SmartCarry observations

This is a discussion on SmartCarry observations within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been using my SmartCarry for the past few days. I have the smallest model, carrying a Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 and one spare magazine. ...

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Thread: SmartCarry observations

  1. #1
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    SmartCarry observations

    I've been using my SmartCarry for the past few days. I have the smallest model, carrying a Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 and one spare magazine. I'm wearing it slightly right of center, so that the gun rests in the crease of my right thigh when I sit.

    PRO:

    - Great concealment. I've been wearing it under flat-front slacks. If I look straight down, I can just make out the edge of the butt. To anyone else, it's invisible.

    - Reasonable comfort. I've been climbing on ladders, squatting, and kneeling a lot. No problems. Sitting is quite comfortable.

    CONS:

    - Drawing is unsatisfactory. I can draw with my strong hand unassisted, but I have to use my fingertips to start the draw. I don't have a full firing grip until the gun begins to clear my belt. I haven't timed a draw, but I think 5 seconds is a minimum.

    I don't think I could carry a bigger gun than the Pocketlite in this rig.

    YMMV.

    Bill

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  3. #2
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    I've successfully carried various guns in my medium-sized SC....including a SIGARMS sig pro SP2340, Steyr M9, Beretta 92FC Type M, and Kahr PM9....they all were well concealed in my SC.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    There's pro's and con's to every carry method at some point. I don't like the smart carry to much because of what you said, the slow draw. In a pinch and needing your gun fast I am not sure I like the odds of the smart carry helping me out, to much can go wrong or things to get caught on.

    I will give it good concealment and comfort for the most part but that's about it. I would consider carrying a BUG in one.

    My CCW instuctor carry's a 4" 500 S&W in the large model and loves it, go figure. I guess everybody's different.


    Ti.
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    Thanks for the review, Bill

    I've not tried one, but they don't look to be all that comfortable to wear, and slow to boot.
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

  6. #5
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    Mine is absolute last ditch resort - rarely used but - it is the large version and what I did find carrying large was, it was a bit easier to arrange things for a better draw. Slow of course but - seemed to me bigger was better.

    Probably look like a darned ballet dancer wearing it tho - maxi-bulge can we say LOL! Well, feels that way - daresay in fact not that bad.
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    Senior Member Array Rugerman's Avatar
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    Holsters of that type only work with very small guns. Or with very very big pants. I have a pager pal holster that fits in the same area that works good with a little gun but other than that it causes way to big of a bulge.
    George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."

  8. #7
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    SC and body contours

    I find that (like most holsters) my body shape has a big impact on the utility and comfort of the SmartCarry.

    I'm 5'8" tall and weigh a bit over 200 pounds. In the last two years I gained about 30 pounds and have a bit of a belly now. My gut laps over my belt just a bit in the front.

    Consequently the space between the crotch of my pants and my belt is pretty short. My PocketLite just fits in the available space. I don't think I can carry anything bigger in this sort of rig. If I lost the dunlap in the front, I could wear my trousers higher in the front. Wearing my trousers higher in front = greater distance crotch <-> belt = more room for my hand.

    I chose the PocketLite / SmartCarry combo for my backup gun. My primary is a Kimber Ultra Carry in a Tucker "Answer" at about 3:30.

    I'm seriously rethinking this combo, given the slowness/uncertainty of the draw.

    Another downside is that I like to carry a Spyderco folder clipped inside my waistband on each side of my belt buckle (call it 11 and 1 o'clock). The folder seriously interferes with my draw and blocks any sort of weak-hand access. A weak-hand draw with this rig is extremely difficult without the folder in the draw path.

    YMMV.

    Bill
    Last edited by badgerw; April 14th, 2006 at 10:30 AM.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    I find the SmartCarry method to work great with my Glock 26 plus an extra mag. My daily wear is pleated Dockers, so that aids with concealment. While I have other holsters that I use in the winter, for summer, I find that SmartCarry is the best option regardless of what I choose to wear.

    Completing the draw is not fast, but it's much better than not being armed!

  10. #9
    New Member Array 1814militiamanrob's Avatar
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    I have been carrying a Colt 380 Govt.and it fits well but I have to adjust
    from center to slightly to one side to not print. Practice pushing up with weak hand on the muzzle ant it will sort of pop it above the belt for access.

