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Thread: Handling gun in and out of car

  1. #1
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    Hello all,

    I just recently decided to start exercising my Second Amendment rights and so my wife and I joined the NRA, signed up for a 1-year membership at Wades, obtained concealed carry permits, and bought guns.

    One of the guns is a Kel-Tec P3AT. I was CCing it today as my wife and I did some errands. It's not all that comfortable in my pocket when I am driving so I had it in the car and then put it in my pocket just before getting out.

    One of the errands was to the bank. It occurred to me as I was putting the gun in my pocket that if anyone happened to see inside the car, it could look very bad: a guy in a car stuffing a gun into his pocket on the way into a bank... could get sticky in a hurry.

    So my question is: how do you folks handle shifting the gun around between the car and your person?

    EDIT: I just realized that this forum is specifically for OC. I apologize if my post is off-topic.

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    tai4de2 wrote:
    Hello all,

    I just recently decided to start exercising my Second Amendment rights and so my wife and I joined the NRA, signed up for a 1-year membership at Wades, obtained concealed carry permits, and bought guns.

    One of the guns is a Kel-Tec P3AT. I was CCing it today as my wife and I did some errands. It's not all that comfortable in my pocket when I am driving so I had it in the car and then put it in my pocket just before getting out.

    One of the errands was to the bank. It occurred to me as I was putting the gun in my pocket that if anyone happened to see inside the car, it could look very bad: a guy in a car stuffing a gun into his pocket on the way into a bank... could get sticky in a hurry.

    So my question is: how do you folks handle shifting the gun around between the car and your person?

    EDIT: I just realized that this forum is specifically for OC. I apologize if my post is off-topic.
    I use a holster so I don't have this problem.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    I find that in the car the most comfortable thing you can do is slide your holster closer to your front then it doesn't dig in to you or pull on your belt. But Id recommend getting a holster I think you will find it a lot more comfortable.

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    I've OC'd a fullsize 1911 and S&W M&P in Serpa holsters. Neither one is comfortable with bucket seats. I usually half open the door and then holster up. If anyone calls the police what are they going to say "He put a gun in his pocket", or "He has a gun on his hip"? Gun on the hip is pretty much self-obvious when looking at me, so I don't know why Putting it there would be an arrestable offense. That includes trips to deposit monies at my local bank. So far, no one has asked me to Not carry into the bank; should it happen, I'll close my account that minute and ask for cash.


    As for putting a Kel-Tec in the pocket....it's smaller than some cellphones, do you really think anyone is going to observe and identify it while it's palmed in your hand before it's pocketed?

    ETA: In Georgia any CC must be with a holster, so it takes just a bit more finesse to put it in my pocket, I don't worry much about the two seconds it may be in the open.

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    Just pull into a parking space with nobody in the cars beside yours, orleave acouple empty spaces between yours and the next car if there is someone inside that car.

    Consider buying a pocket holster. There are probably few people who would recognizea P3AT in a pocket holster as you stood outside your car and put the alread-holstered gun into your pocket. Besides, a pocket holster is usually smart.

    Glaco, I think,makes them for KelTec P32's.It would probably be a decent fit.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    I sometimes take my pistol out of my pocket or out of the holster when I drive. If I take my gun off of me, and I place it back on me, I try not to let anyone see me do it, because it may not look to good.

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    Consider buying a pocket holster.
    I'd put it more strongly than that. I'd never consider carrying a handgun around in my pocket w/o something to help keep unwanted stuff out of the trigger guard while it's in there; which is precisely what a decent pocket holster does.

    The DeSantis holsters do a great job in my experience; I've just gotten the new one (Super Fly) with the extra flap, but the regular one (Nemesis) works pretty well, too. You can get them from Midway USA among other places.

    And could we ask a few friendly, yet intrusive, questions about your physique and style of dress? I say this because whereas with IWB carry it's normal to get a pants size a bit bigger in the waist than your normal, I've never felt the slightest need for a larger size while pocket-carrying the P3AT, or the P32 before it. And I'm not particularly large-sized or anything. My normal dress is dockers/khakis/levis or the like--i.e. not too big and baggy, but obviously not tight either. (If your normal dress is spandex bicycle short, that would a be a completely different story!)

    This includes pocket-carrying while I'm driving. Though of course it goes w/o saying that it would be hard to draw from the pocket while the seat belt is on, I'm perfectly comfortable just leaving the pistol in my pocket, even if I'm driving all the way across the state.

    So I'm wondering, is there something different about your situation that affects this?




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    Thanks for all the replies folks.

    Some clarifications:

    I *do* have a pocket holster for the Kel-Tec.

