Cool, comfortable, custom fit at an affordable price
DeSantis Gunhide, the well-known holster company from the perhaps unlikely state of New York, makes a wide array of holsters for duty, range, and concealed use. While the DeSantis Gunhide name can bring leather holsters to mind, the company has kept up with the latest in updated materials, guns, methods of carry. Recently I’ve had the chance to wear one such holster from DeSantis. It’s called the Super Stealh, made for inside-waistband (IWB) concealment. The following is a summation of my experience wearing this holster.
Packaging is important to some people, so I’ll start there. The Super Stealth was delivered in a soft but strong, clear plastic zippered pouch. The holster is visible behind the company insert describing the product. For people who have a replete collection of holsters and a number of concealment guns, this pouch would be handy to both keep the holster dust-free and to identify what gun it fits. In this case, I decided this would be a holster for the Springfield Hellcat OSP, with optic installed.
The Super Stealth is black and made of a padded, wide-mesh 1060 denier ballistic nylon material. Now, I’m quite heat-tolerant, but if I were one of those people who needs constant air circulation nearly body-wide to feel okay, I think this holster would work as well as any IWB model. The mesh is more “breathable” than any other IWB holster I’ve tried, and that numbers in the dozens. The padding inside isn’t bulky but does add comfort compared to a hard shell.
What really makes the Super Stealth different from other soft-sided holsters is the semi-custom gun fit. Most soft, sheath-style holsters compromise security of the gun for comfort and universality between guns. This holster provides a palpable click-in of the gun, making it virtually impossible for it to fall out of the holster without being intentionally drawn. Along with trigger guard coverage that’s not penetrable under normal wear conditions, this is a safer holster than any other cloth one I know of.
The Super Stealth in this test can carry a Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 26/27, which I tested it with. It’ll also tote 12 other subcompacts, which are conveniently listed on the product label. Both test guns fit well. It should be noted that inserting the gun to the retention point requires an assertive push—and that is a good thing to make it clear when retention is assured.
A wide, powder-coated metal clip secures the holster to a belt up to 1.75 inches wide. It has an opposing-direction claw that meets the outer clip through the fabric, making it far more secure than similar synthetic clips. Anyone who’s practiced much drawing from a poorly-secured IWB holster has had the unsettling experience of the gun and holster coming out as one package, virtually rendering the gun a rock until the situation is corrected. Care must be taken upon donning the holster to ensure it’s really clipped around the bottom of the belt. Strong-fingered handling of the clip is required to attach it securely and prevent “drawing” of the holster and gun as a package. Scratches or dents on leather belts are possible if the clip isn’t handled assertively when donning and doffing. And because it is a tight, strong clip, long fingernails are put at risk with this holster—not to mention they impede safe operation of any handgun, but that is a whole other topic.
An outstanding feature of this holster’s design is that it can be used either right- or left-handed. The clip is moored to the holster by insertion of its base into a slotted patch of leather on the holster’s exterior. This patch is mirrored on both sides, allowing for carry by anyone regardless of hand dominance.
One of the best features of the Super Stealth is that it allows a full firing grip while the gun is still holstered. This makes for an efficient draw and maximum control of the gun from the moment a hand is laid on it. It is a feature that, after more than 15 years of carrying concealed, I insist on regardless of the carry system I’m using. By cutting away the profile of the holster where the middle finger goes, DeSantis has made both drawing and re-holstering using the Super Stealth quite easy and safe, assuming one is exercising trigger discipline of course. An assertive, snatching draw is required because it does fit snug on pants. The need for an assertive draw for efficient deployment of the gun is true of any holster with good Level I retention. I mention it here because many new gun owners attempt to “ease” the gun out of the holster. Re-holstering the gun can be done safely with the Super Stealth attached to a belt. Always use care when inserting the gun to ensure all garments and extremities are clear of the holster and muzzle, including that there are no obstructions inside the holster. I’m not crazy about the fact that this holster requires a firm press of the gun to be correctly seated, but it does achieve retention that way, so vigilance is warranted.
This is a very thin-profile holster that most people should find easy to conceal. It’s notable that there is no sweat guard. Up to an inch of the slide sticks up above the holster; at least that is true for the guns in this test. For some, this won’t matter. People who sweat all summer long might find that exposure unacceptable, as it can cause corrosion in the absence of near-daily gun maintenance.
The Super Stealth can be ordered direct from DeSantis Gunhide for $51.99. The company offers occasional store-wide sales, making this great holster even more affordable. Because it is safe and comfortable, I would recommend it for anyone, experienced or new to concealed carry, who has the ability to consistently keep their fingers and foreign objects out of the trigger guard—a skill necessary for most any style of concealed carry.
For more information visit www.desantisholster.com
About the Author
Eve is a defensive shooting and lifestyle student, practitioner, and instructor based in the American Southwest. Flanigan holds numerous NRA Instructor certifications and is licensed to instruct New Mexico’s intensive Concealed Carry course. She regularly designs, conducts, and co-teaches classes on concealed carry, introduction to pistol, defensive pistol, basic rifle, last-ditch medical, and use of force for civilian students. Flanigan enjoys competing in run-and-gun biathlons that include carbine and pistol.