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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are definite advantages to holstered carry.

In addition to being very stable, it usually keeps the gun presented at exactly the same angle for a draw. It keeps the gun from going down your pants, and it's also considered by most to be safer than just stuffing it into the waistband.

However, many people still choose to forego a holster, and stories of people carrying everything this way, from Glocks to cocked-and-locked 1911s, for years, without incident, are quite commonplace.

I, myself, have carried two different guns this way that most people wouldn't consider toting without a holster, both with loaded chambers: A springfield XD and a BHP.

Before anyone flips out, the BHP's safety was on, and the hammer was down. Also, I experimented with the XD, leaving the chamber unloaded, with the striker cocked, and seeing if I could concoct any situation in which I might be able to cause the grip safety to depress and the trigger to pull at the same time, before I ever considered this. For what it's worth, I pretty much found that I'd have to jam my hand into my pants, grip the gun, and pull the trigger, in order to discharge the weapon. Even this would be difficult, as keeping my belt reasonably tight keeps the trigger guard closed up tightly between my pants and side, where nothing can get in. This experience has made me a VERY big fan of grip safeties on firearms, as the end-result is that where I can't see myself carrying a Hi-Power "ready-to-go" in this way, I can carry this way with the XD, a gun which requires no "active" safety deactivation.

Quite honestly, I'm beginning to wonder where all the stories of people's guns "going off" while they were carrying without a holster come from. If it's a real danger, I'd like to know, so I can stop doing this before I end up with a nice .45-caliber trench cut down my backside, but if it's only imagined, then I'm just not going to worry.
 

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1. I'll carry without a holster if I know I won't be carrying for long. Sometimes--actually, quite often--I'll grab whatever is handy for the walk down to get the mail. This doesn't sound dangerous, but in less than five years living out here in the sticks I've broken up one dog fight, shot a poisonous snake, and killed an armadillo between here and the mailbox.

2. I used to carry a 1911 equipped with a belt clip. I still have the clip here someplace, but I'm twenty or thirty years older, have quite a few holsters, and have gained fifty pounds, rendering holsterless carry in my waistband kind of uncomfortable, not to mention less secure.

3. Okay, here's the final word: if a good, safe means of carrying a firearm is available, why not use it? It's like the guy I know who carries his hi cap autoloader with an empty chamber; he's virtually defenseless, and there's no logical reason for being so. He says he feels "safer" with no round in the chamber, which tells me that on some deep psychological level he's more worried about himself than anyone else. Thus, he shouldn't be carrying the thing in the first place. Anybody who carries an autoloader with an empty chamber isn't serious about self defense.

4. So that wasn't my final word. My BHP safety won't engage when the hammer is down, so I'm assuming the SFS system?

5. I have known several people who shot themselves while drawing their weapons, but only one of them was carrying an autoloader. The rest were carrying double action revolvers and were playing quick draw, except for my buddy at the gun store who was playing quick draw with a Ruger single action. The guy with the autoloader was shooting a very complicated stage in early IPSC and put a bullet into his femoral artery, and he nearly bled out before getting to a hospital. Of the others, only the single action guy spent any significant time hospitalized, and he's still got the bullet just under the surface of his lower leg. (I hope he's not reading this. :) )

There are lots of ways to screw up and shoot yourself, so why not remove as many variables as possible to keep it from happening? I haven't shot myself in several years.

6. I have carried the new Kel-Tec holsterless in my pants and jacket pockets this week, but it moves around enough that I can't grab it reliably. In fact, I can see the potential for shooting myself in the groin with it, so it's going to get a holster before I start singing soprano. I've carried a J frame in my front pocket without a holster, but the Mika and Kramer pocket holsters I have for the J guns are much safer and better in several ways.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's right; I didn't keep the safety on with the Hi-Power. It's been ages since I carried it that way, so I guess I just plain forgot, Leland. I shot a water moccasin -- in the eye -- while I was out fishin' that day, too, so I guess I'm very glad I decided to go without a holster, considering I didn't have one, then, and otherwise would have had no recourse but to leave the pond to the snake.

A question:

Were these guys that shot themselves using holsters, or not?
 

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Yeah, they were using holsters, but being stupid for half a second overcomes a lifetime of good sense. Heck, the potential for accidents might even be higher for people who carry with proper holsters; I just don't know very many people who carry without holsters.

I *know of* quite a few cases of people who shot themselves with pocket guns, including one incident which approached the level of poetic justice. Let's just say that every rapist should put his .25 auto in the front of his pants and have to go fishing for it. When it goes off there are some truly interesting places for the bullet to go. Around the prison they call him "Stumpy."

I saw a post on another forum about a guy whose back pocket gun went off in his pocket, but he wasn't injured. Luckily no one else was, either.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is why keeping your finger away from the boomswitch until you have the gun on target is so important.

How much do you want to bet that every one of those accidents was caused by an over-eager trigger finger?
 

