Teach me about (open) carrying, belts, etc.

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ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
Hi all,

Warning: Questions that may be considered stupid ahead. I figure the only dumb one is the one not asked. I'll take the heat.

Also, the question(s) are quite open-ended and the true answers come to personal preference and experience, I imagine. But there is wisdom and experience here, so I'm asking.

I don't carry a lot but when I do, I struggle to do so comfortably. No CCW here yet but I often carry when hunting. I might carry any of these guns: Ruger 22/45, Ruger Single-Six Bisley, Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag BISLEY, and an M&P 2.0 9mm.

Anything around the waist tends to be problematic when a treestand safety harness is being worn, but not for walking, scouting, turkey hunting, etc. I would PREFER to carry at the waist except for certain cases like treestand hunting. (Also in winter (NC), I'll wear an insulated coverall which means that a chest/shoulder rig is going to be optimum b/c I'm not wearing a belt.

Super Blackhawk 44mag The 44 is heavy and cumbersome in its flap holster I have for it. I might consider a chest mount. However, How do you carry such a beast at the hip? What kind of belt? A good, solid 1.5 full-grain leather belt through the loops or a SEPARATE belt somehow?
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22/45. Not necessarily a huge fan of it. Takes a bit of a stiff yank to get the gun out.

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Single Six: no holster at this time. Open to leather options.

M&P2.0: I have a FOBUS that I like.

m5pT3EDmmGr12NcBPFTkaEewlHFfLxdlDt2FC5fchlU99MAopfZd31u8yOTRBFj-KyZ1cISyiadVX_L6pK9kG0de38Psx5E-gwM8Du0UfvnFW0Ki3QYJ9i8z9k3Kq9Z_TSGqN2PbVbSZtYXWuuYFRQHhSj4Zm8G46uzbIKsrzQxt10PBaG0LXb7M7mfU6QdyoroOL4sS8K8XCPpTy9GMygqR4e3J0MmbyweR-5d3EWwFjR3pMJTfHh8A7p9WYgOpgVUAuq34D12OH1PlU2sGYODpG2j67JRdLZKZqjlvZIGXDnF3--gzNuku_EvT68YCT7an2pxmjjdQhEAMSpzAiwI6n_rEvB78xAAlGW9oz-kdHRzRvuGMlLw4m89NPHw2c1CNtxs9AI-rxncJ5_MHNQ1bB7bGWZaMQpMz1qeEefgfMX6PjTI3QF69KpxpQWafRfNJjiGPezoYdgzziHvNXys5CuTuKElQsgIIhr0QuOsWGmwV1xnqMCMS_j9buAaAXYiB3qIyqKARXhpTnV2TaBlz9btdMEpqQ6omQJOloA_-5J_ZEv4sQIzv2hUSdr26hxKkGxUbNsvZEz9rnJMSGMIpal97EYPEU8blJiYdhp9KJIbaaKZPA2Usg5fW0jWKOxCLMc_SG4838P0sI96RI0F5-_AAZFT3rjumCoiMOFZBAA45VQ1OzGvLNG16yQ=w984-h1273-no



Open to suggestions on all.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,922
Location
In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
Personal preference is a Level-II retention. There are several manufacturers that
have that option available. Makes it a lot harder for someone to come up behind
you and relieve you of the hand gun. :wink:
 

tunnug

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
235
Location
AZ
When out and about in the wilderness, hunting, camping, for the day etc., I like to carry cross draw, tends to stay out of the way of slung rifles, while sitting either at camp or on my quad plus I just find it more comfortable even with larger guns.
edit to say; cross carry also makes it easier to draw/get to my gun while sitting.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,855
Location
On the beach and in the hills
Whether concealed or open, I also prefer a cross draw rig. It just works for me. Since I don't carry openly in an urban setting retention is really only to keep the firearm from falling out while doing outdoor things. A simply safety strap or thumb snap works just fine.

While I'm not a huge fan of flap holsters, I do have a couple that rarely get used, I do like a good amount of coverage to protect the hand gun. Speed isn't really hugely important under most conditions.

Belt wise I tend to use both a pants belt, double layered heavy leather, or a separate "gun" belt, I find that the separate gun belt can shift more easily. If your belt is wimpy regardless of style it will allow the holstered gun to flop around and that becomes annoying.

