August 28th, 2012 09:32 PM
Intro to the Alessi Bodyguard
So, my Alessi Bodyguard shoulder rig came in the day before yesterday, and I got her all situated up and ready for action. Got a chance to wear it today while out and about, and I have to admit I'm impressed so far. Carrying a full size 1911 and two spare mags and could barely tell I had anything on. Comfortable across the shoulders and even snugged up next to the armpit it was easy to wear. This was only for about 4 hours, but so far so good.
My first CC shoulder rig. In the Army I had a nylon Uncle Mike's rig that I wore when I was doing AWOL apprehension but was always open. Got used to it flapping around, but never liked it as much as my webgear setup. But, what I've learned is that you have to cinch it up a lot closer to the armpit than what you see in the movies. Made a large difference, as well as the quality of the leather used.
I have to break this in and my new Garrett Silent Thunder Fusion IWB for my G30. I'll be switching out to get a good opinion of both and will report as time goes on.
Also, the wait time for the Bodyguard is something along the lines of 10 to 12 weeks. Well, I called directly and spoke with Tom (very nice and professional guy), and asked if they had the same setup in a different color already made so I didn't have to wait, and luck have it-- they did. Total wait time from order to delivery was 72 hours. So, my advice is to call in to see if they have one ready for you in either color.
August 28th, 2012 10:06 PM
It's a great shoulder rig. I always recommend the Alessi Bodyguard. Wear it in good health.
It's especially useful in Winter when it's really frigid out and you need to wear a warm heavy coat.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 29th, 2012 12:12 AM
I live in Michigan-- so, guess that means I can don it 11 months a year.
Originally Posted by QKShooter
August 29th, 2012 03:46 AM
This post is the first reason I've had to really LOOK at this design.
body guard auto.jpg
Omg. On a s/a auto with a good trigger job, BANG!, if/when the safety slips while holstering. And being horizontal carry, life insurance for the bystanders?
August 29th, 2012 11:28 AM
Can't happen. As long as you give Alessi the proper pistol model, the distal portion of the pistol will not push forward enough to activate the trigger with the snap. I can kick the back of my Kimber over and and over into the holster, and it wouldn't do anything but hurt my toe. Now, that being said, you can't engineer out stupidity.
Originally Posted by rednichols
They even go further on some models and have a backstrap (on Glock models it's mandatory-- they don't offer a strapless model for it).
August 29th, 2012 11:35 AM
Well, this is one time where I would have to disagree with you Red.
The Alessi Bodyguard holster is so well constructed and fits the firearm so well (like a glove) that it is impossible to insert the firearm into the holster far enough for the "pull through" snap to ever contact the trigger of the firearm.
I have tested that out myself. With every ounce of force that I am able to muster I cannot get a firearm into the BodyGuard further than it is designed to go in. And mine is at least a decade old.
If it wasn't so expensive to ship things to your country I'd mail you one of mine so that you could check that out for yourself.
The BodyGuard was designed by Lou Alessi and it has been around for ages now and folks are just not having any ND issues with them or for sure Alessi would have been sued out of existence by now.
The Alessi is very popular with a lot of city detectives here in Pennsylvania. In the past I have been in rooms literally filled with them.
They just are not a problem.
And as far as a Horizontal holster is concerned I've carried in one for years without incident.
Did you ever walk around on the second floor of your home with your firearm on your waistband and folks on the first floor below you?
Because if you ever did that then you have constantly covered and swept the tops of the heads of the folks below you.
Most folks don't ever think about that AKA "out of sight - out of mind"
- if floors were made of a sheet of transparent Plexi-Glas would we be saying that Vertical holsters were just as dangerous as horizontal ones?
The vast majority of home constructed floors will not stop a bullet and just because you can't actually see people down on the first floor (through the floor) below you does not mean that your OWB or IWB firearm ain't pointed at the top of their respective noggins.
So the only difference between that and a horizontal shoulder holster is the direction of the muzzle.
Either the holstered firearm is a safe one or it isn't and if it's a properly constructed one then the holstered firearm is not going to go off by itself.
Either a firearm is safe housed in a high quality well constructed holster or it isn't...we cannot have it both ways.
And after reading the above post by the OP I should add that IF the correct firearm for the holster is inserted into it's correct holster it is impossible for the the "pull through" snap to ever contact the firearm trigger.
If somebody uses the incorrect holster for their firearm then all bets are off.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 29th, 2012 07:10 PM
Then it CAN happen. But my original point was only about holstering: safety's come off, holstering while wearing the holster, fiddling with closing the snap, good match trigger -- now perhaps you see my point.
Originally Posted by pscipio03
BUT, if you're thinking that "as long as you give the company the right model", get real. That holster, responsibly made, has to fit whatever the NEXT buyer puts into it. Surely you wouldn't accuse the next buyer for not knowing that the holster wasn't meant for his trigger? Used holsters, including Alessis, are sold routinely on sites such as eBay.
