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Author Topic: Holster quandry.....  (Read 1339 times)

LowKey

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Holster quandry.....
« on: April 24, 2017, 03:48:19 AM »
This is more or less trying to come up with some ideas rather than a hope that someone knows of an existing holster already in production as I think that is unlikely.  Mind you, I'd be quite happy if there was something that fit the bill already out there, I just haven't seen anything that quite hits the mark.

A few years ago I switched from belts to wearing suspenders (braces for any Brits reading this).  The sort that use buttons sew into the waistband of my trousers, not the clip on sort.
Right away this throws a monkey wrench into holster selection for any handgun especially if you're trying to avoid the classic style of shoulder holster as all the models I've seen put the weapon further back than I'd like.
Adding to the complexity is the pistol I'm trying to find a holster for is a steel frame full size EAA Witness. Obviously a full service sized pistol also offers additional challenges if you're looking to carry concealed. 
Fortunately I also wear vests; of the woolen sort, both tweed type and the longer outdoors sort.  Not the fisherman's/photographer's/tactical sort with a dozen or so pockets. 
Climates I would be carrying in range from SE Alaska, where concealment isn't a major issue, to Idaho and the PNW so I can get away with needing more than a light shirt as a cover garment. 

I don't like the "belt and suspenders" approach.  First because it screams, "I'm carrying" to anyone with half a clue, and second because it just looks foolish in the same way that black socks with garters and shorts looks foolish.   I'm just mentioning this in hopes of eliminating a flood of suggestions to "just wear a belt" that is almost inevitable on the Internet given the issue.

If any of you are thinking that I'm rapidly painting myself into a corner through the limitations mentioned above I can not say that I disagree with you very much. 
Worse, I'm about to add a few more.  :clap
I spend a good deal of time sitting down or driving, and have come to prefer cross draw. Yes, I'm aware of the drawbacks.
I've also a preference for leather over kydex.  And I strongly dislike thumb straps.

So, short of having a large magnet surgically implanted just under the skin of the left side of my abdomen, just above the hip bone....how in Hades am I going to pull this off.  I haven't seen anything that would fit the bill yet.

One thought I had would be a holster that used the two heavy duty (BDU, actually) buttons on my trousers to which the suspenders attach for the bottom anchor point of a holster, and maybe a strap that would wrap around the suspender and snap closed at the top? 
Cant at about a 45 degree angle, passive retention plus a tension screw? 
Positioned so that the heel of my hand (when drawing) would be about 1/3 of the way from my centerline towards my 9 o'clock.   My front suspender buttons on that side have the rearmost right at the side seam of the trousers and the other 2/3 of the way towards the gig line (34-36 waist depending on my wife's cooking). 
While the cant would be off, I could get a pistol and holster into that position if I went with an old style tankers holster like I used back in the day or a hunting/bandoleer holster but the fluffing straps would be running across my torso in front and I'd like to be able to keep the vest unbuttoned.

I'm not on a rush on this as I don't get back stateside very often, but I would like to puzzle this out, and it gives me something to occupy my mind in my off hours other than trying to figure out how to muffle the mullah's call to prayer from the mosques at either end of my block. :neener   


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    booksmart

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 09:47:39 AM »
    I've actually got an idea on how to pull this off, but you'll likely need a custom builder to pull it off... Fortunately, we have one on tap here (but I won't speak for him as to whether or not he'd like my idea).

    My idea is a leather holster with a length of belt attached to it, that passes through your beltloops (ideally, at least two, to deal with the weight), before re-securing to the holster.  This would allow you to shift where along your waist it rides, and avoid surgery (although I hear they're doing very cool things with neodymium lately).

    Doing it in kydex would be pretty easy, too, but you have a stated preference...

    Would you be willing to consider a shoulder rig?
    « Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 10:29:49 AM by booksmart »

    Chief45

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 10:21:36 AM »
    You gave your answer already.   Have a good leather holster built into the inside of your vest.  crossdraw works, perhaps velcro so you can adjust the cant to the correct angle for you, and on the off side, a pouch or something for extra ammo, or cell phone or folder, to help balance out the weight.

    just as an example, I know you said wool,  but leather vests with similar options might give you some ideas if you don't want to wear a leather vest.

     http://www.nrastore.com/sportswear/outerwear/nra-coronado-classic-lapel-concealed-carry-leather-vest

