Appendix carry and I don’t get along that well. We folk with a little extra padding around the midsection weren’t really designed to have a holster at the 12- or 1-o’clock positions. Appendix carry, however, is all the rage these days—and for good reasons. First, accessing a handgun carried in the appendix position is substantially faster than one on the hip. Second, it is easier to keep a larger pistol concealed in appendix carry, as the location is generally less likely to cause printing through a light cover garment like a T-shirt. But neither of those advantages had convinced me to endure the slight discomfort (while seated) owing to my excess girth nor to psychologically prepare myself for walking around with a loaded handgun pointed at me twig and berries. That is, until I attended the launch of Safariland’s newest CCW holster, which doubled as a modified training course at Haley Strategic Partners (HSP) in Scottsdale, AZ.
First off, the location was not chosen because it was a training enterprise that happened to be available at a convenient time. No, Safariland partnered with HSP—led by renowned firearms trainer Travis Haley, whose resume is too impressive to recite here so just look him up—to design the new IncogX holster. This AIWB rig features a suede-coated-polymer body that is extremely comfortable against skin, particularly the sensitive skin beneath the appendix-carry position. It has a detachable single-magazine carrier that keeps a reload on hand and readily available, and its polymer clips are unobtrusive, yet offer positive belt retention. Another nice feature is a tool-free, adjustable wedge to help the rig conform to the curve of your body, providing additional comfort, concealment and ease of access to the handgun. The whole rig goes on and comes off the belt with minimal effort or contortion, making it an ideal system for everyday carry. Oh, it also fits pistols with MRDS optics attached.
The model I had at the event and for testing afterward was designed for a light-bearing Glock G19. At the HSP facility, we were issued modified G19s with an array of Streamlight and SureFire weaponlights for use on HSP’s D7 Disruptive Performance Simulators. Basically giant projection TVs, the system allows for scenario-based training indoors without the use of live ammunition. Handguns modified with C02 cartridges where the magazine would normally be provide a reasonable facsimile of live fire, as the slide reciprocates when the trigger is pulled. A laser beam serves as the “projectile,” and an array of sensors hooked up to computers provide instant feedback as to where the laser (and therefore the likely point-of-impact of a bullet) hits (or misses) the target. To begin we performed an eye-opening drill where we were told to draw and fire in 5 seconds.
Five seconds? That sounds easy, but the point of the drill was to take all 5 seconds to draw and shoot—it was a time standard, not a time limit; we were trying to break the shot at exactly the 5-second mark. This is actually much more difficult than it sounds, as we normally strive to get the gun out and on target as quickly as possible, which is always less than 5 seconds. What it did, however, was force you to slow down and work on perfecting every aspect of your presentation. After we aced (or at least satisfactorily performed) the 5-second draw, the time was reduced to 4 seconds, then 3, then 2, then 1.5 and finally 1 second. As someone with a fair amount of experience with a Glock G19, the drill was both challenging and extremely helpful in eliminating wasted movement and focusing the mind on perfecting presentation.
From there, we moved to a 300-degree simulator with scenarios ranging from active shooters to muggings to carjackings and more. As an added twist, students were fitted with a modified stun-gun attached to our belts at the small of the back—if we were to get “shot” by the bad guys in the on-screen scenario, we’d know it. That additional pain motivation adds significant stress to the training to at least somewhat mimic that one might experience in a real-life encounter with an armed assailant, and from experience, I can vouch for both the added stress and, because I got “shot,” the desire to not be zapped by a stun gun, much less shot by an actual gun.
You might notice that in my description of the training, I have yet to mention the IncogX. That’s because it was so comfortable, I barely noticed it was there. The holster supports even a medium-size handgun with an attached weaponlight with aplomb, and makes both access and concealment a cinch. While on the expensive side at $120 with the side mag pouch, ($90 without it), this might be the finest AIWB rig available and makes appendix carry an attractive option, even for someone who hasn’t fallen in love with that method. While the initial launch includes fits for the Glock G19, expect models for other handguns to follow rapidly.