Another popular non-holster holster product is the Clipdraw. Rediscovered by John Rugh of Woodsman’s Pal fame, the Clipdraw is a brand term for variety of spring-steel, handgun carry clips that mount directly on the frame of the pistol. Available for a wide selection of handguns, there are three models of particular interest to the snub owner: The Classic Clipdraw, The Original Clipdraw, and The Universal Clipdraw. All three Clipdraw models are available in both blue and stainless steel.
The Classic Clipdraw is the oldest style of the three Clipdraw models. It features one replacement side plate screw and a choice of two customized round-head screws. Depending on the model and year of your Smith and Wesson snub, one or the other of these two larger screw replaces the revolver’s yoke screw located just forward of the trigger-guard. When installing either of the Classic Clipdraw’s replacement yoke screws remember to add an exceptionally sparing drop of blue Loctite to the threads. Be sure to screw down the replacement yoke screw snug but never forcefully. If the new yoke screw is screwed down too tight it will bind the crane and restrict the shooter’s ability to swing out the cylinder for reloading. In the near future the Classic Clipdraw will be phased out in favor of a newer single screw Original Clipdraw.
The second design is called the Original Clipdraw. It is attached to the snub via a single side plate screw that replaces the factory side plate screw located on the frame behind the trigger. This redesigned Original Clipdraw is also held in place with the aid of an ingeniously designed flange off set on the Clipdraw and mates to the inside rear of the trigger guard. The flange is of a sufficient size and depth to secure the Clipdraw but is not large enough to interfere with trigger travel.
The third design is the Universal Clipdraw. This unit uses a two-piece combination mounting system. The first piece consists of the Clipdraw clip and the second piece is the Clipdraw base plate. The base plate of the unit is mounted directly to the revolver’s frame via a thin strip of 3M designed very high bond (VHB) double coated tape. The strip of VHB tape is capable of holding up to 20 pounds and is resistant to oils, solvents, heat, vibrations and heavy recoil. If removal is desired, the tape’s unique stretch release design allows it to be stretched off without leaving a mark on the frame or the finish.
Once the base plate is positioned on the side of the revolver’s frame the clip portion of the Universal Clipdraw is in attached to the base plate via two 1/8” button head screws. The base plate is taped for three holes and this gives the Universal Clipdraw a wide range of carry height positioning.
Because Smith and Wesson side plate screws have a unique thread pattern neither the J-frame sized Original Clipdraw will not fit the Taurus or Rossi revolvers. For the same reason the K-frame sized Original Clipdraw units not fit the equivalent sized Taurus revolvers. However the Universal Clipdraw will work with all brands of revolvers.
Two items that might be worth mentioning: One slight limitation found with both the Hip-Grip and the Clipdraw is the occasional shifting of the muzzle from a forward rake to a rearward rake. A snug worn belt tends to minimize this shift. Second, and purely subjective, is that the women snub shooters who attend my classes report preferring the Clipdraw over the Barami Hip-Clip. While this is not scientific it has been suggested that this may be due to a combination of the flare of most women’s hips and the fact that the Clipdraw sits slightly higher in the belt line than does the Barami Hip-Clip. A quick survey I made during Andy Stanford’s Snubby Summit conference in Florida seemed to confirm this view.