An All or Nothing Example: AIWB by Darren LaSorte

27-Apr-15 – 16:56 by ToddG

ARM_3551Darren LaSorte is a genuinely good guy. Scratch that, he’s a genuinely awesome guy. He has spent most of his adult life working full time in jobs to promote & protect the Second Amendment freedoms that we enjoy, in particular as a key member of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

This morning, one of the NRA’s publications posted an article by Darren on its website. The article, called The Appendix Carry Craze, was pretty much a perfect example of the “All or Nothing” issue that pistol-training.com has been discussing for the past few months.

Darren doesn’t like aiwb. He’s tried it and it didn’t work for him. So he’s not going to do it anymore.

So far no problem.

  • It didn’t work for him.
  • He’s not going to use it.

Reasonable. Smart. Totally understandable.

But then he goes on to explain that it’s painful not just for him but for everyone (he refers to aiwb carriers as “masochists“). He also seems to believe that aiwb carriers — again to quote — “are becoming more like a cult than a group of gun owners concerned for their safety and that of others.

Come on. Really?

jmck-aiwb-pouchIf it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. But don’t be so silly as to tell many of us that it’s not working for us when we seem to go about our days all over the country in every imaginable mode of dress and every imaginable environment carrying every imaginable gun comfortably and discreetly. And if you can’t even manage to carry a gun that way for a day, please don’t tell me about its tactical disadvantages because perhaps those of us who do it every day have a little deeper understanding.

Finally, I’d like to address one particular line from Darren’s article: “The devotees of the relatively recent appendix carry craze disagree with me.

You know all those drawings you’ve seen of people from a gazillion years ago with their black powder pistols shoved down the front of their belts? That’s how old appendix carry is, dude. It literally pre-dates holsters. The first dedicated appendix holster was probably the Summer Special by Bruce Nelson, which was only later modified to be a behind the hip holster. So aiwb is nothing new. People have been doing it basically as long as there have been guns small enough to wear on a belt.

Doesn’t work for you? Don’t do it. Works for me, though. So I will.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 14 Responses to “An All or Nothing Example: AIWB by Darren LaSorte”

  2. “You know all those drawings you’ve seen of people from a gazillion years ago with their black powder pistols shoved down the front of their belts?”

    hahaha…awesome line!

    By Jess Banda on Apr 27, 2015

  3. Well stated Todd

    By Chuck Haggard on Apr 27, 2015

  4. Raven Concealment has offered to pay for Darren to go through ECQC while carrying AIWB to prove him wrong about the supposed tactical disadvantages. I really hope he takes them up on this.

    By Casey on Apr 28, 2015

  5. I couldn’t quite grasp his thoughts on ECQC. I can protect anything that is on my front a heckuva lot better than anything behind me…

    By Wil on Apr 28, 2015

  6. excellent write up Todd

    By Rob E on Apr 28, 2015

  7. I started out using AIWB carry nearly 30 years ago. Never have had any issues with comfort, retention, or ergonomics. A couple of weeks ago I attended a 2 day LE/mil pistol training class hosted by a well known instructor with both a SOF and USPSA GM background–I used an AIWB holster without issues. Last week I had to drive several hours to an all day meeting and then several more hours back home, all while wearing suit and was perfectly comfortable and discreet wearing my JM Custom AIWB holster. It would appear that Mr. LaSorte simply does not know what he does not know; Dunning-Kruger effect on vivid display.

    By DocGKR on Apr 28, 2015

  8. AIWB doesn’t work for me. Mostly because I’m a giant fatass. It seems like it’s working well for lots of people. Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t carry that way.

    By Jay Hafemeister on Apr 28, 2015

  9. I can’t stand regular IWB carry. The gun always digs into me one way or another and makes my spine want to contort. I have no real problems with AIWB tho, it’s far more comfortable (as long as the holster is good and the gun isn’t too poorly sized/shaped). I do note that the square back slide corners of Glocks tend to dig into me painfully tho, and SIGs are much more pleasant to carry that way, not just because of the rounded shape of the slide but because of the slant of the back of the slide. To each their own tho.

    By Redchrome on Apr 29, 2015

  10. I like IWB at 3-3:30. It requires I buy and wear clothing specifically with this type of carry in mind. I’m fine with that. I know guys who despise IWB carry, and others who like it while carrying further around behind themselves… etc… etc….. I could go on for ever…. the point is, there is no ONE RIGHT WAY to carry a concealed handgun. It depends on body comp/size, personal preference, holster/handgun size and combo, etc…

    for one person, no matter who he is, or what he has done for gun rights and ownership, to say that a particular style/method, AIWB, is no good simply because he doesn’t like it, is as silly and ridiculous as Hillary for 2016.

    Good write up Todd, sometimes people need to be kept in check and reminded to stay in their lane.

    PS: Jay Hafemeister, that’s the same reason AIWB doesn’t work for me, hah hah hah

    By LCSO264 on Apr 29, 2015

  11. See Bruce Nelson’s 1980 article in Pistolero for his description of his forward-of-hip position. The holster was not forward rake but rather slightly muzzle to the rear at about 2:00.
    Jeff Cooper’s description in Cooper on Handguns was inaccurate.

    By cm smith on Apr 29, 2015

  12. AIWB allows me to easily conceal a full sized handgun while wearing everyday normal clothes (jeans and a polo/short sleeved button down shirt). If I try to carry IWB at 3-3:30, all I can get away with is something like a Glock 26 or smaller. That alone is enough of a “tactical advantage” for me.

    By CAP on May 7, 2015

  13. Glad to see you still have those photos! I don’t carry AIWB, but if I did, it would be because of you.

    By Arclight on May 9, 2015

  14. Well, now this guy is onto point shooting. He may be “an awesome guy”, but not in my world. He needs to stick to lobbying and quite crashing into the rest of the world while driving so far out of his lane that he is a danger to others. I can see absolutely no background that should have him commenting on anything involving the practical use of firearms, unless you count hearing something scary as a ten year old and getting rolled for his lunch money.
    The NRA is doing its membership a huge disservice by making lobbyists into experts on defensive use of firearms…..especially with people who have zero experience with the defensive use of firearms.

    By Darryl Bolke on May 20, 2015

  15. As I’ve written more than once over the past couple of years, I think there’s a benefit to people understanding that they may be focussed on something other than the front sight under stress. And if we’re going to try to make other facets of training realistic, that should be something that comes into play as well.

    I think Ken Hackathorn has the best approach. He tapes over the sights. They aren’t completely missing, but you cannot use them for precision aiming. It’s more a matter of putting the blob in between you and the target you’re staring at (and trying to hit).

    As for Darren, it’s not my place to talk about his background, etc., but I will say that anyone who assumes he’s clueless about fighting with a gun probably needs to realize they’re clueless about Darren.

    I’m a big believer that training sighted fire improves both sight focus and target focus shooting, while training without dedicated front sight use limits capabilities fast and creates a much lower performance ceiling.

    By ToddG on May 20, 2015

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