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Gear Craft Holsters IWB & Mag Carrier Review

Let me just start by saying that this holster combination is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!  Makes me want to get another set as OWB just to show it off.  But we are not here to just talk about looks, we need to see how well these works of art stand up to everyday usage.

When I began reviewing this holster set, they were currently on M1 (Model 1). They are now currently on M2, which I did get my hands on and will be basing this review on.

M1 Pattern: Georgia State Flag (Weathered)

M2 Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gear Craft Holsters IWB Holster and Mag Carrier provide you with a couple different methods of carry, which is always a good thing when picking out a holster for you EDC load out. We will go into more detail as we go but here are the basic carry options afforded with this setup:

  • Appendix
  • 4:30-5:00


IWB Holster

As I mentioned in my opening, this holster provides you with several different carry options.  Changing the method of carry is super simple.  All you have to do is loosen the right (if the holster is facing you) screw and swivel the 1.5” belt clip.

The clip features the Gear Craft Holsters logo and works very well.  This is one of the better single clips out there; as it clips very securely to the belt and does not move easily (as long as your belt is also 1.5”).  Swiveling the clip is adjusting the cant of the holster from 0º to 15º.  This gives you the perfect angle for drawing at the 4:30-5:00 position or if you prefer a cant in the appendix position.

Appendix Carry Position

In this position, the holster rides nicely and even without the cant it has enough clearance above the belt to get a full firing grip on the draw.  Even with all-day movement and constant standing up and sitting down, the holster stays in place.  If you have ever used a one clip holster design before you know that this is sometimes a challenge (more like annoyance).

4:30-5:00 Position

Without the cant, this position would not be worth mentioning with this holster because drawing straight up from being the hip is certainly not the most comfortable or smoothest thing one can do.  If that were the only option, this holster would work in the standard 3:00 strong side position (this position, with an IWB Kydex holster, is not very comfortable).


Mag Carrier

When I first received this holster and mag carrier combo, I was amazed at the design of the mag carrier.  At first I believed that it was simply designed to be ambidextrous because it had holes for the clip on both sides.


While this is true, there is another purpose for this. By switching the clip to the opposite side from where you carry it inside-the-waistband you can switch the carrier from IWB to OWB! How cool is that?


Comfort & Concealment 

In both appendix and 4:30-5:00 carry, this holster is a dream.  From M1 to M2, there were some modifications made to the corners of the holster which makes it fit perfectly in the appendix carry position without poking you in the thigh. This is even true in low cut jeans. The Mag carrier on the other hand I find to be optimal when carried, IWB, in the front right next to the holster in appendix carry. This combo sits nicely and is very comfortable. With a good belt, you could forget you’re even carrying them.

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In every other position, with the mag carrier, I found it to be uncomfortable after several hours. There would be a feeling of soreness around the area where the holster was, which could be due to the sharp edges.  In OWB carry, the mag carrier worked wonderfully as long as there was a belt loop to keep it from sliding around on the belt.

Concealment is great in any position with normal fitting clothing. In some slimmer fit shirts, there may be a slight hint of printing that would not be noticeable to the average person.

Conclusion

After spending several months putting this holster and spare mag carrier through the paces, I find the combination of the two to be absolutely fantastic! Not only do they look amazing, they are well made and provide several options of carry. There are may other patterns and colors available to suit just about everyone.


I highly recommend Gear Craft Holsters for your EDC needs. Check them out and let them know I sent you.

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– Peace

 

Buying Pants for Concealed Carry (Pt. 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at my 3 Steps to Buying Pants for Concealed Carry.  And now in Part 2 I will provide you with insight as to the why and how these steps work together.  To recap, our steps are as follows:

  1. Know Your Size
  2. Know Your EDC Loadout
  3. Try Them On

The Pants

Pants buying alone can either be simple or frustrating, throw in a handgun and two spare magazines and it can become a nightmare that many dread.  Knowing your size is half the battle.  It gives you a place to start and almost gets rid of the need to wear a belt because your pants fit you so well.  The general rule of thumb when it comes to pants for concealed carry is to buy the next size up.  While this is decent advice, I find that it is one of those hand-me-down statements spread through gun forums and gun stores based upon age-old thinking from when most of the firearms available for carry had 5″ barrels and/or huge cylinders.

