Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Appendix IWB on the cheap

I've been experimenting left and right with affordable ways to appendix carry a handgun, and I've had a decent amount of success. Here's some stuff I've been messing around with:



Click the pictures to make them bigger, and also feel free to browse my growing four+ year old collection of pictures at Photobucket.

The Bladetech Nano (top left) for my Glock 17 is a well made holster, and is suitable for AIWB carry if you're not too concerned with concealment. It's very thin, light, and the attachment loops are spread apart which keeps the profile thin for waistband comfort, but it also doesn't tuck the gun's grip in towards the abdomen. I've tried to modify it to make it conceal better, and I have one more idea, but so far I've struck out. I think it set me back about $35, and for that price it's a steal.



Next to a plain old Bladetech IWB holster that I've modified, you can see the difference in the belt loops and that there's less holster overall. Keeping those loops out to the side makes a big difference, as the amount of thickness stuffed in between your belt and jelly roll is minimal:



I've had great success with the Bladetech IWB, and I had to do some more modifications since my last post. I've now mounted the plug/spacer/old-rubber-piece-from-a-rifle's-buttstock directly to the holster, instead of to a strip of leather, and it works better, but the screws holding it on are dragging on the trigger guard. Back to the drawing board.



The DeSantis Sof-Tuck I got on sale at Midway for $15, and it's a very sturdy and well made holster. It is a bit thick, as the tuckable J-hook piece adds material between the gun and the waistband, but it does hold the Glock 26 well:



I recommend the baggie-over-the-gun-stuffed-in-the-holster trick to loosen it up a bit. I didn't get any concealment pictures of it with the Glock, but you did see the same holster a few days ago with a Kahr CW9.

The Zack holster is still good to go. I've modified it a bit so that I can put the gun on and take it off the belt without unholstering the pistol. This is done as a margin of safety, as unholstering a gun and laying it on the car seat next to you while you jack around the front of your pants is not exactly the safest idea:



I've even modded it since that picture was taken by drilling new holes in the back of the belt clip, near the top, and running the cord through there. The gun sits at a perfect height in my waistband, doesn't move around, and is still tuckable for concealment if you so desire:




A word of caution here: because the Glock 26 has such a short slide, it can pop up out of your waistband if you have a spare tire around your guts. Since there isn't much slide down inside the pants, if you push your gut out while bending over down to the ground, there is enough leverage against the grip to potentially shove the whole piece out of your belt. I can make it do this, but I have to try to make it happen. It's a double edged sword -- the Glock 26 conceals so well in this holster because the grip is short and doesn't stick out, and the Glock 17 is way more secure because its longer slide gives opposing leverage preventing it from coming out, but it doesn't conceal as well because the grip is longer. I wear my pants low enough that the gun sits just below my gut, so in effect my jelly roll becomes a retention device, so I can make the Glock 26 work.

I also found an AIWB holster where I didn't expect it: inside my pocket. I was thinking about the Remora holsters the other day, which don't expose any clips or loops or such, and it struck me that the DeSantis Super Fly is basically the same thing, so I gave it a whirl:




I'm happy to report that it works perfectly. I left the detachable shield thingy on it to give more traction, and was careful when tucking it that I didn't jam my shirt up underneath of it, so that if I had to draw it it would yank the whole thing out. I did have all day comfort without any movement or loops showing, so there's another option for carry. I have one of these also for the Glock 26, and I'm going to give that a go to see if it will work.

So there it is. Cheap AIWB solutions. It's a dirty job, but someone has to throw themself onto the alter of concealment. Folks, it's not easy trying on holsters all day, taking pictures of your crotch in the dirty mirror in the kid's bathroom, but I do it for you, dear readers!
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