    What I was talking about was the period of time during which I remove the gun+holster from a storage compartment in the car, until I get the gun+holster into my pants pocket. While I was doing that in front of the bank it occurred to me that if someone could see into my car they *might* see the gun... at that point there's little to distinguish me in someone else's eyes as a law abiding CCer vs a criminal stuffing a gun into his pants.

    But, maybe y'all are right... from outside the car, the Kel-Tec is small enough that no one would really be able to make out what it was, especially since it's in a holster that makes it look a lot like a wallet.

    BTW pants are Levis 501's .

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    it occurred to me that if someone could see into my car they *might* see the gun
    It's definitely worth checking out the sight angles from outside your car, so you can have some idea what actually can/can't be seen.

    Speaking for myself, I've usually been more worried about attracting attention in the other direction ("Hey, that guy who just pulled into the lot is stowing something under his seat--gotta be something valuable!")


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    Personally, I don't worry about it. Since I'm not doing anything threatening or illegal I don't really give a rat's hairy hind parts what they might think. I don't make myself conspicuous, but if someone sees me and calls the cops, they call the cops. I might get to meet a LEO and answer a few questions, as long as he keeps it friendly, but that's about it. It's really no different from putting a cell phone in your pocket.
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    I agree with the not worry about it crowd. I think you are over thinking it and worrying about nothing.

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    Bookman wrote:
    Personally, I don't worry about it. Since I'm not doing anything threatening or illegal I don't really give a rat's hairy hind parts what they might think. I don't make myself conspicuous, but if someone sees me and calls the cops, they call the cops. I might get to meet a LEO and answer a few questions, as long as he keeps it friendly, but that's about it. It's really no different from putting a cell phone in your pocket.
    I was just thinking about the same thing. There is not anything illegal going on here, sowhat is someone calls.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    I agree with the not worry about it crowd. I think you are over thinking it and worrying about nothing.
    Amen. If you don't make a point of making it something to notice, then no one will.

    Also, carrying a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable. A P3AT is a very small pistol, so there shouldn't be too much effort to just carry it all the time. Another option would be an ankle holster, as it offers easy access to the weapon while sitting (in a drivers seat, etc.). I drive a lot and my always gun is a Kahr 9mm in an ankle rig. It's odd to carry that way at first, but now, I hardly notice it.

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    I've OC'd a fullsize 1911 and S&W M&P in Serpa holsters. Neither one is comfortable with bucket seats.
    For this very reason I bought a Glacko leather hip holster. It form fits to my hip and the full size 1911 is hardly noticeable while driving. My last trip to Spokane and back I had one of those "oh crap" moments when I had to reach down and check to see if my weapon was actually on my hip. The jackets I wear do a very good job for CC'ing when I care to CC. 99% of the time I OC.


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    It's my experience that people rarely notice much of anything.

    Modern Americans have let their skills of observation atrophy nearly as much as their sense of smell. They are no more able to visually identify non-immediate threats in the environment than they could track a deer with their nose. Confronted with an attacker, they are unprepared by the "unexpectedness" of it all. Even though the clues are almost always there, and not subtle.

    The most obvious scenario where you might lift a coat or shirt to tuck the pistol/holster behind your back still goes without notice 99.9% of the time. Simply tucking something into a jacket pocket or into a holster in the front of your belt is so innocuous as to be invisible.

    Half the time people won't even notice an openly carried pistol immediately. If I openly wear my Glock model 22 in a belt holster with a black t-shirt, it goes unremarked in most cases, particularly if it is not silhouetted against a lighter colour from the perspective of the observer.

    We Americans are too complacent. Most of us are over-coddled and unable to take care of ourselves. Those of us who sound the warning on this complacency are often taken for paranoids. My experience in traveling the world has made me at least somewhat more observant of body language, interpersonal range, escape routes etc. than most people I know. Girlfriends have noted my insistence on where I sit in relation to the doors and thought it strange (to say nothing of the fact that I carry concealed all the time). To me, that just goes to show how little the average person thinks about their own personal safety, a product of the generally, (but not perfectly) safe society we live in.

    However, to more directly address your concern, I would try to find a way to carry that is more versatile and comfortable for you. Depending on how you typically dress, you might consider a shoulder holster. Personally, I tend to wear t-shirts withhalf-buttoned work shirt over it a lot, especially in our Washington winters. This is pretty convenient for shoulder holsters. I can also get to it even with a seat belt on while driving, and I drive far more often than I am a passenger. (I'm right-handed, gun under left armpit.) My shoulder rig is also balanced with spare mag carrier, where my other concealed holsters don't have a provision for extra magazines. I'm not entirely happy with my current shoulder rig, which is a fairly cheap leather setup that I bought in the PX. But I will almost certainly be looking for another, better shoulder rig, even if I end up having it custom-made. In fact, I think it would be great to have one that securely and comfortably attaches different holsters to the rig for carrying different models of sidearm.

