The DeSantis Insider Holster: Minimalist Concealment

DeSantis has been around for a couple of decades, providing quality holsters at fair prices. It all started when Gene DeSantis built his first holster at his kitchen table more than 40 years ago. Naturally, things have blossomed since that time. DeSantis now has skilled craftspeople who build holsters for citizens, the military, and law enforcement agencies nationwide.

What hasn’t changed, though, is that each holster is built by hand. It’s still a family-owned business, and everything is made in America. They are very responsive to inquiries and are genuinely nice people.

I’ve used DeSantis holsters since the late ’80s or early ’90s. Over the years, they have simply become my “go-to” holster choice. I’ve never been disappointed by a DeSantis holster. And their prices are extremely competitive when compared to other makers.

Recently, I acquired a Heckler & Koch USP (Universal Self-Loading Pistol) Compact in 9mm. It’s a classic handgun that is absolutely exquisite. The problem is that it’s considered to be dated (outdated, according to some).

To be frank, not many companies make holsters for this pistol any longer.

The DeSantis Insider

I knew I wanted an Inside the Waistband holster for it, and my first stop to look for one was DeSantis holsters. I didn’t find a lot on DeSantis’s website for the USP Compact, so I contacted Chad DeSantis, as I mentioned. He was helpful and suggested the Insider holster for the Compact.

Up until that point, I’d never used the Insider model and was not familiar at all with it. When it arrived, it was different from any other DeSantis holster that I’d ever used. My prior experience with their holsters was that they were all hard molded to the precise fit of the handguns they were intended for. The Insider is different. It’s not hard-molded to a particular handgun. Rather, the leather is pliable and soft. It’s still high-quality cowhide, just not hard-molded.

HK USP in the DeSantis Insider holster.
H&K’s USP Compact fits tightly into the DeSantis Insider, giving it good retention. The clip is stout and keeps everything in place efficiently. (Photo: Jim Davis)

The particular pistols that will fit into the holster I received are the H&K USP Compact in 9mm and .40 caliber, as well as the H&K P2000.

Despite not being hard-molded to my particular pistol, the gun fits in the Insider holster tightly enough that it’s held securely. The finish of the leather is slightly glossy.


As with every other DeSantis holster that I’ve ever used, the stitching on the Insider is impeccable. It’s even and beautifully done. It really lets users know that these holsters are made with pride and care.

The Insider holster.
The Insider has a slightly glossy finish and is light and pliable. The leather is thick enough to be very durable, though. The stitching is even and very well done. (Photo: Jim Davis)

The edges of the Insider are not polished but left raw, which works just fine.

The Clip

As with most of their other IWB holsters, the slip on the Insider is spring steel and is very sturdy. The difference on this one is that there is also a little hook that protrudes out from the body of the holster. It sort of dovetails in with the hook that goes over the belt and hooks underneath the belt. To better explain it, there is a hook that secures underneath the belt, as well as over the top.

The USP Compact in the Insider holster.
The Insider carries the pistol low, which contributes to concealment. It’s held very securely and close to the body. (Photo: Jim Davis)

This does make taking the holster off slightly more challenging, although it’s more secure than just having the clip go over the top of the belt. All in all, it’s an extremely secure setup.

The holster's clip, seen from the side.
A side view of the clip shows how it fits around the belt, holding the holster securely. (Photo: Jim Davis)


I had mentioned that the holster is pliable. That means when holstering the pistol and the holster is inside the waistband, you have to slightly open up the mouth so the muzzle of the pistol can make entry. After that, it’s an easy matter to push the handgun in the rest of the way. This is not a big deal, but it’s a factor that’s not present in DeSantis holster models that are hard-molded.

The mouth of the holster.
The edges of the Insider can be seen here. The leather is thick enough, though it is soft and not hard-molded to the handgun. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Overall Satisfaction

I found the DeSantis Insider to be comfortable when worn inside the waistband at the appendix position. The supple nature of the leather does not dig into the body and offers some padding between the body and the handgun being carried.

It keeps the pistol held securely and does not shift around, staying where I put it. It’s not bulky but is a minimalist holster that doesn’t take up a lot of space. And it looks good as well.

The price is also quite reasonable, retailing at the time of this writing for $24.99. It can be found for considerably less if you shop around.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with this holster for concealed carry. Check one out!

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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