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GUNS Magazine October 2010 - Page 24
• MASSAD AYOOB • CoMFoRTABLE VS. CoMFoRTinG Finding the balance. riend and colleague Clint Smith is the guy who F said, “A defensive handgun isn’t supposed to be comfortable… it’s supposed to be comforting.” As they IWB magazine pouch. The quick test for comfort is to undo the top pants button, let the belt out a notch or say on the Internet, “true dat!” two, and then try IWB carry for a week. The comfort But, if we’re gonna go with Internet hitting the target in the right improvement is immediate gun forum values, one tradition there place is the non-negotiable and palpable. It is nature’s seems to be if I carry more hardware baseline of priorities in way of telling us we just than you, I’m a paranoid mall ninja, stopping the action quickly. need to start wearing pants but if I carry less, I’m a “sheeple.” Moreover, once the bullet a couple of inches larger in Hmmm… maybe we’ll step away from gets to that “right place,” it the waistband. That, plus the ’net for a minute and get back to needs to damage body parts a forward-tilt carry angle Clint. badly enough to make them reduces butt bulge (the Every time I’ve ever seen Brother stop working immediately. gun’s, not ours) and locating Smith on his home turf, he was The more power, the more the holster behind the hip carrying substantial hardware at his damage. The greater the instead of at the point of hip, usually a .45. His trademark damage, the sooner the the hip, and we’re good to guns include the 1911 .45 and the cessation of hostile activity. go at a new level of comfort thisduty-sizeglock Smith & Wesson N-frame in a potent Pretty simple, really. and concealment with that chambering, both in Thunder Ranch Bre’r Smith is living isheldtightto comforting sidearm Clint Special iterations. Of late, he’s been proof you can comfortably thebodyandwell has been steering you toward known to spend a lot of time packing carry a pistol of comforting concealedinated all along. If sharp edges dig the Springfield Armory XD45 .45 size and power. Let’s look at Blockerthumb-break into the “spare tire,” rigs like ridingonaproperly ACP, a 14-shooter no one has ever how that’s accomplished. the CrossBreed come with accused of being tiny in either size or When I’ve been sizeddressgunbelt. shielding to eliminate the power level. around Clint, he has most discomfort. Why full size? Because folks like commonly carried inside the If inside the waistband Clint who’ve “seen the elephant” waistband (IWB), usually in the classic doesn’t cut it, we’ve had for years —and who know this breed of Summer Special holster designed by outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters elephant is prone to unscheduled the late Bruce Nelson, or something that ride tight to the body for ample return visits—carry a gun with the equivalent. The flat 1911 pistol was concealment to go with the comfort realization they might actually have discovered to ride inside the waistband level required. Way back in the ’70s, to shoot something with it. The larger with wonderful comfort somewhere Roy Baker’s “Pancake” concept of guns tend to be easier to shoot fast around, oh, 1911. The adoption of belt loops fore and aft instead of and straight under stress than the baby holsters that stabilized it there, and behind the holster showed the way to ones, and Clint knows all too well, gave the gun some protection from snug the holster in against the body perspiration came later, but for a “ride” both more discreet and was a most welcome and more comfortable. practical innovation. With either type of holster—but The XD45 is enough particularly with OWB, which tends to thicker than a 1911 to notice, cantilever itself outward otherwise— but not so thick it can’t it’s imperative to have the proper belt. be accommodated. Where You want it fairly wide, and perfectly people get turned off on mated to the belt slots of the holster to inside-the-waistband carry prevent slippage and outward tilt. The is, they stuff a holstered belt should be firm enough to hold the gun in there and find it holstered heavyweight in place, but uncomfortable. Well, no not so rigid the bottom edge bites into kidding, Sherlock. The user the hips in the area of the ileac crest. Full-size,full-weightRemington1911R1.45rides bought the pants to fit his Space age materials have worked comfortablyandconcealablyinthisayoobRearguard waist. Now they have to fit out surprisingly well for gun carrying. holsterbyMitchRosen,worninsidethewaistband. his waist and a holstered gun, The Wilderness Instructor belt, made and maybe even a matching of nylon and Velcro, has become 24 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2010