technique for grip from an IWB


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FullEffect1911
May 28, 2009, 07:22 PM
Hello,

I just received a new IWB holster from Little Bear Custom holsters for my M&P 45 compact. Great holster for a great gun but I noticed something during draw practice.

The holster rides low and tight (just like I requested), while going to draw I found that attempting to get a full "shooting" grip is near impossible. The sweat shield and my own self gets in the way. If I loosen my belt, the gun rides further away from me and I can get a full grip, however this won't work for me for concealed carry because I will have to keep pulling up my pants. I am right handed and carry at 3:00-3:30.

I did discover a technique that is repeatable, quick and gets me a good high hold when I extend but is technically "wrong". My index finger is indexed along the frame, with the rest of my fingers on the grip as normal and my thumb rests over the rear sight (almost like it was going to try and cock a hammer). Upon drawing my thumb naturally rolls off the rear sight and goes right to where I usually place it in preparation for shooting.

It seems to work well for me, but I know it isn't exactly proper technique. Should I not practice this way and try and just wedge my thumb in there for a "normal" grip? Or is this a case of if it works use it?

Regards,
Fulleffect1911

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CWL
May 28, 2009, 07:28 PM
Hey, if it works for you...

Whatever technique you use, just do it thousands of times so that your body develops the muscle-memory to do it without needing to think. Then keep practicing regularly so that you remain smooth and fast.

If in fear for your life, you don't want to be conducting a manual of arms which requires conscious thought to perform.

MT GUNNY
May 28, 2009, 07:32 PM
I just tried it that way. I like it, Fore i Carry in a Similar Fashion.

If I decide to Continue to draw in that Fashion, Thats how I Will train.

Kor
May 28, 2009, 07:43 PM
There's nothing wrong with "flagging" the thumb high like that during the draw - in fact, if you think about it, it's the exact same motion you would use if you were un-snapping a thumb-break strap during the draw.

IMO, as long as you can build/reinforce "muscle memory" for the proper feel of the grip in your hand during the draw, you'll do fine after a month or so of daily dry-practice.

Consider using the median(middle) knuckle of your middle finger as an index/reference point vis-a-vis the juncture of the trigger-guard and frontstrap, to help you develop a consistent grip on the pistol during the draw. It may also help to stick a small piece of 3M anti-skid tape or "fuzz" velcro under the trigger-guard as a tactile reference point to help you "remember" where that knuckle is supposed to be when you grip the pistol.

FullEffect1911
May 28, 2009, 08:30 PM
Wow, that's some pretty good positive reinforcement. Thanks guys, I will continue to train in this fashion then.

Consider using the median(middle) knuckle of your middle finger as an index/reference point vis-a-vis the juncture of the trigger-guard and frontstrap, to help you develop a consistent grip on the pistol during the draw. It may also help to stick a small piece of 3M anti-skid tape or "fuzz" velcro under the trigger-guard as a tactile reference point to help you "remember" where that knuckle is supposed to be when you grip the pistol.


As an interesting coincidence of the holster and gun when I get my fingers into place my middle finger can only go so far and is stopped by the holster and gun's grip. This just so happens that my middle finger is right where it needs to be.

NavyGuy
May 28, 2009, 09:31 PM
I like the comfortable feel of an IWB holster, but didn't like the draw either. Everybody go ahead and get the flame throwers out now... I carry a left-handed IWB holster now. The only drawback is you have to point at your leg with the business end before pointing at the target of choice. It doesn't print anymore than a right-handed IWB and the grab is WAY better.

Frank Ettin
May 28, 2009, 10:18 PM
I don't know. You need to do what works. But I've used the Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 for several years, and I've had no problem getting a full firing grip. I've used one with a 1911 and with an H&K P7M8, and it's become my "go to" holster whenever I can legally carry concealed.

YammyMonkey
May 29, 2009, 12:02 AM
Try flagging the thumb out so it ends up between the sweatshield & your body. This will allow you to get a good physical reference for a high 2 count in the draw & will also help keep any undergarment from getting snagged on the rear of your weapon.

