Covert Carrier, a Las Vegas area manufacturer of “grip clip” handgun concealment products for small frame auto pistols, has generously supplied one of their Universal Sleeve units for test and evaluation.
Covert Carrier takes an innovative approach to the subject of handgun concealment. Their proprietary designs provide a holster-less inside the waistband (IWB) concealed carry option for those carrying most any of the smaller frame back-up pistols on the market today. At the heart of their design is a stainless steel clip which in design and function is much like the clip found on many of the modern tactical folding pocket knives. The Covert Carrier clip is affixed either directly to an auto pistol’s right grip panel, or it’s attached to a rubber grip sleeve which is slid over the gun’s grip frame. Using either of these attachment methods will allow the user to then tuck the auto pistol inside the waistband of their pants, with the clip securing the weapon riding over the waistband material. For added concealment it is recommended that a belt be worn which would cover that portion of the clip visible on the outside of the waistband. As designed, the clip must be affixed on either the right grip panel, or on the right side of the frame via the rubber sleeve so as to not interfere with the actuation of the magazine release on the left side of most pistols.
The company markets three different variations of their “grip clip” designs. The first version is simply the stainless steel clip, which can be installed on a pistol’s right grip panel by either the user or for a small fee by Covert Carrier techs. Covert Carrier provides excellent instructional photographs showing how to achieve a proper installation for the do-it-yourselfers. Anyone with basic mechanical aptitude, the ability to follow detailed directions, and who possesses a Dremel-type rotary tool can pull this off handsomely. However, I echo the manufacturer’s advice that a user adhere to the carpenter’s basic rule of thumb of measuring twice and cutting once before making the necessary installation cuts on a grip panel.
The second version is comprised of either the large or small Universal Sleeve models, both of which accommodate various sizes of pistols. The rubber grip sleeve is made of EPDM, which is the technical acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. To the non-technical types it’s the same material that car windshield gaskets are made of. It offers excellent wear and tear properties, while remaining pliable.
The Large Universal Sleeve model will work with a variety of small frame .45 ACP/.40 S&W/9mm pistols such as, but not limited to, those from: AMT, Glock, Kahr, SIG, S&W, Taurus, and the Walther PPK series small frame pistols. The Small Universal Sleeve will work with a variety of slim profile, narrow frame pistols including those from: NAA, Beretta and Taurus (tip-barrel designs), Colt .380/Mustang, Davis, Intratec, Jennings, Kel-Tec, Raven, Rohrbaugh, Seecamp and the Walther PP series pistols.
Lastly, Covert Carrier offers replacement right grip panels with the clip factory-installed for the North American Arms .25 ACP, .32, and .380 Auto models as well as the Beretta Tomcat/Bobcat/21A models. Forthcoming from Covert Carrier will be replacement grip panel models which will fit Seecamp pistols. All models of this last type simply replace the OEM panel on the particular gun.
I received for testing Covert Carrier’s Small Universal Sleeve model, which would work with the Kel-Tec P32. Given the one piece polymer construction of the Kel-Tec’s grip frame, the rubber Small Universal Sleeve is the model specifically designed to work with this pistol. Following the detailed pictorial instructions it was a piece of cake to properly trim the sleeve so as to allow it to fit the Kel-Tec’s frame. After reading the supplied literature and installation instructions, as well as double checking to ensure the pistol was clear, it took all of about 5 minutes to properly trim the sleeve and install it on the Kel-Tec.
The pistol was both easily and comfortably concealable using this product. Per Covert’s supplied documentation, I found I had best success on pistol retention and overall comfort when I took care to attach the grip clip to the outside edge of my right front belt loop. This kept the pistol secure along the waistband of my pants and allowed me to either move around or sit down without uncomfortably shifting the pistol. I primarily wore the pistol with dress pants and dress leather belt or blue jeans and a Wilderness Instructor belt. Once secured, I would slightly “blouse” my tucked-in shirt over the waistband of my pants for added concealment. I can attest that when the appropriate pants/belt combination is used this is a secure and comfortable IWB carry option.
The manufacturer strongly recommends that under no circumstances should a user attempt an IWB carry with a pistol equipped with the Covert Carrier clip which has a loaded round in the chamber. Given that the trigger guard is uncovered, and some pistols do not have external safeties, this is a prudent idea. A Condition 3 carry (empty chamber with a charged magazine in the gun) would offer an extra measure of safety from an accidental discharge when either holstering or drawing a pistol via this method. I carried the Kel-Tec in Condition 3.
On the draw I used two hands with my left hand coming up and across to press my bloused shirt in to my right side. My right hand would form a “U” with the thumb pointed down between the frame of the gun and my shirt. The other fingers, also pointing downward would press in on the retention clip. I would grasp the frame of the pistol and draw it straight up in one motion. Once clear, my left hand would be right in position to rack the slide as I extended my right hand toward the target. Achieving a firm, secure grip on the pistol and manipulating either the trigger or magazine release were no problem.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Covert Carrier products for those law enforcement, military, and CCW holders who need a well thought out concealment option. Covert Carrier products can be purchased directly from the manufacturer via the internet or telephone. The list price of the Small Universal Sleeve I tested is $43.00. If you are in the market for a quality American-made IWB carry option, give Covert Carrier a look. They’re the “Gold Standard” for total weapons concealment. They can be reached at the address below:
Covert Carrier, Inc.
2232 South Nellis Boulevard, PMB #217
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Phone: (702) 245-6302
Reviewed By: B.T. Davis