Discreet Carry Concepts is a company that makes purpose-built concealed carry clips. These clips are made out of very thin spring steel and are quite different from most of the other options on the market. Keeping that in mind, these clips don’t come cheap. The question we’re going to answer today is whether or not Discreet Carry Concepts’ clips are worth paying that premium price.
History of Holster Clips
Kydex holsters have been around for quite some time, since at least the 1960s and ‘70s. However, they really started taking off in the late ‘90s and 2000s. People were taking Kydex they were buying from local plastic suppliers and hand-forming it themselves in the garage using all different types of methods and techniques. The Kydex itself really only applied to the shell of the holster and didn’t affect the actual hardware.
For attachments, home-builders were primarily using something called “soft loops.” Originally these loops were made out of leather and broke easily after just a little bit of use. Then there was a transition toward using a coated webbing material called BioThane. These were much more durable than the rubber and leather straps people had previously been using. Other looping mediums and techniques were also used infrequently during this time.
At that time, it was also common for major holster makers to make their own attachments out of Kydex. While Kydex makes a great holster, it is not designed to take the stress of being an attachment. These attachments often also broke very easily and just weren’t durable.
Eventually, people started investing in the creation of injection-molded clips. These plastic or polymer clips worked much better than the old Kydex clips, but they still had their own set of issues. They often didn’t hold their shape that well, so you’d want to replace them fairly regularly at a rate of around six months to a year of use. It wasn’t uncommon to start seeing these clips spreading very quickly. The Kydex would go from holding tight to your belt to a quarter-inch of gap between the bottom of the clip and its back.
Another common type of attachment was a spring metal clamp. These types of clips were often derived from other industrial uses and applied to holsters. Like their predecessors, they just weren’t durable and they would often lose their snap from the spring fairly quickly with very little use.
Original spring metal clips also often lacked a feature called a cloth-grabber. The cloth-grabber is what would allow them to hold in place so you couldn’t just pull the clips straight off what it was attached to. Overall, the design of these clips was absolutely horrible.
As technology advanced, a couple of options for clips with cloth-grabbers were introduced, but those clips would quickly lose tension. Discreet Carry Concepts wanted to change this and entered the market from there. They wanted to offer a clip that was low-profile unlike their plastic and polymer counterparts but still have a clip that could be low-profile and hold very tightly to your belt or clothing.
What makes Discreet Carry Concepts’ clips different?
When you look at the majority of polymer clips on the market, they’re often very bulky and don’t last that long. Some of them will last longer than others, but they still add a lot of thickness to the holster. None of these clips work well when not carried with a belt. Your standard spring steel clips would come off the belt very easily and would lose tension quickly as well. The handful of designs that included cloth-grabbers worked decently well, but again, when they lost tension, their use became much more limited. They would only work if you were wearing a thick belt.
Discreet Carry Concepts fixed all that. They came out with a low-profile spring steel clip that was tempered to have constant clamping pressure. This pressure is what really sets the Discreet Carry Concepts clips apart from all the other spring steel and holster clips on the market. They also designed a cloth grabber that is extremely effective and will hold to pretty much any woven material.
Quality Isn’t Cheap
These clips aren’t cheap, but that’s because these clips have a lot more involved in their manufacturing than your standard spring steel clips. Most spring steel clips are made out of steel on a stamping machine, which can make thousands of these clips in a very short period of time.
Discreet Carry Concepts’ clips are also manufactured by stamping, but they also have unique heat-treatment processes that allow the clips to maintain their constant planting pressure. They also adjust the force on each clip to have consistent clamping pressure.
I know this sounds hokey, and unless you’ve had as much experience with straight spring steel clips as I have, you might think this is all a sales pitch. The reality is that these clips just last. I’ve seen a lot of people argue that these clips should cost the same amount as their competitors, but Discreet Carry Concepts does not have reasonable competitors in their market segment. There is no one out there making a clip that is even close to the same quality of what they produce.
Styles of Clips
Discreet Carry Concepts offers a variety of clips in different styles. Discreet Carry Concepts makes a couple of different styles of clips. First, we’re going to cover the clips and their over-the-belt clip classification. These are designed to go over your concealed-carry belt, but even then they will still work if you are not wearing a belt at all. They’re extremely secure and will hold to almost any type of clothing. We’re going to cover these options below.
The Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock is one of their newest products. The Monoblock was designed to replace a foamy-style clip. The foamy is probably the most popular clip in the holster industry overall. It is a basic plastic clip and was one of the first injection-molded styles to reach wide-scale adoption.
