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Thread: Comfortable AIWB

  1. #21
    Site Supporter GearFondler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Dropping it super low in your belt line is part of the discomfort factor. This is why guys are saying longer gun and longer kydex
    This... You want the grip over your gut, not underneath it, for any semblance of comfort. Under the gut might hide better but it will impede the draw and rub/poke you raw.

    I started AIWB carrying a G19 at 5'7", 190lbs and made it work. A proper holster (RCS Eidolon at that time), a rash guard (Under Armour Heat Gear), and sticking with it until my body adjusted to the sensation, was all it required. Plus a lot of tinkering with holster set-up and position and using a proper AIWB belt to maximize concealment and comfort.
    I have since dedicated myself to improving my body and am now 163lbs, however I have been less successful with increasing my height. I still have a slight pooch in front but it's a non-issue in regards to comfort or concealment.
    After about a year of exploration and experiment I am now carrying a Roland Special in a Henry Holster Spark and find this dummy big combination to be equally as comfortable but more secure and concealed than anything previous.

  2. #22
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    My thoughts as I continue to dabble with AIWB, but 100% lack @Duke's rockin' dad bod that I am in no way jealous of (that is completely untrue); and instead I have a traditional 'dad bod' complete with spare tire that extends out more than I want, but less than it could (getting the picture yet?).

    I can AIWB a full size gun (Commander-Sized 2011) with a proper holster. For me that holster is the SME from John Ralston at 5-Shot Leather. The way the holster is cut and formed, fits the curvature of my hips and drops into my inguinal crease perfectly. None-the-less I still find concealment is aided via the addition of a 'junk pad' - in this case a flat teardrop from Dark Star Gear dropped low on the holster, gives that extra length and push I need to tuck the butt in for excellent concealment, while keeping it high for access. The rake is set slightly muzzle forward (butt rear).

    Okay that's the full-size gun, what about the compact?

    The only way I can AIWB a compact gun is with a Dark Star J-Frame Apollo, this has a flat, square, pad on the end, and the clip is adjusted to give me a slightly more extreme butt rear rake than my SME. The grip tucks just into the edge of my spare tire and is comfortable and quick. But there is no way that I could carry the gun in a pure vertical orientation that low. The rake I have the gun at is almost cross-draw like. It presents very quick, but is noticeably lower than the grip of my STI. If it weren't such a compact and rounded gun, it would be impossible to carry this way.

    ___

    I've tried a lot of different holsters and I have found the dedicated AIWB holsters to be better for AIWB (shock!). But even among those dedicated holsters, there is quite a bit of difference. I've tried kydex for my 2011 and I can't get it comfortable, leather works better. I tried leather for my J-Frame and I couldn't get comfortable, kydex works better. I have no idea why all this minutiae seems to matter, but it does.

    By contrast, I can buy a Sparks Summer Special (#1, not the #2) for any gun and strap it on at 4 o'clock and it works great for me. Any gun, all the guns, from a full size 1911 to an LCP. Everything hides and is fairly quick and comfortable from that position. As a result, you'll find that I tend to just use an IWB holster at 4-4:30 pretty much all the time. The downside is concealment isn't as good compared to AIWB. However, comfort is generally improved for me that's frankly the more important aspect for me at this time.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  3. #23
    A dedicated AIWB holster is definitely the way to go. You may have to try a few of the different forum-favored (read well-vetted) makers to find what works best for you. Good news is you’ll likely be able to sell off whatever doesn’t suit you for near what you paid for it around here, and quite quickly too!

    Oh, and a good belt helps too! SouthNarc had a video some time ago on how the whole carry system (holster, belt, clothes) need to work together for you. You can find that video and thread here.

    For me, I’m currently wearing a JMCK Wing Claw 2.0 and it’s comfortable 95% of the time, to the point I don’t notice that I’m wearing it. Sometimes it gets a touch uncomfortable, but it comes and goes.
    “It’s time for us to unite so we can heal” - spoken by the people who have been viciously attacking others of differing political alignment for four years. I think they misspelled “heel”.

  4. #24
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    Not to be Debbie Downer, but there is a AIWB sticky in this same sub-forum. It currently has over 2000 posts...

    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....ppendix-Carry)

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    Not to be Debbie Downer, but there is a AIWB sticky in this same sub-forum. It currently has over 2000 posts...

