Small of the back?


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swift535
June 3, 2008, 09:49 PM
Just wondering why there doesn't seem to be much mention of SOB carry on the board. Seems like it makes sense and would be comfortable, but I figure its like everything else and there's gotta be some disadvantages I'm overlooking.

I'm mainly asking because I'm a bigger guy (6ft 270ish), and am looking into concealment options for a service xd9. I figure a regular IWB would be uncomfortable with my plentiful love handles lol, and a lot of my shirts aren't very long so I'm not sure I could conceal well with an OWB without having to buy all new shirts.

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Ltlabner
June 3, 2008, 09:54 PM
There's a few downsides to SOB carry.

First, if you are pushed down onto your back during a fight (or just plain fall) you stand a good chance of a serrious spine/back injury.

Second, it very easy for a concealment garment to ride up and expose your weapon and you can neither feel it or see it out of the corner of your eye. It's also really hard to casually pull the back of your shirt down to cover/check your cover whereas on your hip is relativley easy.

And if you are sitting in a car all day? Forget it. Horrably uncomfortable and impossible to draw quickly with a seatbelt on.

It's not the worst carry method in the world, but it's got some significant drawbacks IMO.

sadlsor
June 5, 2008, 10:22 AM
I have a Galco SOB for my Officers Model, and it works for me. I don't wear it while riding my motorbike; I have others.

If you're not spending a lot of your day sitting, it's one of the most comfortable holsters with the possible exception of a good shoulder rig. The potential spinal injuries are duly noted; I doubt there's a "perfect" holster for every conceivable situation.

Choices are good.

Ske1etor
June 5, 2008, 10:33 AM
Swift, check out one of the Galco "Summer Comfort" holsters. Try carrying it at around the 2:00-3:00 position. I have those unsightly love handles as well and I can carry both of my fullsize guns (5" 1911 and 4" Springfield XD-40 Service) without much discomfort.

When I sit down, the backstrap pulls into my side which doesn't cause discomfort but is just enough to let me know the gun is still there... lol

You may find that a different position is more comfortable but I would delay going to S.O.B. carry for as long as possible. I don't really fret too much about the possible spinal injury thing as I believe it is overblown but it is horribly uncomfortable to sit down if you are carrying SOB.

Try another option if you can before trying SOB. You will most likely be surprised.

Here is a picture of me with my 5" 1911 holstered in a Galco Royal Guard II (Basically the same thing as the summer comfort that I carry my XD in.)
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s245/Ske1etor/RoyalGuard014.jpg

And here is a picture from the back, showing the minimal amount of printing from that holstered firearm.
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s245/Ske1etor/RoyalGuard009.jpg

GRB
June 5, 2008, 10:39 AM
Besides the reasons mentioned above not to carry in the small of your back (and injury risk rates high); think to yourself how you would attempt to retain your pistol in a fight when someone got you in a grappling hold or a bear hug, realized it was there and tried to take it from you. It is in an extremely poor position as far as pistol rentention goes. It is alsoin a poor spot as far as quickly drawing the weapon and bringing it on target goes, and as far as one handed reholstering goes. All important aspects of choosing a good holster and the spot where you will wear it.

All the best,
Glenn B

wuchak
June 5, 2008, 10:45 AM
The risk of spinal injuries is very real. Many police departments prohibit SOB carry for this reason. It's also going to be, next to ankle, the slowest place to draw from when standing. For your gun to be in firing position it has to travel all the way around your body. If you're talking carry locations in the waist area SOB is the worst possible choice. A good IWB holster at the appendix position is about the best for a fast draw and it's easily reachable with either hand. A Smart Carry is also a good choice. Someone recently posted this video in another thread. Check out the speed of deployment from the appendix position. This could never be matched from SOB. http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y26/KevlarSix/?action=view&current=SparrowHitman.flv

DWARREN123
June 5, 2008, 11:00 AM
Uncomfortable for sitting, clothing rides up without you knowing, hard to reach for some, if carried directly over spine and fall on it there "may" be damage to spine, hard to draw in some situations.

swift535
June 5, 2008, 08:57 PM
thanks for the help / info guys, much appreciated.

wulfbyte
July 7, 2008, 03:00 PM
A day late and a dollar short but I thought you might like some positive info regarding SOB carry. I have tried many other forms of carry, but I always find myself going back to the SOB carried in this manner.

