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Criteria for Selecting Your Holster: A Review of the Alien Gear In-the-Waistband Holster

Alien Gear IWB Hybrid Holster with Springfield EMP

Alien Gear IWB Hybrid Holster with Springfield EMP

What do you look for in a holster? What are the key factors to consider? Several are interested in the Alien Gear (AG) In-the-Waistband (IWB) hybrid (leather and kydex) holster for concealed carry and I have been asked to review it. So I want to give you the factors I use for assessing holsters in general and apply them to my review and evaluation of the AG IWB holster. I am glad to research, use, and evaluate it, even though I usually do not carry IWB. This should help my objectivity and critical analysis. You see I am horizontally-width challenged. OK, I admit I am chunky in the middle (i.e. gut) and mostly carry in an Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) holster with a cover garment. Over the many years, I have never carried IWB and read and heard stories about how uncomfortable it is, how you have to buy your pants in a much larger size, the resulting sloppy and baggy appearance, how it collapses on re-holstering, and pinches at your sides. I will put aside those pre-disposed biases and try to learn some things, while helping you and myself with my report.

An IWB holster sits inside the waistband of your pants against your body. The holster has a clip or two that attach to your belt to keep the holster from slipping. The idea is that only the handgun’s butt will be partially exposed under your garment just above the waistline, for better concealability. Needless to say since your life could very well depend on having a reliable holster that effectively performs under all conditions, it is very important to critically know your requirements up front and then objectively evaluate IWB holsters. There is a tendency for most of us to heavily weigh the cost factor of a holster, sometimes to the exclusion of other key factors. This could be a potentially deadly mistake. Less is not always or even often better. So the caution is to first objectively define all your requirements and expectations up front and then carefully evaluate each factor for each holster option.

Well, does an IWB holster really work for you… or me? If so, which one to select? What about the Alien Gear (AG) IWB holster specifically? What are some criteria to evaluate the AG IWB holster, what are its pros and cons, does it meet your criteria, and what are some things to consider. BOTTOM LINE: Is the AG IWB holster for you? I will give you my criteria, my ideas about the AG IWB, and my recommendation about it to help you with your decision, as I go through my review process. I certainly do not have all the answers for IWB holsters and what works for me may not work for you. Your personal decision according to your factors and priorities.

Alien Gear IWB Hybrid Holster and Replaceable Kydex Shell with Colt XSE

Alien Gear IWB Hybrid Holster and Replaceable Kydex Shell with Colt XSE

First there are very many IWB holsters and lately several hybrid ones, made by classic holster manufacturers as well as many new companies. So, I cannot list them all and don’t know them all even. Probably like you, I have a big storage container filled with many holsters that I don’t use. It seems we buy several holsters, try them, and end up with the one that meets our personal criteria for each of our guns, purpose, and carry method.

Some IWB holsters are tuckable in some form and sometimes “IWB” is synonymous with a “tuckable” holster, since they fit securely inside your pants or shorts, with a minimal amount of space between the holster’s clip and the holster itself. So you can carry your handgun and “tuck” your shirt into the vacant space. With a tuckable holster, your handgun and holster are entirely covered by your shirt and there is another attachment that provides a folded configuration to help to tuck in your shirt. This flap, clip, or curved hook comes into contact with the inside lining of the pants or waistband. It may even be supported by the belt with clips. The configuration device or clip is longer and attaches to the holster at the bottom. Imagine a V shape with one side the holster and the other side the clip. The top of the clip attaches to your belt and your shirt goes into the V and bunches up some. By the way, you can buy dress pants, cargo pants and shorts, 5.11 pants and shorts, and others with an elastic or expandable waistband. For us horizontally-width challenged folks, these are the best idea since sliced bread for IWB holster carry. While I don’t need to tuck my shirts in often, it is nice to have the option of doing so just in case. Most holsters have tuckable versions that are otherwise identical to the standard IWB non-tuckable version.

