There exist numerous methods for concealed carry of handguns and with each method come a number of manufacturers, materials and types of of holsters. I am a fan of very few methods of carry for personal protection and admittedly NOT a fan of ankle carry for a primary handgun. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we want and the time comes when we have to explore options outside our comfort zone or personal preferences i.e. ankle carry/CCW.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to meet and train with a couple guys from Alessi Holsters located in Cheektowaga, NY. Anyone who carries a handgun on the job or off has probably at one time or another heard of Alessi and their reputation in the industry is well earned. Founded in 1974, Alessi holsters was primarily know for producing custom hand crafted holsters for the US Government and several foreign military agencies. In recent years Alessi has opened up production to citizens, undercover LE and security professionals who carry a gun every day.
One of the guys from Alessi approached me and showed me his Alessi ankle rig commenting on how I was pocket carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 backup. As stated above, I was not a fan of ankle carry due to the difficulties associated with accessing the handgun from that location and comfort issues I had experienced with previous ankle holsters I had evaluated for my personal use. Upon seeing the Alessi rig I immediately saw the difference in design quality, durability and comfort. Jeff allowed me to use his Alessi ankle holster for the remainder of that day during the class consisting of approximately 7 hrs on my feet shooting and moving. I will admit that I forgot I had that ankle rig on. The holster was so comfortable that I didn’t want to give it back and, if I recall correctly, I offered to buy his from him right there on the spot. Upon returning home that night I got online and purchased an Alessi ankle holster via the Alessiholsters.com web store for my SW642. Over the last year and a half I have found myself presented with several occasions where carrying my full size guns was a no go such as weddings, formal meetings and other such events. The Alessi ankle rig has been with me each time.
I received my holster in just less than 3 weeks and immediately started utilizing it for my backup gun. Made of russet leather and felt this holster is extremely durable and most importantly to me, comfortable. If a holster is not comfortable for 8+ hrs of extended wear I won’t wear it. It measures 5.25 inches in height and under 2 inches at its thickest point (cylinder). The 2 inch wide wrap around secures via Velcro and is extremely robust and secure. When I first received it I did a little jog test on the treadmill for about half a mile with no shifting or retention problems. Since that time I have had occasion to sprint short distances and grapple in combatives classes while wearing this holster with similar results; retention is excellent.
Ankle Carry Considerations:
The Alessi ankle holster has changed my opinion of ankle carry as an option when circumstances dictate non-traditional primary carry. I now appreciate the positive reviews and recommendations for this holster I’ve received from LE undercover officer friends and Federal Agents I have had the pleasure of interacting and training with. To top things off Alessi offers a (3) day return policy and free lifetime holster repair for common wear damage. I will continue to utilize my Alessi ankle holster and if you are in the market I encourage you to check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Alessi Ankle Rig: $165 + Shipping
Contact Alessi Holsters: http://www.alessigunholsters.com/
Today Remington contacted NYFirearms.com with a response to CNBC.
“For nearly fifty years, the Remington Model 700 rifle has been the preferred choice for millions of hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts and military and law enforcement personnel. For Remington’s response to CNBC, visit www.Remington700.tv.
Remington Arms Company, Inc.”
One video from the site listed above describes testing and safety at the factory:
Selecting a handgun for personal or home protection is a very individual subject. I am often asked what gun I recommend and will usually give suggestions or offer a few elements to consider, rarely suggesting a specific make, model or manufacturer. Here are some points to consider before you purchase:
1) The gun has to fit your hand. A lot of people buy guns that are simply too big (the grip) for their hand. This is mainly done because the individual “likes” a certain gun or someone told them that is the gun they should buy because that’s what they have or they like. Again, this is a highly individualized subject. I know a guy who was told that he HAD to have a Beretta 92F (M9) because that’s what the military uses. He went out and bought one and that gun was way too big for his hand and had all sorts of problems shooting that handgun well. So, just because someone tells you that’s what you should have does not mean its right, nor does it mean because someone is an “instructor” they will know what YOU should get or need. You need to do the leg work and research to find what best suits your needs. Companies like Glock make several models in varied sizes of the same caliber in order to meet people of varied sizes and needs; G26, G19, G17, G34- all 9mm.
2) Along the lines of fitting your hand, whatever gun you choose it must be possible for you to reach and operate the controls TOTALLY one handed. The safety, magazine release, slide stop/release, all must be accessible with the firing hand only (strong or support). If you have to fight with just one hand (due to injury or because your possibly holding your daughter or son’s hand at the time) but have only trained to use both your hands to run the gun then you have a potentially lethal problem. If you have to extremely modify or compromise your grip on the gun which increases the chance of dropping, severely inhibits response time or compromises safety then you have a problem and need to find a better alternative.
3) IF that gun will be dedicated to protecting your life, the life of your family or perhaps a third party, it should be relatively simple to operate. I am not a fan of guns with multiple action types: Single action/Double action etc. I don’t like guns with de-cockers or even thumb safeties. The more mechanical devices on the gun, the longer it will take you to fully understand and become proficient with its manual of arms. If you have the time to study the manual of arms for your handgun and become proficient thats great but remember, we don’t get to choose when trouble will find us. You may buy your new gun today and tomorrow night is when that critical incident could occur. Simple, striker fired guns provide you and possibly others in your family with immediate options with little study of the gun.
4) It must be robust – if this gun will be protecting your life then it better be reliable. Some guns are known for being finicky. That’s not a positive attribute for a personal protection handgun, in my opinion. It should be able to take a large amount of abuse and still work great. It should be able to fire 500+ rounds in a training class without having issues.
