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DeSantis Super Stealth Ballistic Nylon Holster: Tested

The DeSantis Super Stealth ballistic nylon holster has a unique feature: a plastic triggerguard retention system trademarked “Gunhide Retention Device,” or “GRD.” Here are the test results.

DeSantis Super Stealth Ballistic Nylon Holster: Tested

The Super Stealth is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster that features DeSantis’ Gunhide Retention Device (GRD). The GRD snaps around the triggerguard of a pistol to hold it in place, which provides users a confidence-inspiring click. The 1 3/4-inch-wide spring-steel clip is reversible to the opposite side for left- or right-hand carry. $52

Dupont created ballistic nylon as an abrasion- and cut-resistant material used to make flak jackets worn by airmen during World War II. Ballistic nylon is not a bullet-resistant fabric, and flak jackets have since been replaced by Kevlar and ceramic armor. The fabric’s intended function was to protect its wearers from debris and fragmentation. The term originally described an 18-ounce fabric made from 1050 Denier (D) in a two-by-two basketweave. Today, “ballistic nylon” generically refers to any nylon fabric made with a basketweave, as has been used by several holster makers to create many styles of affordable holsters.

Ballistic nylon holsters served the entry-level market for more than 35 years due to price point and universal fitment to a specific-size handgun. Early examples were simply a pouch with no retention, while follow-ons incorporated straps and snaps. The Pro Stealth is a current nylon holster in DeSantis’ catalog, which has been updated to accommodate pistols with red dot sights. The new-for-2022 Super Stealth continues on the Pro Stealth legacy featuring padded 1060D ballistic nylon. Unique to the Super Stealth, however, is a plastic triggerguard retention system trademarked “Gunhide Retention Device,” or “GRD.”

The amount of retention is not adjustable with the GRD, but the design continues ballistic nylon’s tradition of low-cost versatility by accepting a lengthy list of popular models. Insert a pistol and the GRD produces a reassuring click to let the user know the pistol is locked in. The list of compatible handguns includes: Colt Officer; Glock 43X; Kahr 9mm/.40 S&W; Springfield Armory Hellcat; Kimber Ultra Carry; Ruger LC9/EC9S; Smith & Wesson Shield EZ 380/Shield 9 EZ; and Beretta Nano. The list provided at is even longer, including handguns from FN, HK, KelTec, Para Ordnance, SCCY, SIG Sauer, Taurus and Walther. The Super Stealth does not accommodate pistols with lights or laser systems attached to the triggerguard or rail. Though the Pro Stealth line does offer an optic-compatible option, the Super Stealth is not optic-ready.

Like the Pro Stealth, the Super Stealth arrives in a right-hand configuration with a spring-steel clip attached to a stitched and slotted black leather square. To switch to a left-hand orientation, pull the clip out and up to remove; then, reinstall on the opposite side’s slotted square.

The steel clip is especially noteworthy. Unlike cheap clips that can slip and slide, the inside of DeSantis’ folded spring-steel clip features an extended J-hook that keeps the clip from pulling out of the leather square, which also hooks to the bottom of a belt. The outer clip features a hook that springs closed and encapsulates the opposite J-hook. Also, DeSantis’ clip was shaped to offer a pry handle, which allows the clip to be pulled away for fast-and-easy holster removal from the waistline.

DeSantis Super Stealth Ballistic Nylon Holster: Tested Above View

30-Day Carry

I ordered a DeSantis Super Stealth to conceal carry a Kahr K9 9mm pistol for this evaluation. I have been reluctant to support the use of most ballistic nylon holsters, but I am aware of their popularity, especially among first-time gun owners. News of DeSantis’ GRD retention system caused me to reconsider this type of holster. At the range and during my concealed-carry trial, the GRD secured the pistol, protected the trigger and afforded a full firing grip to draw. The only design improvement I could recommend would be to accommodate pistols with mounted optics. 

During my range evaluation, the GRD always released the pistol during the draw and DeSantis’ belt clip never allowed the holster to be drawn with the gun. I only evaluated the clip while wearing a 1½-inch gun belt.

Many reviews have concluded that “cheap” nylon holsters should not be considered for carry because they offer little-to-no retention, the pouches are cut too low to protect the trigger, and are so flexible that the trigger could be unintentionally pressed if clothing is bunched up while inserting the pistol. I have also heard that folded spring clips allow a holster to be drawn from the waistline with the handgun. It seems to me that DeSantis specifically targeted each one of these concerns when designing the Super Stealth. At $52, the holster retails for a little more than the company’s Pro Stealth model ($48), which is significantly more than other popular open-top nylon holsters, which can start as low as $13. However, the GRD retention system works to secure the triggerguard better, and without unreasonably increasing average draw times from concealment. DeSantis’ Super Stealth with GRD, and its ambidextrous spring-steel clip, is the first ballistic-nylon holster that I’m comfort-able recommending for your concealed-carry consideration.

DeSantis Super Stealth Holster Specifications

  • Materials: Ballistic nylon, 1060D, padded (pouch); leather (clip pocket)
  • Carry Type: Inside the waistband (IWB), ambidextrous
  • Retention Type: Level 1; Gunhide Retention Device (GRD), triggerguard clip
  • Adjustability: No
  • MSRP: $52
  • Handgun Fit: Multiple compact semiautomatics; Kahr K9 (tested)
  • Accessory Rail Accommodations: No
  • Positions to Carry: IWB, AIWB, crossdraw
  • Average Time to Attach: 10 seconds
  • Comfort Rating: 5/5
  • Concealment Clothing: Untucked t-shirt (AIWB), untucked button-down shirt (IWB), jacket
  • Average Draw-To-Fire Time*: 1.45 seconds
  • Manufacturer: DeSantis Gunhide, 631-841-6300,

*Draw-to-fire time is the average of five clean draws producing an A-zone hit on a stationary target positioned at 21 feet.

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