By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Drawing your handgun from your holster is easy when you’re standing up – but you might not be when you need to get your gun out. So, how the heck do you get to your pew machine to send some freedom seeds to a bad guy?
There are a few different strategies, some of which are gear and some of them are tips, tricks and techniques that create the necessary access. So let’s dive in.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to have an ankle gun along with your primary carry weapon. From a seated position, you can get to your ankle gun a little more quickly than the big iron on your hip (big iron on his hip) and get it out and into a fight.
Again, that’s not a new idea; police officers have been carrying an ankle gun for this purpose for a long time. It also has other advantages, such as what if you wind up on the flat of your back and so on and so forth.
Next is to use a shoulder holster. One of the few real advantages of this holster style is that it offers access sitting or standing. Unfortunately, few are comfortable enough and concealable enough to wear all the time, which is why so few people do so. Granted, some people do – sound off in the comments if that’s you! – but it is the exception rather than the rule.
I’d bet good money that Don Johnson hated it, and now we’ve also covered the obligatory “Miami Vice”/Sonny Crockett reference when talking about shoulder holsters.
We also have appendix carry, which has become the carry method du jour. It isn’t new, of course; IWB rigs for carrying what used to be called a “belly gun” have been around since the late 19th century, but people like to pretend that it is because it makes them feel good. Anyhow, an advantage of this carry position is that you can access the pistol sitting or standing.
If, that is, you find that you are suited to appendix carry. Some people are and some people aren’t, and that doesn’t seem to depend on whether you have a Tactical Spare Tire. In my observation, it has more to do with where your pants naturally ride; if they fall naturally to your hips, the holster and gun will keep you from hinging at the hip, bending over and so on.
Again, just my observation and feel free to disagree with me and my pet theory if you want to.
So, now that we’ve talked about the gear-based solutions, let’s talk about tips, tricks and techniques.
Obviously, the hip hinge required to sit down pushes the grip of a pistol carried on the strong side down toward the seat cushion and adds compression from your posterior. That makes it even harder to get the gun out since you’re clamping it to the chair with your cheeks.
This is a factor with IWB holsters or OWB holsters – for those folks who conceal outside the waistband – carried on the strong side.
What to do in this situation?
The simplest trick is to just lean forward. To what degree kind of depends on you, your body and your carry gear; I find I need to pretty much get my elbows to my knees to get pressure off the gun for fast access.
Tactical Tip: use the hinge as an assisted motion, clearing your cover garment while you bend forward.
However, in some situations this isn’t possible, such as if you’re up against a table or desk at work or at dinner.
Here you have a couple of different options. One is to push the desk or table forward, though this will take an additional second or half-second of time before you then bend forward and get the gun out. It’s simple and it works, but fractions of seconds count in an emergent situation, so here are a couple of alternatives if workable.
One is to take a knee. Curl one foot backwards so your knee goes to the ground. This can be done against the edge of a desk, table or what have you, and gives you access to your pistol quickly.
Another is to bend sideways. Just as with bending forward, you relieve the pressure on your gun from your gluteal mass – you look just fine in those pants, I promise; I wouldn’t fib just to make you feel better – by bending away from the gun. Plant your non-dominant hand on the ground about a foot away from your non-dominant side foot while keeping your eye on the threat.
Appendix carriers can also have the issue of having the top of a table or desk hanging over their gun as they sit and eat, work or what have you. In this instance, you have the opposite problem; it isn’t the butt, the issue becomes the gut, pressing forward on the gun.
In this instance, the best tactic is to lean back, which will free up the grip and let you get onto the gun. It’s a bit awkward, but it’s doable.
Granted, of course, this is all well and good to read about on paper…er, on a screen. You, dear reader, will have to figure out what works best for you, and then start doing the reps, because that’s what going to count if that moment ever arrives.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.