While many OWB holsters are not suitable for concealed carry for a variety of reasons—too bulky, the clips stick out too much, the holster is too long so it hangs out below the cover garment, etc.—every once in a while a company creates one that can be easily used for concealed carry. Such is the case with the Guardian Pro from Raw Dog Tactical.
Texas-based Raw Dog Tactical is a fairly small company on the holster scene. And they seem to be OK with that. Offering six lines of holsters, they may not have the variety found in larger companies, but what they have is all American-made quality goods geared toward the middle price range.
The Guardian Pro is a two-piece design with Kydex front and back bound together by four large flathead screws with rubber washers between the pieces. This setup not only holds the holster firmly together but also functions as four points of retention, each easily adjusted independently for a custom fit. Of course, when the holster arrived, I gave it my usual new holster flip test to check factory retention settings, and my Glock 17 held firmly inside while upside down.
The main reason this holster lands on my list of concealed-carry-friendly OWBs is the clips. Too many OWBs that claim to be for concealed carry don’t work well because the belt loops are too bulky, making the gun stick out too far. Not the case with the Guardian Pro.
Instead, there are two very sturdy thick plastic clips on the back that work like IWB hardware in that they are open-bottomed hook clips, not the fully enclosed belt loops typically found on other OWBs. This design serves two useful functions. First, taking the holster off and putting it on does not require undoing your belt—a great feature for anybody, but especially for lefties who struggle with this mega inconvenience with conventional belt loops.
The second benefit is how slim fitting the clips are: they pull the holster tighter than other loops and clips, allowing for a snugger fit against the body.
I wore mine under a winter vest as I ran some errands on a particularly chilly day recently and nobody had any idea I was carrying a gun. The muzzle end of the holster was short enough that it did not protrude from below the jacket and tucked in tightly so it did not print. The Guardian Pro is also fully optic ready. Now that red dots on pistols are so popular, this is a feature every new holster should have.
With an MSRP of $48.95, the Raw Dog Tactical Guardian Pro is a great value in a reliable Kydex holster that holds the gun firmly and discreetly.