CCW – Having to Adapt
It’s funny how we get set in our ways. I have been carrying a concealed weapon for about 20 years. I carry my pistol just behind my right hip. I am on the thinner side, so I found if I carry IWB, I can conceal most service size pistols that way. It works for me. It works on the range, in training classes, and seems to work when I am out and about. When I look at holsters, I evaluate them based on their usefulness to me in a behind the hip position.
Last Summer I suffered a rotator cuff injury that prevented me from not only raising my right arm more than about 20 degrees, I was also not able to reach backwards. At all. My right arm was pretty much useless for the better part of 6 weeks. During physical therapy, I regained limited use of my arm and shoulder and achieved some degree of movement, although not enough to reach back to my normal carry position. I decided to try carrying in the appendix position. Using a Don Hume H715MWC, I found that I could easily reach in front of me to access my pistol. As my PT progressed, so did my ability to quickly access my handgun. With practice, carrying the H715M at 2 o’clock (rather than 4 o’clock) became second nature. I have found that the lack of cant in the H715M makes it much easier for me to draw from now. There is no strain on my shoulder when I lift the gun straight out of the holster like there is when I draw from a rig with a slight forward cant. This simple holster is proving to be very versatile and is capable of serving its user in other ways besides just as a strong side IWB.
It has been 9 months since my injury. I started lifting weights again about 4 weeks ago. I can finally reach back behind my hip and draw a handgun without pain, but I do have to limit the number of repetitions to avoid soreness the next day. Strange thing is, I now find myself grabbing one of my Hume H715M’s and using appendix carry rather than strong side.
As I continue to heal, only time will tell if I move back to strong side carry. Each has its merits and its drawbacks, but I would not have discovered this other option for CCW if I had not injured my shoulder. Take a look at your own habits, maybe there is a way that you do something now that you could improve on. If you have a Don Hume H715MWC, try it in the appendix position and see how it works for you. You may just discover another (or a better) CCW option that you have been overlooking.