Let’s try AIWB again. Let’s call this “Round Two”. A few years ago I tried Appendix Carry using what was at the time a very popular CCW type firearm in a very popular IAWB type rig. And I quickly found that it wasn’t for me. Because, let’s face it… I’m not the young high speed, low drag operator that I was in my youth.
But I wanted to try it again, and I wanted to try it with my personal favorite type of firearm ever, a 1911 Lightweight Commander.
This isn’t a gun review so I won’t even mention how fantastic my Ruger SR1911 LWC is… But it is. Ahem…
So I had a conversation with my Leathermancer, Lucas Adams. Lucas has been my #1 Go To for Holsters for the last 7 years? 8 years? I don’t know… But when I get a new pistol that I intend to carry, I talk to Lucas. He’s good. He’s that good. Even when I actually worked for another Holster Maker (Kydex, so it like, doesn’t even count) I still had Lucas make my personal carry rigs. Continue reading Adams Holsters’ “Closing Time” Appendix Carry IWB rig
We see articles like THIS (Warning: Link shows a gnarly wound on a bloke’s arse) from time to time. Where a fellow was wearing his gun in his holster and there was an Accidental Discharge. I’m not calling in Negligent, because the people were generally not doing anything wrong…. Accidents CAN happen, though they are Rare. 99% of the time it is Negligence, but not here. More on this in a moment…
This sort of an accident almost always involve two things:
1. A striker fired pistol.
2. A generic fit soft holster. Most of the time made of Neoprene or Nylon, but also sometimes of some form of softer leather.
This is a bad combination, a Striker in a Soft Holster. If this is your carry combo – I would recommend you change it because I believe that it’s dangerous. Flat out dangerous. Also dangerous are the use of Minimalist Holsters… any holster that covers only the trigger guard, or strives to be as small and light as possible. Some of these holsters can break during use, some can let objects get into the trigger guard…. and none of them protect the gun in any way, shape, or form.
There was one guy getting into a car wearing his Striker in a softer type leather holster where the holster its self rolled into the guard so when he sat down, it discharged. Another guy just leaned against a counter and it went off. So yes – these guns can “Just Go Off” when you are packing a Striker in a Soft Holster and you are not paying attention.
Really I’m coming to the opinion that if you do pack a Striker fired gun in a Soft Holster – or a Minimalist Type Holster – You are being Negligent. There is no valid reason in my mind to do so. You are either too cheap to buy a decent holster, too ignorant to look for something better, or you are packing something different enough that there are no other holster options out there. Which makes me think maybe you shouldn’t be packing it yet.
GET GOOD GEAR. A Holster is a crucial part of your Weapon System and if you don’t have a good holster – then yeah – Your ass is Negligent.
I’ve now spent 24 hours with my new Texas rig from Adams Holsters. I wore it last night, and I’ve been wearing it since I put on my pants this morning. What a great rig. Simple. I like that. I don’t need or want a complicated holster. I don’t want a system. I want a simple scabbard. This IWB rig is just that. The leather is beautifully finished and well formed. My Ruger SP101 pops into place and pops out like this was Kydex or something. Retention is not an issue because of that fit. The Clips are made of a spring-steel and are quite solid. I’m not worried about bending them like I am on other holsters. Comfort? Yeah, it’s comfortable. Concealable? Extremely. Last night I wore this rig and my gun with just a T-Shirt over it and I asked my wife if she could see it.
“No, I can’t… even knowing what to look for, there’s no bulge even.”
I’ll not tell you the rest of the conversation about her looking at my bulge… But the fact remains this rig keeps the gun very concealed. It holds the gun very tight against the body.
This is everything you want in a concealment rig.
Joe at Crusader Weaponry has found some interesting tactical holsters that he wanted me to take a look at. Having worked for G-Code Holsters last year, I have learned a few things about Tactical Kydex… not just from them but from everyone making it. This stuff Crusader has partnered up with is different.
Pretty much all a Kydex holster is, is a thermo-plastic made of PVC Acrylic, extruded in sheets, cut and formed under heat and pressure to form a holster. Simple stuff, really. What makes it all complicated is how to get the holster onto your Tactical Gear or Belt. Clips, loops, buttons, snaps, straps, and hooks… and then you add the quick disconnect stuff, which adds cost, complexity, weight, and bulk.
The company making this stuff for Crusader is Kinetic Concepts Tactical, or KCT for short. KCT has take a rather clever approach that is both simple and easy to use – and it minimizes the bulk. PALS slots. I like that. Simple, no bulk, light weight. It holds to the gear secure enough for Government work, but really doesn’t take too much effort to take on and off. I like that. A lot.