    I also carry in a SOB holster, which is fine unless I am going to be driving for a long distance, in which case it can be uncomfortable. It's also not convenient to pull out in a hurry if I needed it while actually driving, like a car-jacking scenario. However, while I drive a pretty nice car, it's not high end enough to be a prime car-jacking target for the car itself, and I don't look like an easy target (big guy) so that's a pretty minimal risk.

    On my motorcycle, I find the small of the back (SOB) holster feels sort of insecure, but my other concealed holster (a Galco)fits inside my belt in front in the hollow of my thigh/groin area, and is very uncomfortable on the bike. I just started riding again this summer during the short time I was home, so I haven't figured that out to my satisfaction yet, though again, the shoulder rig may be where I end up. Needing to wear a heavier jacket that has to be tightly fastened may interfere with that.

    Comfort is an important issue. If you are comfortable, you will carry more often. It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.

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    Personally, I don't worry about it. Since I'm not doing anything threatening or illegal I don't really give a rat's hairy hind parts what they might think.
    +1. I remove my gun from the holster and stick it in the glovebox when driving because it's more comfortable. When I get out of the car, I pop it back in the holster as I'm exiting. I do not care in any way, shape or form if someone else has a problem with this perfectly legal action. People need to get used to seeing firearms being handled and transported. Whether they like it or not, it's good for their safety, too: Crime goes through the floor when good people are armed.

    Quite frankly, I'd be more concerned about being sneaky. You're going to look a hell of a lot more suspicious if you're nervous and trying to hide what you're doing.

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    tricityguy wrote:
    Quite frankly, I'd be more concerned about being sneaky. You're going to look a hell of a lot more suspicious if you're nervous and trying to hide what you're doing.
    +1 My thoughts exactly!
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    thebastidge wrote:
    It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.
    Tell me about it. Just this past week I started having some heavy pains in my weak-side buttocks and down my hamstring. I had to sit in my chair/ottoman with a heat pad, and that seems to have helped resolve it, at least for now. It took me a few days to figure out that the weight of the gun was causing it, but when I did I quit carrying for a few days. It seems to have passed for now, but I'm thinking I will look for a smaller gun, and not carry every day as I've been doing. I have a full-size Glock (21C) and with a full mag of 13 rounds it's pretty heavy. Though I like the stopping power of the .45ACP, I may step down to a .40 or even a 9mm if it means less weight on my hip. One alternative to this may be using a Sam Browne belt with suspenders as many LEO's do, but that would be a bit pretentious.

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.
    Tell me about it. Just this past week I started having some heavy pains in my weak-side buttocks and down my hamstring. I had to sit in my chair/ottoman with a heat pad, and that seems to have helped resolve it, at least for now. It took me a few days to figure out that the weight of the gun was causing it, but when I did I quit carrying for a few days. It seems to have passed for now, but I'm thinking I will look for a smaller gun, and not carry every day as I've been doing. I have a full-size Glock (21C) and with a full mag of 13 rounds it's pretty heavy. Though I like the stopping power of the .45ACP, I may step down to a .40 or even a 9mm if it means less weight on my hip. One alternative to this may be using a Sam Browne belt with suspenders as many LEO's do, but that would be a bit pretentious.
    You may want to look into the G27; subcompact .40S&W. I have one that I carry in a Serpa CQC holster that I sometimes forget I'm even wearing. With the Pearce +1 mag-plate grip extension, I have a place for my pinky finger and can carry 10+1 of Winchester Ranger 165gr SXT.
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    just_a_car wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.
    Tell me about it. Just this past week I started having some heavy pains in my weak-side buttocks and down my hamstring. I had to sit in my chair/ottoman with a heat pad, and that seems to have helped resolve it, at least for now. It took me a few days to figure out that the weight of the gun was causing it, but when I did I quit carrying for a few days. It seems to have passed for now, but I'm thinking I will look for a smaller gun, and not carry every day as I've been doing. I have a full-size Glock (21C) and with a full mag of 13 rounds it's pretty heavy. Though I like the stopping power of the .45ACP, I may step down to a .40 or even a 9mm if it means less weight on my hip. One alternative to this may be using a Sam Browne belt with suspenders as many LEO's do, but that would be a bit pretentious.
    You may want to look into the G27; subcompact .40S&W. I have one that I carry in a Serpa CQC holster that I sometimes forget I'm even wearing. With the Pearce +1 mag-plate grip extension, I have a place for my pinky finger and can carry 10+1 of Winchester Ranger 165gr SXT.
    Thanx for the lead. I originally bought the Glock for taking to the range, not intending to carry. (This was long before I even knew OC was legal; I carried it from home to the range in the trunk, in a locked case, with a cable lock through the action ) Since then I haven't been doing a lot of research on options, but your tip is a good start.

