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4” or 5.5” and what carry strategy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by stingray4540, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. stingray4540

    stingray4540 Member

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    I need some advice.
    Here is the background, I’m on a farm in grizzly country, so i’m looking to pick up a .44 revolver and eventually a lever action combo.
    I’m a little undecided on the 629 4” and the redhawk 5.5”. (Why doesn’t someone make a 5” with a short lug?)

    Anyways, I think it will come down to my carry strategy. I can open carry in my state, and plan to on the farm, but I’d prefer to conceal, or mostly conceal when I’m in town or at someone else’s house.
    At first I was thinking western style holster and belt that would go on top of what I’m wearing and be in addition to my regular belt. Then, just take it off and put the gun in a shoulder holster to go to town, since I almost always wear a vest.
    However, my research is showing that a shoulder holster is supposedly uncomfortable? And I would either have to wear it all day empty for fast and easy transfer, or deal with putting it on and off every time.
    And a lower riding western style holster might be uncomfortable sitting in the UTV, truck or at the desk, etc.

    So now I’m starting to think maybe cross draw holster on my regular pants belt? Or just a regular high rise OWB on my regular belt? The latter is what I am doing currently with my glock 23, but it gets uncomfortable having to have my belt cinched so tight to keep it from dragging my pants down.

    I don’t know, I’m kind of lost.

    I like the looks of the 5,5” barrel, but it may be a little too much to try to hide in town? The .44 is already a big slab of metal as it is.

    Also, is there an easy way to switch from open, easy access, to concealed? I really don’t have time to go change every time I need to run to town for something. Or am i stuck with a high riding OWB holster and just tuck my vest behind or pull it over as my best way to switch back and forth?

    Thoughts? Advice? i’d Rather not spend a small fortune on holsters to find something that works.
     
  2. maint1517

    maint1517 member

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    I plan to go with a .44 after the first of the year myself. But for now I carry a Taurus tracker .357 with a 4" barrel. Open carry isn't an option in my state, except on my own property. The best concealed carry option I have found for this revolver is a Triple K leather OWB holster strong side. With either a XL t-shirt or my Blue Stone concealment vest over it.
    However, like you, I'm constantly having to pull up and readjust my pants. Over tightening my belt just isn't an option for me anymore. I just can't stand that.
    I've honestly thought of buying a pair of suspenders to see if they would help.
     
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  3. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    The shorter lug you asked about is to improve balance. Though muzzle flip may be higher in that case.

    I'm going to be real honest. I think you are asking way too much of one gun. Both of those revolvers are not small by any means. So open carry yes, concealed carry good luck.

    If it were me, I'd get the Redhawk due to their reputation for tolerating heavy bullets being pushed with a lot of powder. Then, I'd pick up something smaller for concealed carry. Maybe the 3" S&W M69 if you're set on the 44 mag cartridge and load it with 240 grain ammo.

    A gun belt over a regular belt sounds super uncomfortable to me. I would sooner buy a Bigfoot Gun Belt and a Alaskan Hunter holster with a drop loop from Diamond D Leather for the Redhawk. Then get a concealment holster of some kind for the M69.

    This option represents a significant investment but will make you happier in the long run IMO. If you can only afford one, I'd get the Redhawk but forget about concealment.

    Just my take on things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  4. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    You won't find a comfortable concealed carry holster for either one.
     
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  5. ravenn

    ravenn Member

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    I'm a little thick in the middle so when I.m carrying my 5.5" Bisley .45, I wear suspenders. That way there is only one belt .
     
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  6. maint1517

    maint1517 member

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    I agree. I tried a couple for my Tracker, but the OWB holster was the only way for me to go.
     
  7. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    If you need to be able to conceal it at all go with the 4” N Frame.

    Realistically a true concealment oriented holster is going to be very uncomfortable with a full sized revolver, so I would invest in a good strong side pancake style OWB holster that keeps the revolver high and fairly close to the body. Preferably something with a leather shield area on the side towards your torso to keep the rear of the frame, hammer etc from digging into you and your clothing.

    Then you need to stop pretending like you can get away with wearing a normal belt, and buy a good quality gun belt made to support carrying a heavy handgun. I’m currently using a Bigfoot Gun Belts 18oz model, which is two very thick pieces of bridle leather sewn together sandwiching a spring steel core. The belt does not sag. Period. Since the belt doesn’t sag, neither do my pants while carrying pistols heavier than a 4” N frame. A good belt makes a huge difference in your comfort, and concealment ability. So a non sagging belt with a good pancake OWB holster with a cover garment like a vest made be quite comfortable and workable.
     
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  8. OARNGESI

    OARNGESI Member

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    Can you switch guns maybe just use the 44 on the farm but grab something else in town?
     
  9. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    A redhawk for the farm and pretty much anything else for carry in town sounds like the winning option to me.

    I've had a pile of N frames from 4-6" and even with small combat grips on a 4" I wouldn't want to try and conceal it. A Redhawk would be even worse. Im a big guy too, 6'4" 220lbs.

