About SD Carry

As a young boy in Texas, I grew up with guns. They were basic tools, much like my grandfather's mitre box or pipe wrench, there to perform specific tasks when called upon. I was taught gun safety by virtually every male adult in my family. I spent eight years in the US Navy operating and maintaing various guns from .30 caliber to 5" rifles.

After a few years as a moderator on a popular gun forum, I learned that there is much disinformation, prejudice and plain ignorance about guns posted constantly on the internet.

This blog is dedicated to sharing worthwhile information about the increasing acceptance and practice of legal concealed carry in our country. There is much mis-information and wild opinion about this topic among its practitioners and the public in general. The moral, social and legal responsibilities of concealed carry are immense and must be understood and practiced by all who legally carry a gun.

There is also a vast amount of practical and useful information about carrying and the weapons themselves and I hope to be able to share some of that here. Your comments are welcome, but will be moderated by me before appearing on this blog.

Stay safe.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Versacarry Holsters - a review

A couple of weeks ago I received a number of Versacarry Holsters ( http://www.versacarry.com/ ) for use and review. I had read a mention of these holsters on the Elsie Pea Forum (now the Ruger Pistols Forum) and was intrigued by the concept.

These are not 'holsters' as we know them, but what I woud describe as synthetic, mimimum bulk and weight, concealed carry pistol IWB attachments. But, for this review, I will still refer to it as a holster.

Examples of the Versacarry lineup

Component parts and a look at how it fits to the gun frame
 As you can see, there is only one side to this holster. The clip goes over the belt, the gun and holster inside the waistband and the side of the gun rides against the body. Or, in my case, an undershirt. On first glance, this would seem to be uncomfortable, but to my surprise, it is not. This depends, of course, on where you carry the holster - against the hipbone will not be a comfortable place. I carry Rugers, the LCP, the LC9 or the SR9c as self defense guns. Even though I have skateboard tape attached to the slides of the LCP and the SR9c to aid in racking them, I felt no discomfort carrying them as long as I positioned them properly.

The other thing that most people think right away is, "what about the trigger guard? It's only on one side. Isn't that dangerous?"

The Versacarry company does not recommend anyone carry a pistol with this holster armed with a round in the chamber. I understand this, but I also understand that carrying a semi-automatic pistol for self defense that does NOT have a round chambered is a very foolish idea. There are too many instances in which the time or opportunity to draw a pistol, then rack in a round to make it ready to shoot, is not possible. I could enumerate these situations, but I'll only state one objection: a 'bad guy' has his hands on you and you are using your non-shooting hand to fend him off while you reach for your weapon with the other. How are you going, then, to rack in a round with one hand?

So, my preference is to carry "locked and loaded".  I am not advocating this to you. You have to make up your own mind and be comfortable with the decision. This brings us back to the question of the trigger guard, which is supplied as an option and only for one side of the holster. Obviously, having a trigger guard on a holster is a great idea and for me, I won't consider one without it. The trigger guard here is positioned to guard against the trigger coming in contact with anything that might end up between the trigger and the pants' side of the holster. The opposite side, the side next to your body, has nothing to hang up on. I querried Justin, the owner of Versacarry about this. His response was that used properly, which includes attaching the pistol to the Versacarry before clipping the holster into the pants, there is nothing to hang up on the trigger. Most negligent discharges of a pistol occur when re-holstering a loaded gun into a defective or blocked holster. Besides, if you follow Versacarry's instructions and do not carry with a round in the chamber, there should be no cause for worry.

Again, like carrying with the side of a pistol against your body, the trigger guard question is one you will have to answer for yourself and be comforatable with. I personally do not have an issue with this arrangement given my comments above, but it is a personal decision.

The Versacarry holsters are sized for caliber and for length. As you can see from the photos, the pistol is held to the holster by a spring action of the plastic and metal retention rod that fits up into the barrel. The rod is positioned at a angle to the holster "frame" which flexes and pushes the frame of the pistol against the frame of the holster. The rod is made of a somewhat soft and maleable plastic, tapered a bit at the top and threaded with a steel insert to accept a long steel screw. The attachment is solid. The rod is made slightly smaller (0.015") than the pistol's barrel diameter for a good fit. I found that once inserted and withdrawn a few times, the fit is perfect and the rod is long enough that the pistol sits securely on it.
Gen II Versacarry Concealed Carry IWB Solution
Showing rod mounted to the frame
The nice thing about this design is that a given holster will fit any number of pistols of the same caliber. My two 9 mm's and my .380 will fit the same diameter rod. The difference is in the length of the frame:

One caliber w/ optional trigger guard (XS,S,M,L,XL)
Same caliber, different lengths

For a given gun, you can get a holster that will carry it more deeply or more shallowly, depending on how you like your gun to ride above the belt line. They are also offering an adjustable holster so that it will be adaptable to guns of different thickness but of the same caliber. A nice touch.

The Versacarry holsters are made with a clip that will accommodate belts up to 1 1/2" wide and 1/4" thick, including the waistband material of the pants. They have a good video on their site about how the gun is mounted, clipped, into the holster and how the holster is attached and removed.

One quirk of this design is that if you draw your gun and then remove the holster in order to re-attach and re-install the holster/gun into your waistband, the empty holster may catch the barrel retention rod on your undershirt when taking it off. This can happen of course while you are practicing the draw from the holster with an unloaded gun of course. This is not a big deal because in a normal concealed carry situation, you won't be drawing and re-holstering your gun anyway.

Lastly, the draw. I can firmly state that there is no holster out there that offers a smoother or quicker draw than the Versacarry. Some, a few, might be as good, but not better in my opinion. The pistol slips off the barrel retention rod smoothly and there is really nothing else to impede the gun.

So, in conclusion, I think this is one of the most innovative pistol concealed carrying devices available. It weighs next to nothing. It is strong, easy to attach the pistol to and draws very easily. It also offers your option of a deeply concealed carry or one that rides higher, holding the grips higher above the belt line. It is useable in practically any position - probably not a good choice for small of back carry, but I find it works fine as a cross draw holster as well as in the other positions. As they demonstrate in their videos, it is pretty easy to attach and remove with the gun in place. And, at the current price point, the Versacarry is about half what you would expect to pay for an 'ordinary' holster with the exception of a few Galcos and the more simple leather brands. Backed by the Versacarry no questions asked replacement policy it's hard to beat.

Its uniqueness offers questions about the design that are not present with more conventional designed holsters: nothing between the body and the gun, an optional trigger guard only on one side, and the requirement to remove the Versacarry in order to attach the pistol to it. These are different factors - not "bad", but a function of the innovative design of the holster. 

 Most of us have a number of holsters in our carry 'wardrobe'. The Versacarry now has a place in mine. It's not my exclusive concealed carry holster solution, but there are times and places where it is a good choice.

 Gen II Versacarry Concealed Carry IWB Solution


1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I agree that the versa carry allows a very quick draw. When doing CCW I have a round in the chamber and the safety on. My gun is a Ruger 40 Compact so the clip ejection and safety are on both sides of the gun. As far as re-holstering I am not worried because if I am in a situation where I have to draw my gun, the chances are I won't be re-holstering. Leaving the safety on is my personal choice, unless I am suddenly put into danger that may be a hindrance, however, the human body still has fight or flight and as I was taught if something does not feel right be cautious. Greg.