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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a newbie to IWB holsters. The only ones I've ever owned were either too uncomfortable or too unbalanced. The Blade-Tech IWB I used to own would shift constantly as I stood or sat down. The Wilson Covert Carry I used was so high up I thought it would fall out of my waistband.

I've been in the market for IWB's for a little while, and have never found one that actually fits me. Researching over the internet, I just recently discovered something interesting - IWB holsters are not designed all with the same heigths! Ok - so what else is new, right? Well, for this IWB newbie, this was quite a shocker - and now I'm torn between different makes. I know that the Wilson holster was too high for me, and I want something lower and more stable - something that won't make me feel like my gun is falling out. I do use a sturdy Aker 1.5" belt with PVC inserts.

I've checked out Milt Spark's website and noticed that his Summer Special and Summer Special - 2 carried the gun at different heigths.

Thus, I ask you knowledgable fine fellas - What heigth do you prefer on your IWB? Is there a too high or a too low? What are the advantages of either? I ordered a GWH and ACP from Dane - are these high or low gun-holding holsters?

Any experiences or comments on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

-Jim

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JimGA on 2001-05-03 02:14 ]</font>
 

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Jim,
There are a few factors to consider here, the most important being what is most comfortable for you. Everyone is physically built differently and has different tolerences/comfort zones.
What works wonderfully for someone else may be absolutely unbearable for you. This is a common problem when it comes to holster recommendations, whether it relates to comfort or concealment.
Another factor to consider, as you have discovered, is the gun and holster combination being used. (You didn't mention what your carry gun of choice is). A short framed, high capacity gun (the HK P7M13 is a prime example) will need to ride deeper in the waistband to avoid toppling over and out of it; the firearm being rather top heavy. Different holster makers compensate for top-heavy guns in different ways. Some add excess leather to the bottom of the holster below the muzzle. I promised when I joined the forum not to toot my own horn, but my In-Cognito IWB was designed with the P7 in mind, and features front and rear flanges similar to a belt slot holster. The belt loops are attatched to these, fore and aft of the pistol, greatly stabilizing it. (Milt Sparks Versa-Max 2 is a fine example of a similar rig). A better balanced gun with a longer frame and lower ammo capacity (1911 5") is more forgiving, to an extent. Such a gun riding high still has more steel below the belt and less weight above it than a deeper seated high capacity compact pistol (P7 or SW 6906). I say "to an extent" because Wilson's rig you mentioned looked too high to me in the pictures I had seen of it. It too is similar in design to my In-Cognito, but much higher riding. I believe it is discontinued. I recall it being absent from the most recent catalog.
Generally speaking, with most pistols , if the belt line intersects the gun at the center of the trigger-guard, with the
gun at approximately a 15 degree forward cant, and the ejection port just below the belt line, - you should be fine. Some people prefer a deeper ride than this. My In-Discerable IWB is a similar design to Dane's/Lou's GWH. This design of mine does position the pistol slightly lower, and it appears the GWH does also. Remember, avoid any design that positions the gun so deep that you can't acheive a good initial full-fingered grip. The juncture of the pistol's front-strap meeting the back of the trigger-guard should be up out of the pants. I've seen several clip-on IWB designs that bury this portion of the grip in the waistband. There is no way you can adequately quickly retrive the pistol like this. I would also avoid any design that places the entire trigger-guard above the belt; this will surely be top-heavy with most any gun. (Wilson's Covert Carry being such an example).
Jim, I hope I've cleared things up a bit in this long-winded disertation. Whatever rig you decide on, practice wearing it about the house, and safely drawing from it with an unloaded gun before you venture outside carrying "hot".
Lou, lets hear from the master! What are your thoughts on this and please correct me if I'm wrong.

Safe shooting,
Mark Garrity
Garrity's Gunleather





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mark Garrity on 2001-05-03 04:48 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mark Garrity on 2001-05-03 04:53 ]</font>
 

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Jim, Mark gave you good advice. I constantly find myself explaining to customers why they should NOT pick an IWB holster that rides too high. In my experience, most people will find that a holster that places the center of gravity well above the belt line will be uncomfortable, and unstable. This is especially true (as Mark stated) with the short muzzle guns like the H&K P-7 series pistols, and the mini Glock series.
Lou
 

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The Milt Sparks Executive Companion is my favorite IWB. Not only because it has flanges around the holster body to distribute the weight, but also because it sits deeper in the waistband than anything else I've tried. The mouth of the holster is right at belt level, so the gun is pretty deep but you can still get a proper firing grip.

The VersaMax 2 is thinner but rides a little higher. And the VersaMax is more width-sensitive than the EX. It's more appropriate for thinner guns (3913, 1911, HP, etc.) than for thicker pistols like Glocks or H&Ks.

I haven't tried Dane/Lou's GWH yet, but I'll probably order one today for my new 1911. I've got an Alessi ankle holster and the quality is top notch. And having met Dane once or twice at IDPA matches, I can't imagine that he'd put his name on anything that wasn't just about perfect.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd like to thank you wonderful people for replying to my post - especially Mr. Garrity for his long and descriptive post. As a reference, I was carrying a Kimber pro-carry with the Wilson Covert companion holster. The gun was fine, the holster was just way too damn high.

I have sense gotten rid of both that gun and holster, and have a 5" Kimber now. This is what I'll be carrying from now on. Although I like belt-slides more (as the ones I've owned were much more stable than the crappy IWB's I"ve owned), I havn't yet lost faith in IWB designs. I've placed my order for a GWH almost a month ago and hopefully will get it soon so I can try this out. :smile: I called up Milt Sparks today and was very close to ordering their EX model - which they had in stock, just not in the color that I wanted. :grin:

Mr. Garrity and Mr. Alessi - Do you fine fellas have a websites? I havn't seen one listed for your companies yet. If you have one, please post it, I'd like to see your work. If you don't, I would strongly urge you to have a very nice one made. I can assure you that your business will skyrocket if you have a good website with lots of photos. Advertising and pictures sell. After all, a very large population of the gun-leather buying public are still buying from mass-production companies like Galco - but they are buying it because Galco has excellent advertisement, a beautiful catalog, and especially a kick-ass website. Even though their products are in no way comparable to the work you guys do, most people either don't notice or don't care. Most people I know don't even wait for the catalogs to come anymore - they just order from websites.

Enough rambling for me. Thanks again guys.

-Jim
 

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Jim,

If you don't like your GWH, let us know. You would be the first. Its an excellent IWB rig that is very well thought out and designed. The execution of the work is as good as it gets.

You could spend a lot more for a holster, but I guarantee you that you would be asking yourself "WHY?" at the end of the day.
 

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Jim, No I don't have a web site, but our distributor in Rochester NY does show our holsters. The site is http://www.rfholsters.com The photos aren't too good, and that's why I need to get my site finished. I just haven't had the time lately to work on it. Been working 10-12 hour days for the past 8 months just trying to keep up, and we're still behind.

Larry, Thanks for the compliment. Glad you like that holster. Dane did well in designing that rig..
Lou
 

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I prefer a lower ride, and Kramer's IWB#3 has proven to be the best for me, as it provides a greater degree of cant than the average IWB. Mark Garrity's Incognito served me well for quite some time, as does a Mitch Rosen ARG. I carry an HK USP 45, so the greater cant helps to hide that long butt.
 
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