And as for the other post about where bullets go after an a/d, the very first winner of the Bianchi Cup, Ron Lerch, was a drunken basket case after his win because he'd attended despite putting a bullet through the wall into the wife who was in the next room, killing her. Want to reckon that was a horizontal a/d?
Then let's think about the inherent simplicity of a snap fastener, and how vulnerable it is to how it's set by the maker. Did you know that when setting the 'socket' side, if done just a bit too tightly, actually deforms the socket and the floating spring inside it? That the snap can become tighter, or looser, by how the socket is set? That choosing the wrong length eyelet, or cap, can lead to a buildup of 'clinch' inside that prevents the snap from actually closing fully? That setting it improperly can lead to the 'clinch' actually failing and the socket actually coming off -- and you don't know it because it's still stuck to the stud? That the shoemaker you're going to take it to to replace it doesn't have the specialist knowledge that your maker - say, Alessi - has?
Yes, my friends, a holster designer's job IS to engineer out stupidity. Forget about the lawsuits, and think about the humanity involved.
August 29th, 2012 09:54 PM
If you have never actually seen one, held one and tried one, all you are saying is complete conjecture. When I say you can't engineer out stupidity, I mean if someone has their finger on the trigger while placing the pistol in the holster, well, you get MY point.
Look, I'm not an internet 'tough guy' who will tell you you're wrong and call you names, blah blah. I'm sure you have your reasons for saying what you are saying, but admittedly, if you've never had a chance to reverse engineer this product for critical failure, in this case ND, you are violating your own quote in your signature. You defeat your own argument about Lerch if he was drunk (hard to tell by your syntax).
Let's stop this now. Unless you can tell me you've had one in your hand, it's hard for you to argue with two people who actually own and use them. I'm wearing mine right now and unloaded my Kimber, put in a mag of Snap Caps and tried like hell to shove it forward enough to engage the trigger. Nothing-- not even close. Put in my G19 and tried, nothing. Put in my G30SF and tried, nothing. Put in my XDm 3.8 compact .45-- nothing. Same with my XDm 3.8 compact 9mm. You get my picture.
August 29th, 2012 10:08 PM
"BUT, if you're thinking that "as long as you give the company the right model", get real. That holster, responsibly made, has to fit whatever the NEXT buyer puts into it. Surely you wouldn't accuse the next buyer for not knowing that the holster wasn't meant for his trigger? Used holsters, including Alessis, are sold routinely on sites such as eBay."
I am certain that you would not stand behind one of your (admittedly exemplary) holster designs if the "next buyer" wore it with a completely incorrect firearm stuffed into it.
I totally agree with you that the snaps need to be properly set/installed or they can be problematic. So far that has not proved to be an issue with the Alessi - at least on the few that I own.
I certainly have seen that (first hand) on many knife sheaths especially when even a talented knife maker - decides that they are also a leather worker and they decide to make their own sheaths for their knives.
Most should stick to their knife making because their sheaths are usually terrible.
Many years ago I stopped using the Tandy snaps and switched to American Made MARINE GRADE Stainless snaps. They are incredibly more expensive but, they are the best.
At this time I should make the OP aware of the fact that Red Nichols was/is a top holster designer that has designed and prototyped holsters for nearly all of the best commercial holster makers worldwide and so his personal opinion is not to be taken lightly but, that does not mean that it isn't fun to debate him..because I absolutely love an intelligent, friendly, holster discussion...me being a lifelong quality leather holster appreciator.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 29th, 2012 11:19 PM
I took from his signature that he had a lot of experience in this, hence the reference to reverse engineer the holster BEFORE passing judgement. If I showed a picture of a new Bugatti to a Porsche engineer and he said, "No way that thing can do 200+ MPH based off this one photo you just showed me", you'd question his judgement as well.
The bottom line is the tang holding the snap is separated too far from the trigger to even cause an accidental discharge. Snap quality doesn't even play into it. Simple physics show that if you are drawing the pistol away from you, only the trigger house, not the trigger itself EVER comes in contact with the snap. You could use four bread twist ties in place of the snap and it would not change they dynamics of it.
August 30th, 2012 12:48 AM
Hm, I don't post to persuade; I post to educate. It matters not at all to me, if someone agrees or disagrees with my analyses, or how I go about it. That is, I don't post so someone can pat me on the back, and say "good job"; I already know that I know what I'm talking about. If it stimulates thinking, and discussion, and causes someone to question conventional wisdom, I'm all for it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in the case of gun holster design, mine is based on knowledge. Cheers!
August 30th, 2012 04:27 PM
I have read the above posts 2x, to make sure I got it. It is a nice holster and there are reasons why even the copy cats who cannot design won't touch this one.
Its Murphy's law. I do realize I have not heard of any AD"s with this design, but it also has not been mass produced and I have first hand experience with a mass producer, its where I come from. Lets assume that one artist (Alessi, rest in peace) made it from start to finish with NO OTHER HANDS involved, it looks OK with many negatives. But lets say its a Murphy day or week and all hands on deck and lets say the one man artist has a bad day also.
