So I have decided to switch to AIWB but still have two main concerns. The reduced safety in a car crash from how AIWB interferes with the seat belt and the unrelated issue of offhand drawing.
Here is the best advice I could find so far on the seatbelt issue:
For offhand drawing even though the pistol is closer to my offhand I find getting a shooting grip on it to be much more difficult than reaching around my back with my weak hand when strong side carrying.
Interested in solutions folks may have come up with.
An excellent and educational video. Yes, you are much more likely to be in an accident than a gunfight so get your priorities right. Of course you can always remove your firearm and carry it another way in your car if your states laws permit. And I don’t mean just putting it on the passenger seat so it becomes a missile in an accident.
As for offhand draw, one thing I practice is to remove the gun from the holster by grasping it at the rear of the slide, then putting it between my knees and getting the correct grip. Not ideal time-wise, but I think safer than fumbling around trying to get the correct grip from the get-go.
Thanks for the input. Even though having to make an offhand draw is unlikely I don’t want the first time I am trying to do it be under duress. I Will have to practice some different techniques.
Off body in the car is not a great option for me. I don’t want to have to reholster or replace the holster every time I get in and out. And if I need to get out in a hurry for any reason I don’t want to be delayed by having to grab and secure the pistol.
But I do think the risk of injury is increased at least a little bit by AIWB. One of the first things I learned in EMT class was how important it is to have your seatbelt on low and tight. One of the next things I was told was to make sure you pee before driving because a full bladder can burst when you suddenly decelerate with a seatbelt on or hitting the steering wheel.
This was a concern for me starting out — concentrated force of an intervening hard object against the pelvic ring or abdominal organs, depending upon your precise carry location. How it resolved for me:
find holster/gun combination that is flattish and tapers to the body w/o hard corners or angles;
avoid the pelvis by staying forward of 2:30;
avoid the abdomen by staying behind 1:00 or 1:30.
For me that is a great position for access, concealment, and comfort — so gravy all around.
I can’t remember where I learned my weak-hand draw, but I think it might have been a written description somewhere, not YouTube. It is not pretzeling to acquire a firing grip before the draw, but manipulating after the pistol is out of the holster without dropping it. It is not a speed thing. I’ll see if I can describe the elements with a semi-auto pistol:
figure out weak hand access to the gun past cover garments or other obstruction;
take a firm high grip upside down;
(pinky against the trigger guard, thumb on the magazine base)
press grip against abdomen to keep muzzle pointed clear;
pull gun from holster, maintaining outward muzzle direction;
rotate gun to face directly forward, muzzle down at about 45 degrees;
press the gun firmly against the abdomen at a stable location;
(exact location depends upon body shape, belt buckles, other lumps and hollows)
“crawl” the hand over the magazine base to establish a solid, indexed, weak hand firing grip;
(hard to describe, but figuring this out is key to whatever speed and safety you will develop)
release manual safety if appropriate;
proceed to business at hand.
Practice a million times with empty gun or snap caps to a dry shot. This is a last-chance survival manipulation. Learn how long it takes, but certainty is the objective — not speed. If you need strong-hand speed to solve your problem, you’re in trouble. If you want a fast weak-hand draw, carry a weak-hand gun.
Thanks for the description, will give it a try. Sounds like there is no way to maintain speedy offhand access with AIWB. Guess that is the price you pay for speedier strong hand access, better concealability and better retention.
Just as important to have your handgun securely attached to your body in the event of a crash. If your being carted off for medical attention
& your rIg is being carted off by AAA, if your still in one piece hopefully your firearm is still attached to you and didn’t get ejected from your rig, found by someone or left unsecured in your rig. Similar topic came up about holsters and motorcycles. ** Good topic Mr. Shamrock
Don’t think I can contort my arm and hand enough for that to work from the AIWB position:) But if I chose to carry a backup pistol on my offhand side that just might work while still giving me quick access with my strong hand.
Seatbelt is an issue. I dont know if there is a good solution really. I do carry in the 2:00 position as @techs suggested.
For off hand draw I use the following technique. It requires a rigid holster like kydex and a lot of practice but it becomes muscle memory if you do it enough. I tuck my shirt behing the sweat guard of the holster for any one handed draw, be very careful about this. The shirt can cause a dropped gun or negligent discharge. I also only own handguns that have grip safeties which makes this technique very safe because the only time the backstrap is pressed is when a master grip has been established if you do it right.
** always try out new stuff with a cleared firearm and no ammo anywhere near you **
Place the fingers of your offhand under the grip, web of your thumb and pointer over the rear sight, thumb aligned with the grip between the grip and your gut. No fingers or thumb should be on the backstrap where it could defeat the grip safety.
Pull up on the grip with your fingers and rotate the gun 180 degrees around the bore axis with the grip above your hand and rotating away from your body. Again, no fingers or thumb should be anywhere near the grip safety.
Set the muzzle into the holster 180 degrees out from normal so the grip is now in a natural orientation for off hand draw. The gun should just sit there and be held sturdily enough on its own if your holster is solid, but the retention will be minimal.
Establish a master grip with your off hand and draw using your normal drawing technique.
That is a creative way around the hazard presented by a grip safety in the method I described. I don’t and don’t expect to have a grip safety, but experimented with this because I couldn’t quite visualize the process in my head. Another 10,000 times would probably improve my facility with it, but I encountered complications with my hand and equipment which I’m not sure would go away with practice.
I can’t squeeze much more than a t-shirt behind my holster — that not very securely; and I’m usually covering with something more substantial (rugby shirt, hoody, vest, etc).
With M&P 9mm I can barely hook the tip of my middle finger under the front of the grip; thumb and other fingers cannot contribute anything to the initial draw beyond a bit of stability.
The retention I want on my holster makes it 50:50 whether that limited grasp gets the gun out or pulls my hand free of the gun — or just ooof… and nothing moves.
I need to pull the muzzle entirely free of the holster in order to rotate it; then it needs to be reoriented and reinserted for grip establishment.
The entire process has the uncovered gun muzzling rather closer down the front of my body than I would prefer.
I do reinsert my pistol upside down in the holster to reload, and might just hold it there if concerned about a need to get it back out quickly. I clear my cover garment by snaking the off hand up underneath to establish my initial grip (upside down), and use a flagged thumb to clear the holster on the way back in. Despite my soliloquy on the use of non-visual cues, this would definitely be a visual reholster for me.
My approach takes the upside down grip from the sides and front strap, and might or might not need to interact with a grip safety at all before the firing grip is being formed. Even if it did, I would prefer to just be aware that I was handling a regular gun with only a regular safety during a weak-hand evolution. Different hands, different guns, different equipment, and different perceptions will arrive at different solutions.
I love reading these articles. A lot of responses to the question and a lot of correct answers. But here’s an old cops take both on duty and off duty. On duty traditional carry right side duty holster. Never a problem never in an accident in 35 yrs. Off duty SOB carry. Never had a problem never in an accident that resulted in a problem with that carry in over 50 yrs of driving. Train but don’t make harder than real life is. I have tried and just don’t care for ITW carry. Not comfortable to me and if it’s not comfortable I won’t use it. SOB sits well in a seat and is easily concealable. In an accident the first responders will do is find and secure your weapon. You won’t have a choice if you are that injured. Saw it many times. Use common sense make it comfortable and useable don’t make it hard. Just my ole 2cts
Your 2 cents is worth a million bucks ! Good info as I use your same technique. Owb level 2 and concealed sob In Level one kydex it’s a snap fit gun goes in and it snaps ( clicks ) real good retention Sob comfort can’t be beat and it’s conceal abilities are Great for me