On a Chest Rig, anything on it adds bulk and that means you can’t get as low as you may need… Or on a battle belt and things start snagging seatbelts and such. You want it to be as flat as you can get it… And this is pretty much as flat a solution as I’ve ever seen.
The quality is right up there with the rest of the Upper Tier stuff that’s out there. The holster is strong and very ridged. Tough. All the edges are blended out and I can feel no sharp edges anywhere. The rivets are set proper and the lamination is about as flawless as you can get with Kydex. What I like the most about it… It’s cost. It’s only $45 bucks for most of the color options, and there are a lot of color options. For 5 bucks more you can get some camo patterned options. Multicam, Digital, Kryptek… Oh, and Carbon Fiber. Nice. Here’s the thing… You don’t need to buy anything else to go with it. It’s just a holster and not a system you need to get to know. It’s just a holster. Simple.
Available for all your popular tactical type handguns. If your gun is not listed, well, I did say popular… Just kidding, give KCT a shout and see if they can hook you up. Good folks there at KCT, and they want you to be satisfied with your gear. They have Mag Carriers too. Check them out here. Use the Discount Codes. Get geared up.
This is good kit. This is going on my battle belt…
THIS is what it’s all about. Luke Adams of Adams Holsters is a freaking Artist with Leather. This… This is stunning… This is the most beautiful holster I’ve ever seen. Does a holster get any better? Hell No.
See, Tactical Kydex is fine when the job requires it. But when it doesn’t… Why not step it up?
Appendix Carry is fad that I wish would go away.
The 4 Rules of Firearms Safety:
1. Handle all firearms as if they were loaded.
2. Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you have made the decision to fire the weapon.
4. Know your target, and know what is beyond the target.
These 4 rules are pretty simple. But with Appendix Carry, you violate Rule #2. I can’t get past this. Forgive the crude language, but I hate the fact that when I tried Appendix Carry, I was muzzling my Cock and Balls. Should an accident have happened – it would have been a Contact Shot. WARNING: The LINKED TEXT is GRAPHIC: I’ve seen the photos of what Contact Shots do to human beings, but never one that happened to a man’s Junk. This filled my mind with graphic images that I wish never popped in there. Horrific.
I know that I have friends that carry Appendix, and I have friends who teach Appendix Carry. Because the position does offer some great tactical advantages. It really does. The speed and ease of the draw is an advantage. Easier draw from awkward positions. While driving. While laying on either side. Drawing with the weak hand. Yes yes yes… I know all of this. It makes sense.
But then there is Rule #2.
You see, in the more traditional position of 3:00 or 4:00, should an accident happen… a Negligent Discharge… The results are usually a visit to the hospital for a session of Shame and Stitches and you are back out again. Because nothing vital was destroyed. Usually. Not always, but most of the time. I personally know two guys that ND’d from the holster. I will not say the names… They know who they are. One, the weapon was at the 3:00 and the bullet went in and out of his leg. He was out of the ER in 2 hours and on his feet the next day. The other fellow was packing at the 4:00 position and he suffered a Flash Burn to his Ass. No ER visit. As they had been considering Appendix carry before… I asked both fellows how they would have faired if they had been packing Appendix. There was much uncomfortable silence as they both considered the results of a Ballistic Castration. No, neither of them are packing Appendix now.
This isn’t just an unreasonable fear. I remember reading more than one news article about some thug that shot his balls off packing in the appendix position. Usually with a very sad mug shot to go with it. But there was another story of a guy – not a thug – and with a holster… in a car with his family. He didn’t survive. That’s not a way that I would want to go out.
So you want the advantages of Appendix, but without the liability… What is the option? Cross Draw.
It’s not just for Cowboys and Peacemakers. The muzzle is NOT pointing at your dick. You can access the gun quickly with either hand. You have more control over it in a weapon retention tussle than in the 4:00 position. And it’s just badass. So you get the advantages of Appendix, with none of the liability. There is a downside though, and that is problem with most cross draw rigs out there… and that’s concealment. But most cross draw rigs I’ve seen were not designed for concealment. But there are some. I believe DeSanti is still making the Skymarshal rig. And Kirkpatrick is making their Texas Cross Draw rig, which looks excellent. I’d like to see more Cross Draws come out and I’d like to see less Appendix.
G-Code is running a very special, limited run of what we call our “Blood Stripe Series”.
