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Posted: 12/25/2003 10:50:32 AM EDT
Well, got my Sparks Versa Max recently, and it is a great holster. Comfortable, and works great concealing my Kimber ProTac.

The only issue I've had is that when drawing from the holster while it is positioned in the flat of my back, I generally have to use my left hand to hold the holster while I draw. Otherwise it's very tough to get my gun out.

It comes out alot easier when I have it positioned more around to my right side (weight distribution because of position of belt and belt loops perhaps?). But obviously it doesn't conceal as well.

I don't want to loosen up the holster too much, as I don't want my gun falling out when I bend over or something.

Is this a common issue (having to hold the holster when drawing) with CCW holsters? Is it something I'm thinking too much about?
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 11:41:01 AM EDT
How far around the back are you positioning the holster?

Over the back pocket?

If you are trying to wear it positioned close to or over your spine, you need a different holster. One that faces the gungrip the other direction. Less pulling straight up, more pulling it toward your right side as you draw.

SOB carry is uncomfortable for sitting and dangerous if you happen to fall. Spinal injury. Just a thought.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 11:49:13 AM EDT
You need to make sure you are wearing a good stiff belt, and that the holster is attached to it firmly. I don't know if that holster of yours had J-hooks or belt loops, or a big clip, or what, but with the proper size belt, you shouldn't have to hold the holster. Also, is there a tension screw on the holster to adjust how hard it holds the gun that you can adjust? Just a couple of thoughts...
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 11:54:40 AM EDT
Get a good shdr rig, if possible.  When I ccw'd my 92F, I could use one hand, but rig must be very tight and when possible two hands is still better.

Best of luck   [coffee]
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 11:54:58 AM EDT
I think AR-10 hit on the root of the problem. I wear my VMII at 3 o'clock, and it draws naturally. The cant of the holster would tend to bind your pistol up if you've got it at 5 or 6 o'clock.

Try moving it a little further around toward your side and try it.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 12:22:55 PM EDT
When I bought my Galco the salesman told me I had to find the "sweet spot". Not quite hip and not quite back. Once I figured that out I started forgeting that a full sized 1911 was back there!

I did get a lot of drag when drawing for about a month until things got broke in.
Now it works fine!
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 12:31:24 PM EDT
Shamus:  Try wearing the front loop of the holster right at your pants beltloop, so that the front of the holster is at 3 o'clock.  And get a GOOD strong belt.  My gunbelt is from Aker, and has a spring steel insert in it to prevent the problem you describe.

The VersaMax is a damned fine holster (I'd have one if I could afford it!), and I'm surprised your having trouble with it.  What pistol are you using?  If it's a 1911, I've got a holster or two around you could try and see if you like better.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 12:39:36 PM EDT
Ya, it's definetely more comfortable at the 3 o'clock position. And that is where I started wearing it. Just figured it would be easier to conceal SOB. Think I'll keep it at the 3 o'clock instead though. More comfortable, and it does draw pretty smooth from there.

All my 1911 mags have the bumper pad on them. Maybe I'll try them without and see if it helps prevent printing a little bit.

I guess these are the issues you deal with when packing a 1911.......
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 12:52:45 PM EDT
Spray a little silicone inside it, wipe dry. It helps.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 1:51:52 PM EDT
Here's why you shouldn't carry SOB:


Also, second Emoto's comment about a good belt.  I carried a 1911 Officer's for about six months, and hated it, until I figured out I was slapping a quality holster on any belt I happened to be wearing.  The belt would twist and sag, the pistol was migrating all over the place, etc.

Get a decent gun belt (I prefer Galco's) and see if it makes a difference.  I carry exactly on the right hip at the 3-oclock position, one loop of my Milt Sparks summer special on eachside of the belt loop. Never moves, easy to get to, and very comfortable to wear even when sitting in my car.  
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 2:03:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cyanide:
Spray a little silicone inside it, wipe dry. It helps.
View Quote

Mitch Rosen sells a "lubricant" you cant treat the inside of the holster with. I think it's called leather lightning or something. I've used it on tight Kramer & Mitch Rosen holsters with good results.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 6:43:21 PM EDT
If you use silicone, make sure it is water free.  I wouldn't do anything to the holster yet though.  It sounds like you just got it...any good holster will take time, and the best way to break it in is to wear it a lot.  IMHO, 1911 holsters are pretty easy to break in because of the gun's added wieght, and realtively smooth curves and surfaces.  Patience is the key...you definitely don't want to do too much to it yet because then it might be too loose when it is properly broken in.

That being said, if you want to expedite the process a bit, put the gun in a thin plastic bag and leave it in the holster over night.  Don't over do it though.

As others have said, get a good gunbelt.  I use a Galco leather belt or a Wilderness belt.

Good luck, and congrats to you all in MO who can carry now!
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 6:57:47 PM EDT
+1 on "Don't carry SOB"

So, what's the problem, the holster is just grabbing the gun too tight?  I had the same problem with my Galco holster for my SIG.  I could "barely" get the gun in it, and it took all my strength, with the holster in one hand and the gun in the other, to remove the two (and yes, I did this with the gun onloaded!!).  I just put the gun in and took it out over and over until it got a little smoother, then I wore the holster around the house inserting and removing the gun over and over again, for a week or so.  Now it works great.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:18:16 PM EDT

Now this is the type of gun control discussions we should be having in this great country!

Now back to the grownups.......

Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:18:53 PM EDT
Get a better belt and don't carry SOB.

The major problem I have with SOB is the printing but drawing is also difficult.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:25:09 PM EDT
Nice holster, and it seems you found the solution to your problem.  The mags that you carry loaded in your gun should not have bumper pads, pads tend to stick and print.  Your reloads should have them on, makes it easier to lock mag in under stress.  ideally with your type of gun, 5-10 reliable mags some with pads, some without will make your life more pleasant, can never have enough mags on hand.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:30:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2003 7:43:04 PM EDT by Corey]
In my experience with Alessi holters, a tight new holster is [i]good[/i].

Wear it and practice draws every day for about two weeks and then report back.  It should fit well at that point, but not too tight.

Oh, and the Versa-Max is designed to be as a strong side holster (3:00 to 4:30).  Wearing it in the flat of the back (while also tactically unsound as noted above) would also disfigure the holster, likely increasing the pressure on the gun around the seams of the holster.  Repeated wearing in the small of the back could cause it to stretch to "fit" that wear style, compromising true strong side fit and function.  So, you're likely not wearing it as it was designed and it's binding.

BTW, I've recently been really wanting a Versa-Max.  It seems like a great holster and I'd like to try one out.

Good luck with the holster and let us know what happens.


EDITED to add:  Don't use any silicone or other substance on that fine leather holster.  Stick your pistol in a plastic bag and holster it overnight (or even a day plus, obviously checking it occasionally).  That should do the trick.  But wearing/drawing with the pistol without the bag is the best method IMHO.
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