I came across an ingenious idea last month while reading one of the many gun forums I'm a member of (in this case it was DefensiveCarry.com). One of the members (muddy, gotta give him credit!) came up with the idea to use plastic suspender clips (called Grip Clips) from a pair of suspenders he had on one of his kydex holsters since he rarely uses a belt. It allows him to use the holster in whatever pants/shorts he's wearing regardless if he wears a belt. Here's a link to his post - Kydex Creations using the Grip Clip.
Now, I typically always wear a belt especially in the winter months and during the work week. There are occasions during the summer or weekend where I can see the option of going beltless preferable. In the past, I've used my Stuff & Go methods when beltless. The holster I've used for the Kahr PM9 left a lot to be desired. It didn't quite cover enough of the trigger guard and worst of all the way it clipped to the waistband could cause the holster to be pulled out along with the gun on the draw. Using something like a Grip Clip seemed like the perfect solution. It would be easy on & off, yet when clipped would be secure and not slide off.
Normally, I would make this as a scabbard instead of a pancake (I've found scabbard designs to be cleaner and a little less bulky), but going through my misc. box of holsters & stuff I came across an early attempt at a pancake kydex holster for the PM9. I hadn't used it in a while since I pretty much always pocket carry the PM9. I decided to use this old shell instead of cutting up fresh kydex. In the process of reforming the kydex you'll notice there are a number of blemishes. They in no way affect how the holster actually works. I formed the kydex so the gun will not pull straight out. It is effectively locked in when a straight upwards draw is tried. To draw so that the gun pulls out smoothly it must be pulled back and up at the same time. It snicks out very smoothly when drawn correctly and it's a natural motion for my strong side hand.
I went simple and just used one clip. This is because it will be carried at the appendix location and a little bit of rotational movement helps with comfort. Also one clip is all I need to keep it from sliding down the pants or yanking out on the draw. I've angled the clip so that the gun has a little backwards cant where the grip limits how much it can rotate backwards.
To protect the gun from inadvertantly hitting the nut & screw on the inside of the holster I covered them with a little piece of electrical tape.
I plan on testing this one out after work and this weekend while wearing shorts or sweatpants. If I get a chance I'll make a video demonstrating:
- How well it conceals with a t-shirt
- How easy it is to put on and take off
- How secure the clip is
- How to draw from it correctly
In the future, I plan on designing a two clip version for more stability. Oh, and if you're interested in adapting these clips to a holster you have, they are available seperately from Seattle Fabrics. It's where I found mine.