As I mentioned back in February, I’ve decided to give appendix carry a try. My approach was as follows: I would chose three of my carry guns, find reasonable holsters for each and carry them. I
intend to post my have posted my findings about appendix carry overall in a future roundup article but I wanted to spend the next couple entries talking about the holsters I selected. Without further ado, I bring you my first review on the:
GCode INCOG IWB Holster
I found out about the GCode series of holsters on one of the concealed carry message boards I’m know to frequent. If you haven’t started frequenting these boards yet, by the way, don’t. Every time I do I want to buy whatever the newest, coolest thing is.
Anyway, believe it or not, at the time I was shopping, it was very difficult to find an appendix carry option for my favorite carry gun, my Springfield Armory XDS .45 ACP. Someone on a board recommended GCode and I decided to give it a shot.
I headed on over to the website and, sure enough, they were available. I started “configuring” my holster and realized some of the options were pretty unique. For example, they’ll build a magazine pouch right into your rig! Huge plus for me, since the XDS’ sole drawback, in .45 ACP anyway, is that it is a 5+1 gun and that’s a little close to “back-up gun” territory for me. There’s also something called “tactical fuzz” that comes on the holsters. According to the website:
Tactical Fuzz is a “suede like” synthetic outer laminate. This outer layer presents a softer surface that significantly reduces noise during movement, lowers the rigs reflective signature in the IR spectrum and blends with the surrounding environment. “Tactical Fuzz” has a near 0% water absorption rate and is permanently bonded to the holsters outer surface. Tactical Fuzz is an available upgrade on ALL G-Code holsters (except for the SOC Rig) and magazine carriers as well as select G-Code accessories.
“Lowers the rigs[sic] reflective signature in the IR spectrum and blends with the surrounding environment.”
WTF? If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s day-to-day concealed carriers pretending to be Special Operators™ and tac-ing out all their gear and referring to it as “kit.” I cannot think of a single application where I’d need a reduced IR cross-section. But, it was free and I thought having a softer surface against my skin would be nice. I guess that’s where we are in the holster industry these days… you gotta have a niché.
I went ahead and dropped the $112.90 (OUCH!) and settled in to wait the 4-week promised delivery time. As an aside, at 112.90, this holster rivals some of the sexiest holsters on the market in price and is officially the most expensive holster I own.
TWELVE weeks later the holster arrived. Seriously, I’d forgotten all about it. A package showed up in the mail addressed to me and I was actually surprised and confused when I opened it and saw a holster. Good thing for the tactical fuzz! Once I touched it, it all came back to me.
Right off the bat, the holster seemed to be well built. Thick Kydex, evenly applied “fuzz,” and nice, sturdy clips. The XDS and spare magazine fit very snugly and there’s a nice, reassuring “click” when inserted. The draw was smooth and easy. Both the holster and magazine pouch have rubber-bushing stye retention adjustments. Out of the box, the mag pouch needed to be a quarter turn tighter but the pistol was perfect. This is a preference thing. I mention it only because I’m learning to really love adjustable Kydex holsters as opposed to the kind that you have to heat like the Crossbreed Supertuck and others.
The clips, being some sort of polycarbonate/plastic material instead of the more common metallic spring clip, are very easy to use. The have a bevel on the open edge allowing it to be easily slipped over a belt and shifted around until it’s comfortable. Which is good because it’s not comfortable.
To be fair, as I’ll cover in my forthcoming appendix carry article, no appendix carry setup is comfortable, particularly when sitting. Like the other appendix carry setups I’ve tried, I can stand this one for 8 hours tops. Then it’s got to come out. NOW. Perhaps my tolerance will continue to climb as I use appendix more and more but, for now, it comes out after 8 hours, damn near no matter where I am.
After Six Weeks…
The GCode has become my go-to carry setup but I can’t tell if that’s not because the XDS is such a perfect carry gun. It conceals exceedingly well, even with the spare magazine. As seen in the picture, it’s very slim. The tactical fuzz is, as originally thought, more comfortable than plain ol’ Kydex, even though it is most definitely silly.
One thing I’ve noticed is that the mag pouch protrudes slightly, giving a strange print toward the belly button in some shirts. It doesn’t look like a gun but it does look like you have something in your shirt. This is doubtlessly caused by my stomach (yes, I could lose a few pounds) pushing on the top of the holster while the belt pulls the bottom half of it in tighter. Even still, an additional structural member at the top of the mag pouch would probably alleviate the issue. Sometimes gun guys are fat.
As uncomfortable as appendix carry is, this one is the least egregious of the three I tried. Some of that credit, however, is certainly due to the short barrel of the XDS not digging into my femoral as much when sitting down and the light weight platform.
It’s a good – not great – holster. I’d have no problem recommending it to anyone for any gun if the one I had came, as configured, for $70. $112 (well, $120 shipped) is unreasonable. The 12 week delivery time was really insult to injury for me. The tactical fuzz is neat but mostly useless. In the growing collection of holsters I have, this one is solid middle-of-the-road. If you have a gun which, like the XDS when I was ordering, doesn’t have many holster options, this one is more than adequate. They seem to support more makes and models than most.
Cost: $121 shipped as ordered.
Time to deliver: Varies (website said 4 weeks, took 12)
Customer service: No information to answer this one. Never talked to a person. That I didn’t get some sort of notification that my order was going to be 8 weeks late has to be a knock though.