DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster Review

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Ed. note:  The Nemesis has seen several updates through its product cycle.  Scroll down through this review to see an updated evaluation of the current variation of the pocket holster.  Should another version be released, we will update the review.

The DeSantis Nemesis is a synthetic holster designed to carry a wide range of compact handguns in a pants pocket. Compared to many holsters on the market, the Nemesis is relatively inexpensive option to carry a concealed firearm. During my review, I found the Nemesis to be a quality holster, but with two small problems that I explain below.

I purchased a Nemesis holster to carry my S&W 642 revolver. The 642 is my “everywhere, all-the-time” kind of gun. Light enough to go everywhere, yet still chambered in a respectable caliber (.38 Special).

The Nemesis did a good job of hiding the outline of the revolver in a loose fitting pocket. In a pair of cargo shorts, it would be highly unlikely anyone would notice the gun, much less identify it as such. In a regular pair of jeans, the Desantis holster still did a respectable job, though the naturally closer fitting cut of the jeans made the gun a little more obvious than I would have liked. With a pair of relaxed casual pants like Dockers, the gun was well concealed.

I found the Nemesis was a comfortable way to carry the J-framed Smith & Wesson. The Nemesis holster is sturdy, but very soft. The material of the holster was very good at cushioning the edges of the revolver, and I never felt any pokes or jabs from the gun.

desantis_nemesis_02aThe outside of the Nemesis holster is covered with Neoprene, a kind of rubber material. It is designed to stick to the inside of the pocket, so the holster stays in place while worn and when the firearm is drawn. I found that the holster did tend to stay in place when worn. However, I did not find the same to be true when drawing the firearm.

I found that when drawing the gun, the holster would frequently come out of the pocket with the revolver.  The holster did not come out with the gun every time, but often enough that I had to develop a slightly modified method of drawing the gun.  To draw my Smith, but not the holster, I had to obtain a grip, and then hook my trigger finger under the lip of the holster to “flick” the holster off. It was not ideal, but in all fairness, it did work.

Using the Nemesis, I was not able to get a full grip on the 642 in my pocket. When drawing, I had to slightly readjust my grip to get my preferred hand position. This is probably not an issue for everybody, but for me it was somewhat annoying.

I used the Nemesis daily for six months, and other than the two issues I mentioned above, it performed well. As I previously wrote, the holster was very comfortable. It was easy to carry my J-frame all day.

desantis_nemesis_01aThe holster proved to be very durable, and showed very little signs of wear.

Based on the quality of construction, level of comfort, and ability to conceal a firearm, I can recommend the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. However, based on the two areas of concern I had, I would encourage you to try to find one to test before buying. Many people seem to like this holster a lot, so my issues may be isolated to me and my sample. Regardless, try to find one to test before you buy if you can.

Click here to get the Nemesis from Amazon.

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Review of the Updated Nemesis Pocket Holster

desantis_nemesis_new_01aThe DeSantis Nemesis is a synthetic pocket holster designed for a wide number of concealed carry firearms.  I’ll save you from the suspense: the Nemesis is an excellent holster that is also inexpensive, making it a great value.

I previously reviewed the Nemesis in August of 2009, but did not realize at the time that the Nemesis had undergone a few design changes to fix the problems I identified in that review.  I had the original-style Nemesis, but DeSantis released a new version of the holster a few months before I wrote my review.

In May, Gene DeSantis sent me a note letting me know the company updated the Nemesis.  He was kind enough to send me a current sample of the Nemesis for review, and I am happy to say that the holster meets all of my expectations.

The Basics

As in the original review, I carried a Smith & Wesson 642 revolver in the Nemesis holster.  Due to it’s ‘hammerless’ design, the 642 is one of the most popular handguns for pocket carry.  I carried the 642 in the Nemesis for more than four weeks, conducting regular dry fire drills in addition to CCW duties.

desantis_nemesis_new_04aLike the original Nemesis, the pocket holster is designed with a ‘grippy’ neoprene exterior.  The neoprene acts to increase friction to hold the holster in place while in the pocket.  This helps hold the gun in a stable position, rather than shifting around as you move throughout the day.  Also, the neoprene helps keep the holster in the pocket when you draw the handgun.

The interior of the holster is slick, allowing for a smooth draw.  The interior did not mar or blemish the surfaces of my revolver.

The padding in the new Nemesis seems to be slightly thicker than in the older style.  While I thought the original did a good job in breaking up the ‘print’ of the revolver, the new version seems even better.  In cargo pants or Dockers, the gun disappears.  In something slightly tighter, like blue jeans, the bulk of the gun may be noticeable, but the outline is sufficiently broken up to conceal the nature of the pocket’s contents.

The quality of the workmanship is top notch.  The original Nemesis I purchased from a local dealer, while the new one was sent to me from the factory.  Both showed the same high-quality level of double stitching and finish.  I could not find any problems with the construction of the holsters.

One huge advantage the Nemesis has over its more expensive, leather competitors is the ability to switch between pockets.  When I carry only the J-frame Smith, it rides in my strong side pocket.  But, when I add my Glock 19 in an IWB holster, I move the Smith and Nemesis to my reaction side.  This allows both hands to have immediate access to a firearm.  The great thing about the Nemesis is it instantly adapts to the change.

Prior Problems Fixed

In my original review, I identified two specific issues I experienced with the Nemesis.  The first was the holster tended to come out of the pocket during a draw, and the second was I had problems obtaining a full grip on the gun while it was in the Nemesis.  I was pleased to find both of these problems were solved.

desantis_nemesis_new_06aWith the new model Nemesis, I did not have a single incident of the holster coming out of the pocket while drawing the firearm.  It appears DeSantis made the Nemesis slightly wider, giving the holster a critical size increase to ensure it grips the pocket and stays there.

I was also able to obtain the proper grip each time I drew the holster from the new version Nemesis.  There appears to be a slight (and I mean very slight) difference in the cut around the mouth of the holster.  It seems crazy that this minor change would make any difference, but, for me, it really did.

Final Verdict

The DeSantis Nemesis is a lightweight, comfortable pocket holster that works very well.  It holds your gun in place, and doesn’t come out with the gun during a draw.  It does a very good job at concealing your firearm.  Add to the mix that it is extremely afforable, and the new model Nemesis is a winner.

If you need a pocket holster, give the Nemesis a look.  It is worth every penny.  Click here to get the Nemesis at Amazon.

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