ArmsBand

On Jim Scoutten of Shooting USA’s Facebook Page, he posted about this new product called the ArmsBand.

Basically, it’s a holster method where a small gun can be strapped to the inside of your upper arm.

Jim simply posted: “New Carry Idea: Arm Wrap. What do you think? (Takes a big arm to hide a gun)”

I posted my thoughts:

Um… I’d want to actually see it before passing too much judgment. But that said… The manufacturer’s warning “The elastic pocket can catch the trigger and result in accidental discharge which can kill or maim the user!!” makes me wonder a bit… could the gun shift around while “holstered” (it seems to just be elastic (which can wear out) and with sweat, movement, your arm flexing and extending, could there be enough shift to cause a discharge?

As well, it’s not exactly clear to me how you are supposed to draw the gun, and do so in a fast and proper manner. I’m trying to figure out the mechanics of it all. A video demonstration might be useful. I do wonder tho… what effect does this have on your ability to use your other arm? If now that arm must be moved to enable you to draw, now you can’t use that arm to block a punch, fend the attacker, use a flashlight, move a non-involved party (e.g. wife, kids) out of the way… it appears like it handicaps you.

I can’t pass too much judgement from just looking at a website, but so far it doesn’t sound all that appealing to me.

Now upon further examination of the product’s website… it’s even less appealing to me.

From the product’s main page:

When carrying in public, you can stand with your arms folded across your chest, holding the shooting hand under the carry bicep on the grip of the handgun without drawing any suspicion from anyone. On condition orange, you can loosen the strap and ease the handgun partially out.  From this position, drawing and firing is actually faster than clearing your jacket and drawing from the waist.

True point. This is also an advantage of (front pants) pocket carry, because you can put your hand in your pocket and get a firing grip. But one advantage this ArmsBand has over pocket carry is in a seated position, the pocket draw ain’t happening. But what I want to know is, what are you supposed to do when you have to suddenly go from condition yellow to condition red/black? Yeah I know, you have awesome ninja skills and no one will ever get the drop on you. But if successful and fast draw from this ArmsBand requires you to have some time and advanced notice, then it’s not a good holster. No one (not even Col. Cooper) could live their lives 100% in condition yellow — we all slip into condition white now and again, and yes things happen in life that surprise you or “come out of nowhere”. Shit happens, and your gear shouldn’t hamper you. Again, it is unclear to me exactly how you are supposed to draw from the ArmsBand. If you have to loosen a strap and ease the gun out, THEN you can take a solid firing grip on the gun and draw then well, I just don’t see how you can do this quickly. I really would like to see how one is supposed to draw from this rig because I think that’s vitally important in assessing the value of this piece of equipment.

Even for folks who don’t carry concealed in public, you can conveniently carry in an ArmsBand® Concealed Carry Holster at home.

Why? I guess on the one hand I wonder why you’d need to be concealed at home — it’s your home. But even if for some reason you have to, there are better ways to carry at home. Why not an IWB holster at 3 o’clock? I suppose someone has a context for this tho.

This should be of particular benefit for single women.

Why? And why wouldn’t it benefit married women? And why wouldn’t it just benefit men too? Something about that bit of marketing just feels off to me. But this is more about the equipment than the marketing.

If you read the website, there’s much discussion about the elastic, the dangers of the holster… it all makes me a little unsure just how solid and stable a platform this is. If mere use of this holster could risk a discharge, do I really want to use it? The growing list of schools and training centers banning the SERPA shows that there’s no tolerance for dangerous equipment. But with a SERPA the worst you get is shot in the leg. With this ArmsBand you could blow out your Axillary or Subclavian artery not to mention your shoulder joint. How are you supposed to know when the elastic is “too far gone”? and if everyone’s subjective assessment of that is different, could someone decide a little too late? This bugs me.

I repeat the “tactical” issues of drawing. If my left arm is now involved in the draw, I cannot use it for other purposes like blocking a punch, pushing off the attacker, holding a flashlight, moving someone else (e.g. wife, kids) out of the way. Does this mean I can’t hold small children in my arms because now my arms are busy and Lord knows I’m not going to drop a child on the pavement if I have to draw a gun to try to save the child’s life. I think about the need to move and “get off the X”… try running with your arms folded across your chest. Try keeping your balance. I think about being involved in a bear-hug or something else with your arms trapped against your side; granted there a standard 3 o’clock draw could also be difficult, which is why we also carry alternatives.

Then there’s practice.

DO NOT holster or re-holster a loaded gun while the holster is in place on your arm. The elastic pocket can catch the trigger and result in accidental discharge which can kill or maim the user!! Always take the ArmsBand® off to re-holster the gun.

This is going to make it cumbersome to practice. If you’re going to carry this way, you need to practice with it. That means a lot of dry fire practice with it, and a bunch of live fire too. Now first, hopefully you can find a gun range that will allow you to practice with such a holster. Second, you have to follow the manufacturers instructions and always take off the ArmsBand to reholster. I know this would get really old. Heck, dealing with simple pocket holsters in the recent DPS-BUG class was a pain, and this ArmsBand is a lot more work to reholster. If you’re not going to be willing to practice and put in the dedication necessary to learn how to use this holster properly and effectively, then you shouldn’t use it. I’m sure some folks are willing to put in the time and effort, but I know most people don’t practice near enough as it is and would be even less inclined to do so with such a cumbersome reholstering process.

From their Safety Precautions page:

Do not carry any single action semi-auto pistol in a “cocked and locked” condition or with a round chambered.

So if you carry a 1911-style gun, don’t. Because if you can’t carry a 1911 cocked and locked, you might as well be carrying a paper-weight. But that again makes me wonder about the design. But most small guns are not this style, and certainly there are lots of other small guns one could choose from.

I know I said I didn’t want to pass too much judgement without seeing it, but the more I read through the website, the more things struck me as troubling. I do applaud the inventor’s desire to think up new solutions. I do applaud the effort and hard work. The marketing doesn’t sell me; in fact, it turns me off. Maybe more information is needed. I think a video that demonstrates the use of the holster would be useful and could help in answering a lot of questions. But even if it answers some questions, other things about the holster — even if it was a perfect mechanical design — still bother me. For example, the muzzle direction, the realities of having your “other arm” bound up in the draw process instead of being free to do other tasks. The jury is still out, but it’s going to take a lot of convincing for me to be swayed. I could be swayed, but I’m going to need to see a lot of solid evidence in light of what I’ve already seen.

2 thoughts on “ArmsBand

    • I’ve worked with a similar model before, the SmartCarry. It works alright, and makes more logical sense in form and function and “how to use it” than this ArmsBand. The most difficult part, logically speaking, is having to deal with going to the bathroom.

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