Recently, I began working Appendix IWB into my concealed carry rotation. After the initial month of adjustment, it's become my preferred off-duty carry method. It allows me faster access to my firearm, is easier to defend in weapon retention drills, and doesn't print in an obvious manner like strong side hip carry does. While the debate concerning the safety and viability of AIWB continues, Sparrow Defense has elected to allow individuals who demonstrate proper weapon handling safety to use AIWB in classes. That said, this post is actually a gear review.
On duty, I carry a Ka-Bar TDI knife. For those of you who aren't familiar, the TDI was designed to fit behind an officer's magazine pouches and give him or her rapid access to an edged weapon. The handle is set at an angle to simulate the grip of a pistol. Because it hides behind other equipment, it's often overlooked by anyone inspecting the officer's gear. It's a great tool, and at $40.00 or less it's affordable.
The main weakness of the TDI has always been the sheath. For such a great product, Ka-Bar dropped the ball completely when they designed its carry method. The factory TDI sheath is positioned straight up and down, and is meant to ride between an officer's under-belt and duty belt. When sandwiched between those two, the knife is generally secure. However, there were multiple times when the sheath came right off my belt when I attempted to access the knife. When I carried it in plain clothing, the sheath came off the belt almost every time. The lack of confidence in the sheath prompted me to remove it from my carry plan until someone tipped me off to the TDI Horizontal Knife Sheath from NSR Tactical. (pictures below)
One of the benefits of the sheath is that it changes the grip angle of the knife to lie flat along the belt. The knife and sheath blend in with black belts, and it also has a minimal print that isn't visible over an un-tucked shirt. I selected mine for right-hand access, and carry it close to the center of my body. That setup allows me to draw the knife with my off hand in case I am using my dominant hand to defend my firearm. The knife is retained by friction, so there is no mechanical safety to defeat.
I've carried the knife daily for months, and the sheath shows no sign of wear. It's held in place by a single belt clip that is durable and has a deep lip to accommodate thicker belts. The blade still fits snugly and is in no danger of falling out.
NSR Tactical sells the sheath for $40.00 as a stand-alone item. However, they also market a knife and sheath combo for $65.00. I had a sheath made for my regular TDI as well as the larger version with the Tanto blade. NSR Tactical will also do custom work, so if you don't see it on their site, it may be worth a phone call to see what they can do for you. Their website address is www.nsrtactical.com.