First day carrying, after loading up my DeSantis Tuck-This II Holster with my SR9 and a spare magazine I clipped it to my waistband and checked, for printing and such.
First impressions: not great, the elastic waistband from my shorts are not up to the task of supporting the fully loaded holster and show some minor sag, I figure it’s manageable. The other thing is the holster as it’s configured from the store make me look like … I shoved a pistol down the back of my pants, no bueno. Fortunately the holster is adjustable for cant and height. After raising the ride height up and adjusting the cant a bit it’s better. A shirt change (because the one I started with was a bit tight) and I think it’s pretty invisible. All this took less than 15 minutes so it wasn’t as bad as it might sound.
I planned on spending the day at home working in the garage so I wouldn’t attract any attention if there were issues. We just moved in and the garage is a disaster, so I have old shelving to take down and new shelving to put up. Lots of lifting, bending and moving around. After the first 15 minutes of extreme self consciousness, the holster mostly disappeared from my mind. I did realize a few times that it was riding low from the sag in my waistband but it was manageable.
My uncle surprised me with a visit and wanted to know if I wanted to go to a local lawnmower repair shop since he needed parts. I needed a couple parts to so I volunteered to drive the 10 minutes to the shop. The drive was uneventful once I worked the pistol into the right spot. I doubt I could drive 2 hours like that but for everyday driving I think it will work as long as I have pants with a solid waistband. No issues at the shop or at the little local grocery store on the way back (wife needed milk).
I spent some time shooting out back with my new pistol/holster combo and all went well. I show 17 rounds bulls-eye style since I have more practice with that and acquitted myself well, from there I practiced another 17 rounds draw from a fighting stance to a weaver and fire one round quickly. The goal was to practice drawing from the carry holster, disable the safety, assume the proper stance, get a quick sight and fire. Time was not a concern, getting the technique right at this point is more important than speed. Finished up with another 17 rounds of draw and fire but 2-rounds at a time instead. I can easily keep every shot on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper at ~21 feet, there were 3 fliers in 51 rounds that I know were all my fault (made it a 10-11″ group instead). I’m sure the pistol is more accurate than I am at this point. Everything did seem to print left by ~2 inches but I wont adjust the sights until I’m sure it’s not me. If I ignore the 3 fliers an 8″ group leaves room for improvement but I’m still satisfied with my skill considering my experience.
The only other non-issue was a couple of awkward hugs from the wife who was a bit skeptical on the whole carry at home deal in the first place. I expect it will take her some time to get used to the idea. By dinner time I was tired of the extra weight and put everything back in the safe.
I did notice as I put the spare magazine away that it had sweat on it. I don’t think this is a real issue but there was more moisture there than I anticipated.
In case anyone is curious: I’m only carrying on my days off since I live in PA and work in NY. I work 2 jobs, one every morning where I know my boss wouldn’t mind my carrying and the second in the afternoon and night where they are anti-weapon. It’s all moot since NY won’t recognize my permit anyway.
Pants – Elastic bands with a service sized pistol inside the waistband do not work well since they flex (as they are supposed to and sag. Perhaps a non-tuckable holster would solve this as the Tuck This 2 relies on the pants, not the belt for support. While it was saggy, I do say it was more of a appearance issue than anything, at no time did I feel that I was in danger of loosing my pants, the holster or my pistol.
Holster – I realize now that choosing this holster may have been a mistake. Inside the waistband with a tuckable clip may not be ideal for me. It will require some stout pants to support a holster with a fully loaded pistol and a spare magazine (both with 17-rounds). Tuckable was not a requirement, it was however a feature of the holster I could afford. The belt I was wearing did nothing for the holster, but it surely kept me from loosing my pants with all that weight. While driving I did have some very minor itching but nothing serious and it went away as soon as i got out of the van.
Holster Clip – One thing I noticed after adjusting the belt clip on the holster is that while the holster rode high enough not to stick out much when bending, the clip actually stuck out below the holster and printed like i had a ruler down my pants. It was better than the holster riding low but still not great, I may have to ‘customize’ it with my dremel, or find a shorter one.
Magazine/Holster – I am not a fan of having the spare magazine in the holster, it’s nearly impossible to get to with my off hand and switching hands with the pistol to draw the magazine and switch it back to reload is not good technique. I’ll have to get a dedicated magazine holster later and carry it on the weak side. This will also make the main holster a lot lighter.
Belt – Not an issue at all. My poor holster choice and poor pant choice was clearly at fault and the extra wide belt I always wear anyway was really the hero here, keeping my pant on.
Does DeSantis make a different clip to convert the tuck this to a non-tuck-able holster?
How much does my carry gear weigh?