Just some of the current manufacturers that I am aware of include the usual holster makers like Galco, Comp-Tac, Crossbreed, Remora, Blackhawk, Blade-Tech, Don Hume, Milt-Sparks, Alessi, Desantis, Bianchi, Gould, Tucker, High Noon, and Uncle Mikes. There are also newer companies like Alien Gear, Foxx, Hidden Hybrid Holsters, Whitehat Holsters, N82 Tactical Holsters, etc. Many more and most offer IWB holsters. Because an IWB holster is recognized by many as one of the best ways to conceal a handgun, they are very popular now and a wide variety of choices exist.

So with the plethora of IWB holster options, what are my criteria and things to consider for evaluating the AG IWB? They can also be used for selecting holsters in general. First, I will give you my criteria and considerations. Then I will compare the AG IWB holster to each criterion using a 10-point scale to evaluate each one. For each factor, a “10” rating is the best, a “0” the worst, and a “5” a mid-level rating. I’m trying to be as objective and rational as possible, realizing we all have different goals, needs, and priorities. You probably have your own and other factors and that is fine. Also, we each will usually weigh each factor more or less than another because this is a very personal evaluation and selection process. Here are my 10 Criteria for Selecting a Holster, not in any order:

1. QUALITY MADE: What is the material and is the holster constructed with quality? Is the leather of premium quality and genuine leather? What weights are the leather and kydex? Will they stand up to your use, wear and tear, and is it appropriate for your use without impairing performance and mechanical function? (Note- Some exotic leathers like Ostrich, Shark, or Lizard skin may look great, but may not not hold up for constant rough field use.) What is its thickness and durability? Are the rivets, clips, grommets, snaps, buckles, rings, and metal parts strong, rustproof, and quality made? Does it have a sweat shield or skin guard? Is it a reputable company? What type of warranty or guarantee does it have? Consider the holster’s weight and bulk. Is the holster designed to minimize the amount of leather needed to hold and protect the gun, thus reducing weight and bulk of the holster.

Alien Gear Iron-Clad Triple Guarantee

Alien Gear Iron-Clad Triple Guarantee

2. ALL DAY COMFORT: How comfortable is this holster style during each of the different physical positions; walking, bending, sitting, standing, and twisting? Can you wear it while driving? Can you wear it for the entire day comfortably and not even know that you are wearing it?

3. CONCEALMENT: Does the holster perform as required for the effective concealed carry purpose? How well does the holster hide the handgun during every-day body motions, like walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, reaching, etc.? Imagine wearing the holster during these different movements. Is there a cant and angle adjustment for the holster, to provide better concealment and comfort?

4. ADAPTABILITY & FIT: Can this holster be used for different handguns… or with a Laser sight or light? How versatile is it? The safety features of a holster very much require that the holster be engineered and designed for each specific manufacture and model of handgun. Are there modifications available or additions that adapt to other handguns? What are the approximate costs of these adaptations? Is the shooter’s gun properly fitted for this holster. Does the handgun insert so deep in the holster that the gun grips cannot be properly accessed? Does the gun jam so tight into the holster that it takes two hands to draw it or can you draw the gun easily with one hand?

5. PRICE: What is its total price relative to other options available now? Do you get any special features, options, warranties, guarantees, repair service, or additions that are worth something? Can you return it without any questions and within what time period? Will they repair or replace it for free? Do you get what you pay for?

6. SAFETY: How well does the holster provide protection to the handgun during insertion into or removal from the holster or while being carried that will:

A. prevent accidental trigger movement;
B. prevent accidental disengagement of the safety mechanism;
C. prevent forward or rearward movement of the hammer?

7. EASE OF REHOLSTERING & ACCESS: Can you reach your handgun quickly in an emergency or while sitting in your vehicle? A rigid holster will allow a handgun to be returned to it using only one hand, while a flexible one may collapse after the gun is drawn, requiring the use of both hands to reholster. How easy is it to access your weapon and use the holster while walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, etc.?

8. EASE OF PUTTING ON & TAKING OFF: Can you simply and easily put the holster on and take it off? Consider if you will be putting this holster on and taking it off throughout the day and under what conditions. Must it be removed for taking care of personal needs in public restrooms? If so, can you do it safely and easily?

9. ACCOMMODATIONS: Can you wear both open or closed cover garments with the holster? Do you have to wear special clothing or make accommodations in dress or draw when wearing and using this holster? Is a cover vest or larger trousers required to hide the holster and handgun?

