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Posts tagged Concealment

Gear Craft Holsters IWB & Mag Carrier Review

Let me just start by saying that this holster combination is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!  Makes me want to get another set as OWB just to show it off.  But we are not here to just talk about looks, we need to see how well these works of art stand up to everyday usage.

When I began reviewing this holster set, they were currently on M1 (Model 1). They are now currently on M2, which I did get my hands on and will be basing this review on.

M1 Pattern: Georgia State Flag (Weathered)

M2 Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gear Craft Holsters IWB Holster and Mag Carrier provide you with a couple different methods of carry, which is always a good thing when picking out a holster for you EDC load out. We will go into more detail as we go but here are the basic carry options afforded with this setup:

  • Appendix
  • 4:30-5:00


IWB Holster

As I mentioned in my opening, this holster provides you with several different carry options.  Changing the method of carry is super simple.  All you have to do is loosen the right (if the holster is facing you) screw and swivel the 1.5” belt clip.

The clip features the Gear Craft Holsters logo and works very well.  This is one of the better single clips out there; as it clips very securely to the belt and does not move easily (as long as your belt is also 1.5”).  Swiveling the clip is adjusting the cant of the holster from 0º to 15º.  This gives you the perfect angle for drawing at the 4:30-5:00 position or if you prefer a cant in the appendix position.

Appendix Carry Position

In this position, the holster rides nicely and even without the cant it has enough clearance above the belt to get a full firing grip on the draw.  Even with all-day movement and constant standing up and sitting down, the holster stays in place.  If you have ever used a one clip holster design before you know that this is sometimes a challenge (more like annoyance).

4:30-5:00 Position

Without the cant, this position would not be worth mentioning with this holster because drawing straight up from being the hip is certainly not the most comfortable or smoothest thing one can do.  If that were the only option, this holster would work in the standard 3:00 strong side position (this position, with an IWB Kydex holster, is not very comfortable).


Mag Carrier

When I first received this holster and mag carrier combo, I was amazed at the design of the mag carrier.  At first I believed that it was simply designed to be ambidextrous because it had holes for the clip on both sides.


While this is true, there is another purpose for this. By switching the clip to the opposite side from where you carry it inside-the-waistband you can switch the carrier from IWB to OWB! How cool is that?


Comfort & Concealment 

In both appendix and 4:30-5:00 carry, this holster is a dream.  From M1 to M2, there were some modifications made to the corners of the holster which makes it fit perfectly in the appendix carry position without poking you in the thigh. This is even true in low cut jeans. The Mag carrier on the other hand I find to be optimal when carried, IWB, in the front right next to the holster in appendix carry. This combo sits nicely and is very comfortable. With a good belt, you could forget you’re even carrying them.

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In every other position, with the mag carrier, I found it to be uncomfortable after several hours. There would be a feeling of soreness around the area where the holster was, which could be due to the sharp edges.  In OWB carry, the mag carrier worked wonderfully as long as there was a belt loop to keep it from sliding around on the belt.

Concealment is great in any position with normal fitting clothing. In some slimmer fit shirts, there may be a slight hint of printing that would not be noticeable to the average person.

Conclusion

After spending several months putting this holster and spare mag carrier through the paces, I find the combination of the two to be absolutely fantastic! Not only do they look amazing, they are well made and provide several options of carry. There are may other patterns and colors available to suit just about everyone.


I highly recommend Gear Craft Holsters for your EDC needs. Check them out and let them know I sent you.

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– Peace

 

Buying Pants for Concealed Carry (Pt. 1)

If you have done any searching for how-to guides or just general information on concealed carry you have likely ran across the almost unanimous advice of gun belts and good holsters.  But finding information on pants buying is a lot tougher to find and usually coming from someone who is no where near a fashion expert (was that politically correct enough?).

In the gun forums, most of the recommendations talk about buying pants that are the next size up which is not bad advice; nor is it great either.  The reason I say it is not great advice is because it is too general of a statement.  Like shoes, pants can run big or small and have different cuts that affect the way they wear.

In this 1st post of a 2 part series, I would like to start by breaking down the pants buying process into 3 easy steps that will ensure that you get the perfect pants every time you shop.

