Suarez International Close Range Gunfighting / Rifle Gunfighting classes

Just an update as to official dates and where to register for the classes.

These are not classes to teach the shooter in how to use a firearm, but rather in how to fight with one. It is already assumed the pistol/rifle shooter knows how to operate his/her firearm. If you need instruction to get up to speed for the class, please contact me as I will be authorized to get you up to speed without the need to attend CRG1 or RGF1 classes first.

Official place to register is here:

Pistol Class August 23-24

Rifle Class September 20-21

Please feel fee to contact me at 541-268-1974 or email to answer any questions.

Suarez International affiliate training classes at TTT range, August 2014

***note***  Date correction to the 23-24th of August, a Saturday and Sunday.

We are currently in talks with Suarez International to have them come and teach classes at our Mapleton range in August.  The course we are discussing is their Close Range Gunfighting 2 handgun class and it is likely to be timed to occur on August 23-24 as a two day class.


Details about the class can be seen here:

Prerequisites for this class are that you know how to operate a handgun safely and competently from a standing position.  You should be able to safely perform reloads, malfunction clearance drills and draw from a holster.  If you need a refresher or are unsure, that is no problem.  I will be certified to check you out and refresh/train you to a level which should give you the skillset to be on the curve and ready for the excellent CRG2 class.  If you already know how to run a handgun, Close Range Gunfighting 2 exists to teach you how to fight with one.


Planned for September 20-21 is Suarez’s Rifle Gunfighting 2 class.  Again, prerequisites for this will be competent rifle manipulation skills.  If you need a refresher, I will be offering private refresher courses to get you up to speed.  Once you know how to run a rifle, Gunfighting 2 class will teach you how to fight with it.


Both of these above classes are slated to be featuring the teaching styles of Brent Yamamoto, a Suarez International Tier 1 instructor.  I just got off the phone with him and he’s a real down to earth guy who is going to teach what he knows, not just a lot of hot air.  He knows a lot and loves to pass that knowledge along while still making the class fun.  He is big on repetition so your money will be well spent as you will really learn to do the stuff he teaches, instead of just talking about it.


Everyone who wishes for there to be high level training classes in the Eugene area needs to help support these first classes.  If turnout and response is good, 2015 will be an exciting year for training at The Tactical Toolbox as Suarez International will be highly motivated to offer their world class higher level classes, including Close Range Gunfighting 3-5, Rifle Gunfighting 3, Team Tactics, and other such really fun courses.


Contact me at or call me 541-268-1974 to express your interest and get more details to make your trip here possible.  If you have accommodation issues, please do not hesitate to ask.  There may be ways we can accommodate you here on our property.


Please send this out to all your friends who may be interested in high level training you cannot normally get in Oregon.

I just want everyone to know that I am indeed going to stand in solidarity with manufacturers who are going to stop selling to governmental agencies in areas where the citizens don’t have the same rights to own firearms as police departments / governments do.  I am crafting a carefully worded, informative policy.  But it’s not done yet.  So stay tuned.

Unlimited delays in OSP background checks


I would press my readership to carefully read the above linked article from my favorite gun preservation group, Oregon Firearms Federation.  I also want everyone to know that I understand the laws involved.  If I am not afraid you are a crook or other badguy, then I will transfer according to the applicable laws.

Newsletter #5: The “Ultimate” Pistol

The “Ultimate” Pistol


A lot of discussion occurs on internet forums and in gun shops concerning what is the perfect self defense carry pistol.  Particular points almost universally covered in these arguments are power, capacity, size, concealability, accuracy, and sighting options.  Personally, I love the power/caliber arguments. Some say 9mm is the best because it gets more ammo in a lighter package and “studies have shown 9mm hollow points are statistically just as effective as .45 ACP” or some such drivel.  The .45 crowd has equally hilarious points to be made about “shooting twice is silly”.  One thing cannot be denied, the .45 caliber bullets are very large as far as handgun rounds go and the .45 ACP is at the upper end of most shooters’ ability to control for the purposes of self-defense.  But one thing is universally true: that handgun rounds are pretty anemic when it comes to immediately stopping men intending evil.  Both sides of the caliber argument can at least agree that rifle cartridges are far superior at immobilizing men.  It is most unfortunate that a rifle can’t be carried in a shoulder holster underneath a tee shirt in 95 degree summer weather. But it is obvious physics won’t currently, or in the near future, allow this.