10. RETENTION: Does the holster retain the handgun adequately? Is the holster snug when fitted on a gun belt for a consistent and fast draw and to reduce draw resistance? Is the gun secure in the holster? A holster designed with solid retention will help prevent a gun from being removed from the holster by another.

My Evaluation of the AG IWB Holster

To simplify, I will list my 10 Criteria and then beside each factor give my rating and brief comments. My final buy or not buy Recommendation will then be given at the end. Remember, just my opinions. Here we go.

1. QUALITY MADE: 10

Holster Features & Comparison to Some Competition- from Alien Gear Website

Holster Features & Comparison to Some Competition- from Alien Gear Website

Premium leather and tough kydex. Just the appropriate amount of thickness for strength and durability. Well-made, certainly for the reasonable price of $29.88. Metal grommets, clips, & parts appear strong and well-made.

Alien Gear IWB Holster- Back View

Alien Gear IWB Holster- Back View

The holster’s finish was hard, durable and at least for this time did not scratch the gun. Certainly all holsters will cause finish wear on standard finishes through regular holstering and drawing, but finish like this holster has will stand up to constant wear pretty good.

2. ALL DAY COMFORT: 10

I gave it a thorough test for a week with everyday routine wear. The leather was wide enough to spread out the contact of my body with the holster for comfort and freedom. The sweat-proof leather and shield helped. It was small by design which allowed it to ride smoothly with my motions or change in body position. I found it to be very satisfactory when bending over, walking, sitting, crawling under things, lifting, and exercising. Frankly, I was not expecting this and am very impressed with the holster. After only a day or so, I honestly did not even know it was there. Comfortable for this non-IWB holster (previously) wearer. I will wear IWB holsters more now, along with my OWB holsters. I like this one and the IWB option now. Alien Gear gives a “30-day test drive” so you try it for 30 days and “if you don’t agree that it’s the most comfortable and concealable holster you’ve ever owned, we’ll buy it back, no questions asked.”

3. CONCEALMENT: 10

Alien Gear Holsters

This IWB holster hid my 2 handguns (Springfield EMP and Colt XSE) when I wore each gun separately during every-day activities and movements. See above. Often, I wore just a t-shirt and my gun was very concealed, even for this chunky guy and the commander-sized Colt. Under my safari camp or guayabera shirts, my body motions, like walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, reaching, etc. were not detectable according to my wife. It worked. The holster has 3 adjustment holes for customization for better concealment and comfort? I could adjust the cant angle, height of the holster relative to my waistband, and the tension. The holster molded to my body after about 2 days and the curve of my body with the holster put tension against my gun for better retention. It is a tuckable IWB holster.

Belt Clip

Belt Clip

4. ADAPTABILITY & FIT: 9

Kydex Shell for Colt XSE Commander .45

Kydex Shell for Colt XSE Commander .45

The leather holster was available with a kydex shell to fit my second gun for about $13. They have many shells to fit about any gun that I could think of. This gave me the flexibility of adapting the basic leather holster to a different shell that exactly fit both my guns. One extra shell free would have been better, but having the option is nice. I appreciate this adaptability and molded fit to each gun.

5. PRICE: 10
What can I say? $29.88 is a very fair and competitive price for this rig. Other similar hybrid rigs I found ranged from $39 to over $100. Some had horsehide and other premium leathers and thicknesses, but this holster was excellent for the price and workmanship.

6. SAFETY: 9
This holster provided more than adequate safety protection for the handgun and nearby people when presenting/drawing and removing the gun into and out of the holster. Your carry gun must be protected and free from negligent discharge or movement of the hammer especially when drawn and re-holstered. Your personal safety is greatly affected by what you pack, how you pack it, and where you carry it. This holster was designed appropriately to permit sufficient hand grasp of the gun when it was holstered so the hand grip would not have to be modified. I was able to keep my trigger finger straight along the outside of the holster easily and to grip the gun quickly and correctly to prevent negligent discharges, accidental trigger movement, and without accidental disengagement of the manual safety or hammer movement. There did seem to be a slight excess amount of leather near the butt of the gun which only very slightly hampered my full grasp and could be a safety concern, but not likely. A very small amount of trimming can be done to fix this easily.

