Blackhawk ARC Holster Review

LAST UPDATED: November 8th 2017
GUIDE: Chris Browning

You are probably aware that appendix concealed carry is an ever growing trend. No matter if it’s trendy or not, you are looking for the best way to conceal carry your handgun and appendix carry may just be what you’re looking for.

Appendix carry is where you position your holster and gun in the region of your appendix. Basically, down the front of your pants around the twelve o’clock to the two o’clock position.

As with other types of concealed carry, there are advantages to appendix carry and there are disadvantages, along with myths, rumors and exaggerations.

If you’re looking for a reliable ARC holster, the Blackhawk ARC Holster gets the job done. Blackhawk is a name you can trust and they are a leader in the industry.

Blackhawk designed their ARC holster to be comfortable and versatile. It is ambidextrous so it allows for right or left hand use. This holster comes with two belt clips and adjustable retention.


Things To Consider

A lot of experienced gun owners joke about how they have boxes full of holsters that rarely get used, and one or so holsters that get used all the time. There are different reason why it may take a while to find the right holster for you.

You’ll probably need a few different kinds of holsters for different guns. Some holsters are made well, others, not so much. Just take these couple of reasons and multiply them by different manufacturers, custom holsters makers, and semi custom holsters makers, and you end up with the box full of holsters that rarely get used and the few that get regular use.

You can save a lot of time, trouble, and money by knowing the three features all concealment holsters must have. Security, access, and concealment.

Security

The holster you choose should securely hold your gun in place. Take your activity level into consideration as you are shopping for a holster.

Access

A holster should provide you ample access to your gun at all times, including compromised positions such as lying on the ground. It should also hold your gun in a stable position so that you can practice quick and reliable drawing.

Concealment

If you open carry on your hip you don’t need to worry about concealing your gun. If you feel like it’s nobody’s business to know if you are carrying or not, then concealed carry may be how you want to carry.

A good concealment holster will not show any part of the gun and will not have any printing through your clothes.

Give And Take

These three important features, listed above, can sometimes work against each other. For example, retention devices will make drawing a little slower, as will deeper concealment. You will have to make choices on which features are the most important, based on your own lifestyle.


ARC Holsters

Appendix carry has been ignored for quite a while. Most gun experts have emphasized holstering around the three o’clock to the four o’clock position for quite some time.

All we have to do is look at some old photographs of cowboys or even drawings of pirates to see appendix carry has been around for as long as we have been carrying guns. It’s a logical place to put something you want to carry.

It is still a debated way to carry. Deciding where to carry your firearm is a personal choice and people are passionate about their choices.

As we mentioned above there are some advantages and disadvantages about carrying a handgun in the appendix position. Let’s take a look at a few.

Advantages

Faster Draw

The first advantage that comes to mind with appendix carry is a faster draw than from other IWB holsters. The natural arm position makes drawing from the appendix position quicker because you don’t have to move your arm back behind your body.

Better Retention

In the other IWB positions, your gun is beside you or behind you, making it more vulnerable to gun grab. With appendix carry, your gun is right in front of you. This is the best position for you to be able to see if anyone is trying to go for your firearm.

Excellent Concealment

A lot of people find it much easier to conceal while carrying appendix position. Appendix carry offers deep concealment.

Disadvantages

Comfort

Comfort can be an issue with appendix carry, especially if you think being round is in shape (round is a shape, right?). Certain (bigger) body types may experience discomfort while doing everyday activities, while carrying appendix. Sitting, bending, and driving are the most constricting activities.

Safety

The first objection that is sure to be mentioned when you bring up appendix carry is that you could shoot your man parts. The thinking is that this position is dangerous because the muzzle points directly at your man parts.

In actuality, if you have a good holster and gun belt, your muzzle won’t be pointing directly at your man parts. It can, however, be pointing at your femoral artery.

Having an accident while reholstering in this position could have potentially disastrous consequences. Training and gear can minimize the risks.

Here’s a quick video that addresses some safety thoughts about appendix carry:


Blackhawk ARC Holster Detailed Overview

Because everyone has different tastes in holsters, manufacturers try to accommodate this by making different types of holsters.

To help you make a decide if the Blackhawk ARC Holster is right for you, we can go over some of the pros and cons about this holster.

According to the Blackhawk website, “The ARC (Appendix Reversible Carry) IWB holster is designed to be as comfortable as it is versatile. With ambidextrous carry capability, two belt clips, and adjustable retention detent, this holster is a must have.”

Features

  • Soft, durable injection molded polymer material
  • Fully ambidextrous allows for right and left hand use
  • Includes two ride and cant adjustment belt clips
  • Fits belts 1.5 to 1.75 inches
  • Passive retention detent with adjustment screw
  • Allows for use of rear mounted red dots
  • Made in USA

Pros

  • Allows for good grip on the gun
  • Good retention
  • Adjustable retention
  • affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Belt clip is a little flimsy
  • Can be difficult to attach
  • No sweat guard
  • Too long for shorter barrel guns

Alternatives

There are an assortment of hoster types on the market. If appendix carry is not for you, there are alternatives.

IWB

IWB, or inside the waistband, holsters are worn inside the pants and attach to the pants with loops, belt clips, or hooks. IWB conceals well but does require your pants to be about two inches larger than you normally wear, in the waist.

OWB or Hip Holster

OWB, or outside the waistband, holster are the most comfortable option. These holsters ride on the outside of the pants on the strong side. You can usually conceal with a long shirt or jacket. Check for printing by checking yourself doing different movements.

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder Holsters are good if you can’t wear on your hip and you wear a sports jacket. You wear the gun on the crossdraw side and extra magazines can be worn on the opposite side to balance out the weight.

Paddle and Pancake Holsters

Paddle holsters are held on the belt by a paddle or duckbill that slides over the waist of your pants.

Pancake holsters are made of two pieces of material that the gun is sandwiched in between. They have two or more belt slots to weave your belt through.

Pocket and Ankle Holsters

Pocket holsters are growing in popularity. They are easy and conceal well. They are best for smaller firearms.

Ankle holsters are usually for a backup gun. They can be uncomfortable and you need to be careful while sitting, that your pant leg doesn’t ride up.


Final Thoughts

Out of all the holsters types on the market today, the Blackhawk ARC Holster is definitely a good choice. It’s affordable, durable, comfortable and ambidextrous. Being able to get a full grip on the gun is important and one of the best features of this holster, in my opinion. Being able to bend and sit is important and this holster allows for both, with ease and comfort.

Our Pick
 blackhawk arc
Blackhawk ARC Holster

The ARC (Appendix Reversible Carry) IWB holster is designed to be as comfortable as it is versatile. With ambidextrous carry capability, two belt clips, and adjustable retention detent, this holster is a must have.

Check Lowest Pricing

One key point to keep in mind is that if you’re not comfortable wearing this appendix carry it can be worn in crossdraw and strongside positions as well. For a very affordable price you can get an adjustable holster.

If you are new to appendix carry and carrying in general, it is recommended that you practice drawing and reholstering with your unloaded gun. Practice creates muscle memory and will help you draw smooth and quickly if you are ever in a stressful situation.

Right now the Blackhawk ARC Holster is for Smith & Wessons and Glocks but hopefully they have plans to expand the line for other gun models.

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