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 Concealed Carry
 Considerations for back-up gun location
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fsilber
Senior Member

USA
511 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  10:04:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Due to constraints on my activities and dress, and being mostly in nonpermissive environments, for the last twenty-something years I have relied on pocket-carry. I carry a compact lightweight single-stack 9mm in the right front trouser pocket in an ambidextrous kydex pocket holster. I have had considerable training using this gun.

Due to changing circumstances, I find I am no occasionally in situations where I could carry a more substantial gun in a belt holster. When I do so, I might carry my usual gun as a back-up. When I do so, should I:

  • Continue carrying the back-up in the strong side pocket, because I am so used to that I might in a situation go there first due to habit?


  • Switch the gun to the weak side pocket in case the need is due to a severe wound in my strong side arm?

Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2936 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  11:06:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fsilber

Due to constraints on my activities and dress, and being mostly in nonpermissive environments, for the last twenty-something years I have relied on pocket-carry. I carry a compact lightweight single-stack 9mm in the right front trouser pocket in an ambidextrous kydex pocket holster. I have had considerable training using this gun.

Due to changing circumstances, I find I am no occasionally in situations where I could carry a more substantial gun in a belt holster. When I do so, I might carry my usual gun as a back-up. When I do so, should I:

  • Continue carrying the back-up in the strong side pocket, because I am so used to that I might in a situation go there first due to habit?


  • Switch the gun to the weak side pocket in case the need is due to a severe wound in my strong side arm?




IMHO, shifting the back up to the weak side pocket... and then training with that carry position... would be preferable. With another gun on the strong side hip you now have more options available to you, and with either hand.

There have been a couple of times when things started looking a bit "hinky", but not to the point where my strong hand could leagally lock onto the grip of the 16-shot 9mm on my right hip. So my left hand gravitated into my left front pants pocket. To the rest of the World I was just an old man scratching an itch.

But, the itch was a five-shot hammerless snubby. Had things suddenly gone South there were 5 +P rounds immediately accessible that could give me an excellent chance to reach the 'real gun'.

As has often been pointed out here by folks far wiser than I am, there is no way to predict how a personal defense situation will unfold. I like to keep all my options open. Just a thought.


Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on October 22 2017 11:08:32 AM
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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  11:41:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was in a simular boat, for years I carried a pocket gun at work, and a belt gun when I got out the gate.

I spent most training time with the belt carry until I realized most days I was relying on the pocket pistol only, so training began.

normal practice was to train/carry in the pocket dominate side, switch to left pocket when I donned the belt gun.

it soon became apparent to me,even in training, that was flawed. on the range I found myself searching for what pocket the gun was in today....

added to that the fact I wanted the gun in the dominant hand if I ever needed it, I took to carrying the gun in the dominant side pocket only, same place everyday.

the only down side, it couldn't be accessed with my left hand.

current situation allows daily belt carry and that is preferred. the weak hand access problem is solved by carrying the belt gun in a manner that it can be drawn with either hand. for me that's appendix carry, but maybe cross draw could work, or maybe something I don't in vision.

Myself, I stick to the pocket gun in the strong side pocket, that's where I want it.

you can still stick your hand in your pocket if you feel the need, and as a New York reload right hand is most natural for me.

(I've also used ankle holsters, but you had better train that hard, on two occasions I needed a gun and had to think about where it was at, dumb.)

but whatever you decide I suggest you pick a carry method and stick to it and not change the guns location on any regular basis.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on October 22 2017 11:47:39 AM
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5045 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  1:36:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My usual choice is the primary at 3-4o'clock, snub .38 in the left pants pocket. On occasion I go 'Two-Gun Pete' and will have a 'service size' on both sides of the belt; the snub is still in the left pocket. Cooler weather, or days I'm out'n'about wearing the shoot-me-first vest, there are times the little .38 will go into the left pocket of the vest or jacket/coat. That way I can have a gun in hand, and still shake hands with anybody I'm inclined to; they don't get offended because I'm holding a gun, because they don't know.
Agreed that the BUG--and primary--should be carried in the same location always, if possible. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  1:41:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I was on patrol, I carried an issued backup in my left uniform trousers pocket. Whenever I did a field interview or the dreaded vehicle stop, my left hand was always wrapped around my backup. Nobody ever tumbled to it.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2936 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  2:54:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe it's just a result of the years I spent in competitive shooting, where IDPA, USPSA, and ICORE sometimes dictate that you shoot with your weak hand.... but I am not at all discomforted by pulling a gun from a weak hand pocket and delivering fast & accurate fire at close (inside 7 yards) range. It's just a matter of practice & training -- just like any other handgun technique. If you don't do it you won't know it.

But, having a gun on both sides of my body, with one being accessible with either hand, is nice. If the street thugs get close and grab one arm, I have another gun I can employ...GET OFF ME!. Just a thought.

I would never carry my 'primary' and 'back up' on the same side. Weak hand shooting isn't that hard when things are fast & close...if you practice it.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on October 22 2017 2:58:10 PM
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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  4:20:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
weak side shooting was not the question, go with what you know

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  4:44:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One reason I like front righthand crossdraw (11 o’clock) for my primary carry position, is I can draw from it with either hand in a pinch.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2936 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  5:44:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
-
quote:
Originally posted by gw

weak side shooting was not the question, go with what you know



If "what you know" is bad tactics, then "go with what you know" is still bad tactics. It doesn't take a lot of training to be able to shoot quickly & accurately....at least at close range... with the weak hand. And having a handgun positioned on both sides of the body... where either hand can grab one... is good tactics.

The time spent learning good tactics is time well spent IMHO. Some may disagree, but to each his own.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on October 22 2017 5:47:21 PM
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WR Moore
Senior Member

USA
851 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  6:30:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A hearty AMEN! As I got older and the equipment we got obliged to tote kept growing, I schemed hard to be able to maintain access with either hand. Also practice time with the "other" hand*. Matter of fact, due to some tendonitis, I'm working hard on primary carry on the "other" side. Don't know that it'll ever get bad enough to need to do that (had a bad scare maybe 7-8 years ago, but drugs took care of it before I had to officially change sides), but I'll be prepared if it has to happen.

*We changed our qualification course. The last stage was "other handed" from the low ready at 7 yards. Lotta folks commented on the fact that I shot that one handed, so far as I know, no one imitated me, even after I explained why I did it.

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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  7:23:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

-
quote:
Originally posted by gw

weak side shooting was not the question, go with what you know



If "what you know" is bad tactics, then "go with what you know" is still bad tactics. It doesn't take a lot of training to be able to shoot quickly & accurately....at least at close range... with the weak hand. And having a handgun positioned on both sides of the body... where either hand can grab one... is good tactics.

The time spent learning good tactics is time well spent IMHO. Some may disagree, but to each his own.



you assume a lot

"street-wise gun expert Phil Engeldrum once wrote, “If you need to carry a gun, you probably need to carry two of them.”

The choices are yours. What to carry, where to carry, and whether to carry it at all."

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on October 22 2017 7:56:09 PM
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Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  7:45:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For over 20 years I carried a 5 shot in the LF Uniform trouser pocket. As someone mentioned in an earlier post, ones hand can be wrapped around it and essentially no-one is the wiser. I do the same now in civilian life and the aforementioned applies as well. If it works for YOU by all means use it.

MSS
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - October 22 2017 :  8:40:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suggest weak side carry, but you need to make sure you train & practice drawing many times ( unloaded) so you won't forget it's there. Wise choice you are making to go with second on regular basis.

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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