However, this clip has a couple of issues. The biggest issue of the foamy-style clip is that its plastic material can break with consistent use. Now, any product out there will break if it’s used enough, but the lifecycle on the foamy clips isn’t nearly as long as other clubs like the Discreet Carry Concepts clips. Not only is the life cycle shorter, but these clips also do not get consistent contact with most holsters.
Kydex holsters are designed around the shape of the gun in most cases. The foamy-style clip only provides one point of contact with that holster, and, depending on the shape of the gun, that point of contact might be very small. In most cases, it is: often the clip meets the holster right where the frame and slide of the firearm connect.
The slide and the frame of the firearm are frequently different widths, which creates an inconsistent contact point. Also, for that clip to have enough pressure and stay consistently underneath the belt, you have to make sure it’s mounted at the right angle. A lot of holster makers do not do this, making the clips less secure.
Discreet Carry Concepts designed the Monoblock to fit with the most standard foamy mounting pattern in the industry. This allows the Monoblock to replace most foamy-style clips.
That said, you still have to keep in mind that the Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock will not be secure as a clip like their Mod 4, which has a metal backing that the cloth-grabber indexes against. The Monoblock has two independent arms. These arms each have their own cloth-grabber, so on a gun like a Glock where the slide is significantly narrower than the frame, one of the arms will be pressing against the slide while the other arm is pressing against the frame of the gun. This provides more contact and makes the holster much more secure.
Some holsters like our Singleton have a built-in flat clip backing for more consistent engagement. This makes the Monoblock more secure than when mounted on a normal holster.
You can actually carry with a Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock when not using a belt. Assuming the mount for the clip has been designed correctly, it’s going to be a very secure option. Unlike Discreet Carry Concepts’ other clips, this clip just uses the standard spring steel.
While it’s not as secure as their other clips, it’s still more secure than most due to the design Discreet Carry Concepts has chosen. They spent a lot of time getting this clip right and there were a lot of revisions. This is definitely the best holster clip in its price point.
Mod 1 (Belt)
The Mod 1 clip is 2.3 inches long and will fit over a 1.75-inch belt. There is only one mounting hole in it at the very bottom of the clip. This would work well for a knife sheath or other device where you only need one mounting point. If you want the clip to have the ability to rotate, then this is a good option.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 4 (Belt)
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4 is their most common and popular clip. The Mod 4 fits over the belt and will work with almost any holster out there. They offer it in both a normal and a “shorty” size. The shorty clip is 3.15 inches in overall length while the regular clip is slightly larger at 3.41 inches overall. Both sizes are available for either a 1.5-inch or a 1.75-inch belt. These clips are also offered with multiple mounting options.
You can get the clip for their normal mounting pattern, which uses a slot at the top and a hole at the bottom with 0.6 spacing. 0.6 inches is the industry standard for spacing and using this clip, you can get 8 degrees of clamp adjustment in either direction.
They also have their universal mounting system, which has two vertical slots in the bottom of the clip. These slots allow you to get adjustable ride height out of the clip or can be used if there’s a variable distance between the mounting holes.
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4s are some of the best clips on the market, and if you’re looking for a concealed-carry clip that you know you’ll be happy with, these are the ones to go for. They’re only 0.6 inches wide, which makes it easy to work around belt loops, are extremely low-profile, and you don’t have to worry about the clips printing and showing through a shirt or other cover garment. They’re my favorite in the company’s currency lineup.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 6
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 6 clip is 3.36 inches in overall length and is designed to work with a 2.25-inch duty belt. These clips are designed to mount accessories to very large belts and aren’t going to work for most people. This is one of those products if you think you may need it then you probably don’t, but if you know you need it, you definitely know.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 8
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 8 clip is their deep-carry clip. This is going to work for very few holsters out there with their 0.5-inch mounting pattern narrowing down the number of compatible holsters. As expected, they are going to sit very deep.
The clip itself is 3.9 inches in overall length. That’s almost a half-inch longer than the regular Mod 4, so it’s going to move the gun just a little bit deeper. These clips are only offered in a 1.75-inch belt. Personally, I haven’t really ever seen a need for this clip.
If I was going to create a custom knife sheath or something else, maybe I would see the need then. This is going to be a very niche item, and again, this is going to be one of those clips where you’ll know if you need it.
I call these clips the “shorties” as a whole because they’re not designed to go over a belt. The clip portion itself is very short. Even though the overall length of the entire clip is on par with the rest of the Discreet Carry Concepts lineup, the actual locking part that clamps on your clothing is going to be very short in comparison to the rest of the company’s offerings.
