Setting Up A Holster

This is a discussion on Setting Up A Holster within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've seen several threads on which holster to buy... but I can't find any about how to set up an adjustable holster. Considerations would be: ...

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Thread: Setting Up A Holster

  1. #1
    Member Array OperatorJ's Avatar
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    Setting Up A Holster

    I've seen several threads on which holster to buy... but I can't find any about how to set up an adjustable holster. Considerations would be:

    -Comfort
    -Concealability (not printing)
    -Ease of Draw

    Of course, there may be a balance / sacrifice required in certain circumstances (ie - a position may not be quite as comfortable, but it may provide for optimal draw speed and concealment). And that may depend on clothing, etc. You can sacrifice less on ease of draw in winter when you are wearing a coat and your concern for printing is minimal. My question is this: How do you set up a holster best for your application? Here is my rig:

    S&W 9c in my shiny new RCS, using tuckable C clips. Standard attire is jeans and a polo, untucked. Right now, the grip is too close to the waist of my jeans, almost getting in the way during drawing the weapon. How do I determine optimal ride height? Its also at about 330-4 o'clock, which is a comfortable position and provides for a good draw, with the ride height exception right now. Should I raise it up some? Your advice / shared experience is greatly appreciated.

    OpJ

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
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    You may wish to add one more attribute to your holster criteria and that is "gun fit/retention". Also, I perfer the term "drawability" vs "ease of draw". Drawability = cant + gun fit + holster/gun height.

    I'm not familiar with your holster but if you can increase the height of the pistol and adjust the cant, you will need to raise your pistol/holster above your waist/belt (by lowering the belt clips on the holster?) and or add sufficient forward cant so that you can firmly and quickly grasp the grip of the pistol, unimpeded, with your last three fingers.

    Hope this helps.
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    There needs to be enough clearance between the front strap and the holster so as not to interfere with obtaining a proper grip.

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    Member Array sd976's Avatar
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    I think it is personal desires/comfort. I prefer mine to ride very low, as to increase concealability. I sacrafice some degree of drawability for concealment.
    Just personal preference.

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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    There's no how-to because you could have 100 people in the room and see 100 different configurations.

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    Member Array OperatorJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    There's no how-to because you could have 100 people in the room and see 100 different configurations.
    Understood. So far, my experience (with either a G19 in a Crossbreed or my current setup - M&P 9c in a Raven) has been lacking a little in the concealability area. I cant seem to get the bottom of the grip (highest point when holstered) to not print when bending over. I am mitigating this as much as possible by squatting down instead of bending over, but its still not as good as I see it in some of the youtube videos. I am going to play with some other configurations tonight when I get home.

    OpJ

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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Fact is, you'll never eliminate it... sounds like what you are looking for is deep concealment such as a SmartCarry. Even then it can print, but in a place most people don't look (your crotch).

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    Member Array OperatorJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    Fact is, you'll never eliminate it... sounds like what you are looking for is deep concealment such as a SmartCarry. Even then it can print, but in a place most people don't look (your crotch).
    Lol... everytime I hear about the smart carry or "thunderwear" thing I can;t help but think of someone looking there and you catching them... "Honey... thats not my Glock... but it sounds kinda like it sometimes..."

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    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OperatorJ View Post
    Understood. So far, my experience (with either a G19 in a Crossbreed or my current setup - M&P 9c in a Raven) has been lacking a little in the concealability area. I cant seem to get the bottom of the grip (highest point when holstered) to not print when bending over. I am mitigating this as much as possible by squatting down instead of bending over, but its still not as good as I see it in some of the youtube videos. I am going to play with some other configurations tonight when I get home. OpJ
    I realize that finding the "right" rig (for yourself) is a balancing act, however IMHO, a quick and firm/proper grasp of your sidearm as the (CC) 2nd step to a good draw stroke, trumps a little bit of printing. (i.e. 1st step is clearing your cover garment) Have you experimented with adjusting the cant (forward) or relocating where you wear it at?

    As many have said previously, the only person who's the most likely to be concerned about printing will be you. Typically, the general public will not notice a "bit" of printing, especially if you're already taking precautions to minimize it. Also, you might consider avoiding monochromatic, light colored shirts.

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    I have been carrying since about last spring, starting in the state of Florida. I went through various scenarios, weather changes, and challenges.

    The biggest challenge is the heat of summer. If you're comfortable carrying in July and August of Florida's hottest months, then you're good to go.

    I have tried numerous holsters for several gun platforms.

    Blackhawk Serpa
    Galco Summer Comfort
    Galco Stow and Go
    Cheap Nylon IWB/OWB holsters
    Shielded Holsters (like the CB Supertuck)
    Desantis Nemesis
    Blackhawk Pocket Holster

    If it's super hot, I have worn my Glock 27 in a Shielded holster in a tucked in golf shirt with khakis at 4:00. The golf shirt has to be pique, not microfiber. Microfiber prints like the Dickens. I have also concealed a 357 Snubby at the 1:00 position in a tucked in shirt with a Stow and go.

    If I can do untucked, I have worn a baseball shirt with a Blackhawk Serpa at the 2:00 position, reverse cant. It is the only way to carry with my body shape (44" chest, 36 in waist). The Serpa is really hard to conceal at 4:00 unless you wear a coat that extends to the hips. When traveling, the configuration I mentioned at 2:00 allowed for drawing when seated in a car.

    I had the Galco Summer Comfort which held my Glocks. It is not as stable as a Shielded holster, even with a Gun Belt. It's likely going to be sold off. I have no use for it.