I rarely see any benefit in firearms legislation.  In fact, I can tell of only one law off the top of my head that has resulted in any benefit at all.  And that one benefit is that the abortion which calls itself an AR15 pistol would not exist had it not been for ridiculous legislation prohibiting so-called “short barreled” rifles and shotguns.  What it looks like is what is left incomplete at the factory after everyone suddenly left for the day.  It is a rifle which has a short barrel (shorter than the “legal” 16 inches) and no butt stock. Because its buffer tube or receiver extension is required for operation, it is legal.  Putting the stock on it (completing the rifle build) would cause it to be a rifle and then it’s barrel would be too short.  Visually, it sticks out like an Irishman at a gay pride parade.  It doesn’t look like it belongs.

But this AR15 pistol packs modern rifle power and capacity into a small, easily purchased package (compared to short barreled rifles) that is portable and is covered under Oregon’s concealed handgun permit.  The main question has been: is it actually usable?  Happily, I can tell the reader that it is useable and worthwhile.

Personal testbed AR15 pistol with 11.5" barrel, flip down sights, Burris Fastfire 1, and test muzzle brake

For a few years now, in a backpack or similar sized package, I have carried an AR15 pistol.  I have experimented with the accuracy, portability, rate of fire and general defensive utility of this AR15 variant.  Advantages of this package are that it is lighter and shorter than full sized rifle or carbine variants (from personal experience, it is also lighter than comparable sized short barreled rifles) and is only marginally slower/harder to use than the aforementioned variants.  Its overall portability and utility outweigh the relatively minor inconvenience of being forced to use the end of its buffer tube as a stock-like protrusion.  Concerning accuracy, when I was repeatedly clanging a steel plate at 200 yards with bare irons, one of my stubbornest friends had to admit his concerns in that regard were unfounded.

Having to shorten the length of pull with the short tube utilized as a stock has not turned out to be the death knell for this experiment as I had originally feared.  The method of placing the buffer tube against the shoulder like a stock has actually been quite manageable after the shooting stance was slightly crunched and altered to allow proper cheek weld.   Being forced to shorten up has also carried over to the use of my actual stocked rifles and has made all my defensive rifles handier to store and use now that I keep their stocks retracted, too.  Little did I know that top trainers in the tactical world have also adopted this strategy (though for the direct benefits and not because they also advocate the use of the AR15 pistol).  In time, I feel they will come around to my way of thinking.

It is easy enough to see in the following videos that the AR15 pistol is easily controlled.  With a muzzle brake, as is shown in development in the videos, the variant becomes even more attractive.

The advantages of the AR15 pistol are:
– Increased power and capacity over pistol only carry
– Increased portability over rifle variants
– Decreased legal issues vs. short barreled rifles
– Concealed license applies to pistol vs. rifles (in some states)
– Minimal loss of combat utility vs. rifles
– No effective accuracy loss vs. rifles

Overall, the AR15 pistol is a very good addition to your rifle and pistol defensive battery.  It will have parts, magazines, and ammunition compatibility with your rifles (should you choose the AR15 platform for your rifles).  Simply, it allows you to have effective rifle power when and where you might not otherwise be able to have it.   I believe every person truly interested in maximizing his defensive capabilities within a reasonable budget cannot ignore the AR15 pistol.

Newsletter #4: Concealed Carry Options 3

Issue #4, February 6, 2010

The Tactical Toolbox Newsletter provides product reviews, training thoughts, political thoughts and anecdotal tidbits about shooting, self-defense and current Toolbox community events.

In this issue:

***Concealed Carry Options: Part 3

Evaluating Concealed Carry Options: Part 3

In the first part, we covered the topic of evaluating concealed carry options, first discussing the threshold issues of: handgun size, climate, concessions in clothing/style, comfort vs. effective concealment, and issues related to carry methods.  In the second part, we discussed the different on-body carry options and how they bear on the five threshold issues.  In part three, we cover off body and special issues.

There are two general styles of carry with many options within each general category.  The two general categories are on-body and off-body.  On-body is where the handgun is more directly attached to the person, while off body means the handgun is concealed in a purse, fanny pack, backpack, box, etc.  In this final part of the series, we are going to discuss the different off-body carry options and their pros and cons.