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    coelacanth

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 12:21:16 AM »
    I think Chief45 nailed it.  The problem I see with your holster inside the pants idea is that the whole thing is still hanging from your suspenders and the last time I had the occasion to shop for a pair of those they all had some sort of elastic in them for comfort when transitioning from standing to sitting.  That makes a full sized handgun like you describe a bit of a problem just from the weight standpoint, no?   :hmm   Even booksmart's idea (which has some merit IMO) would still depend on the galluses to keep the whole thing in place and unless you had the ability to immobilize the carry side you might end up with a noticeable sag.   I think maybe the only way to bring the project off as you originally intended is to go with something a lot lighter weight than a full sized, steel framed Witness. 
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    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 05:51:26 AM »
    I think Chief45 nailed it.  The problem I see with your holster inside the pants idea
    Inside the pants?   Where did you get that idea??   :hmm  It's a full sized EAA Witness.  No way it's going inside a waistband.  As I described, the pistol would be above and entirely outside the waistband.

    is that the whole thing is still hanging from your suspenders and the last time I had the occasion to shop for a pair of those they all had some sort of elastic in them for comfort when transitioning from standing to sitting. 
    Decent suspenders will have a small amount of elastic or other mechanism in the back to give tiny bit when you sit down or bend over, but the weight of the gun would no more cause them to sag down than the weight of the pants they are holding up.  Put another way, when you first put on the suspenders you adjust them so that the waist of your pants rides where you desire.  The suspenders don't really care if the weight they're carrying is fabric or gun,  so in this case I'd put the pants on and with the gun in the holster adjust the suspender straps to ride correctly. Done, will stay there all day. No saggng.

    That makes a full sized handgun like you describe a bit of a problem just from the weight standpoint, no? 
    Nope.  The gun doesn't weigh nearly as much as a pair of thick woolen pants that have been soaked, and the suspenders handled that occasion without me even needing to adjust them.

    :hmm   Even booksmart's idea (which has some merit IMO) would still depend on the galluses to keep the whole thing in place and unless you had the ability to immobilize the carry side you might end up with a noticeable sag.   I think maybe the only way to bring the project off as you originally intended is to go with something a lot lighter weight than a full sized, steel framed Witness.
    *sigh*
    If I wasn't trying to carry a full sized steel framed pistol with the limitations mentioned I'd have a plethora of other options available, and wouldn't have started this thread. 
    Heck, may as well suggest I just wear a belt....that would also make it easier to find a solution. 
    It's just not what I'm trying to do. 
    Not to mention that the weight of the pistol hanging from the suspender isn't an issue.   Now lateral movement, especially on the draw?  That IS a valid concern.









     
    See where this revolver is hanging?  I'd like mine about there, but at a 45 degree cant, and I want to avoid the strap running across my torso.


    Forget the two gun thing going on here, but this might be closer to what I want save that the gun is to close to the centerline.  It also has that darn strap running in front.  And I'm really not looking for a western styled holster despite the photos.   






    I'm not worried about the weight of the pistol pulling down. I'm more worried about the holster staying in place when I draw, ie I don't want the holster moving forward with the gun. 
    Also I don't want it swinging out if I lean to the side or forward.

    The reason the very good vest solution Chief showed me isn't going to work for me is that I'm not going to be wearing the same vest everyday and custom tailoring of every vest I may wear to serve as a holster would be akin to you buying a different holster for every single cover garment you might wear.   Spendy!

    Another reason I don't want to go with a shoulder holster, or at least any of the ones I've seen so far,
    is that all them I've seen would "peek" out of the vest, with either the holster itself or it's harness being visible in/under/around the arm hole. 


    I've been wondering if a leather panel (sort of like those used for a "Mexican Loop" holster)  attached to three points, the two buttons on the trouser waist and somehow attached to the suspender strap, would offer enough anchoring that the gun wouldn't shift forward.

    Heck, I don't have an issue with adding a button or two more to the waistband of my pants for the purpose of attaching an additional strap to hold the holster from shifting. I'd tinker with this, but the gun is on another continent at the moment. :banghead


    *Edited to add*
    This would be very close if it didn't have that darned wrap around torso strap, which is what keeps the holster in place laterally.