I carry a full size 1911 in a Galco SOB holster, but perhaps I don't carry it as intended. I wear it such that the grip is nearly vertical and just behind my hip. When I want to know my pistol is secure a very slight movement places my elbow in contact with the grip. I keep the tension adjustment screw pretty tight so it takes effort to remove it from the holster and I have never had it slip out inadvertantly.

It rides over my right side lower back/buttock and there is no metal directly between my spine and the ground should I fall. I suspect there would be no difference for potential injury were I wearing some other holster behind my hip.

As far as speed of presentation, I find I can present faster from an SOB than a vertical or moderately raked holster on my strong side. Perhaps this is a case of my particular body mechanics and not something to really consider, but I know at least one other who agrees with me and also carries in the same fashion.

Sweeping unintended targets does happen, but much less so than with a horizontal shoulder rig and perhaps equally so to a vertical shoulder rig.

I don't find it particularly uncomfortable when wearing it while seated or difficult to get to. It is more accessible to me in a car seat because of the angle of draw is what it is as opposed to a strong side vertical or moderately raked holster.

I will grant that for almost every situation there is a better holster, but I am hard pressed to find one that does most jobs as well as the SOB for me. Perhaps it is only for me that it works out so well, but I think I should pass it on anyway.

I do choose to wear (and practice from) a variety of different holsters depending on how much advance information I have about the situation I am going into, but I think that would be true of most people. Every carry method had advantages and disadvantages, it's just a matter of weighing them out against the situations at hand and finding the best compromise.

M1911
July 7, 2008, 03:07 PM
As with most of the replies above, I'm not a fan of SOB holsters. If you fall on your back, you can hurt your spine. It is hard to draw from and reholster to an SOB holster without covering yourself with the muzzle. The process of drawing from the holster also tends to cover anyone to your 3:00 position. The draw is slower than drawing from a hip holster. It is uncomfortable when seated and very hard to draw from when seated. In addition, it is very hard to defend from a gun grab, since your arm is weak in that position. And if you bend over a bit, it is very easy to print.

I see no advantages to SOB carry and plenty of disadvantages. YMMV.

hill billy
July 7, 2008, 03:24 PM
I carry a glock 36 in a left hand, straight drop iwb holster at around 7 o'clock(I am right handed)I can draw with either hand.It's not over my spine so I don't worry about that,besides, it's quite uncomfortable to carry a gun RIGHT over the spine. Yes it may not be the fastest, I sure as heck hope I am paying attention and do not have to get out my gun, "right the hell now" If this is what's comfortable for you and works the best, do it.

ETA: When I'm in the car it goes in the center console or some other convenient place.

Vonderek
July 7, 2008, 03:46 PM
Besides a fall, there is the very high probability of an injury if you get rear-ended while in your vehicle. I have a permanent problem with my right sacroilliac joint and lower lumbar vertabrae after getting hit from behind by an idiot in a pickup truck fiddling with his stereo while I was waiting at a red light. I was carrying a NAA Guardian in my right hip pocket. If I had been carrying a larger gun SOB I probably would be in a wheelchair now. If you're going to carry SOB don't do it when in a vehicle.

mr.72
July 7, 2008, 05:02 PM
I see no advantages to SOB carry and plenty of disadvantages.

advantages:

comfort
concealibility
ease of draw

From what I can tell, every holster/carry proposition is a mixed bag of pros and cons. I don't see how SOB carry has any worse of a balance than the others. Of course maybe I put more weight on the negative aspect of having to "dress around your gun" than most others do, so I value something like SOB carry which may be far more compatible with a non-gun-nut wardrobe than the oversized pants look of IWB, or a cover garment for OWB or shoulder rig.

So I have to disagree. It has advantages, and disadvantages, just like everything else.