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    Richard6218 wrote:
    just_a_car wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.
    Tell me about it. Just this past week I started having some heavy pains in my weak-side buttocks and down my hamstring. I had to sit in my chair/ottoman with a heat pad, and that seems to have helped resolve it, at least for now. It took me a few days to figure out that the weight of the gun was causing it, but when I did I quit carrying for a few days. It seems to have passed for now, but I'm thinking I will look for a smaller gun, and not carry every day as I've been doing. I have a full-size Glock (21C) and with a full mag of 13 rounds it's pretty heavy. Though I like the stopping power of the .45ACP, I may step down to a .40 or even a 9mm if it means less weight on my hip. One alternative to this may be using a Sam Browne belt with suspenders as many LEO's do, but that would be a bit pretentious.
    You may want to look into the G27; subcompact .40S&W. I have one that I carry in a Serpa CQC holster that I sometimes forget I'm even wearing. With the Pearce +1 mag-plate grip extension, I have a place for my pinky finger and can carry 10+1 of Winchester Ranger 165gr SXT.
    Thanx for the lead. I originally bought the Glock for taking to the range, not intending to carry. (This was long before I even knew OC was legal; I carried it from home to the range in the trunk, in a locked case, with a cable lock through the action ) Since then I haven't been doing a lot of research on options, but your tip is a good start.
    Why put the gun in the glove box when traveling? That kinda defeats the purpose of having the firearm doesn't it? Just lay it on the seat next to you. If it makes you selfconscious to have it in the open, just lay a small white towel over it.

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    Richard,

    You might try a different type of holster or try a mag carrier, cell phone carrier, something else on the other side for balance. The off-balance weight is probably more important than the total weight, up to a point. I trade around, not using the same holster all the time, depening on my activity of the day, but also just because sometimes it's more comfortable to carry SOB (it's fairly well balanced that way). SOB also causes me to sit up straighter, rather than slumping, and that is good for my back posture as well.

    And not to be personally critical, but how is your physical condition? That might contribute more than carrying the sidearm. Is there some exercise you might be able to do which relives your hip stress and strengthens your muscles to prevent that stress? Back problems amongst us sedentary Americans are not usually from over-work, but from under-work, we often don't have the core body condition to keep ourselves together. The large rubber work-out balls are good for this, can be had for about $20, and turn even TV-watching into mild, continuous, but virtually unnoticeableexercise.
    Be prepared. Be very prepared.

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    thebastidge wrote:
    Richard,

    You might try a different type of holster or try a mag carrier, cell phone carrier, something else on the other side for balance. The off-balance weight is probably more important than the total weight, up to a point. I trade around, not using the same holster all the time, depening on my activity of the day, but also just because sometimes it's more comfortable to carry SOB (it's fairly well balanced that way). SOB also causes me to sit up straighter, rather than slumping, and that is good for my back posture as well.

    And not to be personally critical, but how is your physical condition? That might contribute more than carrying the sidearm. Is there some exercise you might be able to do which relives your hip stress and strengthens your muscles to prevent that stress? Back problems amongst us sedentary Americans are not usually from over-work, but from under-work, we often don't have the core body condition to keep ourselves together. The large rubber work-out balls are good for this, can be had for about $20, and turn even TV-watching into mild, continuous, but virtually unnoticeableexercise.
    It's easy for me to sit here in the anonymity of my computer and use all kinds of excuses, but yes, I do have a major problem with condition. I could well stand to lose >80# and that situation is probably more than half the cause of the problem. The unbalanced load on my hips was just the trigger (pardon the pun ) Interestingly, two days after I quit carrying and did the heating pad treatment I seem to be back to normal. But I do think I'm going to look for a smaller pieceand perhaps use a different type holster. That's going to be a tough decision because I like the .45ACP's stopping power. just_a_car has suggested a S&W G27 in .40 which sounds like a good candidate. I'll be looking at some others, but also I already own a S&W .38 Special which is about the right size. Problem with that is the stopping power, and also thatit's not a semi, which I prefer. But it might be good until I can make a final decision. Too bad about all this --- I've been drooling over the new Springfield XD(M) 9mm with a 19+1 magazine, but that isn't much smaller than my Glock. I think it's going to come down to an economic decision: guns or butter

