Thursday, March 24, 2016

Clinger "Stingray" Holster Review

Photo from the Clinger Website
The bulk of my carry days are spent with a Kahr CW45 perched on my right hip at 3:00.  For my 1911 I have a Crossbreed Super Tuck (hybrid) and when I bought the Kahr I ordered an Alien 1.0 hybrid holster as its home, hoping for a quality holster at 60% the price of the Crossbreed.

Unfortunately, I didn't like the Alien 1.0 - The leather is too thin and tends to warp while being flimsy and no-where near as comfortable as the appreciably more expensive (and better made) Crossbreed.  On the other hand, I really liked the single belt clip DeSantis Pocket Tuk convertible holster I was using for my Taurus TCP .380, so on a whim, I ordered the single clip Clinger "Stingray" kydex holster from Clinger for the quite affordable price of $29.99

The "Stingray" model comes in three carry options - 0° cant, 15° cant (FBI) and a more aggressive 30° cant.  I carry right at 3:00 o'clock and prefer a 0° degree cant, so that's what I ordered.   I honestly didn't expect too much at that price, but four weeks later I was pleasantly surprised!

As explained on Clingers Website their kydex holsters have a full sweat shield that extends to the rear of the slide, adjustable tension, has a belt clip that sits closer to the grip than the slide, keeping the grip closer to your body for better concealment, completely encases your gun and has a Risk-Free, two-week 'bumper to bumper' warranty - you can return it in the first two weeks for a full refund for any reason.

The first time I clipped it on my belt I was impressed with two things...
First, it was incredibly comfortable.  I was expecting the hard kydex against my skin to be somewhat uncomfortable due to it's inflexibility, but that just wasn't the case.  The smoothed, rounded edges of the holster allows it to press into my body with no discomfort whatsoever.  And Second was the retention factor.  The gun sits into the holster with an audible 'snap.'

I wore it for about a week, morning till night, and I couldn't have been happier.  Truly a comfortable, lightweight and above all, easy to use holster.  For the first week I didn't have the time to do dry fire exercises, but when I did, I found a problem.

The holster allows the gun to ride low, but for me, too low.   As seen in the picture, the grip nearly touches my belt and due to this, drawing from concealment, I was only able to grip the gun with the second and third fingers well down the front-strap, with my little finger hanging free.  When I drew my weapon, the webbing between my thumb and finger was about a 5/8" below the Kahr's modest 'beaver-tail.'  Certainly not the grip you want when in a highly stressful, possibly lethal situation.

So now what?

I really liked the holster, so I decided to make my own adjustment.  I removed the belt clip and using

a propane torch, softened the kydex (about 5 seconds roughly 4" above the minimum flame) and pressed flat the area just below the original mounting holes.  After letting the holster cool for a couple of minutes I made two more holes using a Dremel tool.  Two minutes later the clip was remounted and I fit it on my belt.

Voila!  Success!

The gun rode just high enough for me to get a full and comfortable grip on my sidearm.  I've been wearing it like this for a while and though I still love this holster, the balance of the holster isn't quite as comfy as it was before shifting the weight of the gun higher on the pivot point of the clip.

I think I am going to make an extra hole and push the gun to the 15° cant and see if I like it better riding low.  With the cant the grip should be at an angle to get a grip on the gun, thus giving me the best of both worlds.

The only other 'problem' I found with the "Stingray" is the non-tuckable clip.  If I want to wear a shirt tucked in, I will have to take my Taurus TCP with me in the DeSantis holster.

So... where do I stand on Clinger's "Stingray" holster?  I would definitely recommend their product - its well built, comfortable and looks great - with the caveat that you understand what your ordering and what some of the drawbacks may be, depending on your needs.  Clinger makes two other styles of holster, the "Atom" -  a similar holster ($19.99) with kydex that looks like carbon fiber and has adjustable ride height - and the "No-Print Wonder Holster" ($59.99) a small, IWB hybrid two-clip holster - both of these holsters have tuck-able clips for those who wear their shirt tucked in.

UPDATE 4/22/16

I went ahead and added the extra hole and went with a 20-30 degree can't.  It's PERFECT.  The gun sits low and with the cant I can get a full, comfortable grip on the gun. 

Hope this helps...
Stay Safe and Carry Responsibly

My new book -Concealed Carry and the War on the Second Amendment, a collection from the New Gunner Journal - is now available at Lulu.comAmazon and Barnes and Noble.  If you have any questions about Concealed Carry or are sitting on the fence, this would make a nice Christmas present to learn about the lifestyle and those who live it.

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