    Untucked, the possibilities are endless. Hence my adoption of wearing Tommy Bahama shirts. I have done a 23/27/30 in a Shielded holster at 3:00 or 4:00, easily. I have done my Taurus 605 357 or my Ruger LCR in a Shielded holster in the same position. I have done appendix carry of the Glocks or snubbies in a Stow and Go. I have done pocket carry in a Desantis Nemesis (front pocket) with the LCR. I will only do pocket carry with a spurless.

    Winter carry is easy. IWB or OWB is possible. Use a hoodie, a sports coat, a parka, with any configuration or clothing. Any caliber and almost any size gun, including a 1911 Para Ordnance Government is possible, and I've done it. I even have a concealed carry coat from the Sportsmans Guide. It conceals any gun, cross draw.

    To me, the concealed carry shirts are a waste. Holster carry in the ankle is slow and is best for a backup or if you're seated. It's best to use a snubby or mouse gun, not a full size or subcompact. I crack up when someone says they want to carry a Glock 27 on the ankle. It's fine if they want to walk like they have a limp, while wearing bell bottoms or flared out jeans.

    Keys:

    Train drawing from the holster. I combine dry firing or snap caps from the holster with an appropriate backstop. I make sure that the gun is unloaded and the bullets aren't even in the same damn room. If you're wanting to draw in a car, you better practice. You'd hate to shoot your own foot or thigh.

    Find the clothing that hides conceals your holster. You may have to upsize your pants if you do IWB. Or you can buy those expandable Hagar slacks.

    Avoid white/yellow colored shirts.

    Avoid wearing microfiber. They lay and form fit, right over your gun.

    Wear dark or printed shirts. The busier the design the better.

    Don't be self conscious. Most people honestly think you're wearing a smart phone. I will be at a party I host and at the end, ask them if they can spot my gun. They go, "you have one on ?". Most people don't pay attention.

    If wearing the gun on you doesn't work, there are fanny packs but those are a dead giveaway.

    Concealed carry is comforting, but not necessarily comfortable, except the super tuck genre of holsters, of which I have taken naps with the gun holstered.


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  12. #11
    Member Array Ducmonster's Avatar
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    You may find that if your raise gun up for an easier draw you will need to reposition gun for better concealment. For me I find that a strong forward cant with grip at 3:00 brings grip out of waistband enough to get a better grip on it. This also helps reduce printing when I lean forward. For me farther back does not hide well unless I position deep in pants. Like many I am still experimenting currently using a Remora holster.

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    Member Array T. Kanaley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OperatorJ View Post
    I've seen several threads on which holster to buy... but I can't find any about how to set up an adjustable holster. Considerations would be:

    -Comfort
    -Concealability (not printing)
    -Ease of Draw

    Of course, there may be a balance / sacrifice required in certain circumstances (ie - a position may not be quite as comfortable, but it may provide for optimal draw speed and concealment). And that may depend on clothing, etc. You can sacrifice less on ease of draw in winter when you are wearing a coat and your concern for printing is minimal. My question is this: How do you set up a holster best for your application? Here is my rig:

    S&W 9c in my shiny new RCS, using tuckable C clips. Standard attire is jeans and a polo, untucked. Right now, the grip is too close to the waist of my jeans, almost getting in the way during drawing the weapon. How do I determine optimal ride height? Its also at about 330-4 o'clock, which is a comfortable position and provides for a good draw, with the ride height exception right now. Should I raise it up some? Your advice / shared experience is greatly appreciated.

    OpJ
    I'll try to give you the K.I.S.S. answer. Adjustable holsters are like adjustable sights. Once you get it set the way you like it, you'll probably never change it again. Your MP9c is a little on the short side (muzzle wise) so the more you raise it up out of the waistband, the more top heavy it will feel because of the lack of muzzle length below the belt line that serves to balance, to stabilize and to help pull the butt of the gun in close to the body. The ideal IWB carry pistol would have a moderate length slide (kinda like the Colt Commander) and a shortened butt (like the Colt Officers ACP). For OWB a pistol with a shorter slide might be more preferable depending on cover garment length.

    I personally wouldn't worry too much about minor printing. Most people (except for other gun people who are overly paranoid about this) wouldn't have a clue what they are looking at anyway. If the butt of your gun prints when bending over, don't bend over. Learn to stoop rather than bending at the waist. I have a Rohrbaugh that I routinely carry in the front pocket of my jeans and even though it's in a pocket holster that obscures the outline of the gun it still has worn a gun imprint in the fabric much like a Skoal can or wallet does in the back pocket over time. I have never noticed anyone looking down trying to figure out what it was. I don't worry about it.

    To me, being able to aquire a full firing grip at initial contact is more important than the most ultimate concealment which would usually require burying the gun in the waistband all the way to the root of the trigger guard and further. I personally would set the holster up so that you don't bump your fingers on the belt or waistband of your trousers and set the cant to accomodate the O'clock position you feel is most comfortable and accessable. IWB holsters can take some time to get used to, so don't expect perfect comfort right from the get go, but you may get lucky. Holsters tend to get more comfortable as you wear them in, so don't give up on a prefered carry location that accomodates all other considerations right off the bat. Good luck!
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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    What type of belt are you using to support your holster? I find the belt to be the most important part of a set up, a good purpose designed, thick, supportive gun belt does wonders for an ok holster. A cheap flimsy pants belt will cause even the finest holster to sag and print.

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