Clipdraw is an ingenious idea. It is a very inexpensive device, which when attached to your M-1911 pistol, allows you to carry it Mexican-style (i.e. in your waistband, without a holster), safely and securely.
As you probably already know, the “M-1911 Pistols Home Page” is sponsored by Skyline Technologies Inc., the makers of the original “Clipdraw.”
Some days ago, I received a sample of this device, for testing and evaluation. Here are my findings:
Clipdraw is made of spring steel and comes either in blue steel, or in nickel plated versions. It consists of a metal plate, which is shaped exactly like the bottom part of the right grip panel of your gun (with two properly aligned holes to match the grip bushings on your pistol) and a protrusion which aligns itself with the slide of the pistol (more or less, have a look at the attached photo). In order to install Clipdraw, all you have to do is unscrew the right grip panel, insert it on the right side of your pistol, and screw the grip again on top of it. You are now ready to put your gun inside your waistband. The protruding part of Clipdraw is supposed to ride above your trousers and belt. There, you are now ready. Walk, run, jump, do whatever you like, the pistol will stay put, where you want it.
So how well does the Clipdraw work?
Well, some days ago, I had to rush out for some errant, and I put my bigmouth in my waistband, at the small of my back. I had to return to my desk to get my mobile phone, at which time the elevator appeared. I had to rush to it, in order not to miss it. Oooops! I just managed to catch the pistol, just before it started its way down my pants! I tried the same exercise with Clipdraw installed. Guess what? The pistol stayed there, no problem at all. So as a secure means to carry your pistol inside your waistband, without a holster, the answer is “yes, Clipdraw works.”
Some more thoughts on this item. First, what are its advantages?
Well, for one, it is always attached to your gun, so you do not have to bother looking for the holster or a string (a popular way to carry Mexican-style) or even bother to move your holster from one pair of pants to another. Second, the device is very inexpensive, so cost is not an issue. Three, it is virtually indestructible. Four, it can be attached and removed very easily (just unscrew the two left grip screws). Five, it does not interfere with the controls of the gun (well, almost, part of the slide gripping serrations are covered by Clipdraw, for people with large fingers, that can be a slight problem). Six, the tension of the protruding edge of the device together with your belt, is enough to hold the gun positioned where ever you put it, while in the same time not hindering a quick draw.
Disadvantages? I can think of a couple. After you install the device on your gun, usage with other holsters is not always possible, without first removing Clipdraw. Some models might work, some others simply cannot be used. Not a big disadvantage per se as you do not actually need a holster with this thing attached, but one that should be noted. Also, when Clipdraw is attached to your M-1911, the front of the barrel is canted upwards a bit, when the gun is left on a flat surface, like on a table with its right side down. This is not a problem itself, except that in this position, the gun is a bit more difficult to grab in a hurry, since the pistol’s rear end is closer to the table than before. Of course, this does not happen if the left side of the pistol is facing the table. Other minor criticism concerns the fact that Clipdraw can not be used with a pistol which uses an ambi thumb safety. Again, this is a minor issue, as this can be easily corrected with a little filing of the device, at the area where the ambi safety’s tongue is moving. And of course this is not a problem if your safety uses the sear pin to secure the right part of the safety, instead of the tongue moving under the grip panel (a much better approach in my opinion).
Overall, Clipdraw seems to be an ingenious, cost-effective device, which can help you carry your pistol safely, if you favor the Mexican style.