By Annette Evans
Most of us have had one: the holster that was almost right but just a little off.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to improve how your holster works for you, assuming your gun fits into the holster shell properly in the first place. Taking a hair dryer or heat gun to your holster isn’t a good idea, but these fixes won’t permanently damage your holster and don’t require any specialty tools.
A holster claw is most commonly found in Appendix Inside-the-Waistband (AIWB) holsters and is a piece of plastic attached on the side of the holster under the handgun’s grip. The claw works by adding a surface that pushes against the wearer’s belt, rotating the holster and the butt of the gun in the holster against the body.
One of the original add-on claws is the RCS VG Claw. It’s sort of a V shape that extends out from the holster’s edge, making it a bit wider to put the leverage created by the claw further down the grip of the gun. The VG Claw is an additional piece that is added between the holster body and the strut to which the loop or clip attaching your holster to your belt or pants is attached.
A newer development is the PHLster TuckStrut. The TuckStrut works by replacing the strut entirely, with a part that serves dual duty as a claw and a way to attach a belt loop or clip. It also allows you to tuck your shirt in between the strut and the holster body to help conceal the gun and holster without needing an untucked shirt over top. Its geometry rotates the gun just a little bit differently than the VG Claw, so one may work for you where the other doesn’t.
That rotation of the grip can also be helpful in other carry positions, so if you have issues with the butt of your gun poking out, try experimenting with a wing if your holster supports adding one.
Wedges can be added to any holster, and are a way to adjust how the holster body meets up against your unique lumps and bumps. If you hold your holster just right for concealment, but it won’t stay there because there’s a gap between the holster and your body, then a wedge might be the right fix.
While it’s possible to buy wedges and wedge kits, it’s really an area where true DIY shines.
All you need to create a wedge is a piece of closed-cell foam that isn’t easily compressed and that you can carve up a bit. Closed-cell foams, such as used in camping sleeping pads, are a common source, and you can also use children’s foam blocks or find a scrap or two at your local craft store. Googling “holster wedge foam” is also a way of finding appropriate material.
When you get your piece of foam, you can cut it up in the right shape to get the holster to sit exactly how you want it to on your body – filling the gap, in other words. In many cases, what you’ll end up will look like a wedge that you might use as a doorstep – hence the name.
By the way, if you think foam isn’t right for you, there are other materials that can work too. Look around and you might find a creative solution – like gel heel cushions!
To attach your new wedge, you can glue it directly to the holster with an appropriate adhesive or, for more flexibility, attach the loop side of a piece of Velcro to your holster and use hook-side Velcro on your new wedge.
You’ll likely have to experiment, and most foams will break down over time (and your body will change too!), but it’s easy to play with, especially if you use an adjustable mounting method.
Just a few simple, inexpensive fixes might be all you need to make that almost-perfect holster The One. Give ‘em a try and let us know how it goes!
The above was written by competitive, sponsored shooter Annette Evans.
Here are some other resources to help choose a good holster:
- Criteria For Selecting a Concealed Carry Holster
- Women's Concealed Carry Holster Options
- 4 Things an Appendix Carry Holster Should Have
- Claws and Wedges
- Off Body Considerations
- Sweatguards on a holster?
Speaking of holsters, did you know we carry some in our online store? Check out the line up from KSG Armory – custom Kydex holsters for every gun owner.