Saturday, March 21, 2009

Creative Improvisation

I carry at home, including in the house. Since my usual at-home wear is sweats or t-shirts with loose-fitting athletic shorts (aka "chore grubs") I always used to wear my SmartCarry. But wearing loose-fitting clothing made me uncomfortable with the SmartCarry's ability to retain my gun during strenuous activity, or if I fell asleep watching TV.

Then I happened across an inexpensive ambidextrous nylon pancake holster.

It had an adjustable thumb break, and the wheels started turning. I bought the holster and took out the stitching holding the gun in position and setting its cant. I put my Commander-size 1911 in the holster backwards and adjusted the thumb break tension. With the gun in Condition 1-and-Only, the angle of the backwards retention strap not only blocks the hammer but puts upward pressure against the bottom of the thumb safety, ensuring it cannot disengage.

So far so good, but now how to wear it? Sweatpants and athletic shorts don't have belt loops, and I prefer IWB anyway. I dug out a Wilderness Instructor Belt I've had for years but usually wear only for gun school and put the holster on it from the back.

Et voila! Worn appendix-carry under clothing at the natural waist, the gun cants neutral-to-slightly-muzzle-forward. The pressure of the belt holding the holster against my body makes the stiff, reinforced nylon material mold itself to the gun, keeping the gun from moving around inside the holster. I torture-tested it for several days with an unloaded gun and the retention never failed, nor did the safety disengage. Drawing speed is comparable to the SmartCarry, or any other deep concealment method. I can slide the rig around in case it digs in while bending or reaching.

It probably looks like it would be uncomfortable, but it isn't at all. I've worn it shoveling snow, working on the car, pooper-scooping, doing dishes, carrying a struggling 70-pound Greyhound down the steps who didn't wanna go to the vet, and lying on the couch, all without any problems. We'll have to wait and see how it fares in hot weather.

Yes, it does print, but the only time I'm ever "outside the wire" in chore grubs is to go to the mailbox or put out the garbage. It doesn't have room for a spare mag, but if I need more than nine rounds of Hornady TAP at home, I'm reaching for my shotgun, not a handgun reload.

All in all, not bad for less than $20.


Joe Allen said...

Very innovative!

And, very nice bobtail there. Is it a Wilson?

Hecate said...

Yep. It's my custom build based off the Elite Professional

kahr40 said...

I've used an Uncle Mike's ambidextrous sidekick that's similar for years. Nice, inexpensive, and practical.

Warthog said...

Interesting, I'll have to look into this as I dress in the same manner when relaxing at home.

Then again, since I'm not that subtle, I've been known to just carry my 1911 in a paddle back.

Tango Juliet said...

You STILL have that Wilson? :)

WV: noban

Anonymous said...

That's brilliant. I carry at home, too, once in a while, and I'd do it all the time if I had a comfortable way to wear my holster. Now you've given me ideas!

Anonymous said...

do you wear this iwb or owb?

Hecate said...

I wear it IWB, like you would a SmartCarry or bellyband. It fits at my true waist, and doesn't require an additional belt. That's why it works so well with sweatpants and athletic shorts.

It doesn't have an extension between my skin and the thumb safety on my 1911, but that hasn't been a problem so far.