Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Which Gun – Where to Carry

We looked at possibilities for concealed carry on Tuesday. Now we can look at how to carry. I prefer to have a service-style gun, or a compact version thereof in some cases, close to hand. Most usually that’ll be in a belt holster, either worn inside the waist or outside, on the strong side. I changed that a little during a hog hunt in Texas, which was the first time I went with the primary handgun in a cross draw. I’m not normally a fan of cross draws but expected to be seated a lot in a blind or in a vehicle.

The cross draw offers the butt of the gun to people standing to your front, not always a good thing. If you move to draw by reaching across your body, you could have someone move in quick to pin your arm (and the gun) against your front. This isn’t helpful.

S&W M&P340 in Kramer Pocket Holster

The belt-holstered handgun is usually the best way to go if circumstances permit. In addition to this service style handgun, I usually back it up. When the compact service-style gun was the Glock 19 9mm, the backup was the Glock 26 in an Alessi Ankle Holster. That’s a lot of gun with a weighty loaded magazine on the end of your leg, but it took the same ammo and magazines the primary pistol took.

My most carried backup over the term of my life has been the snubby revolver. On the hunting trip mentioned before, the S&W M&P340 was in my right pocket in a Safariland Pocket Holster. It was on me the whole time, in the field, in camp and driving to and from. At Gunsite, I trained with the Ruger LCR carried in my pocket. I’m a great fan of pocket carry for a backup.

I’m not a fan of ankle carry for a primary pistol or revolver. It’s too far away from your hands and only quick to hand if you are seated. I actually got to find out how quickly I could get the gun from an ankle holster during a pre-raid surveillance when I was seated in a vehicle. It was quick, it was unobserved by the citizen who came charging up to the car and the gun was where I needed it. Pocket carry wouldn’t have served so well there.

Glock 26, Alessi Ankle Holster

Similarly, if you are on the ground when you go for the gun, the ankle rig can be handy. Why would you be on the ground? You may have been shot or knocked down by physical force. You may have stumbled or tripped and gone down. It happens.

While we’re at it, let’s face one more fact of life: all the guns in the world don’t help if you are in White. If you haven’t availed yourself of training from one of the big outfits or at least read Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense, shame on you.

To win, you need to be ready to act without taking lots of time to be shocked that someone would attack you. Don’t be carrying guns without having your mind and eyes switched on. The mind is the weapon. If you are “asleep at the wheel,” you’re no more armed by possessing guns than you would be without.

Some have told me they couldn’t get used to ankle holsters or pocket carry. One of my best friends in the world has carried a S&W 640-1 .357 Magnum in one pocket or another since he bought it. He bought one of the first 640-1s to hit the state back when they first built it in the early 1990s. Heavy gun? Sure. Kick a lot with Magnums (all he carries in it)? Oh, yeah.

But if he’s wearing pants, that gun is on him 24/7. And he’s switched on.

You have to wear the gun all day every day to get used to it. For two guns, more effort – but not twice as much. It’s only a little extra.

And why are we doing this? To make it back home at the end of the day – alive and with no more extra holes in us than necessary.

September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Auto Pistol, Concealed Carry, Gear

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