The 5 Best Holsters for Ruger LC9s (IWB & OWB Included)
Handguns are the top of the food chain when it comes to self defense tools beyond ten feet. And with the trends going toward concealability and comfort, a full sized pistol is not ideal for some. A smaller and more comfortable gun is desired and this desire is satisfied with the Ruger LC9s, in an inside the waistband holster.
This guide will go through the best holsters for Ruger LC9s handguns and cover important things to consider when looking for these holsters.
The 5 Best Holsters for Ruger LC9s Guns
IWB & AIWB
About the Ruger LC9s
The Ruger LC9s is a smaller version of the Ruger LC9 (According to Ruger less than 1” taller and 1” longer). It comes with adjustable rear sights, one 7-round magazine, and a checkered grip for comfortable handling.
The LC9s comes in two major forms: the LC9s and the LC9s Pro. Both are striker fired so there is no need to worry about the hammer getting caught. This also means the trigger pull weight will be consistent as it is Double Action Only (DAO). Both have a 7+1 capacity, meaning it falls with the minimum requirement for capacity (which is usually 6 rounds, also known as a “serving size” based off of the average of three rounds per assailant, though usually requiring more).
The basic LC9s features an integrated trigger safety, a manual safety, a magazine disconnect, and visual inspection port. The LC9s Pro features a lighter trigger and does not include a manual safety or magazine disconnect. Some would say that the Pro suits the task of concealed carry better, but inexperienced individuals may feel more comfortable with a manual safety until they have more training.
Both LC9s pistols are small and you may want to consider getting the finger extension for their magazines in addition to the 9-round option as a spare.
Things to Consider for a Ruger LC9s Holster
In regards to holsters there are several considerations to make when selecting a holster. There are things that should be looked for in a holster and things that should be avoided.
Cover the Trigger Guard
You should look for a holster that completely covers the trigger and trigger guard, especially if you have selected a handgun without an external/manual safety, like the LC9s Pro. This will prevent things from snagging on the trigger and discharging the handgun. If the firearm goes off in the holster it will more than likely discharge into your leg, especially if you use an inside the waste band holster, and cause a life threatening wound. The holster's job is to hold the firearm and to prevent its accidental discharge.
Retention is the next important factor for a holster. Retention keeps the firearm in place while you go about your daily tasks. It keeps the firearm from slipping out and possibly going off, because it is best to assume a firearm is not drop safe even when it has been designed to be drop safe. In addition to this holsters that have the retention released by putting your finger near or on the trigger should be avoided. This rules out SERPA holsters for private consumers (Certain groups require them for their duty use, but this is more of a policy problem and need not concern the average individual).
Next is the material your holster is made of and how you will carry it. These options include leather, kydex, carbon fiber, and various hybrids and inside the waistband (IWB), outside the waistband (OWB), appendix inside the waistband (AIWB), and small of the back carry.
Let us look at the materials first.
Leather has been used for decades for holsters and is generally considered to be more comfortable than some modern options. The draw back is that leather wears down overtime, especially if it is very thin, leading to the holster to become unsafe over time.
It requires maintaining the leather and thicker more resilient leather to match up with required safety standards, as sweat and other moisture cause leather to decay. The thicker the leather the more uncomfortable the holster will be to concealed carry. Leather holsters lend themselves more to outside the waistband and forms of open carry.
Kydex in simple terms is a high grade of hyper resilient plastic that reacts to heat. Depending on its formula and treatment it is very resistant to deforming once it has been set by the heat treatment. It is used in knife sheaths, holsters, and various other products.
Holsters made out of it are usually vacuum formed to a particular firearm shape and hold the firearm in place through tension from various screws, that can be tightened or loosened according to preference. If done wrong the kydex will not form to the firearm, and not produce the tension desired to keep the firearm in place by being too loose.
Additionally the kydex can be too brittle and crack under the strain of use. Blade-tech has had several issues with cracking kydex and that is one of the reasons it is not included in the list of best IWB holsters for the Ruger LC9s that is apart of the article.
The Pros of kydex is that it is resistant to water,can be sanded and shaped to the individual user's tastes, and are generally more affordable than high end custom leather holsters.