  11. #10
    Member Array Forstr's Avatar
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    I've long considered this holster to be useful for carry while wearing overalls, but have yet to try it. If you carry larger than a pocket piece, I think it's the best option (way better than ankle carry). The draw would be much quicker. You'd just have to be careful to keep the sides buttoned up. Matter of fact, I find myself quite often resting my hands inside the front flap, so a draw might be plenty quick.
    Guns don't kill people; People with mustaches kill people.

  12. #11
    Member Array The Goose's Avatar
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    I have way too much belly for the Smartcarry. I tried it with a snubby and a G26. It was very comfortable and concealment was good, but my belly made it WAY too slow. It now resides in the infamous holster drawer with a few dozen other "seemed like a good idea at the time" holsters and gimmicks.

  13. #12
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    Rule #3

    Quote Originally Posted by 1814militiamanrob
    Practice pushing up with weak hand on the muzzle ant it will sort of pop it above the belt for access.
    An interesting idea, but I'm reluctant to put my fingers in front of the muzzle of a loaded gun. That whole "never let the muzzle cover something you aren't willing to destroy" thing.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Bill

  14. #13
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    Alternatives to SmartCarry

    Concealment isn't just about this holster or that one. It's about an overall approach.

    I work in a "business casual" atmosphere. Docker-type slacks and polo shirts are the norm. In that setting, my Kimber in the Tucker "Answer" doesn't fly. I opted for the Colt Mustang in a SmartCarry. As I've said, comfort and concealment are fine. Draw is slow and awkward. I'm looking for a new solution.

    Away from work, I changed my wardrobe. I'm not a jeans guy, so I stuck with dark pleated-front slacks. I wear short-sleeve sport shirts with a square bottom, untucked. The Kimber / Answer combination, supported by a Liger 1.5 inch gunbelt, hides pretty well.

    What doesn't work all that well is the Mustang / SmartCarry combination. It doesn't work well as a BUG rig in conjunction with the Kimber. I'm trying to find a better solution.

    I'm inclined to stick with the Mustang as my BUG / deep concealment gun. I shoot it reasonably well under pressure, almost as well as the Kimber. With any pistol cartridge, bullet placement is crucial. More so with something like a .380ACP.

    I've tried baby Glocks. I have small hands and can't grip them well. I've tried Kel-Tecs. I'm not sufficiently skilled to shoot well with the long, heavy trigger pull. Same for S&W J-frames.

    I'm thinking seriously of adding an ambridextrous safety to the Mustang and calling it, "Good enough."

    As for a BUG holster, I'm looking.

    A front pocket seems like a poor choice. What if I need to get the gun out with the opposite hand?

    A hip pocket carry might work, but I'll need to practice a safe draw so as not to cross my body with the muzzle. And forget drawing while sitting down.

    Cross-draw IWB? Maybe. I'm not sure whose holster would work well for that. Weak-hand draw from a cross-draw holster is doable, with practice. Draw from sitting is feasible. I spend a lot of my life sitting.

    I've never tried an ankle holster. Speed of draw seems slow. Seated draw and weak-hand both seem doable.

    Anyone have some suggestions?

    Bill

  15. #14
    Member Array stryder's Avatar
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    I concur with what everyone's been saying about the SC. But if I worked in a place like Badger does (dress code = dockers and polo shirts) then I'd probably use my SC for that too.

    I can't totally dismiss the SC because it fills this niche pretty well.

  16. #15
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    Draw from sitting

    As I mentioned earlier, one thing I can't seem to do well with the SmartCarry is draw from sitting.

    I spent some time in my car last night, practicing draws with the guns unloaded. My current vehicle is a Chevy Cavalier with contoured bucket seats.

    Getting the Kimber out of its holster was about impossible. The contour was in the way.

    I tried the Mustang as a crossdraw. I didn't have a holster, so I tucked it in my waistband (offside Mexican). I could draw easily with my right (strong) hand and with less certainty using my left. I think practicing weak-hand draws a few hundred times would iron out that problem.

    I also tried the Mustang as an ankle rig. I tucked it into a sturdy sock and practiced drawing with my strong hand. That worked well.

    One problem I can see in a carjack situation is drawing the Mustang and pointing towards the window (presuming the threat is on the driver's side). Right now my natural move briefly points the muzzle at my weak arm, which is holding the steering wheel. This particularly concerns me as it happens near the end of the draw. At the point where I cross my arm, the safety is off.

    I would feel really stupid about shooting myself in my left forearm or elbow. Double plus ungood.

    Once I settle on the BUG rig, I need to practice practice practice.

    Bill

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