Different Carry Techniques


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TimmyXD
January 16, 2011, 04:46 PM
Just curious how people around here carry, when im around the house I typically carry OWB with a BLACKHAWK! SERPA paddle holster and when im out, I use an IWB hoslter in the small of my back. Just curious how others do it, maybe there is something I haven't thought of that may make it a little easier to carry or conceal. Also, I am a lefty but find that using a right handed IWB holster for the small of my back feels more natrually for a draw. Is this just my preference or do others find this more helpful also? Thanks everyone!

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Sam1911
January 16, 2011, 06:26 PM
OWB or IWB.

Small of the back carry has many serious negatives, but if you understand them all clearly, and can eliminate them as problems for you (not ignore them ... FIX them somehow), then ... whatever works for you.

pitsmile
January 16, 2011, 07:32 PM
Small of the back carry has many serious negatives...but if you understand them all clearly...

I do not carry (NJ resident) - Can you elaborate on these issues?

Sam1911
January 16, 2011, 08:10 PM
Sure. SOB carry has several big draw-backs.

1) Injury: You are placing a bulky metal object against your spine, or kidneys. A fall onto, or blow against, that gun almost certainly will cause more pain and injury than it otherwise would have. If the fall is hard enough, it could do permanent damage. A gun on your hip (3:30-4:00 position) doesn't cause that concern.

2) Discomfort: If you sit at a desk, or drive anywhere, that gun is going to be very painful to sit on for long.

3) Printing: If you always stand straight up, you may conceal your gun well this way. The moment you sit on a bench or other backless seat, squat, bend, twist, reach for something, etc. the small of your back stretches your clothing tight in that area. You WILL print, and print worse than any other location you might carry. If you carry under a jacket or un-tucked shirt, SOB carry causes the outer garment to hang up on the gun and many folks who've tried it found that their jacket would creep up and begin to tuck itself in behind the gun as they moved around -- eventually leaving the gun completely exposed with the cover garment bunched up on top of it or even behind it.

4) Draw: Drawing from an SOB holster invites a tremendous safety violation. It is difficult to execute a draw that does not encourage/require you to sweep your own waist/hips/kidneys/pelvic girdle with the muzzle as you move the gun around in front of you. There are two types of SOB holster -- one butt-forward, one butt-back like an exaggerated OWB holster. The butt-forward version is much worse for this as you're trying to rotate the gun as well as draw it forward. Many ranges and trainers do not allow SOBs just for this reason. When you're trying to grab your gun, disengage the safety, and get on target for a fast shot, no portion of that operation should put your own body in front of the muzzle!

(Of course, no operation EVER should put part of your body in front of your own loaded gun ... but especially grabbing for a defensive sidearm in a moment of panic.)

If the OP is using an IWB as an opposite side SOB, then it is a butt-forward orientation. The worst possible variant.

Hope that helps!

TimmyXD
January 16, 2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the input Sam I have definatley put thought into all 4 of the issues above one of the reasons i was trying to get a feel for what others where doing for holstering. With an IWB @ the hip I find it more difficult to keep the bulge concealed. Thanks!

Iggy
January 16, 2011, 08:48 PM
I'm betting the "bulge" is more noticeable to you than the sheeple around you.

BullfrogKen
January 16, 2011, 09:09 PM
I'm betting the "bulge" is more noticeable to you than the sheeple people around you.

Yes, it most certainly is. And for the record, I hate seeing that term used here.


With an IWB @ the hip I find it more difficult to keep the bulge concealed.

Not all holsters are built the same.

A quality holster, with a quality belt, will conceal quite well under the most minimal of clothing when carrying IWB.

daehawc
January 16, 2011, 09:53 PM
also, dont carry at the hip, move it forward to the 2 oclock position and you will find it conceals much better.

Frozen North
January 16, 2011, 10:02 PM
That Serpa is a great holster, but it sticks out more than most.

Sam1911
January 16, 2011, 10:26 PM
also, dont carry at the hip, move it forward to the 2 oclock position and you will find it conceals much better.

Sort of depends on the gun, and on the GUT. :)

A j-frame or Kel-Tec, Khar, etc. might conceal well at appendix carry position, but a 5" 1911 or other larger gun will probably be very uncomfortable there when you go to sit down. It also requires a bit more dressing around the gun. For example, you can't do an untucked shirt or jacket left open at the front if your gun is carried forward like that.

And, of course, if your tummy pokes out more than your small-of-back does when you're bent over, you might find that your gun looks a bit like a lump on a beach ball. :uhoh:

:D

TimmyXD
January 16, 2011, 11:24 PM
I find the comfort at the 2 o'clock positition an issue. Not all holsters are built the same.