Check them out here.
Proceeds from this limited offering are going to support the MARSOC Foundation.
These are really sharp looking. Very distinctive. Black Tactical Fuzz over blood red Kydex.
These are only available for a few days. So, support a great cause, and get a very cool piece of gear in return.
I really don’t get how some guys can get all worked up over cheap kitchen table made Kydex holsters that are the size and shape of the spade end of an Entrenching Tool, or a License Plate. To make them more hipster, some guys are putting optional accessories on them to dress them up. I’ve seen Star Wars character faces, facial hair and eye wear options. I’m not kidding. I find that to be comical. And sad.
A holster should be just a holster. It holds the gun in a ready position until you need it. And you should be able to forget about it until that very moment. And when you do need it, you shouldn’t have to think about the holster at all. A holster in this regard, should be like your Pants. Easy deployed and ejected in an easy and rapid fashion, and be comfortable enough that you are not reminded constantly that you are wearing them.
The First Rule of a Gunfight is to Have A Gun. You can own a great gun… best gun of it’s type. You can have the best ammunition for it. It can be customized to fit you and suit you and how you shoot. You can be skilled with it’s use and be deadly accurate with it. But all of that does you no good if you don’t have it on you when you need it. If you just made a Rule 1 Violation.
In order to have that gun on you when you need it, you need to have it on you at all times. Unless you are Precognitive regarding what you are going to encounter at any given time in the future, you need to keep that gun on your person. This is why we get the habit of putting on a seatbelt. Because we don’t know when a collision might happen. In order to have that gun on you at all times – and carry that gun in a manner that allows you to access that gun in a time of need, we need a good holster.
Most Gun Guys and Gals all agree, you are going to end up with a lot of different holsters. A drawer or box full of them. Most of them are cheap nylon made holsters, or holsters that came about as a fad must have holster. One of the reasons for this is that we either don’t think about what we really need, and just go about buying holsters based on what a “Buddy” says, or by what some Clerk at a store says who doesn’t know you and what you really need. So to avoid buying holsters unnecessarily, we have to take some time to inventory our Needs.
Needs are based on a few factors. Where you are going. What you are doing. And how long are you going to be doing it. These factors can change your holster requirement dramatically.
The Where Factor: You need to take in account the Environment. Both Physically, and Politically. Going along with the Where Factor is Wear… how you are dressing for where you are going. If you are in a permissive environment, maybe that drop leg rig will work, or maybe you have to keep that low profile and need to stay incognito.
The What Factor: Is this a Business Day or a Range Day? Business vs Repeated draws and reholstering may both be done with the same rig, but is it a good rig for what you want to do, considering the Where Factor.
And then the Time Factor. I can pack a Beretta 92FS concealed, but if I want to carry that gun all day long, from 8AM to 10PM, maybe that IWB rig might not be the most comfortable, and something of a Belt Slide might be better for me.
There are lots of considerations and variables to consider that may have you changing your holster as often as changing your wardrobe.
To give yourself a head start on picking out a good holster is to make sure you are picking out a good holster. Quality and materials can make all the difference. Let’s just throw this out there; if you are looking at a holster that costs less than a box of ammo, you are probably not looking at a very high quality rig, and off the cuff I’d say to pass it up.
Nylon is just not a material I would ever want to put a gun in. Nylon rigs tend to cheap and poorly designed and they are made to fit a wide range of pistols and not your gun specifically. The fit of the holster is important. It means the gun is not going to move around in the rig, making it more likely to cause wear on the gun’s finish or could damage and reduce the life of the holster… and make the holster less able to retain the gun in place. Also Nylon can hold on to dirt, dust, and grit this increasing the abrasion the gun gets when you pull the gun out and put it back in. It can retain moisture, thus acceleration corrosion. Let me put it this way… I am not going to spend good money on a fine gun and then put it in a 20 dollar nylon holster. I’m just not going to do it. Nylon sucks for holsters. It just does. Don’t use it.
