Well over a year ago, I did a review of a We The People Holster for the S&W Shield. Some time after that, they were kind enough to provide their Holster Claw for review. I installed it, wore it, and wrote a solid review of it. And when it came time to publish it, the article was blank. I suspect that this was a case of “cut” vs “copy”, and I have no one to blame but myself. So now I have the task of writing another review. Because this is a common option for IWB holsters, and it’s always helpful to share my experience.
Why use a holster claw?
People come in all shapes and sizes. So do firearms. And holsters. As well as belts, pants, and shirts. Some people find that perfect combination that allows them to carry without printing. For the rest of us, adding a claw (or wing) to our holster can help carry our firearm closer to the body, for less printing. If you’ve had issues with printing, or just want the ultimate in concealment, this is for you. In the photo below. you can see the pad installed on the holster claw. The closer the pad is to being on the same plane as the clip, the more pressure pushing it back towards your body. With four different mounting options, it’s possible to maximize comfort and concealment.
We The People Holster Claw
When you order item CLAW-01, you’ll receive the claw itself, and two interchangeable pads. These allow you to set the claw “depth”. You’ll also get a hardware kit made for your We The People holster. It’s a carefully designed piece of polymer with multiple holes that allow for various mounting options. Depth is varied by mounting the claw to the front or back of your holster, and selecting the correct pad.
Since it works by pushing against the belt/pants, the effect is greatest when mounting to the front of the holster, with the large pad. Swap out the pad for the smaller one, and it’s still a noticeable amount of push. Mount it behind the holster, with the larger pad, and you have a little bit of push. Change out the pad for the little one, and it’s hardly going to make much of a difference. But it will keep your pistol closer. Just not dramatically. There are plenty of factors at play here, so it’s worth experimenting a bit to provide the best result for your specific application.
For my needs, I determined that it would work best with the claw mounted to the front of the holster, and the smaller pad used. This would apply the necessary pressure to keep my Shield pressed against me, without overdoing it. Proper installation requires nothing more than a screwdriver and paying attention to the orientation and order of the hardware. Since We The People Holsters offer a short video showing just how easy it is, I’ve embedded it below.
The video itself is just over three minutes long, which should give you an idea of how quick and easy this installation is. Note that the double-ended back post must be installed correctly in order for the retention adjustment to work. Once it was all back together, I made sure the retention was where I prefer it to be, and it was good to go.
Using the holster with a claw
If you’re used to just dropping your holster inside your pants so that the clip hooks on your belt, there may be a learning curve here. With the claw mounted, the pad would hang up on my belt a bit. This is basically an acknowledgment of how effective the claw is. In the end, I found that unbuckling my belt before tucking the holster in made it much easier. And this can vary depending on where along your belt you carry. The important thing is to assess the effectiveness of the claw where you normally carry, but also see how it does if your holster shifts a bit. Removing the holster is also easier with the belt unbuckled. I found that the pad would catch on my jeans sometimes.
For me, I’ve got it dialed in just right. It was already tucked up pretty well, but now it’s a bit closer to my body for virtually no printing. If I lean far to the left (not likely, lol) it does start to print. Obviously, the solution is to not lean to the left. All joking aside, with loose t-shirts, it’s not the least bit noticeable. Which is the whole point of “concealed”. Yet I can still draw as smoothly and comfortably as before. Reholstering is a tad slower, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to accept. I tried to take some photos of it “not printing”, but they didn’t look much different than the one I shared in my original review.
For $18, this is a great addition to their IWB holster, if you are looking for maximum concealment. The fact that it’s got over 1,300 reviews and 4.9 stars on the We The People website tells me that I’m not the only one who thinks this. It checks all the boxes – inexpensive, adjustable, and effective. If you’re ordering a holster from We The People Holsters, definitely consider adding the claw to your order. I had no complaints with my holster originally. But I wanted to try the claw, and I’m glad I did. It improves on an already great design.
As always, I’d like to thank We The People Holsters for providing their claw for my testing and evaluation. If you’d like to get your own holster and claw, head over to the We The People Holsters website.