The 4 Best Pancake Holsters on the Market – Reviews 2023

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Photo by Bruce Gibson / CC BY

So, what is a pancake holster? Well, Pancake holsters are a classic outside-the-waistband design that are commonly used for both duty and concealed carry. Pancake holsters are great, especially if you prefer leather over synthetic materials.

A good pancake holster should cling tight to the body and provide the carrier with nice comfortable means of carrying a gun. Pancake holsters should also provide you with a secure means of carrying with good retention that lets you feel confident while you carry.

Below are our recommendations for the 4 best pancake holsters on the market:

Bianchi 57 Remedy Pancake Holster

The Bianchi Remedy is an all leather, custom molded pancake holster that’s available for a wide variety of firearms. This particular model is for the Smith and Wesson M&P full sized handgun (though, you can also find models for your particular handgun). The M&P is an insanely popular handgun for law enforcement, security, and civilian home defense and concealed carry. The Bianchi Remedy is an interesting and dynamic design that places an emphasis on both concealment and an easy draw.

The high ride design places the gun above where your average gun will ride. This is incredibly handy for concealed carry because the gun is easy to conceal under nothing more than a simple T shirt. The Bianchi hides guns extremely well, and provides you a simple and reliable means to carry a full-sized gun. The Bianchi also features a low-profile holster cut.

This means the holster is cut as low as it safely can be. This holster goes up right past the trigger and not much further. This ensures the trigger is protected and safe from any intrusion. The low cut makes drawing the weapon fast easier, this is especially handy because the weapon rides so high. The low cut on a high ride holster is a must have for a quick and easy draw—one of the best pancake holsters period.

Gould and Goodrich 803

Gould and Goodrich is one of those names that many don’t associate with firearms holsters. They sound like they make suits, not fine leather holsters. However, those in the know, understand who Gould and Goodrich are and respect them. They make high-quality leather holsters for a wide variety of guns for concealed carry and duty use. This model of the 803 is designed for the ever-popular Glock handguns. Specifically, the full size, medium-frame Glocks which includes the G17, the G22, and G31.

This design does place an emphasis on retention and uses a leather snap to ensure the weapon stays put. This snap is easily defeated by the thumb, and is situated where the thumb naturally rests during the draw stroke. Defeating the device is very intuitive. The holster is made from top of the line vegetable tanned leather by master tanners. The leather is molded to the gun for a solid fit and good retention.

The Gould and Goodrich 803 features a three-slot design which allows to effectively adjust the angle of the holster for easier concealment or an easier draw. The added cant slot also allows you to wear the gun in a few different positions as well. It’s also a good-looking holster admittedly, and one that retains an element of old world class.

Blackhawk 3 Slot Ambi Holster

So, this is one of the most affordable options, and the only nylon option on the list. I included it because it does offer the unique nature of being basically universal. The holster comes in a very wide variety of sizes which coordinate with a variety of different guns. It fits almost all popular models of handgun, including Glock, S&W, and 1911. This holster is made from strong and water resistant nylon, which also keeps the holster lightweight.

The holster uses a polymer thumb snap that can be alternated from side to side. This holster does happen to be completely ambidextrous so it’s great for lefties or righties. The Blackhawk 3 Slot Ambi Holster can be worn strongside, kidney, or cross draw. The Blackhawk holster of course features three slots that allows you to adjust for a forward cant for a more intuitive draw.

The Blackhawk holster is also designed to be held tight to the body, which aids in concealment and retention. This simple holster is affordable and effective. Blackhawk backs their gear with an excellent warranty, but you are unlikely to need it. The Blackhawk ambi holster is perfect for a shooter with a multitude of guns who likes to alternate their carry gun. Let’s be honest, variety is the spice of life. This is easily among the best pancake holsters for the money.


Galco Combat Master

We can’t talk about pancake holsters without mentioning Galco. Often considered the king of leather holsters it’s no surprise that Galco produces a pancake holster. Again, we can’t talk about handgun holsters without mentioning the 1911. The Galco Combat Master is made for a number of guns, but leather simply goes with 1911’s (though, like Bianchi, Galco produces this holster for plenty of other handgun models). Classic guns and classic holsters are always a solid combination of awesome.

The Galco Combat master doesn’t play fast and loose with its intentions, does it? The holster is designed for combat, be it concealed carry or duty use. The open top design ensures you don’t need to defeat any kind of retention device. Simple grip and rip the gun from its holster. The Combat Master doesn’t waste any time or mix any words. It’s a simple and robust leather holster designed for combat shooting.

The Combat Master is a two-slot design that provides a slight cant. The leather is molded specifically for the gun, and gives it an excellent level of retention. It’s a great looking holster, with the tan leather being rich in color and well crafted too. Galco charges a premium, but they also provide a premium holster.

Galco Combat Master 1911 holster review

Finding the Best Pancake Holsters

Pancake holster are an excellent means of carrying a large firearm concealed in an effective manner. Pancake holster are well suited for duty use as well, and are often quite comfortable. They are proof some old ideas can still keep up with the modern-day holster. A good pancake holster won’t leave you feel under gunned or outclassed by kydex. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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