20140701 152225

Serious Concerns About The Versacarry® Holster


Today, we’re going to take a close look at the Versacarry® holster. This holster is technically not a holster, but a new yet-to-be-categorized firearm concealment system. Available since 2011, they are advertised as the ZeroBulk Holster®.

While we generally agree with the old saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, we think there is probably an exception for evaluating firearm use and safety.

Believe us when we say that after a hard look over the course of a few months, we concluded that we should share with readers our view of the pluses and minuses of this innovative device.

That said, let’s get on with it.

We tried it for months

We’re not just writing this article out of the blue. We tried the Versacarry® with a Glock 27 for a few months. We really wanted to love it. Innovation is what keeps things moving, and while it’s definitely a different concept and design, this method of carrying a firearm raises some serious issues that any owner should be aware of and consider. We’ll start with the retention rod.

Just stick the holster into the barrel

The fact that you need to stick the holster into the barrel of your firearm is counter intuitive to most seasoned gun owners (except perhaps when we are cleaning it). It’s just asking for trouble and does not sound like safe practice. However, the company says it is ok, but recommends that you do not carry with a round in the chamber while you are using their holster.

Umm, did we get that right? It seems very odd that a pro-concealed carry company would actually recommend that you do not carry with a round in the chamber. Anyone carrying with an empty chamber over a loaded one would need to plan the additional time necessary and remember to chamber a round if they ever really need to use it.

Another potential problem is the entire holster coming up with the firearm while drawing, or something breaking off (see section below regarding plastic). We had this happen once (after the ‘break-in’ period) and had the trigger been pulled, we would have been in a lot of trouble. Firing with an obstruction in the barrel is probably not a great idea. We were always taught to keep our barrel’s clean and clear, and that it is inherently unsafe to put something into the working end of a firearm barrel.

You’re breaking two of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety

Many times when someone uses the Versacarry®, they are breaking two of the four gun safety rules that everyone should adhere to without exception. The four rules are listed below, and we’ve bolded the two that are at risk of being broken frequently when using the Versacarry®:

  • #1: The Gun Is Always Loaded
  • #2: Never Point The Gun At Something You Are Not Prepared To Destroy
  • #3: Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It
  • #4: Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target

When holstering your firearm in the Versacarry®, you need to stick the plastic rod into the end of your barrel. When watching people do this via YouTube and from photos around the interwebs, fingers and/or hand are sometimes directly in the path of the barrel, breaking the first two rules. Even though the manufacturer recommends that a round not be chambered when using this device, we must always assume that any firearm we handle is indeed loaded.

The way that the Versacarry® is designed, many will be inclined to insert the rod into the firearm in a way that brings the hand in front of the muzzle. At a minimum, this is something that needs to be addressed as a warning on packaging and/or the product website.

While this isn’t the fault of the company (after all, they aren’t responsible for what other people do), we feel that because of the inherent way many people will holster the firearm, Versacarry® should offer a specific warning.

The screenshot below from this video, that’s been viewed over 35,000 times, shows just what shouldn’t be done with a loaded or unloaded firearm being holstered with the Versacarry® (we added the ‘NOOOOOO’):

ScreenHunter_53 Jun. 30 23.02

It’s good to note: Shortly after we launched this article, we received a PM from the owner of the above video that stated the following:

ScreenHunter_72 Aug. 04 18.03

Then shortly after that, we noticed that he left this comment on his video:

ScreenHunter_71 Aug. 04 18.03

Interestingly enough, this next screenshot is from this video, which is prominently displayed on Versacarry®’s website under their Reviews tab [since removed]:

ScreenHunter_53 Jun. 30 23.26

As we all know, safety is and should always be the #1 top priority whenever handling firearms. This product will undoubtedly be used by many who are new to firearms and they shouldn’t be introduced to concealed carry by forming bad habits from the beginning.

Carry with an Empty Chamber

We need to elaborate on this again because it is important. We are certain that, while their recommendation is to carry your firearm with an empty chamber while using their product is prudent because there is a rod stuck in the barrel, we find it to be irresponsible. The Versacarry® will be used not only by seasoned firearm owners, but also people who are brand new to the scene.