M1911
July 7, 2008, 05:25 PM
comfort
concealibility
ease of draw

Huh? All of those are worse for SOB than 4:00 carry.

wulfbyte
July 7, 2008, 06:16 PM
comfort
concealibility
ease of draw

Huh? All of those are worse for SOB than 4:00 carry.

For me, my SOB holster is more comfortable than any other holster I have worn.

For me, my SOB holster is easier to comfortably conceal than almost all other holsters I have tried, and I have found that uncomfortable concealment isn't very well concealed at all as other factors have a tendency to give it away.

For me, my SOB holster is the easiest to draw from. Perhaps that is just my own body mechanics, or maybe it isn't, but it remains, of the many holsters I own, the SOB is the fastest for me to present from.

All of these statments are true, for me, with my SOB holster, carrying my 5" 1911. For you obviously these are false statements with whatever it was that you carried in your SOB holster.

I do have to agree with you on one point though. When I wear my SOB, the pistol sits at about a 70 degree forward rake, placing the grip nearly vertical, just forward of the 4 o'clock position. So in a sense you are right about that, 4 o'clock is the magic spot, as long as the magazine well points to the sky; for me.

mr.72
July 8, 2008, 10:16 AM
I have not tried SOB carry but I cannot see any way that 4:00 or other IWB carry is going to work for me because of a distinct lack of comfort and concealibility. So you say those are advantages of IWB 4:00, but they are only advantages if they work out for you. Same goes for SOB. There are advantages that work out for some people, and for those people perhaps the pros and cons balance in favor of SOB carry and perhaps they do not for others.

I still think the spine injury angle is way overstated. Your spine is likely not nearly that fragile.

M1911
July 8, 2008, 10:36 AM
For me, my SOB holster is the easiest to draw from. Perhaps that is just my own body mechanics, or maybe it isn't, but it remains, of the many holsters I own, the SOB is the fastest for me to present from.

I just don't understand how that can be true. If you have a vertical holster at 3:00, the gun has to go through far less movement to get to a firing position.

wulfbyte
July 8, 2008, 11:28 AM
I just don't understand how that can be true. If you have a vertical holster at 3:00, the gun has to go through far less movement to get to a firing position.

For me it's a range of motion issue. On my body, it's about 13" from my waistband/belt to my armpit, and 21" from my armpit to my wrist (which is odd seeing as how I wear 34" sleeve on my shirts). I have to draw upwards about 6" before my muzzle clears my holster in a vertical IWB or OWB on the strong side. Accounting for the various thicknesses of my arm, what that translates to is me trying to get my hand with a fist full of pistol into my armpit. For some reason, this isn't easy for me. I would rather pull my pistol sideways till it clears the holster, drop the muzzle to point at the ground, then move it up into firing position. My hand does not need to come straight up from my waist into my armpit in that maneuver, and there really is not much more movements than I would use drawing vertically. It is somewhat akin to taking a back road which leads straight to your destination, or going on the highway which although a bit out of the way is much faster.

The motions required to bring a pistol from the vertical 3 o'clock position at the waistband to a ready firing position are fewer in number and range than the same action from anywhere behind the back at a forward 70 degree rake. On this we agree, and if I were able to physically perform both maneuvers with equal ease, then I would also agree as to which holster I present fastest from. But I cannot, therefore, I will chose the SOB for ease of presentation. What is easier for me I can do smoother, faster, with more control.

I am not trying to convert anyone, just trying to show that for some people, the balance of positives and negatives falls in favor of SOB carry. I know none of us like the holster box, but if the same holster fit everyone, in every circumstance, we would have found out long ago.

freakshow10mm
July 8, 2008, 11:31 AM
I love the back injury argument. If I wear a gun on my hip and fall on my hip I could hurt my hip. Oh no! What to do?

Clipper
July 8, 2008, 11:34 AM
A SOB holster at 5:00 was the only comfortable way I found to carry my Officer's 1911...

