adjective: refined

  1. with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing.
  2. elegant and cultured in appearance, manner, or taste.
  3. developed or improved so as to be precise or subtle.


For the last three years, I’ve been carrying a gun concealed almost everywhere on a nearly daily basis. This isn’t a long time by the standards of most armed professionals or any other legally armed citizen, but in that time I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and I’ve experimented with a lot of variations on holsters and carry methods. Everybody is built differently, so what works for my body type may not necessarily work for yours, although I have a pretty average build for an american.

At the time of this holster review, I’m not exactly at my fighting weight, and the added mass around my waist makes comfortably carrying and concealing a firearm more difficult than when i was leaner. However i think the added challenge of being out of shape equates to a higher standard the holster is required to meet in order to pass my personal bar of comfort and concealability, which works well for a good evaluation and review.

The majority of my time carrying a concealed handgun has been with an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster in the appendix position (ie. 1 o’clock) but I’ve also carried strong side hip (3 o’clock), kidney position (4-5 o’clock) and used pocket holsters for sub compact backup pistols chambered in .380 acp. Once I discovered how comfortable and concealable appendix carry can be, it was quickly solidified as my default carry method.

My personal choice for a concealed carry pistol is the Glock 19 with a Surefire XC1 weapon light. I like this setup because it’s about as compact as you can get while still having a full size pistol and a light. The Surefire XC1 was designed for the Glock 19 and came to market in late 2015. Two large and reputable holster manufacturers jumped to deliver holsters for the Glock 19 with XC1 immediately–Raven Concealment Systems Phantom holster and Gcode’s Incog Shadow Eclipse–and i bought one of each, seeing different uses for both. Both of these have been excellent holsters, but the Gcode Incog has been my default holster for appendix carrying my Glock 19 with XC1 for the last year.

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