For several years, a burgeoning firearms market and favorable self-defense legislation produced significant growth in concealed carry. In response, firearms manufacturers designed smaller handguns and holster manufacturers designed holsters to carry them. Some new holsters are made with traditional materials such as leather, and some are made with high-tech materials such as Kydex or plastic. Some, like the Crossbreed you see here, combine the two materials.
Crossbreed’s main holster offerings are inside-the-waistband designs comprised of a fairly large piece of leather, a piece of molded plastic, and two clips. With the increased popularity of smaller guns for concealed carry, the company introduced the Appendix Carry holster – leather and molded plastic but with only one clip. Both the larger, dual-clip Crossbreed holsters and the Appendix Carry are outrageously comfortable for all day carry. The Appendix Carry, however, is easier to put on and take off, an important feature for those who carry concealed but want to be able to quickly and easily install or remove their handgun from their person.
Riding in this Appendix Carry holster is a Springfield XD-S 9mm, a new concealed carry handgun that epitomizes the current trend of firearm manufacturers to produce small, thin, lightweight handguns. When I holster a small gun such as the XD-S in a holster such as the Appendix Carry, I’m primarily concerned about four things: vulnerability of the magazine release, ability to get a grip on the gun, draw tension, and carry comfort.
Vulnerability of the Magazine Release
Crossbreed knows how to make holsters so I wasn’t really concerned about whether their design might inadvertently press against the magazine release. Still, as I wore the XD-S in the Appendix Carru, I checked several times—standing, sitting, and bending over—to see if any of the holster’s leather jeopardized this button. It did not. The XD-S also has a very robust spring on the magazine release; in order to release a magazine, you have to push the release very firmly.
Getting a Grip
Sometimes smallish holsters and smallish handguns are difficult to draw from concealment, either because they’re sitting too low or pulled in too tight. The Appendix Carry kept the XD-S at a slight forward cant and allowed me to wear my belt at a tension that afforded relative ease in getting two fingers around the stock and my thumb between the stock and the holster’s leather panel. In other words, the Appendix Carry did not add difficulty to drawing the XD-S from concealment.
With the Appendix Carry, retention occurs mainly via molded plastic grasping by friction the gun’s trigger guard. Additional tension comes from the wearer’s belt pressing in on the molded plastic. Leather and molded plastic working in harmony; the Appendix Carry kept the XD-S securely in place but easily yielded the gun when drawing. It was never difficult to draw or reholster the XD-S and I never really worried that it would somehow come out of the holster unless I wanted it to do so.
Like other Crossbreed holsters I’ve tried, the Appendix Carry proved comfortable to wear all day. It wasn’t as comfortable as the models that offer more leather but the tradeoff was that it was easier to put on and off. The best position for this holster and this gun was at 4 o’clock.
Made in the USA, the Crossbreed Appendix Carry retails for $62.50 and offers a lifetime warranty.