Researching something that may work for me.

This is a discussion on Researching something that may work for me. within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am still trying to find a way to make a full size gun work for me and I think I may have found my ...

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Thread: Researching something that may work for me.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Researching something that may work for me.

    I am still trying to find a way to make a full size gun work for me and I think I may have found my sweet spot.

    First of all I'm proportionally very wide for my height. I'm 40" around at the waist and 48" around at the shoulders. OWB carry fails, no matter how closely it hugs my body. It just prints like you wouldn't believe.

    I have found however in my experiments with my 642 that if I wear the gun at approximately 10 'o clock with the butt of the pistol facing forward, this makes for a somewhat comfortable carry position. It's the only IWB carry method I've found this far that does not absolutely paralyze me, and it doesn't print either.

    I don't know if it's going to work. Early experimentation with my substandard holsters indicates the position is good for concealment and an intuitive draw, and I can actually move around freely. The problem is that I can't get the darn holster to stay still, firmly clipped in place, and the holster tends to travel up and down.

    I want to experiment with carrying a full size gun in this position using the guns I already have, and that's where I run into some problems. The guns I am wanting to experiment with are my S&W 686 (4 inch barrel) and my Ruger P89.

    I have tried an Uncle Mike's IWB holster for my 686 because it was cheap and I was certain I would not like this method. Well I may have since proven myself wrong. This holster would actually work for this gun if it was just made better. I need something stiffer with a more secure clip or mount of some sort. This holster is very comfortable but it is hardly confidence inspiring. It's a cheap holster though so there you go.

    I have tried a Federal Holsterworks holster with my P89 in this position. This was a piss poor holster but it was cheap and it let me do a lot experiments on carry methods so it served its purpose. I ran into the same problem. It needed to be made out of an at least slightly stiffer material like leather or kydex. This holster was not that comfortable. To Federal Holsterwork's credit, the clip on their holster kept this one much more secure.

    I've decided that investing a few dollars to find out how well this does or does not work is worthwhile. I want to find a better IWB rig which could facilitate my cross draw carry position for each of these guns.

    I wear a belt anyway so a holster that requires me to wear a belt is not a problem. I'm looking for something that's a step up from the Uncle Mike's and Federal rigs in either leather or kydex, but not the soft neoprene or nylon as these materials don't seem to fit the bill. I'm also looking for a factory made holster in the interest of not spending a bloody fortune because the jury's still out on this.

    The trouble is that I'm ignorant of the holster market and only know Uncle Mike's, Fobus, and Galco and even then I don't know them very well. And the thing is, no one actually uses a 686 or a P89 for a carry gun and I don't necessarily blame them. The holsters they offer for these guns tend to be hip or OWB carry.

    I have considered a Mika's holster because I have an IWB Mika's holster for my 642 and it is excellent. I bet he would make one for a larger gun, and his holsters are excellent and inexpensive. His holsters are pretty soft but they're still much stiffer than the ones I've been trying to use.

    But before I give Mr. Mika some more business, I wanted to see what you holster gurus could spit out at me. Feel free to ask away.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    For my money the best production made holsters are Galco, the best custom shop is http://www.andrewsleather.com and the best in Kydex is http://www.blade-tech.com

    I have five from Sam Andrews (not CHEAP, but awesome quality) and five from Blade Tech and three from Galco. I also have a couple of fobus and a belly bag for hot weather wear here in Miami, FL. That's a Galco, too.

    You said that a full size prints badly. What are you wearing for your cover garment? May I suggest you try the tried and true cover garment of the dedicated pistolero as suggested by Jeff Cooper himself (the Father of American pistolcraft) which would be the Banana Republic Photographers vest. You will fool absolutely nobody who is also carrying in such a fashion and possibly the cops will recognize you as being armed, but also as one of the GG's. The sheeple will have no clue. Even if you fail to carry several Nikon cameras. If you can't alter your body frame or your gun, alter the cover garment! There are also certain bodily movements you must undertake to consciously avoid, but these are simple and easily ingrained.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    ExSoldier, I too am a client of Sam Andrews for quite a few years now, his holsters are the very best quality I have found.

    Euclidean, the holster you are looking for is Andrews McDaniel II with the Cross Draw option. I own one of these for my Kimber CDP. It is an IWB Cross Draw, rough side leather out and mounting hardware that allows you to set the angle at which the gun carries, it incorporates a star type washer so that once you set the angle it won't move. As ExSoldier said they aren't cheap, ($65.00 and up), and it will usually take 45 to 90 days to get it from him, but it is the last IWB holster you will ever need. One other thing, it also has mounting hardware to carry it strong side IWB. Check it out.
    www.andrewsleather.com
    Tell him Bob in Las Vegas recommended you.
    Last edited by acparmed; February 19th, 2005 at 01:22 AM.
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  5. #4
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    I've never owned an Andrews Leather holster but have a number of Galco. Galco does make a decent holster, and they have a good variety of styles. The Andrews looks like it might be a good option. At $65 it's not that much more than a Galco, if at all. Another holster that I have, that is actually my current favorite, is a strong side IWB from Ross Leather, from South Africa, but they seem to be hard to find.

