About SD Carry

As a young boy in Texas, I grew up with guns. They were basic tools, much like my grandfather's mitre box or pipe wrench, there to perform specific tasks when called upon. I was taught gun safety by virtually every male adult in my family. I spent eight years in the US Navy operating and maintaing various guns from .30 caliber to 5" rifles.

After a few years as a moderator on a popular gun forum, I learned that there is much disinformation, prejudice and plain ignorance about guns posted constantly on the internet.

This blog is dedicated to sharing worthwhile information about the increasing acceptance and practice of legal concealed carry in our country. There is much mis-information and wild opinion about this topic among its practitioners and the public in general. The moral, social and legal responsibilities of concealed carry are immense and must be understood and practiced by all who legally carry a gun.

There is also a vast amount of practical and useful information about carrying and the weapons themselves and I hope to be able to share some of that here. Your comments are welcome, but will be moderated by me before appearing on this blog.

Stay safe.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

pjholsters Update

A few months ago I received a new IWB holster for the Ruger LC9 from Paul Giannaula, owner and chief bottle washer at phjolsters.com  I reviewed it here. I was very impressed with the workmanship Paul managed to put into this holster. Kydex holsters can be pretty perfunctory - basic, get the job done, but nothing special. But, Paul's creations are different. The holsters he produces are thin, smooth, well moulded and effective. They are also becoming more popular and with good reason. I hope to highlight some of those reasons here.

A few weeks back I got another pjholster, this time an OWB straight drop belt clip for the LC9.

pjholster OWB for the Ruger LC9 belt clip view
There is a slight cant built into the clip, but not enough to matter for my purposes.

pjholster OWB for the Ruger LC9 end-on view
pjholster OWB for the Ruger LC9 front (outside) view

As I expected it was made to the same high standards as the IWB holster. I adjusted the tension with the single screw on the holster to my liking and slipped it over my belt. First thing I noticed is that it is an exact fit to my 1 1/2" Bear Creek gun belt. The belt clip on this holster is made an integral part of the holster and it's wide enough to solidly lock the holster onto the belt.

The second thing I noticed is that this holster sits tight to the belt and snug to the body. That, combined with the thin kydex Paul uses on this model makes for excellent concealment. There is very little width added to the gun by this holster, and the LC9 is a pretty thin pistol for a 9 mm - one of it's characteristics that makes it an outstanding carry gun - and that, combined with being kept close to the body and locked firmly to the belt gives me the peace of mind to know that it's going to stay where I put it, and it's not going to show under a proper cover garment. Even a loose T-shirt is sufficient to conceal this setup.

Strong side
Showing the thinness of the kydex and how close the holster rides.
Very snug.

Another characteristic of note is the combination of the tension screw with the expertly moulded shape of the holster. The gun snaps in with authority, held securely by the moulded shape of the holster. I played a bit with the tension. With the screw set to a loose tension, the pistol still was grasped securely by the kydex. With the tension screw cranked down, it was somewhat tighter of course, but still easy and smooth to draw. I'm not sure how Paul manages this, but I suspect it is a characteristic of a process that requires time and attention to detail when he makes a holster for a specific gun.

Most of the time, I prefer to carry in the cross draw position, especially when I'm going to get in a lot of car time or sitting around in public time. I always experiment with a new holster to see how it will perform as a cross draw rig. I moved the pjholster and the LC9 around to the cross draw spot. It was like it was made for it. Being a relatively straight drop design, the holster was locked onto the belt and pulled in close. Importantly, it stayed that way.

Moved to the cross draw position.

Same position, showing how it remains close to the body.

Another shot in the same position.

This is more important with a cross draw setup since the butt of the pistol points forward, toward the midline, and if it cants out a bit, you'll have a sharp poky shape pushing out the front of your shirt. Not a good thing.

I have tried a number of holsters made for cross draw and none are completely satisfactory. They have all been leather of various designs intended to keep the holster close and upright, but leather, being what it is, will get some flexibility with wear and I've found that when this happens, the weight of the gun, being mostly above the belt line, will pull it out and away from the body. To counter this you have to cinch your belt tight, tight enough that it is just damn uncomfortable after a while.

I've now come to the conclusion that an effective OWB cross draw holster made for concealment will likely have to be made from kydex. Kydex does not get loose or soft over time. It can be thin enough to not add bulk, and with the right design can be made to stay firm and upright all of the time. I haven't seen one yet, but I'm hopeful. For now, Paul's OWB, belt clip, straight drop is doing the job just fine.

If you are in the market for an OWB design, I suggest you give Paul a try. He has an unconditional 30-day guarantee so you won't have anything to lose and you might find he has the setup for you.

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