What makes these clips great for concealing is its low-profile focus. I’ve used these clips before for business casual occasions and they work quite well. When carrying this way, you have to make sure your clothing is set up appropriately, all the way to the gun. If your pants themselves will not hold the way to the gun, then you’re going to see severe sagging on your waistline. You want to make sure that the pants are very tight and have a very stiff waistband because the belt itself is not going to help hold the weight of the gun.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 2
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 2 clips are available in multiple variants. Two of these variants just have different mounting patterns.
One uses the standard Discreet Carry Concepts mounting pattern with a hole at the bottom and a horizontal slot at the top for that eight degrees of clamp adjustment in either direction. These clips are 2.9 inches in overall length and work very well for certain applications. I find these shorter clips often work very well when carrying either a very small gun like a Ruger LCP or on knife sheaths.
They also have the Mod 2.2 clips. The Mod 2.2s are only 2.35 inches in overall length so they’re much shorter and they’re also going to be better suited for things like knife clips.
These clips can have a lot of applications when you get creative, but sometimes they’ll require fully custom gear. You might need to get comfortable monitoring your gear before using some of these shorter clips for everyday use.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 3
The Mod 3 clips are the shortest in the Discreet Carry Concepts lineup and are, as expected, extremely short at only 1.73 inches in overall length. The regular Mod 3 has a single hole at the bottom for mounting things.
This is a great clip if you only want that one mounting point. If you want two points, they have the Mod 3.1 clip. This clip has a mounting hole in the back of the clip as well as one in the bottom. This will get you two hard points when you’re mounting to a sheath or another holster.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 5
The Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 5 is my personal favorite of the shorty clip series.
These clips are the same length as the Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4s, which makes them somewhat interchangeable in those. These are designed for behind-the-belt use. These are the clips that I use when I’m carrying a holster in a business-casual setting. If you have to wear a holster with a tucked-in shirt and clips can’t show, this is definitely what you want to go with.
You can get the Mod 5 series in multiple mountings. The standard Mod 5 comes with 0.5-inch spacing with two holes. The Mod 5.1 (which is what I used for years) has the standard Discreet Carry Concepts mounting pattern, which is 0.6 inches center-to-center with a hole in the bottom and a horizontal slot in the top for that 8 degrees of adjustment in either direction.
They have since introduced Mod 5.1 U. The Mod 5.1 U uses vertical slots that allow you to adjust the ride height on the clip. I would probably use the Mod 5.1 U if I were reconfiguring my gear and that is likely what I’ll be using on all my new holsters in the future. That is my new holster design for carrying with a tucked-in shirt.
Discreet Carry Concept Mod 9
Finally, Discreet Carry Concepts also has the Mod 9 clip which is very similar to the Mod 8 series. It is a deep-concealment clip, and at 3.9 inches long is much longer than the Mod 5 series. This clip is designed to move your holster or sheath very low and deep. It also uses 0.5-inch holes for mounting. Personally, I don’t see a use for this Mod 9 clip, but I’m sure many others will find a use somehow.
Special Applications (SA)
The special application (SA) series clips are also designed to be extremely low-profile. They essentially take the standard Discreet Carry Concepts clips and take away the lip that you would use to help make the clips easier to remove.
These clips are not easy to get on and off, and I don’t find that to be a benefit. I personally thought the idea was going to be great when I purchased them for a knife sheath. What I actually found was that they’re extremely hard to attach/remove and don’t really add in a lot of extra concealment.
If you’re worried about the lip of the clip digging into a car seat or something like that, then they do add an advantage. That said, the cost of them being very hard to get off isn’t one I’m willing to pay for. For most users, the special application clips serve no purpose. If this is an idea you think sounds good but aren’t absolutely sure about, then these clips likely aren’t for you.
The Discreet Carry Concepts clips are the best clips on the market. A Monoblock is a great option if you’re looking for a clip that is affordable and works well. I think it’s probably the best clip all-around for most users.
If you want a clip that’s just superb and the most secure clip on the market, then check out the Discreet Carry Concepts Mod 4. It’s my favorite clip overall, and it’s definitely that end-of-the-world, catch-all-type clip. If you can have one holster clip in your arsenal, it should be the Mod 4.
Their Mod 5 series clips are also great options if you’re looking to concealed carry with a tucked-in shirt. Understand there’s a lot more that goes into carrying with a tucked-in shirt (which we’ll probably discuss in another blog post), but if you’re willing to do the work to set up your clothing correctly, then the Mod 5 clip is definitely going to be your best option.
What has your experience been with Discreet Carry Concept clips? Let us know in the comments below.