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1. Know Your Size

Clothing Meaurement Tape

Knowing your pant size is as important as knowing your shoes size.  If you have never been sized or have not been recently, I highly recommend getting yourself sized.  Not only for pants, but for clothes in general.  One of the keys to living the #dapperccw lifestyle is wearing clothes that fit properly.  (Most big name suit/clothing retailers offer sizing as a complimentary service) Once you have your size you now have the essential piece of information needed to buy the perfect pants for CCW every single time.

2. Know Your EDC Loadout

EDC Loadout

 

We have all come across those individuals that can tell you everything about the guns in their safe all the way down to the date they were each manufactured.  But knowing your Everyday Carry (EDC) loadout goes beyond just knowing the specs of your firearms.  If you are truly living the responsibly armed lifestyle, then there is a lot more involved in your loadout than the gun you are carrying.  Without taking your carry gear into account when buying pants, you are likely to make purchases that do not completely fit you needs.

The following are just a few examples of the many items that may be included in you gear that you must account for when shopping for pants:

  • Gun(s) & Holster(s)
  • Belt(s)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Chapstick
  • Pen
  • Extra Mag(s)
  • OC Spray

You may be wondering what knowing your gear has to do with buying pants.  The answer is EVERYTHING.  If you do not know what is in your EDC you do not know what type of pockets (cut and size), how much inside-the-waistband (IWB) space, or what belt loop size you need.

3. Try Them On

Fitting Room Pants

This step is probably the most important and should go without saying, but in the age of things like Trunk Club and shopping online I have to make sure I say it.  Even though you know your size, know your gear, and have successfully purchased pants of the same size before, you still want to try them on (preferably with your gun and holster, at least) to ensure that they fit the way you want.  The only time this step is not an absolute must is when you are purchasing the exact same brand and model in a different color.


Now that we have gotten our 3 Steps to Buying Pants for Concealed Carry down, in our next post we will look at how these 3 steps work together and I believe they are a better guide than the general rule of thumb “buy the next size up”.

 

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– Peace

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Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster Review

Having spent almost an entire year exclusively carrying appendix with the Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (you can read my review of it here), I was both eager and skeptical to try out this holster from Rubber City Holsters.

 Retention

Let me start off by saying that, with this holster, the gun is not coming out unless you WANT it to.  The factory retention of this holster is beyond what I consider to be adequate for an IWB holster (it does come with an additional spacer that can loosen it up if desired).  It is absolutely superb and feels as if you could throw it across a room with the gun in it and the gun will stay in place (if you are going to try this make sure you UNLOAD the gun and throw it into a sofa or on the bed, so you don’t scratch up your firearm or the walls).

This level of retention is fantastic for draw practice because you can not lazily draw from this holster; the draw has to be strong and deliberate to get the handgun out.  Check out the following videos to see the draw from this holster.

 Comfort

Previous to this holster, my experience with AIWB holsters was from a few weeks with a DeSantis Pro Stealth, which is made out of ballistic nylon and almost a full year with a Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (Check out my review of it here), which is a hybrid kydex mold with cowhide backing.  I had always been skeptical about a full kydex mold inside my pants.  Just the thought of it seemed uncomfortable because there was no padding or cushion to keep the holster from poking you.  I was presently surprised to find that this holster was extremely comfortable once I found the sweet spot.

There is one caveat.  Depending on the pants and where the belt loops are place, you may not get the holster perfectly in your sweet spot every time until you memorize the location on each pair of pants you have (this is a nightmare if you are a fashion junkie).

The above pictures show the different placements that can occur (Left: inside the belt loop, Right: outside the belt loop) with different pants and trying to achieve the sweet spot.  This approximately 1 inch difference makes a HUGE difference in the overall comfort of this holster because of its rounded edge around the clip/retention screws.

Get the placement wrong and you will quickly realize it after sitting down for a period of time.  When the holster is not in the sweet-spot, this rounded edge digs into your thigh and it can be painful if you do not adjust it.

Concealment

Because of its .08 thickness, the Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster slips inside-the-waistband easily and doesn’t add any unnecessary bulging.  Using the injection molded strut with soft loop, the holster holds close to the body and doesn’t move too much once you adjust the loop to your belt’s thickness.  There is also an injection molded clip available that I have not tried out yet, but I will update this review when I do.

This holster is tuckable and even though the loop or clip isn’t hidden, I was never asked about it nor do I think anyone actually saw it anyways; because like I’ve said before, nobody wants to look at another person’s crotch unless they are a pervert.

