The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 21, 2012, 12:05 PM   #1
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
CCW on a motorcycle

I live in MD so I don't carry often, thus if I learn from my own mistakes it will take a long time. I have a UT non-res carry permit, and I am in WV, VA or PA where I can carry fairly often. I do often carry around my apartment, so I have learned from trial-and-error which gun sizes and holster styles I prefer (I do have the required box of holsters that didn't work). However, I love to ride my motorcycle, and not living in a carry state I haven't figured that part out through trial-and-error. I often find myself choosing between carrying and taking the car, or not carrying and riding my bike when going out of state, and I'd like to be more easily able to do both. So, I figured I'd put it out there to the TFL community to see how you guys who carry regularly and ride handle the combination.

Here are some of the considerations for me:
-I normally do like pocket carry. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with it on the bike. Usually, everything stays in my pocket when I sit, but we have all had the situation where we sit in a chair or our car seat and we have something fall out of our pocket. Should that happen with my gun while in my car, I will still have my gun. If I had the gun in my pants pocket on the bike I'd hate to have it fall out on the road and lose it. While that isn't much of a possibility, it also wouldn't be accessible should I need it while actually riding. If I put it in one of the zippered pockets of my riding jacket, it still wouldn't be very accessible (it would be behind a zipper) and it would be far less accessible when off the bike than normal pocket carry. So, I'm not sure I'd be happy with pocket carry on the motorcycle.

-Because MD is not a carry state (technically we are, but not in any practical terms), and due to our strict transport laws, I usually use a holster which is relatively easily removable so I can have the gun and holster in the trunk while still in MD. I have a paddle holster, though I'm not crazy about it, most are IWB holsters with clips, and I'm considering some IWB and belt holsters which use loops with snaps. None of these would be acceptable to me on the motorcycle. IWB or high ride belt/pancake holsters would be fine, but they have to attach more securely to my belt.

-I usually use an open top holster, but similar to a holster which is easily removable, I want retention of some kind on the motorcycle. I'm not sure I want a thumb break though since keeping it as close to the same draw process as my other IWB and belt holsters would be preferable.

I am thinking about the possibility of cross draw on the motorcycle. If I did that, I'd probably switch to cross draw full-time (again, to keep my draw as consistent as possible for training purposes).

I'm also thinking about just carrying in my normal location (strong-side IWB, pocket, or belt), but with a more secure holster so as to minimize the chance of losing the gun, and not worrying about accessibility while on the motorcycle. Then, so I could have a gun I could get to while on the bike, I might add an ankle holster. I've thought about this anyway in order to have a gun I could more easily get to when driving as well, and a primary and backup is never a bad idea.


So, those of you who regularly ride and carry, what do you do? Do you carry any differently when riding than when driving? Am I worrying too much about losing the gun (I'm sure I am) and I should just use the same holsters I normally would? What suggestions do you have for me?

Last edited by chaim; October 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM.
chaim is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 12:17 PM   #2
Vireye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 202
I don't ride often, but I use a leather shoulder holster for my Sig under a jacket. Doesn't print or show, and it's secure. Doesn't really meet your desire to have a holster you can easily (read: discretely) remove and stash somewhere...

