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Gunthorp Holsters

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Pictured above is the Taurus Model 415ti, a 2.5" ported barrel in 41mag made of titanium.  Small size and a feather weight of 20 oz. makes firing Federal 250 grain hard cast lead magnums not for the faint of heart or faint of hearing.  A short barrel gives up velocity and energy over published figures, the close sights make long range shots out of the question, but the muzzle jump is somewhat dampened by the top front gas ports.  There's still plenty of power and accuracy left to take care of claws and teeth at close quarters in the woods, if the shooter's nerves permit it.  The double action trigger can both cock the hammer and release it in a single stroke.  This longer stroke requires more effort to overcome the hammer spring.  Or by first thumbing back the hammer, it can be fired like a single action with much greater ease and accuracy.  The double action revolver design followed closely on the heels of the 1873 Single Action Army.  Viewed as an advancement in firepower over the single action, the US Army adopted it in 38 Long Colt caliber before the Spanish-American War.  Although its energy figures and firing rate looked good on paper, it fell short of expectations in the Philippine campaign, likely due to the lack of stopping power of the smaller, lighter bullet.  In any case, soldiers watched comrades being beheaded by Moro Indian warriors with six 38 caliber slugs in them,  and they welcomed back all the obsolete single action 45colt revolvers they could find.

 

I am asked often for the best location of the holster.  My answer is an emphatic "It depends."

Civilian carry is a compromise between concealment, speed of access, and comfort.  Start with a weapon that is thin, flat, and lightweight, but donít sacrifice effective power.  Choose cover garments that allow the fastest access to the holster location.  The best location may shift as we sit, stand, walk, or run.   Be patient, but persevere to find the best balance for your needs.

 

At the belt line of a right handed operator, 3:00 or slightly less is not bad for sitting, although 10:30 to 11:00 (23:00 hrs) or a shoulder rig might be better.  However, there are disadvantages to any cross draw.  For the fastest presentation, 3:30 to 4:30 is where an inside the waistband (IWB) or belt (OWB) holster will settle in.  You don't want to constantly fight its position.  If you slightly loosen the belt, you will see where the rig wants to go during your activity.  Women sometimes prefer 2:00 to 2:30 appendix carry with a bit of negative cant, or muzzle slightly forward. The butt of the gun digging into their side is a concern.  Even after the pants, belt, and holster are tightly joined, you can still shift them all together slightly to change the holster position from, say, 3:30 to 3:00 as you get into a car.  You may change the holsterís  height and cant to avoid different bones around the hip.  Give each change in position a good, long chance to wear in, but pay attention to any soreness afterwards, especially to the area around the sciatica nerve.

 

With a full firing grip, if the inside of the thumb feels any tightness or obstruction caused by bones in your hip, adjust the holster, or you may have to lean away slightly for better access.  You can try to soften or pad the inside edges that become noticeable.  A looser belt can allow the muzzle to dig into the thigh, but it lets the butt fall away from the waist.  A strong 1 to 1 Ĺ inch leather belt works best.  It also completely hides the tucking holster clips from Milt Sparks, Crossbreed, and Comp-Tac that fit over the pants hem but that, with proper trimming,  remain invisibly attached with Velcro to the underside of the belt.

 

Kydex holsters like the CTAC  and Crossbreed are easiest to customize-by-file.  Go slowly, remove any unnecessary protrusions without exposing the trigger guard, and relieve any interference with the magazine release or your hand in a full firing grip.   Carrying a chunk of steel can be made somewhat comfortable, but it will always be noticeable.  With an unloaded weapon, practice different garment uncovers, the grip, the draw.  Then put them together.  Smooth is better than fumbling fast.  When you can carry with confidence, you wonít need to constantly fuss with your cover garments, reposition the rig, guard the rig, pat the rig for security, like the untrained bad guys do.

 

After  you find the perfect holster, it's time to work out how to carry the spare ammo, the defensive flashlight, the knife, and the ID's.

 

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