When you first initiate your grip you can also pull the grip slightly out from your body to help create space for your thumb.

David E
May 29, 2009, 01:40 AM
I'd like to see a picture of the holster being worn.

It sounds like a holster issue.

A well designed and properly executed holster allows for a full firing grip while the gun is fully seated in the holster. If your holster does not allow that, it needs to be adjusted or replaced.

If there is not a fingers' width between the top belt edge and the front strap/triggerguard junction, it is riding too deep in your pants.

Your drawing procedure is addressing the symptom, not the problem.

Zundfolge
May 29, 2009, 02:05 AM
A well designed and properly executed holster allows for a full firing grip while the gun is fully seated in the holster.
The holster rides low and tight (just like I requested)...

Everything about CCW is about compromises and tradeoffs.

We carry handguns because long guns are too large, so we trade off power for convenience.
We carry concealed because carrying open is either not legal where we live or not desirable for some other reasons, so we trade off speed of draw for concealment.
Looks like the OP has traded a little more speed of draw for his idea of optimum concealment.

Its just one of the many compromises and tradeoffs you have to train around. If you can't find a way to train around this one then you need to look at a different holster option.

I used to carry pretty much the same way, thankfully my holster has a little room for adjustment so I was able to bring the back up slightly and have that fingers' width between the top belt edge and front strap/triggerguard junction David was talking about. If you can get the gun up higher (by adjusting the cant a little bit more forward) I do believe you'll find it conceals just as well and eliminates the grip problem.

FullEffect1911
May 29, 2009, 10:15 AM
Try flagging the thumb out so it ends up between the sweatshield & your body. This will allow you to get a good physical reference for a high 2 count in the draw & will also help keep any undergarment from getting snagged on the rear of your weapon.

When you first initiate your grip you can also pull the grip slightly out from your body to help create space for your thumb.

A fine idea, I'll see how that feels.


A well designed and properly executed holster allows for a full firing grip while the gun is fully seated in the holster. If your holster does not allow that, it needs to be adjusted or replaced.

I've carried 1911's, a p220, p226 and various double action revolvers all IWB. The reason I went for a lower riding holster is because this isn't a large gun like a 1911 or the others. If it wasn't riding as deep as possible the barrel wouldn't be at all below my belt line and there would be nothing keeping it from feeling like it was constantly falling away from me. I've had high riding IWB holsters before and really didn't like them. This is my first compact semi auto and I had an idea of some of the pitfalls I may encounter.

The holster does have some room for adjustment, the maker was forward thinking enough to include 2 extra holes to move about the belt straps. However my draw from this holster even with my technique is just as fast as anything I've had before. My major question was if it's generally considered okay to buck convention and do what works for me.

ETA: I think I may know why I somewhat have a "problem". From shooting 1911's I naturally go for a high thumb hold, this causes my to try and put my right thumb right through the sweat shield. If I go for a more normal hold I can get my whole hand on it grip.

Jon_Snow
May 29, 2009, 11:11 AM
You mentioned that your thumbs rolls off as you draw. Just keep in mind that you may not have time for a full draw stroke before you need to shoot. Imagine having to shoot as soon as your gun clears the holster. If you fire before moving your thumb, you're going to be in a world of hurt.

CCWB
May 29, 2009, 12:03 PM
I agree that if it works do it. I also carry IWB with a Wild Bill's holster. I agree that if you fire before clearing the thumb you won't be a happy camper, but if you practice that way you should be fine if it hits the fan. Kor made a great point, it's just like a thumb break, and if you carry a revolver in the winter, or carry a 1911 it's like a cocking or safety release method.

With my IWB and narrow athletic build, I can get a full grip before I start my draw.

Best regards and practice practice practice.

Zundfolge
May 29, 2009, 12:13 PM
My major question was if it's generally considered okay to buck convention and do what works for me.

If that's your question than the answer is a resounding YES.

Conventions are nice, but if they don't work for you than you need to invent new ones (hell, just look what Jack Weaver's bucking of the conventions did for handgun shooting).

That said, regardless of what methods you use; practice practice practice.

