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Trident Concepts Brings Up A Good Point About IWB Holsters

Trident Concepts frontman Jeff Gonzalez is a great guy and makes some excellent points on his corporate blog. This is one I thought we should share with our readers. I asked Jeff and thankfully he agreed.


We just finished up another great Concealed Carry Tactics class and we saw a lot of inside the waist band holsters that used a “clip” to secure the holster. If you have something that is essential then you are going to want something more secure.

We have seen a fair amount of these holsters slip out during the draw forcing the shooter to strip the holster during the draw stroke. It happens enough times that we take notice of it and try to work to improve their security. If you do run a clip style holster then I strongly suggest you consider practicing a few draw strokes where you purposely set up the holster to slip off your pants forcing you to strip it off. That is the best way to plan for that contingency…actually the best way is to avoid using it altogether, but they are popular.

Remember, training on a flat range is only part of the total package. The moment you start moving around, going from a sitting to standing or vice versa you are pushing and pulling on the holster body. If you have adjustable retention you might think loosing it up so the pistol is freed easier is a good idea. I wouldn’t recommend that as a solution. Part of your criterion for holster selection is retention of the pistol or the dump boat test. If you secure the pistol in the holster, turn it upside down and gently shake it the pistol should not fall free.

Another consideration is where the clips contact your pants. Ideally you want them to contact your pants where they can get the best purchase. You want to avoid adding girth by having them clipped over a belt loop. The clip may not actually fully bite down creating a little gap that again through some normally movement or worse aggressive fighting can dislodge and make it easy to slip off. You need to give consideration to where you place the holster to ensure the clips secure directly over the belt.

If you opt to forgo wearing a belt then you are really running the gauntlet. The clips usually snap over the belt, which then acts as a ledge to help bite down and secure the holster to the pants. While you might get away with it, I wouldn’t trust this technique to some intense movement such as fighting on your feet or worse fighting off the ground.

If you have an option as far as steel clips versus plastic clips I would suggest steel. Usually they are made of spring steel, which puts just that much more pressure than plastic to bite down and get a good purchase on your pants.

While clips may be convenient, should convenience really be a consideration for holster selection. Are you really evaluating a holster based on how easy it is to take on and off? That seems a little backwards if you really give it some thought.

When you are danger close, have had to fight someone off you; you not only want the holster to stay in the same location, you want it to stay.

– Jeff Gonzalez
Trident Concepts

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12 Responses to “Trident Concepts Brings Up A Good Point About IWB Holsters”

  1. SOGWarrior says:

    +1 on Jeff Gonzalez and his assessment. I took a class from him early in the year and came away with a whole bag of “what I need to work on”. The kind of holster mentioned in the HSP INCOG and I own one. I can’t even give this thing away. Worst holster purchase I have made. – piece of junk. Suggestion to anyone reading, buy a IWB holster that has Closed-Loops which requires the Belt to be fed through the loops as oppposed to the clip system.

  2. j.brown says:

    Most of the problems I’ve had with IWB holsters have been the COMPLETELY OBVIOUS clips. They are supposed to be for concealed carry but companies will not only make their clips obvious to anyone looking for one but will even emblazon their logos on the thing. Way to be subtle.

    • Stan says:

      Shouldn’t there be a covering garment that hides the clips from view? Maybe I misunderstood the article but it didn’t seem to be talking about the tuckable IWB holsters so I don’t feel the look of the clip or a logo is that important.

      What turned me off from the clip type IWB holster was when a seat belt got caught on the metal clip and just about pulled the gun from my shorts as I exited the vehicle. And that was a holster from an expensive big name maker. Of course I’ve also had the leather strap type become unbuttoned which caused me some concern.

  3. DugasM says:

    While I am not disagreeing with Mr. Gonzalez the picture with the Incog holster is a bit misleading. The picture shows the individual wearing the holster on his strong side. There are numerous videos even one with Haley himself stating that wearing the holster in this position requires one clip. The picture clearly shows two clips.

    • Chris K. says:

      The pic makes his point, it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 clips or 1, if they don’t fit over the belt the holster won’t stay put.

  4. DI says:

    Jeff is a great instructor and is an extremely knowledgeable professional!
    I’ve taken a few of his classes more than once and always learn a great deal from him.

  5. Bushman says:

    To be honest, I have no experience in concealed carry of guns, but a lot of such experience with knife. The problems and solutions seems to be the same in this case.

    For example, some Mora knives have two belt attachments: clip and flat loop (both can be used for carrying sheath inside or outside the pants).
    Loop always keeps sheath in place, whatever you do – you just have to use belt with it. And it’s easy to take it on and off when using hook&loop belts like on photos above.
    The same should work with inverse hook-shaped clips, clinging for the belt, but only if belt is firm enough.

    Clips worn over the belt like on photos above are ridiculous (the best way to expose it and to get it loose), why not to cover it with belt, at least?

    And what about adapting your own gear by yourself? Gluing a piece of webbing or fabric over the attachment (clip or loop) takes just ten minutes, then it looks just like another belt loop or something even from the close distance.

  6. Khoff says:

    I’ve got one knife where the kydex belt clip slips between the outside of the pants and inside of a belt then hooks underneath the belt. Very secure. Has never slipped. Might be an option for future holster manufacturers. SSD keep up the great blog and information. I return daily and have you on my favorite bar. Learn a ton from all your articles.

  7. redbeard33 says:

    High Noon Holsters has a great clip on their IWB that hooks under the belt. Very secure on draw.

    • Pete says:

      I use a High Noon holster and had a little trouble understanding the criticism in the article. I’ve carried IWB for a decade and strongly believe in the steel clip; as articulated.

      High Noon does have a great Gold-i-locks clip; low-profile, good retention but able to remove with a moderate amount of manipulation. Their clip is better than Bianchi, Don Hume and no-name makers versions I’ve tried.

  8. metalhead2508 says:

    It’s about damn time someone brought this up. I’ve criticized the use of these cheap ass steel clips since I’ve first started carrying. I’ve had numerous holsters where the clip broke, lost it’s tension, or actually allowed the holster to come out on the draw. I’ve since moved on to using the Desantis Intruder hybrid holster. It has beefy polymer belt clips. You actually have to slide the belt through it. I’ve used it for 3 years everyday, and no problems yet.

    Don’t call yourself a “custom” holster maker if you cant even take the time to make your own belt clip or at least provide one that actually works.