Guns for Gimps! Looking for a CCW holster, particularly a Belly-Band

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Gonz0, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Gonz0

    Gonz0 XDTalk Member

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    Hola, I probably mentioned some of this in my re-intro post, but here's a summary of my situation: I am youngish, but feel effin' old. My spine was crushed in a car accident several years ago, leaving me paraplegic. That means I am totally paralyzed below the chest, but my arms & shoulders were not effected, so I have full use of my upper body, just not my legs or trunk. I got a CWP and an XD(4" 357sig) when I turned 21, though I didn't really carry on my person and thus never found a holster.

    Now I "live" in the deep south, and just applied for a CWP in this state. I REALLY hope my application goes through, as I am very obviously a visbly easy target due to my disability. I have been thinking a lot about what kind of holster would work best for my situation. I decided that a Belly-Band would probably work the best for me, though I am also considering getting a granny-pack to have as a backup option. I really don't think any kind of in or out of the waistband holster, shoulder rig, or thunderwear style of holster would work, for a variety of reasons.

    I have been searching for info & reviews, and have been surprised by how many varieties of belly-bands there are. I just started trying to put together a list, and it looks like there are well over a dozen different belly-band holsters on the market! It's a little overwhelming, so I could use some advice and help deciding on what would work best for me.

    I read someone on here talking about bell-bands, and they said they had tried the Galco belly band, and one of the cheaper ones. They said they liked the cheaper one better because it was more versatile and the Galco leather one could get a little hot against the body. That would definitely be an issue for me, because unfortunately I now "live" in the DEEP SOUTH, where it is hot and humid as hell, probably more so. I have not, and never will adapt to this miserable heat, so I don't need to be wrapped in leather.

    I was also thinking my XD(my only firearm) would probably be the best concealed kinda framing my gut. Like with the slide to my side and the grip sitting on top of my gut. I'm not a real big guy, though I have a bit of a gut now that most of my body doesn't function and thus burn fat, and I have zero trunk muscle/ab tone to hold my stomach in.

    So if I could find a cheap, vesatile, functional belly band, that would be great. I've seen several very inexpensive ones on eBay, and a bunch more around the web, most for under $50. I would like one with some extra pockets, or at least an extra mag holder; though the more options available the better! Once I get my list more put together I can post some info/pics/links here; but I would really appreciate some suggestions and info from those of you who have experience with and/or know about Belly Band style holsters, so I can make an informed decision and find one that is quality and works the best for my needs. Thanks!
     
  2. Spawnz

    Spawnz XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    I am assuming you are constantly in a wheelchair. Don't think you would actually need a concealable (on the body type holster) when you could probably mount something to the side of the chair which may work out better. Not on the outside of the chair but between you and the side. Just thinking here and don't know for sure. You could conceal it with a blanket or some other such object over your waist. Have you considered this?
     
  3. scjbash

    scjbash XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    A lot of people love the SmartCarry. I have never used one, but I couldn't tell you how many times I've read comments online about how good it is.

    SmartCarry - Concealed Gun Holsters
     
  4. Gonz0

    Gonz0 XDTalk Member

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    Yes, I am what they refer to as "wheelchair bound", ugh. Anyways, I think it is important to have my gun in a holster on my body(like a belly band under my shirt). If I fall or am pushed out of my chair(both of which have happened), or transfer out of it, I'd be in a bad situation. I also think a holster attached to the chair would be difficult to conceal, and would certainly draw unwanted attention when transferring in or out of my car, which I do a lot. Plus I have to take the wheels off the chair and fold the back down to get it into my car, and it takes a beating in the process, a holster would get torn up and be most conspicous.

    I've looked at the SmartCarry, but I think I would have the same issues with it as something like the thunderwear. My body is FUBAR and waging biological warfare against me, so I have other equipment in that location, and it is not a safe place for anything I value :(
     
  5. Chromey

    Chromey XDTalk 100 Member

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    For $35 this one would seem to fit the bill, and at least let you try thr "belly band" option without too much out of pocket expense.
    Defender Gun Concealment Holsters
     
  6. J B S

    J B S XDTalk 100 Member

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    When I first saw your handle I thought you were a friend of uncle Ted ( Nugent ). You are already aware of the first thing I would have told you. Most attackers want to separate the victim from their wheelchair, you have that covered by having your defenses on your person not the chair. You did not state if you had feeling in the area the gun will be secreted. You already know you want to avoid skin irritation and damage from the holster. I would suggest you contact a couple of the custom holster makers. Tell them your situation and what you want to do. They may be able to change, adapt, or custom make a holster to your measurements that functions for you better than anything available off the shelf.
     
  7. SRD

    SRD XDTalk 5K Member

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    JBS i agree with you, Who knows some holster makers may have already custom made holsters for people in your situation and may know of a better way to adapt one to you. Belly bands are ok but i wouldnt trust one to secure the gun if i am thrown to the ground .
     
  8. Houseboat

    Houseboat Official Site Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Send me a PM would be happy to discuss what we can do for you
     
  9. Cremator75

    Cremator75 XDTalk 100 Member

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    If I were in your situation, I would go for a shoulder rig. There are many different brands, and some are very comfortable.
     
