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Monday, April 30, 2012

Holster Review

A few months ago, I had a private email conversation with a fellow blogger about holsters.  She is a CCW holder and I wanted a woman's perspective on holsters, as a greater number of women are taking my gun safety and skills classes.  She turned me on to The Smart Carry Holster [link].

I've got to admit, my initial impression was not favorable.  The holster is a, "lower abdomen concealed carry" variety.  Essentially, you've got this pouch that hangs below your belt (inside your pants) that holds a gun.  I wasn't crazy about the idea of having a loaded gun pointed at my "junk"!

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with one of my employees in the PM store, and his "reenactment" of his story had him doing a mock pistol draw.  Instead of going towards his strong-side belt holster, he went to the front of his body.  He was wearing one of these things (or something similar)!

This employee is a former big-city police officer, so I figured that if he felt comfortable wearing one, the holster at least deserved another look.

So I bought one.  They make a bunch of different models.  I got the Security "V" style for a Glock 26.  The "V" style has a little bit less fabric used in the holster than the regular Security model.  The valuables pocket is at the rear of the holster instead of up front.  Just seems like you'd have less chance of "patterning" with this style.

So, I gave it a run this weekend.  Two thumbs up!  I wore it all day Saturday while teaching one of my sons and his buddy how to do All-Grain brewing (they've "graduated" from using liquid malt extract.... I'm getting all dewy eyed....).  It was very comfortable and totally concealed.  We even talked about guns and holsters during the brew - in an attempt to garner a comment such as, "Hey dad, you packin'?" - but not a peep was made.

Yesterday, we did a family gig at my mom's house, and the same thing - nuthin'.  I was wearing a dress shirt with the shirt untucked, so seeing the holster would have been a bit more difficult.  Comfort-wise, it rocked.  Went the entire day without really knowing it was there.

One suggestion for the guys.  If at all possible, instead of having the barrel directly centered on your body, slide the holster to the right.  No pinching or uncomfortable pressure when you're sitting down or standing up.

'Nuff said.....

 While the holster is designed to be worn low on the hips, the female blogger I chatted with actually wears it up high ABOVE her waist.

A snip from her email to me (while still protecting her privacy)
This may not be a perfect fit for all women, but I've been using my husband's Smart Carry holster, I just don't wear it according to instructions. The thing with inside-the-waistband/belt holsters is that the waist on most women's jeans are way lower than least a good 4-6 inches beneath the navel/natural waistline. So without being too graphic...slide your belt 6 inches below your waist, strap on a .45 and then try to bend over to pick something up. If you're short (like me) you almost have to do a pregnancy-type squat. So I cinched the Smart Carry around the smallest part of my waist, then tucked only the bottom 2 inches of the holster into my waistband to keep it stable. It doesn't shift around at all and it's quite comfortable. I've been wearing it around the house to kind of get a feel for it and so far, it hasn't gotten in the way or affected the way I function.
There ya go, ladies!


  • You can tuck your shirt in and still carry and access a gun at your waist.  No need to wear a coat or vest in the middle of summer any more!
  • Virtually no patterning of the gun.
  • It could be worn at any occasion other than an event requiring you wear a bathing suit (how DO you "pack" to a pool party?!), or something requiring the proverbial Little Black Dress.


  • Forget wearing tight jeans.
  • Drawing the gun is a bit different than it is from a traditional holster.  Four or five practice runs (with an empty gun) got the technique down.

Finally, I LOVE the little business card-sized pro-2A card that was included in the package.  To be left at Gun Free Zone  Free-Fire, No Resistance Allowed Businesses:

Side 1:

I am FBI Certified

My concealed carry permit proves I've had:
  • A full background check
  • No mental impairments
  • No domestic violence, Felony or Drug Convictions
Do you know this much about your other patrons or employees?


Side 2:

Criminals prefer defensless victims!

False Sense of Security Zone

Prohibiting self-defense without "securing" your zone is neglegence

You may be CRIMINALLY LIABLE for the safety of patrons and employees

Criminals won't obey your "no guns" sign


Your Competitiors Thank You!

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

2 thumbs up indeed.

I love Smart Carry. With warmer weather here and wearing lighter layers, I feel like I can conceal under pretty much anything. I also like the pocket for carrying IDs, cash, etc when I'm not carrying a purse.

Ryan said...

I definitely like carrying appendix. This system has some promise.

Anonymous said...

I carry a Glock. Does the gun snap into the holster with a hard trigger cover, or is the trigger covered just with cloth?

- Jack

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, it really is a very good holster. It takes a bit longer to draw the gun (when compared to a strong side holster), but makes up for it with the ability to wear almost any kind of clothing.

TOR, I've never even considered this type of holster, but I like it a lot. Very versitile.

Jack, no it doesn't snap in like a hard holster. It sits in a pouch in the holster, where the trigger is covered. When drawing the gun, you do this "flip" in your hand which brings you ready to shoot. The trigger isn't available to depress until you've got it out of your pants.

That being said, I guess you could get a finger in the trigger guard if you paused to re-grip the gun before it was out of your pants.

Practice, practice, practice!