A quality holster, with a quality belt, will conceal quite well under the most minimal of clothing when carrying IWB. do you have a specific brand or holster that you find conceal's better? I typically use the Blackhawk! inside the pants holster.

Sam1911
January 16, 2011, 11:45 PM
Probably the very best IWBs are something along the lines of Milt Sparks' Versa Max II design.

A lot of folks like the Crossbreed Supertuck style.

But it is hugely dependent on individual preference. Somewhat like what kind of shoes feel good on your feet.

All depends on your build, your type and size of gun, your clothing styles, and lots of little undefinables.

Everyone can list your favorites but that won't help you narrow it down much.

A good belt is a much easier pick. Get a REAL gun belt. Like something from Beltman, Wilderness Tactical, 5.11, or someone else who knows what a gun belt needs to be.

It should be thick, and stiff. I use a 1-3/4" Wilderness "Instructor" model and a leather belt made by a friend and fellow shooter that is 1-1/2" wide and well over 1/4" thick. They really support the gun's weight.

You can carry in a so-so holster, but you'll never find much success with a cheapie "men's department" belt.

MikePaiN
January 17, 2011, 06:50 AM
I carry the same way and in the same place all the time. ~1oc appendixItW

Vern Humphrey
January 17, 2011, 01:10 PM
I would say most people who carry regularly carry in a waist holster, strong side. Probably the most practical and concealable strong side holster is the IWB (Inside the Waistband) style. The most concealable holster is a "tuckable" IWB, where you can tuck your shirt between your pants and holster.

I design and make my own holsters, and here's what I carry. This holster is tuckable or can be carried either as a straight IWB simply by not tucking in the shirt. It can also be carried outside the waistband -- the Kydex belt loops are spread so you can see the belt slots for OWB carry.

The holster has high back leather -- so you can carry it directly against the skin. I run Sno-Seal into the holster to keep it from sweating through in hot weather and strenuous activity.

Note the leather cam on the back -- this engages the safety lever of my M1911 and holds it positively engaged.

Also look at the forward (on your right) Kydex belt loop and note the J-shape. That little bend on the end clicks in place when you slide the belt loop over your belt. To take the holster off, you disengage those little bends and just pull up -- it's as easy to put on and take off as a paddle holster, and a lot more concealable.

451 Detonics
January 17, 2011, 03:19 PM
Yes, it most certainly is. And for the record, I hate seeing that term used here.

Thank you...I have always seen that term as a uppity form of racism.

I carry OWB almost exclusively for my primary. A BUG may be in pocket or Kramer Confidential type t-shirt. I have been CC'ing since I was 18 (soon will be 52) and I have yet to find a more comfortable all day carry than OWB for daily use. It is easy to conceal as well as long as you are willing to give up your skin tight muscle shirts that are all the rage in catalogs like International Male.

pitsmile
January 17, 2011, 05:28 PM
Sam - Thanks a lot for the input, I had always been intrigued by SOB holsters and thought they concealed well (for the future, when I'm on NYPD and can carry...NJ :cuss:) But now I can picture those issues and appreciate your time discussing them.

hirundo82
January 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
I probably use more carry methods than I should, but I find having a variety of carry methods is the best way to increase the situations when I can carry and I subscribe to the opinion that having a gun on you, even if it is slow to draw, is better than not having one.

The methods I use regularly are belt (OWB), shoulder holster, ankle, and pocket. My primary is in a belt holster 80-90% of the time (varies by season), with the remainder in a shoulder holster (typically under a loose sweater). Ankle carry and pocket carry are primarily for a BUG, but sometimes I'll use one of these methods (mostly pocket carry) when that is the only way for me to conceal.

NMGonzo
January 22, 2011, 08:16 AM
Depends on what I am wearing.

But ankle carry for me is a no-go.

Zundfolge
January 22, 2011, 04:04 PM
I'm betting the "bulge" is more noticeable to you than the [people] around you.

This is more true than most of us know.

Most people just do not see guns.

Some of y'all may know Standing Wolf ... not sure if he posts here much anymore, but I happen to know him in RL and he's not by any stretch a "big" man but he open carries a S&W 629 (stainless steel N-Frame .44 mag) everywhere he goes. He's mentioned the many times he's been talking to someone and the subject of guns comes up and they didn't realize he was packing, and his piece is a shiny, huge "hog leg".

The way most of us get "made" is by fiddling with our rig, not printing. So a good solid holster and a good solid belt will do more to keep your concealed piece concealed as it doesn't move around and need to be adjusted.

I prefer a dual clip style leather IWB holster because the gun doesn't rock forward and back (and thus need constant readjustment). I carry at 3 o'clock, then my arm covers the gun plus I can draw while seated and I'm not sitting on my gun.

