It could be argued that determining your style of carry should be the first step in your firearm purchase process. If you go to your local firearm dealer, purchase a large full-sized pistol, and then decide you want it to be your everyday concealed carry weapon, you may find concealing it, especially comfortably, to be a little more difficult.
Knowing there are thousands of pistol design options, a plethora of holster design options and barely a dozen carry position options, it may be simpler to start with how you prefer to carry your firearm.
Appendix Carry Holsters – Placement, Concealment and Draw
In the world of conceal carry, one of the newer options in the civilian market is Appendix Carry. Appendix Carry is the term used to describe the placement of your firearm carry position in the front of your pants, between the first and second belt-loops from your zipper either left or right depending on your strong hand or carry preference.
The torso provides an excellent backdrop to prevent detection of allowing even the lightest shirt to conceal appendix carry holsters as the firearm is concealed within the body’s frame. The appendix carry position is highly concealable as all potential flagging or imprinting parts remain contained within the width of your torso.
The draw from the appendix carry position can be quicker and often easier because of natural hand rest and placement, not to mention reaching for your abdomen is far less threatening in most situations than reaching for your hip. A person who is expressive with their hands, especially while speaking, can deceive a potential threat during the weapon draw. In many respects, it’s similar to an IWB variety holster.
The only con to be expressed: it can be uncomfortable if you are a little thicker in the mid-section, in a bending or seated situation.
The Perfect Appendix Holster
We feel there are a handful of appendix style holsters that are worthy of your time. The guesswork is eliminated when you choose from one of these four varieties — what we consider the best appendix carry holsters made today.
1. 5.11 Tactical Appendix IWB Holster
For: Glock 19, 23, 26, 27
– S&W M&P Compact
One model of appendix inside the waist band holster (aiwb) is from the manufacturers at 5.11 Tactical. Designed for appendix carry, this holster is typical of the quality of all the 5.11 Tactical product lines; rugged, dependable, and no nonsense.
This AIWB holster is designed for the pistol to sit lower on the belt and conceal more of the frame therefore no adjust is necessary or available. This model is designed to optimally work with the compact and subcompact semi-auto pistols and will easily allow for extended magazine features on both size frames.
You might consider this 5.11 Tactical Appendix IWB Holster as an everyday carry, EDC, holster or an AIWB trainer to make the transition to appendix carry. It is an easy on and easy off holster with great comfort and conceal-ability. It will certainly not be a throw away holster under any circumstances. Whether you are on-the-job, protecting your family, or gearing up this pistol holster will be an asset to your ‘tool box’.
2. Blade-Tech Revolution Klipt AIWB Holster
For: Ruger LC9
-Glock 19, 23,42
-Sig 238, 938
-S&W M&P Shield
-Springfield Armory XDS
The Blade-Tech Revolution Klipt AIWB Holster is another available option in the economically priced appendix carry line of holsters available today. It is available for a wider range of medium and small frame pistols and J-frame revolvers. It is thin and well constructed.
This is one of the best carry appendix holsters on the market today with its lightweight and ideally designed retention system, the Blade-Tech Click, and plastic clip to secure to the wearer’s belt.
The comfort seeker might find the minimalist approach too minimal at first glance, but the high support provides a protection barrier for the full length of the frame. Your pistol will sit a little higher than the previous mentioned product, however the difference may be undetectable to most wearers.
The safest place to secure and store your firearm so that it is readily available and accessible is to carry the firearm on you. It is totally under your control and supervision. If you desire these attributes and are ready to enter the waters of AIWB, you can’t wrong with the Blade Tech Revolution Klipt revolver holster.
3. Galco Stow-N-Go Inside The Pant Holster
- Fits: Glock 26, 27, and 33
- Material: Natural Premium Center Cut Steerhide
- Fits Belts up to 1 3/4"
- Open Top for Fast Draw
- Made in USA
For: Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 42
-Springfield XD-S, XD 9/40 3 Inch 4 Inch
-S&W M&P Compact 9/40, 9/40, S&W J Frame 640 Cent 2 1/8-Inch .357
-Ruger LCP, LC9
-Keltec P3AT, P32
-Kahr PM40, K40, K9
-1911 3, 4 & 4/14 Inch Colt, Kimber, Para
-Sig P220, P226, P228, P229, P238, P239 9mm, P938
-Walther PPK, PPK2
The Galco brand is synonymous with quality and the Stow-N-Go Inside the Pant Holster, part of the Concealed Carry Lite line, is an excellent example of the Galco product at its best.
The center cut steer-hide provides a quality of construction with few peers. The soft-sided leather provides comfort for the wearer and the protection for the firearm.
An open top design and a sturdy injection-molded clip complement the features provided in this appendix holster. This economical holster has models available for semi-automatic pistols and revolvers that will fit belts up to 1-¾ inches.
In most situations one handed re-holstering can be expected, however some users may face challenges in re-holstering because of the pliability of the soft leather. One of the greatest challenges for any gun-owner is determining how to carry your firearm on your person. Are you ready for appendix carry or are your still carrying the way movies and television has trained society to carry weapons?
This holster will help make the decision easier and pain-free. If you like the unfinished, ‘natural’ leather look and feel and you are ready to cross over to the ‘appendix side’, this is the concealed pistol holster for you.
4. BLACKHAWK! Leather Inside-the-Pants Holster
- Manufactured by ATK
- Fits Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 31, 32, and 36
- Angle-adjustable belt loop is mounted to reinforced upper body for stability
- Adjustable tension-screw gives you the choice on level of retention
- Shirt shield protects clothing, keeps holster opening unobstructed, and increases comfort
-Beretta 92/96, Storm PX-4
-Colt Gov’t 5″, Colt Comm. 4″
-Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 36
-H&K P2000/USP compact
-S&W J Frames/Taurus 85/Ruger SP101
-Sig 220, 225, 226, 228, 229
-Springfield XD 4″
-S&W M&P 9/40 4 inch, 9/40 Compact, .45 and Pro 9/40, XDM
The BLACKHAWK! Company reputation is synonymous with tactical quality and ingenuity and their Leather Inside-the-Pants Holster is no exception. This cost effective yet well-put together leather holster is where a new gun owner and the traditionalist can agree.
The Italian leather version is modeled to your specific weapon design and looks good, feels good, and will keep the finish of your gun looking brand new for years to come. It requires the break-in period, as with any leather product, but will be ready to go when you are and won’t give you problems with breakdowns or inconsistencies.
The shirt shield along the entire frame length will make this appendix holster your everyday carry choice for comfort, protection, and savings on dry cleaning expenses. With the angle-adjustable belt loop and adjustable retention screw, you can choose your own fit and level of weapon security. If you prefer leather to any of the other synthetic options on the ccw holster market today, then look no further.
The Bottom Line
If appendix carry is your preferred style, you’d be hard pressed to find many others that would be the ideal fit for your firearm. Appendix carry is a very specific type of carry, and not for everyone, so be sure to get the ultimate in comfort, conceal-ability and draw speed by finding a gun holster that works well for you. We’ve made that choice simple by providing these 4 “can’t miss” options for you.