    This is close as well.
    « Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 07:01:36 AM by LowKey »

    scarville

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #5 on: April 25, 2017, 08:39:26 AM »
    Interesting riddle.  I have no answer but, like you, I wear suspenders -- often without a belt -- so I 'll be watching this thread to see if someone comes up with a good solution.
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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 09:28:26 AM »
    There are a few shoulder rigs I've seen that, instead of having a cross torso strap to secure it, have a short strap that connects to the pants in some fashion.

    https://www.bonanza.com/listings/Barsony-Brown-Leather-Vertical-Shoulder-Holster-for-EAA-WITNESS/209216069?goog_pla=1&gpid=76984044061&keyword=&goog_pla=1&pos=1o3&ad_type=pla&gclid=CIqG6-_av9MCFQwYgQodyIQLng

    I honestly think you're going to need to do a customized version of a tanker's rig.

    http://www.epsaddlery.com/pc-154-25-1942-tanker-holster-3-to-5-barrels.aspx

    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #7 on: April 25, 2017, 09:43:47 AM »
    I honestly think you're going to need to do a customized version of a tanker's rig.


    Oh, I don't have an objection to custom work. 
    The pistol is a full sized steel frame EAA Witness in 10mm, it's not as if the shelves of LGS are overflowing with holsters built to fit this specific pistol. :rotfl

    I was going to say that using suspenders to hold up your pants used to be the norm and belts were an oddity that didn't really catch on until post WW1 so what did they use to carry pistols, but I think the answer to that was "gun belts" or they carried pocket pistols.   


    Kaso

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 10:37:21 AM »
    It seems that you know exactly what you are after, but can not find a manufacturer that makes it...  Talk to Luke Adams.  He may tell you that it can't be done within your specs, (strong possibility, given what I have read) but if anyone can pull it off, it is probably him.
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    Chief45

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 10:40:02 AM »
    well,  let us know what you come up with, and remember,  without pictures,  it didn't happen.  :neener

    I'll be interested in placement in regards to your lap / shoulder belt when operating a vehicle also.

    I remember some discussion a few years back,  not even sure it was on this board,  with a lady who had medical issues with wearing a belt and was looking for options to carry that kept her EDC away from her abdomen.  There are significant issues with how different folks are built, torso length, arm length, chest endowment, dunlap, etc.   just more examples of "one size fits all"   don't.
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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 10:42:15 AM »
    *sigh*
    If I wasn't trying to carry a full sized steel framed pistol with the limitations mentioned I'd have a plethora of other options available, and wouldn't have started this thread. 
    Heck, may as well suggest I just wear a belt....that would also make it easier to find a solution. 
    It's just not what I'm trying to do.
    Okay, in dead seriousness, he was trying to be helpful.  I agree with him, I just didn't say it.  You did ask for advice on something that is close to impossible.  Maybe we can help you find what you need...  Let us explore all options and variables.
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    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 10:59:18 AM »
    Okay, in dead seriousness, he was trying to be helpful.  I agree with him, I just didn't say it.  You did ask for advice on something that is close to impossible.  Maybe we can help you find what you need...  Let us explore all options and variables.
    I didn't intend my response to come off as snarky. 
    It's just one of those Internet phenomenon.
    Someone asks how to ride a bicycle and sure as the sun rises someone will tell them to buy roller skates. :shrug

    I've concealed full size service pistols before, including in a tanker's holster.  Just had to zip up the field jacket while I picked up my stuff from the mailroom.   ;)






    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #12 on: April 25, 2017, 11:07:17 AM »
    well,  let us know what you come up with, and remember,  without pictures,  it didn't happen.  :neener
    No problem, assuming I get the holster made before the next time I get stateside.....sometime in the next 12-18 months.
    You have no idea how frustrating it is to not be able to just grab the pistol and some cardboard or scrap leather and try out variations of the idea. :banghead
    I'll be interested in placement in regards to your lap / shoulder belt when operating a vehicle also.

    I remember some discussion a few years back,  not even sure it was on this board,  with a lady who had medical issues with wearing a belt and was looking for options to carry that kept her EDC away from her abdomen.  There are significant issues with how different folks are built, torso length, arm length, chest endowment, dunlap, etc.   just more examples of "one size fits all"   don't.
    You're not kidding. It also depends on season and how much a spouse has been trying to "spoil" you with home cooking.  :facepalm

    Where I want the pistol it would be darn near framed by the lap and shoulder belt.  If I didn't have a cover garment on I'd have to be careful not to snag the butt of the pistol when taking off the shoulder restraint.

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 11:14:39 AM »
    Oh, I don't have an objection to custom work. 
    The pistol is a full sized steel frame EAA Witness in 10mm, it's not as if the shelves of LGS are overflowing with holsters built to fit this specific pistol. :rotfl

    I was going to say that using suspenders to hold up your pants used to be the norm and belts were an oddity that didn't really catch on until post WW1 so what did they use to carry pistols, but I think the answer to that was "gun belts" or they carried pocket pistols.

