Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great an AIWB holster can be.
Wait, let me back up. First, let me say this. For years I have subscribed to the idea that AIWB carry was dangerous and presented a serious risk of death or disability resulting from negligent discharge. I still believe that it presents risks, although in much the same way that carrying any firearm presents a risk. But if you watch a few videos where knuckleheads shoot themselvespracticing fast draws it’s pretty easy to take 2 and 2 and put them together and come up with 4. And, if you wear an AIWB holster while sitting or in the car driving, and you’re male, let’s just say that Mr. Johnson should be afraid given that Mr. Smith is pointing at him. Oh, and at your femoral artery. Let’s not forget that. Standing or walking the risk is minimized, but still somewhat present if you’re a big guy and have that muffin top. I have the whole damned muffin, and I have always worried that AIWB just would not work for me.
Then I met Jake. Jake has a YouTube channel called Evolving Daily. Along with John Lovell of the Warrior Poet Society he did a videothat demonstrated how AIWB could be safe, fast, and efficient in terms of execution, and he made me laugh a lot while demonstrating this. Both his videosare worth watching on AIWB.
So, if I am going to do this, I need a holster that does several things. First, it has to completely cover the trigger guard, and it has to be functionally impossible for anything to wiggle its way into that area and cause the firearm to discharge. This is because if you have a bad holster, or a holster that is not designed for AIWB, or one that allows things to get caught in it easily, you stand the chance of having a negligent discharge that will have you singing soprano. Watch this video and see what I mean.
One of my favorite things about firearms and the firearms community is that race and religion don’t have a great deal of bearing on your views on guns. I’m a Caucasian male, and if you listen to the liberal media, I supposedly hate my brown and black brothers because, well, you know. They look different. Or something. I’ve never figured it out. If you have, let me know in the comments. At any rate, I digress. One of my favorite channels, mainly because he is so smooth and just down right cool, is Locs n Load on YouTube. He is an African-American male and he constantly reviews new and innovative products. He’s fun to watch, fun to listen to, and he just generally has great content. So a few months ago he talked about Harry’s Holsters. He had switched to AIWB and he was wearing a Harry’s Holster.
Using the link from his page (he gets support from Harry’s) I ordered an Executive Holster with softloops for my M&P, and a few days later, another with hard clips for my Sig P320 X-carry. I am quite glad I did. Both holsters have performed very well, although I like the softloops better than the hard plastic clips. That’s just a personal opinion in terms of how the holster behaves on the belt, which I will explain later.
So, first, the holster is very well designed. It’s kydex, not a hybrid. That’s good because if Mr. Johnson is going to have visitors, he doesn’t want something pliable protecting the trigger. Mr. Johnson doesn’t mind sharing the space, but he vehemently objects to high velocity lead poisoning.
Both firearms fit inside the holster properly and snugly, although I did have to adjust retention for the Sig X-carry. I would also note that the Sig P320-RX with the Romeo sight does not fit insider the P320 holster because of the sight. I am sure they could accommodate that if I chose to carry that, but obviously for carry purposes I have the X-carry.
So, the first time I carried, I carried the M&P Model 2.0 in the holster with the softloops, and I used a stiff leather belt. Stiff leather belts and stiff plastic hooks are not a good combination on an AIWB holster. But stiff leather belts and softloops work terrific together.
Here’s the issue. When you have a little girth, you need for the weapon and holster to give a little in relation to the belt when you sit down. The softloops allow that to happen. The holster rides up when you sit down, and then when you stand the holster slips back down into the inguinal notch.
It also has a claw, to force the kydex upper portion deeper into the abdomen for better concealment, and the Raven Wedge that pushes the barrel away from the prime real estate down south. Both of these are important features for someone who is a person of abundance, like me.
In addition to my leather belt, I have a nylon web belt I bought from Propper (via Sportsman’s Guide). Since I carry the Sig X-carry now most of the time, I got the hard plastic clips, and they work better on the nylon belt because it’s much thinner than the leather belt.
I have found my draw time (previous best 1.75) is now down to 1.25 with the AIWB holster, and I get on target much faster. And, assuming I get the holster placed properly on the belt (with the barrel going down into the inguinal notch and the grip sitting above the belt line I am comfortable riding or sitting with the Harry’s Holster.
I can recommend this holster. It is reasonably priced (meaning its cheaper than any of its competition) and it meets or exceeds all my minimum standards. I look forward to carrying with it for a long time.