7. EASE OF REHOLSTERING & ACCESS: 9
It was easy to reach and draw my handgun quickly and to re-holster it without looking or using two-hands after just a short practice time, even though I had not used an IWB holster previously. There should not be a problem in an emergency or even when sitting in an automobile. The mouth and holster is sufficiently rigid to allow a handgun to be returned to it using only one hand. It does require practice, but not a significant concern at all.

8. EASE OF PUTTING ON & TAKING OFF: 9
This was a challenge for me, as a previous non-IWB holster user, and I don’t believe I am a slow learner. Now don’t quote me on this, but It took me quite awhile over several days to get the hang of dropping my drawers, putting and positioning the holster inside my pants, getting the right location at 4 to 5:00 o’clock and cant, and just putting the holster on and taking it off. Do this without the gun in the holster! I get scared thinking what if I had to do this quickly and under stress or having to adjust and maybe do this when using the restroom. Could I do this safely kept coming into my mind. Practice I guess is the answer.

9. ACCOMMODATIONS: 10
Without a doubt, you can wear both open and closed cover garments with this holster and not have a concealment or operational problem. There is no design problem that would prevent using any type of coat, shirt, sweater, zippered jacket, or any garment with this holster. No special clothing or extra accommodations in dress or draw needed when using this holster? I did find that buying my pants a size larger did help with concealment, comfort, and my peace of mind in using it in every way. Just my idiosyncrasies, no problem.

10. RETENTION: 9

The holster did retain my handgun adequately? The pressure of my body pushing against the holster actually tightened up the retention and made it more secure in the holster when I wore it. Although when the holster was not in my waistband, the handgun repeatedly fell out of the holster when I turned it upside down. But who is going to stand on their head with their gun holstered? Also, a very good belt over top of the gun and strong clips are both integral for retention. C-hooks offer even a lower profile on the belt to make the handgun more concealable. The holster was snug and helped to reduce draw resistance because of its construction and my good gun belt.

OVERALL RECOMMENDATION:
Total Points: 95 points out of 100 possible = 95% = RECOMMENDED.

I hope my process, this analysis and review help you to identify your criteria and evaluate your individual factors to select the best holster for your purpose, needs and priorities.

Continued success!

Photos by author with some from AlienGearHolsters.com.

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.

© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.

About Col (Dr) Benjamin Findley

Col Ben is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services weapons training, Special Ops duty at various bases, and is Air Force qualified as “Expert” in small arms. Ben is an NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, FL Concealed Carry License Instructor, Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network Affiliated Instructor, and USA Carry Registered Instructor and has been teaching many years.

Contact him for reasonably-priced firearms training for small groups or individuals in Pensacola or at your location, including courses in NRA Basic Pistol Shooting, Fundamentals of Firearms Shooting & Safety, Basics of Firearms Self-Defense for Women, and FL Concealed Carry License training at ColBen@FloridaHandgunsTraining.com. Visit his website at FloridaHandgunsTraining.com for details.

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  • Bill

    I have had an AG holster for about a month and a half now. The only thing I didn’t like at first was the extra time it took to put on. I’ve gotten used to that and live the holster. The only drawback is if you are needing to remove and put on the holster regularly throughout the day (going to court or prohibited government buildings) than this may not be the holster for you. Otherwise I can highly recommend it. I have also written a review on my Facebook page at NationWatch Protective Advisors. Thanks Colonel.

    • randy gilbert

      I’VE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE GOING IN AND OUT OF GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS AND OTHER PLACES THAT DON’T ALLOW CONCEALED CARRY. I JUST TAKE THE GUN OUT AND LOCK IT IN THE DASH OF MY CAR AND GO ON INTO THE BUILDING WEARING JUST THE HOLSTER….NO PROBLEMS… THE GUN CAN’T GO, BUT THE CONCEALED HOLSTER ISN’T A WEAPON AND IS PERMISSABLE TO WEAR ANYWHERE. I HAVE BOUGHT FOUR OF THESE HOLSTERS, TWO FOR FRIENDS AND TWO FOR ME. I LOVE THEM. I WILL NEVER HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER HOLSTER AGAIN, THANKS TO THE WARRANTY AND COMFORT.