As for SOB rigs (and even 4-5 o'clock carry) I think people THINK they conceal better because when they stand in front of a mirror not moving, the gun is well hidden. Try bending over to reach a can of soup off the bottom shelf at the grocery store with one of those placements and you'll be amazed how obvious it becomes that you're packing.

Sam1911
January 22, 2011, 05:17 PM
Try bending over to reach a can of soup off the bottom shelf at the grocery store with one of those placements and you'll be amazed how obvious it becomes that you're packing.

And, then stand up after your shirt rode up on it -- and discover that the whole tail of your cover garment is now tucked in behind it and the ONLY person who can't see your fancy new grips ... is YOU! :eek:

JTQ
January 22, 2011, 06:10 PM
I was stopped at a light one day when a guy on a sportbike pulls up next to me. He is wearing medical scrubs and a small of the back holster with his 1911. Both holster and 1911, were in plain view as reached forward for the handle bars.

Frozen North
January 22, 2011, 06:21 PM
I have found another problem with SOB. The gun seems to hook on everything! It will snag chair backs as I get up, door handles in stores as I brush past them, and even the door frame of my car. If the holster you are using has a thumb break or other form of active retention, this is just an inconvenience. If the holster is an open top, the gun becomes very likely to end up on the ground.

archigos
January 22, 2011, 06:23 PM
You can carry in a so-so holster, but you'll never find much success with a cheapie "men's department" belt.
I'll admit - I carry with a cheapie "men's department" belt, and do find more of a bulge than I would like with most attire (Comp-Tac/Minotaur MTAC and S&W M&P 40c).
Could you (or anybody) elaborate on what characteristics a good gun belt possesses and how they are useful? I've long looked at them but have not been able to justify the money on something I can't (online) see, feel, or understand.

Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2011, 06:29 PM
Could you (or anybody) elaborate on what characteristics a good gun belt possesses and how they are useful?
First of all, stiff -- it resists bending. Next, low stretch. Finally, long life.

Try a quality gunbelt and you'll see what we mean.

Cosmoline
January 22, 2011, 06:40 PM
Open yourself to more options, and don't be afraid to try them out. Carrying does NOT begin and end at the belt line. There are pocket holsters, shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, bag holsters, deep concealment rigs, and even underwear holsters. These options can greatly increase your CCW flexibility and get you to carry more often in better comfort with less concern that a gust of wind will give you away.

Sam1911
January 22, 2011, 07:02 PM
Could you (or anybody) elaborate on what characteristics a good gun belt possesses and how they are useful?

Yup! Stiff (as Vern said), and substantial. It has a lot more of a job to do than just keeping tension on your pants.

That stiffness will help distribute the weight around more of your waist, as well as not letting the gun sag away from your body.

A bit more width (at least 1-1/2", though I often wear a 1-3/4" Instructor belt) will make that weight more comfortable and feel less like it's digging into your flesh.

It really isn't complicated -- but such quality of construction can't be found in the $10 belts from Sears or Walmart. In fact, most "rugged" work pants belts really aren't what they should be, either. A GOOD leather belt consists (at least) of two decently thick layers of leather, stitched together.

A GOOD nylon gunbelt is not simply a piece of nylon strap with a buckle, but consists of several layers stitched together with multiple lines of stitching, and a REALLY good one has a stiffening liner of rigid plastic buried inside as well.

Zundfolge
January 22, 2011, 09:58 PM
I'm going to disagree with Sam here a little bit. Cheap Holster + Good Belt < Cheap Belt + Good Holster.

The biggest difference between a good heavy gun belt and a cheapie belt is longevity.

Over the years I've had some success with cheap belts ... cheap but heavy bonded leather belts found at places like Ross and TJ Maxx for $10 or so work just as well as a proper, well made gun belt but only for a few months ... then they have to be replaced. There's no reason why one of the good belts made by a holster maker shouldn't last you a decade.

So in the long run an $80 holster maker belt is more economical, but if you're in a cash flow crunch you can get by with a cheaper belt (if you shop smart ... that dress belt from Walmart is gonna suck from day one). However I don't buy the cheap holster will work fine for a while bit ... spend your money on a good holster FIRST, then buy the good belt (assuming you can't just buy the whole rig at once).

Now absolute best thing you can do is if you're going to order a custom leather holster, order the belt at the same time so they will match the best.

TimmyXD
January 22, 2011, 10:48 PM
so as far as the belts go which would be best a nylon belt from like 5.11 tactical or a thick lather belt or does taht just come down to preference?

Sam1911
January 23, 2011, 11:15 AM
Nylon vs. leather is a preference and wardrobe issue.

