Great article! Thanks for sharing. I think that the Hellcat OSP is the only way to go for me. That small a gun with that small an optic is a great CCW option now. I was wondering if there would be a good way to carry it. This holster seems like a great option (I like how adjustable it is).
Best is of course subjective and there are numerous attributes that need to be examined individually.
AIWB, IWB or OWB each has distinct characteristics that make it more suitable to its purpose
Leather, Kydex, Boltaron,or a hybrid
High ride or low ride
Type of retention for weapon
Type of retention for holster
Ease of use
Weight or bulk
Paddle or no paddle
Belt required or no belt
For me, I haven't found a Kydex I found comfortable or desirable. The material is cheap, very stiff and hard and can crack. The low cost and easy mold-ability is what makes it desirable to others. I prefer leather, it does cost more, requires more skill to make and is more comfortable in contact with the skin and more easily molds to the body. High quality leather can last a lifetime.
I have become a fan of magnetic retention for the weapon. Today's magnets are very strong. Unfortunately, JM4-Tactical holds a patent on this method so I haven't seen any other maker offer it. I also like their magnetic holster retention. Clips for holster retention come in metal and various types of plastics with different configurations to hold them to a belt or clothing. There are also loops with snaps, single or double. For versatility, ease of putting on or taking off, the magnetic flap is simply unbeatable. Whether you are wearing a belt or not doesn't matter. The magnet securely holds the holster to your clothing. It holds better than all of the other clip and loop designs without the hassles some of the others impose. Metal clips can snag and even tear clothing, plastic clips slip off allowing the holster to come with the gun on a draw or must be securely secured under a belt. Loops require a lot of effort to thread them under a belt and then get them snapped.
This is not intended to be comprehensive but merely to point out factors that need to be considered to derive what works best for you. For me OWB is generally more comfortable however Appendix carry with the JM4-Tactical is very close and I would pick either of those over any other I have tried. As a general rule, a quality leather holster made from Herman Oaks or equivalent leather is going to start near $100. Add fancy exotics of big name makers and you get to $200+ very quickly. Given demand today, expect a minimum of 3 weeks and probably a lot longer to receive an order. Now go find your best Hellcat OSP holster.
Here are some photos of my favorite appendix carry holster from JM4-Tactical. Those magnets are incredibly strong.
You can see the flap with magnet open and that just loops over your belt or clothing. It holds very securely whether you are wearing a belt or not. It is made of Herman Oaks leather. Here is a link to their web site.