For concealed carriers in climates with four seasons that can bring significant temperature swings over the course of a year, the spring season is a special time. Just like the weather, personal wardrobes begin to change. Winter clothing gets packed away and summer clothing becomes the norm. For many, the seasonal change also brings a change in the kind of handgun that gets carried. That full-sized duty pistol which concealed so well under all that winter clothing now stays in the safe. A smaller gun, one that is much easier to conceal with lighter, cooler clothing, takes its place. A good everyday holster for the warmer weather includes the High Noon Public Secret. It looks bulky but is surprisingly well-suited to concealed carry, even when the weather calls for shorts and T-shirts. The Public Secret is thick but light in weight, simple but sturdy in construction, and goes on and off in a breeze.
Thick But Light Weight
Constructed of thick cowhide or horsehide with a slide guard that keeps the slide, hammer, and rear sights from touching the wearer, the Public Secret is molded to whatever gun you carry and also features a large and robust steel reverse J clip. While its construction makes it look bulky and heavy, the Public Secret is actually quite light in weight.
Despite the thickness of the leather wrapped around the Colt Defender that rode in it for hours at a time, the holster proved to be one of the more comfortable I have worn lately. I most appreciated the slide guard that kept the Defender’s sharp edges from poking into my side as well as the stitched in sight track that guided the gun into place when holstering it.
Simple But Sturdy
Despite its light weight, the Public Secret’s design and construction proved to be simple and sturdy and therefore very effective. The rough-side-out cowhide stabilized the rig very well and the slide guard not only protected my side but also provided more leather real estate to add even more stability.
The steel reverse J clip is one of the strongest I have ever seen in a handgun holster, ensuring that the holster will stay in place when drawing. When re-holstering, the reinforced holster opening does an excellent of job of maintaining the holster’s shape. In fact, the reinforcement contributes to the holster’s overall rigidity at a key location just over the belt line
While the Public Secret’s smooth leather interior does a fine job of holding a handgun in place under normal belt tension, a user can adjust the holster’s tightness via a built-in tension screw. I kept the tension screw at a level that was tighter than not as I often wore the Public Secret just clipped inside of the waistband with a pair of shorts and no belt.
Easy On, Easy Off
Civilian concealed carry can be a routine of putting a holstered gun on and off according to a variety of situations. As such, holsters that are easy on, easy off, have a distinct advantage over those that require more significant effort. This is even truer in warmer months. The Public Secret scored very well in this category, easily attaching inside of the waistband of whatever pants or shorts I was wearing and disappearing easily under just a single T-shirt.
The only difficulty, if it can even be called that, with putting the Public Secret on and taking it off was dealing with the very strong reverse J clip, which requires a firm grasp and pull in order to get it to open and slide past a belt or off the waistline of a pair of shorts. The strong clip, however, proves to be a key ally in keeping the holster securely in place, whether carrying or drawing.
In addition to being thick but light weight, simple but sturdy, and easy to put on and take off, the Public Secret offers a straight drop design (no cant) and provides combat grip accessibility. I mostly carried it at 3 or 4 o’clock—because the clip is so strong I could cant it forward a bit—and could easily get my hand and fingers around the stocks of the Defender while the gun was still fully seated in the holster.
As a made-to-order holster, the cowhide version of the Public Secret retails for $109.95 and the horsehide version retails for $159.95. With the weather changing, you might want to spring for one.