  • Blogengeezer

    Thank you for the review Col. I noted this gear a while back and was curious about it’s details. You answered my questions. The two clip feature looks good, but the fast placement without removing the apparel, as you describe, was only a bit of a learning curve? My IWB is currently a Cordura, that I have modified with strategically placed, wide nylon pallet strapping inserts, to ‘slickify’ draw and re-holster, while retaining shape. Only possibly visible section has the word Verizon, to mislead anyone that questions the visible part of the device. ‘Reach out and touch someone”? “Can you hear me now”? :>)

  • michaelwloos

    Thanks for the review. I have a Crossbreed supertuck and I was wondering if there was a discernible difference for the price. It sounds like a winner!

    As far as placement of the IWB holster, I lay my pants or jeans on the bed, slip the holster into its place and then feed my belt thru. Takes about 30 seconds. I wear it at 3:00 and easily slip it forward or back, before tightening my belt, to fine tune it.

    Thanks again, Colonel!

  • Fat Hubie

    Surprising that no one has figured out that the hooks can go behind the belt…

    • Pat

      Kinda, but not really. Notice the inward curve at the bottom of the hook designed to curve around and hold against a belt. You don’t get the same hold against the fabric of the waistband. Some holsters do indeed have a J-hook designed to go behind the belt with the J holding against the underside of the belt. The problem I have found with this design is normal movements sometimes cause the holster to shift downward, disconnecting the J. This opens the door to the nasty surprise of drawing gun and holster simultaneously. It also leads to the nasty habit of unconsciously reaching for the hook over and over to make sure it hasn’t shifted. I find no need to “check” my CrossBreed [similar design to AG].

      • Duane Hakala

        You can also look at some of the different belt hooks available. Normal and J-hooks, C-hooks which ride behind the belt and have an ear that fits top and bottom but does not cover the outside of the belt and V-hooks that are used with a Velcro lined belt. V-hooks are probably the most concealed but do require a belt with a velcro strip on the inside.

        Comp-tac has several mounting options for their holsters. Not sure about universal compatibility but it is generally just a Chicago screw.

      • Sights On Solutions (S.O.S)

        Pat, I know you can go to Crossbreed and order the hooks you desire and use them for the Alien Gear holster as they are interchangeable…I have the Crossbreed for the past 8 years and have worn it daily in the course of my job. At the time, it was the original IWB holster design that we now see copied throughout the industry today…and for good reason! I had to send my holster back to Crossbreed last week b/c the kydex cracked after 8 years of daily wear. I am happy to say that I received a brand new one back, no questions asked, in less than 7 days! The AG IWB appears to be of the same quality and cheaper (half the price) at that! As they are now a formidable company much like Crossbreed, I have to believe that they will stand behind their product, like CB has.

  • wbedwards

    I just received my AG IWB and am in the process of breaking it in. I
    have just about every IWB holster out there and have a couple of
    favorites. A small company American Holsters makes a top premium holster
    that not only wears well but is a very nice looking addition pricey but
    worth it, they are made from premium leather and the custom build time
    is around 5-6 months. My wife calls it my Sunday Go To Meeting holster,
    whatever that means.
    My first IWB was a Crossbreed and I purchased
    it about 6 or 7 years ago, which back then there were a small number of
    IWB holsters on the market. I CC nearly everyday and quality and safety
    as well comfort are what I look for as most IWB’s have similar features.
    There are so many quality IWB out there that it comes down to personal
    choice. I have over a dozen IWB and except for a couple would be able to
    carry each of them without reservation. I enjoyed your in depth and
    review and breakdown of the 10 categories you used in your process. The
    price point of the AG Holster really caught my eye and I am now wearing
    it for the next few weeks but it’s surprisingly comfortable and the
    quality is as well
    Keep up the good work I always look forward to your articles, reviews and analysis.

    • Sights On Solutions (S.O.S.)

      My experience exactly…I have the Crossbreed for the past 8 years and have worn it daily in the course of my job. At the time, it was the original IWB holster design that we now see copied throughout the industry today…and for good reason! I had to send my holster back to Crossbreed last week b/c the kydex cracked after 8 years of daily wear. I am happy to say that I received a brand new one back, no questions asked, in less than 7 days! The AG IWB appears to be of the same quality and cheaper (half the price) at that! As they are now a formidable company much like Crossbreed, I have to believe that they will stand behind their product, like CB has.

