Best 38 Special Holsters

A Comprehensive Guide

The 38 special is a revolver caliber that was the standard police sidearm for many years.  The revolver itself was produced by Smith and Wesson and can be found in many variations. The best 38 special holsters needed for this weapon are not underestimated. With many powerful handguns that do not need much force to fire needing a holster that covers the trigger guard, this revolver does feature an exposed trigger and requires a holster with extra attention to safety.

Kosibate IWB Leather Holster, Fits Most J Frame Revolvers - Ruger SP101 LCR / Smith and Wesson Bodyguard / Taurus...

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Many different 38 special holsters are available on the market, most of them being designed after the most popular use of this handgun: police and military special units. We have reviewed the most common designs and their pros and cons for this particular handgun.

Table of Contents

If you are in a hurry to purchase best 38 special holsters, and you want to make the best decision, here are our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Best 38 Special Holsters

Their new E-Gat Slide is a basic neutral cant concealment OWB holster that works equally well on the strong side or cross draw. The E-Gat Slide works with both revolvers and autos and is offered only in BLACK-finished top grain leather. It is available for most medium and large autos and most...
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DeSantis Gunhide E-GAT Slide Belt Holster Fits 2.25" J-Frame, Bodyguard...

5 Best 38 Special Holsters (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Kosibate IWB Leather Holster

Kosibate IWB Leather Holster
$16.99 $24.99
May 17, 2022 7:58 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1 new from $16.99

Specifications

Kosibate IWB Leather Holster is one of the most convenient holsters in the market. Its slim design provides excellent concealment and can be worn in multiple positions; this particular gun carrier has a metal clip that makes it easy to put on and off and is very sturdy. The quality is excellent with soft suede leather, which is very smooth and easy to break-in. Another great thing about this holster is that it is designed with security in mind; it holds the gun at multiple positions around the waistband. With its double-stitched seams and well-positioned cant angle, comfort can be ensured even during extended periods inside the pants.

 

This holster fits all S&W 38 special revolvers and also most Taurus revolvers. If you are running a long barrel gun like a 6″, this holster is not recommended, but with the various sizes of Koshibate IWB Leather Holster available on the market, it is easy to find one that is best suits your weapon. This holster has the best fit on the market for this handgun; it is also highly comfortable and easy to use. The concealment is also excellent, although it needs a little more break-in time. An inside waistband design provides excellent hiding and allows for multiple wearing positions.

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2. Cardini Leather – OWB Leather Holster

Cardini Leather - OWB Leather Holster
$45.94
May 17, 2022 7:58 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
4 new from $45.94

Specifications

Cardini Leather focuses on providing the highest quality handgun holster and belts. Their OWB holster is made with finely stitched leather and contoured belt slots for comfort when sitting down or driving. The dual belt loops are 1 3/4″ wide and perfectly fit most J frame revolvers. And make sure it stays in place. The Cardini Leather Holster features a large opening to allow faster draws and smoother re-holstering. 

 

This holster has been designed for an outside waistband carry; it features a cut out to prevent the gun from rubbing the skin while having an excellent level of security with its thumb brake system. This feature can be seen in most OWB holsters, and it does provide a level of security and ease of access. This particular holster features excellent retention without any chance of the handgun falling out, even when running or doing strenuous activity. It is also straightforward to put on and off with its belt clip. This holster provides excellent comfort due to its flat back design; this will prevent it from digging into the skin while sitting down on hard surfaces for more extended periods of time.

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3. Desantis Gunhide E-Gat Slide Belt Holster

Specifications

Desantis Gunhide E-Gat Slide Belt Holster is a popular holster due to its excellent quality and low price. This particular belt holster has been designed for medium-sized handguns, coming with various loops that can be moved around the belt for a custom fit. The gun sits deep in the holster, adding extra concealment, making it suitable for both strong sides or cross draw carry. The holster has been designed with comfort in mind; the back is padded and has a sweat guard protecting both the gun and gun carrier from perspiration during wearing. 

  

It fits all S&W 38 special revolvers, also fitting Taurus 357 revolver models, but looking for other holsters for more extended barrel models is recommended. The holster sits very high on the waist; this adds an extra level of concealment and makes it comfortable even during long hours inside the pants. The gun comes out smooth due to its superior retentions offering. It features a thumb break system to allow easy drawing and re-holstering. This holster has been designed to be worn on the strong side or cross draw; the dual belt loops are contoured for a perfect fit on belts up to 1 3/4″ wide.

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4. Don Hume J968600R JIT Slide Holster

Don Hume J968600R JIT Slide Holster
$45.44
May 17, 2022 7:58 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1 new from $45.44

Specifications

Don Hume J968600R JIT Slide Holster is made with hand-molded leather to fit medium-sized handguns. The holster can be worn in IWB or OWB positions around the waistband. With its double-stitched seams and well-positioned cant angle, comfort can be ensured even during extended periods inside the pants. This holster features the “JIT” system, an innovative pull the dot snap system adding extra security to your handgun. The holster has been designed to be worn on the strong side due to its double-stitched seams, which provide additional strength for this position.

