Gear Review: Versacarry Concealed Carry Device (Take Two)

I’ve had my own opportunity to wear, test and review the Versacarry, er, ‘holster’ thingy that Tony likes and Tyler doesn’t, and I thought I should share my own observations about this very unique concealed-carry method. First, as Tyler noted, this is NOT a holster. It doesn’t ‘contain’ a handgun, although it does retain it securely (with the help of your pants) and it shields but it doesn’t enclose its trigger guard. But . . .It offers excellent concealment and rapid presentation. The downside: it cannot be re-holstered unless you pull it out of your pants and use both hands to carefully re-mount the pistol before stuffing the whole rig back inside your waistband.

It’s not meant for most guns, and probably not for most shooters.

Its design reflects an almost-Bauhaus level of minimalism: it is but a bent plastic bar with a muzzle plug at one end, a belt hook at the other and a removable plastic disc (shown here being installed) which partly shields the trigger guard.

There is precedent for an ultra-minimalist ‘holster’ and it goes all the way back to the Second World War. The OSS ‘String Holster’ was no more than a loop of string, slung over your belt and around your pistol to prevent it from falling inside your pants. It was worn by clandestine OSS agents in occupied Europe, and its greatest virtues were that it could be made in the field from found materials, didn’t look like a holster at all and could be instantly discarded without attracting attention from the Gestapo.

Good for the OSS then, but not for us now. Seventy years later, these “virtues” don’t count for much in the civilian CCW market. We want concealment (check), comfort (check), retention (check), and rapid presentation (check), as well as safety and easy re-holstering (uncheck and uncheck.)

Unless you CCW with your shirt carefully tucked in and your pistol on the outside of your shirt, your sweat will get it damp and salty in short order, so you’ll have to perform a daily field-stripping and cleaning. Most holsters don’t require this level of maintenance unless you’re crawling through the jungles of Central America or SE Asia.

I CCW’d with the XL Versacarry for a few days and wore it during an afternoon shooting in the mountains. It did a surprising job of making my full-size 17-round 9mm disappear while we shopped for ammo and sundries, although no holster can make that jumbo-sized pistol grip any less conspicuous than shown here.

The SIG never budged from this position, even when I sprinted a cross-country parkour course between our firing line and my 100-yard targets several times. Presentation was also rapid and positive, but as has been noted elsewhere, it’s completely impossible to re-holster your gun quickly or with one hand. Shooting practice became a PITA until I just gave up on re-holstering and set the cleared and locked-back SIG on top of my range bag between magazines.

My DAO SIG/Sauer is one of the few guns suitable for loaded use with the Versacarry. Single-action and most striker-fired pistols would scare me to death in a Versacarry, because the left-side safety will rub unprotected against your waist, and the trigger guard is only shielded on the outside (non-body) face. There’s basically nothing to prevent your kidney from deactivating your manual safety, and nothing to prevent a wad of Oxford shirt-tail from bunching up in your trigger guard and causing an ND. If you’re doing ‘Appendix Carry’ when this happens, you’re dead.

If the Versacarry isn’t a good choice for Glocks or 1911s, what’s it good for? DA/SA, DAO pistols and revolvers are safe choices, since their long, heavy triggers are exceptionally resistant to holster-induced ADs. Some shooters might be comfortable carrying a long-pull striker-fired gun (e.g., LC9 or PF9) or an XD with a grip safety in a Versacarry, but not me.

I appreciate the innovation and quality construction of the Versacarry and if I had a ‘Small’ model I wouldn’t hesitate to use it with my DAO SIG/Sauer subcompact. If you’ve got the right kind of carry gun (with a stiff and very long trigger pull) and a spare pocket to stash it in lieu of post-DGU re-holstering, you might give it a try.

The Versacarry is firm, comfortable, well-made and discreet. But I can only give it 2.5 stars because of the re-holstering issue and because it’s a poor choice for carrying SA and most striker-fired guns.

33 Responses to Gear Review: Versacarry Concealed Carry Device (Take Two)

  1. avatarST says:

    This seems like just the ticket if you’re illegally concealed carrying in some Soviet zone like NJ , CA, or Illinois. Of course, I must state that violating the law is reprehensible conduct not becoming of anyone who would post on or read this website.

