Mr. Massad Ayoob, a staple figure who has been writing about and teaching modern handguns for something like 40 years, recently dished for a quarter-hour as part of Wilson Combat’s Critical Mas (get it?) series on the pros and cons of carry belts and different holster positions for concealed carry when toting “a serious fighting pistol on the belt,” as he clarifies. This includes Outside the Waistband, Inside the Waistband, and the always controversial Appendix IWB Carry.
It is worth the investment in your time should you be looking to answer questions or just be looking for reinforcement of your own current carry practice.
Fundamental in the carry and use of a modern handgun is an effective holster and we are here to cut through the gimmicks to bring you a few tips on what will work best.
Why a holster?
In the days of the first effective pistols, the single-shot handguns were still too large for practical carry, being relegated to saddle-mounted leather holders on the horses of the cavilers of the day. Bulky and slow to reload, the gunfighter of yesteryear would carry a brace of such guns to ensure a rapid follow-up shot against multiple adversaries. By the 19th Century and the introduction of the revolver, the first recognizable holsters became widespread and the leather-sheathed wheel gun replaced the sword of yesteryear on the belts of gentlemen.
Today, the holster remains a solid standby for the armed citizen and the use of one separates the professional and responsible gun owner from the Hollywood thug. One of the most unsafe things a handgun user can do is carry their pistol or revolver sans holster. Simple carry methods such as stuffing a smaller gun– such as a Glock 43– in a pants pocket, or a larger framed pistol such as a Glock 17 in a waistband, allows the handgun to rotate as the carrier walks and moves.
This “floating” firearm can twist and move away from its original position, making quick deployment harder. Worse, with the trigger exposed, a potentially deadly negligent discharge can result if a foreign object as simple as a shirt tail or jacket pull string works its way into the trigger well. Finally, an unsecured handgun is prone to skitter away at the worst of times, causing embarrassment at the least, and potential criminal charges in some jurisdictions.
More on carry options in my column at Tac-44.com