Web Extra: Close Look: More Cool Carry Options
Check Out These Cool Gun-Buckets!
Y’know, sometimes you get feature assignments, and you’re supposed to produce a lineup of the best, brightest and coolest stuff of that type available — and you find out there just ain’t that much to show. Either there’s nothin’ new, or what’s new is junk. But wow, that’s not the case with Carry Options right now! Here, we’ll show you more detail on a couple of options we covered in the “paper mag,” and several others we didn’t have space for, okay? Let’s do it!
In print we showed you Galco’s new IWB/OWB quick-change Double Time holster, set up for inside-the-waistband carry. Here it is set up for OWB, plus a couple of shots showing it in use. It just makes good sense to carry in the same holster whether inside the belt or out, so you’re drawing from essentially the same angle, and you’re capitalizing on built-up neuromuscular memory. And if you’re gonna buy quality, it’s nice when that quality holster is also double-duty versatile, isn’t it?
I think most of you will employ the Double Time about 90 percent IWB or OWB, and change over only about ten percent of the time. When you do change, all it takes is a minute with a flat-blade screwdriver and you’re in business.
Ain’t this a beauty? It’s Wilson Combat’s Lo-Profile holster in black elephant! If you carry concealed all day every day, this one’s made for extended-wear comfort, stability and a couple of lifetimes of durability. The pancake style design conforms to the shape of your waist, and the two belt slot configuration positions the holster with a slight forward cant. Clothing slides smoothly over the exterior, and on the inside, a custom-formed safety guard protects the thumb safety and your clothing. You get a smooth draw from virtually any position, and the low-cut front means you’re clearing leather just above the belt line, giving you great speed as well as security. It’s IDPA approved, and — it’s offered in black elephant!
Yeah, black elephant will set you back $274.95, and you could get it in black shark for $129.95, or in slick black cowhide for only $89.95, but… Black elephant, dudes… The Lo-Profile comes in right or left hand to fit several variants of 1911’s and a couple other pistols. Did I mention it comes in… black elephant? Okay.
Is a gun magnet a “carry option”? Well, now the undersides of my work table and my desk both “carry” pistols, and the underside of a room-divider counter “carries” a third pistol plus a Remington 870 12-gauge, so I think it fits the Carry Options category. I’ve been so pleased with my first four Fast Draw Gun Magnets that I just got four more.
I looked at a variety of options for “arming my furnishings,” including three other magnetic setups, and in my opinion, the Fast Draw Gun Magnet is the best of the bunch. It’s not just a magnet on a mounting plate either; a ton of careful thought and design work went into the dimensions, the coating and even selection of the magnet material. It’s designed to give you just enough “stand-off” from the surface you mount it on to eliminate clumsiness in detaching the gun, and just the right surface area to get “full force contact” on the appropriate surfaces of all kinds of firearms. For example, if you suspend a pistol by the top of the slide, or a revolver by its topstrap, the 0.70″ depth will keep your sights from scraping on the mounting surface. Plus, the coating is tough, slick injection-molded ABS, so it won’t mar the finish of your guns.
The magnet is Neodymium, a rare earth magnet which is highly resistant to demagnetization, and unlike many other forms of magnet, it will not lose magnetic strength over time or due to proximity to other magnets, or if it’s dropped. Each Fast Draw magnet will hold over ten pounds, and believe me, if you have full contact between your handgun and the magnet, casual or incidental contact is definitely NOT gonna shake it loose! In fact, it takes a stout tug to yank `em free.
You can concealed-mount handguns by their topsides, sides, and a pal of mine even has a Glock 21 stuck to the ceiling of his hall closet by its muzzle! One Fast Draw magnet proved sufficient to hold my 870 with 18″ barrel, full wood stock, six rounds of buckshot in an extension tube — by the side of its receiver. But I added a second magnet out toward the end of the barrel just to provide more stability. I’ve been nothin’ but pleased with placement and performance.
This is NOT a “kiddie-safe” or “moron-safe” apparatus, but sometimes, y’know, speed from concealment has a “safety factor” of its own…
In the Jan-Feb print issue, look for the Christmas Gift Guide, and you’ll see I placed the Delta Concealed Carry Vest by Kakadu Australia there. The Delta is a terrific three-season carry vest, but my personal favorite for chilly weather wear is their Hoover Concealed Carry Vest shown here. The outer shell is constructed of a tough, quilted MicroWax oilskin that cuts an icy breeze well, and it’s lined with soft brushed cotton. There’s a 6″ deep zippered external chest pocket on the left and another one inside.
