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  1. #1

    Default I have a big belly, can I carry AIWB?

    I'm interested in getting an Archangel holster for AIWB but I'm worried about how well it'll fit an XD .45 with a 4" bbl under my belly. I've recently started carrying it SOB in my SuperTuck but that's not ideal. I usually carry it on my R hip when I have a large enough cover garment but SOB works well with a t-shirt.

    These pictures show what I have to work with. Will I be able to carry AIWB, or do I need to get fit first? Do any big-belly guys carry this way comfortably?

    Last edited by jcarmody; 06-11-2011 at 02:47 PM. Reason: fixed pictures

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I have a bit of a belly, not too unlike the one you are sporting. I had Dale Fricke lower my Archangel and not problem ever since. Just call him and order it that way in the first place. The Zack also worked for me from day one as it naturally sits low. I would get them both and be done with it.

    I use them for work and play all day, every day. Also got a Gideon Elite for range days.
    If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    My build is about like yours.

    I have been carrying a Glock 26 AIWB for about a year in a Tucker Cover-up leather holster. I recently started carrying my G19 in a similar holster.

    Is it the perfect AIWB holster for us "Successful Life Body" guys? I used to think so. Now I'm not sure.


    1. Appendix carry gets the gun closer to your center-line, less elbow articulation to draw, etc.

    2. Draw with non-dominant hand is much easier for me.

    3. The Tucker holster is infinitely adjustable for cant and has a range of adjustment for ride height. For me, this is important. I can comfortably carry my G26 at Appendix, but the butt needs to be rotated towards my hip about 15 degrees. I have yet to find a Kydex holster that allows this, rather than keep the barrel vertical.


    1. The holster tends to collapse without the gun, requiring two hands to re-holster. Were I to need to quickly hold the gun in order to reload one-handed, I can't use the holster.

    2. Being leather rather than Kydex, I can't use the edge of the holster to rip out a stuck magazine or force the slide to cycle to clear a jam.

    The advantages I have known for a while. I learned about the disadvantages last weekend at TMCO.

    I can't tell you what the right answer is for you. I can tell you that I am having second thoughts about my Cover-ups.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    NE South Dakota
    I've got a little extra gelatin myself. The Zack holster is the solution for me. Period. (next to the loss of the belly of course)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I carried AIWB at 300 lbs just fine. Zack w boot cut jeans worked great, or the Archangel w khakis at my natural waist. Fat gives pretty well against Kydex and Glock polymer.

    I conceal much better at my current 237 lbs. Moving toward a goal weight of 220 lbs, then maybe a new goal of around 200 lbs.

    Lose the belly. You'll be happier, live longer, and conceal better.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the answers. Keep in mind that my pistol is large - it's a double-stack, Springfield XD Service Model .45. Does this change any of the answers? Bill - the Glock 26 is significantly smaller and I've thought about buying one specifically for this, but I'd like to stick with my blaster. The G19 seems to be closer in size.

    I like the Zacchaeus but I worry how well the pistol will stay put. I'll try it for a while. Thanks for the suggestion.

    "The task of a reactionary utopian is simply to pull his head out of his immediate environment and look to religion, philosophy, history, and art for intimations of how social life ought to be. A decent man should always be somewhat alienated from the herd, from the age he lives in, from the dominant political gangs. When you feel at home in a world that has gone wrong, you’ve gone wrong too." ~ Joe Sobran

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I have a similar issue, though less so every day. The Fricke Archangel AIWB worked fine for me, though I was carrying it initially at about the 2:00 position a bit in front of the hip bone for comfort.
    Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    jc,body type as yours benefit's from the carry slid back a,long the belt line to about 1430 to 1500 slot, but this requires a different holster set up , the angle of attack has to be almost a cross draw angle and the butt lies lower to the belt line. Have found over the years any barre length under 4" tends to pitch out the butt away from the waist
    All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.

    Samuel Butler


  9. #9
    At 5' 11 carrying 255 lbs, I was looking similar to you and bought this holster right about the time that I started changing the way I eat/getting exercise. At first, the butt of the pistol was being pressed away from my body by the belly and thus the muzzle of the holstered gun would dig into my pelvic bone. This became very sore, even painful when riding in the car. I needed to wiggle the gun around every time I got in the car in order to find a "sweet spot" that wasn't tearing me up. Also, the belly pushes the butt of the pistol out and increases printing through a T-Shirt considerably. Ended up shelving the whole rig for a few weeks.

    I've been following the high fat/protein/low carb/no grain program laid out by Mark Sisson in his book "The Primal Blueprint" for about two and a half months now and am down to 225. I can't even believe how good it works. Even better, the number on the scale is not a true reflection of my progress because I've introduced consistent strength training/sprints into my life and my body shape is changing as I add muscle. I bet the total lbs of fat lost is significantly more than the 30 lbs total lost on the scale.

    Anyway...the whole thing carries well without pain now...I can't wait to see how things work out once my body has gone through it's full transformation. I suggest taking these steps as you'll be glad that you did...not just in how you carry but in every area of your life. It's not that hard either.
    I'm a Plymouth, MI Realtor with one wife, 3 ankle biters, and a 3 dogs. My favorite food is steak and potatoes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I first started AIWB carry at 5'11 and 240. I was carrying a Glock 30 in a leather Summer Special.

    Going to a thinner belly, gun (G19) and holster (ArchAngel) has only made AIWB even better for carry.

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