Learning to carry?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MrRezister, Sep 6, 2008.

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  1. MrRezister

    MrRezister Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Little Rock, AR
    I've been shooting all types of guns since I was quite young, and I have routinely had a few rifles in my home for most of my adult life, but today my father surprised me by spontaneously fulfilling my wish for a compact .45. He presented me with a Rock Island Officer's Model today which is exactly my size.

    After thoroughly familiarizing myself with the pistol, I would like to get my carry liscence and eventually begin carrying the gun on a regular basis. I've never carried a gun on my person before, so I'm not really sure where to start here. The major limiting factor in the learning process for me is going to be money. I can't really afford to spend a lot of money on gear to figure out exactly what is going to work best in terms of holsters, belts, clothing, and so on. The budget is going to be very limited, classes, liscences, and ammo will be pretty much all I can afford. So I'm hoping to be able to take advantage of combined wisdom of the High Roaders in order to get my gear "right the first time" or as close as possible. If I can get a few opinions regarding types of holsters and methods of carry, etc. I would be eternally grateful.

    Thanks guys!
  2. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Jul 4, 2007
    NAS Pensacola
  3. joesolo

    joesolo Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Cordova TN
    If budget is an issue as you state, then I'd get a leather IWB holster. Most belts will work fine with an IWB holster from my experience. And, practically any untucked shirt, be it a Polo style, T-shirt or tailored dress shirt, will conceal your pistol since most of it is inside the pants. You really don't need anything special. I bet your existing shirts, belts, and pistol with a new IWB holster will work just fine. Experiment with other options as your budget allows down the road.
  4. Mt Shooter

    Mt Shooter Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    ditto to joeslow IF your pants will allow the added expansion. The real problem is, what is comfortable to you. That can take a few holsters to know. On a budget that is a problem I use a galeco leather holster and a covering shirt.
  5. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    upstate NY go to school in WNY
  6. Odd1

    Odd1 Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    I have carried a pistol for many years, and have spent a great deal of money on the newest and greatest carry holster. I think many people wind up doing that.

    All said and done, after every new fad and dollar spent I wind up back to a leather IWB holster from galco. Not that the others were not great, it always went back to the simpliest and most comfortable. A leather IWB works for me.

    I like straps over the belt as opposed to a clip, the straps feel more secure.

    The leather has some give against my body the kydex does not allow.

    A compcat 1911 is not that thick of a pistol for a IWB. Most of your pants and belts should work just fine.

    I would say eventually you may want a thicker belt designed for carrying a holster. Not required per say, but I perfer them.

    Now there are more expensive leather IWBs then galco, some are indeed worth every penny. But I think a galco summer night/heat (or something like that name) is just fine.

    Some custom IWB holsters take a little time to be made. They are fine holsters, I just did not like waiting. Your call.
  7. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Oregon-The wet side.
    Check out The Cornered Cat (Don't be fooled by the orientation: unless you live in a world without women or kids, the entire site applies to you.)
  8. HowardC

    HowardC Member

    Jan 16, 2004
    Thornton, CO
    I've had very good luck with...

    ...Alessi TALON IWB holsters. Not real cheap, but exacting fit, as compact as they come, and in three different guns, (compact auto, 1911, and revolver), quite comfortable!! Try: [email protected], or pm me. You will want to go to wide, firm belts for support and stiffness.
  9. Borch

    Borch Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    If you don't have a lot of coin to drop on one of the custom jobs, don't worry, I don't either, check out Blackhawk's line of holsters. They can be found for sale via the internet on any number of different sites, I suggest MidwayUSA, that's where I got mine from. Their kydex holsters are top of the line and their leather jobs are reasonably priced, unlike most of the custom leather jobs. I picked up a leather avenger style holster for $45 and then went back and got a kydex job that can be switched from a belt holster to a paddle holster in a couple minutes.