The front handwarmer pockets ain’t there for fashion, but for function, and you can actually stick your gloved paws in `em. Here’s a tip for ya: Want to avoid frost-bitten fumbly-fingers at the range? During winter, when running handguns through their paces I usually shoot bare-handed or wearing pretty thin flight gloves, and suffer through it. But I recently wore my Hoover to the range, and put a “Grabber” chemically activated handwarmer pouch into each of the handwarmer pockets. These units provide good heat for seven hours. Every time my fingers got stiff or I benched my guns, I just put my hands in the pockets and clutched those heat packs. What a difference that made! Ambient temp was in the high 20’s, and the breeze didn’t help either. That was the most comfortable sub-freezing range session I can remember. I’ll be repeating that into the deep cold.
But the best feature of the Kakadu Concealed Carry Vest line is by far is the ambidextrous built-in holster system. Essentially each large inner pocket is a pouch which is tagged into the shoulders and arm holes to provide support, so it’s not like so many other “interior gun pocket” designs that feel like you’ve dropped a brick into a windbreaker. The large entry openings secure from flopping open with a short strip of Velcro, but they’re placed so that when you shove your hand in, high in the pocket, the edge of your hand kinda automatically strips the Velcro seal apart as you plunge downward to the holster.
The holster itself isn’t just a band of elastic; it’s a full, constructed and dimensioned elasticized holster, which is sewn into the back (interior) side of the pouch both to aid in getting a grip and reducing any “printing.” It allows you to get a solid drawing grip and a good “pull.” Inboard of each holster (toward body centerline) are two elastic holders to accommodate magazines, flashlights, knives, pepper spray or whatever, and they didn’t skimp on materials here either. Each holder is four inches long and heavy-duty.
Back injuries have left me pretty sensitive to the weight of packin’ big guns in hip holsters on stiff belts. While testing the Hoover vest I tried carrying two 1911’s, one on each side, two SIG P250’s, a Glock 21 on one side and a Glock 19 on the other, and it was very comfortable. I’ve also had serious neck injuries, with busted vertebrae and nerve damage, and found it didn’t light off any neck pains either. Just my opinion, folks, but I’m really pleased with it. I’m guessin’ most of you will carry just one Roscoe and balance the other side with magazines or speedloaders and such, but it’s nice to know you can go two-gun, ain’t it?
One more note: If you’re getting or giving a Hoover vest or any of Kakadu’s other MicroWax oilskin products, get a can of their MicroWax Reproofing Crème too. With enough wear, the wax treatment may get thin spots which could allow cold air or moisture in. The crème will spiff it up and re-seal it nicely.
In the Jan/Feb print edition I showed you the Speed-Draw CC concealed-carry holster from HT Holsters of Finland. For those of you who need a high-security, very fast holster which completely encloses and shields the trigger, check out their Speed-Draw Duty Holster for Glocks. I tested this model for American COP Magazine, and I really wish I’d had a holster like it when I was working SWAT, and in military applications. I haven’t been a big fan of most high-security holsters because for many of `em, “security” wiped out speed, especially those designs requiring multiple non-intuitive movements to get them to gimme the dang GUN!
The SDDH provides excellent security, but it’s fast! As you go to grip the pistol, your thumb comes down on a sort of shelf on the inside surface, where you punch downward about 0.4″ on a thumbprint-sized textured button. That amount of travel means it’s not easily activated by incidental or casual contact. This releases the interior locking tab and an inner spring thrusts the pistol up about two inches right into your hand.
Re-holstering is also pretty smooth. You just insert the pistol, pushing down against spring pressure until it clicks into place, locked. If you’re in a custodial situation where you want extra security, there is a small sliding switch mounted just behind the thumb-button which, when activated, locks out the thumb release. It’s also easy to unlock that secondary lock. The visual cue is “green dot means double-locked,” and “red dot means ready-to-rock.”
Like the Speed-Draw CC, the Duty Holster’s angle can be set 360 in small increments, using the same highly adjustable backplate sytem, shown opened up in the photo. This is a strong, solidly built holster, constructed of fiberglass-reinforced polymer, and unlike many other polymer security holsters, this one’s made to be disassembled by YOU for any necessary cleaning and maintenance. I appreciate that, and you might too.
There are lotsa places out there with some crazy rules on carrying guns in vehicles: Can-do, but must be in open sight; can-do but must be concealed from view, can-do in view but can’t be concealed on your person, and so on. It was with this in mind the folks at Grassburr designed their unique holster mounting system, though in the process they came up with a cool system for keeping a pistol or revolver of virtually any style and size handy just about anywhere you have a suitable vertical or horizontal surface. I recommend you go to their website and check out their very instructional video, but the bullet is this: Using some cleverly designed investment-cast brass hardware and a stainless steel knob-ended bolt, plus a specially-constructed holster of either leather-lined leather or synthetics, you’ve got a secure but quick-drawing Roscoe-holder which attaches or detaches in seconds. The connecting pieces, by the way, have mating “toothed” faces so the angle of the mount can be adjusted in small increments through 360 degrees.
