom Line

This paddle holster provides a safe, convenient fit for Glock owners. It is designed while keeping the user’s convenience in mind. The high-quality materials used in its construction ensure that it will retain its shape even after years of use. Moreover, these materials are not harmful to human skin.

BLACKHAWK! Serpa Sportster Holster

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  • Elegant gunmetal gray color
  • Can be carried discreetly with civilian clothes
  • Durable and affordable design particularly tailored for civilian use
  • Quality construction ensures immediate retention upon re-holstering
  • Exclusive patented retention system that allows for a quick and intuitive draw


  • Not available for left-handed people

What Recent Buyers Report

The popular consensus among recent buyers is that if you want a durable and functional holster that will hold your gun in place but features the aesthetic of a dumpster fire, then you should definitely invest in this product. Buyers have encountered no problems withdrawing their guns and holstering them again. Overall they are highly satisfied with it and recommend it not only for Glock owners but for people who own a S&W as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best thing about this paddle holster is that you can adjust the draw angle according to your personal preference. The tough, molded polymer is designed to comfortably withstand all the rigors and rough handling that users can put it through. Its adjustable retention and auto-lock feature make it a very safe product. Its convenient design allows for easy placement and removal without going through the hassle of removing the belt.  

Who Would Use This Most

This is an awesome holster that is not only suitable for law enforcement or military but is also perfect for every tactical gear and firearm enthusiast. It is a versatile and affordable product that will fit the budget of every gun owner who is looking for a multi-function, quality holster.

Bottom Line

The Serpa Sportster is a good quality holster that is suitable for concealed carry as well as a day at the shooting range. Its ergonomic design allows users to wear it close to the body and ensure effective concealment beneath a windbreaker, pull-over hoodie, or a jacket. Thus, it is also an ideal holster for the cold weather.

Best for the Money:
Colt 1911 5'' Holster OWB, Paddle Holster

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  • Comfortable to wear and easy to take off
  • Excellent product at a very reasonable price
  • Constructed with durable high quality polymer material
  • Water-resistant, sweat-resistant, lightweight, and wear-resistant
  • Perfect holster for military, law enforcement agencies, shooting coaches, and personal protection use


  • May not fit some handguns

What Recent Buyers Report

Different people who own different brands of handguns have bought this holster and have found that it fits their guns as if it was made especially for them. The paddle provides a firm grip on the belt, which is excellent for a secure draw. This holster sits closer to the body, which buyers appreciate as it ensures a lower profile than other holsters.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

We particularly find its excellent construction and economical price very appealing. It is a highly durable product that can withstand the hardest operating conditions. It’s fully adjustable, and rotations allow users to adjust it according to their withdraw angle. Moreover, its index finger-actuated auto-lock system makes it a perfectly safe product.  

Who Would Use This Most

The Colt 1911 5'' Holster OWB Paddle Holster can easily fit Colt, Magnum, Browning, Taurus, and several other models, which makes it ideal for a number of users. This safe and versatile product is very popular among military personnel, law enforcement agencies, and civilians who keep firearms for their family’s protection.   

Bottom Line

This paddle holster is very comfortable and firmly attaches to your waist. This ensures that the holster does not come off the belt while crouching or running. It is constructed from a durable polymer material that is easy to clean. It is the best option for speed training as it allows users to draw their weapons quickly.  

Pros and Cons of Paddle Holsters

Paddle holsters are popular among gun owners; however, they have both pros and cons:


Following are some advantages of paddle holsters:

Easy to Take Off and Put on

Paddle holsters are fairly easy to take off compared to other holsters. The biggest advantage of these holsters is that the user does not have to undo the pants or even remove the belt to take the holster off. As a portion of these holsters is worn inside the waistband, users can take them off and put them on pretty conveniently.

Does Not Require a Belt      

While other holster styles, such as belt clip holster or belt loop holster, need a belt to function, the paddle holster is a convenient outside the waistband holster style that is not dependent on a belt to function. This feature makes these holsters very popular among the ladies.

Ensure a Quick Draw

Paddle holsters provide a quicker draw time as compared to other holsters like tuckable holsters. These outside the waistband holsters let you aim at your target without wasting precious seconds, offer a firm grip on your firearm, and are easy to reach.


Paddle holsters also have the following disadvantages:

Lack of Stability

The easy on and off feature of paddle holsters relies on the paddle’s friction inside the waist to keep the holster firmly in place. This method of attachment is not as safe as the belt holster and can cause the holster to shift on the waist.

Proper Concealment

Although the design of paddle holsters make it easy for the users to put on the holster and take it off as compared to the belt loop holsters, it does not hold the holster tight against the body. As this holster is a little farther from the body, it can be somewhat difficult to conceal. Also, they are larger in size, which can make their concealment a bit difficult.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

It is vital to keep the following aspects in mind before purchasing a paddle holster:


If it is not comfortable, you will not wear it. There are some holsters that may require some breaking in, such as leather holsters. However, if this does not happen within a reasonable amount of time, then you might want to look for a better option.   


Materials can make a big difference to the quality of a holster. High-quality plastics such as Kydex have become very popular in recent years due to their reliability and strength. Premium custom holsters, on the other hand, provide a higher level of retention, fit, and customization that is not possible with high-production manufactured holsters.


Retention is an important aspect when it comes to choosing a holster. If a person has to draw their weapon in the case of an assailant attacking, it is important to have control. If you do not have enough control, an assailant might be able to overpower you.

There are various retention devices such as simple thumb breaks, locks, screws, or internal devices with locking mechanisms that help retain a weapon in case of a confrontation. Improper retention and fit may cause the holster to fall or get stolen.


Paddle holsters are not exactly ideal for everyday concealed carry but are excellent for tactical use. They are also preferred by law enforcement and military officers because they provide a better grip on the firearm and quicker draw time as compared to IWB holsters.

With the help of the above article, we hope that you can easily find a quality paddle holster that will be perfect for you.