M1911
July 8, 2008, 02:19 PM
I love the back injury argument. If I wear a gun on my hip and fall on my hip I could hurt my hip. Oh no! What to do?Injuring your hip is unlikely to result in permanent injury or paralysis. Unfortunately, spinal injuries have happened:

Small of the Back: Not our favorite method of carry. You have the least amount of security from begin disarmed and the most amount of potential injury if you go down. We have worked with a number of officers who carried a backup with a small of the back holster who injured their back when falling on the handgun. In fact I personally received permanent soft tissue back damage from carrying in the pants just right of my spine.

http://www.center-fire.com/concealedcarry/selectingholster.htm

geekWithA.45
July 8, 2008, 02:25 PM
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

Shockingly, I am unwilling to destroy my kidneys, and so I'll not be having a holster that pretty much requires me to point my gun at them.

dairycreek
July 8, 2008, 02:39 PM
From time to time I am moved to carry my Ruger SP-101 in a Galco SOB and, based on purely personal experience, I can offer the following remarks.

Conventional wisdom says that wearing the SOB directly over the spine is a safety hazard. Perhaps? But it sure can be uncomfortable. Sitting in a straight back chair can be painful when the combo is worn over the spine. The answer? For me it has been to move the SOB a couple of inches to the right (5:30 carry??? I am right handed)!:uhoh: Gets the holster off the spine, makes sitting a lot easier, and drawing the gun is a lot easier. You don't have to wear the SOB in the center to make this a safe, secure, and effective concealed carry combo. FWIW:p

Clipper
July 8, 2008, 07:08 PM
Shockingly, I am unwilling to destroy my kidneys, and so I'll not be having a holster that pretty much requires me to point my gun at them.

Oh puleeze! If you just don't like 'em, say so. Don't make up B.S. arguments to support your personal tastes! I suppose you think pocket holsters are unsafe because anyone sitting across from you at dinner is being covered, and of course a shoulder holster covers anyone in the back seat...Of course, that presumes your wife and kids are among those things you don't want to destroy. I won't even go into smartcarry...

The 4 rules are supposed to apply to a gun in your hand. If we were supposed to inflexibly apply them to a holstered weapon as well, then none of us should be carrying...

the naked prophet
July 9, 2008, 12:06 PM
Clipper, a holstered gun is considered safe, and in fact most holsters have the gun pointing at something when holstered. The comment about the kidneys was not relating to the holstered gun, which points toward the ground or possibly the edge of the buttocks. The problem is when drawing.

When drawing from a hip holster or even pocket holster, the gun is not generally pointed at your body at any time. Maybe at most, a bullet would graze the outside of your leg. However, a small of the back holster nearly requires you to point the gun at your kidneys for the draw. Yes, you can draw without doing that, but it takes some gymnastics and you're less likely to remember to correctly perform those gymnastics under the stress of a gunfight.

Clipper
July 9, 2008, 12:23 PM
Bunk...

It's not pointed at the body when drawing SOB, either. I have carried this way, have you? I would have had to do all the gymnastics to point the gun AT myself! I see you also pointedly ignored the possible drawbacks to shoulder and smartcarry. Again I call B.S. and I stand by my original statement.

nwilliams
July 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
I don't like SOB carry personally. As others pointed out if you fall on your back you could inflict spinal injury. Also I find it very uncomfortable to carry something there, especially for driving or just sitting in general. Finally I don't like carrying SOB because it means you have to reach further around to draw your gun, I can draw it much faster when its at my side. I just honestly don't see any advantage to carrying your gun back there, I would never do it.

M1911
July 9, 2008, 02:24 PM
It's not pointed at the body when drawing SOB, either. I have carried this way, have you? I would have had to do all the gymnastics to point the gun AT myself! I see you also pointedly ignored the possible drawbacks to shoulder and smartcarry.

Gymnastics to point the gun at yourself? I disagree. All you need to do is break your wrist slightly while holstering or drawing, and the muzzle will start to point at your backside.

