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Old 11 May 2008, 21:37
Ordinary Average Guy Ordinary Average Guy is offline
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Are S.O.B. holsters really that bad?

Is carrying concealed with a small-of-back holster a bad practice?

I CCW, and have recently come 'round to the school of full-size, single-stack 1911s. Thanks to those of you who helped me with that decision--I don't know why it took me so long to join the club.

I have been shopping for a new rig and carry method. I have been using a kangaroo shirt, which is kind of a cross between a belly band and a compression shirt, that keeps a handgun muzzle down, about eight inches to the right of my navel.

Due to a change in working environment, I have decided to explore other--perhaps more comfortable--carry methods. The one that I'm leaning toward the most is the S.O.B.

I understand the supposed practical limitations: difficult to access in the car (I use a seperate, clip-on, crossdraw holster in the car already); can be seen if the wearer is squatting or bending over (not a problem for me at work--I have a CCW-friendly job; and I honestly cannot remember the last time I bent over in public around strangers).

The reason I like the S.O.B. is that I find it most comfortable for me. The drawstroke seems the easiest, the most natural, and the least telegraphic for me with a 1911. The S.O.B. rig that I've been trying out is like this one: My second choice for comfort is like this one:, except I had Bob bring the back of the holster all the way up to the beavertail, so there's leather between me and the gun. It's nice, but the drawstroke is slower and a little more awkward for me. I don't care much for IWB holsters, and a shoulder holster isn't practical for me.

Recently, I've read some articles on the stupidnet lambasting S.O.B. holsters for being potentially hazardous to the wearer's health. The crux of the arguement is that a confrontation may degenerate into violence so quickly that the wearer of the S.O.B. rig might not have time enough to draw, then he finds himself pushed or thrown to the hard deck, where the S.O.B.-holstered pistol becomes the instrument of his disability by breaking his spine.

I can't argue with the theoretical possibility of something like this occuring, but is this a legitimate and practical concern? Is it enough of a possibility that I should scratch the S.O.B. from my list? Anybody been through enough fistfights or takedowns with an S.O.B.-holstered gun to have a say one way or the other?
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Old 11 May 2008, 22:15
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The Fat Guy The Fat Guy is online now
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That SOB!


I have carried a large frame auto (a Glock 21) just behind my right hip for over 15 years. I have also taught 100's of private citizens to carry concealed over the years. Here are my issues with an SOB holster.

Draw stroke issues:
1. This is about as long a draw stroke as you can make. You have to bring the weapon from the middle of your back all the way around to the front of you body for proper presentation. This leads to #2.
2. It is very difficult to perfect this draw stroke without flagging yourself (Covering your body with the muzzle of the weapon.
3. (This is my own personal problem) I am wider than my arms are long. I have to reach to an uncomfortable position to draw from an SOB holster.

1. At some point in time, even on the range practicing, you have to reholster, again very difficult to do without flagging yourself.
2. If you are on the range, when you are reholstering, you end up pointing your weapon down the firing line as opposed to down range. This makes me nervous as an instructor.

Gun retention
1. It is very difficult with one of these holsters. Outstretched hands are your only option. With a behind the hip option, you can use your arm and elbow to aid in retaining your firearm.

As far as your spine being broken, well, maybe not, IMHO many gun articles are written by authors who have more enthusiasm than experience. There is some validity to the statement about being on your back and havng access, however if you get physically knocked down with your pistol holstered, you don't have the proper situational awareness training to be carrying a CW anyway.

1. This is also a big consideration. I tell my students that holsters are like women's shoes, you are gonna have a bunch of them. That 2.2 lb pistol at 0800 will weigh 6 lbs at 1800.
2. Just like uncomfortable shoes, you won't carry an uncomfortable holster, which means you go unarmed, that isn't good either.

The main thing is to practice with what you carry. Practice your draw stroke, practicing reholstering (NO Flagging!) and practice shooting the pistol you intend to carry, over and over. Draw and Shoot offhand and draw from odd positions like in a chair or car, with stuff in your hands etc. But Practice and when you are done, practice some more.
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Last edited by The Fat Guy; 11 May 2008 at 22:17. Reason: I can shoot but not spell
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Old 12 May 2008, 06:38
Sinister Dave Sinister Dave is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Park City, Utah
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I've carried an M1911A1 and Browning Mark III in an Andy Arratoonian Horseshoe Leather "SOB" holster on three continents.

It is a wonderful concealment holster. It blows if you're sitting (like in a vehicle or aircraft). It does its job of hiding the fact you're carrying a pistol (you can wear it under an un-tucked T-shirt and not print like you would a hip holster).

Getting punched or tackled and landing on your pistol? What the f@ck were you doing to get into that situation and position?

I have damaged my right shoulder enough that I may not be able to use the SOB any more due to restricted range of motion, but it's comfortable and definitely hides your weapon better at the cost of sitting or reclining on it.
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Old 12 May 2008, 07:23
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18C4V 18C4V is offline
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I got a Galco SOB holster for my Glock 23 and I like it. I use it sometimes for off duty. Like others stated, it sucks sitting down and you have to make sure you're shirt is covering it when you stand up.

The great thing about it if you're getting robbed and someone want's your're not telegraphing your intent.
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Old 12 May 2008, 08:05
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SOTB SOTB is offline
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I wear either an IWB strong-side or an OWB strong-side, behind my back, on my strong side. Due to the fantastic discomfort of the IWB, I don't wear that very often.

Draws are slower when worn behind the back, but t-shirts cover my gun (as long as I don't bend over or have many stretching movements), and IMO, the gun is more accessible when seated in a vehicle than if you had it low and in the center of your back. Of course, perhaps you should be thinking of moving the vehicle rather than trying to pull a gun, anyway.

I've never had anything in the direct center of the small portion of my back when I've fallen backwards, so I can't relate to whether those stories are BS or not. I have slipped and fallen, though -- including on my back. I'd hate to have something like my equipment cause me to be more hurt than I was before (SA hasn't always kept me out of trouble, although sometimes I have to admit I ignored common sense and did stupid shit anyway)....
Losing faith in humanity, one assclown at a time....
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Old 12 May 2008, 11:58
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Sharky Sharky is offline
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Everything is give and take. Just like the balance between security and convenience. The deeper its concealed the longer it takes to get it out. Ask a question about anything gun-related around gun guys and you will get responses from both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between.

Evaluate your situation.

Buy what works for you and your situation.

Re-evaluate and adjust as necessary.

Keep it simple.

Train with it just like you wear it everyday.

As was said, if it's not comfortable you wont wear it.
I was born my papa's son
When I hit the ground I was on the run
I had one glad hand and the other behind
You can have yours, just give me mine
When the hound dog barkin' in the black of the night
Stick my hand in my pocket, everything's all right

-ZZ Top
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Old 20 May 2008, 10:23
DaedalusX DaedalusX is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: James' Bay. Canada
Posts: 331
What about Smart Carry ?

Sounds great for pocket-size pistols and sub-compact Glocks ...

Even with a full-size 1911 I don't see how it wouldn't work.
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