Monday, July 18, 2016
What the Hell?!? Sticky Holsters…the damn things work!
I wrote the “Plainclothes” column in the now defunct Harris Publications magazine GUNS AMD WEAPONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT for 17 years. While the column covered many topic related to plainclothes work, off-duty tactics and concealed carry, many, many columns were dedicated to concealment holsters. I was fortunate to be a magazine writer in a time when gun magazines were king, before gun T.V. shows and the Internet killed them off. Thus, I was (literally) surrounded by concealment holsters most of the time. Many manufacturers used to send their rigs to me unsolicited so I could (hopefully) test and evaluate them in my column. As much as I would have liked to give every rig some attention, many did not make it into print.
I left the column (actually thrown out when Editor Harry Kane retired and the “Women of Harris” took over) with a few thoughts that I maintain to this day:
1. There are only so many ways to conceal a gun on the human body and we know them all.
2. Off body carry is a real bad idea.
3. You can conceal too deep…if it takes longer than two seconds to dig your gun out from under all the layers of clothing you are wearing and get a solid hit on target, you need to reevaluate your carry method.
4. Don’t worry about your concealed gun being seen…most people don’t notice, including the police.
5. If your mode of carry is not comfortable you will not carry it. As much as I respect the great Clint Smith (I consider him a mentor) his admonition “Its not supposed to be comfortable, it’s supposed to be comforting” is universally ignored by many gun carriers.
6. As Mike Boyle admonishes, there is a difference between concealed carry and plainclothes carry…something plainclothes cops do, armed citizens do not.
7. Carry always or don’t carry at all…you can’t tell when you will need a gun based on where you are going. “I’m going to my parents house…I won’t need it there!” How do you know? One never knows what crazy person resides near your folk’s house.
8. COPS: YOU DO NOT REMEMBER EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER ARRESTED…BUT THEY SURE REMEMBER YOU!
Last but not least, holsters designed to carry a variety of guns seldom work. Yes, I have seen a few that have functioned, but they were generally clunky and were too bulky for true concealment. I have become quite skeptical of the claims of many holster makers, which has led me to stay with conventional carry rigs. I addition, I am not a fan of pocket carry…yes, I know how convenient it is, especially in summer, but I do not like the limited access due to being seated, etc.
I have seen the Sticky holster around but had, quite frankly, ignored it thinking it was just another pocket rig. I am a ferocious reader, having books stacked up for months in advance, alternating between fiction and non-fiction as I have found little of interest on television. Even the news can wear one down, watching the same story discussed again and again by “taking heads” that don’t know any more about the subject that I do. Sigh…
While reading Brad Thor’s new thriller (Mr. Thor is a gun guy, I met him at the Las Vegas airport as we both waited on a flight), I read his main character was wearing his pistol IWB in a Sticky holster. The character liked the rig, as it would say in place without clips, snaps or straps and was quite comfortable. “What bullshit!” I thought, but then I don’t know everything. I went to the Sticky web site and checked it out. This is what they said about their “stick in place” IWB rig:
“The outside skin is a super non-slip material that, with a little pressure, adheres to just about anything. That outer material combined with the inner closed-cell foam and the inner-liner keep your pistol and the holster securely in place. In the pocket, it works like any other pocket holster. However, when you pull the gun, the outer layer grabs the inside of your pocket. Our modular products use the same “Sticky” material against itself to hold the concealment holster and gun in place. In addition, with use and body heat, your Sticky Holster will conform to your particular gun, making a custom fit.”
Color me skeptical here…this sounded like all of the claims of the concealed carry rigs of my past. At the same time, it is 90 plus degrees in Ohio with 80 to 90 percent humidity, making concealed carry a real challenge…what if the rig did work? A check of Amazon revealed I could buy one for my Glock 43 for 25 bucks with free shipping. Hey, I’m willing to risk 25 bucks, so I ordered one.
I have been wearing it for the last few weeks, day in and day out, and it has done exactly what it claims! Now, please understand I have not done cartwheels or taken a Greg Ellifritz CQC course, but for routine daily wear it has performed exemplary. Up and own, in and out, kneeling, running, getting in and out of cars, the rig has not shifted and the gun is quick to draw. No, it is not a gun school rig as you need to remove the holster to put the gun back in place, but it is secure and fast to draw.
I have a good friend who has worn his Sticky holster with a Glock 43 on a weeklong motorcycle trip with no issues and he admitted he was originally as skeptical as I was. He bought his Sticky rig at the Louisville NRA Show, having stopped by the booth and spoken with the folks who make them. “Dave”, he told me, “what I liked about these guys was they were willing to praise other company’s rigs. They just felt theirs was better. I really respect that!” I do too and even though I have no idea how the holster will perform in a knock down, drag out fight I do not plan to get in one if at all possible. I’m too damn old! You know what the say about old folks… don’t try to fight with them, they’ll just kill you! Sounds like a good pan to my old ass 61 year -old body!
I have been so pleased with the Sticky holster/Glock 43 combo that I ordered one for my Glock 19, which is my preferred concealed carry pistol. Stand by for a report on this combo down the road…
Now…without a doubt…there will be someone who will feel compelled to log in below and offer a horror story about the Sticky rig and how it slipped and shot them in the dick. Please try to ignore them…they are haters and usually do not know what they are talking about. They want to raise their own profile and they do so by being a f*#k tard. Take it from someone who has been in this business for decades, try the Sticky for yourself…there is no guarantee of success for YOU, but there is little risk here…and you might just discover a very useful rig!
Thanks for checking in!