Carbon fiber is a combination of various organic polymers and is very resistant, sharing the same positive attributes of kydex with ten times the strength of steel.
Hybrid holsters are those that combine two different materials into one holster. Specifically in regards to where the pistol actually is held. Leather and kydex hybrids tend to be less resilient and hybrids in general are considered weaker than other quality options, although the StealthGearUSA SG-REVOLUTION IWB mini holster has many positive reviews.
Velcro and other ballistic nylon cloth holsters are not recommended at all, they are meant for airsoft and are too floppy and of too poor a quality to be considered viable options.
The carry method also dictates what you should purchase for a holster. OWB leans toward open carry more and requires a cover garment like a hoodie, jacket, or blazer for concealed carry. The location it can be carried range from about 1 o'clock to about 4 o'clock on the right side and 11 o'clock to about 8 o'clock for left handed people.
IWB is more ideal for concealed carry, especially AIWB for a smooth and natural draw, because the firearm is within the pants or other garment of the user. This also makes it easier for shirts to conceal the firearm and locations are the same range as the OWB methods but also include 12 o'clock.
Small of the back carry is not recommended as it endangers the user through long draw times and possible spinal damage from falls in grappling situations. Small of the back carry can result in temporary or permanent paralysis and a great deal of pain if you fall onto your back. Which must be considered in a defensive situation.
Once you have considered your carry options and holsters you can now look for a holster for an LC9s, so here is a short list of commercially available options for the LC9s.
Best Concealed Carry Holster for LC9s:
Designed to fit the LC9s, this holster has good coverage of the trigger guard. Users have stated that it needs some sanding down of rough edges if they bother you. The carbon fiber ensures a long lasting product although it will leave some cosmetic wear on your firearm. Cosmetic wear is not to be worried about, it does not remove enough material to affect the function or action of the firearm.
The Concealment Express uses a clip to secure the holster to the belt. While loops are ideal, clips are suitable for getting into the market. The clip can be set to a have the holster angled anywhere from 0-15 degrees, depending on preference. It also features a sweat shield.
This holster is a hybrid design for comfort and breathability. It features a neoprene backing for your wearing it all day and clips to mount to your belt. It's stipulated to be unique to each firearm it is designed for. Most reviews are for larger handgun models so it will fit the LC9s just fine.
The SG-Revolution is capable of being used for AIWB but is more designed for the 4 o'clock area. It's a light and minimalist style holster. There has been an instance where a user of this holster thought the back lining was misaligned but this is most likely for ease of grip for drawing the pistol.
The Tulster Profile is a minimalist designed holster. It features a clip for mounting the holster and also features angle adjustment. This holster is ideal for AIWB and has an audible click when gun is fully olstered. Just note that it does not accommodate laser add-on.
The only point of concern: the trigger guard is not fully covered leaving a very slim gap at the base of the trigger area near the grip. This could lead to problems as lint and other debris may be able to get in and clog the trigger or otherwise hamper performance.
Adjustable cant angle of holster. Reviews state it almost doubles the width of the pistol. Secure lock up. Life time warranty. Claims of carefully crafted quality. Point of concern: The kydex does not appear to reach to the base of the trigger guard across the entire length of the guard. This leaves the trigger area completely open for debris and other snag hazards to get in and catch the trigger.
Best OWB Holster for the Ruger LC9s
As the purpose of the pistol in question is concealed carry, the best OWB holster for the Ruger LC9s is generally not the focus but J&J Custom offers a custom fit OWB leather pancake holster for the LC9s.
The LC9s is a compact 9mm pistol ideally setup for concealed carry. With various sight improvements on the market and grip extensions for the magazine it would fill the role of a small carry gun quite nicely. The holsters mentioned here are a small offering, and custom and professional kydex shops may offer great alternatives too. A great example is NSR Tactical. Bear in mind most quality holsters are usually priced higher than $60 and are usually worth the security they give in carrying a pistol for self defense.
The LC9s has some drawbacks such as capacity and size, but is all around a reliable compact semi-automatic. Whether you are in need of an IWB or OWB, these are some of the best holsters for Ruger LC9s that money can buy.