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    just_a_car wrote:
    Richard6218 wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    It's also a long-term health issue. An unbalanced weight, of even just 3 or 4 pounds, can cause long term problems with your back, hips, etc. It's like a repetitive stress injury, it creeps up on you unnoticeably until it just hurts all the time.
    Tell me about it. Just this past week I started having some heavy pains in my weak-side buttocks and down my hamstring. I had to sit in my chair/ottoman with a heat pad, and that seems to have helped resolve it, at least for now. It took me a few days to figure out that the weight of the gun was causing it, but when I did I quit carrying for a few days. It seems to have passed for now, but I'm thinking I will look for a smaller gun, and not carry every day as I've been doing. I have a full-size Glock (21C) and with a full mag of 13 rounds it's pretty heavy. Though I like the stopping power of the .45ACP, I may step down to a .40 or even a 9mm if it means less weight on my hip. One alternative to this may be using a Sam Browne belt with suspenders as many LEO's do, but that would be a bit pretentious.
    You may want to look into the G27; subcompact .40S&W. I have one that I carry in a Serpa CQC holster that I sometimes forget I'm even wearing. With the Pearce +1 mag-plate grip extension, I have a place for my pinky finger and can carry 10+1 of Winchester Ranger 165gr SXT.
    Thanx for the lead. I originally bought the Glock for taking to the range, not intending to carry. (This was long before I even knew OC was legal; I carried it from home to the range in the trunk, in a locked case, with a cable lock through the action ) Since then I haven't been doing a lot of research on options, but your tip is a good start.
    Why put the gun in the glove box when traveling? That kinda defeats the purpose of having the firearm doesn't it? Just lay it on the seat next to you. If it makes you selfconscious to have it in the open, just lay a small white towel over it.
    That's what I used to do before I found out that OC was legal. I would only take it out of the house when I was going to the range, and I kept it unloaded and in the locked case. I kept the ammo separate, with the gun(s) in the back and ammo in the front with me. In short, I was totally paranoid about getting busted for carrying a loaded firearm. How things change Now I carry a fully-loaded 13-round mag on my hip in the car and if I'm going to the range with my cannon as well (that's a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag) I keep in on the seat next to me with all the ammo for both guns. And with my Doberman in the back NO ONE will dare mess with me. (What they don't know is he will lick you to deathif you give him the chance.)

  25. #25
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Richard6218 wrote:
    thebastidge wrote:
    Richard,

    You might try a different type of holster or try a mag carrier, cell phone carrier, something else on the other side for balance. The off-balance weight is probably more important than the total weight, up to a point. I trade around, not using the same holster all the time, depening on my activity of the day, but also just because sometimes it's more comfortable to carry SOB (it's fairly well balanced that way). SOB also causes me to sit up straighter, rather than slumping, and that is good for my back posture as well.

    And not to be personally critical, but how is your physical condition? That might contribute more than carrying the sidearm. Is there some exercise you might be able to do which relives your hip stress and strengthens your muscles to prevent that stress? Back problems amongst us sedentary Americans are not usually from over-work, but from under-work, we often don't have the core body condition to keep ourselves together. The large rubber work-out balls are good for this, can be had for about $20, and turn even TV-watching into mild, continuous, but virtually unnoticeableexercise.
    It's easy for me to sit here in the anonymity of my computer and use all kinds of excuses, but yes, I do have a major problem with condition. I could well stand to lose >80# and that situation is probably more than half the cause of the problem. The unbalanced load on my hips was just the trigger (pardon the pun ) Interestingly, two days after I quit carrying and did the heating pad treatment I seem to be back to normal. But I do think I'm going to look for a smaller pieceand perhaps use a different type holster. That's going to be a tough decision because I like the .45ACP's stopping power. just_a_car has suggested a S&W G27 in .40 which sounds like a good candidate. I'll be looking at some others, but also I already own a S&W .38 Special which is about the right size. Problem with that is the stopping power, and also thatit's not a semi, which I prefer. But it might be good until I can make a final decision. Too bad about all this --- I've been drooling over the new Springfield XD(M) 9mm with a 19+1 magazine, but that isn't much smaller than my Glock. I think it's going to come down to an economic decision: guns or butter
    No, I was suggesting a GLOCK model 27 (e.g., G27) in the caliber .40S&W.

    I might also add that I use the paddle attachment rather than the belt loop attachment for my Serpa CQC that I find works very well and gives good support.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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