I first heard about this 3 years ago when I was taking a class, and I’m glad I didn’t bring my Uncle Mike’s vertical holster with me when I was taking the class, but it really wasn’t that style that was an issue. Understandable so, shoulder holsters, if not properly used, can be a hazzard to people behind the firing line, especially if it is a vertical rig. Everyone seems to think of the Galco holster The Miami Classic when they think of that style of carry, but not all holsters are like that. They look cool, but standing next to several people with that style of carry isn’t going to be safe when everyone is holstering and un-holstering.
I do not think that shoulder holsters are less safe, and I personally think they are very practical for people that do a lot of driving, and it’s one of my favorite ways to carry a large size semi-auto. Paddle holsters and OWB holsters are hard to draw from in the seat position and Bulldog holsters along with Uncle Mikes make very inexpensive holster rigs. The Bulldog holsters have a double magazine pouch which gives you a little bit more weight distribution. Shoulder holsters aren’t the best for CCW because the straps can ride up on you, but if you wear the appropriate clothing they can work.
I think the real question that some people need to think about when they are going to take a firearm to a Carbine course is to take some serious thought into what kind of retention they want. I have never seen a firearm come out of a Fobus holster on the firing line, but I have seen gun magazines pop out of that type of magazine holder. Blackhawk makes a better magazine holder due to the fact that there is actually tension on the mag in the holder. If you are carrying an M4 around, and you need a sidearm, I strongly recommend you have a holster that has a thumb break or a Blackhawk Serpa type of holster.
One other suggestion I have because I have a pile of these types of holsters is the Uncle Mikes hip holsters. I have a few that have a magazine holster right in front of the gun holster which is a nice way to carry a backup mag, you always know where it is in relation to the gun, and if you are carrying a lot of gear, it’s nice to keep the spare mag next to the spare gun. I have some of Uncle Mikes holsters that are leg holsters, hip holsters and should holsters. There have been a few modifications they have made to the shoulder holsters which in my opinion were an improvement. The magazine holders are now on the opposite side of the holster and you don’t have to carry them separately.
I am a strong believer in having atleast 3 magazines for every semi-auto handgun you own and having atleast one holster for it. If you are every in a situation where you may have to give a family member a firearm, it’s in my humble opinion a good idea to have it in a holster especially if it is loaded. Even though most gun fights are usually only a few rounds, magazines can break and nightmarish situations can occur. I actually know someone that was in a defensive situation here in Philadelphia where he was attacked by multiple persons, and you could have used an M4 in a concealed carry situation and still may not have been able to hold off what had occurred to him and his family.
If I owned a gun shop, I’d probable sell Fobus holsters for half price to just about anyone buying a medium or large frame firearm. These holsters are very good for open carry or for winter carry under a vest or a jacket. The only down side to these holsters is that they can become uncomfortable to use when shooting on the ground. I have a few of the magazine paddle holders and I find it to be a little too much to take if I have paddle holsters all around my belt line. For real seriou
I know the idea of keeping it simple may mean carrying a larger auto and no spare magazines for concealed carry, but my idea of keeping it simple is usually pocket carry. Sometimes people can go overboard with the CCW and even though you are well withing your right to carry a gun legally, if you are packing too much gear, there’s a pretty good chance you will eventually be outed or “made” by someone that you don’t really want to know what you are carrying. I have had atleast 2 times in my life where someone I barely knew, figured out real fast that something metal on my belt line, that wasn’t where my cell phone was. was there.
Every time you walk past someone in a close environment, there is a good chance you will get an “excuse me” and they will bump up against you. People don’t realize how often it actually occurs, but elevators stares, doorways ect, are known for bumpin. Carrying at social environments like business meetings is something that even more bumping can occur. Sounds funny, but I speak from experience. Sometimes I carry a Kahr K9 in 40 in one of my many Galco holsters that is an ankle holster. This is one of the best ways to avoid bumping and being made in a white collar or close quarters social environment. Find a good gun shop that allows you to try them on.
Recently we had a Thanksgiving Day parade here in Philadelphia. The parade started off with snow and cold weather, but it ended up turning to rain about halfway through the days events. It was a good reminder for people that wearing warm winter clothing doesn’t mean you’re going to keep dry. I remember all of the warnings I got in Boy Scout camp about keeping dry even when we felt warm. Sometimes we forget how much sweat we generate under our clothing in the winter, but we will find out when we have to get into a sleeping bag.
When you are looking to put on layers of clothing to keep warm and learning how to adapt your concealed carry methods to a warm, but dry way of carrying. Check out the Woolrich Elite Parka Style 44420. This is something you can practically wrap up in your car and will be easy to stow away when it starts to rain. You can easily move some of your tactical gear, like flashlights and knives into this parka and keep from burying your gun under layers of clothing.
Maybe I’m not that experienced with carrying Glocks for concealed carry, but I often find them to be more comfortable being carried in a leg holster or paddle holster. The same goes for revolvers, I rarely see people carry any type of revolver in a holster. Peoples tolerances for carrying can drastically vary due to body sizes. When I got serious about moving away from a Taurus T85 38 Special and was looking for a durable semi-auto with more punch, but not much larger, I came to the conclusion that it was either the Glock 26 9mm or a Sig 239. The Sig 239 won out because it was slightly thinner, but not really a lighter gun.