Off-Body Carry:

Off-body carry’s purpose is to insert a gun into what should be a normal everyday item and not have it look like there is a gun inside.  There are two elements to this trick.  The first element is to choose an item that does not look out of place when carrying it.  Years ago, this author was taught how to spot suspicious people.  One of the general admonitions was to look for things that were out of place.  This included the carriage of large or medium sized duffels in the wrong context.  In other words, it looks fine to be carrying a duffel when one is obviously headed to the gym.  Conversely a set of golf clubs being dragged through a mall or through an office parking lot will appear odd if done regularly.  So, in choosing an off-body style of carry, consider what the carriage of that object appears like to the discerning observer.  A laptop bag is fine in a lot of contexts while a diaper bag can only be used by people with young children.  Backpacks may be fine under most circumstances, but subject to search by some stores or even prohibited due to shoplifting.  A violin or guitar case is probably most suspect due to movies and past criminal episodes in our nation’s history.  But, under the right circumstances, they can also work.

The second element of off-body carry is to not have the item you are carrying look like there is a gun inside.  The number one concern is, is the gun too heavy for the item?  Most non-purpose built fanny packs are not large enough for most medium sized handguns and will bulge and come apart at the seams under constant use.  Purses that are too small will look suspiciously heavy and overstuffed with a handgun and all the other items normally carried.  Conversely with a laptop case, because the computer normally carried in it is already heavy, a handgun carried in addition to the computer will not seem so much out of place or suspicious in the weight department.

At this point we will discuss the different methods of off-body carry and their individual pros and cons:

1.  Fanny Pack:

A fanny pack is a belt like pack popularized in the 80’s as an clothing accessory and utilitarian pouch for carrying all the necessities of the user.  What soon followed was a trend of holster manufacturers to adapt the design to carrying a handgun.  Handy, right?  It was fine for about all of twelve minutes as soon everyone knew that black generic looking fanny packs all contained guns.  And then, to further exacerbate the issue, they went out of style, leaving their use to those kind of fellows doing interior design work.  Now, the use of fanny packs for carrying guns is reserved for the few who can get away with it; that would include women with bad fashion sense and men secure in their manhood.

Even though they are nearly passé in the gun community at the moment, fanny packs are probably one of the best off body methods of carry in a technical sense.  The gun is secured to the person and has the fastest accessibility of any off-body method.  While purses are more often subject to snatching, fanny packs are a lot harder to accomplish due to their attachment directly to the body.  The draw stroke from a fanny pack is slower than most on-body carry methods.  As discussed above, concealability (due to knowledge rather than printing or visibility of part of the gun) is practically nonexistent.  Everyone who knows anything about guns knows there is a gun in it.  So, in this writer’s opinion, a fanny pack can work, but the circumstances are more limited.

2.  Purse:

Every woman has a purse (well, pretty much) and even some men.  But we are not here to discuss the men who use purses.  Some purses are purpose built to carry a handgun in a secret compartment.  Other purses are just fairly well suited to stowing a handgun because of the many compartments.  Because purses are not generally designed to carry a heavy item such as a handgun, they can be subject to wear and tear and other issues related to this dense item rolling around in the purse.  A good choice is to find a company that does make purses for concealed carry.

Cons to purse carry are that the draw stroke is slow compared to on-body carry and the gun is subject to stealing due to the valuables that normally reside in purses and their easy ability to be snatched.  Other cons concern non-purpose built purses not bearing the weight of a gun correctly or not having a special compartment for the handgun.  This raises issues of security to unauthorized persons (such as children) and accidental exposure of the gun to people while rummaging around in the purse.  If the handgun is not secured in a holster device in the purse, this might raise safety issues, depending upon the type of handgun and the method of carry.

Pros to purse carry are convenience and concealability.  First, the purse is something no woman really looks all that suspicious carrying, even if she happens to be at the pool and in a swimming suit.  So, the gun is quite concealed.  The convenience of the purse is that not much of a change in wardrobe or lifestyle is needed in order for the woman to be armed.  This is a major plus.  It is better for her to be armed than not, even though the method of carry is not as “tactical” as on-body carry.  The purpose built purses, it must be noted, are designed to be more snatch resistant as they routinely install hidden steel cables within the purse strap to prevent a mugger’s knife from cutting the strap to facilitate snatching.

3.  Laptop Bag / Messenger Bag / Briefcase:

While the messenger bag is a newer fad/invention and is a little metrosexual, it can be an effective off-body carry method.  The laptop bag, messenger and briefcase are mentioned together mainly because they are similar office related items.  In the appropriate settings, none of these are the least bit suspicious.  They are similar to purses in that there is likely plenty of compartments that would easily stow a handgun and they require about the same amount of time for drawing.