I agree that many of the drawbacks of SOB carry are shared with shoulder and smartcarry.

hill billy
July 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
Also, with reference to smartcarry vs. sob, I would rather sweep my butt than my junk. Plus if something were to happen, like an ad with an sob, there's a good chance it's not going to hit much. In a smart carry, it could change your religion. :D

the naked prophet
July 10, 2008, 01:25 PM
I agree on the downsides with Smart Carry - if you're sitting. While standing, there's not as much chance of crossing your body while drawing.

I have not carried in a SOB holster myself, but I have made and tested a few when requested by customers. They were universally difficult to draw from without the muzzle crossing my body.

Clipper
July 10, 2008, 08:22 PM
My SOB holster was an OWB, butt-up design. I wore it over my right kidney. There was virtually NO WAY to sweep any part of my anatomy in drawing that gun, and the position was the most comfortable way I ever found to carry my Ultra Carry for long periods, and while driving. I also used the same style rig with my PT-145.

Just because it's called a SOB doesn't mean the holster police will get you if it's not directly at 6:00.
Most knowledgeable SOB wearers (including most of the actual SOB users posting here) offset the holster. Most of the detractors obviously don't know this, because they keep harping about back injury and such. Most SOB users took about 1 use before they found out that offsetting a bit to the side made them much more comfortable. SOB is still my favorite way to carry when I am unable to pocket carry.

The Lone Haranguer
July 10, 2008, 11:55 PM
I'm mainly asking because I'm a bigger guy (6ft 270ish), and am looking into concealment options for a service xd9. I figure a regular IWB would be uncomfortable with my plentiful love handles lol ...

I am 5-9 and 148 lbs., so I don't know how much of this will apply to you. ;)

With the SOB holsters I am familiar with (carrying the gun nearly horizontally with the grip pointing up), are you going to be able to turn your arm and reach that far around your back while clearing your cover garment(s)? If not and you have to offset the holster further toward your strong side, you will soon reach a point of diminishing returns in concealability. Try simulating the carry in this position with the gun unloaded.

... and a lot of my shirts aren't very long so I'm not sure I could conceal well with an OWB without having to buy all new shirts.
And??? ;) What's wrong with that? If this is what you wind up having to do, do it. I use IWB holsters and purchased all new pants - an extra inch in the waist, otherwise they are too tight with a holstered gun and horribly uncomfortable - when I started carrying.

gtmerkley
July 11, 2008, 02:03 AM
M 1911 has that right.

hill billy
July 11, 2008, 12:59 PM
With the SOB holsters I am familiar with (carrying the gun nearly horizontally with the grip pointing up), are you going to be able to turn your arm and reach that far around your back while clearing your cover garment(s)? If not and you have to offset the holster further toward your strong side, you will soon reach a point of diminishing returns in concealability. Try simulating the carry in this position with the gun unloaded. I find this type of holster uncomfortable. I use a left hand straight drop holster even though I am right handed. This leaves the gun pointed straight down with the grip to my right side. I do no need two hands to pull it out, one hand does the whole operation and as I mentioned before, I can easily draw with either hand.

the naked prophet
July 11, 2008, 01:21 PM
Clipper, moving the holster even a small amount to the strong side makes it much easier to draw without crossing your body. I assumed you meant right at 6:00. I also wear my IWB holsters at 5:00.

tipoc
July 11, 2008, 04:42 PM
As others have mentioned picking a holster can be complicated and finding the right one (ones) for you takes trial and error. So the pros and cons of SOB have been mentioned and have to be weighed in the equation.

I tend to think that your body type (or physical limitations to the rotator cuff) and what you will be doing while wearing the rig and what you will be carrying have a good deal to do with selection. All rigs have their strengths and weaknesses at certain tasks. Like shoes. The rig you are fastest from may be completely inappropriate to wear in certain locations or events. An ankle rig might work. Cross draw works in many applications much better than SOB. An IWB strong side is very handy but maybe not so much for a 5'6" 250 pd. woman or man. Speed may have to take second place to concealment at times. Etc., etc.

So for me SOB has been handy at times. And I try to avoid falling flat on my back :)

tipoc

EricShelton
July 14, 2008, 02:40 AM
"If you fall on your spine..."