    You wear suspenders and carry a full sized 10mm?  :scrutiny

    I think you might be in the running for most bad ass old timer on the forum  :neener.

    I don't work with leather, nor wear suspenders, so I do not have any knowledge or help in this area. All I can provide is to reinforce that Luke can do some pretty incredible things with leather and I hope he sees this so he can help you out.

    Let us know how things work out and post pics  :cool.
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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #14 on: April 25, 2017, 11:24:45 AM »
    You might try having the spouse/significant other send you some cheap, read Uncle mikes, holsters and suspenders while you play with placement.  Get some supplies and play with building a model.  I think that holster makers would find that easier to help visualize what you have in mind. 

    I have this crazy idea of a snap or button on the suspenders to attach one point of the holster as solidly as possible, while a long stiff tail of leather or Kydex goes through two belt loops to stabilize and help support the gun.  This would work better, in my mind, with a smaller, lighter gun.

    I think you can get a nylon version of the Alaska Guide holster to play with, I really like the adjust ability of that holster design while maintaining stability.   But it was designed to be an open carry/field holster, not a CCW rig.
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    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #15 on: April 25, 2017, 12:11:18 PM »
    You might try having the spouse/significant other send you some cheap, read Uncle mikes, holsters and suspenders while you play with placement.  Get some supplies and play with building a model.  I think that holster makers would find that easier to help visualize what you have in mind. 
    I've considered that. I'm pretty sure the holsters would make it through (I could probably get them through Amazon).   A blue gun.....not so sure about that.  If it did make it here I can say with 100% certainty that it would not be able to be shipped out again, and I'm not sure if the local gendarmerie would have an issue with it being here either.     Stuff you'd think would be fine can turn out to be a major problem, and the rules aren't always fixed.
    I have this crazy idea of a snap or button on the suspenders to attach one point of the holster as solidly as possible, while a long stiff tail of leather or Kydex goes through two belt loops to stabilize and help support the gun.  This would work better, in my mind, with a smaller, lighter gun.
    I'm thinking about that as an attachment point on the suspenders, and of maybe using one or both of the suspender buttons on the waistband to keep the holster from following the gun upwards on the draw.   I like they idea you have for the tail. I don't think the pistol will need more support than the suspender strap provides, but I highly suspect that the holster will need something to keep it from moving back and forth. 

    Just for reference a loaded G17 weighs about 33oz according to Herr Glock, my Witness around 42 oz. 




    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #16 on: April 25, 2017, 12:28:50 PM »
    So I hadn't commented mostly because I didn't have anything to add yet;) I have however been reading and trying to get a good grasp of what you're on the hunt for. Now I think a vertical shoulder rig would probably work with modified tie downs to suspender buttons or old school suspender clasps etc. That would eliminate the need for a belt in the solution, but you're also going to have more straps going every which way which of course will complicate the overall system. But that seems like the easiest approach using something that is already available with small modifications. That said I know you mentioned in I believe the first post you didn't like the way existing holsters carried and I'm assuming shoulder rigs. You might want to give more detail on exactly what you didn't care for since it either may be able to be designed or adjusted out of it. Or there may be someone out there building a rig that will fix that problem, just need more info.

    Now off in less conventional carry land;) This was spawned from the whole vest idea, mentioned above since I gather you've got several. If you're always wearing a vest then perhaps sewing industrial velcro into the liner, then having a leather holster made up with velcro on the entire rear panel would be a solution. Then you just need to put the softer side of the velcro into each vest which is far cheaper than individual holsters. Also you've got a modular system in that sense where if the first holster didn't work you could also rig up another one with velcro and try that. The downsides in my mind will be the load bearing capacity of the vest and the material it's made from. I doubt most were made to handle the weight and you may see stretching over time or a lopsided look of sorts, maybe tossing some sort of ammo carrier weak side would balance the load and help. But I think it's probably a stretch for most vests. That said I can't say I've worn that style, typically I do wear vests during the summer but more often than not it's more of a duluth trading post style almost photographers vest and it's purely for pocket space when it's hot out around the shop and woods. That said if I load down pockets they do hang weird so that's part of my concern with this path.

    So there are a few ideas that might work for ya, I'm not sure I'll actually be able to help because I don't have a dummy for that EAA and from memory it's different than the CZ's I've got around here. So I think the gun would be a no go for me, but those ideas also could me translated to other rigs etc and you may even be able to take an existing rig and add velcro in the case of that idea.