Pros are easy concealability and convenience.  In the right circumstances, except at the pool, one can carry one of these without raising suspicions.  It is convenient because the wearer likely already had a reason for carrying one of these.

Cons are it is snatchable and there are few options for purpose built laptop bags, briefcases and messengers.  Typical things carried in such bags are valuable and are therefore a target of thieves.  The carry is off-body and therefore not as fast as most good on-body styles.  Even if a man is carrying on his person, this method allows him to stow extra ammo, a backup gun and more without raising suspicion levels.

4.  Day planner:

Day planners are another nearly ubiquitous thing that does not raise suspicion in the office environment.  There are purpose built day planners.  The biggest con for this type of carry involves the size of the gun carried.  If it is too large, the day planner can appear unwieldy heavy.  The other cons for this type concern off-body issues.  Overall, this method could get a person a long way for carrying in a non-permissive office environment.

5.  Backpacks, bags, duffels:

Backpacks, bags and duffels are lumped together because they are environment oriented carry methods.  Each has its own environment in which it does not raise suspicions.  A good rule of thumb concerning these methods and most off-body methods is, if you already have a purpose outside of gun carry for the item, then you should be golden using it to pack your gun.  While these methods are more environment/activity oriented, they offer good convenience and good concealability.  The only thing to stay away from is tactical colored/designed items.  This changes the suspicion level.  It should be good old yuppie fashionable and not 5.11 Tactical branded.  One might appear great and fashionable to the gun crowd, but it would raise red flags for the discerning eye.

6.  Diaper bags:

This has been dealt with separately only because there are some special issues.  The first is security.  Because a diaper bag means it is around children all the time, the gun needs to be very secure.  The second issue is, the carrier has to have children of the appropriate age in order for the ruse to work.  As long as the carrier has children of the right age, the method is golden.  No one wants to root through a diaper bag looking for a gun.  Another issue is cleanliness.  Because children are present and the bag might be in contact with dirty diapers and spills, the gun should be secure from the moisture and dirt.  One of the newer designed pistols that are resistant to corrosion is a better choice for the diaper bag than an older gun more subject to corrosion.

7.  Special methods:

Special methods include violin or musical instrument cases, flower boxes, etc.; anything that might hide a gun either temporarily or situationally.  The rule here concerns whether the item hiding the gun is out of place.  First, the user should be prepared to produce an instrument or flower or whatever is expected to be in the case and use it!  Second, the method of carry should be reasonably secure to keep the gun from falling out and skittering across the dance floor, so to speak.  The object of concealed carry is to keep the firearm concealed.  Special methods of carry might include the stowage of a rifle or shotgun (due to the size of the carry method), but state and local laws must be consulted to find out whether the long gun can be legally concealed.  Generally, anything that can secure a gun and doesn’t look out of place for the setting, can be used to carry a gun concealed.  Bear in mind that these special methods are generally employed because of circumstances that might not allow other more secure forms of carry.


In the distant past in our country and the home country of our progenitors, the carrying of arms was an open thing to do.  While there were some issues in their past with the prohibition of arms, it was widely known the reason for such things.  It was because the tyrant prohibiting arms did not want resistance to his reign of tyranny.  Nowadays, we are told it is a safety issue.  The carrying of arms is now something only the “authorized” persons do.  So, no one bats an eye as a police officer walks by with an unconcealed pistol on his belt but if a regular citizen does, there is somehow danger in this.  But really, the issues have not changed from 400 years (and more) ago.  It is indeed a safety issue.  However, it is not a safety issue for the citizens at all.  It is a safety issue for the ones doing the prohibiting—as it always has been.

Schedule Your Training Now!

Check out the training schedule for the classes you want to take this year and get into contact to reserve your spot today.  These things can fill up fast and likely rain is going to bunch some classes up.  Check it out now!

Next issue: CZ75D P01 pistol review!

Newsletter #3: Evaluating Concealed Carry Options, Part 2

Issue #3, December 31, 2009

The Tactical Toolbox Newsletter provides product reviews, training thoughts, political thoughts and anecdotal tidbits about shooting, self-defense and current Toolbox community events.