    All in all I have just over a hundred bucks wrapped up in what is basically three holsers and a double mag pouch. Safariland is another company making good products that are decently priced.
  10. Chris B

    Chris B Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Does Arkansas have laws against concealed weapons showing? Is open carry legal? If it doesn't need to be concealed ALL the time then an Unkle mikes size 5 OWB holster is what I'd go with (and I do) Only thing I dont like about it is having to take off my belt to remove the holster (I frequent places that don;t allow guns in AZ (anyplace that serves alcohol for consumption on premesis, the bank, Wall-Mart)) I carry my Glock 19 in a shooting systems tuckable holster and it is far more convenient and comfortable than carrying my fullsize 1911.

    You will find though that the more you carry a gun the less you even remember that it's on your hip. You just get used to it.
  11. stevemis

    stevemis Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    My advice.. find a local shop with a decent holster supply and see if they'll leave you alone in the asile with your pistol to try things out. Make sure to tell them you WILL put everything back, exactly as you found it. Most holsters ship in re-closable hard plastic packaging... so you can open it and try it out before buying it.

    I've had really good luck with this technique.
  12. Treo

    Treo member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Co. Springs
    I spent 125.00$ on nylon and kydex holsters and none of them really did the job ( a couple of them were pretty piss poor) before I went out and spent 65.00$ on a Galco Summer Comfort. haven't looked back.

    look at how you dress now do you normally tuck your shirts? Do you tend to wear a cover shirt? there are CCW options for most styles of dress.
  13. FireArmFan

    FireArmFan Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    I've been extremely happy with an IWB leather holster from Don Hume. Excellent quality, keeps the gun in there tight, easy to remove without messing with the belt, and best of all it only costs $27. I have two of the same holster for 2 different pistols.
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Apr 29, 2006
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    In addition to your gear, if you're going to be carrying a gun for the first time, I strongly recommend that you save/find some money for training beyond the minimum necessary to qualify for your permit. Drawing your gun from your holster efficiently and safely may not be rocket science, but it's also not necessarily intuitive. Some decent instruction will get you off on the right foot and help you lay the proper foundation upon which to develop defensive shooting skills.

    The NRA courses, Basic Handgun, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home together would provided a solid grounding in the proper skills. If an NRA qualified instructor is offering them near you, the cost may be reasonable. It would be Gunsite or Thunder Ranch, but it's a decent curriculum and should be a whole lot cheaper.
  15. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Essentials on the cheap.

    Hey, nothing wrong with saving pennies if you ain't got them to throw around. Been there. Matter of fact, I'm there right now and so are a lot of others reading this. Here's my recommendations.

    1) Get a good gunbelt. Despite what some tell you, it is a necessity. Carry with and without, you'll convince yourself in one day. Wilderness Tactical Products (don't get weirded out about the "tactical" part) makes a belt called the "Instructor Belt". Get one in black (goes with everything) 1 1/2 inch width (will fit jeans and most dress slacks) and the 5-stitch model (stiff enough, but not too stiff). It'll set you back about forty bucks plus shipping.

    2) Decide whether you'll be carrying IWB or OWB most of the time. While I admire and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a custom holster, I don't want to wait up to a year for a piece of leather I need now or in the very near future. Galco makes one heck of an off-the-shelf holster. Order direct from them, it's usually a couple bucks cheaper and you're not limited to local dealer stock. Prices vary wildly depending on type of holster. Suck it up and get the one you really want. If it turns out less than expected for you, sell it.

    3) Get at least one magazine pouch. I find occassion to use two different ones, a single and a double. Most pouches are about forty bucks.

    4) Buy leather holsters. Plastic (kydex, whatever) are hard on a finish and do not conform to your body. Ever.

    Nothing wrong with using ball ammo until you can afford to run a few boxes of H.P. for reliability testing.

    Buy a few good mags once in a while (Colt, Mec-Gar or Metalform).

    Ditto more training. State mandated classes are usually more about legal stuff than how to use it effectively or how to be aware so you don't have to use it.
  16. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    South of the Mason-Dixon Line
    Here my .02 worth.

    I like/use a Galco concealable. I prefer an OWB holster and like the concealable because it holds the firearm close to the body. Since you are limited by funds (as many of us are), I would echo the Galco Summer Comfort IWB. If you use an OWB, you would probably want to get a good leather belt from someone like Beltman.

    Go to a good gunshop and ask for help, letting them know what you want to do and how much you can spend.
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