Non-Traditional Carry Options

posted on October 26, 2010

Over the last four months we've discussed several popular, discreet-carry methods, but by no stretch have we covered them all. Not only are defensive handguns carried on the person, some folks like to keep them readily available in the home, place of business or especially in their vehicle. I'm of the opinion the best place for a defensive handgun is on you, but I also recognize that, on occasion, having one secured nearby is convenient.

Blackhawk's SERPA Quick Disconnect System (QDS) is a unique device that attaches to any of its SERPA holsters with a receptacle you can mount to just about anything. Mine is screwed to the back of the console on my Dodge Durango, giving me a secure place to store a handgun when in the vehicle. It also makes for lightning-fast access from the driver's seat. Alternatively, you could mount additional receptacles on your bed frame, night stand, under the counter at work or even on the side of your favorite easy chair. Simply disconnect the holster and move it between locations.

One of the fastest growing segments of the concealed-carry handgun market is sub-compact pistols. As more and more folks get concealed carry permits, they realize what many of us have known for a long time; big guns are uncomfortable to carry. Little pocket guns like five-shot Smith & Wesson J-Frames and Ruger LCPs are all the rage and super easy to conceal. But, to be carried properly, they still need a holster that will protect your pockets and keep the handgun positioned for the draw.

Probably the best way to carry these itty-bitty handguns is in a pocket holster. Pocket holsters are designed to fit inside a pocket and their exterior surface is made of a directionally weaved or tacky material that will "grab" the lining of the pocket to keep the holster in place during the draw. These holsters also help keep the handgun from "printing" or making you look like you have a pistol in your pants. Pocket holsters work well with loose-fitting pants or cover garments like coats or vests with large pockets.

When concealed-carry was first getting good legs, the fanny pack was a popular option. It wasn't long until the fanny pack, like the photographer's vest, became an indicator that someone might have a concealed handgun. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, at least as far as bad guys are concerned. If a troll thinks you are carrying, he will likely look for another victim. If you stand out in social circles as a pistol-packing momma, well, that might be different.

Regardless, there is a distinct difference in wearing a gun in a hidden holster or discreet pouch and carrying one in your pocket that "prints." The former suggests you might have a gun, the latter proves you do. Blackhawk's belt pouch is an alternative to the fanny pack and looks more like a case for some electronic device than a pistol purse.

For the most part, common sense should dictate the carry option you select. If you are wearing work-out or leisure apparel, like when jogging or when acting the tourist, a fanny pack or belt pouch is a logical choice that will coincide with the fashion statement you are trying to make. If you are in casual attire, a cover garment like a vest of some sort makes sense and if you are clad in more of a businesslike get-up, then the pocket holster or possibly one of the other concealment systems previously covered may be a better choice.

Along with concealment, two things matter most; your ability to swiftly and effectively produce your handgun, and your comfort. The first matters for obvious reasons, and the second, because, if you cannot carry comfortably, you won't carry at all. Even the coolest or most powerful handgun in the world is no better than giving a bad guy the evil eye if it's not with you when you need it.

Choose your carry gear wisely and make sure it's practical, based on your lifestyle and they way you most often dress. You may find you're best served with several different holsters, but regardless, make sure you frequently practice drawing and shooting from your preferred carry option. Your life and the lives of your loved ones might one day depend on it.


Sheriff Jim Wilson
Sheriff Jim Wilson

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