In this issue:

***Concealed Carry Options: Part 2, On-Body Carry

Evaluating Concealed Carry Options: Part 2

In the first part, we covered the topic of evaluating concealed carry options, first discussing the threshold issues of: handgun size, climate, concessions in clothing/style, comfort vs. effective concealment, and issues related to carry methods.  In this second part, we will discuss the different on-body carry options and how they bear on the five threshold issues.  Part three will cover off body and special issues.

There are two general styles of carry with many options within each general category.  The two general categories are on-body and off-body.  On-body is where the handgun is more directly attached to the person, while off body means the handgun is concealed in a purse, fanny pack, backpack, box, etc.  The first category we will discuss will be on-body.  Links to pictures of each holster type are included in the text.

On Body Carry:

Within the on-body category are holsters that attach to belts/waistbands, shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, thigh holsters, underwear holsters, small of back, and belly band holsters.  Below, each type and the subtypes will discussed.  Advantages and disadvantages will be discussed in relation to the applicable threshold issues.

1.      Belt/waistband holsters:

There are two types of belt/waistband holsters: inside the waistband (IWB) and outside.  Each has generally two types of attachment methods available: clip on and belt loop.  So that makes for four different general types.

Inside the waistband holsters secure the gun to the belt or clothing waistband with the gun barrel/slide inside the pants.  Carry position of inside the waistband holsters typically are strong side, behind the hip of the shooting hand.  While this is not universal and there is a growing cadre of shooters preferring to carry the gun up front near the centerline or belt buckle (called appendix carry), most concealed carry by this method is done behind the hip.  The stock of the gun is normally situated above the belt line such that the owner can grasp and draw the handgun.  Advantages of this method are that the gun barrel does not extend below covering garments (shirts, sweatshirts, coats).  This aids greatly in concealment.  Larger handguns are harder to conceal using this method, than smaller ones.  The most important dimension on the handgun is the grip/stock length as this is what generally gives the most trouble of printing (through the shirt or covering garment).  Disadvantages are generally comfort related as the width of the handgun can cause the pants to be very tight (they need to be tight enough to keep the pants up with the gun hanging from them).  Overall, this method is good in that the gun is very readily available, and is conducive to a relatively fast draw.

Outside the waistband holsters are generally known as “belt holsters”.  While a lot of belt holsters do not cause the handgun to ride high enough or close enough to the body to conceal, they also were generally not designed for concealment purposes.  These are more like hunting holsters and will really not be discussed at all here.  What will be discussed here are the different types of concealment belt holsters.

There are two types of attachment techniques for the outside the waistband holsters.  The first attaches directly to a belt (much preferred is a thick, strong leather belt).  The second is known as a paddle holster, so named because there is a paddle that extends down inside the pants and presses against the hip to secure the holster part that extends outside the pants.  Generally speaking, paddle types ( ) are much harder to conceal as they tend to not secure the handgun close enough to the body.  Their main use is by police and people who like to be able to take their gun off and put it on quickly throughout the many stages of their day (including bathroom breaks).  Advantages are quick setup, excellent retention and solid securing of the gun to the wearer.  Disadvantages are that the system is almost impossible to effectively conceal.

The concealment belt holster comes in several types.  Mainly there are three types: belt, slide, and pancake.  Belt style are very similar to regular belt holsters but are designed for high ride and low profile.  A lot of the best concealment belt holsters these days are made of a type of plastic named Kydex.  The material is very resistant to wear and allows for the fastest draw due to the securing method of the gun by its trigger guard.  A disadvantage to this system is that it must be concealed by a coat or windbreaker and tends to print much easier than IWB style carry.  Advantages are comfort and accessibility.

Slide and pancake holsters are very similar in that two pieces of holster material (usually leather or nylon) are sewed together with a non-sewed part left to sandwich the handgun.  Belt/slide holsters do not cover the barrel portion of the gun very far while the full pancake holsters pretty much cover the whole gun from just forward of the stock.  Both styles cover the trigger (for safety purposes).  Both styles keep the gun as close to the body as is possible and work to keep it high enough that some body types can conceal a handgun effectively using an untucked t-shirt or sweatshirt.  Advantages of this system are near maximum comfort, good availability/draw speed, and conditionally effective concealment.  The main disadvantage of this system is that it can limit your clothing options in order to maintain effective concealment.  Most problems will occur with the barrel peeking out from under the coat or sweater.

One type of holster not mentioned above is the inside the waistband tuckable type whereat the carrier’s shirt can be tucked in around the holster to hide the gun under a tucked in shirt.  This type of carry is cumbersome to draw from, but is fairly good for concealing smaller handguns (as well as medium compact sizes like the HK USP Compact and the compact 1911 variants).