There are to many negatives and not enough positives. A few things I see to point out.
And all that said above, I am well aware the 1911 has 3 safeties, but when you are drawing to shoot, all of them are going off. And yes the holster seems to have not failed yet but as I said before the numbers are low. We are taught over and over the trigger has to be covered, so what do we have here is a snap in the middle of what should be covered. Its just all to close for me....... finger out of the trigger guard till on target, why? Snap in the trigger guard WHY? The design does not make any sense for todays world for us. I like Reds point of view.
- Leather is not always the same stiffness or thickness before and after molding. What if that area where the trigger guard hits the stitching starts to stretch and open up, the gun will be able to move foward and the trigger may hit the snap. And yes even if its molded to the gun, that area may be weak.
- When Alessi made them we had one style 1911 with one size half moon trigger. Today you can change that trigger to 20 different styles and some do not have the half moon shape to them. An example is Sig's Picture here.Sig 1911.jpg
- What if a user oils the holster making it softer, the same as above may happen?
- What if the guy working the clicker did not set the machine correct and you can hardly see the crease to sew it?
- Worse is if you cut it out by hand, I won't even go there right now.
- What if the sewer missed the crease line in the pattern, lowering the stitch line. You now have the room you need to push the gun foward so the snap hits the trigger.
- What if the molder does not notice the sewer's mistake and the gun is now going further down in the holster and molds it. The gun's trigger is now sitting closer to the snap then orginally designed.
- What if the wrong size cap or eyelett is used (As Red Said) , when pulled enough it will rise up and break. And that can happen on any holster but on this one the breaking parts are inside the trigger guard.
- The stress from this type of holster draw on the snap is way more then a normal TB holster, it will fail sooner.
- If the snap does break on the draw, chances are its not going to be a clean break. I bet its going to be a Murphy break, caught on, clunky, sticky type of draw that may not even release the gun. Someone's first 1st reaction in a self defence situation may be to jam the gun back in the holster (bang , bang if the parts aline correct) and then try and pull the gun out harder.
- Why would you want to have your trigger guard pulled against a snap.
Last edited by High Noon; August 30th, 2012 at 11:02 PM.
October 22nd, 2012 03:56 PM
Okay, it's been almost two months since I started wearing the Alessi, and I have to admit, it's just a great rig. I hardly know I'm carrying a full size 5" Kimber with two extra mags. I can honestly say it's the only way I'd carry this hog, IWB just did not work out for me.
I drove 7 hours one way last week and not once did I feel I needed to adjust anything.
To date, the only negative has been one of the plastic screws that size the shoulder straps broke, but was replaced by a stainless screw that made the whole setup look even better.
I won't rehash the safety concerns a few have pointed out. Suffice to say, I'm willing to test Murphy and let's hope no AD happens on his watch.
January 4th, 2013 05:45 AM
I went to the trouble, and the expense, of acquiring an Alessi Bodyguard (how DID S&W let his company get away with using the Bg trademark, they're in the same classification?), because it bothered me that I couldn't fully communicate my concerns about the holster design.
Originally Posted by QKShooter
As a designer of way too much experience, I didn't need to hold the Alessi in my hand to see the unnecessary risk. But some, the OP included, couldn't or wouldn't see my point (note: I have yet to see any of Lou's bona fides as a holster designer or maker).
I'm realising that readers and posters alike may have thought that I was suggesting the the trigger of a 1911 could contact the retention strap system and fire. I did not suggest that, and I am not suggesting it now. What I DID, and AM, saying, is that encouraging the wearer to fumble with the retention strap system in proximity of the trigger could lead to an AD.
Pics, and then my summary:
I'm saying that wearing the holster on its harness (mine came with its original harness) and holstering, then attempting to close the snap fastener one-handed, could lead to an AD. Could leaving your finger on the trigger of any pistol, in any holster, lead to an AD? Sure. But when a designer ENCOURAGES the wearer to put his finger near the trigger when holstering (or drawing, think "clamshell"), then an UNNECESSARY risk is being taken.
If the pics don't convince, without captions, I'll take my holster to the range and pop a cap through it; then post pics. But I'd rather not, and have it used as evidence in a future timeframe. In my expert witness days, I testified only FOR holster makers, NEVER against them, and I won't change now. But I owe it to wearers to expose a risk if they can't see it for themselves, too.
Could the risk be designed out? Of course; but then if it were my design, I'd simply move away from the risk altogether; and that's what I'm recommending.
Last edited by rednichols; January 4th, 2013 at 09:13 PM.
Red (Richard) Nichols
January 4th, 2013 08:01 AM
I have been mulling over getting a new shoulder rig and was seriously thinking of the Alessi, primarily for the way the shoulder/back straps are designed. The above discussion is certainly food for thought.
I'd rather be lucky than good any day
There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.
Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.
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