I have forever carried my pistol(s) at the 4:30 position with one of the two clip 'tuck' style leather and kydex holsters. For a number of reasons I wanted to try something new. That said, this is kind of a discussion on the style of carry as well as my impressions of my my new holster itself.

My Style

I personally value comfort of carry as well as utility (and deep conceal ability) as my main priorities. I always say it's better to have a gun than no gun and anything gear wise that prevents you from carrying needs to be reexamined. My choice of firearm is a Sig 938 and I also carry a spare mag with a horizontal magazine holster from a company called, well, Magholder LLC. I used to carry a big heavy gun with lots of rounds but that thing was like carrying a brick and eventually I traded out of that caliber (.40) entirely and upgraded my weapons over time. I am a 9mm man myself. .40 is dead to me as for my personal hand gun weapons of choice.

The old way

The wrap around leather holster with two clips is fine but it's definitely not perfect.

Pros

-it's pretty comfortable especially when standing and walking around all day. Especially with the smaller gun that I carry I've actually fallen asleep (at home) with my holster on and wasn't even bothered by it.

Cons in a nutshell

- if you print, you can't tell because well your gun is on your ass almost. Especially if you are say squatting down getting something off the bottom shelf at the grocery store... this is an issue.
- I have had times when shirts have ridden up over the handle of my gun and I had no idea (hence I always kind of discreetly check on this).
- The two clips are a royal pain in the ass to get on and off, especially inside of a car. The reality of carrying is sometimes you cannot (legally) have your gun on you everywhere. I have learned over time that taking the gun on and off is a necessity throughout the day sometimes, not just when I leave the house or when I get home.
- with big heavy guns you get uneven weight distribution even with a strong sturdy belt. Eventually you get used to it but it's still there.
- The draw is kind of awkward. Raising your shirt and drawing from behind your hip is fine but there are other equally good or better ways to do things depending on your preference. There is more than one draw stroke for a reason. For me for example I have had both shoulders completely reconstructed and with my right shoulder (my strong hand) my range of motion is still a little limited. I can still do those 'ass draw' motions but I can feel it in my shoulders due to my shoulder surgery.
- my leather tuck style holster is noisy. It squeaks like crazy. I put baby powder on it and it goes away but it's still a thing that I don't like.
- From a sitting position in a car seat getting to your weapon is a real PITA.

Basically there is a time and a place for everything but what really got me is while I almost always have a firearm with me---the pain in the ass of putting the holster on and off has eventually led me to the bad habit of not always carrying on my body. Don't get me wrong, I still carried, but not as much as I should or could have if things were easier to do.

Hence I decided to go with appendix carry at least to try it out.

Where have you been all my life?

After about a week of appendix carry every day my reaction is 'where have you been all my life!' I really am glad I gave it a chance and was open minded enough to try something new.

Pros

- I like the draw stroke a lot more
- you still can print but you can at least look down and see if you are or not. Overall though I think it's more concealable for me than the old way. With the short mag for my gun I could go into really deep concealment even with some really light clothes on (and since it's so hot here in the summer this is a big deal).
- because of the small size of my gun I can stand up, sit down, get in and out of a car, and have a whole lot more motions that I don't need to worry about and I can do it without the gun gouging me in the leg or whatnot. It does require a little adjustment from time to time but that's ok.
- no more shirt tail riding up over the handle of my gun (or worrying about it)
- MUCH easier to get on or off as needed, even from awkward 'driver's seat' positions.
- No more squeaking holsters

Cons

- Still thinking of some
- I do have to periodically push my gun a centimeter this way or that depending on what I am doing. I am still breaking the thing in so maybe this will change.
- Before I sit down I have to hike my pants up a little sometimes in order to stay comfortable.
- with longer barreled or bigger guns it might cause a lot more issues (but for me not so much since my gun is small)

Alien Gear

The holster itself, the Alien Gear Appendix holster so far seems great. It is not made out of leather. It's some space age stuff with another type of synthetic backing on it. It seems durable and it's very very comfortable. It's modular too. You can buy expansion packs for it to turn it to a paddle holster or an OTW holster, you can get one to clip it to a pack pack shoulder strap or a whole other ton of options including the '4:30' position type holster that I am used to. Overall it seems like a pretty ingenious idea. Rather than buying a box of holsters trying to figure out what you like you can get one of these and configure it numbers of ways to fit your needs for a lot cheaper.

Not to mention the warranty service seems great. 30 day trial period and a lifetime guarantee...not too shabby.

Side note

I also however have to say that the choice of holster needs to be made for your body type and the particular weapon you carry. A full size 1911 is going to be a different animal than basically a pocket pistol like I have.

Other stuff

Also another pro is in the appendix carry setup you can adjust it for positive, neutral, or negative cant. (I've found the out of the box neutral cant works best so far). One shortcoming though is you cannot adjust for depth of carry. If you want it to ride a little deeper say to account for love handles or your belly you're kind of SOL (for now). The good thing is though since it's modular if they come up with a deeper clip or a j-hook or something like that you can just get that part and be done with it.

Overall I think the appendix carry and the Alien Gear set up is a winner especially for me and my choice of gun.

The Mag Holder

I have been using these for a long time and honestly I love em. They hold the mag secure and horizontal. It is much more comfortable. No tall mags jabbing me in the ribs. It's really concealable and stays where you put it. I have never really done multiple mag draws and mag swap drills or anything like that, but to have a spare mag with you in case of emergency or malfunction or whatever definitely a thumbs up. Other people's opinions may vary because to them it might make for a much slower mag swap. For me though I put a premium on comfort and concealability.

Extra Info

For me one of my other hobbies is photography. I have a backpack that I carry around camera gear in and the IWB tuck style holsters inevitably get in the way, or rather the backpack gets in the way. My gun basically gets covered up by my backpack. So far other small little ergonomic things about how the whole system works together for me, such as carrying a pocket clip pocket knife, taking into account a camera bag, a shoulder sling and camera for walking around with my camera (more comfortable than a neck strap by far), spare mag, and other things so far have been great. Color me impressed. So far I am glad I made the change.

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