The video below illustrates just how quickly things can change for someone, and why it’s important in many cases for owners to carry with a round in the chamber that’s ready to go. After all, many of us carry to be prepared for encounters such as these:

You can’t re-holster quickly

This may not sound like an issue with day to day life, but what happens if you’re met with a threat that we all hope never to encounter? What if you have to use your firearm in self defense? If you can’t re-holster quickly, what are you going to do with your firearm while waiting for the police to arrive? It’s doubtful that you’ll take your Versacarry® out of your pants, stick it back into your gun barrel, and then put it back in your waistband. After all, you just shot someone. The last thing you want to do is just hold onto your firearm while police approach the scene. That’s a quick way to get shot yourself. You don’t want to lay it down, because then it’s no longer in your control. These are problems that should be addressed by owners of Versacarry®.

The Trigger Guard is Still Exposed

The Gen 1 versions of the Versacarry® did not come with a trigger guard. In fact, it wasn’t even an option. However, after getting feedback from consumers, Versacarry® changed the way they manufactured their products and added a trigger guard on the Gen 2 versions. This is better, but not perfect. While they did install a trigger guard to cover the trigger on the outside, it still leaves the inside completely unprotected (see photo below). This can allow something to manipulate the trigger, whether it’s an article of clothing or something else. It’s simply not covered, and that alone presents a risk we would not take.



Retention Rod: What if it breaks off while drawing?

Again, we’re bringing this up because it’s a real concern since the user is required to put the plastic retention rod into the end of their barrel. It’s just something to think about because it isn’t something that you’d normally think about, since it’s the only holster that we know of that has this requirement. Also, the setup is made of plastic which can and does fail. A local gun shop has reported that they have seen Versacarry® holsters come back because the base that holds the retention rod in place broke.

Pieces of the Retention Rod coming off inside your barrel is a normal part of the break-in process

Did we get that right?? Should we really put things inside barrels? We’re sorry, for us nothing should be in the barrel of our firearms except cleaning equipment, and a bullet on it’s way to it’s intended target. These plastic shavings, as illustrated below, can (and do) end up inside the barrel. They don’t belong there.


It’s Plastic, and it still breaks

We have come across numerous reviews online that talk about the setup breaking. Some say the clip broke, others said that the retention rod base snapped. The dead honest truth is that it’s made of plastic, and plastic breaks easier than metal (comparison to metal clips on a leather/kydex holster for example). Furthermore, for owners who use the holster in frigid or extremely cold weather as many do, is this risk enhanced?

One review that hit the nail on the head is this one that we found on the product listing for Versacarry®:

I did 10-15 back to back quick draws with my 1911 and the VersaCarry in the small of my back when I heard a snap (whoopsies!). I’m sure if I contacted VersaCarry, they would’ve sent me a replacement, but I didn’t bother.

I definitely don’t want to risk drawing quickly in the heat of a confrontation, only to be surprised by the Delrin “barrel retention rod” stuck in my barrel.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue! I almost didn’t care to write a review, since it only cost me $20, but writing this might save a life or two.

There are also numerous reviews where users explain that their Versacarry® broke.

Questions Answered From Versacarry®

We sent Versacarry® a few questions about some of these issues to make sure we had not missed anything and to give them a chance to address them. In the interest of fairness, the questions and answers are as follows:

Question 1) While watching some YouTube videos that deal with Versacarry reviews, we often see people installing the Versacarry on their firearm by pushing the retention rod into their barrel with the palm of their hand. Do you offer any warning on your packaging to alert people that they should be careful not to place their hand in front of the muzzle while installing/removing their Versacarry?

Answer 1) The proper way to install the Versacarry is to grip the belt clip portion.

Question 2) Are there any plans to give protection to the trigger guard on both sides of a firearm that is using the Versacarry?

Answer 2) We are always looking to advance our designs in new and innovative ways, the exact specifics of new models to come is something we can’t release at this time.

Question 3) Important Question: We read an article (PDF) back when your company was in it’s infancy. In that article, the owner of Versacarry was quoted as saying that, if a firearm is discharged while the Versacarry is in the barrel, that it is designed to either fall out or disintegrate. Can you provide us with any data and/or video that demonstrates this happening to back up this claim?

Answer 3) I am not familiar with the exact article in question.  We do not advise discharging a firearm with a Versacarry installed.

Question 4) Important Question: What factors played a part in the decision to recommend that users do not carry with a round in the chamber while using the Versacarry?

Answer 4) As a manufacture we have no way of knowing the level of training our customers have experienced, and we must adopt policies that are safe for everyone. 

Note: All questions and answers above appear as asked and answered and are unedited.

