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Posts in category Inside-the-Waistband

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.

img_0426

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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.

CBH_PDN_600x90

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.

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– Peace

Tulster-Banners-with-Bigger-Text Rubber-City-Holsters-Banner-with-Bigger-Text banner CBH_PDN_600x90

IWB vs OWB Carry

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) and Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) are certainly the two most common ways to carry a handgun, but the debate on which is better will go on for years to come.  Personally I prefer IWB but there are times when I opt for OWB.  If you are new to concealed carry and still trying to decide which method of carry you want to use, I hope to provide you with a resource to help your decision.

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Carry

For concealed carry, IWB carry is the easiest way to conceal a handgun.  This is because the slide of the gun is down inside the pants and the only thing left to cover is the grip, which is as easy as throwing on a t-shirt.  Also, inside-the-waistband carry is extremely comfortable, contrary to older beliefs, especially with the current trends of “conceal carry handguns” and the wide range of holsters available.

Printing with IWB carry is relatively minimal compared to OWB depending on the handgun and clothing style.  I am consistently able to wear very fitting clothing without printing.

Appendix carry makes concealment even easier because the average person, man or woman, is not going to be staring into another persons crotch. (Unless they are a flat-out pervert)

Tactically, inside-the-waistband carry gives you better control and access to the firearm at all times, even while driving. (which I do a lot of.)

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Carry

When a lot of people hear OWB carry they usually think Open Carry, which is not always the case.  Carrying concealed with an outside-the-wiastband holster is very doable, it just requires a little more attention to detail than carrying inside-the-waistband.  Even though, IWB can be extremely comfortable, there is no denying that OWB is much more comfortable because you do not have the cold, hard handgun slide down your pants rubbing against you.

If you are gravely concerned about printing or you gun being seen, I would not recommend OWB carry for you.  This is because it is very likely that throughout the course of your day, someone will see your gun via printing

or because your shirt has raised up enough to reveal the bottom of the slide, or completely exposing your handgun.  As you can see in the above photos, OWB carry with properly fitting clothing makes me look bulky round the waist and if someone looks hard enough, they will likely see the outline of my pistol.  (Adding a jacket to this outfit, would probably get rid of the awkward wideness around the hips)

One major disadvantage to outside-the-waistband carry is driving.  Once you strap on the seatbelt, your access to your firearm is greatly hindered not only by the seatbelt itself, but also your cover garment.  This tactical disadvantage is at the top of my list for why I do not carry this way on a daily basis.  When I do carry this way; however, I often remove the firearm from the holster and wedge it in-between my seat and the center console area.

(I do plan on getting a Grassburr Mountable Holster for this purpose)

Which one is better?

I would not go on record saying one method is better than the other, but I will say that if you are new to concealed carry and are fashion conscious, IWB carry is the way to go because of the ease of concealment and minimal printing even with extremely fitted clothing.  If you can afford it, I would recommend purchasing a holster for both carry methods because there are pros and cons to both and there are times when one method is clearly more desirable and/or appropriate than the other.

No matter which you chose, ALWAYS carry and look dapper while doing it!

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– Peace

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