2.    Shoulder holsters:

Shoulder holsters are a cross draw style (meaning the shooting hand reaches across the body to draw the gun) design that secures the gun under the arm and above the belt.  The vast majority of shoulder holsters are made of leather.  Some of them are made of nylon or a combination of nylon and kydex.

The system of hanging a handgun under the arm is a somewhat problematic concept solved by essentially a figure eight of leather that is worn with an arm through each loop of the eight.  The holster hangs either vertically or horizontally (depending upon the type of holster: horizontal or vertical) from the top of the eight, which lies under one arm.  Holders for magazines or speed loaders can be built into the other end of the eight under the opposite arm.  The crossroads of the eight lands square between the shoulder blades.

This concept works to hide a handgun under the drape of a medium loose fitting coat, including a suit coat or sports jacket.  It frees up the beltline of the carrier.  Advantages of this system are that it can conceal a smaller handgun very well in circumstances where any kind of waistband type holster would not work, that it is very comfortable, and that the gun can easily be drawn while sitting/riding in a car.  The disadvantage of this system is first, that concealment is not always effective when the jacket flies open due to wind or movements of the wearer.  Many a gun has been flashed to the unwary public due to the gun butt protruding out while the wearer was bending over.  Another disadvantage of the system is slow draw.  While the gun is almost universally available, the draw stroke requires the shooter to reach all the way across his body in a very obvious and lengthy motion.

3.    Ankle holsters:

Attaching a gun to one’s ankle is also one of those systems requiring the overcoming of body mechanics.  It is hard to strap something as dense as a hunk of metal to one’s calf and not have gravity move it down into one’s shoe.  But thanks to science, designs exist that can hold a small sized handgun in place.  One of the main issues is that the choice of gun is very limited due to the size of the pant leg used to conceal the handgun.  The other main issue is slow draw and the position necessary to be assumed to put the hand in contact with the gun.  The ankle holster cannot be worn with shorts, etc. and the type of pants are also limited that will work with the system.  A lot of police and serious concealed carry persons do use ankle holsters for concealment of their back up gun.  Even though the gun is small and the draw is slow, their reasoning is that it is better to have a gun than none at all (in the event their primary is unavailable).

4.      Thigh holster:

Thigh holsters are for women.  The concept is to have a double or single strap around the thigh with the holster attached to these with a garter style tether attached to the waist or belt to keep the whole rig from dropping around the ankle  They do work to conceal a small handgun for the women whose thighs don’t already touch each other.  There is a limited choice for this type of holster.  Obviously, the wardrobe choice would be limited for this carry concept, too.  Only dresses or skirts will work, and longer hemlines make the draw even slower or more difficult.  Advantages to this type of concealment method are good concealment, effective concealment (as in no one’s supposed to be looking there and no one’s going to discover it while hugging the carrier), works with some of the hardest garments to otherwise conceal a handgun.  Disadvantages are that the size of handgun is limited, few choices exist as to holster manufacturers and models, and the gun is slower to draw.  One other advantage is not tactically related, but if you are a woman looking to turn on your gun loving romantic interest, a thigh holster is the sexiest rig to use.

5.    Small of Back (S.O.B.):

The small of back holster is technically a belt holster in that it attached to a belt, but the method/angle of carry is different enough to warrant a separate discussion.  With a SOB holster, the handgun is secured basically inline with the belt such that the muzzle is horizontal.  Another form of SOB carry is vertical like an IWB holster, but the position is basically in the small of the back, in between the wearer’s gluteus maximus cheeks.  Both require a different draw stroke and conceal somewhat differently than the IWB method.  The first major difference is in the accessibility of the handgun while seated.  The SOB method is not good for this and can be uncomfortable while sitting for long periods.  For some wearers, it really doesn’t seem to hurt them much.  The SOB carry is fairly easy to conceal while not bent over.  While bending over, if the concealing garment isn’t long enough or heavy enough, the gun will either be fully exposed or print badly.  Again, while not sitting, the method is also fairly comfortable, even if the wearer is carrying inside the waistband, generally due to the lack of flesh in the gap between the cheeks.

