Monday, June 30, 2014

Training - Drop 'em - or How to retain your gun while you hit the head


This topic has taken a walk through various on-line haunts I frequent lately. It’s one of those topics that folks just don’t talk about – body functions, droppin’ your drawers, heads, toilets, ceramic thrones . . . you get the idea. And yet, every year there are a dozen stories of guns left behind or folks wounded through poor gun handling skills while a person performs a necessary bodily function. So let’s chat a bit about that.

There are multiple modes of carry that can be lumped into two general categories – “off body” carry and “on body” carry. The majority of this discussion will revolve around “on body” carry. That said – let’s spend a few words on “off body” carry. . . .

NEVER LOOSE CONTROL OF YOUR PURSE, BACKPACK, BRIEFCASE, MAN—PURSE OR WHAT EVER OTHER FRICKIN’ OFFBODY CARRYING DEVICE YOU ARE USING!!!! I would think that would make common sense – yet it does not seem to for some folks.

For the ladies – do not set it near stall doors or sidewalls – period! Use an end stall – ALWAYS!! If you need to hold it a bit – HOLD IT!! Use the handicapped stall if at all possible. Set your “package” in the far- away corner against a wall – not the next stall. Get in a position that you can defend it if necessary or grab it quickly if you can. The decision to carry a defensive weapon is a LIFE ALTERATING EVENT – it affects everything from the shoes you wear to the purse you carry. Work with it. Don’t fight it. And, it includes decisions you make when you head to the powder room as well.

For the guys who are carrying off body – there is nothing different here either. Read the paragraph above and integrate it into your life style. One secondary consideration is when you are doing your business standing up. First – consider using a stall anyway. Lock the door and do your business. This will afford you the most protection. In the case you decide to use the wall full of urinals - some of the same rules apply – use the urinal that is against a wall. Put your “package” in the corner where you can defend it. If it is “murse”, backpack or briefcase with a shoulder strap – I would suggest you leave it on, take the urinal against the wall and position the bag so it too is against the wall. And . . . finish your business as quickly as you can.

Finally . . . I cannot begin to tell you how much I dislike off-body carry. I would urge you to reconsider, adapt your clothing to allow you to carry on your person – preferably dominant side or appendix carry. On-body provides you the most control – it is simply preferred IMNSHO.

OK – got off body out of the way – let focus on hitting the head with a defensive weapon that is being carried in an “on body” fashion. And let’s hit the fundamentals quickly.

PURCHASE A HOLSTER THAT FITS YOUR GUN!!! My head nearly explodes every time I hear the words “my gun just fell out of my holster”. REALLY????? YOUR FRICKIN’ GUN FELL OUT OF YOUR HOLSTER???? You’re a DUMB ASS!!! One of the primary purposes of a holster is RETENTION! How do you test for that?? First – UNLOAD YOUR FRICKIN’ GUN (I feel the need to “raise my voice” just a bit because if we are even having this discussion about a gun falling out of a holster . . . and you are puzzled as to why that’s an issue – I sure the hell want to make sure YOUR FRICKIN’ GUN IS UNLOADED!!).


Then, with your holster in your hand, insert your gun, hold the holster upside down by the outer edges and shake the darn thing.


If your gun falls out – tighten any retention screws and repeat until the gun remains firmly in the holster despite vigorous shaking. If it does not . . . if it continues to fall out . . . consider it an indication of divine intervention and BUY ANOTHER FRICKIN’ HOLSTER!! ONE THAT ACTUALLY FITS YOUR WEAPON!!!

Next – your belt. And this rule holds true whether male or female . . . WEAR A DAMN GUN BELT!!! Not a cute little designer belt that looks great with your pants/slacks/skirt – whatever. Wear a real, honest to goodness gun belt designed to hold a couple of pounds of steel to your body. This is typically one of the first changes in clothing that a shooter that decides to carry a defensive weapon throughout their day faces. And, it’s one of the most important. As the old knight said – “choose wisely”. I did a post some time back on “Da Belt” – it might be worth some time for you to review it. “But, but, but . . . those won’t go with my skirt, slacks, pants . . .” Honestly, I don’t care – find one that does or change your clothing. A belt that doesn’t hold up your weapon is worthless.

