It’s been almost two years now since I started using appendix carry as my primary EDC carry method; and during that time I’ve had quite a few different holsters. The best solution to date was a Blade-Tech Nano that with some modifications made a pretty decent rig for a Sig Sauer M11. Unfortunately, since I’m working with Colt 1911s all year, finding a good AIWB holster for a five inch 1911 was a little bit difficult.
After several attempts to adapt regular IWB holsters for appendix use, I tried my first dedicated “appendix” holster for the Colt. It…wasn’t very good. The ride height was all wrong, the retention was weird and couldn’t be adjusted, and to reholster I had to use an amount of pressure that made me quite uncomfortable considering the gun’s general direction. Right when I was about to give up, I saw that Custom Carry Concepts was taking orders again. The CCC Shaggy comes highly recommended from many reputable instructors, so I ponied up my 80 bucks and settled in to wait.
The Shaggy arrived about a month ago, and after spending some time fiddling with the retention, I started using it as my EDC holster. I chose the option with two leather straps instead of a single kydex clip; I prefer the options of having two leather attachment points on the belt instead of a single kydex hard point. My preferred carry location is to have the forward-most belt loop on the right side of my jeans directly in between the belt straps of the holster. This gives me a consistent index point for my holster (since all my jeans are the same) which puts the gun in the same spot every time.
The build quality of the holster is excellent, and the leather backing actually does make the holster more comfortable to wear if I’m not wearing an undershirt. Comfort is important, in fact the comfort of a holster is probably the second most important aspect after “does it hold the gun safely and securely.” We can talk all the time about how you should “dress around the gun” and “carrying a real gun is easy if you’re smart”, but let’s be honest with ourselves and just admit that if your holster isn’t comfortable, you’re probably not going to carry whatever gun that holster is designed for. Comfort is why so many people carry a pocket pistol as their primary gun – it’s easy, it doesn’t weigh a lot, and it’s not going to poke into you at funny angles when you tie your shoes.
Which brings me to the two best measures I have for the comfort of an appendix carry holster: 1) can I tie my shoes comfortably while wearing it, and 2) is it comfortable in the car? If a holster fails either of those, I’ll toss it out right away. I tie my shoes every day, and I drive a car every day – if my holster causes me discomfort doing those things, it’s going to suck to wear for 9-10 hours. The Shaggy is the first appendix holster I’ve owned that allows me to tie my shoes comfortably, so it passed Test 1. Test 2 was grueling, I wore the Shaggy during my drive to Columbia, MO and back from Bianchi Cup last week. That’s about 14 hours of car time round trip. I had absolutely no issues with the Shaggy; and while I was glad to have the 2.5 pounds of gun off my belt at the end of the day, it’s not because the holster wasn’t comfortable.
Obviously, the Shaggy provides good concealment, otherwise I wouldn’t be using it. Under a medium t-shirt it hides even a full size 1911 with a magwell quite well; by virtue of keeping the gun’s butt tucked tight into the body. But for me, the primary virtue is comfort. I understand now why the Shaggy is so well regarded by folks that know their stuff about appendix carry. It was well worth the money, and well worth the wait.