Some manufacturers could clean up by adding a few gun friendly accoutrements to certain vehicles. Holsters built into seats, maybe. Or a flip down compartment in the roof designed to hold a full sized automatic. But until then, we are forced to improvise.
My favorite improvisational holster is the cup holder. But this is less than ideal. The gun is always a bit wobbly and I spill more coffee in my vehicle than I drink, so the cup holder is a bit sticky. And I’m not a big fan of being that conspicuous. While the cup holder allows for easy access, it is very visible.
But the cup holder works decently, especially since I have a carry permit which allows me to travel with the gun loaded. Still, there is a better way.
The DeSantis Kingston Car Seat Holster
DeSantis’s Kingston Car Seat Holster is little more than a nylon holster with an elastic sleeve for an extra magazine. But the “little more” is what makes it. The holster comes with a strap that wraps around a car seat, holding the gun and magazine upright. Between the nylon holster and strap is a rigid piece of polymer that helps the whole package stay rigid.
The strap wraps around the cushion, and threads between the seat and the seat-back. It’s adjustable and closes with a simple buckle.
The holster can be removed from the strap and worn inside or outside of the waistband thanks to a simple metal clip.
Using the Kingston
Because the holster is nylon, and not rigidly molded Kydex or leather, one holster will hold multiple guns. We requested a Kingston for a full sized Beretta PX4. But when it came time to shoot video for the review, we were running super low on 9mm. We had enough .45 ACP, so we tried the Glock 30S in the Kingston, and the gun fit perfectly.
We found that centering the holster on the seat was a bit problematic. I had assumed the buckle wouldn’t be comfortable to sit on, and so I wanted it as centered between my legs as I could get. But when the holster’s strap is centered, the grip of the Glock sticks into the driver’s right leg.
This isn’t comfortable. But with the strap moved just slightly to the left, the gun was much less obtrusive and didn’t impede the manipulation of the pedals at all. And the buckle isn’t noticeable.
And that’s what this is about. If you are going to carry in your vehicle, you should have your gun accessible, and comfortably accessible (which eliminates most holster patterns). It should also be more secure than the cup holder typically allows.
And there’s another matter to consider. Many states require guns in vehicles to be separated from their ammunition and/or magazines during transport. Some require that the guns be visible in the vehicle.
The Kingston is visible, but not so visible that anyone stopped next to you at a light will see your pistol (which can create its own set of safety issues). And the magazine pouch keeps ammunition separate, but close. The holsters are forgiving enough that a gun can be holstered with the slide locked back, truly ready for the quick insertion of a magazine and rapid response.
Staging your firearm with the Kingston
Which is why we like the Kingston. Rapid response. One of the biggest benefits of the Kingston is how easy it is to access. While some have experimented with holsters under the steering wheel, I find that reaching between my legs is sometimes easier than fishing around under the dash. The only impediment to a natural draw motion is the steering wheel itself. But a little practice will make the draw second nature.
And the Kingston allows you to keep you gun secure, on hand, and ready for those times when you may need it most.
If your threat assessment has you on full alert, lock and load. Put an extra magazine in the elastic pouch. With the Glock 30S, that’s 20 rounds of .45 ACP.
Or, if you’re rolling on the highway or in a more secure environment, the Kingston can be rolled forward, which moves the gun down, deeper under the seat. In that condition, a gun is accessible, and can be made ready quickly. But it is a much safer way to transport, and when tucked under, it Kingston is completely unobstructive.
When you park and holster the gun in a more traditional carry holster, the Kingston can be easily moved beneath the seat. Or simply un-clip the strap and tuck everything out of sight for maximum concealment.
The Kingston retails for somewhere south of $54.99. Not bad for something so ridiculously useful. And versatile.
Special Thanks to Bob Lawman of Firearms Novelity, always the consummate professional, even when faced with our odd range requests.