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The Safariland Schema Holster: Its Remarkably Minimalist Design Tested

The new Schema holster from Safariland offers maximum concealment with minimal bulk. 

The Safariland Schema Holster: Its Remarkably Minimalist Design Tested

(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Over the last decade, the increase in the number of CCW permits issued across the country has sparked considerable competition among holster manufacturers. Today there are IWB holsters to secure almost every pistol in any carry position, and those holsters offer a wide variety of features. Regardless of feature or cost, an effective IWB holsters must: secure the firearm, conceal it comfortably, and offer instant access to the gun in critical moments.

Safariland Schema Holster Cut-Away View
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

The new Safariland Schema checks every box on the IWB holster to-do list and does so with less weight and bulk than competing holsters. The Schema’s skeletonized design provides a minimalist holster that has less material than competing EDC holsters, which means less carry weight and reduced printing. The Schema holster weighed a mere 2.8 ounces, which is about half of what most concealed carry holsters tip on the scale. A few ounces may not seem like a lot of added weight, but after a full day, the difference between the Schema and a standard-size carry holster is noticeable.

Safariland Schema Holster Clip
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Top Features of the Safariland Schema

Even more dramatic than the weight savings is the Schema’s austere design that allows it to disappear under almost any clothing. This minimalist design makes it easy to wear under light cotton t-shirts without printing, and that makes it an ideal year-round carry holster.

The Schema’s minimal weight and size don’t diminish its capabilities to secure your gun, though. Each Safariland Schema is molded from high-strength polymer to fit your specific firearm, and integrated passive trigger guard retention holds the gun firmly in position until drawn. There's a high-strength polymer barrel post inside the holster to improve weapon security. The open-top design provides quick access and promotes a rapid draw.

Safariland Schema Clip
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Because of the Schema's open-top design and reinforced mouth, you can reholster the pistol with one hand. That may not seem like a particularly noteworthy feature, but when you consider that a high percentage of negligent discharges occur when reholstering you quickly understand the value of the Schema’s design. Since the reinforced mouth remains open there’s no need to use both hands to reholster your firearm.

The Schema may be a minimalist holster, but Safariland still offers a level of customizability not found in competing holsters in this price range. The sturdy IWB clip offers a half-inch of vertical adjustment, and the holster is also cant adjustable. The combination allows a custom perfect carry position.

Safariland Schema Holster with Gun
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Many of today’s micro 9mm carry pistols are equipped with red dot sights, but that’s not a problem with the Schema. This holster is compatible with most red dot-equipped pistols and functions with today’s most popular reflex optics from Springfield, SIG, Aimpoint, Burris, Holosun, Shield, and others.

The lightweight, easy-to-conceal Schema is the ideal IWB carry holster, and it’s also priced right. With an MSRP of just $39.99, the Schema is a great value—and perhaps the only holster you’ll need for concealed carry.

Safariland Schema in the Field

I carried my Glock G43 in the new Safariland Schema holster for over a week and over that time I came to appreciate this holster's practical design. The skeletonized profile allows the gun to rest close to the body, offering a level of concealment that's not available from other light EDC open-top holsters. Side shields protect the trigger, which improves safety, and I am a fan of the rigid open-top design. Like most shooters, I've heard horror stories about negligent discharges while reholstering EDC pistols. Many (perhaps even most) of these accidents happen when a shooter is trying to reholster their firearm and the mouth of the holster has collapsed. The natural tendency for many people is to use the free (non-shooting) hand to open the mouth of the holster, and this can result in a dangerous situation where a loaded firearm is pointed at the shooter's hand. The Schema allows shooters to avoid having to manipulate the holster during reholstering, reducing risk to the shooter.

Safariland Schema IWB Holster Closeup
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

The ability to adjust the cant and ride height is important for any holster. Not only do these adjustments allow for improved comfort, but they also allow you to place the holster in various positions on the body while still orienting the pistol so that it is readily accessible. While I was carrying the Schema on the range, I secured it at the three o'clock position with a low ride height and slight forward cant. When I carried the holster in the appendix position, I raised the ride height and reduced the cant, which allowed me to comfortably conceal and immediately access the pistol whether sitting or standing. Some holsters are designed with one carry position in mind, but the Schema offers plenty of versatility.

Safariland Schema Holster Hip Carry
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

There’s a lot to love about the Schema holster (including the price), but I believe the greatest endorsement I can offer is that it does all three things a holster should do—secure your firearm, conceal it, and offer instant access—without unnecessary cost or added weight. There are other minimalist holsters on the market, but most fail to offer the quality features you’ll find on the Schema. The team at Safariland has done a great job, offering customers maximum value in a minimalist design.

There are millions more concealed carry permit holders today than there were three years ago, and most are searching for a holster that offers confidence without a lot of cost. One such a holster has arrived with the release of the Safariland Schema.


For more information about the Schema or any of Safariland’s other holsters visit

Safariland Schema Holster Hip Carry Closeup
(Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)
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