August 04, 2006

Guns : Defending the SoBs

Small of Back and Middle of Back carry, a form of concealed carry where the gun is holstered right above the base of the spine, gets a lot of flack. The GunZone seems to house the single most commonly quoted complaints about this choice, but the same general complaints have been stated elsewhere to no end.

I won't deny that the complaints can be valid. Small of Back carry is not the fastest draw, and for those in good physical shape, it is not as concealable as most forward IWB carry. Bending over can result in significant printing. And I can't deny that it doesn't provide much in terms of protection against theft of firearms.

But many of these issues can be countered, and many benefits of small of back holsters are ignored in such debates.

For example, there are ways to safely draw and holster a gun from the small of back position : take up a tucked in Weaver stance and you never have to point the barrel anywhere but downrange or at the ground next to you. This is little more dangerous than the alternative waistband holsters, and less so than examples like pocket holsters or (both of which point the barrel directly at flesh when being holstered). With skill, they can be made significantly less dangerous than offside carry, which I've found it near impossible to draw without swiping a good third of the location or dislocating your shoulder.

I find it to be a very strong concealment solution. With a loud Hawaiian shirt, a loose blouse, or a long suit jacket, the gun remains covered fairly well, and does so without unusual printing. As long as you bend with your knees, the most significant printing I've seen is no worse than a cell phone.

The risk of injury during a fall, I will admit, does exist, but is fairly exaggerated for normal carry. Normal civilians aren't likely to start brawling with another human - in the situations which justify a criminal knowing about your gun the least of your worries is being knocked backwards. With larger guns, the majority of pressure goes onto the buttocks and lower left side. Smaller guns can easily be placed at a 5 or 7 O'clock position on the waist, removing the issue entirely.

But Small of Back carry has advantages to make up for these faults or the time spent to counter these faults. SoB can hold guns that are too large to conceal on the side or even wear. It supports weight evenly on both legs, again an advantage for larger gun carry. Another big advantage is that is draw is not as hugely telegraphed as conventional side and front draws. While a strong side holster is so well known for its draw that many knife instructors warn against carrying there (or risk being seen as drawing a gun), drawing from a small of back carry is nearly identical to pulling our a wallet.

It is not a good method of carry for those who are planning to sit in a car for hours. I wouldn't suggest it if you can reliably conceal and comfortably carry the same gun in a strong side holster. But it remains a valuable choice that many are far too willing to brush over.

The above is an editted version of a post from the day before, which I realized was far too confrontational.


Post a Comment

<< Home