Friday, April 24, 2015

Grip and picking out a holster

Grip Considerations in picking and setting up a holster

When picking out or setting up a holster for concealed carry use, you will end up with a balance of concealment vs. speed in picking how much of the grip sticks above your waistline. To explain this, lets start by walking through the presentation of the gun. Assuming concealment has been removed – pulled out of the way, etc. – the first step is to obtain a master grip on the firearm. Master grip. This is only done by having a full grip around the stocks or grip of the pistol. If you can’t get a full grip on the gun until the gun is partially out of the holster, it slows the presentation and the first (2nd, 3rd,etc.) shot down.

Note: This can be mitigated by use of the Raven Concealment Eidolon aka “Sirloin” and its claw+wedge combo when worn AIWB.

Photo is of a poor grip clearancet:

Personally I set my holsters up to ensure when worn IWB (either strong side or appendix) that the lowest portion of the grip is above my belt line far enough for me to obtain a master grip. This can lead to increased chance of printing, but mostly that is mitigated by dress style, body movement awareness or even using an anti printing holster.

The “gold standard” in discrete carry for the last couple years was the Raven Concealment VG2. It clipped on the trigger guard, and attached with a snap loop to your belt. This holster gave three ride height options, allowing lower or higher grip placement in relation to your belt. I personally used the middle option finding it gave me enough clearance between my belt and the fore straps of the grip to get my master grip.

VG2 with ideal grip clearancet:

The VG2 has almost been completely replaced in the appendix carry role by the new Eidolon. After some testing of the various strut combos – quantity, angle, height, as well as the wedge and claw, I ended up with the following setup. It allows comfort for daily activities – including bending over, driving, running, etc. – as well as is extremely fast. I’m using the single clip set at an angle with the claw and wedge.

Eidolon setup for ideal grip clearance:

I carry a G22 with Sentinel Mag Well AIWB pretty much all the time this way. Usually with nothing more than a t-shirt to conceal it. A good stiff belt is a must when using the claw, because it needs something to push against to lock the butt of the gun into your body. The Ares Gear Ranger or Aegis belts fill this role the best for me.