The vast majority of the time I carry strong side OWB w/ a thumb break (Desantis three-slot pancake).
Vireye is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 12:21 PM   #3
Grant D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2011
Location: Brazos County, Texas
Posts: 792
I carry on my bike, the same as in my truck.
A Ruger LC9 in a Crossbreed hoslter,strong side,which helps on the bike as I'm left handed.
And my LCP weak side back pocket.
In 45 years, I've never had anything fall out of my pocket while I'm on my bike.
Grant D is online now  
Old October 21, 2012, 12:35 PM   #4
Axelwik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2012
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 371
I carry a light revolver when riding (Ruger LCR) and it goes into a pocket holster zipped into a riding jacket pocket.
Axelwik is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 12:58 PM   #5
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
I keep a P3AT .380 in my vest's gun pocket. Very slim, and essentially goes unnoticed.
__________________
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 01:25 PM   #6
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
Quote:
I don't ride often, but I use a leather shoulder holster for my Sig under a jacket. Doesn't print or show, and it's secure. Doesn't really meet your desire to have a holster you can easily (read: discretely) remove and stash somewhere...
In the car I use holsters that I can discretely (you're right, better word for what I mean than "easily") remove or put on while in the car due to MD laws. If I am wearing an empty holster I am likely to have the car searched should I be stopped in MD and the officer sees the holster. MD transport laws are strict. Home to the range (and back), home to a gunsmith (and back), to and from dog training or hunting, and from the store to home (at time of delivery) are about all that are legal. Even stopping on your way home for a burger, gas or just to use the bathroom are all illegal. The state AG is on record as saying (in a letter- it wasn't just on the cuff remarks, it's official policy) that the federal law protecting interstate travel with firearms only applies to people going through MD and does not apply when the origin or destination is MD (so since I start in MD when leaving, and my destination is MD when returning, it wouldn't apply). I recently applied and became a "Designated Regulated Firearms Collector" in the State of MD so I can now also legally transport some or all of my guns to hold a "public or private exhibition", so I am also legal if I go to someone's house where I'm going and show them my guns (that status also allows me to ignore MD's one a month law).

All that said as to why I usually am very careful about the type of holster I use, I may go the easy route when using the motorcycle and ride there with an open holster and simply put my gun in the holster once I get there. Now that I'm a "designated collector" (i.e. I filled out a notarized form stating that I am a collector, the state ran another background check on me and I got a letter stating that I was accepted), I am OK even if I return home at hours a range would be closed since I could be coming home from a friend's house (and MD is bad, believe me, I'm covering my bases and at some point in the trip I am going to a friends or family member's house and asking if they want to see my guns, if anyone lives near where I'm traveling). Still, since I won't be able to slip into the car to discretely place the gun in the holster, I may still travel without the holster on my person. I can have the holster and gun in some kind of bag (small duffel, backpack, whatever) and at my first stop out of MD I can use a public bathroom to put on my holster and place my gun in the holster.
chaim is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 01:30 PM   #7
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
Quote:
I carry on my bike, the same as in my truck.
A Ruger LC9 in a Crossbreed hoslter,strong side,which helps on the bike as I'm left handed.
And my LCP weak side back pocket.
In 45 years, I've never had anything fall out of my pocket while I'm on my bike.
Hmm, back pocket carry might not be a bad idea. It may be a little easier to access while on a motorcycle than a pocket holster in a front pocket (when stopped anyway). Since most attackers would probably be robbing you, the motion to your back pocket could pass as you going for your wallet. Unfortunately, my favorite advantage of pocket carry would be impossible with back pocket carry (the ability to put your hand in your pocket and on your gun without brandishing or drawing extra attention if you think there may be a threat but you aren't yet 100% sure), but on a motorcycle it wouldn't really be feasible even if the gun was in the front pocket so that might be a good option.

