March 12, 2020
By J. Scott Rupp
On a lot of my hikes I wear a pack with a waist belt. Waist belts are are great because they help distribute pack weight better by taking some of the load off your shoulders. The downside is you can’t conceal a holster underneath the belt—at least not without discomfort. I experimented with a number of methods for carrying my primary CCW pistol, a SIG P365, but none turned out to be ideal. Then I tried a Sneaky Pete.
The concept behind the Sneaky Pete is simple: It’s a gun concealment system that doesn’t scream “He’s got a gun!”—looking like a cellphone case or gear case.
The Sneaky Petes can be had with either belt loops or belt clips. I ordered the version with belt clips so I could slide them over the nylon straps on my pack’s waist belt. The gun fits perfectly into a gun-specific Kydex insert, and the holster’s flap is held in place by twin magnets.
It’s a secure system, but here it’s important to note I used the Sneaky Pete in a way it’s not specifically designed to be used—because the belt clips are intended to be used with an actual belt and not the flimsy web straps on my pack’s waist belt.
It was never an issue on the trail, but I experimented with it on flat ground and an unloaded gun and found that depending on how the pack was set down the Sneaky Pete could dislodge because the nylon pack straps didn’t offer enough resistance to the belt clips.
Of course it would be advisable not to set your pack down at, say, a trailhead parking lot with the gun in it in the first place. I preferred to put my pack on and then place the SIG in the Sneaky Pete.
As mentioned, the Sneaky Pete features a gun-specific Kydex insert that holds the gun. It is also designed to prevent your finger from getting inside the trigger guard on the draw.
About the draw. Getting a proper grip is an acquired skill because your firing hand is not immediately able to surround the gun as it would when drawing from an inside- or outside-the-waistband holster.
The draw starts with moving the magnetically closed flap with the fingertips. With the SIG at least, I found that by using my middle two fingers to begin the draw, as the pistol withdraws from the Kydex insert I was able to get my pinky at the bottom of the grip—trigger finger indexed along the frame.
How well did it work? When I first got it I did a lot of dry-fire work. And I spent a considerable amount of range time working with it, drawing and firing from a stationary position as well as moving and firing.
Now, I am not the fastest gun in the West by any means. My typical draw to first round on target from concealment is in the three-second range—depending on the gun, holster and clothing. With the Sneaky Pete my times were running closer to 2.5 seconds. Not at first, of course, but within a morning’s training time I’d gotten my technique down to the point I was completely confident I could deploy the gun properly and swiftly should the need arise.
The only changes I would suggest is I’d like to see tan (okay, if you insist, flat dark earth or coyote tan) and/or olive drab offered as colors. The green I chose is nice, but it’s such a “green green” that it stands out when used with a natural-color hunting-style pack.
Second, and this is solely due to how I’m using the Sneaky Pete, I think MOLLE-style straps with snaps would be a nice option.
The Sneaky Pete is available in a number of colors and fitments for many popular guns. Styles include belt loops and belt clips. Price is $70. SneakyPeteHolsters.com