    I could see maybe trying grizz defense and carry with a S&W scandium framed 329PD, they're CONSIDERABLY lighter than their steel framed brethren. A L frame M69 (either 3" or 4.25") would be manageable due to the smaller cylinder and frame of you'd consider a 5 shooter.
     
  10. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I carry a 5.5" blackhawk in a homemade owb holster. It rides high on my strong side and is more of a gun slinger style (open trigger guard, etc). Its also adjustable to worn at a cant for cross draw.

    This way I have a strong side holster that hides under an open over shirt since I'm broad in the shoulders and still fairly thin at the waist. Plus I can wear it cross draw for days when I am driving or sitting a lot.

    It's not the more comfortable gun to wear regardless. 2-3lbs of steel is a lot of gun to distribute.
     
  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    It sounds like you need 2 handguns- a big monster magnum for bear-land and something more petite for "in town", to be concealed maybe. Concealing a dirty harry special in any manner is going to be difficult- no idea how Clint did it in all those movies.
     
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  12. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I had a Galco 2-position holster for my L-frame Smith 686... you could wear it strong-side as a regular holster, or it had an additional cut so you could wear it cross-draw... it worked really, really well. The only issue with a cross-draw position is if you have a belly... when you sit (on the tractor or in a truck) it would push the pistol butt out and eventually break the leather down at the belt loops.

    A shoulder holster sounds cool, but it's not all that. You would, indeed, have to just wear it empty if you wanted to switch back and forth... and I've found with my particular build a shoulder holster prints just as much as a belt holster.

    I would suggest the 4" N-frame... or even something like a 3" round butt N-frame if concealability is an issue. Every little bit helps. No way would I try to pack and hide a 5.5" revolver. At the end of the day, I would probably suggest a good pancake holster that lets the pistol ride higher on the belt than a normal holster. My High Noon does so with my Kahr pistols, and I can conceal easily with just a hooded sweat jacket.

    FL-NC has the idea I was thinking of... just something small to carry about, and you can throw a belt on with the big boomer when you are out at the farm.

    If you actually look in those movies, it's not concealed very well... there is a bulge where the grips stick out, and very often you can see the bottom of the holster peeking out under his jacket. I actually had one of those holsters for a while... for a revolver shoulder holster it was quite comfortable and the front break made it very fast to draw the pistol, but I still had the issue of trying to hide a 6" N-frame on my skinny frame.
     
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  13. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I often carry a NMBH 44 spl 4 5/8" on the farm and sometimes into town. When on the tractor or driving cross draw works best for me. This is not a good rig to conceal but with a loose shirt and vest it works. I would not want to carry in town all day because 3# is a hunk of steel to keep under cover.
     
  14. stingray4540

    stingray4540 Member

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    I was afraid this is the kind of responses I would get.

    However, i should clarify, that when a i say “concealed” I don’t mean concealed as much as I mean “not obviously open carrying”.
    The difference between “look at this jakass walking around like he’s Dirty Harry” vs “oh, That guys carrying a gun, I didn’t realize it earlier.”
    Pulling my vest over my OWB glock 23 is good enough for me, even if the holster peaks out the bottom. It isn’t obvious like it is with the vest tucked behind the grip.

    Two different guns is a hard pill for me to swallow. Wife is already gonna skin me alive when I buy the revolver, plus I want to get that lever action for the utv.
    Not to mention that the whole idea of taking my gun and belt off to change holsters and put on another gun makes me want to shoot myself. I’m the kind of person who puts his boots and his gun on in the morning and don’t take them off until I go to bed, or until the kids want to wrestle.
    Basically, I really don’t want steps between where I am now and where I’m going.

    Although, 2 people did bring up an option that I kind of like. A small 9mm that I wear concealed 24/7, and just strap on a western style belt/holster when on the farm. I wonder if that would be extremely uncomfortable to have an IWB 9 and regular belt underneath a wide western belt and a .44?

    Also, I should have clarified when I said “normal” belt, I meant a belt that I wear to keep my pants up that goes through the belt loops on my jeans. As supposed to a western stile wide belt that hangs on your hips. I will be getting a reinforced belt if I decide to wear the gun on my pants belt.

    It’s sounding like the 4” with a high pancake OWB is probably my best bet, and just have the butt under my vest?

    P.S. no plans to carry or use the hot rod loads. I think I messed up my thumb when I shot just the 240 normal magnums. I’ll be shooting specials and just keep regular flat nose magnums loaded for bears. Also, I’m kinda barely in grizzly country, so i’ve contemplated going down to .357 and taking my chances, but I can always shoot specials out of the .44 and I don’t know if I would really gain a ton of concealability between a 4” .44 and a 4” .357?
     
  15. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    A Simply Rugged pancake holster might be the carry solution you're looking for. The link is to some images.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=sim...ms-android-verizon&prmd=simvn&biw=360&bih=560

    Whilst driving around and hiking in the Tetons, I've carried a 5.5" Redhawk in a Simply Rugged Sourdough holster. It conceals, provided your cover garment is long enough. But 5.5" is really too long to do this comfortably (when driving or sitting). 4" or so is much better. Crossdraw is an option with these holsters, and for longer barrels of 5.5" and up retention is still good and the holster quite comfortable for having such a chunk of steel in it. However, I don't recommend crossdraw when around groups of people, and the whole thing won't conceal as easily this way because the butt sticks out.

    As far as gun choices, I'd go with a Ruger single action with a Bisley grip frame in a 4-5/8" barrel. But if you really want a DA/SA revolver, I'd prefer a Redhawk with a 4(.2)" barrel. Those are just my personal preferences. Get the gun that feels right.
     
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  16. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    You need two very different weapons.
     
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  17. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    The ultimate decision is yours.
    Sorry, I know that's not helpful.
    I thik I have 5 or 6 holsters that ddidn't work.

    I can tell you that its fairly comfortable wearing a 5.5" in a western holster while driving.
    While I don't always wear that, it's not uncomfortable.
     
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  18. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I agree , for what you want to do you need two guns .

    If you want to carry the 4" concealed , I would get a good OWB holster and gun belt and maybe some suspenders .

    I carry my 4.2" Redhawk in a Diamond D chest rig .
     
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  19. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    From my own standpoint, I carry a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. My routine is that the gun is always in the same place, every day. I don't favor shoulder holsters, and, carrying a Single Action, neither do I want a cross draw holster. My gun is on my near hip. Usually I wear a vest to cover, or on Sundays and cold weather a jacket or sport coat.

    a la:

    100_0494_zpsyuncz4a4.jpg


    Bob Wright

     
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  20. red rick

    red rick Member

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    It would have to be a long vest or coat to cover that holster .
     
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  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    You added some more details for us... thanks! Yes, I would probably start there. Odd thing with my High Noon... there is enough room on the holster to actually adjust position of the holster to better suit what I'm doing. I run my belt through the rear of the holster, then through the loop on my jeans, and then through the front of the holster. I can slide the holster forward when I'm setting in the seat (so it doesn't gouge me in the back,) and I can slide it back after I get out... a little more out of the way at the 4 O'clock, and all the time it is supported by the pants loop behind it. It works well for me, anyway. Given that you don't have to completely hide your weapon helps, too, and opens up some more options.

    As far as a 9 in a IWB holster, you will probably have to drop that holster belt down pretty far to get it under the IWB holster, unless you just luck onto a combo that works and is comfortable enough ( the 2 pistol solution.)
     
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  22. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    What you need is a lockup in your vehicle so you can secure your big iron and switch to the concealable gun in your go bag. For general purposes a 5.5" will need a crossdraw when seated. You also have to keep in mind that the longer barrel is more difficult to clear a holster on the draw. Wearing it either crossdraw or low slung strong side addresses that issue. Another option for open carry is the Alaska shoulder rig that places a bear gun outside your coat in the middle of your chest, canted toward your strongside. A 4" would be best there, I think, so you can bend over freely.

    Whether you normally need them or not, a pair of suspenders will allow you to wear a heavier gun without hitching up your pants every minute. I use the Perrys that hook onto your belt instead of clip onto your pants or need buttons.
     
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  23. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I'm not a big guy (5'9 195) and conceal carry a 5.5 redhawk in a simply rugged sourdough pancake owb. It's not difficult to do if you dress around it, and especially if it will be as you described.

    However, it is heavy, and I wouldn't want to do farm work with it. 5.5 inches is slightly too long to wear in the chesty puller harness and draw quickly for me.

    If I were to do it, maybe a Smith 69 4.25 incher or mountain gun would be right, or depending on the bears, a 5 inch 44 special GP 100 loaded with skeeter loads. The Smith 329 would go well, if you can handle the recoil. Last but not least, a redhawk in 45 colt/acp would go well from field to town.

    Regardless, I recommend the simply rugged holster. It pulls right to my body and conceals well owb.
     
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  24. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    If a 4" 629 is too short and a 5.5" Redhawk is too large then buy the 6" and have the barrel made shorter, either cut off some barrel or buy a different barrel. Not that big of a deal.

    OK so who is in charge at this ranch?

    I get it budgets and such. But the truth is you need more than one gun, just spread out the purchases, sneak them in. The women do it all the time!
     
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  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My $.03 worth. I consider my opinion slightly more valuable than $.02 worth because i am on a farm and have similar ideas as you.
    My solution:
    I carry my smallish ccw all the time. While on thr farm,...truck, tractor, combine, atv, whatever,.....i carry a carbine.
    It has been my experience that if you really want to take down a varmint, you are better off with a carbine than a revolver.
    I dont comment much on bears. Unless its the Chicago Bears. I dont like them much either.
     
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