Now let’s say you’ve got your Grassburr mounted in your vehicle, and you must get out and go do some business where you can’t pack your piece. You have to leave your weapon in your ride, but you don’t want it easily seen. They even make a “slot-top” zippered gun rig fitted to go right over your Grassburr! Personally, given all the dust which typically swirls around the inside of my vehicles, I’d add the cover and keep it zipped most of the time. Unzipping and whippin’ out Roscoe is plenty fast enough for that. Another benefit from using cast brass and stainless steel hardware is you can mount the system where it may be exposed to weather — even salt air — but it won’t rust or corrode. The setup looks to be very well made, and I’ll bet you can think of a couple of places you’d like to have one.
You’re really gonna have to go to the website on this one! If your first reaction to seeing the Armsband up-your-short-sleeve holster is “What the heck? Silliest dang thing I’ve ever seeee… Uh… Huh. Well, …” — you ain’t alone. That was my reaction too. Then I took an unloaded Ruger LCP, stuck it under my left arm, thought about it for a minute — or two, or four — and then we got in touch with ol’ wild Bill Davis, its inventor. He shot us a sample — and it works!
Construction is simple: It’s a nice wide elastic band with a sewn-in pocket, wide Velcro adjustment patch, and Velcro’ed nylon safety strap. Positioned properly the muzzle of your piece is pointed up and away from your hide, which actually leaves you less likely, in the event of a magical AD, to blow away some precious portion of yourself. Pay particular attention to Bill’s demonstrated drawing stroke, designed not to muzzle-sweep either arm.
Dangdest thing. Tried it with the LCP, a KelTec P3AT, Taurus 738 and an I.O. Inc. Hellcat .380, up the sleeves of a coupla Hawaiian shirts, and found I could wear it all day with those guns and it didn’t bother much at all. I also tried it with a Ruger LCR .38 Special, but for me at least, that wasn’t comfortable.
Bill spends most of his time in short sleeve shirts and jeans, has been packin’ concealed for many years and he wasn’t satisfied with his carry options. So, as a red-blooded American, he didn’t wait for the government to solve his problem and he BUILT IT HIMSELF. Shocking, huh?
Anyway, the Armsband Concealed Carry Holster just might fit a critical need at a critical time. I recommend watching the videos linked on his website, demonstrating mounting, safe and stealthy draw techniques, and dealing with “sweat issues.” Bill recognizes this is a pretty radical departure from conventional holster setups, and he offers a 30-day risk-free trial of the Armsband. The upshot for me? It has been hinted that my armpit can at times be an offensive weapon even without a pistol hidden there, but I really think a half-dozen rounds of .380 can be more effective, so I’m keeping my Armsband around!
The press release on this one just came in a few minutes ago: Check the image at left. If you’re not familiar with Viridian Green Laser’s ECR — Enhanced Combat Readiness — system, you ought to be. If you use a light or light-laser combination on a pistol, the ECR system is a game-changer. Basically, you take your pistol equipped with a VGL unit, turn it on, programmed to the function/mode you like, shove it into their TACLOC holster, and it turns OFF. The instant you draw your weapon, your VGL comes on! No tapping buttons, sliding switches or other movements, just draw.
I’d say the TACLOC holster does the job for most folks, but now look at the image on the right: Viridian Green Laser has teamed up with Galco, and produced an ECR-ready version of their very popular KingTuk IWB holster. Now you’ve got a choice between an “outie” and an “innie”!
The hybrid KingTuk uses a comfortable, conforming backing plate of lined saddle leather faced with Napa leather, combined with a rigid Kydex holster for a fast draw and easy re-holstering. Its removable belt clips fit belts up to 1.75″, and can be adjusted up or down for changing your carry height and angle. Optional interchangeable nylon C-hooks, fitting belts up to 1.25″ are sold separately. They offer an even lower profile on the belt, increasing the KingTuks’ already excellent concealability.
Offered exclusively through VGL, the first run of ECR-equipped KingTuk IWB holsters will be made for Glocks with attached Viridian C Series products, with later versions to be made for Smith & Wesson M&P’s and Springfield XD pistols.
That’s all for now, folks. Did I cover enough cool holsters? Kwaheri! Connor OUT.
By John Connor
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/product-index and click on the company name.
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