Appendix Carry Test: Holster Round-up

Aappendix_carryppendix carry is among the most controversial methods of concealed carry in use, but I believe that it mainly an issue of comfort.

First comfort in the idea that a loaded gun is pointed at the femoral artery and parts of their anatomy that would cause both pain and reticule if they were accidentally shot.

And second, comfort in the carrying a pistol on a part of the waist that bends towards the gun.

Comfort in the gun handling is an advanced form of the condition 1 vs condition 3 debate for new carriers.  Many people struggle with the idea that a holstered gun is effectively stored and “muzzling” is invalid. It also takes a fair bit training and experience to know that you will not put your finger in the trigger during the draw and that you are safe enough in holstering not to shoot yourself. These are all topics I will address as we proceed through the test…

Comfort in carrying the pistol however, is a factor of gun and holster choice and in the past few months there has been a lot of development in this area and there are many good options.

Over the next couple of months I will be posting an “Appendix Carry Tuesday” series examining all area of the method from the advantages and disadvantages, selecting a gun and holster, technique and reviewing at least 5 models of holsters.  At the end of the test if we find a holster “that just works!” we will undoubtedly be adding it the store!

(If you represent a holster manufacturer that would like to be included, please contact me and we can discuss your inclusion.)

The New Appendix Carry Holster Round-up

comptac_infidel_ultraWe are starting this test with 5 models of holsters that represent 4 different materials, 3 different styles, 3 different methods of retention and 3 different manufacturers.

The 1st model is Comp-tac’s brand new Infidel Ultra hybrid holster.  Like the MTAC is pairs a kydex body with a leather backer.  While not expressly marketed as an appendix holster, its design does permit it.

Blade-tech Appendix Holster for the M&P ShieldNext we have 3 models produced by Blade-Tech.

First is their new kydex appendix carry holster.  Blade-Tech has been working on getting this one right for months and has paid considerable attention to the retention, belt-clip and developing a product that could be produced efficiently.

Blade-Tech Nano

The Blade-Tech Nano is NOT an appendix holster by design, but it has been used as one for years. The construction of the holster makes it adjustable for cant and belt width and its double mounting points make it a very secure holster.

5.11 S&W M&P9c Appendix Holster

The last Blade-Tech produced holster is a 5.11 branded, injection molded model that uses an early design belt clip and has 1 very cool and unique feature spec’d by Kyle Lamb-ba (inside joke).

 

Sticky Holster M4 with Glock 19Lastly the Sticky Holsters are “sticky” (Tee hee) and do a great job of remaining in the pocket when used as a pocket holster… but according the manufacturer they also stay in place well enough to be used as an IWB holster when you can’t/don’t want to have a clip or for a quick trip and they can be used in some cases for multiple guns (like the model to the left that will work with the M&P Shield or the Glock 19 shown).

As we progress through this test we will examine each of these holsters in-depth and take a very close look at the method of carry, but I would also like to make sure that I address all of your concerns and questions and would like to hear from you about…

  • What would you like to reviewed or addressed?
  • Do you have any strong feelings for or against this method?
  • Is there a holster/gun combo that you find works really well?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. john says

    So your article is on apendix carry but you have 2 holsters which are not designed for that type of carry? How about the comp-tac 2 o’clock, or the raven concealment Vanguard 2? both were specifically made for apendix carry and would be way better options then some of the holsters you have here.

    • ronlarimer says

      John that is a very reasonable comment and I am sure my reasons will all become clear throughout the project, but to specifically address your concerns…

      Those 3 holsters are among the most innovative offerings in the space and I think they will supprise many. They also help illustrate some of the traits that make an appendix holster comfortable and or concealable.

      I have owned the Comp-tac 2 o’clock, and frankly I didn’t like it, which is why I don’t carry it in the store. I stock “Gear that Just Works!” and part of the driver for doing this is to ensure I have an appendix carry option that I can recommend.

      As for the Raven… 1) I am currently working on a JV that will compete with Raven and thought including them would be a conflict of interest. 2) I do not like the bikini style holsters because of the way they let the gun move and the threat of pressing the muzzle out of the holster. (Yes, I get the irony based on the opening of this article)

      I hope this explanation helps.

  2. Mike S says

    I have used a Concealment Solutions ASP through Combat Focus Shooting & Advanced Pistol Handling with my Glock 23, & could not recommend a more comfortable & functional holster

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