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Old December 16, 2019, 01:04 PM   #1
Joe_Pike
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Carry Holster Question For Odd Shaped Human

Apparently I am an odd shape or something because I am having a heck of a time finding a way to carry a a handgun at the 3-4 o'clock position. I had decided to try and carry my Colt Commander to see how I liked it but can't seem to make it work.

I wear my pants with the belt line right at my navel and when I try and draw the gun I can't clear the holster. So, either my arm is too short or my torso is too short. I used to wear my pants lower when I had a big belly but am now wearing them in a more normal position. So, if I can't get this figured out I'm selling the 1911's and moving on. I have carried a Glock appendix position and that seems to work okay.

Anyone else have a problem clearing leather at the 3-4 o'clock position?
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Old December 16, 2019, 01:16 PM   #2
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Not sure why you are wearing your belt so high. My beltline is right at or a little lower than my hips. If I wore my pistol at the height you are wearing yours I would have problems clearing a j frame out of a holster at 3 o clock. The problem is probably that you wear your pants so high. Try lowering your waistline.
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Old December 16, 2019, 01:23 PM   #3
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They're not that high. It's about two inches higher than my behind. I'm not quite young enough anymore to wear my pants at the "crack-line" and get away with it.
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Old December 16, 2019, 01:53 PM   #4
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Well at least you lost some weight... so this is a welcome problem I'm sure. Hopefully someone else on here can help out better than me.
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Old December 16, 2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Yes, the weight loss was good, although I seem to be putting some back on during the Holidays. My guess is my body is just a weird shape. I pocket carried for years when I was a lot heavier and was looking forward to carrying some larger firearms and getting them out of the house once in a while. I guess the problem is that my pants are too high, but I don't have much "lowering" room there.
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Old December 16, 2019, 03:10 PM   #6
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What kind of holster were you trying? Some ride higher than others>
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Old December 16, 2019, 03:35 PM   #7
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I tried an IWB "Milt Sparks VM2" style of holster, then a Blade-Tech OWB and a Tagua OWB. None of them worked for me.
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Old December 16, 2019, 03:35 PM   #8
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If your belt needs to remain at that height to keep your pants secure/comfortable, 3-4 o'clock isn't going to work great. Gotta go appendix or cross draw where you have a full range of motion for your arm. You could also look into a drop leg holster if you can open carry or wear a long coat.
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Old December 16, 2019, 03:43 PM   #9
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Why not carry the 1911 appendix position since that worked with a different gun?
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Old December 16, 2019, 04:25 PM   #10
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Why not carry the 1911 appendix position since that worked with a different gun?
It's a little more "pokey" than the Glocks are when you bend over.
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Old December 16, 2019, 05:15 PM   #11
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You might need to go further back than 3-4 o'clock with more cant, maybe.
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Old December 17, 2019, 08:04 AM   #12
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So, if I can't get this figured out I'm selling the 1911's and moving on. I have carried a Glock appendix position and that seems to work okay.
So why the 1911 at 3 or 4 o'clock? Just want to 'carry' the 1911? If you like the caliber, get a Glock in same caliber and carry appendix.
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Old December 19, 2019, 06:43 PM   #13
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Have you looked at something with more of a forward cant to it?
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Old December 19, 2019, 07:14 PM   #14
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I tend to find a shoulder holster works well where on or in the waistband does not. Take a look at the options from Galco and Bianchi and see if they might be better for you.
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Old December 20, 2019, 08:35 AM   #15
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You might need to go further back than 3-4 o'clock with more cant, maybe.
Pretty good advice...I carry at 4 o'clock with no trouble drawing...but here are a few thoughts.

For a true 3 o'clock position, I find that the OWB holster has to be almost up and down...no cant/tilt whatsoever, and with some drop to it to allow me to draw without the gun ending up in my armpit as it clears. This is for a 3-4" auto and service length revolvers. The drop, say 2" from the bottom of the belt loop to the top of the holster mouth gives you that much more room. Check out some of the El Paso Saddlery Border Patrol types on their site for examples...expensive but the quality is first rate. The down side for a 2" or greater drop, is that the gun muzzle is very low, and you need a long tailed coat or shirt to hide it.

The farther back from 3 o'clock the holster hangs, the more cant/tilt is needed. For a 4 o'clock (FBI) carry position, the cant is considerable. This position is farther back allowing your normal arm position to draw without coming straight up. Like scratching your butt...note that as you reach back, your hand/finger position changes and the cant allows for a firing grip on the gun without flexing your wrist. It's perfect for me in that position: Good arm extension, a firing grip while the gun is still in the holster & it's not so far back that it's hitting the seat back in a car, truck, 4x4 or saddle cantle.

Too, the 4 o'clock is covered by most shirt tails in my wardrobe. And the tilt required to give a good, firing grip on the gun without flexing the wrist, helps to minimize the muzzle position below the belt line...ie. making it easier to conceal.

The downside for either 3 or 4 o'clock carry positions is the seat belt attachment point for most any car. If you need the gun, and are strapped in, it's going to be a hassle to get to it. Even when released, the belt's female attach point sticks up and hinders your presentation, requiring some body movement to make the gun accessable.

