At some point you may have seen the Clipdraw products in magazines or on the internet and wondered whether they perform as expected. The idea behind the Clipdraw is simple: attach a spring loaded belt clip to the side of a handgun so that it can be easily and securely, clipped, carried, and drawn.
In all, Clipdraw seems like a brilliantly simple solution to a rather complex and occasionally cumbersome problem. For most of us, it probably looks a bit gadgety, but the question is does it work? It seems that the answer is “yes”.
A buddy of mine is currently active DOD Special Operations. I let the questions fly as I say him stuff a Clipdraw equipped .40 baby Glock G29 into his shorts as we were heading out for BBQ. He raved about how much he liked Clipdraw on his “everyday” carry gun.
I remember thinking, “wait a minute, a special operations guy is using a Clipdraw?” His point was that he is usually wearing shorts or jeans, sometimes without a belt, and just running to the store, picking up the kids, or grabbing a bite to eat, and in these situations he usually does not have the time to slip on his Holster. He also noted that in the course of the day, it’s just far easier to just tuck the Clipdraw in this shorts while running out the door than worrying about situating or belting on a holster. If he’s going to be out for the day, his holster provides better retension, but for any other carry situation of daily life, the Clipdraw equipped G29 was his prefered, go-to carry gun.
This was quite an endorsement from my perspective, so Iordered Clipdraws for my Glock 19, Ruger SR1911, Ruger LCR, and Ruger LCP, all of which are pistols I seem to carry often.
Fit and finish
With the exception of the black Glock model, all the Clipdraw versions are available in black phosphate or chrome finishes, and in general they match up to the finish on the guns pretty well.
I had no issues from a fit perspective on any of the models with the exception of the Universal Revolver model,which covers up the serial number on my Ruger LCR. Should someone require to see the serial number, the VHB tape can be removed by prying it off.
The 3M VHB (Very High Bond) tape is unlike any other double sided tape you have run across before. VHB has incredible adhesion, assuming you use the alcohol wipes to clean the mounting plates and gun well. Clipdraw includes about four-to-five extra pieces of tape should you decide to move the clip to another gun at some point. The VHB’s tape’s bond is indeed very high, at around 125lbs per square inch! Freeze it, wiggle it, get it wet, inadvertently get a little gun cleaner on it, and it will stay put. At first I was sceptical of how securely the tape would hold, but I have had no issues through this super hot sweaty summer.
None of the Clipdraws interfered with any of my holsters, and none required removal for holstering.
Feel, features, and functions
Glock Clipdraw – The Glock version attaches quickly via a rear plate replacement. The rear slide plate on the Glock is plastic, however the Clipdraw slide plate version is billet aluminum and becomes the host screwplate. Swap out the plate, bolt on the clip, and you’re done.
The placement of the clip does not obstruct spent casing ejection, but it does cover the right side of the slide. The clip was very tight on the Glock model compared to the others, an aspect that I really liked because it provided secure carry even during more active situations. Will this displace my Crossbread holster? Not completely, because the Clipdraw is not tuckable. However, I do tend to carry my G19 much more than I have previously.
1911 grip Clipdraw – The 1911 model is also quick to attach — just remove your right-hand grip panel, drop on the Clipdraw unit, and reattach the grips. It couldn’t be simpler. I was quite impressed with how easily I could carry my Ruger SR1911. I probably would not choose to carry it in this way on an evening out, but it does make it super easy to slip it into your pants to investigate a bump in the night, to let the dog out, run to the grocery store…etc.
Universal Revolver Clipdraw – I love my Ruger LCR .357, but I’ve been fighting with it a bit from a “how to carry the damn thing” perspective. Because of the design of the clip, it has just enough room behind the clip that you can make it work as a tuckable/shirt-in concealment option. This is hands down the best upgrade for a Ruger LCR, and if you happen to have another brand, the Universal Model will fit just about any small frame revolver out there including Taurus, S&W, Ruger, and others. The clip looks small, but it is very effective because it situates the revolver deeper than any of the other Clipdraws.
Universal Handgun Clipdraw – This is an all-purpose model that will fit just about any gun which has a flat area that the base can attach to. In this case, the previous Kel-tec clip on my LCP .380 positioned the pistol too deep and did not leave enough of the tiny pistol to grab onto. 60 seconds later I had the base plate mounted with the supplied VHB tape and the clip screwed onto the mounting plate.
Now the clip position works perfectly and I or Mrs. Pandemic carry this constantly because it is exceptionally light and only 1/2” thick. It disappears on clothing. Due to the size of the clip with this gun, I would classify this model as semi-tuckable, and in most situations I can tuck in a shirt and make the gun disappear. Larger guns will obviously be less concealable, but this is a good option for the 99% of semi-auto guns out there. This is a must-have upgrade for any LCP. To date, I have also used this same universal clip on a Kahr CM9 and Walther PPX.
When contemplating the Clipdraw, you have to ask yourself if you want to make a style statement or have an option which promotes safe carry so you can protect yourself. The Clipdraw does not makes the gun look better. In reality, none of these clips look great, however if you are carrying a concealed carry gun, looks should be the last thing on your mind. The purpose of the Clipdraw is pure and simply to provide a convenient carry system which can easily morph to your lifestyle and promote concealed carry more… after all, the super cool custom gun isn’t helpful in a life threatening situation if it’s sitting at home.
On guns which will be in and out of your waistband multiple times a day, in and out of cars, or used for short jaunts to the store, in shorts, jeans, or a skirt, the Clipdraw is an exceptional option and has become my prefered quick carry option. In our get home bags we have G17, and I am thinking that Clipdraws on those guns would be a very smart option as well. We all have guns we would like to carry more. For 1911’s specifically, Clipdraws provides a quick attaching option to carry and use the gun more than you would normally, and the clip can be detached in a under a minute by just removing the grip screws.
This simple carry system dynamically transformed the usability of all the guns that I’ve mounted it to, greatly extending the amount of use these guns see. The harder to carry LCR and 1911 suddenly became easy to tuck into my jeans to go for a walk or let the dog out at night, all while not interfering with my dedicated holsters. Now my prefered Glock 19 sees more carry time, as well, and provides a more substantial carry option to my little Ruger LCP. Simply put, get a Clipdraw and carry your guns more. As it turns out my buddy was right, maybe simpler is better.