5.11 Tactical AIWB holster

This is a discussion on 5.11 Tactical AIWB holster within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Was wondering if anybody has tried out the 5.11 Tactical AIWB polymer holster? Looks similar to a lot of the other kydex aiwb holsters out ...

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Thread: 5.11 Tactical AIWB holster

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    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    5.11 Tactical AIWB holster

    Was wondering if anybody has tried out the 5.11 Tactical AIWB polymer holster? Looks similar to a lot of the other kydex aiwb holsters out there but significantly less expensive. Is this one of those situations where you get what you pay for or is it a viable option? Is there a big difference between kydex and polymer is it the same stuff?

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    Never tried one. They are made by Bladetech, who I happen to be a fan of, but based on the elements that I feel are needed for successful AIWB carry, I don't think I'd try it. Plus I don't care for those sort of clips.

    I guess it's not a huge waste of money if it doesn't work well, so if you look at it that way, then maybe it'd be worth a try. I think I'd be more apt to spend more and go with something that has a reputation for being a solid AIWB choice, but that's just me.
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    Senior Member Array tmoore912's Avatar
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    For what model gun would you be using it with?

    If it's a sub-compact size weapon, then I would recommend you buy the holster for at least the compact or full size version of the gun you have. The longer the holster you can tolerate, the better and more stable the holster will ride. Short AIWB holsters usually want to tilt out over the belt and print badly, because most of the weight and leverage is above the belt. All my appendix holsters for my Glocks are made for G17 length even though I might carry a G19 or G26 in it.

    The position of the belt clip seems to be a little high, which will cause the grip of the gun to be very close to the beltline. This can delay a good initial grip and fast draw. On the flip side, the belt clip will probably allow the holster to rotate a little bit for more comfort while sitting. It is also good that the holster is stiff and has a reinforced mouth opening so it doesn't close when you draw your weapon. This makes for a safer re-holster.

    I have no experience with this holster, but have been carrying AIWB for years.
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    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    I was hoping you two would stop by. dben002's thread about the issues he was having with the ride height of his G26 in an Old Faithful holster and your responses are what prompted this thread. I have an Old Faithful belly holster on the way for my P95 figuring if it worked for that pistol then it would definitely work for the G26 I plan on getting in the next few months. dben's thread has me nervous though that it's not a great option at all so I'm looking into actual AIWB holsters. Like dben, I'm nervous about forking over a bunch of money for a holster that may or may not work which lead to the search for an "economy" holster. If I have to pay out some decent cash for a Shaggy/Archangel/Keeper/etc. then I will, but thought I'd put some feelers out on this less expensive option.

    Now on to your responses...

    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Never tried one. They are made by Bladetech, who I happen to be a fan of, but based on the elements that I feel are needed for successful AIWB carry, I don't think I'd try it. Plus I don't care for those sort of clips.

    I guess it's not a huge waste of money if it doesn't work well, so if you look at it that way, then maybe it'd be worth a try. I think I'd be more apt to spend more and go with something that has a reputation for being a solid AIWB choice, but that's just me.
    TX, I'm curious what features this holster is missing that you like to see in an AIWB setup. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by tmoore912 View Post
    For what model gun would you be using it with?

    If it's a sub-compact size weapon, then I would recommend you buy the holster for at least the compact or full size version of the gun you have. The longer the holster you can tolerate, the better and more stable the holster will ride. Short AIWB holsters usually want to tilt out over the belt and print badly, because most of the weight and leverage is above the belt. All my appendix holsters for my Glocks are made for G17 length even though I might carry a G19 or G26 in it.

    The position of the belt clip seems to be a little high, which will cause the grip of the gun to be very close to the beltline. This can delay a good initial grip and fast draw. On the flip side, the belt clip will probably allow the holster to rotate a little bit for more comfort while sitting. It is also good that the holster is stiff and has a reinforced mouth opening so it doesn't close when you draw your weapon. This makes for a safer re-holster.

    I have no experience with this holster, but have been carrying AIWB for years.
    I have heard the holster length tip before so I was looking at the G19 holster for the G26 I plan on getting. As far as the ride height, while I don't want it to be quite as low as dben's pictures showed his riding in the other thread, I have a little bit of a belly so I'm wondering if a lower ride would be more comfortable/concealable for me?
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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmoore912 View Post
    For what model gun would you be using it with?

    If it's a sub-compact size weapon, then I would recommend you buy the holster for at least the compact or full size version of the gun you have. The longer the holster you can tolerate, the better and more stable the holster will ride. Short AIWB holsters usually want to tilt out over the belt and print badly, because most of the weight and leverage is above the belt. All my appendix holsters for my Glocks are made for G17 length even though I might carry a G19 or G26 in it.

    The position of the belt clip seems to be a little high, which will cause the grip of the gun to be very close to the beltline. This can delay a good initial grip and fast draw. On the flip side, the belt clip will probably allow the holster to rotate a little bit for more comfort while sitting. It is also good that the holster is stiff and has a reinforced mouth opening so it doesn't close when you draw your weapon. This makes for a safer re-holster.

