T.REX ARMS came to my attention after admittedly impressive speed drill videos from their Instagram account kept popping up in my feed. I had more or less sworn off appendix carry for my personal needs, but when I picked up the G19 MOS I decided to give it another shot. I went on a little AIWB and OWB shopping spree on T.REX’s website. AIWB — appendix inside-the-waistband — carry is their specialty, and they do it well . . .
These are custom holsters made for your gun, gun accessories, and preferences. The website walks you step-by-step through the ordering process for each holster, with drop-down menus for each of the relevant choices.
In the above case we’re looking at the options for a non-light-compatible Sidecar Appendix Rig, which is the white and orange holster seen in this article. When they say made-to-order they really mean it.
What you’ll receive from that order is a precisely made holster. T.REX ARMS carefully cuts the kydex sheet(s) for each firearm model — most by hand, some with a CNC machine — and it looks like they take the time to round the edges and clean everything up by hand. This is some of the cleanest, nicest kydex work I’ve seen, while at the same time they’re keeping things simple enough to be long-term reliable.
Every holster model they make is adjustable for retention. Typically that’s done via the two screws under the trigger guard, squishing or releasing rubber grommets and adjusting the amount of clamping force on the trigger guard. On many models, retention at the dust cover is adjustable as well.
The above photo — showing my Raptor Appendix Holster — also gives a good look at the Raptor Claw, which is the curved black piece of kydex held in place by the trigger guard retention bolts. This ingenious little paddle provides a pressure point on the inside of your waistband (inside the pants right under the belt), and does wonders for keeping the heel of the gun held closely to your body. As the bottom of the grip frame is almost always the first point to print, the Raptor Claw ameliorates that in a simple, effective fashion.
T.REX’s Sidecar rig is basically the Raptor with a magazine holster integrated into it. It’s now made as a pancake with two sheets of kydex, uses two belt clips, and has adjustable retention for both the pistol and the magazine. The Raptor Claw comes into play again and, like it is on the Raptor holster, is removable should you prefer to go without.
I believe the Sidecar is T.REX ARMS’ #1 selling holster, and it’s easy to see why. A single unit that is concealable, fairly comfortable, and highly accessible is an easy sell. In the photo above, that’s a GLOCK 19 pistol and a GLOCK 17 magazine.
Last but not least, I picked up an OWB pancake-style holster, the Fenrir. This one I ordered for a G17, knowing it would still work perfectly with the G19 (pictured) and basically every other small-frame GLOCK. The solid kydex belt loops hold it snugly enough against my body that I could conceal it under a sweatshirt or light jacket. For open carry purposes, the belt loops are adjustable so the holster can be carried a touch lower for easier reach. Instead of loops, malice clips are an option for attaching the Fenrir to MOLLE gear.
I’m not sure what inspired me to do the carbon fiber texture kydex on the outside and light yellow on the inside, but I really like the combination. The molding accuracy, size of the sight channel, clearance for optics, massive cut for acquiring a full shooting grip right out of the gate, and retention adjustment are all completely spot-on. It’s fair to say this is a simple piece, but it’s really done flawlessly.
Wearing an appendix rig was easier and more comfortable than I expected. It still isn’t my preference, but I think that’s because I’m carrying around a bit of a spare tire these days. Also, yeah, I don’t like having a loaded, chambered firearm pointing at my money maker any more than I do my femoral artery. But I did it anyway and carried AIWB for a couple months, and I definitely understand why people like it.
Both the Raptor and Sidecar are highly concealable. Even with a G17 sticking out the bottom of my Raptor, I could carry it without printing as long as I was wearing a slightly loose-fitting shirt. Not baggy, mind you, just not snug. Were I skinnier and sans belly competing for real estate with pistol, it would be even more concealable. Regardless, it was comfortable.
I was surprised how easily I could sit down with the holster in place, without even having to adjust things. The bottom of either holster rides higher than I expected and was “above the fold,” I guess you’d say, when seated — it stays on the part of your body that doesn’t bend. Drawing from the holsters is easy as well, even while seated. In a car, for instance, this would be much simpler and faster than attempting to draw from my normal, 3:00-ish carry position.
It still feels a bit weird to me when walking, but I’m sure I’d get used to it. I can feel my normal holster in its normal location, too, it just feels…you know…normal to me.
Right off the bat, though, I was quick on the draw with the Raptor or Sidecar. Very little “re-education” was needed before the draw stroke became fast, confident, and nearly second nature. Of course I’m no where near as quick as the dudes in T.REX ARMS’ Insta videos, but they’ve proven this carry style can be extremely fast.
Holstering of a chambered GLOCK is still something I’d rather not do when carrying AIWB. I greatly prefer holstering the gun with the holster off my body, the installing it all as a single unit. That’s very easy to do with the Raptor, and while the Sidecar is more complicated due to using two clips, those clips open on the bottom so they can be installed and removed without having to undo your belt. As seen in the video at top, with a rig like the Sidecar I’ll often run my belt buckle off to the side to give the holster clips extra clearance and allow for ideal alignment. No reason to have your holster in a less-than-ideal orientation due to giving the belt buckle priority.
The Raptor can also be worn IWB elsewhere on the belt, and I carried it a few times near the 3:00 position. The Raptor Claw is still very useful here and aids concealment, but for this carry location a forwards cant would be helpful, too.
As for the holsters themselves, they look as good as the day they arrived.
T.REX ARMS is making kydex holsters as nice as any I’ve seen. Clean, simple, and made with utmost precision and attention to detail. I love seeing rounded edges on burr-free, chaff-free kydex. Nice hardware, proper retention adjustment, and excellent molding complete the package. Of course, this level of attention to detail doesn’t come cheap, and T.REX’s holsters fall in the semi-premium price category.
While a shopper might be overwhelmed with options, T.REX’s website makes it pretty easy to get exactly what you want from what are probably hundreds of thousands of potential holster configurations. Holsters are available molded for rail-mounted lights and lasers, for many dozens of firearm models, left- or right-handed draw, forwards or backwards facing rounds in the magazine carrier, belt clip size, sweat guard size, a zillion color options, cuts for optics, and more. It’s a lot to go through, but the end result is your holster, made for you. Of course, this level of customization doesn’t happen instantly, and current lead time to receive your made-to-order holster is 3 to 7 weeks.
Specifications: T.REX ARMS holsters:
Fits: close to 100 different pistol models.
MSRP: from $45 to $140 depending on holster model and options (Raptor $60-70, Sidecar $100-$110, Fenrir $80)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality * * * * *
Top notch. You can find other holsters of similar design, but you won’t find them done better than this.
Function * * * * *
I’m still not on the AIWB train, but those who are will find these holsters to be excellent choices. The Raptor Claw works as advertised, and everything else is where and how it should be and/or is adjustable. They conceal in comfort. And Fenrir just works — a simple pancake holster done very well.
Overall * * * * *
T.REX ARMS delivers a product that is just right. It requires no tweaks, no cleanup around the edges, and no compromises. It costs a few bucks more out of the gate, but it’s a quality, functional product made to order and made right.