The right to carry a concealed firearm is a great honor and privilege, but it can also be a bit uncomfortable. This is especially true if you are wearing your gun inside your pants. The inside the waistband (IWB) holster has come a long way in recent years with great new designs to be had; there’s definitely something for everyone. But not every IWB holster is a good one, so you need to know what to look for. Your priorities may vary depending on your mission, but an IWB holster must conceal and retain the gun well while still allowing a smooth and unimpeded draw. It should also print as little as possible so as not to scream “gun” to any crooks who know what to look for. And finally, it should be well-made to give you years of service.
How many of us have purchased a brand- new gun or added a new model light to an existing gun only to discover there aren’t any holsters made for it yet? And that’s not an indictment on holster manufacturers; I know how difficult it is for them to keep up with all the changes. But it was this very conundrum that caused Justin Sitz to come up with the idea for the Versacarry — a versatile IWB holster. If you haven’t seen a Versacarry holster before, you’re in for a treat.
It’s an elegantly simple design: a small plastic belt clip drops down inside your pants where it attaches to a Delrin barrel retention rod. You put the rod into the barrel of the gun then insert the gun and holster inside your pants. The barrel retention rod and belt clip are designed to clamp against the barrel, keeping the holster and gun together until you pull them apart. And the lipped belt clip helps prevent the whole rig from being pulled out when drawing your gun.
Versacarry keeps the grip above the belt line so it’s easy to achieve a proper firing grip and a smooth draw. Just one model will fit numerous firearms. It’s worked well with several of my guns including the Kimber Solo, Glock 23 and S&W M&P Compact. I found them all easy to draw while still keeping the gun firmly inside my pants, even when running or bending over.
As good as any holster is, it won’t work very well without a good belt. After carrying a gun for the past 20 years, I’m a huge proponent of a quality belt. I’m stunned how many of my fellow cops hang their guns on cheap saggy department store belts. A sturdy belt is a must not only for comfort but to ensure a smooth draw. It’s also critical for weapon retention; I’ve seen more than one gun lost in a fight due to a cheap holster/belt combination.
Recently I discovered Disse Outdoor Gear, makers of fine shotgun cases, carry bags and handmade leather belts. I’ve been wearing one of their Amerihide Any-Day Dual Layer leather belts for a few months now and it’s becoming one of my favorites. It’s a rare combination when a company can produce a belt that is sturdy and flexible at the same time. Disse belts are rigid while still being comfortable, something that is critical if you wear a gun all day. I have been wearing several different holsters on this belt and found it has held up well.
What’s more is how impressed I was when I went to the range in my suit to practice live-fire drills. The belt held my holster firm and felt almost like I was wearing a duty rig. The Amerihide belt is made from two layers of top grain leather creating a finished piece that’s .25″ thick. A quality belt is worth every penny and usually costs a few to get one. Disse makes these custom handmade belts to order for about $60. This is a great deal for a top quality piece of much-needed gear.
Carrying guns is serious business. Using quality gear doesn’t have to break the bank.
By John Russo
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