Your holster should be made for your gun. Specifically. Either fine hand boned leather, or carefully engineered Kydex allow for very specific fitment. This protects the gun, and holds the gun better. If you can carry a Revolver, a Ruger P95 and a 1911 in the same holster – this isn’t a holster you want. I’ve had one like that… and while it carried everything, it carried none of them very well and the holster could allow the gun to fall out or be very awkward to draw. The gun needs to be in the same place all the time. Held where you remember where to put your hand when you draw. It needs to let you get a good grip on the gun before you pull the gun out of the holster. And while you are packing it, it needs to protect that gun. And then when you go to reholster, it needs to accept that gun readily and without anything that could impede reholstering. Nylon straps for a thumb-break are a horrible idea. Holsters that collapse and close so you can’t put that gun back safely, one handed, is useless. These holsters could even be dangerous. The moment of reholstering is the moment of your greatest danger in handling your gun. Poisonous Snakes don’t want to go back in the cage and must be handled with the utmost care. Pistols are the same way. If that nylon strap flops into the trigger guard as you reholster, it could pull that trigger unintentionally. Or a draw string on your jacket. (Cut those off, they are useless anyway)
I saw a guy trying to auger the muzzle of his SIG into his holster that had collapsed. Trying to force the holster open so he could reholster the weapon. I yelled at him to stop. He froze and then looked at what he was doing. His weapon was aimed directly into his pelvis. His finger was also on the trigger. He quickly corrected both of these conditions. He realized that he had violated two out of the four gun safety rules.
First rule he broke was never point the gun at anything he didn’t want to destroy. And the Second was to keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire. I asked him “What would that bullet do to you if the weapon discharged?” He took a moment to imagine the terminal ballistics of a .40 Cal 155 grain JHP bullet at point blank into his pelvic girdle. He went pale for a few minutes. Survival would have been difficult and his comfort of life for about 6 months would have been such that maybe he wouldn’t have wanted to survive.
A lot of Instructors spend a great deal of time on the draw stroke. For that gun to come out of the holster cleanly, the holster needs to be in position and holding your gun in position. A floppy Nylon rig isn’t going to do this. A holster that comes out of the pants or off the belt when you draw isn’t going to do this. Straight up, in a critical situation that could get you killed. It would be like a Bugs Bunny Cartoon when the Animated Character jumps of the plane with his parachute only to open it and find it was a backpack. Funny in animation… Not funny when you are trying to defend the life of your loved one.
I like my holsters to be made of two things. Either nice exotic leather, or exactly fitted Kydex. When it comes to leather, I want that animal to have been something as deadly or as strong or as fast as I want to be should I need to draw my weapon in a threat situation. I really like Shark Hide. Shark is just about as tough as any natural material can be. Adams Holsters makes a wicked Shark holster. When it comes to Kydex, I want it to be thicker and stronger and more importantly engineered to fit my gun exactly. I want there to be some adjustment when it comes to tension… so I can set up that holster based on how I want that draw to feel like. A Kydex rig should not collapse on you, and it should not allow the gun to rattle around. Kydex is great for holsters because they can easily be rinsed out, thus removing any grit that could have accumulated. Perfect for when you are fighting or operating in a dirty environment.
I think G-Code makes the best Kydex holsters in the world.
Let’s talk about Looks for a moment. How that holster looks on you, combined with what you are wearing… that says a lot about how professional you are even more than what gun you are packing. You can be an Elite Warfighter and pack a Glock, but if you are on the range with a sad-sack nylon rig with a floppy strap thumb break, you look like an amateur. You just do. Pack that same Glock in a nice rig that’s made for it, much better. Wearing a casual or semi casual attire with my Glock in my Shark Hide rig… I’ve had women throw themselves at me and some guys too. I looked sharp. ZZ Top starting singing about me. Billy Crystal called to tell me that I looked marvelous. Shark Hide never goes out of style. However I’d not want to wear that rig in a tactical situation in a hostile environment. G-Code is using some awesome coatings over their Kydex and found it does some good things for them. Their Tactical Fuzz coating over their INCOG IWB rig is a fantastic option. It’s a synthetic suede material that feels soft, cushions what could be uncomfortable, and it doesn’t absorb moisture. Their new Kryptek camouflage is an awesome option as well, as it quiets the holster and it subdues the kydex in both the visual and IR spectrums. Naked Kydex can be loud and just about glows in IR. That and Kryptek just looks boss.
Don’t buy cheap holsters. Buy good gear and it wont let you down. Don’t violate the First Rule.
G-Code has rolled out a very limited run of what is called the “Blood Stripe” series. This series supports the MARSOC Foundation. A portion of every holster sold will be donated to the foundation in support of their efforts to support those who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.
These holsters look fantastic in the pictures, and in person they even better. We are only going to offer these for a short time. A very short time. So if you are thinking about getting one, just jump. Because when it’s shut down, it’s done. All orders are processed online. As are the guns they are available for and pricing. Check G-Code’s site. If you have any questions, contact email@example.com.