We followed up with two questions regarding #1 and #3. For #1, we asked if the packaging had any warnings about placing your hand in front of the muzzle. For #3, we referenced the article (PDF) and quoted the section in question.

We have not received follow-up responses to these questions, but hope to receive some more feedback from them in the near future.


When dealing with firearms, leaving something to chance isn’t something anyone should do. We would not even recommend any non-molded holsters because they can get caught up in the trigger (go halfway down the post to see the images we’re referencing).

Our suggestion: stick to a high-quality holster that offers full protection of the trigger guard and is molded to fit your firearm. If you spend the money now on a quality holster, you may be very happy you made that decision one day.

We’re all for innovation, but the Versacarry® needs to evolve and be modified in ways that address some of these observations.

About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

Posts – Below Author – Small Square 1 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 2 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 3 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 4 (150×150)Advertisement
  • AgileBulletDodger

    I got the versacarry holster so I could carry a backup Sig 380, if you’re moving around – you can forget about a secure hold. I was getting in and out of my vehicle, very similar to what you’d be doing in a “situation” imho, and in about 30 minutes, my firearm was completely dislodged from the “stick” it was mounted on and just floating between my hip and my jeans waistband. Recipe for disaster. Needless to say, I tossed that ridiculous excuse for a holster after that.

  • The good part of this: If you join one of the cowboy action clubs, you can use a cool name like “Three Fingered Jack”, or “Choirboy Sam”.

    • jfieldtech

      I own several holsters for my bodyguard .380 and my shield .40. Out of all of them the versacarry is my go to “holster”. I love the ease of removal if I want to take it off for long trips in the car and I have never had any breaking issues after 3 years of use.

  • BA Baracus


  • joe bloe

    doesn’t completely cover the trigger and can’t carry with a round in the chamber-not for me. In response to ron, because you, a well trained gun owner can use it safely doesn’t mean it is inherently safe. I am sure it is not marketed too or bought only by people that are very well trained. In fact, my guess is most people that buy it are un trained. I don’t think it is at all irresponsible for anyone to present any evidence they have.

  • copprtop97

    I had purchased this device from a local gun store and was hesitant to open it. After a few days of contemplation, I saw this review and it confirmed my concerns. I returned it for a refund and ordered an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0. I couldn’t be happier with it! What rely bothered me about the wholly thing though, is that the store owner himself sold me this item in a convincing manner. Being that he is a former LEO and currently teaches Enhanced Carry and Active Shooter classes. I’m sure he knows better than to sell something like this. Regardless, he lost my business!

  • IamArmed

    Excellent holster. If it comes off your belt you never had it over the belt with. Of anyone thinks that the little plastic such as we are talking about is going to do any harm to you or your gun you have no idea what you are talking about. Is it supposed to break off? No. Will it? I doubt but I am sure I can break it if I try hard enough. However even if it breaks off in the barrel…what do you think is going to happen?

  • scoobysnax

    i stopped carrying with this holster because it did not stay in one spot and would slide back to front and front to back way too easily. when it did this the safety would become engaged in the “fire” position. i always check the safety before i put my gun on and when i put it away for the evening. it would more often than not, be in the fire position when i would take it off. NOT GOOD. i now have a fobus owb and aliengear iwb. very happy with both. haven’t had a problem since. granted, i like the concept of a “zero bulk” but not if i have to sacrifice safety. if they redesign it to be safer, i may try them again. they could take out the “rod” and put in a “retention” cup that cradles the nose of the firearm rather than a “plug”. and rubberize the interior of the belt clip for stability.

  • Andrew Post

    Yeah…My versacarry rod snapped INSIDE of the barrel. When I followed up with Customer Service, they responded (after clarifying on several different occasions) that my address was incorrect, and they were unable to send me a replacement. As I had purchased this holster from Gander Mountain, they were unable to provide a refund either. So avoid the headaches, and just buy yourself anything else. Even a roll of duct tape would be preferable.

  • James S.

    This article seems really bias, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but do believe everyone deserves a fair shake. For example, the whole carrying without a round chambered comment, yes clearly they promote that. However there was clear failure to mention that most firearm manufacturers have the same warning, read your Glock manual. Something tells me we won’t see an entire article speaking ill of a major firearm manufacturer promoting similar warnings.

    Also here is a video that shares another perspective on things.

  • JC Murzali

    What…in the name of God??
    Bad idea.

  • Terry Michael Huud

    Hmmmm. You guys should review the product by Zero Carry. It’s very similar and mine broke last week while I was wearing it.