  2. avatarrabbi says:

    In my opinion, any holster, or “gun carrying device” that does not allow you to reholster quickly and easily is useless for carry. If you need to take care of business to defend yourself out in public, it is essential to reholster before you become identified by other CCWs and the police as “the shooter.”

    Additonally, in the picture, the gun sits far too low, preventing the possibility of a proper grip when the gun is in the holster.. excuse me, “gun carrying device.” A proper holster holds the gun in place in such a way that the shooter can gain a complete grip on the gun before the draw.

    • avatarMike says:

      I think if that’s the case, one could just tuck the firearm in one’s pants in the SOB position while waiting for the cops.

      • avatarrabbi says:

        The problem with that, is it is easy for the gun to fall out or fall in. Additionally, you may need to run even after the initial event is over. Mexican Carry is a recipe for disaster.

  3. avatarChas says:

    And it’s still a stupid idea. It’s obvious that whoever designed this has no understanding of the concept of carrying for self-defense.

  4. avatar2Wheels says:

    Pass!

    Said it on another versacarry review, even this highly evolved version of “Mexican” carry is still not a good idea. Buy a good holster, use it, don’t take shortcuts! The ONLY possible advantage to this over a standard holster? It’s slightly thinner, that’s it. Big deal, a decent holster isn’t that thick to begin with. A decent holster also protects your trigger guard and allows easy reholstering, and offers more protection from your sweat.

  5. avatarDon says:

    I don’t see any advantage and several disadvantages over a well designed Kydex holster.

  6. avatarJoseph says:

    The Versacarry seems to be anything BUT versatile…an ingenious solution looking for a problem. I’ll pass, but thanks for the honest assessment.

  7. avatarspymyeyes says:

    I own a smith & wesson 17 shot semi auto 9mm like the one in the picture and if you do not keep a bullet “in the pipe” then you must “rack” the action in order to fire the weapon and I do not see that happening inside your pants all by itself no matter how much you move!

    I like the simple design, but I think I have been pre conditioned to ALWAYS have a trigger/hammer gaurd on your holster and that is a hold-over from the 1970′s and times have been a changing so I think I will try one if they are not too much.

  8. avatarJ in Ga says:

    If you’re going to go to all this effort, just get a ClipDraw. Same ‘no-holster’ carrying device, but much easier to reholster. Carried a Glock 21 for a long time, but didn’t keep a round in the chamber.

  9. avatarrabbi says:

    Carrying with an empty chamber is not recommended. It adds time the to draw and adds another step that can go wrong. Additionally, it is a two-handed technique and there is no guarantee that your second hand will be available. You may need your second hand to physically deal with 3rd parties, it may be injured or it may be needed to block, strike or put forward pressure on your assailant if things start off with empty-hands.

    • avatarJ in Ga says:

      Rabbi- I agree. It’s all I had at the time that I felt comfortable carrying. I picked up the G21 as my defensive home gun. The only other pistols I had at the time were either unreliable (cheap 380) or wholly unsuitable (22 plinking pistol). The only way I could effectively conceal the G21 was by keeping it up front just to the right of my belt buckle and a ND/AD would have probably killed me, but it came down to the choices of having a gun or not having a gun. Eventually I was able to save up enough and pick up some guns that were easier to conceal and find some holsters that worked for my frame.

      • avatarRabbi says:

        Glad you found a solution. Sometimes you have to ask yourself which is the greatest possibility…A ND or loss of gun due to mexican carry or the chance of actually needing your gun to defend yourself.

  10. avatarThe Pit Boxer says:

    I may actually try this for my LCP. I usually carry with a pocket holster, but depending on which pants/shorts I’m wearing even that leaves a visible outline, especially with the grip extension mag plate. I’ve been looking for a IWB option that sits deep. It’s not often that I carry my LCP over my G26, and even less often that I’d rather IWB it, but this seems to fit the bill for those times.

    • avatarRab says:

      How can you read the comments above and still want to use it?

      If the gun prints while in your pocket, you are using a poor pocket holster.

