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Please Note: As of May 2020 many of our holsters will now automatically come optics-ready. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Posted by Dara Holsters on 3rd Sep 2020

Holster Claw and Attachments: Explained

Check out this article on the Appendix Holster Claw attachments: What they look like, what they're for and how they affect your concealed carry experience.

What is the purpose of a Holster Claw?

A Holster Claw aids in concealment by pushing against the belt to pull the grip into the body.

Benefits of the Holster Claw:

The claw uses basic physics to perform a simple task. It pushes against the belt to bring the grip into the body. As long as the claw is aligned with the belt attachment, it will work flawlessly. 

Disadvantages of the Holster Claw:

If the holster manufacturer doesn't plan the design of the holster in accordance with the placement of the holster claw, it won't work. Meaning: if the belt attachment doesn't align with the claw, it'll just slip off/under the belt and protrude awkwardly underneath the belt line.

Another caveat to adding a claw to an AIWB Holster is the ride height limitations. As the claw has to be mounted under the trigger guard, the ride height of the holster has to be somewhat high to function properly. This isn't a significant issue, as a higher ride is generally preferred for the appendix carry position, however on certain firearms with larger trigger guards- like a VP9sk- the higher ride height becomes significant which may bother some.

Another disadvantage to the claw is discomfort. If your claw is too aggressive, the grip being pulled into the body drastically can become uncomfortable to wear and cumbersome to install on the belt. Granted, carrying a gun isn't supposed to be comfortable and putting on a holster doesn't necessarily have to be lightening fast, it is something to consider.

I realize that the disadvantages may seem greater than the advantage, but the disadvantages are conditional and usually based on the holster manufacturer's design.

How Dara Holsters works around the Disadvantages:

All of our AIWB Holsters come standard with the claw attachment. Side note: Our Holster Claw - unlike our competitor's - is mounted on it's own, not using the same hole that is used for retention hardware. This benefit means that if you adjust your retention on our holster, it won't cause the claw to become loose and wiggly.

To avoid the claw slipping beneath the belt, we always ensure the correct placement of the belt attachment. Our 5 signature-required quality checks ensure that the clip is always aligned with the claw to avoid any sort of slipping from the belt while carrying.

While there is nothing that we can do about the placement limitations, we do make sure to warn the customer ahead of time that their holster will be a higher ride height both in the product description and in our product pictures. We will never manufacture a holster that sits too high above the belt line. If this issue becomes apparent during the manufacturing or quality control process, the customer will be called before a sub-par product is shipped.

To avoid discomfort while carrying we offer adjustable holster claws. We send our appendix holsters out with the claw base attached and two separate pieces with hardware in a separate bag. This allows the concealed carrier to choose the aggressiveness of the claw attachment. See below for a side by side comparison of each claw piece.

Holster Claw: Base Only

This is how we ship most of our Appendix Carry Holsters: with the Claw base only

Just the Holster

On the Belt

Inside the Waistband

As you can see, the claw base alone does aid slightly in concealment by putting space between the holster body and belt, separating the belt just enough from the body to keep the grip from sticking out too far. With some firearms, especially compact, subcompact and micro compact guns, this is enough to prevent printing. However, if you receive your holster with no attachment and find that you need a bit more help to prevent printing, you may want to add the medium sized attachment piece. See below:

Holster Claw: Medium Attachment

Just the Holster

On the Belt

Inside the Waistband

As you can see from the three pictures of the medium attachment, the grip of the gun is further pressed into the body, making concealment a bit easier. However, ease of concealment in the appendix position greatly depends on body type. If this claw attachment is still not enough, you may want to try the large claw piece.

Holster Claw: Large Attachment


Just the Holster

On the Belt

In the Waistband

As you can see, the larger attachment piece greatly increases in size from the medium and pulls the grip well into the body. However, there are some negative side effects starting to take place with the larger piece that may cause discomfort, or even the adverse effect of printing in a different area. See below.


   The larger claw piece can sometimes cause this to happen to the belt. The thicker/stiffer the belt, the less noticeable this bulge may be. However, even with the best concealed carry gun belt, like the one above, this may still happen.
Here is the larger attachment piece inside the waistband. As you can see, the grip is tucked into the body to avoid printing, but there is now a bulge on the belt line due to how aggressive that larger attachment is.

 

How To: Find the Perfect Holster Claw Size

As we've done above, try all three options before committing to an opinion. 

There are so many different firearms and body types, you'll find that what works for some may not work for you. If you're having trouble concealing a micro compact without the claw attachments, by all means try out the medium or large attachment to see what works. 

If you're unhappy with the larger attachment because it's causing your belt to bulge, try the medium piece for a while.

Keep in mind: concealment also depends on your belt. If your belt isn't thick or stiff enough to keep a fully loaded firearm tight to the body, that may be the cause of your printing issue. Just because a belt has "tactical" or "gun belt" in it's name, doesn't mean it's good for concealed carry. 

Have questions about our holsters? Email us, here.