    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....ppendix-Carry)
    yea.....

    but 201 pages of posts that may not be relevant today.. sort of cant blame a guy for making new thread for cliff notes.


    If we're going to be like "we've covered this already" then we just need to lock the whole site and filter all questions through these two worn out replies.:


    " it depends" and " you don't know what you don't know"

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    yea.....

    but 201 pages of posts that may not be relevant today.. sort of cant blame a guy for making new thread for cliff notes.


    If we're going to be like "we've covered this already" then we just need to lock the whole site and filter all questions through these two worn out replies.:


    " it depends" and " you don't know what you don't know"
    Ok, fair enough.

  7. #27
    Member orionz06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    I have used Dark Star Gear, Tenicor, V-Development, and a few more that I can't think of right now. All three are nice, but Tenicor will let you buy one and try it out and if you don't like it they will allow you to return it.
    Dark Star does as well.
    Think for yourself. Question authority.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by orionz06 View Post
    Dark Star does as well.

    That is sweet! I didn't know that.

  9. #29
    Member orionz06's Avatar
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    AIWB Rules of Thumb from 10+ years in the game:

    Minimum holster length is G19 length, even for smaller guns. This prevents the belt from pushing the corner of the muzzle into the soft pelvic tissue by moving the corner away and leaving a flat spot. G17 length is typically better yet, except with women who dress fashionable and cannot have a bulge that prints. Size and shape may change how much this matters. The bonus here is the bottom of the holster now has more leverage to use the pelvic contact to counteract any outward push from the abdomen. This leverage can be increased by a pad. In the instance that a hot spot forms, a layer of velcro, moleskin, or a pad can supplement.

    The position will typically start as far away from center as the inner thigh contact allows. Contact is not discomfort. Contact is acceptable and will most likely happen. Small changes one direction or the other will make huge differences. Pant ride height will influence this as well. A small amount of negative cant may work better if there is not enough relief with movement towards the center.

    Belt attachments may print, most clips will print less than most loops, but this is a secondary problem to comfort, overall position, and grip concealment.

    An AIWB specific holster will use a combo of four AIWB specific features (not my list, but I've used it since I heard it. Credit to Todd):
    • Muzzle Extension- the most basic. Just use a longer holster. A G19 in a G17 holster, for example.
    • Muzzle Wedge/Pad- foam or a bulge formed into the holster to rotate the muzzle outward and thus the grip inward.
    • Belt Wedge- A build up of the holster under the belt and over the gun to rotate the grip inward. Started with the Custom Carry Concepts Looper, evolved into the Shaggy. Effectively a door stop looking portion of the holster directly under the belt.
    • Trailing Lever/Wing/Claw- A lever that attaches to the holster that also uses the belt to rotate the grip inward. When compared to the belt wedge, these holsters create far less of a bulge at the belt line and are more suitable for more narrow waisted wearers, as well as folks who dress in more form fitting clothing.



    Note on the belt wedge vs a wing; there is a thought that the wider winged holster is an issue compared to a belt wedge, but this negates the fact that the wing occupies a space above the thigh and does not intrude on anything else. The holsters are wider, but not in a sense that matters. Typically the people that benefit the most from a winged holster have the least amount of space from hip to hip and wear more form fitting clothing. That's not to say one is superior to the other, just that if one is comparing holsters, they should not rule either style out without trying them.

    Wildcard: Small revolvers are different animals. Their shape, width, and overall size prevent the above comments from applying 100%. Most snubbies are just fine in a cheap, straight drop holster. Don't overthink it there. In the case of snubbies, adding a wing adds to an already wide holster and may create issues where there is too much inward force. Try a holster before modifying it to better understand your needs compared to that of other posters you see online.
    Think for yourself. Question authority.

  10. #30
    Damnable 1911 Heretic Elwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orionz06 View Post
    AIWB Rules of Thumb from 10+ years in the game:

    (SNIP)

    Try a holster before modifying it to better understand your needs compared to that of other posters you see online.
    Obviously everything in this post is spot on, but this has been huge in my experience. Looking at what others are running and how, knowing full well it clearly works for them, my reaction to many rigs is still “that looks awful and uncomfortable/inaccessible/unconcealable,” because it’s something that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate or make work at all. I’m sure someone else would look at my holster on me and think the same. When it comes to AIWB carry, we’re all special snowflakes. But once you’ve found what works for you all the trial and error is worth it.

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