Thursday, October 6, 2011
Thoughts on Methods of Carry
JP over at the Empty Mags Podcast recently did an episode about pocket carry, that is, carrying a pistol in a pocket holster. I was reading other blogs who commented on this, and I wanted to share my thoughts.
There are several ways to carry a gun, and there is no way I can be exhaustive, but here is how I've done it.
My choice of carry method depends on several things, including the clothes I'm wearing and where I'm going.
By far the preferable way for me is belt carry, the traditional holster on the belt on the strong side, which I do when I can wear a concealing garment like a jacket or over shirt. I carry at almost the 3 o'clock position, maybe 3:30, and I would carry it even farther forward if I could work out reliable concealment. I just find that a draw at 3:00 or farther forward works best for me. When I open carry, I carry at 3:00.
I've used several kinds of holsters for this: Kydex paddle holsters, Kydex belt slide holsters, and leather belt slide holsters. Again it depends on what I'm wearing and where I'm going. If I need to take the holster off to go in a restricted place like the courthouse, I'll use a paddle holster, although I've also taken to using a leather belt slide holster, and carrying a leather IWB holster to put the gun in, and put it in safe keeping.
I also have a Bladetech double offset drop belt holster that I use for competition. That's it in the forward position in the picture.
Next on my preferred carry methods is Inside-the-Waistband, or IWB. All my IWB holsters are leather. I carry them at 3:00 also. I find that when the gun is canted forward a little, it rides right on my hip bone, which works really well.
Next is a fanny pack with an IWB holster in it. I stress that I always use a holster whenever I carry, even if it's in a fanny pack, so that the trigger guard is covered to prevent accidentally pressing it. I use a fanny pack when I'm out walking, wearing gym clothes. I've also used a very large fanny pack to carry in the car, and I sling it over my shoulder like a ruck sack. No one knows.
I also have an ankle holster that I bought at a gun show on a whim. I've never carried using it. My plan was to use it to carry my G19 as a backup gun. Maybe I should work on it.
Now, back to the issue of pocket holsters. Admittedly, I've never carried a gun in a pocket holster. In fact, I don't own a gun that's small enough to carry in a pocket holster.
I don't rule it out though. Michael Bane talks in his Down Range Podcast about methods of concealed carry, and I really like his strategy - whatever he's carrying on his belt, he almost always has a pocket pistol in his left front pocket as a backup. In his case, it's a Ruger LCP.
His thinking is this, and I like it - he doesn't plan to have to draw the gun quickly in most cases because his plan is to have his hand on the pistol, already partially drawn, when trouble goes down. Weer'd also talks about having his pocket pistol out and on the console.
Of course, this assumes we know when trouble is happening, which isn't always the case. But if we work on our situational awareness the chances of this go up a lot.