Looking for pants one size up is too broad; especially if you shop in real mens clothing stores such as Jos. A. Bank.  Depending on the store (sometimes even the brand), the next size up could be 1 number or 2 (i.e. 30-32 or 30-31).  When you know your size you at least know where to start on the rack.

CBH_PDN_600x90Once you have your size now you need to know your gear.  Not just your gun, but your holster, extra magazine carrier, keys, gun belts, knife, etc.  Any and everything you carry daily should be accounted for.

Starting with The Gun

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

Today’s assortment of firearms is geared directly towards CCW; which is great for us!  Not only do we have many choices of calibers, barrel sizes, striker or hammer fired, revolver or semi-auto but in case you haven’t heard……………………………………………………..THIN IS IN! Guns like the Springfield Armory XDs, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, and many others all tout a thickness of 1″ or less.  With a thickness of 1″, one can easily fit a firearm in pants that perfectly fit ones waiste.

With thin guns also comes thin holsters.  Some made out of kydex, nylon, leather, or a combination.  Many of which are far less than an inch thick.  So with a 1″ firearm, a holster less than an inch thick, one would be hard pressed to make up an additional 2 inches of space inside-the-waistband.  But we still need to factor in additional magazines, if you choose to carry them.

Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry & Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier

If we are sticking with the idea of carrying slim firearms, then those magazines are thinner than the guns that they fit in.  Pair that with a nice mag carrier and you STILL do not get a full 2″ of space.

As far as belts go, most gun belts are either 1.4″ or 1.5″ wide; which is important to note because not all belt loops are wide enough to accommodate.  Now if you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook you have likely seen several times that I have shown that I am not wearing a gun belt, but we will save that discussion for another post.

The rest of your loadout is either carried on your belt or inside a pocket depending on how dapper you are dressing.  Pockets on pants come with all sorts of different cuts and depths.  Knowing what you intend to put in those pockets is paramount in selecting pants.  For example: If your EDC pocketknife has an unopened length of 4″, those snazzy chinos with the shallow pockets are probably a bad idea (unless you have a smaller knife to carry when you wear them).  This is just one example of the myriad of things that maybe in your everyday carry that should be accounted for.

The Perfect Fit

Now that we have gotten sized for pants and have all of our gear in mind, it is time to grab some pants off the rack or shelf (preferably 1 that is your exact size, 1 size up if they have it,  and another 2 sizes up) and head into the fitting room.

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As if trying on pants was not already a tedious procedure, it is even more so when you add in a gun and a belt.  But in order to get this right we have to include those items in this process.  Of course we need to follow all 4 Gun Safety Rules as we remove our holster from our current pants (you did bring your firearm correct?).  We are now going to proceed with trying on the new pants WITH our holstered weapon and OUR belt.  This is important because here is where we find out if we can stick with our actual size, one size up, or two.

Once you land on a pair that is a comfortable fit, I like to make note (mental or actual) of the brand and possibly the model for future reference.  This is great when you shop major retailers/brands such as Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, and Levis.  With this information you are now equipped to shop for those same pants in different colors; in-store or online.


Conclusion

Carrying a gun does not mean you have have to dress like you are reliving high school. Neither does it mean you have to be uncomfortable while carrying. Whether you are purchasing a nice pair of slacks or slim fit jeans, these 3 steps will help to ensure you get perfect fitting CCW pants every time. 

Feel free to add something you feel I missed down in the comments, and if there’s something specific you would like me to talk about, send me an email at dapperconcealedcarry@gmail.com

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– Peace 

Buying Pants for Concealed Carry (Pt. 1)

If you have done any searching for how-to guides or just general information on concealed carry you have likely ran across the almost unanimous advice of gun belts and good holsters.  But finding information on pants buying is a lot tougher to find and usually coming from someone who is no where near a fashion expert (was that politically correct enough?).