Adjustments

Sometimes a holster is almost perfect but is hindered by one or two minor adjustments needing to be made.  Rubber City Holsters has thought about this and provide some fantastic height adjustments that make this holster even more awesome.  The injection molded strut and soft loop both have 3 different holes at different heights allowing you to tailor the holster to your likings.  Out of the 9 possible settings, I adjusted mine 3 times before settling on what I find to be the perfect setting for me.

From left to right in the pictures above, you can see the 3 different heights I experimented with.  Also with these height adjustments, I altered how tight the loop was around the belt, which slightly affects the height as well but more importantly how much wiggle you will get throughout the day or when drawing.  If you prefer a deeper concealment you can achieve it and if you want to get a firm grip on the firearm before drawing you can achieve that as well (3rd picture).

Conclusions

At $55 for a handcrafted in the USA kydex holster, The Akron from Rubber City Holsters is a great addition to your holster collection or if you are looking for a new EDC holster.  With its superb retention, ability to tuck, and range of adjustments this holster is definitely amongst my favorites and I currently go to it more than my Crossbreed (gasp).

If you decide to give this holster a try, visit Rubber City Holsters and you can receive 10% OFF of your entire order by using the coupon code “DCCW10” at checkout.

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– Peace

 

 

 

Appendix Carry & Why I Prefer It

Appendix carry is not new, but in the last few years or so there seems to be a lot of rave about it.  Like every other topic or debate in gun culture, there are people that love it and there are those that hate it.  Me personally,  I absolutely love appendix carry and it is my preferred method for 2 main reasons:

  1. Ease of Concealment
  2. Tactics

***I purposely left out comfort because it is subjective and dependent on different variables from person to person.***

Before I dive into these, let me preface this by saying that: as of this time, I have only carried appendix and strong side (3 o’clock position).  I will update this post or revisit this discussion as I test more holsters and methods of carry.

Ease of Concealment

Concealed carry is all about concealment at all times.  This includes reaching up for something on a top shelf at Walmart.  When you wear shirts that are your proper size, they tend to be short; which makes reaching up for something without your gun becoming exposed nearly impossible without holding down your shirt.  This is why OWB doesn’t work for fashion conscious concealed carriers and certainly a problem if your state has statutes against exposing your concealed handgun.   By the very nature of this reaching action, you will likely be facing something that will obstruct the view of your torso; therefore, even if your shirt rises above your gun, no one is likely to see it unless they are staring.

This brings up an interesting thought.  Part of carrying a concealed firearm is thinking on a level that most people don’t think psychologically.  For example, we know that it is not polite to stare at another persons crotch.  Using this information alone, appendix carry is the best place to carry undetected because even if you are printing a little bit, no one will be looking long enough or hard enough at you to wonder what that slight bulge or imprint is on your torso.

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Tactics

While I am not an expert on being tactical or “tacticool”, I do believe I have studied and tried enough things to present some solid points on this topic.  Tactics are a huge part of CCW and even if you do not consider yourself to be tactical, you more than likely are because of the way you think in regards to self-defense and protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Ask yourself these questions.  How can you quickly and effectively draw your gun:

  • While seated?
  • If you are pushed down onto your back?
  • If your strong side hand is incapacitated?

It should not take you long to realize that, just in these 3 examples, any other method of carry (lets stick to the common methods of hip carry for the purposes of this topic) is inferior to appendix carry.  Dont just take my word for it; unload your concealed carry gun, holster it, and go see how quickly and effectively you can draw in these scenarios.  Yes I know that training can teach you how to do this, but even with training you will still be slower and you would have to practice those techniques as much if not more than your normal draw practice to make sure you stay fluid.

I will not go as far as to say that drawing from appendix carry is faster than other methods of carry because I believe that to be subjective and dependent on the individual and how much time they have put into training and practicing.  But I will say that no matter what the situation, carrying appendix makes the most sense because of the “right there” access it provides you to your gun at all times.

Conclusion

There are other reasons that I could have listed, but when you think about them, they lead you back to these two methods one way or the other.  And they are reason enough for me to carry appendix 90% of the time.

If you would like to see some convincing photos, head over to the Lookbook or check out the Instagram feed.

Please Subscribe, Follow, Like, & Share.  I Carry A Gun But You Can’t Tell!

– Peace

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