  11. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    eh’ cool idea but no trigger protection? That’s a no go for me.

  12. avatarAnthony says:

    One thing I think everyone has overlooked is, the damned thing is a barrel obstruction by it’s nature. What if you(in the heat of the moment), go to draw your firearm and this thing breaks off inside your barrel and you’re left(best case scenario) with a useless weapon? This thing is a gimmick at best.

    • avatard.a. says:

      i’ve owned and carried this holster with my db9, lc9 and pf9 over the last 14 plus months. and i love it. i’ve had to quick draw several times and never has the threat of the barrel obstruction broken off and become a concern. the best thing about this is that it is completely versatile. i’ve carried it left hip, right hip, small of the back, and everywhere in between. i’ve always carried with 1 round in the chamber. the trigger “guard” does get in the way some of the time, but i find myself carrying w/o the trigger “guard” more often than not. after 5 months of every day carry. i purchased another for my p95, and for my m&p9. this is by far my favorite holster year round

      • avatarDave.USN(SW),Ret. says:

        I’ve used the versa carry for about 6 months now with my Sig 2022 (.40) and am completely happy with how it performs. Anyone can find one or more reasons why ANY holster (or any name you choose to call it) fails to meet or deliver every conceivable feature or benefit. I’m soon to order the small model for other smaller guns I carry. I have purchased, used, and wasted tons of money on other models of Holsters and none (Inside WB models) meet my needs as well as the Versa Carry. Living in a perfect world must be great but, if my biggest problem is where to put my weapon after having to fire it in self defense (Rabbi) then I’m just fine with using this method of carry. Be Safe

  13. avatarChris says:

    After seeing this in some of the trade magazines and being very perplexed by the idea, I finaly had a chance to see a coworkers versacarry. I am still perplexed. She uses it as a full time carry holster but I didnt say she was the brightest crayon in the box. No offense to thoes who like this thing.

    Fortunatley, I live in one of thoes states where open carry is legal. In other words if I need my gun quickly holstered and on the go a paddle holster will do just fine.

  14. avatarChad W says:

    I recently purchased a versacarry for my xdm compact 45. I have to admit it is a easy to use holster. It was easy to conceal. I did have the extended mag 13 round but changed to the 9 round magazine. It was more balanced and more comfortable. It does hold the gun against your skin but after awhile it wasn’t uncomfortable. My only complaint is if they would offer a extra retention rode so you could swap out if you had different calibers. I purchased the large size for my handgun and went for the deep carry. I was not a fan of the trigger guard either which I removed. I would defiantly check out versacarry if you are looking for a concealable holster. Right now they offer free shipping for the month of October. Has any one else purchased one? Or have any thoughts

    Versacarry.com

    Free shipping code: VERSAFAN1337

    Chad W

  15. Received two after much confusion on shipping…one for a 9mm compact and one for my full size 1911. Draw is nearly impossible on the 1511 due to too tight retention plug and tension against the ‘strap’. Called the company and they said it would ease up in a few days. Useless for now.Also too deep Iwb for easy draw. But… the 9mm medium ‘holster’ works fine for both guns. Go figure. Cocept is unique, very minimal for cocealability, comfortable. Would I recommend it? Well, just say I am using it until I find one that is cocealable, comfortable, easier to draw and can be reholstered. Versacarry is useable but not my ideal.

  16. avatarDave says:

    Great concept, however, on a 9 mm pistol, every time you insert the barrel on the barrel rod it shaves plastic off of the rod. This does not stop after the barrel rod “conforms” as they lead you to believe. The angle of insertion forces the rod into the barrel rifling which results in plastic shavings all over your pistol and clothes. A real mess!

  17. avatarHallockG says:

    Based on this review and other I’ve seen for VersaCarry IWB holsters, I decided to purchase one and try it out. I found that positioning the holster midway between the hip and small of the back, My M&P 9 Shield completely disappeared, even with a tight fitting tshirt.

    Carrying the gun in the VersaCarry was so comfortable I was able to sit in my car, in a restaurant, and other places I probably wouldn’t be carrying.

    I have tried a lot of different concealed carry holsters and Versacarry is my choice.

