As a newbie with gun-related gadgets, you are not wrong if you ask questions like: what does a holster claw do? There is much to learn about guns and their accessories, and this is another learning avenue.
In simple terms, a holster claw is an accessory for carrying a pistol in a concealed way with a waistband holster. At the same, it does not keep you from reaching your firearm whenever you need to pull it out faster.
If you are concerned about carrying your pistol secretly, you should consider learning about this little accessory. This article discusses what a holster claw does and other related information you need to know. Let’s proceed.
- What does a holster claw do?
- What positions work with a holster claw?
- If I use the holster claw, do I need a belt?
- Are holster claws comfortable?
- Are there disadvantages to using holster claws?
- How to find the perfect holster claw size?
- I. Improved Concealment and Comfort
- II. Increased Stability and Retention
- III. Better Draw and Reholstering Experience
- IV. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Holster Claw
- A. Positioning and Placement on the Holster
- B. Adjusting the Retention and Cant Angle
- C. Maintenance and Cleaning Guidelines
What does a holster claw do?
To understand a holster claw’s function, you need to know what it is and identify it. This small tool is one of the many Holster Accessories which appear simple in design. It is often made from light metal.
Most modern holster claws have an “L” layout, allowing attachment using the two retention holes below the trigger guard. Raven Concealment Systems influenced the claw design for their Vanguard holster line (VG2 variant). Now, it is the modern standard.
A holster claw is an attachment to ensure your gun is as close to your body as you want it to be. It may not come with your waistband holster, and you must install it yourself.
The primary function of a holster claw is to use your body’s pressure at the belt line to push the gun grip towards you. You can keep your gun’s grip from poking or printing on your clothes with a holster claw.
This device is the perfect tool for many individuals because of the convenience it provides when carrying guns. Those with larger handguns will appreciate this gadget as it prevents their pistol from digging into their hips while sitting.
An average-sized person can carry a fully-loaded firearm with minimal stress. The holster claw may be called the holster wing, grip concealment claw, or simply a concealment claw.
Claws come in different shapes and sizes, but their overall experience is similar when used with a waistband holster. For concealed carry and maximum comfort, you should consider using a holster claw, even with a gun belt.
If the claw extends a tad too high, it could impede you when you plan to draw out your gun. Conversely, if it extends too low, it may deny you the leverage against your belt that you need to push the grip on your pistol back onto your body.
This tiny object influences how you position your gun. Therefore, you must align your concealment claw with your belt clip to ensure solid contact. A perfectly worn AIWB Holster with a claw will tuck the grip.
What positions work with a holster claw?
Many people have different opinions about the positions you can carry your tuckable holsters with claws. However, it works anyhow you put it.
How you wear your AIWB holster and convenience are crucial. AIWB is short for appendix inside the waistband holster. Therefore, an AIWB holster is only suitable for the appendix position.
Position your appendix carry based on your strong side. For a right-hand shooter, it is ideal to carry an IWB holster from 12 o’clock to 9:30. The most comfortable carry position for a left-hand shooter is between 12:00 and 2:30.
The claw leverages the belt to strengthen the gun’s grip on your body regardless of its position. You may spend time adjusting your belt to ensure maximum concealability and comfort.
Suppose you sag your belt (bad idea). In that case, positioning your concealment holster at 3 o’clock while using a holster claw is not ideal. You set yourself up for premium discomfort when your holster shell and firearm grind against your hip bones.
Your choice of appendix holster plays a role. A typical Vedder holster may offer more cushioning that an IWB Kydex holster. Positioning your Kydex holster at 4 o’clock is the lowest you should consider.
Nevertheless, you may have a less familiar position you want to use. The Vedder holster or Sig Sauer IWB Kydex holster comes with short screws to replace the claw when it’s not in use.
If I use the holster claw, do I need a belt?
A gun belt is not compulsory, but you may barely have a good experience wearing your Appendix Carry holsters. A concealment claw needs the belt to work effectively by maintaining pressure on the firearm.
Meanwhile, go for a quality gun belt made from reliable materials that will withstand the tension from the claw. Materials like polymer or double-layered nylon can provide the needed strength to wedge the holster and pistol conveniently.
Are holster claws comfortable?
Holster claws do not have direct contact with the body although they may seem uncomfortable to use at first. If you feel uncomfortable, it might be related to the holster, how you wear the holster, and firearm size.
Interestingly, a holster claw spreads the weight around the belt line. An IWB holster is meant to be comfortable, provided you wear it appropriately. Also, the material used can influence comfort.
Most gun enthusiasts believe the Kydex holsters are a less comfortable appendix carry than the Vedder holsters. Furthermore, be mindful of how you tighten your gun belt. If it is too tight, you will be uncomfortable.
