Holster Positioning – An Unpopular View

Holster positioning and corresponding equipment seem to be a topic that comes up often. Though this may appear to be common sense to some, not everyone is at the same level of experience. So let’s break this down in simple terms.

Positioning, attire, belt, and holster all work together as an effective system or an ineffective hindrance. Without a quality belt and quality holster, the position of your holster on your belt may not be as optimal as you would hope. If you don’t dress to carry, you might be doing yourself a disservice. Obviously we aren’t all built the same. Body types differ – this is all coming from a 6’5″ 250 lb person.

Starting from 6 o’clock (small of back) and moving the weapon to 12 o’clock (appendix), as you move forward from 6 to 12 you gain positive benefits.

Small of back does not provide awareness of the weapon (you don’t know if it is concealed), it prints horribly if you bend, it is slow to access, and it is difficult to defend. Even worse, it can cause serious injury if the wearer falls on their back.

Strongside provides better awareness of the weapon, it allows less printing but can widen the appearance of your body. Access is better and defense of the weapon is better with strong side.  This is a standard method of carrying and a widely accepted method with little comfort issues.

Due to the way our bodies move and bend, printing can be more of an issue with different carry methods. I found certain set ups printed worse at 4 o’clock than 3 o’clock when bending at the waist. See for yourself: Stand in front of a mirror with your gun at four o’clock and a shirt over it. Bend at the waist and observe the printing – you most likely can see the entire outline of the weapon. Do the same with the gun at three o’clock. Most likely you only see the grip poke through.

Appendix (which is the area from 11:00-1:00 o’clock) provides best awareness of the weapon, far less printing, the access to the weapon is fastest, defense of weapon is best. There are comfort issues for those who are not dressed for it and have not trained with it. Someone new to appendix may decide right off the bat it is too uncomfortable – it takes a little time to get used to it. The benefits are worth the efforts.

There are concerns of muzzling yourself with appendix, but proper technique and quality belt and holster seem to mitigate issues.

I am not even touching crossdraw.

I do primarily carry appendix and my current go to’s for quality belts are Ares Gear and Mean Gene Leather with my choice in appendix kydex holsters as Bawidamann, Keepers, and Raven Concealment Systems (in alphabetical order).

Hopefully this helps explain something you may have missed in other discussions about this topic.

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Matt Landfair
Lead Editor/Contributor at Primary & Secondary
Active Law Enforcement background since before the turn of the century in the middle of no where. Firearms instructor, armorer, hangs out at DARC, has attended numerous training courses including DARC, Follow Through Consulting, EAG, TMacs, and more boring mandatory popo training you can shake a stick at. He has written for RECOIL Magazine, Breach Bang Clear, Soldier Systems Daily and Monderno. Enjoys long walks on the beach, blah blah blah… Known as Matt Prime or Riafdnal in some circles.

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