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How Tight Should Your Holster Be?

Posted by William Fox on
FN 509
When it comes to carrying a firearm, safety and accessibility are of utmost importance. That's why finding the right holster is crucial. Kydex holsters have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability and versatility. But one question that often arises is: how tight should your Kydex holster be?
The Importance of Retention

Retention refers to the ability of a holster to hold the firearm securely in place, even during vigorous movement. It is essential to strike a balance between a holster that is too loose and one that is too tight.

If a kydex holster is too loose, it may not provide adequate retention, putting the firearm at risk of falling out. On the other hand, if it is too tight, it can make drawing the firearm difficult and slow, especially in high-stress situations.

The Goldilocks Zone

So, what is the ideal level of tightness for a kydex holster? The answer lies in the "Goldilocks Zone" – not too loose, not too tight, but just right.

A properly fitted Kydex holster should provide enough retention to securely hold the firearm in place, even during physical activity. However, it should also allow for a smooth and efficient draw, ensuring quick access to the weapon when needed.

Testing the Fit

There are a few simple tests you can perform to determine if your kydex holster is properly fitted:

  1. Retention Test: With an unloaded firearm, holster it and give it a gentle shake. The firearm should stay securely in place, even when turned upside down. However, it should still be easy to draw with a firm grip. 
  2. Smooth Draw Test: Practice drawing your firearm from the holster multiple times. It should come out smoothly and without any resistance. If you feel excessive friction or struggle to draw the firearm, the holster may be too tight.
  3. Reholstering Test: After drawing the firearm, try reholstering it. The holster should allow for easy and safe reholstering without the need for excessive force.
  4. Light Bearing Test: Bear in mind that a light bearing holster will have lighter retention due to fewer pockets that can grab onto the pistol, while also having more space to accommodate different lights. 

Adjusting the Retention

If you find that your kydex holster is too loose or too tight, most models allow for retention adjustment. This can usually be done by tightening or loosening the retention screws located on the holster.

It is important to make small adjustments and test the fit after each adjustment to ensure you find the perfect balance of retention and draw speed.


When it comes to kydex holsters, finding the right level of tightness is crucial for both safety and accessibility. Remember to aim for the "Goldilocks Zone" – a holster that provides adequate retention while allowing for a smooth and efficient draw. By performing simple tests and making small adjustments if needed, you can ensure that your Kydex holster is perfectly fitted to meet your needs.

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