  • Gene

    I’ve had an AG IWB for my Ruger SR40 for around 8+ months now and it has been my go-to holster for ccw and the SR40…it is comfortable, retains the guns well, and overall I’d rate it high as well. The one issue I have had is a retaining screw loosening up to the point it fell out at the end of the day when I was getting ready for sleep. They do send extra hardware with the holster when they send them out but I suggest keeping an eye on this issue.

    • RedRiverD

      A tiny drop of removable “lock tite” should alleviate that concern.

      • Gene

        ^…Good idea…make sure and use the “mild” version though as the tension has needed to be adjusted as the leather/gun/kydex/your body get formed to one another.

        • RedRiverD

          Right on Gene,
          That is why I said “removable” that is the LIGHT version of Lock Tite.
          Thanks for the comments though, I look forward to others.

          • Gene

            I am more familiar with the red and blue versions in my racing applications which is why I was adding emphasis to the comments, they are all removable at varying degrees of difficulty ;)

          • RedRiverD

            Hey Gene,
            It is so refreshing to comment with people that ACTUALLY know what they are talking about, unlike most political sights. Thanks for the follow-up comments as you are 100% accurate…..And I can never remember which (red or blue) is the lighter version as my bottles have no more print on them because I use them so much…..

          • Gene

            I believe there’s a purple colored one that is more easily removed. ..the red is a more permanent version, the blue is the one I’ve used most. Been racing for 30 years now, only been into the gun culture for around four years now. ..still a lot to learn! Thanks for your input!

  • cn2myiz

    Criteria number 4 about fit included the use of a laser sight. Will this holster accomodate a pistol with a laser sight on the rail?

    • hillking2010

      When you order the holster you order it to fit your specific gun. They have kydex to fit a large number of guns, both standard and with crimson trace / lasermax lasers. I’ve had good experiences with them, so you may be able to contact them and have them make you a kydex shell that would accommodate your laser.

      I carry my Taurus 709 in an AG holster and I love it. I just had to get a set of replacement clips because I bent one and I didn’t have to pay a thing (not even shipping and handling) because of their great warranty.

  • Len C

    Hybrid Holster Easy-On Method

    I have hybrid type holsters for both my XDm 9mm 3.8 Compact and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. Many people comment that these hybrid holsters are a pain to put on and often mount them to their belts before putting on their pants for that reason. This is true, until
    you discover the simple method for installing these holsters that make them just as easy to put on as a single clip IWB holster.

    The key is that it is easier to pull your belt/waistband away from your body at the small of your back than it is at your hip where the holster would actually go. Here is the “Easy-On”
    method that I use for mounting my hybrid holsters:

    ** With the hand of your strong side, grasp the hybrid holster with your thumb inside the Kydex towards the front of the holster and your fingers on the outside of the Kydex. Position the index finger so that it is touching the leather.

    ** With the hand of your weak side, reach behind your back, slip your fingers inside the waistband and pull it out slightly.

    ** Insert the hybrid holster inside the waistband at the small of your back so that the top of the Kydex is slightly above the belt line.

    ** Slide the hybrid holster from the small of your back to the final side location using your thumb to drag it and your index and adjacent finger(s) to guide it into place.

    ** Grasp the front clip and slip it up and over the waistband and put it in place on the belt.

    ** In the same manner, grasp the back clip and put it on the belt.

    (Note: The AG IWBs have stand-off washers on the clips, which means that you have to be careful to not catch the stand-offs on your belt as you are slipping the clip over your belt.)

    And there you have it – a really easy way to put on a hybrid type holster without dropping your drawers.

    Enjoy!

  • RedRiverD

    I am ordering one right now…..

    • Robert Bush

      I am trying to find an IWB holster for my S&W 457. No one seems to make this one. Any suggestions?

      • RedRiverD

        From my understanding of calibers, this is a rather large gun to be trying to CCW. Might I suggest a smaller frame pistol!