In the gun forums, most of the recommendations talk about buying pants that are the next size up which is not bad advice; nor is it great either.  The reason I say it is not great advice is because it is too general of a statement.  Like shoes, pants can run big or small and have different cuts that affect the way they wear.

In this 1st post of a 2 part series, I would like to start by breaking down the pants buying process into 3 easy steps that will ensure that you get the perfect pants every time you shop.

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1. Know Your Size

Clothing Meaurement Tape

Knowing your pant size is as important as knowing your shoes size.  If you have never been sized or have not been recently, I highly recommend getting yourself sized.  Not only for pants, but for clothes in general.  One of the keys to living the #dapperccw lifestyle is wearing clothes that fit properly.  (Most big name suit/clothing retailers offer sizing as a complimentary service) Once you have your size you now have the essential piece of information needed to buy the perfect pants for CCW every single time.

2. Know Your EDC Loadout

EDC Loadout

 

We have all come across those individuals that can tell you everything about the guns in their safe all the way down to the date they were each manufactured.  But knowing your Everyday Carry (EDC) loadout goes beyond just knowing the specs of your firearms.  If you are truly living the responsibly armed lifestyle, then there is a lot more involved in your loadout than the gun you are carrying.  Without taking your carry gear into account when buying pants, you are likely to make purchases that do not completely fit you needs.

The following are just a few examples of the many items that may be included in you gear that you must account for when shopping for pants:

  • Gun(s) & Holster(s)
  • Belt(s)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Chapstick
  • Pen
  • Extra Mag(s)
  • OC Spray

You may be wondering what knowing your gear has to do with buying pants.  The answer is EVERYTHING.  If you do not know what is in your EDC you do not know what type of pockets (cut and size), how much inside-the-waistband (IWB) space, or what belt loop size you need.

3. Try Them On

Fitting Room Pants

This step is probably the most important and should go without saying, but in the age of things like Trunk Club and shopping online I have to make sure I say it.  Even though you know your size, know your gear, and have successfully purchased pants of the same size before, you still want to try them on (preferably with your gun and holster, at least) to ensure that they fit the way you want.  The only time this step is not an absolute must is when you are purchasing the exact same brand and model in a different color.


Now that we have gotten our 3 Steps to Buying Pants for Concealed Carry down, in our next post we will look at how these 3 steps work together and I believe they are a better guide than the general rule of thumb “buy the next size up”.

 

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– Peace

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Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster Review

The Volcanic Kydex Creations (VKC) IWB Holster is handmade right here in the grand ol’ USA.  When ordering you have the choice of several different colors and the option to have it made with a single, adjustable cant clip (which is what I have) or a tuckable J Hook.

Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster

Retention

Straight out of it’s packaging, the holster has one of the most desirable “chicks” I have heard (it is still there after months of testing).  This positive audible click is usually a good sign that the mold is perfect and retention is very good.  And indeed it was.  In fact, the retention was so good that I loosened it a bit, with the adjustable retention screws, to make for a smoother draw.

This is the type of retention that is perfect for anyone who is very active or ones that acknowledge that running, jumping, flipping, etc. might be required in a life or death situation. (You wouldn’t want to successfully retreat from a bad situation only to discover you dropped your favorite handgun in the process!) It also makes for a very deliberate draw. The gun isn’t coming out unless you want it to. This is great for practicing your draw because it forces you to really work on a solid presentation instead of being lazy.

Comfort

For Appendix In-The-Waist Band (AIWB) carry, full kydex holsters can either be extremely uncomfortable, bearably uncomfortable, or extremely comfortable.  It is clear that VKC thought about this in their design by rounding off all the edges.

Volcanin Kydex Creations

These rounded edges allow you to move freely through the the day. Even sitting is comfortable without having the holster poking you in the thigh, or needing to be adjusted every time you stand up an/or sit. (This of course depends on your belt, which we will discuss later in the next section)

If AIWB carry is not your flavor, this holster still works for you.  The adjustable cant of the single clip option allows this holster to be carried in the 4-5 o’clock position while allowing for a smooth comfortable draw.

I find this position to be great with this holster.

