Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Concealed Carry Accessibility

So, while the mood is slightly moderated, here's a question regarding concealed carry. I saw a guy this weekend carrying concealed. I don't think it was blindingly obvious or anything, I just happened to notice it. He was carrying what appeared to be a revolver in an OWB holster on his right hip, covered by a sweatshirt, with a vest over the sweatshirt. It appeared that when he pulled the sweatshirt over the holster, he then flipped the lower hem, and tucked it up under the holster. One can only assumed he had some fear of the sweatshirt riding up and exposing his holster, even though it was additionally covered by the vest he wore. The vest was either a purpose designed concealment vest, or an adapted photographer's vest. Lots of pockets, and hanging down below the hip.

The question is this, is it worth delaying your ability to draw your weapon, just to make sure it's 100% covered and concealed?

I myself, when carrying something that doesn't slip into a pocket, wear it on my waistband. I make sure my shirt is tucked into my pants tightly, so as not to interfere with my draw. I then put a vest, coat, or over-shirt on, allowing whichever it is to hang open. That way, all I have to do is sweep the hanging cloth out of the way as I make my draw. Does an occasional gust of wind expose the fact that I'm carrying? Sure. Is it a big deal? I don't think so.

In my mind, I would rather be questioned by a police officer as to if I'm carrying legally, because someone saw it and got freaked out, than be just a little too slow on the draw if I were to need it in a hurry. Also, if you're going to need to draw a concealed weapon, you're going to need it fast. Fine motor skills are going to be out of the window, as you're trying to sweep back an over shirt, un-tuck a sweatshirt or t-shirt, and then start to draw.

It's one of the reasons I've never used an IWB holster. Not that I'm maligning them or anything, they work perfectly well for a large number of people. I would just think it would take a lot more training to be able to get out of that when the holster is under a tucked shirt, and even with lots of practice, I'd have to think you'd be sacrificing time. Time that could be crucial.

Anyone have any experience with IWBs or tucked and hidden holsters? Care to illuminate me?


1 comment:

Brigid said...

I usually wear something like, like a sleeveless vest over my holster except during really hot weather. It covers it well, and makes it easy to get to. I won't win any fashion awards, but that's not the point.