While driving, I either have on my duty holster and belt or a strong-side holster. Neither can be presented with any alacrity while seated. For that matter, almost no method of carrying a handgun on your person—with the possible exception of a crossdraw holster—is very quick if you are seated.
I tried mounting under my dashboard a strong magnet that was sold specifically to retain a handgun. It worked fine on smooth roads, but driving down a washboard county road a few days after an Arizona rain, I found out that the “super magnet” wasn’t, as it dropped my handgun onto the floor of my truck.
Placing your handgun on the seat beside you is also a non-starter, as it may slide off the seat and can be hard to recover. Placing it in the center console may be a viable alternative, but it might shift while you’re driving and be slow to retrieve. And if you need to pull your handgun in the first place, you need it now!
I recently had the chance to review the Driver Defense Holster (DDH) from Alien Gear Holsters, and am glad I did. The DDH is available for a wide range of handguns. I ordered mine for the Springfield XD that I carry both on and off duty.
The DDH arrived with a mounting platform with 1½-inch nylon straps that go over and then under the seat and, after any adjustment that may be necessary, buckle into place. Although the DDH will probably be attached under the driver, it could also be placed (depending on the car’s interior) in the center of the seat, allowing access to either the driver or a passenger.
The holster is Kydex® or a similar type of plastic. The handgun is secured in place with a thumb release that is pushed down to free the handgun. With practice, I was able to obtain a firing grip while simultaneously pushing the retention device, similar to a Safariland ALS holster.
The manner in which the holster attaches to the mounting platform is unique. At the top of the platform is a spring-loaded tab. To attach the holster, this tab is pushed in and a stud on the back of the holster is pushed in until the tab “clicks.”
Due to numerous protrusions on the back of the stud (much like the cogs on a wheel) and matching slots on the mount, the holster can be adjusted a full 360 degrees. The holster can be removed from the platform as easily as it can be attached, allowing experimentation to find the cant that best suits the user. For me, I found the best position to be right between my legs with the holster at 90 degrees.
Other driving holsters are available, but the more secure types often require drilling holes to mount. I have evaluated some others and found them unsatisfactory to the extent that I have not reported on them in this column.
If you are looking for a good option to keep your handgun readily available while driving, check out the Alien Gear Driver Defense Holster. The Driver Defense Holster has a suggested retail price of $59.88.