David E
May 29, 2009, 02:02 PM
My major question was if it's generally considered okay to buck convention and do what works for me.

No, the real question is, should you disregard proper technique and instead practice an inferior technique until you master it?

Only you can say.

David E
May 29, 2009, 02:04 PM
If it wasn't riding as deep as possible the barrel wouldn't be at all below my belt line and there would be nothing keeping it from feeling like it was constantly falling away from me.

That is a holster design issue. A properly designed and executed holster wouldn't do that.

FullEffect1911
May 29, 2009, 02:23 PM
hat is a holster design issue. A properly designed and executed holster wouldn't do that.

If you insist, but I don't agree.

All of the IWB holsters I've ever had, if my belt is cinched tight the gun is pulled in tight. If the gun is pulled in tight then the grip is against my side tight, which means it will be more difficult to get my thumb in there.

If a short barreled gun is riding excessively high then there is nothing for the belt to pull in and the gun will flop around and not conceal well. So in my opinion that would be a poorly designed holster.

shdwfx
May 29, 2009, 03:20 PM
I had one instructor advocate something similar - he pushed his thumb against the back of the slide at the start of the draw to make certain it was in battery - all done reflexively and from frequent practice.

*shrug*

There is no right or wrong answer, just so long as you get a good grip and it is safe (aka keeping your finger out of the trigger guard).

FullEffect1911
May 29, 2009, 05:32 PM
If I move the holster off of 3:00 to 4:00 I can get a good grip on the whole frame. This is probably what I will practice. I don't feel it conceals as well at 4:00 but it is probably worth it to not have to buck convention.

Thank you very much for the advice everyone.

David E
May 29, 2009, 09:35 PM
All of the IWB holsters I've ever had, if my belt is cinched tight the gun is pulled in tight. If the gun is pulled in tight then the grip is against my side tight, which means it will be more difficult to get my thumb in there.

Obviously, the tighter the belt, the more compressed the gun/holster is to your body. What is your body type? (height/weight) This sometimes makes a difference, but I know one or two guys that are 400 lb+ that regularly use a quality IWB with great success.

If a short barreled gun is riding excessively high then there is nothing for the belt to pull in and the gun will flop around and not conceal well. So in my opinion that would be a poorly designed holster.

I agree. A holster that is excessively high isn't a good design, no matter how well executed it might be. The key is the elusive "just right" carry height. Too high, it flops around just as you point out. But too low, it's impossible to get a firing grip.

Again, a finger's width between the top belt edge and the frontstrap/triggerguard junction is "just right" for 99.99% of the people who seriously carry a gun.

3:30 to 4:00 is the best position for most folks to carry an IWB rig, also. Glad you moved it back to there.

Frank Ettin
May 29, 2009, 09:44 PM
...What is your body type? (height/weight) This sometimes makes a difference,...I'm 5'7" and 220, and as I wrote, I don't have any problem.

David E
May 30, 2009, 03:19 AM
That's because you're using a properly designed holster.

Frank Ettin
May 30, 2009, 09:13 AM
That's because you're using a properly designed holster.And that's exactly right.

FullEffect1911
May 30, 2009, 01:32 PM
That's because you're using a properly designed holster.

Let's not get crazy here guys. I am 6'3" and about 220 for the record, and I think my not getting a proper grip on the holster was my fault and not the holsters. Putting the holster clean at 3:00 caused my hip to be right here my thumb needs to be compounded by the fact that from being in that position, they holster naturally draws in tighter. This was what was causing me to have problems with a conventional draw, not so much the holster.

3:30 to 4:00 is the best position for most folks to carry an IWB rig, also. Glad you moved it back to there.

Me too, now that I have moved the holster back just a bit, I can get a normal conventional grip on the gun and things still seem to conceal well. I'm glad to be back onto convention, I guess things just took a little experimenting.

YammyMonkey
May 31, 2009, 12:25 AM
Just wait until you decide to try out appendix IWB carry. :D

Fred Fuller
May 31, 2009, 08:55 AM
OK, now that the S&T folks have had a run at this, let's let the Handgun Holsters crowd try it for a while...

Thread moved...

lpl

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