    I would add, however, that something you might consider before buying one is to go to a couple of gunshops or one of the big sporting good stores that handle Galco and others and try on a few. For me, the secret of concealing a larger gun (I carry a full size 1911) is the cant of the gun in the holster. A 1911 has a raked position that will make it all but disappear on most people, you just have to play with it a bit. You can hide almost anything on a big guy, but I'm not (5'9", 34" waist, gut of any other 50 year old) and I can conceal my Kimber TLE II under a tshirt.

    Good luck....
    Bumper
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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Yeah, any of the fisherman's/tactical/Banana Republic vests work wonders if you need to conceal something massive without any effort. Hell, a Sig 226 fits in the front pockets of mine and doesn't print and I can carry enough ammo to wage war in a third world country.

    It's a must for weather that allows it and if I need something that takes a shoulder holster.

    There's also, workplace and lifestyle dependent, the ubiquitous oversized untucked shirt. I own a half dozen of the same black dress shirts that you could camp under.

    Then again, I do have the build of a NFL lineman and concealment never was much work.

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    seems you bigger guys have a easier time of concealment. I'm 5-10 and 175 lb. no real problems concealing, but seems it would be easier if I had more waist. With a 33" waist theres not much room to fit a gun, mags and other stuff. I have found that buying your clothes with CCW in mind helps alot.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    In addition to Bob in Las Vegas, mention Jim in Miami as a recommendation.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Smile Size is NOT important......

    Quote Originally Posted by rocky
    seems you bigger guys have a easier time of concealment. I'm 5-10 and 175 lb. no real problems concealing, but seems it would be easier if I had more waist. With a 33" waist theres not much room to fit a gun, mags and other stuff. I have found that buying your clothes with CCW in mind helps alot.
    Okay 5-11 and 175 was my size as an active duty infantry officer. Even then I was concealing a full sized Government model 1911. I did buy my pants an extra size bigger for IWB, but otherwise, a shoulder holster and jacket worked fine for me. Come to think of it, the "no mixing civvies and uniforms" never applied in the case of the M65 Field Jacket, the army recognized that a lot of pvt's might not be able to afford a winter jacket. So concealing anything in cold weather under a field jacket is a pretty easy thing. Consider that, too.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #9
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    Not so much concealing but just wearing a holster in a comfortable fashion. I have a large waist(44) and getting the belt tight to keep everything up was a chore. Circulation would be affected when I cinched the belt tight. I always thought wearing on the weakside would be more comfortable. Being thinner would be better I would think.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Those look like some good options that don't cost $300 guys. Good research!

    But after I lost 5 points on my range proficiency exam because my damned safety was on, I am dead set against investing any more in the P89.

    That tears it. I'm going to get an auto that doesn't have an external safety.

    It was also a good lesson for me that I shouldn't consider carrying something with an external safety. You know what, I'm actually glad it happened. It was a wakeup call.

    As a consequence I'll keep this pistol as a training aid, but I'm abandoning making it work as a carry piece. I'll buy a nicer holster for my 686 instead of two modest holsters for both guns.

    The vest isn't a bad idea either. I'd only be carrying a full size on the weekends and off work so fashion sense is not mandatory. Plus I could carry all sorts of crap...

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Thumbs up No External Manual Safety...

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    That tears it. I'm going to get an auto that doesn't have an external safety. It was also a good lesson for me that I shouldn't consider carrying something with an external safety. You know what, I'm actually glad it happened. It was a wakeup call. The vest isn't a bad idea either. I'd only be carrying a full size on the weekends and off work so fashion sense is not mandatory. Plus I could carry all sorts of crap...
    For exactly the same reasons you mention I ONLY carry a Sig Sauer 45 OR a Glock. No safety to wipe (I ain't as fast on the draw as I used to be! ~sigh~ Age) yet a decently heavy (but smooth) DA first shot so I doubt some antsy prosecutor is going to claim I musta fired by accident or that I didn't know my gun was going to go BANG with fatal results for the perp trying to harm me and mine.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    The XD is looking better and better.

    Turning the P89 into a decocker isn't hard it just isn't worth the money to me. Buying a real holster for it isn't worth the money to me either. That's around $200 worth of accessories it would need to be viable, and you know what, the P89's been good to me but it ain't worth that much investment.

    The 4" Service Model of the XD in 9mm is available from my local merchant of death for $500 or less brand new.

    Wonder how much I could sell a slick looking P-89 with all its original factory parts plus Hogue grips and 3 seventeen round magazines for around here...

    Idle thoughts for a later time when I've got money to spend.

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    I like my Royal Robbins vest . It has lots of pockets for cell phones, knives,mags. ect., ect and more ect. Also has hidden pistol pockets built in and large velcro patches to attach holsters in. Down side is it is a typical looking carry vest. But really know if you are or not?

  15. #14
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    I wear a Campco vest. It was designed as a photo-journalist's vest, but it works great for CCW. It has over 30 pockets in it. The wife says I could move in it.

    I've wondered if that was a suggestion???
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Been wearing various many pocket vests for almost 20 years. Daily wear in US and Canada. The only question I have ever been asked is 'were the fish biting?' 'catch anything?' 'Going fishing?'

    Never had a cop anywhere even give me a second glance.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

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