Last edited by chaim; October 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM.
chaim is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 01:40 PM   #8
Hitme
Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 56
Chaim, I understand your situation. I live in MO. and it shares a border with 8 different states so I always have to be aware of where I am. Especially Ill. I have a bagger with a tour-pak so, when I have to, I just unload and lock in either my saddlebag or tour-pak. I am a CCW holder and if I CAN carry, I wear a S&W Model 638 in a shoulder holster and/or Springfield .45 Micro-compact or my Ruger SP101 in a Yaqui slide on my strong side. They are covered by either my denim or leather vest. I never worry about them falling out even in the event of a get-off. I am currently looking at a Cross draw.
Hitme is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 02:35 PM   #9
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,384
I know one guy who uses a lanyard when horse back riding .Does that work with a bike ??
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 04:00 PM   #10
osbornk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2012
Location: Marion, Va
Posts: 215
With my full face helmet, gloves and jacket I wear when I ride, I couldn't get to my gun in a timely manner if I wanted to. I just leave mine in my trunk and depend on the former Special Forces veteran who rides shotgun and always has a gun with him. Another riding buddy also has his with him but I don't think he could hit the broad side of a barn door with it.
osbornk is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 05:00 PM   #11
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 4,985
Just so I understand, is your primary concern A) access, B) retention, or C) the negative effects of landing on it in a get-off?
orionengnr is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 06:03 PM   #12
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
While I could carry on my mcycle I don't. Even if I could fit a smaller gun in the trunk space (like an LCP) the heat from my exhaust would probably melt the gun to the plastic (it happened to a small can of Honda polish I had in there).

Besides while wearing full one piece leathers, gauntlet type gloves and other necessary accessories it's just not practical to wear a shoulder rig under all that nor would it be easily accessable.

I think about when I am most vulnerable while on the bike, which would probably be while at gas stops out on the ride. I ride exclusively during the day and mostly stop at large gas stations where I can grab a drink and fill up. No hanging out at restaurants, no going to bike nights, no group cruises, no riding on the highway in formation etc. Most likely me and 1 or 2 buddies out carving up the backroads for 200 to 300 miles and then right back home.

If someone wants to jack my bike during the middle of the day while I'm getting gas, they can have it. Not likely anyone will try to chase us down and shoot at us either. For the most part the threat level is low and I see no need to carry while riding. If something does happen, so be it.
p loader is offline  
Old October 21, 2012, 09:20 PM   #13
chaim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,539
Quote:
Just so I understand, is your primary concern A) access, B) retention, or C) the negative effects of landing on it in a get-off?
Good question.

The main reason I don't carry when I can when riding is retention concerns. I know it is unlikely, but I want to minimize my chances of the gun ending up on the road, so I want a holster with more retention characteristics than is typically needed in a "civilian" CCW situation.

However, I also feel I need to change my typical carry methods a bit (and not simply go with a holster with some retention features, but carried in my usual manner) because most of my typical methods would make the gun difficult to draw should it be needed.

I should add a third that I didn't even mention in my original post, concealment. When riding, the typical riding jacket is waist length, not longer (though it is cut a little longer in the back). I can see why many people give up on accessibility and go with shoulder harnesses when riding. So, a tuckable IWB (though, the shirt might ride up a bit while riding), some kind of pocket carry, or a high rise that will hide completely under a waist length jacket would be a good option for this concern.

When I first started riding, I worried about what might happen if I was thrown off and landed on my gun. I still won't do a small of the back carry option (though I don't like that one even when not riding), but otherwise, that doesn't concern me much anymore. If I go down while carrying, most likely I'll land on something other than my gun, and no matter what I do there is a good chance my gun will be thrown somewhere down the (or off the) road.

So if I was to rank my concerns for riding carry, my priorities would be:
1st: rentention
2nd: tie between concealment and accessibility
Last: what happens if I go down while carrying
chaim is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 12:03 AM   #14
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,530
One more thing to consider, crashing. A piece of steel on your hip could cause some serious damage if you fall off.
chris in va is offline  
Old October 22, 2012, 08:50 AM   #15
AH.74
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Location: Hermit's Peak
Posts: 623
I wear jackets that fit tightly across the waist and upper body, so they don't ride up at all on my torso when I'm riding. For that reason, my normal carry method of on the waist will not work.

I wanted a shoulder holster for accessibility.

I chose a Miami Classic Lite shoulder holster for a few reasons. Primarily, the harness system is exactly the same as with the higher-end models. After that- I did not need a fancy fitted leather unit, so there is considerable cost savings. The Lite model is thick suede, but has a snap and holds the gun very tight even unsnapped- it will never come out without a strong, deliberate pull.

