Do you have a pile of holsters? Me, too! If you don’t, you will soon. No matter what, there is always something new coming out and we are always in search of something new.
At least in the last couple years, prices have been coming down. I used to spend $80 to $100 per holster to try. Now it’s about half of that.
About six months ago, I bought a holster from a new company called Clinger. I loved the price of about $50 with everything and the simple construction, so I ordered one for my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm full sized pistol. I used it for about a week and then ordered one for my Shield, also.
I was wearing it for a couple months and Clinger contacted me and wanted to know if I’d like one to test one. Of course, I said yes. They sent me two more for my M&P.
Now I’ve got 4 Clinger Stingray holsters and have been using them for about six months. I really like these holsters and will continue to use them for the foreseeable future (or until I find something that is better).
The Clinger Stingray is made of one piece of 0.08 inch thick Kydex. That’s about normal for a modern holster, but a lot thinner than leather. The web site claims kydex never wears out but I have worn out holsters before after years of hard use. And that’s generally when the holster and clip are one piece. Eventually that one-piece tears from pulling the holster on and off. Doesn’t look like I’ll have that problem with a Clinger holster.
The clip looks nylon and seems to be bullet proof. I’ve seen other holsters with the same clips and the screws seem to wear out before the clip. At first it looks huge, but it’s only about 2 inches. All the smaller clips I’ve had in the past have broken eventually, but I think this one is going to last. Being so big helps support the gun on my belt which I really appreciate since I normally carry a full-sized gun. Weight can become an issue.
Getting the holster on and off is really easy, and I can do it with the gun in the holster. I come home at the end of the night and can take the gun and holster off, leaving the loaded gun in the holster. This gives me less administrative handling and less chance for an accident. I simply stick the entire gun and holster in the safe. I don’t put naked loaded guns around. You are asking for something crazy to happen and that gun to discharge if you don’t keep loaded gun in a holster. With other holsters, I take the gun out, put it someplace, then take the holster off, then put the gun back into the holster and into the safe. This eliminates a couple of steps.
In the morning, I grab the gun in the holster and put the entire rig back on. After I get the gun on and the belt settled, I pull the gun and do a press check and put the gun back in the holster. Easy.
The holster is stiff enough not to collapse so one handed holstering with the holster on the belt is fast, easy, and safe. Some inside-the-waist holsters collapse and require you to use the muzzle or your off hand to open the holster up to the gun back. Neither is desirable and asking for another problem.
The holster itself raps around the gun and covers the trigger and trigger guard really nicely. Behind the trigger guard is cut off with a little space and the edges are rounded nicely. Rubbing my fingers over the holster I can’t find any sharp edges.
The holster fits all the guns it was designed for like a glove. The sweat guards rounded to fit the slide and not hang over. I love sweat guards on inside the waist holsters because it keeps the gun from cutting into me. The sights and checkering can be sharp and wear into my skin after a couple of weeks of wearing the gun every day. I don’t always wear an undershirt, so sometimes the gun and/or holster is sitting directly against my skin.
The holster has an adjustable tension screw under the trigger guard which is almost standard. I like my carry holsters to be a little tighter than most, so I love the adjustments.
My holster tension test is simple; put the gun in the holster, turn it upside down, and shake it. I like to do this over my bed in case the holster fails. As long as the gun stays, it’s good to go. If it falls out I adjust the retention or junk the holster. All these holsters passed right out of the box.
I have two different designs of the Clinger Stingray holster. Two with a forward cant and two without. I’ve been using them both and each has its own advantage.
The forward cant holsters are faster on the draw and more comfortable when sitting for a long time. The gun is a little higher on the belt and allows for a good full grip on the gun. That makes it a little faster to acquire a master grip and faster to get it out and on target.
With the forward cant, the butt of the gun sits more towards your center line when sitting. This keeps the gun butt from pressing against a seat as hard. This pushes the gun forward less, makes the gun dig into me less and keeps the holster from trying to twist against my belt less. In all, just a little more comfortable to sit with.
The holsters with no cant or a straight drop lets the gun sit lower on my belt (or further into my pants). Either way you want to explain it with the gun deeper it conceals better because less sticks out.
With the butt of the gun deeper it also harder to get a good master grip on the gun. It makes the draw a little slower then it could be.
Also, with the straight cant the gun seems to be a little more comfortable to me walking around. And I hit it on less things. I’ve been carrying a gun every day for most of my adult life and still bump it on things. It’s one of the reasons I don’t carry an expensive custom gun because it’s going to get beat up.
The concealability of these holsters is great. My full-size gun easily disappears with a light cover garment and my single stack Shield is easier to hide under a T-shirt than the extra magazine I carry.
My wife is my concealment check all the time and she now sees magazines more than my guns. Clinger has a fix for that too. I haven’t tried one yet, but their design looks just like one I had custom made for my M&P. It’s next on my list to buy.
In the end, I judge holsters on five criteria: Retention, Comfort, Concealment, Speed, and Price. These holsters balance all five nicely. I haven’t lost any of my guns after carrying them for about six months. The gun doesn’t come out without you trying to make it come out so the retention is good. Comfort, Concealment, and Speed are always a balance. Generally, if one goes up, the others go down. Think of the speed holsters you see at USPSA and Steel Challenge, they would never conceal, but are stupid fast. The same with comfort, the more comfortable it is, the less it conceals. This holster strikes a nice balance of the three. Its comfort and concealment are little higher than the speed part, but works perfect for my life. The last part; the price is awesome. These holsters start at $39.99! That’s why I have two and will probably buy a couple more.
The last thing I really like about Clinger, is they sent extra hardware. Every time I get something knew, I can never find my wrench set to adjust it. This one comes with one. It also comes with extra screws and spacers. All a different size to give you more adjustability. I just used the one that came on the holster. But I do like having the extras around. Sooner or later I will lose a screw out of the holster and want another one. Glad to have them.
If you haven’t checked one of these holsters out, you should. It is great everyday carry holster for me and I use one more days than not. I will be using one of these holsters for the foreseeable future. Check them out at Clingerholsters.com