Showing posts with label appendix carry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appendix carry. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kyle Lamb talks Concealed Carry

CSM (ret) Lamb has mentioned his preference for a sub compact double stack auto's in appendix carry in the past. The other options he mentions are good too. Pretty much a 4 minute knowledge bomb.

Incidentally Paul Howe carries a G26 appendix. John Mosby packs a Glock 9mm of some flavor appendix also. It is interesting to see commonalities in the equipment set up's of really experienced people.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Larry Vickers Bans AIWB in His Courses and General AIWB Safety Discussion

Larry Vickers banned AIWB for his courses.

He cited safety as the reason as well as the varying levels of experience in open classes and the numerous times a pistol is drawn and holstered in a class.

I am neutral about this. I am absolutely for appendix carry but since I have no plans to attend a class with him it does not affect me. [Note I am not saying anything bad about LAV or his classes. So to me this is the equivalent of a gas station in Maine, where I do not live and may never go, stopping carrying my favorite type of beer. It just doesn't matter at all. I suspect he is a good instructor and if I was in the market for a specific type of class and he offered it in the area I would seriously consider that as an option.]

As counter points I feel it is important to note a couple things.

First if you read the Must Read Info Before Attending a Vickers Tactical Class info it is pretty specific about a whole lot of things. Among other things it urges students away from whole sweeping classes of firearms. Now I am not saying any of that advice is bad, in fact I agree with most of it. The point I am making with this is to put this new addition to the 'rules' into perspective. It's not like Vickers Tactical is completely cool with everything but just not appendix carry.

Second at least two of LAV's contemporaries Paul Howe and Kyle Lamb reportedly carry Glock 26's AIWB in kydex clip on holsters. Paul used his G26 in an AIWB holster for a portion of the Tac Pistol Course and for his personal CCW. I have seen videos of Kyle talking about his. Also if I recall he was involved in the design of the Blade Tech holster I currently have.

Paul Howe briefly addressed this in his monthly newsletter "At least one prominent instructor has banned the use of the inside the waist band appendix carry. Long story short, it can be done safely. Use a kydex one that does not collapse when the weapon is drawn. Also, look at the holster when you are putting it away if there is a doubt. It is the most visible holster to see when re-holstering.
Also our friend and SOF veteran  John Mosby carries a Glock 19 AIWB. 

All that aside this brings up an interesting series of questions:

1) Is appendix carry safe?

2) Is appendix carry of a modern striker fired handgun (Glock, M&P, etc) safe?

 These are of course just my personal opinions.

1) Is appendix carry safe. Yes. Though it is arguably less forgiving of mistakes than other methods.

Honestly the primary issue here is that us dudes get freaked about the idea of the gun being pointed at our dick. It is a psychological barrier because well, we really like them.  Some guys simply cannot get past it. Personally it took a lot of research, a bit of experimentation and lots of reflection for me. Eventually the significant benefits AIWB offers in control/ retention and draw speed outweighed the downsides of some negligible (because I use a good holster and keep my booger picker off the bang switch) added risk and that it is certainly noticeable when sitting.

Most ways people carry a gun leave that gun pointing at an important part of the human body. Tight fitting (really everything except those huge Serpa and I think G Code holsters which are bulky modular jobs that snap on to a panel and stick out like 4 inches) holsters around the waist invariably leave the pistol canted at an angle towards the body and there is lots of important stuff in the upper thigh. Pocket carry leaves the gun pointed at the inner thigh which has that same big ole artery in it.

The thing about this is guns in holsters are safe. Tamra has made this point many times. For this reason I specifically lean to stiff leather or some sort of kydex/ plastic holsters these days. A gun in a holster will not go off. Now from a practical standpoint as Tam has noted it is a sound idea to do as little fiddling with your heater as possible. [I keep my carry handguns in their holsters all the time. I can slip the LCP in my pocket or put the G19 (though it is in house gun mode most of the time now due to the sauna like conditions down here) on and go. Get home, take off the holster and put the whole combo away. Every couple weeks I take them out for a wipe down and touch of oil. It is easy.]

Drawing should not be a concern as you should keep that nose picker away from the bang switch till it is at least in both hands.

Re holstering is the problematic part. The thing is 1) If you are re holstering time is not a big factor. and 2) If things get twisted up or whatever just take the darn holster off, put the gun back in it then put the whole safe setup back in your pants.

I will note that various super minimalist setups like the Raven Vanguard 2 are probably not a good way to go for newbies.