    I have no experience with this holster, but have been carrying AIWB for years.
    Deja Vu.........................but seriously..listen to these two gentlemen they are very experienced and knowledgeable about AIWB and have convinced me that a holster designed specifically for AIWB and firm is the way to go...Can't speak for this holster as I am going through AIWB specific carry holsters currently and these guys have been a big help....
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJC7 View Post
    I was hoping you two would stop by. dben002's thread about the issues he was having with the ride height of his G26 in an Old Faithful holster and your responses are what prompted this thread. I have an Old Faithful belly holster on the way for my P95 figuring if it worked for that pistol then it would definitely work for the G26 I plan on getting in the next few months. dben's thread has me nervous though that it's not a great option at all so I'm looking into actual AIWB holsters. Like dben, I'm nervous about forking over a bunch of money for a holster that may or may not work which lead to the search for an "economy" holster. If I have to pay out some decent cash for a Shaggy/Archangel/Keeper/etc. then I will, but thought I'd put some feelers out on this less expensive option.

    Now on to your responses...



    TX, I'm curious what features this holster is missing that you like to see in an AIWB setup. Thanks!



    I have heard the holster length tip before so I was looking at the G19 holster for the G26 I plan on getting. As far as the ride height, while I don't want it to be quite as low as dben's pictures showed his riding in the other thread, I have a little bit of a belly so I'm wondering if a lower ride would be more comfortable/concealable for me?
    On your question to me:

    Basically a good AIWB is going to have some design elements to keep the pistol positioned against your upper mid torso. A wedge or armature that helps push the upper part of the gun in, or the lower part of the gun out, helps hold it in the correct spot. That holster has neither, as far as I can tell; but obviously I could be incorrect beceuse I'm just looking at at from a limited number of angles.

    On your question to tmoore:

    Lower riding is fine as long as it isn't too low to prohibit a solid grip on the pistol when you need to present it; if you can't get fingers around the grip, then it's too low. One thing on a belly, and I obviously have no idea how much a "bit" is, but the more you have pushing that gun out of the proper position, the harder it is going to be to carry it successfully. I don't really know how much gut is too much, but I could see how it would interfere with the comfort and concealment of the AIWB position, so you'll have to judge that one for yourself.

    It may be worth a shot, especially if you can find a coupon code or something that'll get you a discount. Lots of places sell 5.11 stuff so that should be pretty easy to find and then you could always sell it and get a little of your investment back if it's a bust.
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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    took the liberty of trying to illustrate where this holster will ride on your belt......not good in MHO....way to low...no grip.....

    50102-50103_019_Alternate4.jpg50102-50103_019_Alternate4.png
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    Yeah, I just looked at it again and that M&P looks like it'd be way too low. Plus I don't want a flashlight stuck down my pants like that

    The actual Bladetech one doesn't appear to sit the firearm that low, but even it doesn't look like it's got very much clearance.

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    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    I'm just going to have to spend $65+ aren't I? lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJC7 View Post
    I'm just going to have to spend $65+ aren't I? lol
    Well look at it this way, as long as you aren't looking to pack a 7.5" Ruger Redhawk AIWB, you should be able to sell any of the popular holsters fairly easy.
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    Senior Member Array tmoore912's Avatar
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    The Kydex AIWB holsters that are hot these days with guys that really want to carry Appendix (regardless of body type: slim/fat/pudgy) all the time and do a decent amount of training are The Keeper, Dark Star Gear and JM Custom Kydex. All three of those makers have design elements that help fit different body types.

    Those design features are:

    Adjustable ride height up or down
    Wedge design at the belt attachment point that tucks in the grip of medium to full size guns
    They will not make their holster as short as a sub-compact gun. (This is a big clue)
    Ability to attach foam wedges on the back side of the holster. This aids in concealment and in making the re-holster safer.

    The over all shape of the holster is important also. Ideally the bottom of the holster will be as narrow as possible and as long as possible. The narrowness helps when the wearer wants to bring it over as far as possible on the belt line and not stab himself in the leg. (Toward the 3:00 or 9:00 position). Usually chubby guys carrying AIWB want the gun as far away from the centerline as they can get it, because that is where their gut is located. Skinnier guys usually, but not always, want the gun to ride closer to the centerline where it conceals better. All the edges on the holster have nice comfortable round edges. Multiple belt attachments.
    Last edited by tmoore912; July 19th, 2013 at 08:28 AM.
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    And you most certainly couldn't go wrong with any of those that he mentioned; from either a well designed holster perspective or a resale value if it doesn't work for you perspective.
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    AIWB from a fat guy's perspective:

    I am 5'10" and 265lbs. I have a gut. I carry a Glock 17 in an archangel and I carry it right at 12:00. The gun actually sits under my gut, as that is where my pants sit. It is only uncomfortable if I am driving or sitting for extended periods of time (like several hours). If I am driving I can position the gun to be over my gut and that makes it more comfortable but unless I am going to be driving for a long time I don't worry about it. Wearing your belt loose really helps make AIWB comfortable. It allows the gun and holster to move with you as you walk, and I find with appendix carry you don't have to have your belt cinched super tight to hold everything up like with strongside carry. I use a wilderness tactical 5 stitch belt, the infinite adjustability of these types of belts really makes it easy to find a good spot to provide just enough tension.


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    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    Great info, guys! Tmoore, I'll look into the holsters you mentioned. Thanks!
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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Yeah, I just looked at it again and that M&P looks like it'd be way too low. Plus I don't want a flashlight stuck down my pants like that

    The actual Bladetech one doesn't appear to sit the firearm that low, but even it doesn't look like it's got very much clearance.

    Appendix IWB Holster
    I might have to give the Bladetech a closer look....the clearance looks not bad to my eye.....

    X0005-4697.jpg
    There are two types of people who carry concealed weapons...Responsible ones and Irresponsible ones...which are you...

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