  • Duane Hakala

    I carry a Commander sized 1911 in a Comp-tac Minotaur MTAC Holster. I picked up an Alien Gear for my XDs.
    Both are very comfortable. I noted that the AG is quite a bit wider than the MTAC even for the smaller pistol. I want to say over an inch wider. I tend to wear 7 loop BDU style pants with wider tunnel loops. This makes placement a little bit more finicky. Due to the width the 2 different holster have the pistol riding a couple of inches forward or backward depending on the placement. This can make a huge difference in comfort at the end of the day.
    And make sure you have a good belt.

  • Randy

    Excellent article, Colonel; one of the most complete I have seen on the topic of IWB holsters. A good belt is important to distribute the weight, and there are some very well made (but not inexpensive) belts on the market for carry purposes. Ease of reholstering is also more important than some might think, because it will be easier to practice drawing, and in particular allow you to get in more drawing repitions to develope muscle memory. Thanks for the article.

  • Michael Kunze

    One thing of note on most of these IWB holsters. Most of these brands offer steel clips. Be very careful as these can damage the seats in your vehicle (abraded the Crap out of my wife’s brand new leather seat with the edge that goes around the belt.) Very few offer an over the belt kydex option. I own a White Hat IWB and I ordered replacement kydex clips from another company to alleviate this for around 14 bucks.

    • Joseph Simeone

      AG also offers leather loops for $8, the loops snap on & off belt for easy on and off of holster.

  • Reloader54

    I just got myself a AG IWB. I wore it today without my firearm in it because I had to take my wife to the doctor this morning and I did not know if they would like me showing up with a gun on. I did find that it was comfy to wear without the firearm in it. When I got home I did try to holster my gun and I did have trouble doing it. I also think that it was also in part to it being new to me and It is the first IWB that I have had. I also think that I’m going to have to find the right location to wear it and the right tension and ride height for it so that I can reach it better. I’m also a little bit chucky side but I also have some arm movement issues as well and I’m going to have to work these issues out. But I did find that I could sit, walk, twist, and drive my car without any issues. I’m just going to have to work out some things. But for now I do like this holster from AG.

  • Larry Davis

    Good review. Specifics used by Col. Findley helped me decide. Ordered a holster from AlienGear. Now waiting. Told delay is 3-4 weeks. Seems long, but not as bad as other manufacturers. Will update this discussion when I have made an evaluation of my own.

    LTC, US Army (Retired)

  • mslady269

    Excellent review. I ordered one of these for my Baby Desert Eagle about 9 days ago, so I am just waiting for it to come. This was the only place I could find a decent holster for this pistol and at this price, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m hoping my experience is as positive as all the others I have read about.

  • Joe D.

    Based on this review, I did order an AG IWB holster for my Glock 42. Unfortunately I had a bad experience. First, the item appeared to be in-stock according to the product page on their website. However, when the confirmation email arrived it stated 4-6 weeks for production time. I don’t mind waiting, but the product page should express the lead time up-front, in my opinion.

    Once the holster arrived it was missing ordered accessories, the extra hardware, and my G42 (unmodified) would not fit properly in the holster. I reached out to the company via email, no response. Tried again, included pictures, no response. I’ll try to upload the pics to this post too, and you’ll see their G42 mold is simply not correct yet. Finally I just cancelled the charge via my credit card company.

    I initially chalked this up to just a bad day for them and still believed in the positive reviews, even though I was going a different direction… but then the following happened which has me questioning the company overall. I was emailed by AG a link to “review my new holster.” Okay, so I did so and explained everything just as I did here for you, in a professional yet honest manner. I submitted my feedback and the confirmation page stated it would be published shortly after review by a moderator. That was 8 days ago and its still not appeared on their website. In fact there are NO reviews at all for their Glock 42 holster despite it being available for a few months now. Seems fishy to me. I’m concerned their web content manager is filtering out any negative reviews to keep up their “5-star rating.” I could be way off base, but all of this was enough to turn me off to the product overall. I do appreciate them supporting USA Carry and Concealed Carry Magazine, and I hope they work out the bugs in their Kydex molds for the Glock 42. Maybe I’ll give them another chance sometime in the future. Thanks for reading.

  • Ike

    I love how obvious it is when a reviewer gets paid to test a product. Kinda hard to give an honest opinion when you getting paid to do it.