2) Is appendix carry safe with modern striker fired handguns? If your trigger discipline is solid then yes. If you have say been carrying DA revolvers forever and might be a bit loosy goosy on trigger discipline relying on a heavy pull to cover that problem then no. This played out over the 90's and early 00's when various police departments switched from revolvers and DA handguns with external safeties to Glocks. A string of bullet holes in department locker rooms, police cars, bathrooms and even officers followed in a very predictable pattern.

Instead of 'is it safe' a better question might be 'is it safe FOR YOU'. The answer might vary widely. That older shooter or cop might be well advised to carry a j frame revolver appendix or some sort of pistol (The S&W Shield with a safety comes to mind as does the Bersa line.) with a trigger pull and safety they are more used to.

As a serious note to close this discussion guns are dangerous. Guns are predictable, like most mechanical objects, but they are dangerous if you do the wrong things through ignorance, laziness or sloppiness.  Like a nail gun or a circular saw if you screw up the cost is high. I wouldn't try to use a plasma cutter or fly a helicopter tomorrow because I do not know how to do those things and they are dangerous.

Don't mess with dangerous stuff you are not qualified to use. Now to be fair I am not talking about absolute mastery but just safe use. This does not mean being able to draw a pistol from concealment and hit a tennis ball at 100 meters in .65 seconds. I am talking about being able to safely handle the weapon with a very high level of consistency. Too put it in a non gun way a relative of mine is a carpenter. While not a union guy I would describe him as a master carpenter. He literally designs and build entire houses by himself (I think he subs out some of the wiring and plumbing). He can surely do things with a skill saw and nail gun I can't but I can still use both of them safely.

 If you are not comfortable with weapons, or a specific gun/ carry mode then don't use it. That applies to all methods of carry, holsters, weapons types, (as well as power tools, airplanes, helicopters explosives) etc all. It doesn't matter if we are talking about appendix carry, a Glock, or Grandpa's Browning A5 the same principle applies

 I do not want you all to be paralyzed by fear but you seriously need to know what you are doing. Get training, practice what you learned until you are comfortable and otherwise hold off (while sticking to known systems) on new using new stuff for anything but training and range fun till the training/ familiarity issue is fixed.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dry Fire Notes: From Concealment AIWB

Doing my dry fire when the kids nap (on non work days) seems to be a routine that works. I used the shot timer ap again. Unlike yesterday which was from my full fighting load setup today was from concealment. Appendix Inside Waistband (AIWB) with a Blade-Tech Holster Revolution Klipt Appendix IWB (Various models available)
I like a lot of Blade Tech stuff. They make good quality products at a very affordable price. Seriously they hit it out of the park on the quality to value equation. Their stuff shows you do not need to spend a ton of money on kydex holsters from some company that pays a former action guy to pimp their stuff.

Anyway I started with the par timer set at 2.3 seconds. That was more time than I needed. I was consistently in the 1.3-1.5 range with a couple outliers at 1.1 and really sucky.

It is interesting to me that the average times were almost the same as from a duty rig.

The duty rig got my fastest time to date (.87) but the time difference between the two (say 1.2 for the duty rig and 1.4 for concealment was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I figured it would fall off the rails when I added clearing a cover garment but apparently it didn't. 

On the pro side of appendix carry the draw stroke is really short. Also it is closer to where you need the gun to be than behind the hip. With the appendix holster it has friction retention so there is not a device to engage before being able to draw. On the con side obviously it was FROM CONCEALMENT which necessitates clearing that garment. Trying to do that fast threw me for a loop a couple times in the first few draws. Also trying to focus on doing two intentional things quickly is going to take some getting used to.

For the next session I will set the par time at 1.6. My short term goal is to get consistently under 1.5 seconds. To achieve this goal I probably need to average under 1.4. I guess the long term goal is to be consistently under a second from either setup. I think at that point it may be pushing the point of diminishing returns on time required to maintain that level of proficiency.

For the live fire portion hits will be scored CSAT style on a  6x13 vital zone at 7 yards. Anything in the vital zone is a go though my preference is to stay in the top half of it. Paul Howe calls the top half (which roughly corresponds with the lungs and heart) the kill zone and the bottom half the 'colostomy bag' zone since it corresponds more with the upper part of the stomach.

One of the ways I plan to hold myself accountable and track improvement is by at least briefly talking about a days dry fire on here. Maybe posting some sort of basic data ( gear, drill(s) practiced, best time, par time and a rough average) in a brief post is the answer. I would include it as notes in the days post but that turns into a knowledge management nightmare.

