I’ve carried handguns for roughly *mumblegrumble* years now, and I’ve developed some preferences and opinions when it comes to holsters.
For comfort, nothing beats a good pancake-shaped belt holster. For concealment, nothing beats an inside-the-waistband holster. The comfort level of an IWB, however, is greatly dependent on holster materials and design. I’ve had the best success with relatively thin, flat leather holsters with widely spaced belt loops. A good IWB in that kind of configuration is the most concealable holster that still offers a normal draw speed, while offering a carry comfort almost on par with an outside-the-waistband belt rig.
When I was shopping for a properly fitted holster for the Steyr M9, I quickly found out that the peculiar shape of the gun kind of limits the holster selection. Not wanting to stuff the pistol into a generically-shaped nylon rig, I checked out the limited variety of holsters available for the old-style Steyrs, and ended up ordering the A.K.J. Concealco holster pictured below.
It’s a rough-side-out cowhide holster that’s properly molded to the gun. The fit is snug without being tight, the draw is very fast because the inside is smooth and unlined, and the leather is just thick enough to be durable without being too bulky. The belt loops are spaced very far apart, which eliminates any rocking motion, and keeps the gun rock-solid in position. The gun can be grasped with a full firing grip, and the forward rake of the holster is aggressive enough to pull the butt of the pistol in high and tight against the body.
The belt loops deserve a separate mention: they’re attached with solid brass screws, and the back loop can be adjusted down into a lower hole to make the forward rake even more severe. The front loop sits on the front of the holster, which both reinforces the holster mouth for one-handed reholstering, and lets the belt wrap around the front of the holster (where it tends to want to go naturally anyway.) It looks odd when you look at it for the first time, but it makes perfect sense once you thread a belt through the loops and test the fit for the first time.
I got this particular holster on fleaBay for just under $50 with shipping, and so far I’m rather pleased with it. It’s well-made, comfortable, and a bargain for the money. The vendor who sold it to me has the same rig in stock for many more gun models, including rather exotic ones that can be hard to properly dress in leather. (No affiliation or kickbacks, just a pleased customer.) If you’re looking for a high-quality, very comfortable IWB holster that won’t break the bank, I recommend the AKJ Concealco.