By July 23, 2008

Adventures in appendix concealed carry: Blackhawk Inside the Waistband clip holster review

When it comes to concealed carry, one size fits none. I’ve talked a lot on Gibberish about how no one holster, firearm, or carry position will meet all of your needs all of the time. Comfort, concealment, and accessibility form a personal protection triangle that is almost impossible to balance.

When I can wear more loosely-fitting shorts and an untucked t-shirt I prefer to “appendix carry.” This means I wear my primary handgun in the front of my pants and to the left. The butt of my Glock 27 is just about near my belly button. Appendix carry is accessible, even while sitting down. Certain gunfighting/training schools consider appendix carry to be more accessible than a small-of-back or rear-of-hip carry position. Appendix carry is also very concealable, and if I offset my belt buckle to the right you can’t tell I am carrying at all.

Comfort is where appendix carry can fall short. The Glock 27 is a pretty short handgun, and it still digs into my skin when I sit. I can shift the pistol around a little bit to be more comfortable, but it isn’t nearly as comfortable as carrying outside of the waistband or in the SmartCarry “assault diaper.” I can tolerate appendix carry for about six hours before I’ve had enough. Getting up and walking around helps, but nothing will change the fact I’m wearing a big metal brick next to my manhood.
Here’s the front view. I think it’s pretty innocuous.
The goods. I think it helps that I’m a little soft around the middle, but not fat. I think if I weighed a little more the handgun might make a weird indentation in my midsection. If I were more defined the pistol may be more uncomfortable to wear. Hey, anything to justify more cheeseburgers.

I use a Blackhawk Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster with my Glock 27. It’s nylon, with a soft, grippy material on the outside. This keeps the holster inside the pants when executing a draw. The plastic clip that attaches underneath my belt is very sturdy. I originally wanted a holster that had belt loops and snaps, but I think this would have added to the profile of the holster. If I have to been uncomfortable, I want concealment to be high.

I don’t have much to say about the Blackhawk IWB. It does its job well, and my piece has stayed put even while running up the stairs or hopping around (yes, it was unloaded). I also cinch my belt down pretty tightly, so your mileage may vary. While the carry position itself isn’t super comfortable, the holster is. It is just padded enough to keep the edges of my Glock from pressing too deeply into my skin, but not so padded that it betrays its presence. I expect the front sight of my Glock to wear a spot in the holster, but this hasn’t happened yet. If prior experience with Uncle Mike’s IWB is any indication, I have two or three more years before that starts to happen.

The Blackhawk Inside the Waistband clip holster is a great deal at around $11 before shipping from sights like The Tactical Store. I bought mine for $15 before tax at a local store so I could make sure it fit. I store my G27 in a size six holster, for reference.

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9 Comments on "Adventures in appendix concealed carry: Blackhawk Inside the Waistband clip holster review"

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  1. Spectre says:

    Hey there, first time poster and love the articles you make.

    Anyway. I love the Blackhawk IWB, and I use it for a fullsize 1911, but I have too much gut so I can’t comfortably conceal anywhere on my body unless its on my hip area. I also prefer the Blackhawk Serpa for conceal carry, and just wear a shirt that is one size too big and it hides just fine.

  2. Brad says:

    Thanks for the honest reviews. In this day and age, it’s rare to see someone give an honest review without some agenda. I haven’t tried the particular Blackhawk model you reviewed above, but I have tried appendix carry.

    Unfortunately, I just can’t get it to work for me. I don’t have an issue with the concealment side, just the comfort issue. No matter how or where the gun is positioned (Kahr PM9) or what clip-on IWB model tested, I can’t seem to find a comfortable point in the appendix position. I’m glad to see that it’s working for other people.

  3. BoogeyMan says:

    I bought a 9mm Ruger P95 auto for a house gun and conceal carry. I have also bought SEVERAL type holsters. (Shoulder rig,Hip holster and even paid $62 for a Bianchi Black Widow hip /concealment holster).
    THEN……Im in the gun store here looking around & I see this Blackhawk IWB holster for $12.
    Im thinking ,”yea ,right”. It must be a dud for sure.
    A guy in the store told me GOOD things about it because he had one ,so I bought it.
    I go home and slip the Ruger P95 in it & Wa~La……….Comfortable,stays anywhere you place it,well balanced on the hip and under a shirt it is VERY concealed.
    I was told a P95 is too much gun to conceal. Well with this Blackhawk IWB holster, THEY were wrong!I wear it with Jeans, Shorts and EVEN house jammys with the draw string pulled & tied.
    I love this holster! I’m gonna get another before you guys realize how good & CHEAP priced they are!
    Great review by the way!

  4. BoogeyMan says:

    .and for us BIG boys, It works great even with our “12” pack abs! 🙂

  5. SnubbieFreak says:

    Good to see more folks appendix carry. I tried it out awhile back and have stuck with it. Very fast draw. I’m 6’2″ 185lbs and find it fairly comfortable, can go all day. Might I suggest you try moving it over to the right of your pants button though. You’re almost at a cross-draw position. The spot I’ve found most comfortable with my snubs is right side, between button and 1st belt loop in a straight drop holster. I clip the holster in at a slight angle, muzzle towards left leg, butt towards right hip. It lets the gun rest against the inside of my thigh when I’m sitting. ‘Course I haven’t tried this with an auto, but I’ve got a friend who carries his Sig the same way.

  6. drfaulken says:

    Hi SnubbieFreak,

    I’ll give that a try. I have moved on to a compact 1911 (Officer’s model) and we’ll see how that looks and feels. I do understand what you are saying about a cross-draw setup and I agree.

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. 🙂

  7. SnubbieFreak says:

    One thing I forgot to mention (I do that a lot). Buy pants 1 size larger in the waist than you need. I can wear 32 in jeans but I buy 34. Its amazing the amount of difference that makes in comfort. Picked that up back when I was carrying a CZ75 IWB on my hip a few years ago.
    Good luck with it. Nice blog too.

  8. Nathan says:

    Ive got a new model blackhawk 357 4-5/8 barrel
    bought uncle mikes #3 sidekick i think but it seems to swallow the gun about an inch or so to deep any suggestions i know they fit more than one type i was just wondering if you guys might have any suggestions. thanks much

  9. PRADAMRS says: