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belly band vs. smartcarry

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by mr.72, May 12, 2008.

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  1. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    Still considering my options on CC methods... I am a t-shirt and jeans or cargo shorts kind of guy, 5-11 and 190 lb, living in a hot climate and trying to conceal a S&W Sigma. Considering my limitations, it looks like either a belly band (like the Bulldog one from Midway) or a Smartcarry are my best options.

    anyone have any ideas on pros, cons, or comparisons between them in practical application? Looks like the belly band is more flexible in terms of how you can carry... above the waist, below the belt, ribcage, small of the back, etc., so it may be easier to get it to conceal in a variety of situations.
     
  2. Warty

    Warty Member

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    Smart Carry!

    I love my Smart Carry and I don't think there is a better way to carry a pistol out there.
    You can wear absolutely ANYTHING, shorts and a T-Shirt, a suit and tie, or jeans and a sweater and the gun is alway right where you can get to it. Once you get the hang of the draw, this is simply the best way to carry a gun.

    A lot of folks worry about printing. How many times have you found yourself looking at another guy's "package"? That means you are unlikely to have a print problem being caught buy anyone, if you have a problem. I have NEVER had anyone be able to tell if I am carrying or not, I carry a H&K USP Compact .45 ACP and an extra magazine in my Smart Carry. Before I bought the H&K I was carrying a Ruger P345 plus a magazine.

    I tried belly bands and found them to be uncomfortable and scratchy. They made breathing hard and were always needing to be readjusted. The Smart Carry is comfortable enough to be worn all day and is always right wear it is supposed to be. You can easily pee around it too. :)

    Here is my method of carry...
    I wear Bib Overalls 90% of the time and a T-Shirt. I put the Smart-Carry on around my belly, behind the bib, and this allows me to easily draw my weapon by simply slipping my hand along my stomach. No one can see the gun as it is basically in my crotch, no one looks there and if they do it just looks like I am well endowed.

    When it is really hot out I wear a pair of cargo shorts and a t-shirt and wear my Smart Carry just like it shows on the website. It is so easy to draw and so comfortable to wear that you can forget that it is there.

    No, I don't get any kickbacks from Charlie (the owner) or anything like that, I am just a well pleased customer who is on his third holster from CP3, the company that sells the Smart Carry. I have had to buy three because I switched from my Ruger Alaskan .44 magnum revolver back to the P345 so I needed to get a smaller holster, then I gained weight and needed a new one for the H&K because of the added fatness of my hips. :eek: They come in a denim blue (which is the kind I like) and white. I also wanted a new one because the have come out with a new style that I like called the "Security V" that has an extra pocket behind the gun and magazine holsters for money or ID that I like.
     
  3. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    Smart carry works great for smaller guns. I have one that I use to carry a J-frame .38 and it just disappears - even you will forget it's there, once you find the right place for it. Just for fun, I tried wearing it under just a pair of boxers, and nobody could tell (though they were quite disturbed). The waterproof layer keeps the gun from getting wet if you sweat. Drawing is a bit awkward.

    I hear that some like to carry bigger guns in them, but that just doesn't work for me. I know that John Ross (author of Unintended Consequences) carries a 4" barreled S&W .500 Magnum in a Smart Carry. He is a Smart Carry dealer as well, I bought mine from him.
     
  4. RONSTAR

    RONSTAR Member

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    I have really contemplated purchasing one for a while but dont know how well a kimber pro carry would fit it.
     
  5. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    Call them and ask. They're quite helpful.
     
  6. Warty

    Warty Member

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    The owner, Charlie, carries a full sized 1911 all the time in his...

    I have no trouble carrying a large gun in mine either.

    It takes a little bit of practice to get used to the draw but once you are, it is a very easy holster to use and you will be amazed at how concealed you firearm is in it. You can carry just about any gun in it and no one will know it is there.
     
  7. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    If one is not comfortable with using a SmartCarry in the "traditional" way, is is comfortable enough to be worn like a bell-band with a pistol on the side or rear (4:00 to 8:00 position)?
     
  8. poker88

    poker88 Member

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    I have both and the Smart Carry wins every time. It's more comfortable. I wear it with the gun at 3 or 4 o'clock.
     
  9. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    No. It doesn't hold the gun tightly. When in your pants, your pants hold the gun in position. If you were to wear it as a "belly band" the gun would quite easily jostle about and fall out if you ever deviated from the vertical.

    If you were to be knocked to the ground in a struggle, you would have to be very lucky to find the gun where you put it. Wearing it how it was designed, I can't see anything short of an MRI that could dislodge the gun without you taking off your pants or drawing.
     
  10. iowajones

    iowajones Member

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    I pitty the foo who gets an MRI with a pistol next to their crotch.

    But seriously. I'm concerned about the draw. If I'm wearing a belt to keep my pants up, the whole point is for it to match the diameter of my waist, hips, or whatever. How do you get the gun in between the belt and the body? Or does having the holster there actually help keep your pants up?
     
  11. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    After much consternation I bought a Smartcarry for my Sigma 9mm. Here are my thoughts, just wearing it around the house (probably a total of 24 hours with it so far) with either cargo shorts, swim trunks or cargo pants:

    - I think most people who are wearing these with a gun completely below the belt line must be wearing pretty high-waisted pants compared to what I have. With my clothes, the butt of the gun comes just above the belt line. Kind of like a very low ride appendix carry.

    - Given the interaction of my waist of my pants and the butt of the gun, it is not surprising to me that the pinky rest on the magazine of my Sigma catches on the waist of the pants causing the butt of the gun to be kind of pushed away sometimes. I will eventually modify a magazine to file off this pinky rest on the base plate and see if that improves it

    - I would hate to have to draw this quickly. I will have to practice a lot. It is impossible to get to while driving a car since not only is the gun locked in by your waist band but also it's under the seat belt.

    - It conceals extremely well

    - The velcro-nylon band is extremely uncomfortable in the back. It MUST be worn on top of an undershirt. It comes up above the belt line on my shorts/pants

    I bought another low-riding IWB for appendix carry and will try it as well (for times when I am wearing a belt). I think eventually I will likely end up with a belly band as well if they ever get them back in stock at Midway... it's worth $15 for me to try it but not more than that.

    I guess I am on the fence about the SC. I think it can work, but it is not without caveats.

    I kind of like it.
     
  12. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I found the smart carry to be uncomfortable, hard to draw, and gave me a lovely post-menopausal bulge behind the zipper. A belly band ain't perfect, but it beats having a loaded pistol down your pants, pointing at your wee wee.
     
  13. give

    give Member

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    live in pa. little too close to trenton for my lik
    lol,i agree with skin,not a place i would want a loaded gun point either,
     
  14. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    i guess you guys are not very confident in the safe carry state of your gun. i'd be more worried about the femoral artery since you will likely die if you get shot there.

    anyway my other carry option is a DeSantis Insider appendix carry (testing this today) and it is approx the same carry position as my SC. 4 o'clock prob. won't ever work for me.
     
  15. Code3GT

    Code3GT Member

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    mr.72 we're in the same exact boat. i'm in Central Texas as well and carry my Taurus 24/7 in a SmartCarry, jeans/cargo and tshirt guy, 5'11 200. It's GREAT for never being made and nice with cargo shorts. However, i've noticed with the temps being as high as they have been...the sweat factor and need to adjust is elevated. I did however just get a Crossbreed IWB in the mail that I havent gotten to try out yet. Not sure how it'll work with cargos.
     
  16. Code3GT

    Code3GT Member

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    PS - if you can manage to put a round into your coin purse with the SmartCarry...you shouldn't carry and should refer to rule #3 (finger off trigger)

    but from a medic's standpoint, just remember, all bleeding stops eventually :)
     
  17. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    I think cargo pants are too floppy for my DeSantis IWB. jeans, it'd be great. Nice thing about the SC is that it always fits/rides the same no matter what clothing you use with it.

    The Taurus 24/7 is just about the same size and shape as my Sigma. I think this is the absolute max size gun I could use with a Smartcarry. The SC conceals a lot better than the Insider IWB.

    Now to the dude who says he uses a SC at 3 or 4 o'clock... how do you do that? I would think the draw would be nearly impossible even if you could get it to work to begin with. I guess you wear the SC really high?
     
  18. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    You're wearing it wrong. In fact, you're wearing it exactly the way I wore it the first time. I wasn't happy with it either.

    You should put the elastic/velcro band around your hips, not on your waist. I wear my pants about 2 inches below my bellybutton, and my smart carry has the top of the grip of my revolver about 2 inches below the bottom of my belt buckle.

    The velcro strap should not be uncomfortable, because it should never touch your skin. Assuming you wear underwear, anyway. I tuck my shirt over it in the back, in case it rides up so nobody sees the strap and wonders what I'm wearing under there.

    Start in your skivvies, sitting down. Lay the SmartCarry in your lap, so the barrel of the gun is lying on your left thigh, and the grip touches your abdomen, directly below your navel. Center the grip under your navel, the slide should be on your LEFT thigh, more like a crossdraw than an appendix carry. Then, wrap the strap around your hips and fasten the velcro around your butt, near where it touches the chair. When you stand up, it'll be loose but it'll be where you should try wearing it. It may require some fine adjustment, but that's basically the place it works best.
     
  19. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    well, if I were carrying a 2" snub nose, that might work.

    it's just impossible to fit a 4" auto under my jeans with it that low.
     
  20. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    I don't like the belly band much but I'd take it over smart carry just for ease and speed of draw. I've worn mine a few times for ultra concealment. Skinewmexico's comment about firearms and trouser snakes not mixing is a concern of mine also.
     
  21. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

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    +1

    Glock 26, Sig P239, j-frame - each disappear, and the grip is below the belt. BTW, you don't need to cinch your belt so tight - I find the gun actually helps hold up the pants.

    So, put it on right, loosen your belt one notch, and practice!

    Again - you guys are doing something wrong. If my gun went off in my SC, I might shoot myself in the knee or foot, but the end of the muzzle is below all of my "junk."

    If anything, my "junk" feels safer with a gun in front of it, it's like having a built in cup!

    Having said that SC isn't my first choice - I pocket carry, IWB in the right clothes, then SC is third option. But it's a good one! I'm starting a new job this fall - I'll bet I end up SC-ing everyday...
     
  22. mr.72

    mr.72 Member

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    well i tell you guys, if i plan to wear the SC that low, I am going to have to wear a kilt, or cut the crotch out of my pants.
     
  23. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    No experience with a belly band but I have owned and worn a Smartcarry for about two years. At the outset I must say that I do not wear the SC as my primary carry but, when it is called for, it is an excellent method and mode of carrying concealed.

    Contrary to some comment previously a Smartcarry can, and does, easily accommodate a larger handgun. Checking the SC net site will show the owner carrying a full size 1911 with no problem and I have also carried a 1911.

    I have carried a Springfield Armory XD45 Service (kind of thick gun) easily and my usual carry combination is the SC with a Ruger SP101. No problem with any of them.

    A word to the wise though. The SC works best when the outer garment e.g. shorts/trousers/sweats/etc. are worn somewhat loosely as opposed to really tight jeans, etc. I have worn it under a tuxedo with no problems at all.

    The SC IMHO is a "niche" carrier. Although, if it were the only mode of carry I was allowed it would do quite well.
     
  24. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    mr.72, I can wear my Glock 19 in the same SmartCarry as my J-frame, and in the same position. The corners make it a bit more obvious, but it fits the same. Did you ever compare a 2" J-frame snub to a 4" autoloader? They're the same length, it's just that the curves make it easier to hide.
     
  25. M203Sniper

    M203Sniper member

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