At no point in the past have shooters ever had a broader variety of quality handgun holsters to select from than they do right now. The advent of Kydex revolutionized the holster market as men and women with the entrepreneurial spark used this highly durable thermoplastic to mold a remarkable variety of holsters around pistols like the Hellcat Pro.
Crucial Concealment’s Covert OWB is a perfect example of this new breed of holster. Precisely molded for each gun and equipped with varied adjustment features, this carry rig offers features a leather holster could not — and at a reasonable price, to boot. The icing on the cake is that they are Made in the U.S.A. by a group of shooters-turned-entrepreneurs.
I recently received a Covert OWB holster to test with my Hellcat Pro. How did it do? I hate spoilers but will cut to the chase for those short on time: it performed exceptionally well.
The Cover OWB is a straightforward design. It is an open-top, outside-the-waistband holster constructed of 0.080” Kydex. At that thickness, the rig offers a good balance of strength to size. It is thin enough to conceal under a t-shirt, yet appears strong enough to withstand years of daily carry.
For pistol retention, the gun relies on its precise molding. When I insert the Hellcat Pro into the Covert OWB, I feel and hear a distinct “click” as the gun seats. Once it is fully inserted, the gun stays put. I felt no wobble when wearing it, and I could only make the gun wiggle when I forcibly moved it back and forth. I could not dislodge the Hellcat even when I turned the holster upside down and shook it.
If you don’t like the amount of retention the holster has when it arrives, you can easily adjust it. Even though mine arrived in the ideal position, yours might need a hair of tweaking. You can dial in the precise amount of retention using the tension screw located near the trigger guard. A small adjustment with a Phillips screwdriver will have you right as rain.
I do want to make a short mention of my use of the word “retention.” In the context of the Covert OWB holster, I am only referring to the friction retention that will ensure the gun doesn’t accidentally fall out when engaged in normal life activities. I am not referring to resistance against a gun grab. This holster does not offer any heightened safety in a disarming attempt. I recommend reading my “Understanding Holster Retention” article for more information on that subject.
Much like the Ford Model T, the Crucial Concealment Covert OWB is available in every color you might want so long as you only want black. No other colors are offered at this time. While I like options, the reality is most of my Kydex rigs are black, so I have no issues with the Covert OWB in the same hue. The upside to a limited color palette is the company can reduce both the time and cost associated with making semi-custom runs. In an era of runaway inflation, I’ll take the cost break.
What Makes the Covert OWB Different?
“Sure,” you might say, “it’s a Kydex OWB holster. What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is in the belt hardware. Crucial Concealment uses belt attachments called OWB Flex Loops. These Flex Loops are made of a semi-rigid thermoplastic and are attached with screws to each “end” of the holster. As they are user-adjustable, the loops are in my opinion where the uniqueness of this rig comes into being.
To start with, the Flex Loops are completely removable. If you take one off of the holster, you will notice that the Flex Loops have two “ends” with a loop on each. One end has a loop opening that is precisely sized to work with a 1.5” wide belt, while the other is for a 1.75” wide belt. This allows you to swap which end of the Flex Loop is exposed and eliminate any play in the holster from a mismatched belt size.
While you have the Flex Loop removed from the holster, you would also observe that the loop ends are offset at an angle. The angle gives you additional options for how the holster rides. If both belt loops are “up”, then the gun will ride higher on the belt. Flip them around and the gun will ride lower. You can also change the loops so they do not match to give the holster a forward or rearward tilt. So, with one holster, I can carry on my strong side hip with a straight-up draw then give it a tilt to carry cross draw for a long car trip.
Springtime in Florida can be a hot and muggy business. Fortunately, this year wasn’t too bad, but even so, the wrong holster can make carrying a pistol difficult in the heat. I’m pleased to say that the Crucial Concealment Covert OWB was the right holster to wear in this climate.
A lot of my time is spent carrying under an untucked shirt. I simply don’t attend many fancy soirées and, since I work from home, I don’t don a jacket and tie when I get up in the morning. A light t-shirt might be the only cover garment I wear.
I was impressed by the performance of the Covert OWB holster. Its molded curve worked with the Flex Loops to keep it tucked tight to my body. Plus, the precise molding of the loops worked with my 1.5” reinforced belt to anchor the Hellcat Pro to my waist.
Retention proved to be good. At no point did the gun ever dislodge from the rig or even become loose in the holster. I did not need to adjust the tension screw at all, which I anticipated possibly doing. I keep a little Locktite Blue 242 around to prevent tension screws from backing out, but it was never needed on this holster.
I’m currently testing the HEX Wasp on my Hellcat Pro. That red dot sight is proving to be a good performer. The way the Covert OWB is cut, the holster does not interfere with the red dot at all. There is a lot of clearance between the sight and Kydex. Pro Tip: The Crucial Concealment holster proved strong enough to use to cycle the slide of the Hellcat Pro one-handed against it. Using the HEX optic against the rigid holster mouth, I was able to manipulate the slide of the pistol without an issue.
As I stated early in this article, the Crucial Concealment Covert OWB performed well in my testing. It is available from the Springfield Armory Store for $59.99, which I find to be a very fair price. If you’re in the market for a holster like this, you might just want to give it a look.
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