Except if you are wearing an IWB holster, you may not need a holster claw. Holster claws are excellent additions to your concealed carry system.
Are there disadvantages to using holster claws?
Holster claws have advantages that make it seem like a fantastic accessory for anyone carrying a pistol with an IWB holster. Yet, there are some downsides associated with using them. The following are the disadvantages of holster claws.
- You have to spend more: Like other holster accessories, getting a concealment claw may cost a little more since some holsters may not come with one.
- It might be challenging to align: Getting it to perfectly fit your holster’s claw attachment may be an issue, especially if you are a newbie. Furthermore, you may also want to ensure that it aligns with your belt and preferred hand.
- Requires periodic adjustments: Your posture may change from time to time, or you may get into more intense activities like running. Since it relies on the gun belt to fit correctly, you may have to readjust it periodically to tuck the holster claw.
- Discomfort: Carrying a gun is not meant to be entirely comfortable. However, pulling the grip can make you uncomfortable if your claw is too bulky (manufacturer’s design). You are more likely to feel the effect after prolonged periods.
How to find the perfect holster claw size?
Holster claws come in various shapes and designs; such a little “thing” can make your choice a wrong one. Your choice determines the level of comfort or concealment you will get.
Weigh all the different options available to you before committing to a choice. There are different body types to suit various firearm preferences.
Consider the top of the slide (optics) and the pistol’s grip. Most people do not worry about the optics anyway. The size of the pistol’s butt will determine the size of the holster claw to buy.
If the gun’s grip is hidden, the optics will protrude less. Do not forget to consider your stomach. A protruding belly will make small concealment claw less effective.
Additionally, you should also note that concealment always depends on your belt. To keep a fully loaded firearm close to your body, you need a belt that is thick and stiff enough to avoid any case of printing.
Benefits of Using a Holster Claw
In the world of concealed carry, finding the right holster that offers both comfort and effectiveness can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are innovative accessories available that can enhance your concealed carry experience. One such accessory is a holster claw. Holster claws, also known as wing attachments, can significantly improve concealment, stability, retention, and the overall draw and reholstering experience. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a holster claw and the factors to consider when choosing one.
I. Improved Concealment and Comfort
A holster claw is designed to push the grip of the firearm closer to the body, aiding in better concealment. It works by tucking the grip of the gun inward, reducing printing and making it easier to hide the firearm under clothing. The claw creates a natural angle that conforms to the contours of the body, ensuring a more discreet carry. With improved concealment, you can confidently go about your day without worrying about your firearm being exposed.
Moreover, enhanced concealment goes hand in hand with increased comfort. By minimizing printing and ensuring a closer fit to the body, a holster claw reduces the chances of discomfort or irritation caused by the constant rubbing or shifting of the firearm against the skin. This makes it easier to carry the firearm for extended periods, providing a more pleasant and enjoyable concealed carry experience.
II. Increased Stability and Retention
When it comes to carrying a firearm, stability and retention are of utmost importance. A holster claw contributes significantly to both these aspects. By pressing the firearm grip against the body, the claw helps stabilize the holster and prevents unwanted movement. This added stability ensures that the firearm remains securely in place throughout the day, even during physical activities or sudden movements.
Furthermore, a holster claw enhances retention by increasing the grip’s contact with the body. It minimizes the risk of the firearm accidentally slipping or being pulled out of the holster, offering you peace of mind and confidence in the security of your weapon. With improved stability and retention, you can trust that your firearm will remain exactly where it should be, ready for quick and reliable access when needed.
III. Better Draw and Reholstering Experience
A holster claw not only improves concealment and stability but also enhances the draw and reholstering experience. When drawing the firearm, the claw’s angle facilitates a more natural hand position, allowing for a smoother and quicker draw. This can be crucial in self-defense situations where every second counts.
Similarly, when reholstering, the holster claw guides the grip back into the holster, ensuring a secure and effortless reholstering process. This reduces the chances of fumbling or mishandling the firearm during reholstering, promoting safety and ease of use.
IV. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Holster Claw
Choosing the right holster claw is essential to maximize its benefits. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a holster claw:
A. Compatibility with Firearm Holsters: Ensure that the holster claw is compatible with your specific firearm holster. Different manufacturers and models may have variations in their designs, so it’s crucial to choose a claw that fits seamlessly with your existing setup.
B. Adjustability and Fit for Different Body Types: Look for a holster claw that offers adjustability options to accommodate different body types and carry positions. This flexibility ensures a personalized fit and optimal performance for each individual.
C. Material and Durability: Consider the material and durability of the holster claw. High-quality materials, such as durable polymers or metals, can withstand daily wear and tear and provide long-lasting performance.
By considering these factors, you can select a holster claw that perfectly complements your needs and enhances your concealed carry setup.
