The problems with a light bearing Sidecar style holster

You’re wanting a light bearing Sidecar style of holster?  You’re not alone!  They’re quite popular, especially on Instagram.  Before I tell you why I won’t make them, let’s touch on the problems inherent to the fixed design of the married appendix rig.

  1.  It’s fixed.  It either matches your body curvature, or it doesn’t.  If it does, you’re in luck, it’s probably both comfortable and concealable.  If it doesn’t, you’re hosed, there’s no cure.
  2.  It’s fixed.  (Dude, you already said that.)  Yeah, but this time we need to consider the pressures applied by moving around in your daily routine.  It needs to flex in the middle, and it also needs to be able to move top to bottom.  This is a problem with the newer style that’s attached in the middle with bungee cord.  Yes, the cord now takes most of the stress, but it loosens with use and now the angle that the holster is riding at has changed.  Consistency is important.
  3.  It’s fixed.  (Move on already!)  You may find that you need to carry the gun at a weird angle relative to the magazine.  I carry my pistol at a slight rearward cant, something fixed rigs don’t allow unless you spend a lot on a custom rig.

Adding a light to the pistol adds width.  This compounds the flexing issue, and also adds a new wrinkle: the claw.

Belt claws, sometimes called wings, are designed to rotate the grip in to the body.  It can’t really do that with a Sidecar style as the mag’ carrier side prevents it.  All it’s doing is pulling that side in a little tighter.  The light bearing claw is even worse, as the attachment points have to be changed; this has led to cracking in more than a few instances.  Perhaps those failure were due to a mismatch in user geometry, but as a craftsman who creates products on which the end users’ life may well depend, I choose to sidestep the entire problem by not making it.

Whatever we call them, the married appendix rigs are cool.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  If you’ve been using one with great success, keep doing what’s working!  Do make sure that you’re using quantifiable metrics, and perhaps the best thing you can do to verify that is to take a class from a reputable trainer.

My personal solution has been to switch to a separate holster and mag’ carrier, using the Discreet Carry Concepts clips on both.  This helps reduce the bulk and allow the necessary flex while also being amazingly stable.

If you want to reduce the belt attachments while having the option carry the kitchen sink, consider the Flex, by Phlster.  Yes, he’s a competitor, but he’s a good guy who makes good products.  It’s an affiliate link.  (No extra cost to you.)

Disclaimer: You will get fewer likes on Instagram if you don’t have one of those sexy married rigs.


Napkin notes on the Canik TP9SF Elite

Well, I’m eating a little crow on this one so far.  When Canik’s were first released I thought they would not hold up due to their low price point, or that they would be equivalent to the other ~$300 pistols.

Results of the Bill drill

The Canik TP9SF Elite has been a pleasant surprise.  Equipped with Warren Tactical sights with a red fiber optic front and blacked out rear, along with an excellent trigger, it was extremely easy to shoot both fast and accurately.

The trigger is the feature that most people rave about on Canik’s, and with good reason.  This particular model has a take up that’s about average, a crisp wall, and clean break, finished by a positive reset.  No, it’s not a tuned 1911, but for a striker fired pistol it’s very good.  I see no need for any changes, although I’m definitely not a trigger snob, so take that for what it’s worth.

Recoil wasn’t anything unusual, and it was easy to achieve .19-.20 split times while keeping A zone hits at 7 yards.  Not world class, but the weak link in this chain is me, not the pistol. 🙂  The bright red fiber front sight made tracking easy, which I couldn’t do with the Walther’s 3 dot sights.

Is there any point to measuring accuracy unless you’re using a Ransom rest?  Probably not, but I was able to achieve an oval shaped ragged hole at 5 yards with 10 rounds.  The limitation here is my eyesight, as I can punch a smaller hole with my RMR equipped Glock.  Still, I felt that it was a respectable showing.  Once again, the weak link was not the pistol.  Shown here are the Canik TP9SF Elite 0n the left and the Walther PPQ beside it, under their respective groups.  The reason for the slightly different group sizes are the sights, not the triggers.  My aging eyes had an easier time with the fiber front/blacked out rear of the TP9.  3 dot sights really shouldn’t be a thing anymore.

Accuracy compared

The grip was where I was left a little disappointed.  It tapers at the bottom rear, and doesn’t quite fill my hand the way I like.  This is the one area where the Walther beats the Canik, as the Walther flares at the bottom of the grip, allowing my pinky to get a solid purchase.  The TP9SF Elite does come with another back strap which is slightly larger, but it has the same taper.  If I was committed to carrying it, I’d probably build it up with epoxy.  The grip is also very slightly too short for my hand, leaving me wishing for another 1/2″.  When shooting it wasn’t noticeable, although it may have contributed to the very slightly slower split times when compared to the control group.  I suspect it would be a non issue for someone with slightly smaller hands.

Conceal-ability is excellent, as it’s basically a G19 in size.

Reliability was 100%, although I only shoot 100 rounds for these “napkin notes” and save a full review for 500 rounds.  I shot a mix of cheap brass and a few steel cased rounds were mixed in.  (Up to 150 rounds on this particular test.)

This short session left me really excited to run it through the rest of my drills.  As soon as I have the holster molds finished up, I’ll start wearing it so I can literally run and gun with it.  Stay tuned!  Holsters available here.

FN 509 napkin notes

Here’s my first impressions on the 509.

Roughly comparable in size and shoot-ability to a G19.  That’s a good thing.

Trigger is a little gritty on take up especially, but with a very nice reset.  Didn’t notice it while shooting.  Several friends who have one have said that it smooths out with use.  Apex also offers a replacement.  I wouldn’t complain about it for my personal gun, but it’s worth mentioning for the trigger snobs.

Sights are the stock 3 dots, which I don’t care for; I’d like an orange front with blacked out rear, if I can’t just have a red dot. 🙂  I shot it almost as well as I can shoot with an RMR, so it’s not a big complain on the accuracy front, it’s just slower acquiring them when shooting fast.  This was at 7 yards, at a moderate pace, offhand. 


In its stock form: 3.8 out of 5.  Would carry.  Holsters available here.