Monday, July 20, 2015

Well dang, if that ain't comfy.

And by "that", I mean this:

Never mind the nearly full-tactard amusement of the website's marketing (just because they seem to take themselves way too seriously doesn't mean they don't have some good stuff);  I have been meaning to try out this variation on the holster-shirt idea for a while, and boy, am I glad I did.  (I still have a couple of Greg Kramer's first-generation holster shirts, which are still technically holding together, but which are no longer...ideal.)

The one thing it ain't is fast, but it's not really meant to be, either.  This is not a rig for speed, but rather for the First Rule of Gunfighting*--and for that, it's pretty choice.  Thus far I am impressed.

The holster pockets themselves are cavernous--you could probably fit a 4" N-frame in there if you really wanted to--and the "built-in harness" does seem to distribute weight very effectively.  I suspect there is a practical upper limit on weight, but it's going to be much, much more forgiving than what I have used before.   (And I, for one, am not going to be toting heavy iron this way anyway.)

Interestingly, once the piece is in there, it sits more forward of the body's fore-aft midline than I was expecting--but it didn't seem to negatively affect either concealment or comfort.  (The Kramer design put the gun directly on the midline, below the armpit.)  And, somewhat to my surprise, the pocket completely closes over both a Centennial J and a Kahr CW40.  The hand can still snake in there, defeat the two little Velcro patches, and obtain a proper fistful of Oh No You Don't in pretty short order, but until then it is actually completely covered.  I rather like this idea, actually;  I see this both as a true deep-cover garment and something for athletic movement.  (It's intended to be reasonably tight-fitting, and should work well in that latter regard.)

I'm really pleased as well at how well the Kahr carried, compared to the J.  You don't really notice the slightly greater weight and butt length (unlike on the Kramer), and the pistol's flat profile is quite nice against the body.  With this rig, there will not be a need to carry the revolver because the pistol won't hide well enough, and I'll always choose the slick-handling Kahr over the snubby if given the choice. This is additionally encouraging for those moments when the full Bat-Belt either just doesn't make sense (e.g., kayaking, rock climbing, tumbling or sports, etc.), or for when it is simply inconvenient or non-ideal (e.g., shopping for pants, long drives, cycling, etc.).

Testing will continue, but at least for a decent dose of sweaty yard work, this thing is comfy, and promises to be pretty useful in general.  At some point, I also have it planned to try out the CCW Breakaways concept, which is another way of extending the shirt-tucked-in wardrobe, but I'm happy to say this one may be well worth the outlay.

Which is to say that once I'm no longer broke, I'll probably want another one.  :-)

* Which is, of course, "Have a gun".


MamaLiberty said...

$75 bucks for a SHIRT? Gag


Glad I have no need to go anywhere that level of concealment would be called for.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

Actually, ML, I didn't pay that much--the better half is good about finding useful deals once she knows what to look for. :-)

Now, that said, if you look at the shirt as a viable holster--an ambidextrous-with-reload or even a two-gun rig, which protects the piece, provides concealment, and gives one an alternative to the belt--I'm not sure I'd argue the price.

To each her own, of course, and I (continue to) applaud you for your own carry habits. I fully admit that I take pains to keep it all out of sight, which incurs its costs both in wardrobe and in attention to body movement, and there are certainly times when it would seem easier to just wear the piece openly. But I don't imagine I'll be changing that personal policy any time soon, and so I'm always on the lookout for stuff that works.

MamaLiberty said...

I agree, Kevin. Each to his/her own. I can't imagine any place in Alaska making CC necessary, but then... I've never even been there. :)

In the ten years I've carried constantly, I've tried a good number of CC rigs, mostly because I teach both OC and CC, so need to know. I CC at times, mostly for the same reason. Once in a great while, I go out of state and actually need to CC - more or less.

I finally settled on a CC "fanny pack" of good leather, which holds either the .357 revolver or the XD 9mm, plus speed loaders or extra magazine. It is difficult to draw from cleanly, and I can't imagine preferring that to my easy rider belt OC holster. Those cost a fraction of any CC rig I've seen, and the draw is immediate, smooth and effective. I've completely worn out two of them so far. :)

With dedicated efforts to practice situational awareness, an environment where guns and those who carry them are readily accepted, and the option to carry how and where I want... the major problem is to maintain the level of awareness and skill needed to meet that one in a million threat that might present itself. The hardest part is preparing to meet the situation you pray will never come, and which might never materialize...

Paul Bonneau said...

I'm with ML. I've tried various examples of gun shirts and bands. Every one was way too expensive to make any sense (given that you have to change it out every day of the week), and additionally way too warm for summer use.

I'm no expert, but I like a regular holster under an untucked, long, largish T-shirt. Maybe it prints a bit at times, maybe it looks a little on the dorkish side, but I'm too old to care. It keeps me reasonably cool. Also one does not have to compromise on the gun at all; I use a Walther PPQ.