 

The Don Hume J968600R also features a well-shaped thumb break to allow quick draw and easy re-holstering. The top opening of the holster is molded to fit a variety of medium-sized handguns, including some automatics and revolvers, making it versatile. The wrap-around front and open bottom design allows a smooth draw and gives the firearm a more natural feel. This holster is available in right-handed configurations and a black or tan leather finish.

Positive

Negatives

5. 1791 Gunleather J-Frame Revolver Holster

1791 Gunleather J-Frame Revolver Holster
$47.65 $53.00
May 17, 2022 7:58 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
8 new from $47.65
1 used from $42.97

Specifications

The 1791 Gunleather J-Frame Revolver Holster offers a perfect fit for small revolvers. This unique holster is handcrafted using premium 100% heavy Native Steerhide leather, making it durable and comfortable to wear all day long. This model is an open-top design with no retention strap or thumb break; the gun is drawn using the natural motion of pushing the gun down and away from the holster, similar to how one would draw a pistol. The open-top design provides quick access to your firearm in an emergency. 

 

This model comes with a solid American steel clip that’s beveled for complete comfort and the safest retention when carrying either way: right hand, left hand, or cross draw. The ultra-thin design makes this holster easy to conceal under a shirt or jacket, adding practically no bulk or weight. It features reinforced stitching ensuring quality, security, and a lifetime of enjoyment.  It is recommended to break it in before using; we recommend applying a leather conditioner and working the gun back and forth to soften up the holster.

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What To Consider While Buying The Best 38 Special Holsters?

Here are some facts that you need to consider before buying the best 38 unique holsters for your pistol:

Material

The material used in making the holster is essential. Make sure that it’s made of high-quality leather or sturdy synthetic material. This will ensure not only excellent performance but also durability of the product. Kydex is also considered one of the best materials to make pistol holsters. Material quality ensures that the holster will not break or wear out quickly; this is very important, especially if you don’t want to go through the trouble of looking for a new holster now and then.

Size

This is very important as the holster should fit your pistol perfectly. Make sure that you measure your gun correctly before buying a holster for it; this will ensure that the weapon will not slip or fall off from its place when you draw it out. Use different sizing guides online to get a perfect fit for your gun.

Concealment

This is also important as the holster should not expose your pistol; check its size and whether it will fit under your shirt or jacket. This is especially crucial if you wear formal clothes most of the time.

Comfort

The holster should feel very comfortable on your side; it should not cause any pain or irritation on the skin, even if you have to tuck it inside your pants for long periods. This is important as this will prevent unnecessary injuries and discomfort when carrying a gun daily.

Retention

This is an important feature that should be considered while buying a holster for your pistol. Make sure that the holster provides enough grip to hold the gun in place; this will prevent unnecessary accidents from happening when you draw it quickly out of fear. The more retention properties the holster has, the more comfortable it will be to carry your pistol around with you all day long.

Prevention of Snagging 

The holster should not be able to catch on any of your clothing while you draw your gun out, this can cause injuries, and it can also get the holster caught up with other objects, which will make it difficult for you to draw out your pistol quickly in case there is an emergency.

Style

There are different styles and designs available for these types of holsters. Check out which method you like the most; this will depend on your preference and taste, as well as the pistol’s size and shape and how you intend to use it. The design also determines its retention properties.

Affordability

The price of the holster should also be considered; make sure that you buy something affordable yet of good quality. This will ensure excellent performance while protecting your valuable gun. Check out several designs online to find one within your budget.

FAQs

The drop offset is when the holster is angled vertically from the gun, this causes a downward angle to facilitate easy re-holstering after a quick draw. This will also prevent any issues when wearing a belt over the holster.

This ensures that the gun stays in place when inserted into the holster; this is very important, especially if you plan to carry the weapon for long periods

This is a highly personal preference; this will depend on where you feel most comfortable drawing your gun from. However, the majority of these holsters are designed for a hip carry.

This is a high-quality material used to make holsters for pistols; it’s also known as a polyamide thermoplastic that can be molded into different designs and shapes.

There are three main types of pistol holsters available: flap or thumb break hybrid, pancake, and belt. However, there are also other types that you can check out online to determine which type works best for your gun.

Conclusion

Now that you have a good knowledge of the best 38 special holsters, it’s now time to pick the perfect one for your gun. Make sure to choose something which fits all these criteria as this will ensure excellent performance and ease of use. This is also important as this is where you’ll be carrying your weapon, so make sure it’s always readily available. 

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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