Again, since reloading isn't usually a rapid thing in these situations I like cartridge carries/boxes. The rig below is one of my favorites. It's not quite so pristine anymore, but I think it looks even better with age and use.

nXW3JSv.jpg
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,721
Location
Tucson, AZ
Big and heavy is usually with a shoulder holster. One Super Blackhawk only has a 4 5/8" barrel and I run that one in a Tom Threepersons holster on my pants belt. This is for boondocking outdoor activities. In town it's usually a .45 ACP in an inside the waistbangdrig with a .38 snubbie in a pants pocket as a BUG.
I don't outside carry in public.
Paul B.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
7,290
Location
Monroe County, MS
Take a look at Diamond D options. Specifically the Hunter Hip Holster (options for cross draw and drop leg), and the chest rig. These are popular with the hunters up in Alaska who often carry large caliber wheel guns.

https://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/

I have 2 of their carry holsters for a SR9. An OWB, and a IWB. Very well made and comfortable.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,855
Location
On the beach and in the hills
One rig I like is a for my 4 5/8" Blackhawk is a Simply rugged holster attached to the Chesty Puller chest rig. Now here is something that might work for the OP. Waist carry getting there. Chest carry while in the tree stand. I do have one pack that really doesn't allow comfortable waist carry so the chest rig works well for this.

Also, by varying the holster I can use the same carry for quite a few different handguns. Oh and if you like flap holsters, Simply rugged has an attachable flap for some models.

Simply Rugged's versatility reminds me of the old Bianchi UM84. One holster that with it's accessories could be carried six or seven, maybe more, ways to suit the desired needs.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
2,156
Location
Reading, Pa
GunnyGene said:
Take a look at Diamond D options. Specifically the Hunter Hip Holster (options for cross draw and drop leg), and the chest rig. These are popular with the hunters up in Alaska who often carry large caliber wheel guns.

https://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/

I have 2 of their carry holsters for a SR9. An OWB, and a IWB. Very well made and comfortable.

I have their chest rig, beautiful and comfortable to carry my GP100 Match Champion in the woods.
 

Colonel Daddy

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
1,473
Location
Piney Woods of Northwest Florida
Unless a light-weight gun, I consider a 1.5 width belt not strong enough. I always prefer a 1.75 inch tho many slacks/pants no longer accept a 1.75 " belt. I generally prefer wearing wrangler jeans and some of those will accept a 2" wide belt and that's even better, if the holster will fit on it!
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,074
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
First off,, there are no stupid questions,, just stupid answers.
:D :D

Ok, methods of carry differ greatly depending upon several factors.
(1) The firearm,, small, medium, large, very large. (Think; Bearcat .22 up to a Thompson Center Super 14" scoped.)
(2)The purpose of carry.
Self defense, extra sidearm for hunting, (targets of opportunity,) back-up handgun for game dispatch, primary hunting tool etc.

You have listed several firearms,, and as such, a couple are .22's,, one often associated with SD, & a pair that could be a primary handgun hunting tool.

So, there is NOT going to be a one size fits all answer.

Of the guns listed,, the .22's,, a cross draw, on a belt, is a comfortable option, (as mentioned above.) But,, if you are not going to be wearing a belt,, then there goes that option.

I hunt with a handgun, and can be either carrying a T/C Contender with a Super 14" bbl, and there is NOT any holster that is comfortable for 12-13 hrs a day,, sitting in a tree stand. BUT,, I do use a sling system for it,,, allowing it to sit across my chest, or get hung from a limb for easy access.
Next,, I may be carrying a scoped revolver. I have a few of the big bores,, and as such, I had a custom holster made by "Doc" Barranti to fit more than one of them. It's a cross chest design, called the NorthWest Hunter Rig. SUPER comfortable wearing while sitting, riding an ATV, or whatever. Quick access, and high quality.
I also have a Simply Rugged cross chest holster for a scoped Ruger SA, and it's a good choice.

I sit in tree stands myself,, and as such, I need something quick to access without much movement. And, my safety harness,, goes on, then my holster rig. I adjust things to fit ME! YOu will need to do the same thing. It may also require a bit of creative adjustment of the safety harness,, but it can be done.

My opensighted SA revolvers also ride in a cross chest NW Hunter rig built for them.

When I crossbow hunt,, or bow hunt,, I often carry a .22 as well. I'm allowed a "dispatch" gun, and since I do have CCW,, it's a moot point if I were to carry a SD handgun. Sitting, walking, riding, with these smaller handguns,, a good crossdraw is fine.

I own over 1/2 dozen custom holster rigs,, BECAUSE of the different guns, and necessary methods of carrying them afield.

You mentioned winter hunting in NC,, yet not having CCW. NC does allow CCW and it helps reduce any potential issues with the game wardens when carrying a handgun.

I also wear bib overalls, and insulated coveralls while sitting in a tree stand. No belt used.

BUT,, when it comes to belts,, many prefer a HEAVY built leather one at least 1.75 wide for holsters. I have chosen a different route. I have 4 belts,, all 1.75,, but they are heavy duty web belts by Blackhawk, 5.1.1 Tactical, etc. They are designed to be able to carry a heavy handgun at the waist.

You will have to experiment,, and see what works for you,, but what I've found is a custom rig is by far the best option.
 