When you are deciding on a firearm, don’t worry about the weight of the gun. If you get a good gun belt you shouldn’t notice weight as much as you will notice the size of the barrel. I still find the 1911 to be one of the most comfortable guns to carry because it has such a thing frame and is balanced very well, but my Wilderness 5 stitch instructor belt supported it so well I couldn’t tell the difference between my Sig 239 and a 45acp full size 1911. I tried on various Don Hume holsters, Galco holsters and Bianchi and found the Don Hume and Galco had a lot of good options. It’s good to find a dealer that has a return policy where you can try it out in your own home and then return it if you have any issues with the fit.
When I think back to the first Gunvault gun safe was that I picked up and how much I liked being able to store loaded firearms in easy to open storage, I can’t believe the technological improvements there have been to an already original idea. I work in and out of various locations where sometimes I have to actually take my firearm off and on 3 or 4 times a day. Various security and Government buildings that I’m in don’t allow this so I have to think about the type of gun holsters I am wearing and how easy it will be to get things off and on. I still mostly use paddle holsters or clip on IWB holsters because they are so easy to get off and on.
One issue that has been been happening to several of my computer friends is they can’t leave things in their car at all anymore. I know of 2 smash and grab incidences in recent weeks where lap tops were stolen, but even though I know better than leaving my stuff in sight, you never know when it could happen. I have been looking more and more and getting a Gunvault gun safe bolted to my car floor or in the trunk just so that anyone that gets into the car would have a heck of a time trying to pry the safe out. Getting my lap top is one thing, but a criminal getting my firearm is something I want to avoid at all costs. The difference between the biometric gun safes and the regular ones is about a 100 bucks, but I’m not really looking to pay that price for quick access when the gun is really only being stored there for anti-theft reasons.
This past weekend I got to take my 1911 collection to the range along with a friend and family member that all brought their 1911 handguns. The real test I wanted to conduct is to see which magazines would all fall free from the guns when the magazine release was pressed and how reliable the guns were. It still amazes me that the number of people with AR15 rifle or 1911 handguns that are not using the best on the market with their guns, even though they carry them or use them for self defense. I have strongly felt that Magpul P-mags should replace every GI magazine in your inventory and I’m waiting to see if anyone comes out with handgun magazines as durable. I believe it is coming.
Wilson Combat magazines have been my favorite every since my first and only bad reliability range day with my Colt 1991A1. The second range trip with my Colt wasn’t very good because I had the same issue with the gun closing on an empty chamber. In a defensive situation, this is as bad as the gun stove piping. You will still have to manually cycle the gun to load it and you will even have to change the magazine out. Get Wilson Combat magazines and avoid the problem and toss your USGI magazines or move them to plinking malfunction drill range trips. Chip McCormick magazines are a close second place for me, but Wilson Combat has a good selection of gun accessories for your 1911 if you want to take a look.
With things being pretty shaky with our economy right now, I have been doing a lot of thought about what I am planning to use at training sessions in the coming year. I have watched the prices of 5.45×39 for almost 2yrs now and seen very limited movement. Almost 10yrs ago I did a range test at a 500yd gun club where I tested a Romanian SARI and a Romanian SARII side by side. I engaged targets at 100yds and tested groups sizes. I’m very much aware of what the AK was designed to do and expecting better than 4inch groups from a 7.62×39 gun is a lot with military ammo. I know you can do better with handloads, but that’s another story. As I proceed out to 300yds, I had more and more hold over with the SARI rifle. The SARII gun was nailing targets and I don’t think I was holding more than 12 inches over the targets. Even though I thought the gun was a little clunky, it was as flat shooting as an M4 Carbine.
My LWRCI upper was something I have wished for, for several years. I know I will be the first amongst my friends to test this gun out, but it seems to be a better thought out idea over the Smith & Wesson 5.45×39 upper. The Smith & Wesson is a direct impingement gun and even though they will fit in the same gun cases as my LWRCI, I don’t thing they are the same. Say what you will about the AR design, but this LWRCI upper is a combat gun and not a plinking gun. I wouldn’t expect a gun like the S&W to hold up to much abuse unless there was a domestic manufacturer of 5.45×39 ammo.
I recently took a swing by several big gun shops and picked up a few products from tactical clothing companies that I was unfamiliar with. I do think that many of the top tactical clothing companies are much better than the stuff that was being made years ago. Clothing manufacturing has gotten better in many regards. I have several BDU pants from Army Navy stores, but I just can’t stand wearing them anymore. The hand pockets are too small and the BDU pockets are too flimsy. If I want BDU pants, The Eotac Style 201 Pants are the way to go. If I want to wear denim jeans, I’m going to go with one of the tactical jeans from 5.11, Woolrich Elite or Eotac.
One thing I didn’t like about the 5.11 jeans was that the hand pockets were not any larger than my regular jeans which completely eliminates the possibility of pocket carry. I had a j-frame 38 Special in the pocket and the handle was showing. I find this to be a real short coming even though the internal pockets that can stow guns or magazines. I find these pants to be concealed carry friendly to some degree, but they really were missing some features. I don’t like the fact that there isn’t spot in the right side at about 3 o’clock that would be gun holsters for most right handed individuals. Even though I think some of the 205 jeans are a little over designed with the rear pockets, I think pocket carry is really important for CCW wearers and the 5.11 jeans isn’t for that. The 5.11 jeans can hold your wallet or money, but that’s about it.