    Either way hope that will help;)

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    LowKey

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #17 on: April 25, 2017, 03:51:49 PM »
    Thanks, Luke.  It's late here so I'll explain my reluctance to use a shoulder rig tomorrow.
    I think the velcro/vest idea is brilliant, but I also think the load bearing/sagging issues you mentioned as a possible problem are most likely going to occur unless the vests were reinforced. At least for a pistol that weighs 44oz*.   Basically sewing something like nylon webbing inside the vest between the outer fabric and the lining...and we're back to custom vests.
    As far as the metal dummy gun for forming holsters, leather holsters for the full size steel Witness seem to be about as rare as hens teeth. It's not exactly the most common handgun in the US, so I'm not surprised that holster makers haven't invested the money in a blocking gun for it...doing so would make absolutely no sense and be bad business when the same money would get them a blocking gun to make holsters for which their is a higher demand.   I figure that if I go the custom route I'll need to pay for the blocking gun myself (Duncan's if they have one) or at least accept that the cost of the blocking gun is going to be tacked onto the cost of the holster. Only right, as there's no guarantee anyone else will ever order a holster for that model pistol again.  Fact of life, when you want stuff that isn't standard you generally have to pay more.  :shrug

    I'm also reluctant to drop this on a holster maker without getting pretty darn close to a viable design.  You're being very kind by offering suggestions and giving sound advice, but I doubt anyone would  take on this project mostly for the "challenge" of it. :rotfl   
    If I weren't the one wanting this I'd say it had the potential to be a real PITA ,  and a holster maker could probably make more than a few standard holster in the time it would take to create this one oddball.   





    *Now for a much lighter pistol that might be just the ticket, and I'm surprised that no one has done that yet.

    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Holster quandry.....
    « Reply #18 on: April 25, 2017, 04:19:31 PM »
    Well on the dummy gun it's more availability than anything else holding you back there. Duncan's since they do sand cast dummy guns they destroy the mold so to speak when they make them. As a result they build batches and when they are available that's great, but they may not make that same model again for years. I've been waiting for several to pop up like a HK P7 PSP well since 2009;) I can get the P7M8 all day long from Ring's in Fl, but I can't get a PSP at all from anywhere;)

    Best of my knowledge Duncan's hasn't cast a Witness in quite a while or at least I haven't seen it on the updates they send me each month. But their Dummy gun section has gone through allot of guys doing the job and some better than others at informing holster makers what is coming down the pipe and what is available. There are a bunch of small guys doing dummy guns now too, but since I've been across their sites recently looking for a few oddballs I can also say they didn't have one listed at least on the ones I covered, there could be more out there but I made a list up for a holster maker group on Facebook recently which covered all the ones the members were aware of(and we've got 15,000 members right now from memory;).

    Cost wise I typically don't charge for dummy guns, but once in a while I do. If it's an oddball I don't think I'll use very often at all then I will since I've got some dummy guns in my collection that have been there for years and I've only used them once;) So in this case since you're the second guy to ask in 7+ years probably I'd charge for it if one were available;)

    Agreed on the reinforcement I think for most vests that's the only way it would work without sagging with the heavier weight guns. I think the main reason no one has done it is two fold, one vests aren't that popular, then cross that with guys carrying concealed who want a vest holster and you've got a pretty small demographic. Probably smaller than big names in holsters would tackle, but of course being a small guy myself it's not out of the question. My biggest concern is how functional the end result would be, since at the end of the day that's the most important piece for me. And I'll fall back to the same demographic bit about dummy guns, you're the first guy to ask me so to speak about it;) So if after this many years answering questions about weird carry methods you're the first it's probably a pretty niche carry method since I get some odd questions;)

    On cost for production absolutely, typically I take on more oddball requests than I should and they all take a bit more time than I should spend. Some of that is the reason my lead varies, occasionally I'll take something on that seems pretty simple and ends up being a monster to build out. Typically I lose money on those projects, though sometimes I end up with a new holster design to put on the site through that same process. So I haven't decided if it's worth it long term but I do it's fairly often. Though I'll admit the last year or so I've turned down more and more of them to try and keep up with orders and keep my lead time more stable.

    In this case the velcro thing I could do fairly easily so that's something I wouldn't turn down if I had the dummy gun. The vertical rig pretty much the same, so the snag for me helping out is purely being able to get the dummy gun for it. The only guy I know who owns one who happens to be the other guy who asked me about it is a buddy of mine in VA, and that's about 1,500 miles from here;)

    Take care!

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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