I think I am going to push hard on frequency for dry fire. I tried 3x a week but that isn't enough to really make it a habit and defeat the enemy of laziness. So I am going to try 6-7x a week so I have to really have it as part of my routine. On the other side of the coin I am not going to push the time envelope or even really measure it. If I have a limited amount of time, say 8-10 minutes that is what I will use. If I have more time I will go till it stops being fun or I get burned out and times start to deteriorate. Down the road I will probably figure out an intentional program (I have a book John Mosby recommended on a shelf somewhere) but right now at least for a couple weeks my focus will be simply doing dry fire with a timer.

I am enjoying dry fire with a timer. It gives me a way to really measure how I am doing which is good. Also it is relaxing. I will probably start doing dry fire when I get home from work (on work days) to relax and transition into the evening. Also since it is free and can be done at home there really just isn't an excuse not to do it except laziness. It would be great to shoot a couple hundred rounds every day but aside from independently wealthy people (who probably do not have the time), sponsored shooters and SF/ JSOC types that is just not realistic.

Got dry fire?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 Initial Impressions

Today we will be reviewing the Ravel Concealment Vanguard 2 holster. I saw their earlier version some time ago; while I thought it was a great idea for carrying a fully loaded (vs mag full chamber empty) Glock Mexican Carry isn't my thing so I never got around to buying one.

Basically Version 2 is the cup around the holster piece with a piece of plastic kydex screwed into the holster piece to which is attached a soft belt loop. It looks like this.
The plastic piece covers the trigger guard rendering the gun safe and retaining it securely.
I was sort of on the edge of buying one. Needed a good holster and figured for $34 why not give it a shot. That was an excellent decision. Onto the usual format.

The Good: Just about everything. My dealing with the company were quite pleasant. They sent status updates when it cleared another hurdle in the order process which was nice. I think from order to shipping it was 4-5 days then another 3 to my mail carrier (who mucked it up for 5 days but that is not the companies fault). They charge a very fair $6 for USPS shipping which was nice.

The holster is well made without some of the rough/melted/misformed edges or lines that can occasionally happen in kydex stuff. Retention is excellent, it passes "hold by holster, the turn upside down and shake" test. Granted there are the inherant limitations of a friction type retention system so this is not the holster for jumping out of planes, scuba diving, bronc riding, etc all but for a normal person walking around doing normal things it is more than sufficient. I also appreciate the audible click when the 'holster' sets into place.

Personally I am carrying a small Glock Appendix Inside Waistband (AIWB) with this setup. I like Appendix a lot for security/ retention and speed of access. John Mosby talks the benefits of AIWB better than I can. IIRC he also uses this holster for whatever that's worth.

This holster is simply the smallest/ thinnest and probably lightest way to make safe and retain a Universal Service Pistol (Glock, M&P, etc) currently available. It also comes at a price point where if you don't like it taking the soft loop off and using it when you occasionally carry in a kit bag, as a backup holster or whatever, is a valid option.

This is an excellent setup because it does not put more stiff, pokey, pointy stuff inside the already full space of a person's pants. It is much more comfortable (well as comfortable as AIWB gets) than other holsters I have tried without compromising on retention. Also it is compatible with all Gen 3 and 4 Glock 9/.40/.357sig/.45gap pistols which is pretty handy for somebody with a big Glock collection. Best of all since it doesn't cover the side/ barrel it is compatible without the bulk of the biggest possible gun's dimensions.

An added side benefit of the Vanguard not covering the frame/ slide is that you can load or unload a pistol with it in place. Granted if you can't safely do that you prolly shouldn't be carrying a gun, in fact you should just give it to me, but that is another story. A nice option to have anyway.

The one belt loop design is very comfortable with plenty of give to fit how your body wants which is handy for AIWB. Also that it is adjustable for belt size as well as cant and depth is excellent. That gives a lot of options to play with in order to get the holster fitting just right. Personally I adjusted the depth up a notch because the factory setting was excellent for concealment but too deep to get a good firing grip on the draw. Tweeked with the cant but ended up adjusting it back to strait up and down.

The Bad:
As per the manufacturer it is not safe to reholster with the holster inside your pants. I am initially inclined think that is probably more a factual safety issue than a legal liability thing. [If anyone wants to chime in from real world experience with this holster I'd like to hear about it.] Then again given this holster's concept of use is for concealed carry/ self defense not range fun or competition so the issue is negligible. I just keep the belt loop attached, lift the holster piece out of my pants, reattach the weapon and return it to it's normal position. Really only an issue when doing dry fire practice.