Now to the part that really matters to us here at Dapper Concealed Carry…

Concealment

In both the appendix and the 4-5 o’clock carry positions this holster conceals very well.  The ride height is very generous and allows you to get a full firing grip on the firearm before drawing.

 

Most of the time this is seen as a negative for concealment because the grip of the gun is what tends to be the most difficult part to conceal.  With this holster, I didn’t find it to be a problem.  In fact I find it easier to conceal when the gun rides high.  The thing that helps this with the VKC IWB Holster is a small indenture under the clip to allow the clip to get a good hold on the belt.

Volcanic Kydex Creations - Molded Clip

Speaking of belts, I did run across something to look out for with holster and belts. Belt thickness (not width) is not something that we particularly think about when selecting belts, but with this particular holster’s clip it is something to consider. If you noticed in previous photos that my belt seemed to be pushed over to the side away from the center, this was not on accident. Because of the thinness of my belts, the holster would shift slightly throughout the day, in the appendix carry position, due to constant sitting down and standing up. So to fix this, I put my belts on from right to left; which allows for the excess to be on my appendix side and creates a thicker support for the molded clip.  This adjustment does cause the holster to push out a little further from the body, but not enough to create a printing problem.


 I have not had this problem in the 4-5’oclock position.

Conclusion

The Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster is a fantastic holster that fits into most EDC load outs.  It works well in the appendix carry as well as the 4-5 o’clock positions.  The rounded edges makes it very comfortable and easily concealable.

Currently the Volcanic Kydex Creations website is being updated and I am waiting to hear back from the owner about how you can contact them to place your order.

Stay tuned for the video review coming soon.

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– Peace

How To Test Out A Brand New Handgun Holster

After waiting what seems like forever for a brand new holster to come in the mail, many gun owners are so excited that they fail to follow safe practices before checking out their new holsters.

In this post I will lay out 4 steps that I feel are necessary to take to test out a holster before carrying your firearm in it.

***If you would rather watch these steps instead of reading, scroll to the end to view the video.***

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  1. If you are wearing the gun that the new holster is intended for, REMOVE the gun and the holster from your person.
  2. Remove the gun from the holster and CLEAR IT!!! (Physically and Visually check that it is clear.
  3. Pull out the new holster and check the fitment to ensure that it fits your handgun properly and that your firearm comes out smoothly. (I have had a handgun get stuck in a new holster before.)
  4. Keeping it unloaded, put the holstered gun on and begin trying to find the sweet-spot and get a few draw and re-holster reps in.

Once you have completed these steps and are pleased with the results, you are now ready to load your firearm and carry on!

Here is a video for reinforcement: (There’s also a clip of the holster that my gun got stuck in)

As always, I hope you were informed and that you will share this if you think it is something everyone should see!

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– Peace

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So Now Carrying A Gun In Church Is A Good Idea

As Pro-Gun advocates, one of the first things we want to do after a mass shooting (AFTER giving our condolences to the families of the victims), is say something to the effect of, “See I/we told you so”.

If you have been paying attention long enough, then the recent mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC does not come as a shock to you.  But to some, this is the first time they have actually seen and/or paid attention to a church shooting.  With just a quick search of “church shootings” on your favorite search engine, you will quickly see that these types of shootings have been taking place for years, but for whatever reason carry a gun in church is still illegal in many places and is frowned upon by many (some who even claim to support gun rights).

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It is sad that we have to have these types of events to occur before some people start to rethink their position on concealed carry and firearms in general.  Even Jesus in Luke 22:36 NLT said,

if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!

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– Peace

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Lessons Learned After A Year of Carrying A Gun

A little over a year ago, I joined the ranks of the armed citizenry and began concealed carrying a gun everyday.  If you have read my 1st blog post (My Journey To Concealed Carry) then you already know about my somewhat irregular path to carrying.

 

If you are still on the fence about concealed carry, this post may help you.