  18. avatarJoe JJJ says:

    Hello,

    If you not looked in the versacarry you are missing out. I have a KAHR PM40 that is super small to start of with and with this holster it takes it to the next level. I have used the holster and admire how simple the process is for concealing. I can even conceal with a fitted shirt and shorts.
    I would strongly recommend you click on their link http://www.versacarry.com
    Take care
    Joe

  19. avatarDave says:

    I use the Versacarry for a S&W Shield 9 and it provides excellent concealment in the small of the back and is very comfortable, almost unnoticeable. Maybe a second would be sacrificed drawing compared to other holsters but that’s acceptable for the concealment and comfort. One can draw quite fast with practice.
    One problem I found is that when practicing live fire, it becomes very difficult to draw when barrel fouling causes sticking to the pin after only a few rounds. An adjustable cant would be nice.

  20. avatarRandomTexan says:

    “Single-action and most striker-fired pistols would scare me to death in a Versacarry, because the left-side safety will rub unprotected against your waist, and the trigger guard is only shielded on the outside (non-body) face. There’s basically nothing to prevent your kidney from deactivating your manual safety”

    Welcome to the world of left handed shooters. About ten percent of the population is left handed and even more are left eye dominant. I actually had to physically remove the safety from my LC9 before I was comfortable carrying it every day. I found the safety engaged far to often from basic everyday activities and felt like there was no other choice but to remove it for my own safety. Luckily for me, I’ve upgraded from the LC9 (which was one of the few single stack nines when I bought it) to an XDs in 9mm. While I wait to get a good IWB holster for it, I am using the versacarry. It suits its purpose and is inexpensive enough. Do I think it should be a long term option? No. But it’s a great stop gap for those times when you need something.

  21. avatarGreg says:

    I am left handed and have a Ruger 40 Compact. The safeties and ejection buttons are ambidextrous so I can check on those if needed. I have been practicing my draw with it and the gun is out and pointed in good time.
    I am not worried about re-holstering because if I need to use the gun to defend myself the chances are I will have it in my hand until everything is over with. If you buy one work with the barrel insert for a few days and it gets easier to put through the barrel and remove. Anyone is a gunfight will more than likely be seen by witnesses and unless you are the criminal you will still be answering questions. Having protection from an organization like the Concealed Carry Owners group might be a good thing to consider having.with their insurance and legal support.

    I CCW and hope I never have to shoot anyone. The protection is there if I need it. The most I want to use my gun for is going to the range and shooting at targets.

  22. avatarKen says:

    VersaCarry should be called VeryExpensive piece of plastic. It’s not scary expensive, but being priced over an actual “holster” puts it in that category.
    Sure, you can easily access your piece, but when you have to put it away or even just put it on, you have to completely take it off, shove that plastic stud back into the barrel and “shimmy” back inside your pants.
    The second and most annoying and disappointing thing about versacarry is there is no shielding between your hammer (if your gun has one) and your body. All day long or even for shorter periods of time, I’m constantly shifting my upper body or the gun itself to keep the hammer from digging into my side. After seeing the first video, I was totally impressed. That didn’t last long, as I became “de”pressed with my purchase. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about any other concealed holsters until I actually stepped into the gun sections of other stores. I hate that I didn’t research this issue prior to my purchase. I could have a saved for something more practical. I have a one-word for versacarry…GARBAGE

  23. avatarTRC says:

    I have a XDS 45acp and I have other holster for it . But I want to give this one a try . So if anyone is using it with the XDS 45 leave a reply . Thanks

  24. avatarD.B. says:

    I love me Versa Carry for my 380 if I plan on going shooting I use a reg Holster on the outside of my belt. but for CCW with my 380 the Vesa Carry is great……

  25. avatarStephen Southerland says:

    I use this for my Walther PPS and it seems to work just fine so far. I carry an LCP sometimes in the summer and but I use a sticky holster in my pocket for that. Regarding where to put it after you use your weapon in self defense? Depending on the situation, I would just carefully place the weapon on the ground and raise my hands to show I am not the threat. I don’t believe I would use this for my full size Walther however.

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