I am going to be totally honest with you here. I did it. I bought a Kydex holster for every day carrying my 1911. Not just a Kydex holster, but an appendix carry, Kydex holster.
The veil has been broken, and all those in the Church of Browning cry out, “oh John, why hast thou forsaken me?”. It is true that wrapping your fine 1911 pistol in anything other than the finest of animal skins is a cardinal sin for the Followers of Browning, and like many who commit a sin of such caliber, I am here to confess.
I love appendix carrying a 1911, and no amount of holster-shaming from Facebook Groups or 1911 forums is going to change that.
The holster that caused me, a card-carrying member of the “Leather is all I’ll ever Carry” Club to stray from the path is the Tier 1 Concealed Agis. I wanted this holster for no other reason than it was one of the few methods of carrying I haven’t tried yet, and I wanted to see what all the polymer-framed hipsters were fussing about.
I placed the order with T1C (as the kids call it), and just as the website prompted, it shipped in exactly 30 days. Then USPS (or maybe Browning’s Ghost) lost the holster, making short work of my 2-Day Express shipping, but FINALLY, it appeared 11 days later.
First impressions were awesome and, despite the Postal Service attempting to destroy the package, it came in one piece. The holster shipped in a very nice drawstring bag, with a few cool stickers as well.
Upon further inspection, the holster seemed to be very well built and has very strong clips to hold it to the belt. T1C holsters come standard with retention screws to adjust how tightly your gun is held in the holster. The belt clips are very robust, and are adjustable in height if you want the gun to ride lower or higher in relation to your belt line. I opted for a mid-height sweatguard and for the coyote brown color, because it matched one of my guns for which this holster was intended. Aesthetics win the fight, right?
The Agis is interesting to me as it is has a holster and a magazine carrier, and even offers the ability through snaps to break the holster apart to be able to strongside carry the gun and weak side carry the magazine carrier. Nifty! I actually never carried in this configuration as I kept the unit together and carried in the appendix position, as intended by Tier 1 Concealed.
Appendix was recommended to me as a great way to carry a full-frame gun by a few close friends. In the past, I carried religiously at the 2 and 3 o’clock positions, traditionally in a leather holster. However, the addition of a Surefire X300U-B forced me away from leather, in favor of the more light-friendly Kydex holsters.
Printing was always a fear that remained in the back of my head when carrying a full-size 1911 on my hip, so much so that I began dressing up a shirt size to accommodate for the larger grip. This is why I was absolutely FLOORED upon seeing a 50+ ounce handgun and spare magazine vanish beneath a shirt I hadn’t worn in public in about a year for fear of printing.
I was absolutely amazed, which resulted in 15 mins of me staring into a mirror and lifting up my shirt repeatedly to try and expose myself printing with no success. I worked with the holster for about a week before really carrying it out in public. I found it to be fantastically comfortable and conveniently placed. However, the holster’s wonders would not be able to be unlocked without a key — that key being a quality belt.
Supporting My Habit
Knowing this was no rig for a leather belt (remember that whole “heresy” thing?), I found my Galco EDC Belt. This is a strong, stiff nylon belt using a Cobra buckle — the perfect belt for this job. I found that offsetting the belt buckle to my left was the best way to use the holster and still have access to the belt buckle, because of the holster’s position at the appendix.
When I sit, I simply lift up on the belt and sit, with no issues. I work an office job and have found the holster helps with posture when sitting. This holster retains the holster perfectly at the waistline, with no movement or “sag” where the gun rests. This is crucial when your whole rig weighs over 3 lbs. 1911 life, am I right?
In addition to being highly concealable, the other advantage of the appendix carry position is how accessible the gun is. My hands are naturally in front of my body, making for quick access to the pistol. This method of drawing is also very fast. In fact, I find myself faster with an appendix carry holster than any other type, even though I have much less time on the T1C than other holsters I have used.
All and all, I can’t get over this holster. It’s absolutely incredible, and has really breathed some fresh air into my wardrobe, since I can conceal a full size 1911, and wear regular fitting clothes (usually my pants are a little bigger due to the gun being holstered inside the waistband). Awesome quality, and really works well. The T1C Agis gets two thumbs up from me.
The Wages of Sin
The only downside to this holster is going to the bathroom with it on. Quick tip: Use a stall when wearing an appendix holster. The way this holster (especially with a larger gun like a 1911) covers your “front”, it makes it downright difficult to quickly use the restroom.
Many will be quick to judge this method of carrying, and will claim that it can lead to shooting yourself. To that, I reply: all incidents where unsafe gun handling occurs you have the possibility of having a negligent discharge. With that being said, ensure that you are in full control of your weapon, aware of the muzzle, and keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
The Tier 1 Agis allows you to easily and comfortably conceal a full-size handgun with a flashlight. While many choose to carry small “pocket rockets” for convenience, I believe in carrying a large, fighting handgun for defense. This method of carry has become a favorite of mine almost overnight. Of course, some days I just get the urge to rock a beautiful leather holster rig, and that will never change. But for now, I think I’ve found a winner with the Tier 1 Concealed AGIS.
Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!
Join the Discussion
Featured in this article
Tier 1 Concealed Agis
Galco EDC Holster Belt