There are 3 main things that I learned from carrying daily for a year:

  1. People really can not tell when you are carrying a gun. (When you are properly concealing)
  2. It is not as uncomfortable as I thought it might have been.  (Holster, belt, and pants contribute to this)
  3. Non Permissive Environments (NPEs) are stupid. (The reason is probably not what you think)

People Really Can Not Tell When You Are Carrying

This is one of the ones that new carriers worry about the most………….printing.

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Does my gun make me look fat?

Printing is something that the gun community has zeroed in on as something the be conscious of.  But after a year with a firearm strapped to me everyday,  I have found it to be somewhat ridiculous.  In order for you to be spotted printing, someone has to be staring directly at you (for a considerable amount of time) and at the exact spot your firearm is in for them to notice.  Of course if you are wearing a shirt that is 2 sizes too small for you, you wont just be printing, you will have a complete outline of of your firearm showing.

Even if you have a slight bulge, the average person is not going to be staring you down trying to figure out if you are carrying or not.

 It Is Not As Uncomfortable As I Thought

I initially thought that concealed carry would be somewhat uncomfortable and that I would have to get used to that in order to feel comforted by the fact that I had a gun on me.    This was mostly due to what you hear others say about CCW.  But the fact is, that with today’s modern firearms and wide selection of holsters, you can be extremely comfortable while carrying.  Almost to the point where you could forget at times that you are!  I have even fallen asleep while wearing my gun with a Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (You can read my review of it here).

NPEs Are Stupid!

It is already bad enough that there is actually a list of places where you cannot carry your weapon.  Most people will bring up the fact that these places are targets for criminals because they know that no one there will be armed.  And while this is a valid point, my gripe with most NPEs is that they DO NOT ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING TO ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS ARMED!!!

As I law abiding citizen, I like to abide by the law.  Even if that sometimes means I am walking into a place that could potentially make me a victim (I try not to frequent places like this often).  It really irks me that, after I go through all the trouble of disarming myself and ensuring that no one can easily access my firearm while I am away,

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

there is no one actually checking to make sure that everyone is disarmed.  Even when going to an event where they check women’s purses, which is a joke.  They do such a poor job at it that you could practically bring in a fully assembled AR-15!

I just don’t get it.  With no metal detectors or pat downs, how in the world do they expect there to be no weapons of any kind?

Photo credit: http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-firearms-or-weapons-sign-download.html

Photo credit: http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-firearms-or-weapons-sign-download.html

They really can not expect any one, criminal or law abiding, to just obey this sign can they?

Conclusion

While there are only 3 things listed here, these are the things that truly stood out to me in my reflections of the past year.  If you have a specific question, feel free to ask.

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– Peace

 

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Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster Review

Having spent almost an entire year exclusively carrying appendix with the Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (you can read my review of it here), I was both eager and skeptical to try out this holster from Rubber City Holsters.

 Retention

Let me start off by saying that, with this holster, the gun is not coming out unless you WANT it to.  The factory retention of this holster is beyond what I consider to be adequate for an IWB holster (it does come with an additional spacer that can loosen it up if desired).  It is absolutely superb and feels as if you could throw it across a room with the gun in it and the gun will stay in place (if you are going to try this make sure you UNLOAD the gun and throw it into a sofa or on the bed, so you don’t scratch up your firearm or the walls).

This level of retention is fantastic for draw practice because you can not lazily draw from this holster; the draw has to be strong and deliberate to get the handgun out.  Check out the following videos to see the draw from this holster.

 Comfort

Previous to this holster, my experience with AIWB holsters was from a few weeks with a DeSantis Pro Stealth, which is made out of ballistic nylon and almost a full year with a Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (Check out my review of it here), which is a hybrid kydex mold with cowhide backing.  I had always been skeptical about a full kydex mold inside my pants.  Just the thought of it seemed uncomfortable because there was no padding or cushion to keep the holster from poking you.  I was presently surprised to find that this holster was extremely comfortable once I found the sweet spot.

There is one caveat.  Depending on the pants and where the belt loops are place, you may not get the holster perfectly in your sweet spot every time until you memorize the location on each pair of pants you have (this is a nightmare if you are a fashion junkie).

