August 22, 2018
Looking at the advertisement, two points drew my attention to the DeSantis Slim-Tuk inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster: the price and the clip.
The suggested price is a penny under $40, but I suppose writing it "$39.99" makes readers feel like they're saving something akin to $10 rather than 1 cent. Still, two $20s isn't much to give for a Kydex holster these days if it fits your pistol well, supports quick presentations and carries comfortably. Especially if it lasts a lifetime.
At Guns & Ammo, we're skeptics when it comes to holsters sent in with plastic clips. We've broken our fair share during our long-term evaluations, and I've managed to extract a few holsters when drawing a pistol because the hook on the usual J-shape doesn't fully wrap around the bottom of a gun belt, which is thicker than the thin, flimsy belt most people buy off the rack at a department store. For this evaluation, I decided to carry the Slim-Tuk with a variety of gun belts to certify the clip's reliability.
I could argue that DeSantis' belt clip used on the Slim-Tuk (as well as a few other holsters) is the best plastic clip on the market. The hook itself makes a full 180-degree turn around the bottom and accommodates belts as thick as .31-inch. The interior dimensions of the clip measures 1.8 inches, so this clip will accept up to a 13/4-inch-wide belt without slop. When putting the holster on, you can feel the positive click that provides confidence it won't come out when drawing the pistol. To aid in removing the holster, the clip has a protruding tab that allows us leverage to pull the clip out from under the belt easier. (Smart!)
The clip is 4.6 inches long, which means that it can handle the weight of a loaded full-size pistol for its single position and it features three holes. The bottom secures the clip to the Kydex shell. When loosened, racheting teeth on a spacer allows the holster to be canted to any extreme. The hole above the bottom allows access to the tension adjustment screw. The top hole can be used to reposition the holster higher against the belt by dropping the clip lower and remounting the other two screws.
The Slim-Tuk is thin for what it is, which is one piece of Kydex. I've carried two models for 30 days, one for a 1911 and the other for a SIG Sauer P320C. While carrying the P320C, I discovered that this model holster will also hold the new P320 X-Carry, which has an enhanced grip module. Unfortunately, the holster will not accept either P320 models fitted with a red dot sight without alteration (i.e., Dremel-smithing) to the topstrap of the Kydex. That said, the holster has a large and generous sight channel that will accommodate pistols equipped with tall, suppressor-height sights.
I contacted Chad DeSantis about my observations and to learn about the Slim-Tuk's development.
"The idea came from a northeast representative who saw another Kydex holster with a single clip positioned in the middle," DeSantis said. "We started with that concept, but went a different direction after deciding it was best to move the clip to the side of the holster. This offered the adjustability for height and cant, as well as the ability to switch sides for crossdraw carry or ambidextrous use. The Slim-Tuk is truly a holster where customers can make it their own."
The Slim-Tuk is not DeSantis' number-one selling holster - that title remains with the Nemesis pocket holster ($26) - but in the short time it's been on the market, it's certainly climbing up there. In fact, DeSantis currently sells 4,000 to 5,000 a year.
Some holster companies seem to make a version for every conceivable pistol, but DeSantis has a more efficient approach. Kydex can be difficult to form around handguns such as revolvers and 1911s. However, because customers want them, those are on the list for what the Slim-Tuk can be ordered.
"Selection comes down to popularity," DeSantis said. "The top three models for it are the Glock 17/19, the Glock 43 and the Smith & Wesson Shield. We made one for SIG Sauer's new P365 and it's been impossible to keep up with the demand for P365 holsters. We sell them as fast as we make them."
I've worn the Slim-Tuk for both a 1911 and a P320 for a total of 60 days. The holstered pistols hug the waistline, which is great for wearing with slimmer shirts untucked.
Draw speed was only limited by my ability to react and clear cover garments to access the grip. You may have to concentrate to get a firing grip because it hugs the waist so tight, but practice makes perfect.
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