Mastermind Tactics: Purpose Built AIWB Holsters
All of our holsters are purpose built, dedicated AIWB holsters, as such they have a number of unique features which allow them to offer the highest degree of comfort, stability, and concealability possible.
The following are some of the most important design features of our holsters.
- Belt Claw
- Foam Concealment Wedge or Foam Comfort Pad
- Straight Drop (no cant)
- Belt Wedge
A Belt Claw is a specialized attachment which aids in concealing the pistol by rotating the grip of the pistol inwards, pushing the mag-well area of the grip against the body. Belt claws increase the stability of the pistol on the belt line and prove quite effective as pistol size increases. The use of a Belt Claw and a Foam Concealment Wedge can allow most users to easily and comfortably conceal a compact or full-sized service pistol.
Foam Concealment Wedge:
All our holsters come with at least once piece of foam, either a Concealment Wedge or a Comfort Pad. Our Concealment Wedges work by pushing the muzzle of the pistol away from the body which in turn pushes the grip of the pistol in towards the body. This offers a concealment and comfort benefit for nearly all users.
Our Concealment Wedges are removable and can be had in different sizes to help tailor the fit of your holster to your individual preference. All of our foam products, both wedges and pads, break-in and form to you and your body. Once broken in our foam maintains its ‘molded to you’ shape for quite some time offering a custom level of comfort and concealment.
Our foam Comfort Pads are used when the concealment properties offered by our wedges are not desired or necessary. Foam Comfort Pads do as their name suggests and add comfort to your AIWB holster.
All of our holsters have zero cant which is sometimes referred to as neutral cant or straight drop. Having zero cant allows for an easy and natural feeling draw stroke.
A belt wedge is a more specialized feature that is not immediately detectable as a feature unless you know where to look. A belt wedge is built into the holster body where the belt attachment mounts. The belt wedge interacts with the belt and waistband of your pants to push the grip of the pistol in towards your body and rotates the end of the grip by the mag-well in the same manner.
Getting the Most Out of Your AIWB/Appendix Holster:
Going beyond the features that make our holsters purpose-built for AIWB, here we will examine other concerns that can help you to make our AIWB holster as effective as possible. Some considerations that have a significant influence on how your gear carries are:
- Ride Height
- Holster Length
- Carry Position
- Pistol sizes/shapes
All our holsters feature a Two Position Adjustable Ride Height. Ride height plays a significant role in concealability, comfort, and draw speed. All Mastermind Tactics Holster will arrive with the ride height set in the High position. The High ride height position allows for a faster and more consistent grip and draw stroke as it places the holster and thus the pistol in a higher position relative to the belt line.
Comfort between ride heights is user specific; some will notice no change in comfort between ride heights while others will have a preference one way or the other. Like foam Concealment Wedge or Comfort Pad position ride height can be changed to achieve the best balance of comfort and concealment for your individual application.
When it comes to AIWB/Appendix carry a longer holster is almost always preferable. The longer a holster is the more stable it is on the belt line and the harder it is for gravity to cause the pistol to roll outwards away from your waist. Most users also tend to find that comfort increases as holster length increases, and a foam wedge will function better on a longer versus shorter holster body. All our holsters feature Model Specific Optimized Length. This means that the length of the holster has been designed around each model of pistol we have support for. Each holster is cut to an ideal length to achieve maximum performance and allow the foam Concealment Wedge or Comfort Pad to work in conjunction with the Belt Claw and Belt Wedge to provide optimal comfort and concealment.
Positioning the Holster:
When carrying AIWB the holster will most typically end up somewhere between 12:00-1:30 for a right-handed shooter or 10:30-12:00 for a left-handed shooter. It may take some experimentation to find the best position for your holster; very slight movements can have a surprisingly large impact on both comfort and concealability. If you have found the best location on the belt line for a perfect draw and the comfort or concealment isn’t exactly how you want don’t be afraid to make small changes to the wedge position until you get it just right. It may take some experimentation but with a bit of trial and error you will be able to tailor your holster to you.
An often-overlooked component of AIWB carry is the pistol itself. The type of pistol you are carrying can have an impact on comfort, concealability, and draw speed/consistency, sometimes even more so than the holster itself. AIWB carry is conducive to carrying larger pistols, and many users find larger pistols to be more comfortable than and just as concealable as a smaller pistol. Larger pistols are also easier to draw and as such usually lead to faster draw times and a more consistent presentation.
The overall shape of a pistol is usually more important than its physical dimensions when it comes to concealability. The shape of the grip and the shape of the back of the frame and slide have a pronounced impact on how it will carry.
The shape of the rear of the pistol, angle of the frame, and the magazine base pad will have a sizeable influence on the concealability of the grip. Because each one of us is different and every pistol will carry differently from user to user we have developed a full compliment of foam Concealment Wedges and Comfort Pads in various shapes and sizes to tailor your Mastermind Tactics Holster and your preferred carry gun to your specific requirements.