When wearing your weapon on your belt – I always suggest IWB carry. You can do a much better job of concealing it with your clothing. The three most common positions for IWB carry are “strong side”, “appendix” and “center of the back”. For those using OWB these probably settle down to “strong side” and “center of the back”. These are the assumed positions for this discussion. They do not include “ankle” carry – when droppin’ drawers, little needs to be done to retain your weapon. If you have some other creative way to carry on your ankle or thigh – just work on it so you retain secure control of your defensive weapons.

For the guys doing their business standing up . . . center of the back carry simply sucks. If a predator detects you are carrying and decides to take your gun in the head – all he needs to do is to slam you into the urinal and take your weapon from the center of your back. This is one of the reasons I avoid center of the back carry. The other is just plain comfort – it’s not for me.

For appendix carry and strong side carry – choose the urinal on the end that affords your weapon the most protection. Since my dominant side is my right side – I will always use the right side urinal. And yes . . . I will wait if I can or use a stall. This provides you the best chance to protect your weapon should the need arise.

I suppose it should be common sense . . . but news reports all too often prove that it is not . . . while in the head - DO NOT REMOVE YOUR FRICKIN’ WEAPON FROM IT’S HOLSTER EVER!!!!! UNLESS IT IS TO DEFEND YOUR LIFE!!!

Just to repeat in case you didn’t hear that . . . while in the head - DO NOT REMOVE YOUR FRICKIN’ WEAPON FROM IT’S HOLSTER EVER!!!!! UNLESS IT IS TO DEFEND YOUR LIFE!!!

This is one more of the “head exploding” parts of the commentary when some person removes their gun, lays it on the floor, the back of the toilet, hangs it from the coat hook . . . and then forgets it. THAT DRIVES ME RIGHT OFF THE CLIFF!!!

The only time your weapon should clear your holster is in defense of your life, while in use on the range, to unload it for cleaning or to return it to the safe. Otherwise, your defensive weapon should remain holstered . . . PERIOD!!!.

General rules of thumb for when you need to drop your drawers . . .

ALWAYS use an end stall. Wait if necessary. And, when possible, use the handicapped stall. The end stall provides an outer wall for protection and reduces your area of concern to just the door and sidewall.

ALWAYS use a stall that locks . . . if the door doesn’t lock – move stalls or restrooms keeping in mind the desire to use an outer wall stall.


Tuck your holster into the inner side of your pant leg. It will look something like this . . . and yes – the photos are “work and child friendly” (pervert!)


I will then cover the holstered weapon with my underwear . . .


This does a couple of things. It helps secure the holstered weapon so it doesn’t roll forward. And, it hides it should the bottom of the door be just a bit high.

Of course, were I wearing one of my thongs . . . it wouldn’t hide nearly as much. So, I have made the supreme sacrifice and discarded them all in favor of boxer briefs . . . yep . . . that’s my story . . .

This process is adaptable across genders and is workable for both slacks and skirts. It puts your weapon between your legs (DO NOT GO THERE) allowing better control and protection.

After the “paper work is done” I pull my pants up on my dominant side with my hand on the holster. DO NOT just yank up your pants – you simply must control your holstered weapon and the best way to do that is to hold it while you pull your pants up.

Finally, take some time to make sure you have properly rearranged your clothing to conceal your weapon and make sure your gun belt is secure. It’s time well spent.

Probably way too much information . . . but for those folks that carry 90% or more of the time . . . this will simply be part of your day.

As for the photos . . . they were taken at home. They were not staged – simply taken during “normal business hours”.

You are responsible for the retention of your defensive weapon . . . regardless of the time of day, your location . . . or . . .

. . . the “business” at hand.


  1. Yep, good points, and what scares me are the ones that say, "Oh I take it out of the holster and put it on top of (insert some object here)... sigh

  2. Thanks for the tips, I had not thought about this.
    Finally saved up enough for my pistol, which is home now, and have put my name in for a couple of classes with the local guru. Excited doesn't begin to cover it! I'm still reading back thru prior posts, gleaning as much as possible. You have been more help than you know. Thank you.

  3. Jim - yep. Boggles the mind . . .

    Brighid - Congrats!! I expect pictures of you in the course!! And pictures of your final targets as well!! :) And thanks for the kind words, glad you find value in all this stuff!

  4. Nice socks.

    Part of the reason I use a DETACHABLE IWB holster. SO I can remove the firearms from my belt before sitting down...yet keep the weapon holstered.

    Other than that, my drill is much like yours.

    Except that I "rarely wear underwear, but when I do it is usually something unusual"