  10. Maximum1

    Maximum1 XDTalk 500 Member

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    Just wondering if you or anyone else heard draw times using SmartCarry (from draw to first shot fired)?
     
  11. Gonz0

    Gonz0 XDTalk Member

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    Well, my handle is from a few influences, but they all mean essentially the same thing: FREAK. Gonzo the muppet was my childhood hero, and then in highschool I really got into the work of Hunter S. Thompson, the father of gonzo journalism. I wonder if he ever partied with your uncle Ted? It's sad though, he died almost exactly the same time I did. Anyways...

    It kind of depends where the gun will actually sit, but if I can get it so sit where I'd like(as I described), then I would be able to feel part of it. My level of injury is around/just below the bottom of my sternum.

    Here's what I'm thinking, there are a wide variety of belly bands available, and most are inexpensive. I think I just need to work on my list, and compare the different makes & features and should be able to find one(or two?) that work very well for me. I am unemployed and thus essentially broke due to my disability, so I think a custom holster would be out of my price range(I've already blown most of my spending $ on XD accessories). And like I was saying, I think I should be able to find a belly band that meets my needs, so I'm not even convinced a custom holster would be entirely necessary.

    I have been looking more into fanny-pack holsters. While I have never liked the look of fanny-packs at ALL, it's not like I have the option of looking "cool" in a wheelchair anyway, so f#*% it. While searching for info on them, I came across some forum posts where they refered to them as "fag bags". While I understand the sentiment as I don't like the look of them either, I'd like to think I'm a little more evolved than that. I have also seen some fanny-pack holsters that actually look kinda cool/useful, and very covert. The first kind I found that uses the design I like is the Merlin pack, but I don't really like the "tight spandex" look, and they print like a mother...

    But, I have come across two that I really like and am seriously considering. The first is the Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Fanny Pack. It looks pretty cool/durable/functional. and everything I've read about it has been positive. I like that it can hold a full-size pistol with mags etc, but looks like a tiny little pouch with a few side pouches.
    The other one is the HawkePaks Micro-Gun Pack. It looks very similar in design to the Ka-bar TDI. I am kinda curious how they compare, but I seriously doubt I'll find any reviews/anyone who has tried both. Anybody here have any thoughts on them?

    I'll get back to the belly-bands soon, but I still have to gather some more information and put it all together. With over a dozen different kinds of belly bands, that may take me a little while; but my(hopefully) impending CWP is a good motivation to do the homework ASAP!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  12. Gonz0

    Gonz0 XDTalk Member

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    Oh, and as far as what I've decided won't work, I'll summarize those real quick:

    Any kind of waistband holster I'd think would be a problem since I'm essentially always sitting.

    Any of the crotch-holsters such as the smart-carry or thunderwear wouldn't really work for me for reasons I already hinted at, and would rather not get into the details of, just trust me on this one.

    I considered a shoulder rig early on, then realized that it would REALLY get in the way. I think it would catch on stuff & me when transferring(like into or out of my car), and would chaff BIG time while just getting around. Imagine wearing a shoulder rig if your ONLY means of mobility were say, a rowboat?

    I'd think it's obvious enough why a small-of-the-back carry method wouldn't work, so I won't even go into that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  13. Chromey

    Chromey XDTalk 100 Member

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    This is something I am looking at for a few situations, car carry, has fanny option , strap, and my friend in a wheel chair bought one. He has it loosely around him with the fanny strap option, not sure whether this would work for you, but hope it helps.
    Might be an option for you in car as well.
    - Wilderness Tactical Products, LLC
     
  14. jkw_XD

    jkw_XD XDTalk 100 Member

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    I forget what they are called, but have you looked into any of the under shirt holsters... These are the shirts that have built-in holster pockets for CC.

    Anyone know what they are called??

    Good luck to you. I am interested in what you find works best.
     
  15. John E Davies

    John E Davies XDTalk Member

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    http://www.tommysgunpack.com/

    These are the best featured, best made, toughest packs you can buy. I have been using a standard GunPack for many years, and I have on order a new Elite GunPack.

    In your situation (and climate!!) I would not have the gun strapped tight to my body, but loosely on my belt so that it can be repositioned easily and pushed away from my skin in hot weather. How about their new SideKick? If you are right handed, get a right hand version and attach it to your belt just forward of your left hip. That's where I position my GunPack and it's VERY comfy and quick to access.

    http://www.tommysgunpack.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TGP-025

    Get one in a bright color, sew on a sports emblem that you cut off an old ball cap or a label from an old camera bag, and nobody will pay the slightest attention to it. If you decide to buy, sign up for email notifications and wait for one of their frequent sales, and you will save a lot of ca$h. They just had a "50% off everything with free shipping" sale...their sales vary - here is the current one, valid through July 19, 2009:

    Sale Synopsis
    What’s On Sale: The Elite Tommy’s Gun Pack​
    How Much: $94.99 (a savings of $22.00!!!)​
    Coupon Code: SIDEKICK4U (to receive a FREE Sidekick of your choice)​
    When: All this weekend!!​
    BONUS: The first hundred orders ship FREE!!!


    Good luck.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009

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