All in all, a shoulder holster, or maybe a cross draw type makes use easier from a strapped in car seatbelt, depending on the height of the seatbelt. I don't like AIWB carry, no matter where I'm seated or standing. The gun's muzzle direction during carry and the presentation are the reasons. Other's find it acceptable however. A shoulder rig has some of the same objections: muzzle direction being the prime one. My #2 son carried his Beretta in one of our shoulder rigs, with 3 mags on the opposite side, plus a 5" blade combat knife while flying teams up into the Kush...the thought being if the acft went down, and he was lucky enought to get out of the pile-up, he'd only have what was strapped to him until pick up. A shoulder rig, made sense with the lap belt and shoulder harness in his bird. The gun on one side with the knife and mags on the other balanced nicely and he made up a number of them for the special ops teams at his base.

To the OP, if you can deal with the gun's inaccessibility while in a car due to seat belt requirements, the 4 o'clock would be my choice. Most guys carry the bulk of their weight in the stomach area, and that right, rear carry position may make sense from that standpoint. Short of that, I'd opt for a shoulder rig and make the necessary wardrobe changes if necessary.

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Last edited by rodfac; December 20, 2019 at 08:47 AM.
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Old December 20, 2019, 01:31 PM   #16
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"...to wear my pants at the "crack-line" and get away with it..." Nobody is young enough for that. snicker.
Round is not an odd shape for humans either.
The type of pistol won't make any difference. I'd move the holster to where you can reach the pistol. Cross draw will still require you to reach. Unless it's more in front. Forward of your strong side hip should work. That's not where one's appendix sits.
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Old December 20, 2019, 02:24 PM   #17
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I wear high waistline trousers too. I'm thin as a rail, but I find the high-rise more comfortable than the current fashion of low rise. I also think they have a more classic style, a little mid-20th century retro.





I don't presently use a 1911, but rather a large revolver. But if I were to belt-carry, I've found Galco Combat Masters work pretty well for me. These are just a classic pancake type holster. The forward cant helps a bit drawing from that high. I couldn't say if it's significantly different than what you already tried.
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Old December 21, 2019, 11:41 PM   #18
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I've been giving "cross-draw" a thought but it doesn't seem like there are a lot of holster choices. That carry method seems to have fallen out of favor.

Thanks for your detailed answer rodfac. A lot of info to consider there. I'm not sure about the Border Patrol style of holster. I don't think I would be able to hide it with how I dress.

The Galco Combat Master style of holster looks okay. The trouble is I already have a pretty good collection of holsters that spend their time in a box in the closet and am not looking to add to it if I can help it. Since I work at a pawn shop I guess I'll see if anything used comes in and try it before I buy it. Unfortunately, it's a lot of IWB kydex and generic nylon holsters that tend to creep their way in more often than not.
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Old December 22, 2019, 08:22 AM   #19
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Have you considered carrying behind the back or small of back? Here is a picture.
https://lapolicegear.com/galco-small...%2030%20-%2039
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Old December 24, 2019, 05:37 PM   #20
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You might need to go further back than 3-4 o'clock with more cant, maybe.
I was thinking that, too. I carry my Colt Commander about 5 o' clock, and my Bianchi holster has pretty good cant. Otherwise the geometry doesn't work, my elbows only bend so far and I have to lift my elbow as I draw. I used to use a holster that was almost vertical, and now it sits in a box along with other stuff that doesn't work. Appendix carry is fast and easy, but I refuse to point a gun at my groin. I have also used a crossdraw, and I like it a lot but it is not very concealable.
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Old December 24, 2019, 11:14 PM   #21
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I think I'll stay away from Small of Back carry. I think it might be an issue if, for some reason, I fell and landed on the gun. It could cause some damage. I guess I'll keep my eye out for a pancake holster with a cant and try it further back to see how that would work.
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Old December 25, 2019, 09:03 AM   #22
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I'm sure there's a good number of gun owners out there who carry Small Of Back or behind the back else holster makers would not still be offering holsters for that method of carry. In all of my years in the gun community and on gun forums, I've never actually heard of anyone who fell at just the right angle with enough velocity to cause anything more than a bruse. Matter of fact, I never heard of anyone falling at all. I mean you'd have to bypass your butt, and be dropped in a L shape with your feet and legs in the air, or fall straight back with your body stiff as a board. IMHO, the dangers of SOB carry are grossly overstated.

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Old December 25, 2019, 10:39 AM   #23
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Great Post and suggestions - I too have issues but am experimenting skipping the belt loop at 3 o'clock allowing some room to play until it get it right.
Using a OWB Wright Leather Works Predator and a Sig 1911 Ultra. Bladetech Ultimate Belt -

My shape almost requires Suspenders but that's another story -
Once the holster broke in I'm happier with 3:30 o'clock.

Not giving up - Love the ability to carry that beautiful pistol.

Don't give Up -
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Old December 25, 2019, 07:24 PM   #24
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I'm sure there's a good number of gun owners out there who carry Small Of Back or behind the back else holster makers would not still be offering holsters for that method of carry. In all of my years in the gun community and on gun forums, I've never actually heard of anyone who feel at just the right angle with enough velocity to cause anything more than a bride. Matter of fact, I never heard of anyone falling at all. I mean you'd have to bypass fall to you butt, and be dropped in a L shape with your feet and legs in the air, or fall straight back with your body stiff as a board. IMHO, the dangers of SOB carry are grossly overstated.
I'm good about doing things that people say are impossible...and, I have done one of those feet in the air falls on ice before.
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Old December 26, 2019, 03:15 AM   #25
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some folks cinch their belt just above the hip bone, some just below it. find a holster that rides lower on the belt for OWB. IWB means you will have a very exaggerated draw to clear leather. women often have this issue because they have higher waists than men.
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