Generally, there are few advantages to the SOB carry unless the wearer is having issues with IWB or belt holster carry.  Some wearers merely just prefer the method.  One reason some rather experienced people carry in that method is due to the accessibility of the gun to both right and left hands.  The method conceals easily, but is harder to keep concealed while bending over and it is less secure from unwanted users.  The draw is slow and can be made fairly inaccessible by the type of seating employed (although IWB and belt holsters become hard to deal with under jackets pinned down by seatbelts, too).  Due to the comfort level, the outside the waistband version of this holster can be a popular choice.

6.    Belly Band:

The belly band holster is a strip of material that is generally a mesh synthetic which is adjustable using elastic and Velcro.  It secures a gun in pockets sewn into the material of the band.  This presses the gun fairly tightly/flat against the abdomen or back above the beltline.  On men, the belly band can stay fairly secure for all day carry, is comfortable and conceals a smaller handgun well, with larger handguns being concealed fairly effectively.  It is designed for hot weather carry under a t-shirt and allows the wearer to wear shorts which would not support a handgun.  Downsides of this method are speed of draw and overall security.  While it can be fairly fast, is probably not in the class of speed as regular belt holster or IWB.  It is very secure in a control sense (the wearer naturally denies people the access of touching him in that area of the abdomen), but the overall method can present problems of the whole band moving around under certain types of movement (running, jogging, wrestling).  It depends upon body type.  Some people will find it doesn’t work, while others may swear by it.

7.      Thunderwear:

I mention this one by name because it is so unique.  This method of carry resembles an athletic supporter, but is not actually secured between the legs.  It consists of an adjustable band with a double pocket section in the front made from soft fabric which hangs down from the band.  This setup is designed to secure a handgun below the waistline/beltline in the front/crotch.  The gun is accessed by either inserting the shooting hand into the pants or using the non-shooting hand to press up on the barrel to cause the grip of the gun to protrude up above the beltline.  It doesn’t require any specific form of pants/shorts with a strong belt because it doesn’t rely on the outer garment for support.  The method apparently is very effective concealment even though for men, other things are down there, too.  Thunderwear type holsters are very versatile and many men as well as women claim it is both comfortable and effectively conceals their handgun.  Your esteemed writer has not actually tried one of these and is working from hearsay from other users (as well as universal experience gained from 13 years carrying concealed).  Overall, while I am unwilling to say this is the best universal method for carry, there are a lot of good reviews on this.

Downsides to this design are speed of draw, potential comfort issues while sitting down, and potential limitations to the size of handgun permitted.  With the butt of the pistol below the beltline of the covering garment, it can be very hard to get a solid grip on the handgun quickly.  There may be issues of the barrel jamming itself into sensitive areas or flesh while sitting down.  Due to the aforementioned issue, the size of handgun may be limited to something smaller than the prospective carrier wants to use.  Upsides are the universality of the design.  It fits most garment types as well as most handgun designs.

8.      Appendix Carry:

While appendix carry was briefly mentioned in passing above in the IWB section above, this method is also different enough to garner special mention.  AIWB (appendix, inside the waistband) is more prominently pushed by such individuals as Gabe Suarez at Suarez International.  The history of this type of concealed carry is probably the longest of any type.  Considering the garments and generation wearing them now are in near universal ridicule by the more vocal generation, it is understandable that different methods of IWB carry are now the norm.  The generation we make fun of because their pants are pulled up under their armpits is the one that used to carry a full sized Government Model Colt 1911 under nothing more than a thin suit coat with no issues of comfort, concealability, or accessibility.  The gun could be concealed simply by keeping the jacket buttoned.  Because the beltline is so high, it would not restrict bending over (even with five inch barreled handguns).  Due to the handgun being right up front, draw would be as unrestricted as possible for a concealed handgun.

Lowering the beltline and changing the wardrobe to less “formal” appearing attire makes this method of carry harder, more uncomfortable and relegates it to either short time periods of carry or to the extremely fit men who have enough time to tone their abs (and probably not even then to all fit men).

Commentary section:

In this day and age whereat old people are nearly universally ridiculed and the young are effectively put on pedestals suitable for worship, it is no wonder that a method of concealed carry which is probably the most superior method (with or without a holster!) ever devised has now fallen into nearly total disuse.  The beltlines keep dropping as well as the common sense.  Fashions today are just as incompatible with concealed carry as is their suitability for work or productivity.  I guess the following generations are going to have to reinvent things and discover that people 100 years ago indeed did know how to carry a gun.

Continued next issue: Part 3 Off-Body Carry Options!