Well that's really the only bad part about this holster.

I'll try to remember to get back to you after a few months of carrying it to share my thoughts but as of right now The Vanguard 2 is a strong buy in my book. I'm not sure there is a more compact and comfortable AIWB holster out there and am pretty sure if there is it's a lot more than $34.

To those who own a Vanguard 2 I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

War Drums and Random Thoughts

So our President wants to give Syria a spanking. Looks like President Obama wants Congress Mommy's approval before acting. Half the democrats are such doves they wouldn't vote to fight anybody, ever and the Republicans love them some war but wouldn't agree with President Obama that water is wet. So this should be fun to watch.

Playing with carry setups. Think the right answer for me is pocket at home and appendix when out. I've been a bit lazy so pocket has gotten more play then it probably should. Not having a good dedicated appendix holster is part of the problem.Looking at getting a Raven Vanguard to try fixing the hardware issue. They fit different sized Glocks without irritating extra space which is huge for me plus at that price point I'll take a chance. Meant to order one today but lost track of time.

Had an awesome lunch down in Lake Charles yesterday. Wonderfully cooked shrimp that were huge. Also had gumbo for the first time which was cool. I like the food down here.

Not having much stuff has been interesting. This has been a good reminder that if you pick the right stuff it's easy to get by without too much. When we get the rest of our stuff it will be time to go through everything again. Last move a lot of stuff was thrown away or donated. This time it will probably be less than last but  we can stand to get rid of some unnecessary stuff. Sort of along those lines I plan to organize some preparedness stuff. Probably look at caching some redundant stuff and using the rest to fill out useful systems. Looking at that as an opportunity to identify small holes in our preps which will be really good. Failing because you could not afford to buy a 5k whatever sucks but what can ya do on the other hand failing because you forgot a $20 cord/ cable/ widget would suck.

Things are looking good for the housing plan. It ain't over till it's over but there aren't many gates left to pass through. Living in a nice place we actually like will be really nice. Hopefully it all works out.

So far this weekend we have been busy. Yesterday we went to Lake Charles which was cool and then fished in the evening. Today we hit a flea market this morning. Some stuff was decent but half the vendors seemed to have stuff pulled from the trash put into piles that were covered with filth and dust at 4x fair market value. Not going back there any time soon. Got some fun plans for the rest of the weekend.

Well I'm bored of writing so it's time to wrap this up. Talk to you all later.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tueller Drill's, Appendix Carry and Other Handgun Defense Thoughts

John Mosby's post Underground Tradecraft: Tactical Application of the Defensive Sidearm, Part III

is pretty much required reading to understand this post. I'm not so much replying to it as moving from it to a different train of thought but his post is the jumping off point.

It is my personal opinion that the Tueller drill's valuable information is used to jump to the wrong conclusions. The Tueller drill means 1) A person who has their weapon, including bare hands, ready will almost always beat a person who does not have their chosen weapon ready. Instead of being a knife it could be a brick or an open hand slap to the face. Folks often confuse this to say knives are superior to guns. Knife vs gun is a complicated conversation but the Tueller drill really isn't involved. 2) A handgun is not a magical talisman that will keep you out of a physical confrontation!!! I say again a handgun is not a magican talisman that will keep you out of a physical confrontation. You are almost surely not going to be able to use super awareness to detect a threat from 40 feet away then be able to (justifiably) draw a handgun then deescalate the situation or engage using lethal force.

This is yet another reason that Appendix carry is a really good option. The draw is wickedly fast which is good. Also more importantly you can easily control/ protect the pistol with the non dominant hand. In a serious fight I am inclined to protect the weapon with one hand and fight, probably employing a knife, with the other hand. Fighting with one hand is a less than ideal situation but at least this way it's my good hand. Conversely carrying strong side hip that is not an option.

Some folks have a hard time with the idea of carrying a loaded pistol pointed at their genitals. It doesn't worry me too much because I safely handle the weapon and honestly strong side hip in a reasonable concealment holster has it pointed at my thigh which is also important. I guess it's something you can either get comfortable with to have the advantages of appendix carry or not.

When it comes to fighting and the use of handguns at point blank range I am not a huge fan of the use of handguns. If you have a weapon out then just shoot the heck out of the threat. If the weapon is in the holster I am personally inclined to keep it into the holster, especially if it's concealed. I would take a handgun out after creating sufficient space to do so. Ways to create that space using a variety of H2H techniques exist but are beyond the scope of this post. Along these lines SouthNarc's ECQC is high on my training wish list.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

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