A leather belt will probably become a little bit more comfortable over time as it will stretch and conform to you -- at least a little -- over time. I'd agree with Z. that it will last a decade, maybe more, depending on how rough you are on your gear.

In nylon, a 5.11 belt is probably pretty good. I've never owned one. I like the belts from Wilderness Tactical. Especially the "Instructor" version with the stiffening panel. I've worn a 1-3/4" one daily for years and don't find them the least uncomfortable, but since I got a VERY high quality leather belt custom made by a friend, I only wear the nylon ones for competitions.

But my carry guns are things like a 5" 1911 and a 4" 629, so I need the belt to be all that it can be.

(Regarding the belt > holster comment -- I guess I won't disagree there, either, it's simply that most folks would never dream of buying a "universal fit," nylon, Uncle Mike's quality level holster for their carry gun, but relatively fewer consider how poorly their decent quality DeSantis or Galco -- or GREAT Milt Sparks, Alessi, etc. -- might seem to perform when hung on the belt that came free with their Dockers. They really do work together, and the sum is only as good as each part.)

Harleybabe
January 24, 2011, 10:45 PM
Any recommendations for a chicklette with curves to conceal a pk380?

Probably should have gotten the LCP for carry purposes, but it just felt way to small for my hand. Now that I have the Walther pk380 I am trying to figure out how to carry except in a bag.

I don't wear coats and girl clothes tend to be a bit clingy compared to guys.

I fear I am stuck with the bag option.

TimmyXD
January 24, 2011, 11:46 PM
You could always try some type of IWB carried in the front or maybe an ankle holster if you wear flared or boot cut pants. Fortunately I don't have to worry about that but can see where it could pose an issue and the bag doesn't sound like a great option. I know I have seen the bags at gun shows and such and they don't appear to be the most glamorous either. Personally it sounds like ankle would be an easy bet but I can tell you I tried a .380 with an ankle holster and I wasn't a fan. Of coarse it was also a cheap $10 Uncle Mikes holster and I'm sure that didn't help.

Harleybabe
January 25, 2011, 12:20 AM
Either bigger pants or less me is on the agenda for IWB carry....got to work on that. Ankle.... hmmm playing at the store tomorrow on the agenda now.

Thanks.

ForumSurfer
January 25, 2011, 12:40 AM
Either bigger pants or less me is on the agenda for IWB carry....got to work on that.

I lost a couple of inches and several pounds, then added a crossbreed-ish IWB holster and a good belt. Now carrying is much simpler and comfortable. As a bonus, I didn't need to buy +2" pants since I had already lost a couple of inches or more. Losing the weight wasn't all that hard, it took far more dedication than actual work. Good luck! :)

TrakHack
January 25, 2011, 01:19 AM
Any recommendations for a chicklette with curves to conceal a pk380?

This curvy gal has had surprising success with appendix IWB. I'm generously endowed on top, which distracts away from the gun anyway, and my somewhat soft middle seems to make the grip less noticeable.

I've got my eye on a Kramer sheepskin IWB holster. They also have an OWB specifically made for ladies that I'd like to try, but I can't justify the expense for both right now.

Sam1911
January 25, 2011, 08:28 AM
Any recommendations for a chicklette with curves to conceal a pk380?


TrakHack brings up a good point: Some manufacturers do make models that are designed for ladies, or WILL make them as a custom job. I'd contact one or two of the better makers and see if they have recommendations.

One of my female friends uses IWB holsters at the normal 4:00-ish position with a small SIG (which would be larger and fatter than your Walther). I don't know what brand, but I do know that it tucks a lot deeper into the waistband than my IWBs do. I can ask her Thursday if she comes to practice.

BullfrogKen
January 25, 2011, 10:42 AM
I posit that a good belt and a cheap holster is better than a good holster and a cheap belt.

I've been using the same belt for a decade now. I've gone through several pairs of shoes, but I'm still on the same leather belt. It's gotten a lot more use than my holsters have. It's a nicer sharkskin belt, and I'll wear it every day, including those days I wear a suit and tie. I spent the extra money on a nicer belt that will fashion with as much of my wardrobe as possible.

That isn't the case with all my holsters. I have some guns that I just don't carry often, so I don't have $100.00 holsters for them. But I can put a $40 holster on my good belt, and the belt adds support to it that it doesn't have on its own. It's still not as nice as a premium quality holster, like a Milt Sparks, but it sure is a whole lot better than a Milt Sparks on a cheap belt.

A nylon belt will cost less than leather, but you're not going to be able to dress up with nylon. The evening out with your wife, going to the office, anywhere you need to wear something nice . . . a nylon belt is just not appropriate. I find a good quality leather belt much more versatile.

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