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If I wait till I'm on target to touch the trigger, I won't be on target anymore. While most of the people I know who've shot themselves while drawing handguns did so because of being over eager with the trigger during a "quick draw," I firmly believe that if you think you might have to fire a double action revolver or automatic, the trigger finger belongs on the trigger, not laid alongside the trigger guard. For most single action autos the finger needs to stay away.

I forgot this one: I had a friend who shot herself through the knee with her Glock 17 while trying to put her gun under the seat of her car. She shouldn't have had her finger in there just to put the gun away.

Edited to remove a couple of truly stupid and wrongheaded comments I made.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm... Perhaps a better phrasing of the old "finger-off-trigger" rule might be the original "Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire."

In other words, get your finger on the trigger as you are pointing the gun. The muzzle should be in a safe direction by that time, anyway.
 

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Used to, but not anymore.
I used to carry a 1911 that way a lot, but haven't in years.
The last thing I caried holsterless was an HK USP that I got back when they came out (1994?). It was an "emergency situation", but still wasn't very bright with their mag release design. I took my jacket off and the magazine clattered to the floor. The mag release had apparently bumped agianst my belt at some time.
Never again.
If nothing else, the old "shoestring holster" is better I think.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a Hip Grip on my 431 and a Clip Draw clip on my 1903 32 Colt and never use a holster with them. I will carry my Commander in a holster if all day is involved but "Mexican" carry on short jaunts to the C-store Etc.

YMMV
 

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Hi there,

For me, it depends on the situation. If its a quick trip somewhere, the handgun gets stuffed into a pocket or waistband.

I don't like to have to "gear up" everytime I leave the house.

Chris
 

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When I finally get hold of that .38 snubby I'm coveting, I plan on attaching a Clip-Draw to it for occassional use. Sometimes, when running out to the mailbox, I stuff my Ruger P95 into my waistband. I feel pretty comfortable about that with the double action trigger pull.

-Rob
 

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I'll drop a snubbie into a pocket for the occasional ramble down the road.

If an auto is the piece of the day, I'll use a clip-in IWB holster at minimum. My shape doesn't lend itself to carrying without a holster of some sort. Belt, if any, is just there to transfer load to the suspenders.

http://www.shootingsystems.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv
+Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SS&Product_Code=BCH&Category_Code=0

[edited to note....you'll have to cut'n'paste that URL to get it to work]

They're several notches above the Uncle Mikes clip-ons. Been using them for 20+ years now.

Regards,

Pat
 

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Shoestring holster?

This is something I have not heard of.
Well, this is one of those things that's easy to do, but hard to describe.
It makes an inside waistband holster.
I don't advise this, but it will work in a pinch. I tried it just to see if it worked.
So, "for entertainment purposes only":

Take a shoestring.
Tie the ends together.
Tie a knot towards one end, so that it forms a loop that will allow your belt to pass through.
Tie another knot about 6 inches from that one (for a gun of approx 1911 size).
Leave a space like the one for the belt loop, and tie another knot.
Done.

Feed your belt through the belt loops.
The approx 6" section in between is spread open, above the waistband, and the gun is inserted through the loop and into the waistband.
The size of the gun's loop may need adjusted.

I think I first heard of it in a Skeeter Skelton story about a south of the border exploit with Dobe Grant.
While dubious sounding, I think I also saw it mentioned once as an "OSS holster" in an article. Supposedly, they were favored in that use for their "deniability" (What holster?). Again, I'm a little suspicious of that story, but there it is. I think it was in a Gun Digest.

So there it is. It isn't much, but it might keep the gun from sliding down your pants.
 

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A friend of mine carried a five-shot Ruger .357 in a shoestring holster for a couple of weeks just to see if it would work. It did work for him, and apparently very well. He later settled on a commercially made holster, but the point is that the shoestring rig did work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That shoestring holster thing is cool.

Here's another "thuggish" CCW trick, for when you don't want to bother with a putting on a magazine carrier: use a soft eyeglass case in your pocket, instead!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I find that for some reason the Beretta 92 seems the most stable when carried jammed in e pants. also, with the safety engaged, I worry very little about it.
 

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i carry on occasion a "hammerless" snubby in a front coat pocket for that covering a potential bad guy without anyone knowing. a holster would not work for this mode of carry. and with this mode, my hand is the holster, as it is holding the gun at the "low ready" if you will, while it is in my pocket.

other than that, i use a pocket holster for pants carry.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have never carried without a holster. I am very happy to have the gun in the same place everytime I reach for it. I have thought about the clip style thingy but could not commit to that. Old habits I guess.
Dave
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I saw a holsterless guy shoot himself on 60 Minutes a long time ago. Mike Wallace was in Columbia or some such place and a jefe dealer was showing off what I remember as a 1911 but could've been a BHP. Anyway he stuck it down his pants; it went off; he went down.

Max
 
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