The above pictures show the different placements that can occur (Left: inside the belt loop, Right: outside the belt loop) with different pants and trying to achieve the sweet spot.  This approximately 1 inch difference makes a HUGE difference in the overall comfort of this holster because of its rounded edge around the clip/retention screws.

Get the placement wrong and you will quickly realize it after sitting down for a period of time.  When the holster is not in the sweet-spot, this rounded edge digs into your thigh and it can be painful if you do not adjust it.

Concealment

Because of its .08 thickness, the Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster slips inside-the-waistband easily and doesn’t add any unnecessary bulging.  Using the injection molded strut with soft loop, the holster holds close to the body and doesn’t move too much once you adjust the loop to your belt’s thickness.  There is also an injection molded clip available that I have not tried out yet, but I will update this review when I do.

This holster is tuckable and even though the loop or clip isn’t hidden, I was never asked about it nor do I think anyone actually saw it anyways; because like I’ve said before, nobody wants to look at another person’s crotch unless they are a pervert.

Adjustments

Sometimes a holster is almost perfect but is hindered by one or two minor adjustments needing to be made.  Rubber City Holsters has thought about this and provide some fantastic height adjustments that make this holster even more awesome.  The injection molded strut and soft loop both have 3 different holes at different heights allowing you to tailor the holster to your likings.  Out of the 9 possible settings, I adjusted mine 3 times before settling on what I find to be the perfect setting for me.

From left to right in the pictures above, you can see the 3 different heights I experimented with.  Also with these height adjustments, I altered how tight the loop was around the belt, which slightly affects the height as well but more importantly how much wiggle you will get throughout the day or when drawing.  If you prefer a deeper concealment you can achieve it and if you want to get a firm grip on the firearm before drawing you can achieve that as well (3rd picture).

Conclusions

At $55 for a handcrafted in the USA kydex holster, The Akron from Rubber City Holsters is a great addition to your holster collection or if you are looking for a new EDC holster.  With its superb retention, ability to tuck, and range of adjustments this holster is definitely amongst my favorites and I currently go to it more than my Crossbreed (gasp).

If you decide to give this holster a try, visit Rubber City Holsters and you can receive 10% OFF of your entire order by using the coupon code “DCCW10” at checkout.

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– Peace

 

 

 

Springfield Armory Holster & Mag Pouch Review

One of the incentives to purchasing a pistol from Springfield Armory is that they come with a Paddle Holster and Dual Mag Pouch.  This makes it easy to start training and/or carrying as soon as you purchase the gun.  But if you spend time on any gun forum, you will likely see a wide range of comments either giving these holster “freebies” a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  This review is based on my experience with the XD-S Gear line of products, but these are the exact same for all of Springfields handguns (XD, XD(M), 1911), only differing in dimensions for their respective guns (XD Gear, XD(M) Gear, 1911 Gear).

Paddle Holster

Because this was my first holster, my initial thoughts was that this holster is pretty nice and I didn’t really understand why there seemed to be so many negative comments about it.  The factory retention was good (until I had something to compare it to) and the holster didn’t make the gun protrude too far from my waist to cause serious printing (this differs outfit to outfit).   If you desire greater or lesser retention, Springfield supplies a hex key for adjustment.  I also really liked the ability to easily slip this holster on or off, with or without the gun, no matter the type of pants, or if I was wearing a belt or not .  For this reason, The XD-S Gear Paddle Holster is my goto around the house holster.XD-S Gear Paddle Holster w/ Sweatpants

The holster has a very slim profile and does not have a lot of extra material adding unnecessary bulk.  Even though it sits fairly close to the body, you are able to get a solid grip on your pistol before drawing.  There is a slight forward cant that makes for a more natural flow of motion on the draw.  This could take a little getting used to if you are used to stong-side holsters without a cant.

Dual Mag Pouch

Unlike the holster, the XD-S Gear Dual Mag Pouch requires a belt (you do wear belts right?); so there is no easy on and off here.   Factory retention is really good and may even be too tight for some.  As you can see from the above photo, there is a good amount of magazine left exposed for gaining a good grip for mag changes.  You can also see the awkward “V” placement of the magazines in this pouch.  This can create a problem on the draw for some.  The front mag (left) comes out smoothly with a natural motion because of its forward cant, but the rear mag (right) has a backwards cant that sometimes works against the natural draw from standard straight up draw of other mag carriers.  You can train and practice to overcome this obstacle, but if you have un-canted mag pouches for other guns, this may offset your muscle memory.

