Researching my forthcoming book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S, I’ve been doing quite a bit of experimenting. As a result, I’ve stumbled on some pretty fantastic concealed carry combinations, one of which is the Springfield Armory XD-S, a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and the CrossBreed SnapSlide outside-the-waistband holster.
One of the really nice things about the Springfield Armory XD-S is that it’s thin and “short” enough to easily conceal using an outside the waistband holster. And it doesn’t matter if you prefer fewer (5+1) big and fat .45 ACP rounds or more (7+1) slimmer yet faster 9mm rounds. The exterior dimensions of the gun and laser combination are exactly the same.
For OWB carry, I particularly like the CrossBreed SnapSlide holster for a few of different reasons.
Like the IWB counterparts, the leather back and kydex holster pouch give a great combination of “thin” yet comfortable. The portion of the holster on the outside of the gun simply cannot be thinner with any other material than Kydex.
The generous leather panel and widely-spaced belt loops offer great comfort and stability with a 1 ½ inch or 1 ¼ inch gun belt. I had no problem adjusting the carry position from anywhere between 3 and 5:30 positions, assuming a right-handed configuration.
The SnapSlide holds the XD-S high relative to the belt level which aids in concealment. This high positioning and short barrel of the Springfield Armory XD-S mean that hardly any of the gun extends below belt level, so an untucked shirt or blouse easily covers your gun.
The three together make an outstanding concealed carry package that’s light, trim, comfortable and functional.
Frankly, I don’t see any advantage in carrying that small a gun in an OWB holster. You still have to conceal it by covering it with a jacket or untucked shirt. I carry mine in a Remora IWB holster at 10:00. There, the thinness of the XDS really shines — I can carry it even under a “sports” T-shirt with NOTHING to indicate I’m carrying a weapon. My favorite mode of carry is outside a wicking T-shirt, inside a snap-fastened short-sleeved shirt. Completely concealed, yet all I have to do is quickly reach inside the shirt, popping the snaps, and draw the weapon.
Agree with your choice of a laser, too. All my defensive firearms have lasers, with my SAR K-2 mounting a Viridian X5L laser/light combo. That’s what I carry OWB under a light jacket or loose shirt.
I hear ya, but in this case I found it to be advantageous. Here’s why. The gun is thin, as is the holster, so from a “fatness” perspective, OWB was fine. The SnapSlide also holds the gun up very high relative to the belt line and as one of the photos shows, there is really no barrel extending below the belt line as there would be with a longer gun and different holster.
So, between the thin profile and lack of gun / holster hanging below the belt, I found I can conceal it just as easily as an IWB setup – t-shirt, untucked polo, whatever.
I almost always use IWB for the reasons you state, but with this rig, I was able to get a little more comfort as the gun wasn’t jammed into my guts 🙂
Have you tried the XDS w/ Crimson Trace Laser in a Sneaky Pete holster? I also have a Sneaky Pete for a Diamondback 9mm and love both. The Sneaky Pete (made of genuine glove quality leather with Kydex insert) allows for “open” concealed carry, so what you wear and how you wear it is a non-issue. The flap that conceals the firearm is secured by magnets and with a little practice allows for easy and rapid access. I rarely encounter any curious looks because the holster just looks like a carrying case for some electronic gadget, i.e.. PDA, small tablet or whatever. I’ve even been in the presence of LEO’s (in a restaurant) and didn’t even get a second look. The Sneaky Pete provides me with the MOST comfort while carrying concealed.
I have the Sneaky Pete holsters on my list to cover in the 2nd Edition of The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. I’ve seen ads and it looks to be a pretty neat idea. And as you say, it’s hard to beat carrying outside the waistband for comfort!