Big Old Boy

Hunter
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
2,391
Location
Tn
My pants are always held up by a simply rugged 1.75 belt and it works well with all of my handguns I have a holster that works for both my lcr and my sp101.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,794
Location
missouri
Over the years I've carried a 4 5/8" SBK in a Ruger flap holster on a thick 2" belt, a 4" Sec 6 in a shoulder holster, a GP100 6" in a flapped crossdraw on a mid-weight 2" belt, a 5.5" 22/45 in a shoulder or across the body holster, and a 4" 22/45 in a flapped strong side belt holster. All became problematic at times and were replaced until I've reached the "small, light, and unobtrusive" level with the SR22 in a pancake strongside holster on my normal leather pants belt.
I don't think there's a single "works for everything" holster setup. In Colorado, I carried the SBK w/belt & holster positioned below my backpack hip belt and it worked OK for the short day hikes I made. Not sure how well this would work with a safety harness.
 

ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
tunnug said:
When out and about in the wilderness, hunting, camping, for the day etc., I like to carry cross draw, tends to stay out of the way of slung rifles, while sitting either at camp or on my quad plus I just find it more comfortable even with larger guns.
edit to say; cross carry also makes it easier to draw/get to my gun while sitting.
.

Both good points about crossdraw. Hadn't thought about the seated part and that would be helpful!
 

Mega Twin

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
733
Location
Trumann, ar. usa
What about carrying with a belly?
I'm a tad over 5'8" 180 pounds,and a small butt. I have the widest belt that will fit my belt loops and wear suspenders to keep from walking out of my pants:)
 

ruggedruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
462
Sorry I can't respond to all of you individually at the moment but as I digest this, I might come back to various posts. THanks for the feedback.

Yes, I put a variety of handguns in that list meaning a variety of uses/needs/methods for carry. At first, I only had the 22s, then got the 44 and now a 9mm.

I imagine the 9mm will be what I carry most in the field. No light or laser on it at the moment. I carry it mostly for coyotes because they always start howling on my walk back to the truck at night on a gameland far from anyone I know. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but I'd rather have it with me. I don't think there are hogs (yet) where that gameland is but there are elsewhere nearby. Dispatching a shot deer could be done with the 9mm.

NC Winters: I live near the coast (60 miles as the crow flies to the ocean). It does not get that cold here. Maybe we get to 0 degrees (F) once in awhile. However, I do find that hunting even at 32F, sitting in a treestand, gets cold! I know, I'm a wimp, and I'm from Canada!) :(
So, a bibbed overall is not something I'm always wearing in the stand. In fact, we might get t-shirt weather on Christmas Eve once in awhile. It just varies.

I LOVE that chest rig from Doc's. High for my budget as a father-of-four with kids in college, but I understand that that is a completely fair price for such workmanship - I'm not complaining. Also, having the right tool is important and worth the money. A handgun for safety is of no use if you can't get to it!

The DiamondD Guide Chest Rig looks good too.

I was told initially that I could not get a CCW because of my citizenship but have since found out that I AM eligible based on my residency. (I don't know why I have not tried to become a citizen. My hand is over my heart, hat-in-hand, and singing during the Start Spangled Banner every time!). I will look for a class and get that soon.

I don't open-carry in public, generally, although I have at a local breakfast grill near my turkey hunting spot (and home) where I'll see hunters do it infrequently. I actually forgot about it and no one batted an eye.

I don't want to be concealing during a hunt and meet up with an warden. But, if I did throw a pair of overalls on over my firearm, and got stopped, I'd at least try to notify him immediately - though that doesn't make it legal. How about I just go get my CCW?

I think the 9mm is most versatile for what I do. No bowhunting anymore. Turkey and deer. Possibly black bear in the future - eastern NC has the highest density of black bear in the world, I think, and the world record at 880 lbs. It is somewhat common for 700+ bears to be taken each year. I do not worry about them - they tend to run, not fight - but still not looking to be beat up if it happened. While I'm drawn to the SBH, I'd better figure out my carry option for the most-used gun first.

Thanks again. I'm subscribed and will watch for more posts.


FYI, this is not photoshopped. Bears in the wheat in eastern NC. I have seen this type of grouping in person and have photos of a few at a time...
https://www.bear-ology.org/BearFacts-Largest.aspx
LargestBlackBears-2.jpg

LargestBlackBears-1.jpg
 

Seminole Wind

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
46
Suspenders that attach to your belt take all the weight off waist and spreads it out over your shoulders. Perry suspenders work great for carrying heavy guns.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,356
Location
Milo Maine
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I use the poor man rig, a belt mounted holster with suspenders. Works well
for those heavy single actions. I Always pack one when hunting Rifle in hand S A on my belt! ps
 

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