Concealment

With their slim profiles, these holsters conceal fairly well.  But the more form fitting your clothing, the more likely you are to be printing.  The “V” shape of the mag pouch makes the magazines sit higher than usual, which causes printing.  I would put these holsters in the category of being dependent on the clothes.

Conclusion

While some may bash on these holsters like they are the worst on the planet, I find them to be adequate enough for training and carry.  Are there better products available on the market?  Certainly, but these are essentially FREE with you handgun purchase.  And if someone is purchasing their first gun, like myself, its great to not have to immediately spend more money on a holster rig that you may or may not like.  The Springfield Armory holsters and mag pouches provide a viable option to carrying a handgun and additional magazines.

Feel free to comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this holster combination.

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– Peace

Appendix Carry & Why I Prefer It

Appendix carry is not new, but in the last few years or so there seems to be a lot of rave about it.  Like every other topic or debate in gun culture, there are people that love it and there are those that hate it.  Me personally,  I absolutely love appendix carry and it is my preferred method for 2 main reasons:

  1. Ease of Concealment
  2. Tactics

***I purposely left out comfort because it is subjective and dependent on different variables from person to person.***

Before I dive into these, let me preface this by saying that: as of this time, I have only carried appendix and strong side (3 o’clock position).  I will update this post or revisit this discussion as I test more holsters and methods of carry.

Ease of Concealment

Concealed carry is all about concealment at all times.  This includes reaching up for something on a top shelf at Walmart.  When you wear shirts that are your proper size, they tend to be short; which makes reaching up for something without your gun becoming exposed nearly impossible without holding down your shirt.  This is why OWB doesn’t work for fashion conscious concealed carriers and certainly a problem if your state has statutes against exposing your concealed handgun.   By the very nature of this reaching action, you will likely be facing something that will obstruct the view of your torso; therefore, even if your shirt rises above your gun, no one is likely to see it unless they are staring.

This brings up an interesting thought.  Part of carrying a concealed firearm is thinking on a level that most people don’t think psychologically.  For example, we know that it is not polite to stare at another persons crotch.  Using this information alone, appendix carry is the best place to carry undetected because even if you are printing a little bit, no one will be looking long enough or hard enough at you to wonder what that slight bulge or imprint is on your torso.

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Tactics

While I am not an expert on being tactical or “tacticool”, I do believe I have studied and tried enough things to present some solid points on this topic.  Tactics are a huge part of CCW and even if you do not consider yourself to be tactical, you more than likely are because of the way you think in regards to self-defense and protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Ask yourself these questions.  How can you quickly and effectively draw your gun:

  • While seated?
  • If you are pushed down onto your back?
  • If your strong side hand is incapacitated?

It should not take you long to realize that, just in these 3 examples, any other method of carry (lets stick to the common methods of hip carry for the purposes of this topic) is inferior to appendix carry.  Dont just take my word for it; unload your concealed carry gun, holster it, and go see how quickly and effectively you can draw in these scenarios.  Yes I know that training can teach you how to do this, but even with training you will still be slower and you would have to practice those techniques as much if not more than your normal draw practice to make sure you stay fluid.

I will not go as far as to say that drawing from appendix carry is faster than other methods of carry because I believe that to be subjective and dependent on the individual and how much time they have put into training and practicing.  But I will say that no matter what the situation, carrying appendix makes the most sense because of the “right there” access it provides you to your gun at all times.

Conclusion

There are other reasons that I could have listed, but when you think about them, they lead you back to these two methods one way or the other.  And they are reason enough for me to carry appendix 90% of the time.

If you would like to see some convincing photos, head over to the Lookbook or check out the Instagram feed.

Please Subscribe, Follow, Like, & Share.  I Carry A Gun But You Can’t Tell!

– Peace

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