Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

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Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#1

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:06 pm

Post complete and open for discussion.

Thank you for your patience.

Flint.
Last edited by flintknapper on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#2

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:08 pm

O.K. folks, lets take an honest look at horizontal shoulder carry. This thread is spawned from the thread below…and is intended to provide you with some information that you might not be aware of. But, also to establish a venue in which to exchange ideas and help folks decide if Shoulder Carry is a viable option for them.

http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=31109" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Before we get started…let me first say this:

I am NOT taking the position, or suggesting in any way… that S/C is a superior mode of carry for the average citizen. I carry in that mode…not by choice, but by necessity. I have a shoulder injury that limits the range of motion in my right arm; else I would choose to carry Strong Side IWB.

Just the same, in 13 yrs. of Shoulder Carry…I have found very few things about S/C that are objectionable. We can talk about that later. For now, I will simply show you two methods of drawing your weapon that dramatically reduce the “muzzle sweep” attendant with the “Television Version”….while shortening the draw stroke at the same time.

I am first going to post some generic pics that we will be referring back to in later discussions. Also, pics of a simple and inexpensive Visual Aid Tool you can make to help illustrate and track your draw-stroke when you first start.


The only items needed…will be a small roll of electrical tape and a 3’ wooden dowel (both available at your local hardware store for about $2.00). Presumably, you already have the weapon(s) you intend to carry. You will NOT be using a shoulder holster at this juncture, so if you don’t yet have one, no need to worry.
Image


The dowel you purchase should be slightly smaller than the diameter of your barrel. You can then “build up” the dowel to achieve a snug fit within the barrel. I suggest you build up the dowel in two spots only…as shown here:
Image

Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#3

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:10 pm

The rest is self explanatory:
Image

Image

Image

Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#4

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:12 pm

IMPORTANT WARNING!

If you are not comfortable using a real weapon to train with, then buy a cheap Air-Soft facsimile of your gun and tape the dowel to it. However, I recommend using the actual weapon you intend to carry, since nothing else will accurately replicate the weight and feel of it.

It should go “without saying”, MAKE CERTAIN your firearm is unloaded before inserting the dowel… or practicing the draw-stroke. Check, double check, then triple check…that the chamber/cylinder is empty! If you are not capable of verifying the weapon is empty, STOP NOW.

Practice your “doweled” draw-stroke only over a soft surface (carpet, lawn, etc).

The reason for this…is that you will not be using your holster at this stage. Obviously, you can not draw the weapon from your holster with a 3’ dowel in the barrel. Practice will be done by simply “clamping” the weapon to your side, using your arm.

Most folks can do this with no trouble…but there will always be someone who is a bit “clumsy”. We don’t want your weapon falling onto a hard floor/surface if you happen to drop it. Please heed this warning.

The average person will be done establishing “muzzle track” in 10-15 minutes. After that, you are done with the dowel and ready to move on to practicing the hand/arm/wrist motions from your holster. (Again, with an UNLOADED weapon).============================================================
Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#5

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:13 pm

Let me get the generic pics posted, before we move on to the tutorial:

Generic:

Fit your weapon such that it rides fairly high. Not jammed in the arm pit, but not below the midline of the upper arm. Women might carry a bit lower.
Image

Most weapons…in most holsters…will benefit from a counter-balance on the opposite side (extra mag, flashlight, other, can be used). You don’t have to match the weight of your weapon.
Image


Depending upon your physique, you should be able to find a spot that is comfortable and does not impede the normal motion of your arms.
Image

Generic Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#6

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:16 pm

When properly adjusted, your weapon should not break the plane of your chest. Yes, I am larger than the average person…but most people can easily hide a weapon whose total length does not exceed 8”.
Image

Image


For those worried that their weapon could easily be snatched from the front, fret not. With your arms/hands raised into a neutral position, you can’t even see the weapon, let alone grab it (without a fight). In this pic..I am not blading, which would further protect it.
Image

Generic Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#7

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:19 pm

I think this photo depicts what people must be thinking….when they claim “your draw can easily be trapped or stalled”. Of course, I’d have to agree. Solution: BLADE!
Image

Here…I am “bladed” to about the same extent that a person wearing “strong side” would be. The weapon is adequately protected, you aren’t going to pin my arm easily and the draw-stroke will be as short as a retention draw from strong side. I could blade even more if necessary.
Image

Continued…..
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#8

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:20 pm

O.K., lets get to the mechanics of the two draw-strokes I have been talking about. Both of these techniques require you be able to open your cover garment enough to make the draw-stroke. With the first technique… not much room is needed, using the second technique… you will need to open your garment about 90 degrees on your weapon side.

The following technique is the one I use when I need to keep the weapon in close to my body and the “initial” weak position of the arm is not a concern (not fighting someone).

Please note: For photographic purposes…I am standing with my front to you and have moved my arm out of the way. Normally, I would be bladed (time and space permitting).
Here… you see a good grip on the weapon and the draw has been initiated.
Image



Once the muzzle has cleared the holster, immediately direct it toward the ground. Keeping your elbow and arm in close (muzzle still down)… begin to “trace” the outline of your body…bringing the weapon toward your midsection.
Image


By the time you reach your midline…you should already be bladed toward your threat or area of concern. The next step would be to straighten the wrist and arm while bringing in the support hand. I want you to look carefully at this photo because it reveals what I believe is a weak position for the arm to be in.