Another thing I liked about the Lite model is that the spare mag carrier on the weak side is only a single unit, and not a double- I thought that would be too bulky for me and it has worked out to be a good decision. I've never carried two spares on my belt, so don't need two under the arm.

It may not be as easy to take off and stow away, but there are workarounds for that- on the rare occasion I have needed to take it off and stow it in public, I choose a parking spot as far away from prying eyes as possible, park and kneel down behind the bike. Then I take my jacket off, take the holster off and keep it out of sight as I pack it away. Like most things, there is usually a compromise.

I hope this helps.
AH.74 is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 12:02 AM   #16
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,883
I would say, despite it not being what you might want to hear: don't carry and ride. At least not on you: perhaps a tank bag or something.

The statistical likelihood of coming off a motorbike are higher than needing a gun. Significantly higher.

People carry a gun in order to improve their chances of avoiding harm in a confrontation, but having one slapped on your person yet that is precisely what will increase chances of severe injury in an "off".

In any case, on a motorbike, the best weapon you have in a road-based confrontation is speed and agility. That has removed me from many a contact with some of the more "me tarzan" road users...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old October 23, 2012, 06:27 AM   #17
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
So...has anyone here actually come off their bike wearing a pistol? I have not, but I do know two guys who have. Both while wearing full sized pistols. In each case there was no harm to the rider from the gun, there was harm to the holster (in one of the cases it was posted on the Fobus web page, might still be there for all I know), and in both cases the pistol remained secure. While this may not be the be all and end all of statistical analysis, it sure beats conjecture.

I think it is a non issue. My tiny .380 in an upper vest gun pocket is going to be no more harm to me in a wreck than a wallet. It also goes with me wherever I go. I do not have to fish it out of a bag or something every time I go into a establishment.

Yes I realize I am more likely to wreck than to get into a gun fight, but this is false reasoning. My likelyhood of having to use a gun does NOT go down just because some other risk is greater, and the risk of my gun harming me in a wreck is just about nil based on the two actual wrecks with guns I am personally aware of.

I would be very interested to hear of any motorcycle wrecks involving guns in which we are sure the gun caused injury to the rider he or she would not have otherwise sustained.
__________________
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 07:19 AM   #18
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,518
When I do carry on the bike, the gun (a S&W M36 with a 3" barrel), goes into a windshield mounted "sunglasses" bag, (approx. 4"x7"). My wife carries in the same manner on her Lo-Rider. Best Regards, Rod
__________________
Our Flag does not fly because the wind blows against it, it is moved instead, by the dying breath of our patriots in uniform. Our Freedom is not free, it's been paid for many times over.
USAF Forward Air Controller, 5th Spl Forces,
An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73
rodfac is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 07:49 AM   #19
Thespis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 123
I have a couple of leather vests from Coronado Leather, each of which has dual concealed-carry pockets. These days I usually carry a Kahr PM9 with no problems of retention, printing or inaccessibility.
Thespis is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 07:52 AM   #20
AH.74
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Location: Hermit's Peak
Posts: 623
I agree with jhenry.

The problem with your reasoning, Mr. Pond, is twofold for me- first of all, I am one of those who prefers to ride a "naked" style bike- no bags or storage other than a duffel held by bungees to the rear seat on most occasions.

Second, I don't want to be moving the gun back and forth from my body to the storage if and when I get on/off the bike.

And I suppose third- if something really did start to go down and you were a few steps away from your bike, would you have time to get to your bike, open your tank-bag, get your gun, and deal with the issue? Seems like a lot of time to do that, to me.

I have heard the get-off injury argument many times. I figure if it happens, it happens.
AH.74 is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 08:00 AM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I'm always surprised by the various "how do you carry when..." threads.

I carry the same gun (Glock 33), in the same holster (Crossbreed SuperTuck), in the same location (330 on the hip), no matter what I'm wearing or riding or where I'm going. Car, bike, church, camp, short and t-shirt. It's all the same.

