By Julie Loeffler
I have, on occasion, carried a Smith & Wesson J-frame for my concealed carry firearm choice. It’s more comfortable than I’d like to admit, conceals well. . . .So what’s the problem, right? I feel that I need more practice with it, better control of it while firing, and getting fewer blisters when I shoot it before I’m going to consider using it as a primary concealed carry firearm.
HOWEVER, I had an opportunity to try a holster designed specifically for this type of firearm, the DeSantis Clip-Grip. This isn’t a new holster, but it’s new to me. And stepping into the gun world a little more has led to me engaging on more gun forums online and joining more firearm groups on social media. Because of these outlets, I’ve discovered that more women than I had thought choose to carry a small-framed revolver for their concealed carry option.
HUGE DISCLAIMER: I don’t know if they chose the revolver for their carry option on their own or if this was chosen for them (which is an entirely separate blog on its own), but nevertheless, I thought that audience in particular would like to hear my thoughts on the Clip-Grip.
I use the 4 C’s rule when testing a holster: 1) Concealment, 2) Convenience, 3) Comfort, and 4) Cost:
1) Concealment – I carried the revolver in the AIWB position. The pants that I wore that day were a little more form-fitting in the waistline than others I own, and I wore a belt. This is important for two reasons: It kept the gun from moving around and also falling out. The holster is actually part of the grip that screws into the revolver’s frame. The revolver rests between me (my belly) and my pants, with the curved part of the grip holster going over the top of my pants. The belt was necessary to keep the holster/gun in place as well. If I wore less-fitted pants or no belt, the holster wouldn’t have worked. The firearm might have lodged its way loose and have fallen to the ground (either outside or inside my pants). But they weren’t loose. Like I said, they were pretty snug. So the concealment was very good in this case.
2) Convenience – This holster scores pretty high marks in this category. It’s literally a ‘stow and go’ type holster. The holster is already with the gun (on it!), I don’t have to thread anything through loops, adjust, change my clothes or any of the other tasks that might accompany a decision to carry. I can just put the holster/gun in my preferred carry on-body location, make sure it’s in place, and go. A well-respected gentleman in the firearms community put it this way: “It’s really the ultimate ‘slip this into my pants to go get ice cream’ device.” So even if this wouldn’t be a first choice for someone’s everyday carry (EDC), there’s no denying its convenience.
3) Comfort – I found this holster to be very comfortable. There was no pinching or pulling anywhere, but it’s important to note that I wore a tank top under my shirt, which allowed a fabric liner between my bare skin and the gun. I can’t speak on the comfort factor if carried in any other waistline position other than AIWB, but my guess is it wouldn’t be bad either. It’s also important to note that I sit at a desk almost 80% of the time. I don’t move around very much, which limits the opportunity for the holster/gun to move around. Coupling that with the snug clothing choices, I didn’t notice any movement at all. There was a mental comfort level I had to find with this holster, too. At first I was a little uneasy due to the fact that the trigger wasn’t covered. Sure I understand the heavier trigger pull of a revolver, but it still “wierded me out” that there was no covering, until I did a little research. The same gentleman who made the ice cream comment above (maybe we should call him the Ice Cream Man) also told me that this was not a particular concern with this holster. Autoloaders are a different matter with this type of holster (stressing that would be a reckless carry option of which I agreed wholeheartedly with him). The result? Both physical and mental comfort in complete check!
4) Cost – I found this holster to be in line with most others. Not expensive, but not the cheapest on the market either. My take on cost when choosing a holster is that it shouldn’t be the first consideration, but if you are looking for multiple holsters to purchase, it must be a factor when looking at all options. Rule of thumb as with all things is to purchase the best you can afford. This holster is certainly priced well enough to be an alternative carry option for anyone.
Conclusion: The DeSantis Clip-Grip holster is a great situational carry option. Your choice of clothing, your activity for the day / moment or the position of carry will all be factors on your level of success. The Ice Cream Man and I also agreed on another very important point: Everything is a compromise. Sure there might be limitations using this holster, but if you are willing to work around them or it fits a particular situation, then this might be a great one to pick up and give a try. I’m glad I did.
Now. . . . off to the shooting range for some revolver practice!