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JUNK SCIENCE: Are Race Holsters Worth It?

For a long time I’ve wondered if the expensive race holsters that hold the gun just by the trigger guard are really worth the money, so that’s what I’ve decided to find out for this episode.

So, here’s what I did:

I setup a 10″ steel plate at 10y. I tested both holsters with 50 draws in the following ways:

Kydex – Stand and shoot 50 rounds.

DAA Alpha X – Stand and shoot 50 rounds.

Kydex – Step into the shooting area and shoot 50 rounds.

DAA Alpha X – Step into the shooting area and shoot 50 rounds.

Here’s what I found:

Kydex – Stand and Shoot:

Standard Deviation 0.0817
Average Draw Time 0.96
Fastest Draw Time 0.84

DAA Alpha X – Stand and Shoot:

Standard Deviation 0.0475
Average Draw Time 0.94
Fastest Draw Time 0.84

Kydex – Step Into the Box:

Standard Deviation 0.05
Average Draw Time 1.01
Fastest Draw Time 0.96

DAA Alpha X – Step Into the Box:

Standard Deviation 0.0334
Average Draw Time 1
Fastest Draw Time 0.95

So, not a lot of difference here.

A couple things about this though: My bias/hypothesis going into this was that there wouldn’t be a lot of difference between the different holsters in their speeds.

However, unlike previous Junk Science shows, I’m not willing to draw a solid conclusion on this episode because I felt really uncomfortable with the race holster during live fire. I feel like I got to the point where I was performing well with it on the stand and shoot shots, but on the “step into the box” shots, I just couldn’t get comfortable.

If I had a few months to really work with the DAA holster, I could MAYBE get another tenth off the draw time, but realistically, hardly anybody is actually drawing that fast in a match anyways, so it probably doesn’t matter.

The one issue I had was that with the race holster there isn’t really a place to index my hand, which made my either really uncomfortable, or made me stand really awkwardly trying to index my hand off the bottom of the holster.

See awkward hand position:


I think the race holster is maybe going to save you a little bit of time, if you’re REALLY willing to work for it. If you’re a casual shooter who doesn’t really practice much, I don’t think you’ll see any improvement in your draw times.

I think the jury is out. I’m not willing to spend months working with the race holster since I have my own personal shooting goals that I’m trying to meet this year (and those goals don’t involve a race holster).

All in all, I think a race holster is worth an extremely small amount of time over a kydex DOH holster. A lot of folks suggested that it was probably worth a tenth of a second or two, but my data shows that it’s worth even less than that.

The one thing that did surprise me, was looking at the standard deviation for all the groups above. In both instances (and when I break apart the data into the individual days I did the shooting) the race holster always had a smaller standard deviation than the kydex holster.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. Which range do you go to? I’d love to meet up and go with you sometime 🙂

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