Disclaimer: As some of you know I am personal friends with Tony Mayer the owner of JM Custom Kydex and have been for the past couple of years. I have not been paid to post this review but I will admit that I would be happy to have others find out about the fine holsters that he makes. If this makes me biased, so be it, at least I have disclosed this fact up front.
That said let me tell you about JM Custom Kydex's newest holster the 'AIWB' model and my background. I have been experimenting with appendix carry for about the last 18 months or so and let me tell you I have a box full of straight drop holsters to prove it. It's been growing larger year after year as I strive to find what works the best for me as a legally armed citizen that carries daily. There are a lot of straight drop 'appendix' holsters that are on the market but are not at all well suited as an appendix holster, at least not for me. I don't see the need to list them here but chances are if someone had a straight drop holster and marketed it as an AIWB model I bought one to try out. I have stopped looking since using JM Custom Kydex's new AIWB holster.
One thing I found was after buying all lot of the wrong holsters you begin to figure out what works and what doesn't. For me it really broke down to a few things.
· First is conceal-ability. As a CCW holder I need a holster for concealment. The pistol needs to disappear in a basic darker colored polo t-shirt or un-tucked collared shirt. Concealed means concealed. I live in California, enough said right?
· Second is comfort-ability. If wearing a standard size defensive pistol, in my case a G19, for 10-12 hours a day is not comfortable I'm not going to wear it. Can I wear this holster for all of my training? Can I wear it seated all day? Can I wear it in a car with a seat belt for hours on end?
· Third is ride height. I need to be able to get a master grip on the pistol every time when starting my draw. This is a balance between too high which makes the holster easy to draw from but also can cause the holster to roll out especially if you have a 'spare tire' or don't quite have six-pack abs. I feel this holster has a balance between conceal-ability and usability.
For me this JM Custom Kydex AIWB holster passes all three of these tests will flying colors.
This holster has been worn daily for the past three months. I've attended 2 different classes in this time one was a Todd Green AFHF and the other was a class where we shot a lot from prone the pull the dot snaps worked fine but they did get scraped up.
I'm able to get a good master grip specifically I'm able to get my fingers between my belt and the butt of the pistol easily.
The holster tucks, is still comfortable and yet I can still obtain a master grip even with my 'spare tire'
Side view showing the butt of the pistol tucked.
One thing that you might have already encountered when it comes to some Custom/Semi-Custom holster makers is that they're often hard to get ahold of. Tony responds quickly to email also posts his email right on his website and actually answers his phone and returns calls. While this seems like a basic customer service sort of issue that is trivial, I have found that customer service is sorely lacking when having to deal with one or more other holster companies.
I have been using this holster daily now for about 90 days. I find this holster to be the most comfortable AIWB holster I have worn for daily carry. The ride height is perfect: not to low and not too high. As you can see from the pictures above I'm able to get a master grip quickly and easily. Also as you can see I'm not a poster boy for 6 pack abs. I have some 'winter' stores I'm carrying around but the holster still tucks nicely and aids in concealment.
Overall I'm very happy with this holster and find myself using this holster over all of my other options. I chose the standard belt loops option as I like the ability to quickly pull off or put on the holster. I understand that Tony is also making an option of a Kydex loop for those that want a more fixed mounting option. If you need or want that option it is available at the time of order or can be purchased separately.
In short, I really like the design and construction of this holster. If you are looking for an appendix carry holster, then the JM Custom Kydex AIWB is a great choice. The holster retails for $75.00 plus shipping. All JM Custom holsters are backed with an unlimited lifetime warranty, which shows that JM Custom has confidence in its products and faith in its customers. You can view and order the AIWB holster and the full line of other JM Custom Kydex holsters at http://www.jmcustomkydex.com/
All prices as of March, 2012.