I will not ride without armor. I wear both armored pants and a jacket. It doesn't interfere with my carry method at all.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 23, 2012 at 08:44 AM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 09:27 AM   #22
p loader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
What kind of armored pants and jacket? This is what I wear (include an armored back protector as well) and it definitely would interfere with almost any carry method I can think of. After 10 mcycles and probably 100k street miles my largest threat without a doubt has to be people in cars not paying attention. If a situation were to happen where I'm on my bike and I wished I had a gun, well I'm just screwed. So be it.







p loader is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 12:06 PM   #23
dayman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Location: The Woods
Posts: 1,083
I have not tested this yet - I haven't had a bike since I started carrying until recently - but I think a kydex IWB should work well.
I have a raven concealment holster set up for IWB, and it's worked okay for the few bicycle rides I've taken it on, so I assume it would work even better for a motorcycle.
__________________
si vis pacem para bellum
dayman is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 03:21 PM   #24
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,883
Quote:
The problem with your reasoning, Mr. Pond, is twofold for me-
So then, you've misunderstood my reasoning.

My comments had nothing to do with whether a rider prefers to have panniers or not, nor was it to do with accessing the gun quickly whilst on the move (in itself a situation that is even more unlikely and less acheivable than drawing whilst walking down the street).
As for moving away from the bike: I'd never leave a gun unattended on a bike: take it with you.

My reasoning was that crashing a bike is far more likely to happen than needing a gun.
Most bikers will have or have had a crash in their biking career.
Most gun owners will not need to draw their gun in anger.
This I think most would agree.

If you have a hard object, such as a gun, up against your skin and the bones beneath and you impact heavily and unpredictably with an immovable object, such as planet Earth, it follows that your chances of sustaining further injuries are greater than if there was no hard object against you.

A shoulder holster is perhaps one of the less risk positions, but if the odds are against you, then a cracked rib shoved through your pleural membrane and into a few thousand alveoli, courtesy of a steel slide, in one extra injury you could do without.

Jhenry: naturally do as you see fit, but two crashes would not be enough for me to risk what I described above. For me, those two crashes prove nothing other than the fact crashes are unpredictable.

I can quote two crashes myself: I was flung about 60ft at 50mph, and didn't break a single bone, but I did rupture nerves in a way the orthopaedic surgeons had never seen in 30 years of practice.
I also know a guy who lost his balance standing at the lights, fell and broke his spinal column.

In other words, a lot can vary in two single incidents so they don't make it a rule of thumb...

People wear guns for protection so it seems counter intuitive for me to then wear one in such away that actively puts one at greater risk, with none of the inherent benefits of a gun as you won't use it whilst riding.

As I said earlier: If in trouble, open the throttle and leave them with your dust in their eyes.

Ultimately, AH.74 and Jhenry, it is your health and your calculated risk: I hope it pays off for you both, but personally I would not and I have explained why for those who are undecided. Ride safe.

YMMV
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old October 23, 2012, 05:15 PM   #25
Gaerek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 939
I don't currently own a motorcycle, and I haven't ridden since I started carrying, but, depending on the ergonomics of your bike (this might not work well for some bikes) an ankle, or inside the boot (if you wear high riding boots) holster might work really well, especially one that has a thumb break, for retention. Since you're already in a somewhat seated/crouched position, you should be able to reach your ankle without much trouble, and if you went down, the gun probably wouldn't do too much additional damage to you (unlike a hip or small of the back holster might. Plus with a thumb break, and the gun concealed in your pant leg cuff, the chances of it coming out if you go down is pretty small. Anyway, just something I was thinking of.

Quote:
Most bikers will have or have had a crash in their biking career.
There are two types of bikers in the world:
Those have have crashed.
Those who will crash.

Last edited by Gaerek; October 23, 2012 at 05:20 PM.
Gaerek is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13937 seconds with 9 queries