5) Can you conceal the gun? If you posess a concealed carry license and choose to carry your handgun daily then it is your job to conceal that handgun. Some guns are more difficult to conceal than others depending upon factors such as handgun size, your body composition (tall, lean, short or heavy), most common mode of dress (do you wear a suit or skirt daily) and the environment you reside in (cold, hot, humid etc). All of these factors along with selecting a robust holster and the best carry position for you must be considered.
6) Finally- think about the future. If you are married or have kids, can your spouse, son or daughter pick up the gun and operate it under bad circumstances? It may be you who is sick or injured in bed and one of them may have to defend you with the handgun. Is it a relatively simple gun to extend into their visual plane, touch the trigger and press off rounds? If you have difficulty with the gun at the range shooting paper targets and under minimal stress then how will it be for them when a home intruder is coming up the stairs and you are incapacitated, injured, bed-ridden or unable to do anything?
What about caliber? What caliber gun is best for personal protection is an age old debate; some say .45 stops them every time while others state that 9mm or .38 will get the job done equally well. Lately, I keep hearing and am told that .40 is the only way to go. My advice is to get a gun that fits your hand, buy lots and lots of ammunition and practice placing the rounds exactly where you want them to go. The next time you consider getting into a debate about caliber and which is the best man stopper consider this: The Peter Soulis Incident.
Start slow and build up speed, add some stress and some shoot-no-shoot decision making. Shot placement is far more important than what caliber gun your choose to carry, but, like many things in life it takes some work to get good at. Select a hangun that works for YOU and then go do the work.
Chris Fry is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, NY where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 twice now, so I feel I can accurately review this class. First off, Modern Defensive Training Systems (MDTS) is run by Chris Fry, a well-versed training instructor as well as a great contributor to our forums, here at NY Firearms.Chris does not claim to be some crazy military, special forces, and he is especially not a ninja. With this said, he has had many years and several thousands of hours training, which can easily be seen in the way he carries himself and speaks to the class. He is always more than willing to help students throughout the class and is very knowledgeable in what he teaches.
To quote the course description from MDTS, Combative Carbine Skills series “emphasizes three critical elements of defensive shooting: Mindset, Skill-At-Arms, and Tactics.” CCS 1&2 begins the series with the fundamentals needed to operate the carbine in a combative and defensive manner. What I love, personally, is the focus on the class from a citizen perspective, which 90% of us who take these classes will be using the training for.
The first hour of the day was classroom-based training, which went over firearms safety, range safety, some carbine history and zeroing, accessories and rifle modifications, as well as some initial administrative firearms handling and platforms. Once the initial classroom training was complete, we moved out to the range and jumped right into zeroing our rifles.
Once all of the rifles were zeroed, training began. Without divulging too much of the course, there was a great deal of information thrown at the attendees. Personally, I enjoy “drinking from the firehose” as they say, but I can see how some people may not like that approach. However, most everyone rose to the occasion and stepped up their game to learn.
I also noticed that there were several people attending the class who had just bought their AR-15 or similar carbine, and by the end of the class they were engaging targets out to 75 yards, and clearing complicated “triple feed” malfunctions. Considering how some of the newer shooters were picking up the information, I have to say that speaks louder than I can about Chris’ proficiency as a trainer.
As I said above, this is the second time I have had the chance to take this class from MDTS, which has joined my resume of several other carbine training classes, and I have to say that I would highly recommend anyone with carbine rifles to give this class a shot (no pun intended). From the basic fundamentals to some advanced weapon malfunction clearing, the class provides a great deal of valuable information to the average shooter.
Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 Course Details
The MDTS Combative Carbine Skills curriculm is designed for the new rifle owner, individuals who have owned a rifle but never attended formal training as well as the seasoned operator. A solid grounding in safety and fundamentals of gun handling is presented with a heavy emphasis on the students ability to manipulate the carbine platform while mult-tasking or under stress. This is a fast paced, challenging course. Course content will include but is not limited to:
CCS1 Firearm Safety/Range Safety
History & Zero
Modifications & Sling Options
Personal Equipment Selection & Placement
Carry & Carbine Ready Positions
Shooting Response Theory
After Action Assessment Concept
Bilateral Weapon Operation
Transition to Handgun
Combative Shooting Positions
Vertical and Lateral Displacement
Multiple Target Engagement
Fundamental Use of Cover & Concealment and more…
A serviceable carbine to include M4, AR15, AK47 or pistol caliber rifle, a minimum of 3 magazines, 500+ rounds rifle – NO GREEN TIP OR AP AMMUNITION, 50 rounds pistol, eye and ear protection, pistol and minimum of 2 magazines (if you own a pistol), appropriate clothing for weather, water, hat with brim, optional equipment- sling, gloves & knee pads.
*A pistol is not required to attend this course
Additional Equipment Considerations:
Weapon mounted illumination tool, knee & elbow protection, note taking materials, lunch for full day class
I know this article is a few weeks old now, but I just ran across it and gave it a good read. Read it and let us know what you think!
Personally, I am for enhancing gun safety and the like, but not if its just another stepping stone in trying to eliminate our Second Amendment rights.
We’ve just put up a new page with some very important gun safety rules. It describes many of the common rules seen on NRA documents, and other organization’s gun safety rules. Take a look at the page and read over the rules. There could be some rules that you have not read in the past. Let us know what you think!