Handgun concealment has always been a compromise. Whether the issue is the size of the gun you carry or the location you carry it, proper carry must combine concealment, comfort and accessibility. All of these features are necessary because you ll have no use for a gun you can t easily draw, and you won t wear a holster that s not comfortable.
Concealment? Well, that s a function of not only where you carry the gun, but also of the clothing you wear over it. The lighter your covering garment, the deeper you must secrete the gun. As far as the gun s location, you can conceal it almost anywhere on your body, but if you don t locate it in the general area of your shooting hand, it will greatly affect accessibility. The less distance your shooting hand must travel, the faster your draw.
It s been fairly well proven that the best place to carry any handgun is on the strong side at belt level for the reason stated above. Think about it: When your strong hand hangs at your side, it needs to travel no more than a foot to 18 inches in order to acquire the gun. It s hard to get your hand much closer to the gun and still keep it in a natural position. This acknowledged, the deepest concealment method for belt-level carry is the inside-the-waistband holster, better known as the IWB.
Before we go any further, you must understand one thing: If you want to carry IWB, you must buy your trousers one size larger than what you normally wear. If you have a 34" waist and buy size-34 pants, there s no way you ll be able to shove 1.5 2 inches of gun and holster into your waistband with any degree of comfort.
A large number of IWB holsters are available, some better than others. There s no doubt the IWB rig is concealable the problem arises in finding one that proves both comfortable and accessible. If the holster sits too deep in the waistband, it won t be accessible due to lack of grip. If it sits too high, a grip-heavy semi-auto pistol will flop against your body and chafe your torso.
Attachment of the holster to the belt is also important. The attachment method should be simple to take on and off, but also must stabilize the gun on the belt. Many holsters feature clips, but straps with snaps are usually the best method. Try different holsters before you buy and you won t go wrong. If the store you re shopping at won t let you try the rig on, shop elsewhere.
The Model 120 Covert Option
Bianchi International has added the Model 120 Covert Option to the extensive selection of IWB rigs out there.
The holster combines soft cowhide and suede to create a form-fitting pocket around the gun. A reinforced, non-collapsing mouthband makes for easy reholstering. A leather tab on the rear of the holster keeps the gun away from your body and keeps your shirttail out of the holster pouch. (If you ve ever reholstered your shirttail, you know what I m talking about.) To reduce bulk, the holster s backside is flat and the belt loops are located on the front and back of the holster body. A slight forward cant keeps the gun s grip accessible even when seated. The open end allows accumulated debris to fall out.
I wore the Model 120 for several weeks and found it quite comfortable. Like all holsters made from leather, breaking it in required a number of practice draws, but once I accomplished this, the draw from the Covert was as fast as anyone can expect from a close-fitting IWB rig.
Bianchi has found a good balance between stability and enabling enough space to get a solid grip of the holstered pistol. And, the reinforced mouthband and flat back made reholstering easy. Because the pouch is molded solely with the front piece of leather, the holster body did not collapse once I drew the gun. One drawback: Because of the snug fit, I did have to do a thumb check on the back of the slide with my shooting-hand thumb so the gun would not go out of battery as I shoved it into place but maybe that s a good practice anytime you replace a gun in the holster.
Bianchi 120 Covert Option Holster
27969 Jefferson Ave.
Temecula, CA 92590