Fit and Finish (Product Spotlight)

I struggle when getting in the bed of my old truck and pulling shooting gear out that slid to the front. When I bend down to tie my shoes, I’m greeted with a scrape on my stomach. We’ve all been in these situations where Appendix Inside the Waist Band (AIWB) carry sucks. Finding the right AIWB holsters appears to be one daunting task, but I think I’ve found a few tips to make your life easier when selecting your next rig.

Decision Time
No shortage of holster companies exists in this world. They seem to spring up overnight every time I open my social media feed. In fact, finding a company that established itself early is often hard to locate. DeSantis GunHide cut its teeth making hand-crafted holsters over 40 years ago. Gene DeSantis sat at his kitchen table, designing and creating holsters for folks who love carrying their guns. 

Pocket Dump
Possibly the most comfortable pocket dump ever, made possible by the DeSantis Osprey holster. 

The world changed, and DeSantis changed with it. After all these years, DeSantis holsters are crafted by hand

by likeminded individuals who pride themselves on quality and dependability.

Why the sales pitch? Well, I had a decision to make. I could select my AIWB holster from a litany of upstarts or choose a trusted name. Plus, after interviewing Gene at this year’s NRAAM in Dallas, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Osprey for my EDC.

Material
Kydex maintains a steady hold on the marketplace, but quality leather in an AIWB holster makes this carry method more comfortable. When it comes to AIWB, a little give improves comfort when sitting for long periods or when active.

The Osprey holster that I carry my Glock 19 Gen 5 in fits like a fine, tailored suit. It doesn’t matter what daily task I choose; the Osprey contours itself to my daily routine. A kydex holster doesn’t offer any such relief. Yes, kydex has its place in our world, but when a break from holster belly is needed, I’m going leather.

Material selection is largely a personal preference. I do have many kydex holster in my arsenal, but when carrying AIWB, leather is king in my book.

Multi-Use Holsters
The Osprey holster includes belt slots, which we’d expect. However, it’s outfitted with an IWB strap that is cantable and removable when not in use. I prefer holsters that have multiple functions. It just feels like I have an option that single-use, dedicated holsters lack. I encourage you to look at holsters that serve multiple functions. When I’m able to carry AIWB, I utilize the cantable strap. However, when I wear jackets during colder months the Osprey converts easily to an Outside the Waist Band Holster.

AIWB
The IWB strap allows the holster to move, ever-so-slightly, with your body. This all adds up to comfort for AIWB EDCers. 

Smooth Sailing
One worry I had was the button that seals the IWB strap around the belt and its ability to handle the stress of

quick draw strokes. After countless draws from concealment, this fear quickly dissipated. The button holds strong throughout the draw. Not a worry at all.

I’m not dogging on kydex holsters. In fact, DeSantis crafts an entire line of kydex holsters for both IWB and OWB carry methods. Recently, I loaned Ryan Gresham a hybrid kydex and breathable mesh constructed DeSantis holster. He refuses to give it back now.

Style, carry location, and material preference remain personal preference. Selecting holsters, especially AIWB holsters, boggles the mind at times, but it doesn’t have to rattle the senses. We need to take our time, determine the daily routines we find ourselves in, and find what makes us more comfortable when carrying firearms. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma, but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter, and knows his way around a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.