Tips for Properly Using a Holster Claw
A. Positioning and Placement on the Holster
When it comes to carrying a firearm, ensuring proper positioning and placement of a holster claw is essential for comfort, concealment, and easy access. The holster claw is an accessory designed to enhance concealment by pushing the grip of the firearm closer to the body. Here are some tips for using a holster claw effectively:
- Understanding the Purpose of a Holster Claw: Before discussing its proper usage, it’s important to understand the purpose of a holster claw. A holster claw, also known as a concealment claw or wing, works in conjunction with a holster to minimize printing and improve concealment by rotating the grip of the firearm inward.
- Selecting the Right Holster: To use a holster claw, you need a compatible holster that has a designated attachment point for the claw. Ensure your holster has the necessary features and space to accommodate the claw.
- Proper Placement: Attach the holster claw to the holster at the designated attachment point. It is typically positioned on the side opposite the firearm’s grip, creating a leverage point for pushing the grip inward.
- Adjusting the Claw Angle: Experiment with the angle of the claw to find the most comfortable and concealable position. The ideal angle may vary depending on your body shape, holster type, and personal preference.
B. Adjusting the Retention and Cant Angle
Apart from the positioning and placement of the holster claw, adjusting the retention and cant angle of the holster is crucial for achieving a secure and comfortable fit. The retention refers to the level of grip the holster has on the firearm, while the cant angle determines the tilt of the holster. Here are some tips for making these adjustments:
- Retention Adjustment: Most holsters offer retention adjustment screws or mechanisms that allow you to increase or decrease the grip on the firearm. Find the right balance between retention and ease of draw to ensure both security and quick access when needed.
- Cant Angle Adjustment: The cant angle determines the angle at which the holster is positioned on your body. Different holsters offer various adjustment options, such as adjustable belt loops or clips. Experiment with different cant angles to find the most comfortable and concealable position for your specific needs.
C. Maintenance and Cleaning Guidelines
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your holster claw and holster, it’s essential to follow proper maintenance and cleaning guidelines. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Regular Inspection: Routinely inspect your holster claw for any signs of wear, damage, or loosening. Pay attention to screws, attachments, and any other components that may require tightening or replacement.
- Cleaning: Depending on the material of your holster claw, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. In most cases, a mild soap solution and a soft cloth can be used to clean the claw and holster. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents that may damage the materials.
- Storage: Proper storage is important to prevent unnecessary wear or deformation of the holster claw. When not in use, keep it in a dry and secure location away from extreme temperatures and humidity.
- Holster Compatibility: If you decide to change holsters or upgrade your firearm, ensure that the new holster is compatible with your existing holster claw. Not all holsters have the necessary attachment points or space to accommodate a claw.
Holster claws might just be what you need to experience a less intimidating but comfortable gun-carrying experience. It is just the right accessory if you are worried about printing if you make the right choice.
If you are a plus-sized person carrying a gun for the first time, you will appreciate a suitable concealment claw. Finally, claws can be uncomfortable; therefore, ensure you settle for a well-cushioned holster and sturdy gun belt.
Q: What is the purpose of a holster claw?
A: The purpose of a holster claw is to enhance concealment by rotating the grip of the firearm inward, minimizing printing and improving overall concealability.
Q: How does a holster claw improve concealment?
A: A holster claw pushes the grip of the firearm closer to the body, reducing its visibility and enhancing concealment by preventing printing.
Q: Can a holster claw be used with any firearm holster?
A: No, a holster claw requires a compatible holster with a designated attachment point for the claw. Ensure your holster has the necessary features to accommodate a claw.
Q: Is a holster claw comfortable to wear?
A: With proper positioning and adjustment, a holster claw can significantly improve comfort by keeping the grip of the firearm close to the body.
Q: Are there any adjustments required for a holster claw to work effectively?
A: Yes, adjustments to the positioning, placement, retention, and cant angle are necessary to ensure the effective operation of a holster claw.
Q: How do I install a holster claw on my existing holster?
A: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional for guidance on how to install a holster claw on your specific holster model.
Q: Can a holster claw be used for appendix carry?
A: Yes, a holster claw can be used for appendix carry, as it aids in concealing the grip of the firearm and improving overall concealment.
Q: Does a holster claw affect the draw speed of a firearm?
A: When properly adjusted, a holster claw should not significantly impact the draw speed of a firearm. Practice drawing techniques to ensure smooth and quick access.
Q: What materials are commonly used to make holster claws?
A: Holster claws are often made from durable materials such as polymer, nylon, or metal alloys, depending on the manufacturer and specific model.
Q: Are there any maintenance tips for prolonging the lifespan of a holster claw?
A: Regularly inspecting and cleaning your holster claw, as well as storing it properly when not in use, can help prolong its lifespan and maintain its performance over time.
Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include the outdoors and shooting sports. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season.