Seriously? Do you guys make a habit of falling on your back? When tussling with a bad guy, even if you go down backwards, aren't you moving side to side? Sorry, I just think this is a stupid argument. I'm going to be more worried about the knife the bad guy is trying to shove in my gut if things come to that.

Uncomfortable when sitting? Adjust your lumbar support. Fixed.

Now, as far as the shirt riding up- this is absolutely true. Getting in and out of the car, it's become a habit for me now to reach behind with my left hand and double check my shirt is draped over my gun.

When sitting in church, I have a tendency to lean forward, studiously. (Paying close attention keeps me from napping.) This is another concealment problem- there's not a lot of vertical support in an SOB holster, so the butt of your grip will shoot straight up in the air and make you look like Quasimodo.

Last thought- I have an ambidextrous safety on my 1911. In an SOB holster, while seated or moving around I have knocked the safety off more than once. There's still the grip safety and the trigger is covered, but this is something worth noting.

As long as you practice withdrawing your firearm from the holster, unnecessary sweeping of the muzzle across non-targets can be easily remedied.

I've carried a full size 1911 in an SOB for the past 4 months. For reference, I'm 6'0" and 190 pounds. It works just fine, and may be a good option for you. In full disclosure, I'm waiting on a custom holster that will be strong side on the hip, and I'm hoping to move my gun there full time to avoid the hunchback effect. But the typical reasons people poo-poo SOB holsters are fear-mongering, juts repeating what they heard, or forgetting that not everyone is built the same way.

If you want to try it, go for it. Don't we all have more holsters than guns, anyway?

mr.72
July 14, 2008, 09:55 AM
repeating what they heard

+1

There's a lot of echo in the CCW ranks.

M203Sniper
July 20, 2008, 03:27 PM
If you haven't tried it and you have one of those rotating paddle holsters;

Hold the paddle and rotate the weapon to clockwise, so the grip is up.

Put the Holster on (Not at 6) but at about 5 O'clock.

Under a coat or winter jacket it's pretty comfortable and you can easily adjust your coat tails without handling your pistol.

NOT THIS http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/2158/90131982ns3.jpg

THIS http://www.gunblast.com/images/Paco_GALCO-SOB/SOB1002.jpg









I never carry a pistol on my spine, but I have a bad habit of sliding my Handcuffs around behind me; I can still walk. :)

CHEVELLE427
July 23, 2008, 02:10 AM
I TRIED THE SOB HOLSTER (ONCE)

got out of the truck and heard a clinic behind me, turned to see what it was and there laid my 45, never felt it come out,:cuss:

sold that holster and went back to my bianchi pro100 IWB. so far so good.
i also have some meat on the bones 6.6 270, gun tucks good up in the gut.:D

Did just get an old used bianchi shadow for my TAURUS CIA and IM liking it a lot. Looking for one for the XD now.

Harley Man
August 6, 2008, 03:58 PM
Conceal Carry...Small of Back, Inside waist band, outside waist band, shoulder holster, cross draw holster, ankel holster wear at 1:00...3:00..butt canted toward the front. Shirt blowing up, jacket blowing open.......Summer concealment, winter concealment
I have only one thing to say...Sounds like a good argrument for OPEN CARRY! Oh yea Texas is one of only six states that doesn't have some sort of OPEN CARRY law. Go Figure!!!
Sorry for the rant in the wrong forum.

onebigelf
August 6, 2008, 06:52 PM
I carry a full size HP in a Bianchi Pistol Pocket worn SOB. I have the holster rotated so the butt lays right about along my spine, slide down. I find it perfectly comfortable, it hides nicely under a jacket, and to draw I just sweep my hand under the edge of the jacket with three fingers curled to catch the grip, pop the thumb break, and out it comes. I've practiced a bit, but nobody in my gun club can draw as fast from their chosen rig. Re-holstering is a bit tricky I will admit. Not quick at all, but I don't consider that a major flaw. If I'm putting my gun up I probably have time. It's getting it out that is likely to be pressing!

John

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