I decided to try out the Werner Carry system. With just the Barami Hip Grips, my carry loads hurt like hell. Then the Tyler T-Grip arrived. Shooting with the T-Grip was much better than without the T-Grip.
And now… I think I may be going back to the Uncle Mike’s.
The Uncle Mike’s provide almost the same form factor as the Werner system. That is, the width/thickness is about the same, the frontstrap “fill” is about the same, and the backstrap remains bare. The only major differences are the Uncle Mike’s are “rubber/textured” and there’s no hooking, whereas the Hip Grip and T-Grip are smooth and the Hip Grip provides a hook (there are some minor differences, noted below).
While I dig the hook for the carry mode, it’s never 100% comfortable. Yes yes, “carry gun should be comforting, not comfortable”, but having a snub muzzle at 2 o’clock digging into your femoral artery all day gets old. Trying to shift and find ways to adjust it isn’t panning out either. My bit of belly flab doesn’t help either… either how it forces the gun to sit or then affects the ability to draw. So I’m conceptually hip to the Werner Carry System, but it’s not working out. I’ll revisit it after I drop a few pounds. 😉
When I have been carrying the snub, it’s been in a pocket holster. The Uncle Mike’s are a hair slimmer in their profile because they lack the grip hook jutting out. Plus the textured grip provides a little more tack. As well, there’s a little “northward extension”… I don’t know how else to describe it, but check out the pictures in this post. That little “ear” at the top of the Uncle Mike’s looks like it’s just enough to shield/cushion the web of my hand, but that remains to be seen. See, just a few days ago I ran 50 rounds of WWB 130 grain .38 Special (not +P) FMJ through the snub with the Werner System on it. After shooting I realized that where the upper-left edge of the backstrap contacts my thumb webbing, the skin had been taken off. When I put the Uncle Mike’s on, that little ear is right where the skin came off, so hopefully it will shield my skin from future wear.
Another thing is after shooting that box of 50, I noticed the Hip Grip and T-Grip were loose. I’ve done my best to tighten them down, but there’s only so much you can do because it’s not a 100% perfect fit. Next time I use them I’ll use some blue Loctite, but even if that keeps them from coming loose, the lack of a perfect fit means there’s still a bit of wobble.
So, will I keep the Uncle Mike’s? I don’t know. It’s just the latest iteration. I’ll try it for a while and see how it goes. Need to see how it carries, need to see how it performs in practice. I do like the Pachmayr Compac grips the best, but they really kill the concealment factor; they’re great to have when you do a lot of shooting, but I ideally should practice like a carry.