A sharp blow against the hand (in the direction of the red arrow)…could cause injury to the wrist and possibly dislodge the weapon from your hand. Don’t leave the weapon in this position (unsupported). Straighten the wrist and rotate the arm as soon as possible.
Image

D/S1 Continued…..
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#9

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:23 pm

Here we see the wrist beginning to straighten and the arm rotate. The support hand now comes into play.
Image


Follow with your normal grip and appropriate presentation to the threat.
Image


Alternately…you can go directly from your midline to “Position Sul” if the situation calls for that. In fact, I use this draw-stroke and go directly to P/S more often… than for any other reason.
Image
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#10

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:24 pm

D/S2
In the next set of photos I have enlisted the help of my good friend “LT”.

He graciously donated his time to become a “model” for me to photograph. Hopefully, the combination of close up photos….matched to LT’s “muzzle track” photos… will show how “sweeping” unintended targets can be avoided to a large degree.

In the course of illustrating the muzzle track…I will also point out the differences between this draw-stroke and the first one. When done properly, it is very fast, makes a fairly short draw-stroke, maintains a stronger arm position and does not cover anyone unless they are very close to you (or in the zone directly behind…when the weapon first clears the holster).

Let’s examine the “zone” behind the holster for a moment. I want to be perfectly clear about this: It exists…and can not be avoided completely.

With a horizontal shoulder holster, when you initiate your draw (hand upon weapon) the track of the muzzle is behind you and then arcs downward for a brief period of time. This is a fact too plain to require argument and a valid concern if poor gun handling skills are at play (finger on trigger).

It is for that very reason …I started looking at ways to avoid muzzle sweep (as much as is possible)…but still achieve a quick, controllable draw. If you have normal range of motion in your wrist and arm….and follow these instructions, you can develop a draw-stroke that amounts to nothing more than a “flick of the wrist”.


This draw-stroke starts as per all others (get a firm grip on the weapon, disengage any retention features):
Image

Here is the equivalent demonstrated by LT:
Image
Image

D/S2 Continued…..
Last edited by flintknapper on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#11

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:27 pm

In the next step there is one important thing to note:

1. Notice the weapon is rotated away from the body as you begin the draw. Depending upon your holster, this can be done within the first few inches of the draw-stroke. It is this “angle” that allows the muzzle to track in close to you as you straighten out your wrist. You need only rotate your wrist and forearm enough to achieve a 30-45 degree angle on the weapon. The motion is exactly the same as turning a key in your front door or using a screwdriver (not complicated, not stressing).
Image

Equivalent demonstrated by LT:
Image
Image

D/S2 Continued…..
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#12

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:28 pm

Here the weapon has fully cleared the holster, is still canted and is already in the downward arc created as you straighten your wrist. At this stage… the wrist is still bent significantly, but the arm (forearm) is not in a downward facing position as with the first draw-stroke discussed. This is a much stronger and natural position for the arm.
Image

Equivalent demonstrated by LT:
Image
^^^^^^^^
Addendum to above: This pic clearly demonstrates a portion of the draw-stroke that is always present with horizontal shoulder carry. As stated earlier, it is brief in duration….but can be a concern in some circumstances. Just being truthful!

D/S2 Continued…..
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#13

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:29 pm

Here you can see that we are at the end of articulation. The wrist is nearly straight and weapon has basically traveled its arc. The forearm (and palm of hand) never point toward the ground (rendering the arm weak). All that is left to do now…is to lift the muzzle and present the weapon as per normal.
Image

Equivalent demonstrated by LT:
The “muzzle track” has been painted out on the ground. This represents about the largest distance the “sweep” would encompass. LT easily brought the line in closer to his body than what is shown here, but we wanted to account for stress and less than perfect draw-strokes.
Image
Image

D/S2 Continued…..
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#14

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:30 pm

D/S2 Continued…..

Here is the completion of the draw-stroke, body is already bladed toward threat, support hand completes the grip and presentation is made if appropriate.
Image
Image

Equivalent demonstrated by LT:
Image
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Re: Shoulder Holster Solutions.......

#15

Post by flintknapper » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:32 pm

Comments:

Both draw-strokes were purposely exaggerated (made larger)…than they are in real life for photographic reasons. The second draw-stroke…I call the “wrist flick” is very quick and easy to do….but not applicable in all situations.

There are other useful draw-strokes (weak hand draw, across the chest draw) that might need to be used under certain conditions.

I.E. when seated in a vehicle or in a booth at a restaurant…an “across the chest” draw will probably be your best bet if mobility is limited. It is another draw-stroke that is often poorly done…and can be “tightened up” significantly with very little practice.

I know at this point…many of you have questions or comments and some are itching to debate what has been presented here.

I am happy to answer any questions that I can…and I am willing to engage in thoughtful and respectful debate. Actually, I think it high-time that the shoulder carry issue be discussed here. IMO, there exists many double standards and misinformation on the subject.

It is my hope that this thread will remain civil and not become too argumentative, else it will be closed before anyone can benefit from it.

So………let’s hear what you have to say!


Flint.

P.S. (Thank you, LT for your help and participation).
Spartans ask not how many, but where!

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