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American COP Jan/Feb 2012 Digital Edition - Page 36

BLACKHAWK!DUTYGEAR:MadefromNytek,anyloncompositematerial,BLACKHAWK!’sdutygear offersatraditionalleatherlookbutwithouttheweightoftraditionalleather.Someadvantagesare,high strength,willacceptpolish,canbedisinfectedwithableachsolution,isbreathableandwon’tfade, crackordry-outandremainsflexibleincoldweather. Suzi Huntington BLACKHAWK!SPEEDCLASSIC:PartofBLACKHAWK!’sleather line,theSpeedClassicistheirtakeonthefamousBernsMartindesign.It’swet-moldedforaperfectfit,andthe frontedgeoftheholsterisheavy-dutyelastic,whichhelps holdtheguninplace,yetallowsyoutodrawthroughit.A dandyholsterfor$45;italsocomesinbrown. CarrY he title says it all — there’s a sea of styles and materials to choose from. Your options include different levels of retention; the rake; leather, nylon or plastic (often referred to as Kydex, which is a proprietary name, like Xerox); at the waist, drop or swivel. Most agencies have specific policies regarding what’s approved, so always consult your policies and procedures before making any purchase. For cops working undercover, in detective or SWAT units, the options increase. Now your choices include inside the waistband, belt, shoulder and ankle holsters (good for uniformed patrol too), thigh rigs, fanny packs and purses. There are plenty of other ways to carry, but I think you get the point. In patrol, chances are agency policy will dictate the holster you carry. How the holster rides on your belt is well within your control. If you’re short in the torso, a slight drop keeps the gun from sitting right under your armpit. And for ladies, a slight outward cant of the holster keeps the gun out of your rib cage. Motor officers also do well with drop holsters that swivel because the riding position on the bike tends to push the gun into their sides. You can also adjust the rake of the holster. Most holsters are made with a straight up and down rake because they’re designed for the average user. A good way to increase the speed of your draw is to go with a forward rake (the barrel of the gun sits forward and the butt tilts rearward). Your wrist is already in proper alignment as you draw the gun, but a drawback to this holster position is the discomfort it causes while you’re seated in a car. A rear rake (barrel sits rearward and the butt tilts forward) helps alleviate pressure on your hip, but drawing is arguably a bit slower Choosing The Right Options T Don’t Cheat Rig because of the angle your wrist must be in to draw the gun. TUFFPRODUCTSPOCKET-ROO:The“Pocket-Roo”(madein theUSA)offersasafe,securepocketholsterandaspecial holsterfora“QuickStrip”spareammostrip.It’sslickonthe insideandstickyontheoutsidesotheholstershouldstay putduringadraw.Modelstofitsmall-framerevolversand autosareavailable. For those no longer in uniform, your carry choices are as varied as the units you may work. The clothing you wear is the biggest determining factor in the holster you use. However you choose to carry in plainclothes, it’s incumbent on you to practice — a lot — with each method you use. Wear your normal work clothes, maybe a suit, for qualification shoots. If you wear a suit jacket, learn to sweep it back before you draw your gun; and re-holster without getting all tangled up. If you carry a shoulder holster, you’d better know how to draw your gun without sweeping everyone around you; same for re-holstering. UC (undercover) guys like to qualify using thigh rigs; that’s okay if they’re only serving warrants or making entries all the time. More often than not, they’re carrying concealed, so they should qualify that way too. Finally, any time you change holsters, you must practice, practice, and practice some more. Never simply slap on a new holster and hit the field, you’re asking for big trouble should you get into a shooting. And replace your holster before it turns into a soft, gun-coozie. Don’t be like the guy who shot himself in the thigh as he put on his seatbelt. His worn out holster had literally molded into the triggerguard of his gun and the slight pressure of the seatbelt running across it caused the gun to fire. The design of the holster was not the problem; the holster should’ve been replaced long before this happened. For info: www.americancopmagazine. com/product-index for a comprehensive listing of all companies featured. * 36 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2012

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