Comp-TAC AIWB Holster, New Mexico and the Golf Course

 This is the new, unworn Comp-TAC Minotaur AIWB (Appendix In Waist Band) holster with kydex clips.

AIWB for the Ruger SR9c

This is the reverse side of the holster above showing the stitched in liner that covers the hardware necessary for the clips and screws to remove and replace the holster kydex shell. This is a good thing, since you can purchase a different kydex shell for a different gun and use the same leather backing and attachment hardware for it at a much less expensive price than buying a completely new holster for that other gun.

AIWB inside

The two photos above were taken when the holster was removed from the package and packing. It was unworn at that time so that you can get a good indication of the quality and amount of work that goes into these Comp-TAC holsters.

I particularly like the inside lining covering all of the hardware. I had a Crossbreed holster once that took a beating when I adjusted it a number of times for depth and cant. The Minotaur, on the other hand, uses screws with embedded nuts for adjustment and shell replacement, getting around those strange leather fasteners that dig into the leather with three sharp prongs. After removing and reusing those prong fasteners, I always bent one or more of the prongs and they never worked right again. You don't have to worry about this with the Minotaur. The clip screws are for an Allen wrench, thoughtfully provided by Comp-TAC along with the holster, and you merely unscrew the clips, remove the screw and the rubber bushing between the clip and the leather, reposition the clips and screw everything back together.

For me, the clips were set lower than I like so I moved them up for a deeper carry. Although the bottom of the clips protrude past their mounting points, once you have found the cant and depth you like, they can be trimmed off if you so desire. I did not find them to be a bother so I have left them alone.

My Ruger SR9c fit snugly and positively into the shell. All good, so I slipped the holster under my waistband and belt and slipped the kydex clips over my thick 1 1/2" belt. This was far easier than with metal clips and, once in place, the clips are unobtrusive against my black belt.

I received the holster the day before a family trip to New Mexico. I thought this was a good time to test the Minotaur, appendix carry of a larger handgun in a real-world scenario that would involve driving, getting in and out of the car, restaurants, National Monuments, and tourist-infested Santa Fe. So, I took the SR9c and an extra large capacity magazine and me and the Minotaur and the rest of the family took off. 

Over the next two days I carried my SR9c constantly, often in the midst of hordes of tourists, in museums, on shuttle busses, climbing around ancient Indian ruins and in public places where the mere thought of a legally armed citizen amongst them would have sent certain of my fellow vacationers into meltdown. Nobody saw a thing, and I was amazingly very comfortable with the holster. The Ruger rode safely and securely, never budged and stayed comfortable even during long periods of sitting.

After returning home,

and spending a hot afternoon playing eighteen holes of golf, still wearing the Minotaur and the Ruger SR9c, I removed the holster and took the photos below.

 Note that the leather is virtually in the same condition as when I first received it. The shell still holds the Ruger as it should.

This photo shows the lining covering the hardware on the reverse side of the holster. Even though it has been worn through four very hot days with lots of activity and sweat, little evidence of this shows. The slight bulges where the screws are covered is more pronounced in this photo than in reality. They are not noticeable when the holster is on.

I took this photo to show how much the bottom of the holster has conformed due to sitting and rising. The leather protrusion you see, slightly bent upwards, is none the less flexible and serves to protect the top of your thigh from pressure from the pistol and kydex shell. It does that nicely and contributes to the comfort of this design.

This side shows almost no deflection.

A view from the bottom of the leather backing, lining, rubber bushing and kydex clip.

I will admit to the following advice: don't wear a large handgun in any holster while playing eighteen holes of golf, especially in the appendix position. Golfing has a lot of bending at the waist both from swinging the clubs but also from clambering in and out of the golf cart.

So, my first extended experience with Comp-TAC's AIWB Minotaur is overall very positive. It is very well thought out in terms of comfort, security of the weapon, range of adjustability (I think anyone could find the right combination of ride height and cant that suits them best, and even better, the holster is designed to, and will take, constant fiddling without breaking down, stripping screws or bending those prong-nuts many holster makers use) and provides outstanding protection for your firearm.

This model especially is very nice since the pattern of the leather backing in combination with the kydex clips is built specifically for appendix in-waistband carry, which I am liking more and more. I'll have more to say on this mode of carry, but I can say that I think this is one of the better made holsters out there. It incorporates an innovative, effective design and is backed by some good customer service people. I also have a Comp-TAC Minotaur which is designed to be worn strong side. I won't be carrying it, but I will take some comparison photos to illustrate the differences. Why? Because some holster makes would keep the same design for both strong side and appendix carry, counting on the user to fiddle with adjustments to get the right position but Comp-TAC has specifically designed the AIWB Minotaur for that style of carry. To me, this shows their commitment to customer satisfaction and excellence in design and production.

As I carry this holster more and compare it with other similar "hybrid" IWB designs, I will keep you updated on what I find.