In concealed carry, there’s something of a debate concerning the best holster option: Is it leather? Is it Kydex? Is it some sort of hybrid? Or could it even be one of those gimmick atrocities that emerge from the mist about once a year?
While leather once had market supremacy (for lack of any other option), hybrid and straight-no-chaser Kydex options are dominating the inside-the-waistband (IWB) market. One of the strongest arguments in favor of the pure Kydex holster is the possibility of a holster claw, sometimes called a holster wing.
What Is a Holster Claw?
A holster claw (or wing) is a holster accessory designed to make concealed carry more comfortable and efficient.
A good holster claw will help a concealed carrier reduce printing and reduce the felt impact of carry, which are two of the most vitally important aspects of safe and responsible carry.
The device tries to accomplish this by pressing against your belt to leverage the grip of your firearm against the curve of your body, as Harry’s Holsters points out.
It’s best-known for working with a Kydex holster, but you can find hybrid holster claws with companies like Crossbreed, Comp-Tac, Hidden Hybrid Holsters, and others.
A quick internet search didn’t produce any examples of a claw being used with a pure cowhide holster, but I’d be willing to bet that you could find someone willing to try it if you looked long enough.
What Does a Holster Claw Look Like?
It looks just like this:
See that little piece jutting out and up from below the trigger guard on the holster? That’s your claw.
How Does a Holster Claw Work?
As we discussed earlier, the “wing” presses up against the belt to utilize leverage to press the grip of the handgun up against the carrier’s body.
It’s hard to explain that thoroughly without a visual, though. Fortunately, there’s a superb example from RTT: Guns and Gear. It’s all of six minutes, and it’s worth your time:
The belt, once it covers the wing, will force the holster to tuck in to your side as you tighten your belt. Depending on the company, you can even get different sizes to create different levels of leverage against your body. We The People Holsters has such an option.
Does a Holster Claw Actually Work?
Oh, yeah, buddy.
Brandon, my overlord here at Concealed Nation, told me he’d get me a pure Kydex holster shipped to me from KSG Armory. I’m still demo-ing the first of two holster they sent, and you guys will be getting a full write-up of both as soon as I have reviewed each thoroughly.
As part of that, Brandon told me that they’d come with wedges and claws. Being a historically hard-line leather or hybrid guy, I thought “Awesome. Another gimmick, and I’m going to take it because that’s the reporting assignment.”
It’s completely changed the way I carry. I carry a Sig Sauer P365 XL in a Declaration holster from KSG Armory, and I’m a very, very happy camper to date.
There’s little bad I can say about KSG Armory’s craftsmanship, but the claw’s where I feel the transformational impact. It’s almost unbelievable.
The carry’s more comfortable, and I don’t feel like my gun’s tail end is occasionally hanging out in the wind.
When it is an add-on to your holster purchase (it wasn’t for the Declaration), it’s not an exorbitantly expensive one.
The holster claw is an inexpensive, effective way to maximize your concealed carry rig’s potential to minimize printing and maximize comfort through simple leverage.
If done right, the difference felt and seen with and without it should be palpable. Check out your favorite holster manufacturer and see if you can get one to augment your everyday carry.