Small of back carry is, shall we say, less than ideal. Travis explains why.
Some methods of carrying a gun are objectively better than others. Most carry positions and styles offer some benefit. One method might be faster to draw, one might maximize concealment, and another might be more comfortable. With that being said is one carry style or position that should be avoided at all times. It's called the small of back carry, of SOB carry, and should be avoided at all costs.
Small of back carry positions the gun in line or nearly in line with your spine. Small of back carry is essentially the opposite of appendix carry. Depending on the shooter's dominant hand, it places the weapon behind your back and positions it to the left or right. It's been a method touted by some as superior, but I don't think it's all cracked up.
To be fair, I will present the supposed benefits of the design. Many SOB advocates claim it's easier to conceal and creates less of a lump than strong side carry. It supposedly offers the same benefits as appendix carry.
Additionally, advocates of small of back carry claim that in the event of a mugging, you can pretend to reach for your wallet and instead grab your gun. Sure, I guess that could work, but carrying this way means you are choosing a carry method based on one specific scenario instead of being a versatile method of carry.
That's about where any supposed benefits end. Now, let's talk about the downsides of small of back carry.
When it comes to concealment, there doesn't seem to be any major issues with SOB, right? Right tuck it under a shirt and call it a day, right? Well, sure, that works. However, let's say your shirt rides up and over your holster and gun. Since it's behind you, you are less likely to notice the fact that your shirt is sitting on top of the gun, revealing your mohaska to the world.
Another major difficulty comes from drawing. Speed doesn't seem to be a concern if you pretend to draw your wallet while drawing your gun. When we take small of back carry to the real world, we see that there are numerous difficulties in drawing readily. It takes lots of movement to access your gun, and it's tough to do anything fast with your arms behind your back.[caption id="attachment_6878" align="alignnone" width="600"] Standard OWB is much faster than SOB carry.[/caption]
Small of back carry can be slow to draw and nearly impossible to reholster safely. You can't see the holster, so reholstering safely can be difficult. Drawing from a seated position is nearly impossible. Good luck accessing your gun in nearly any seated position outside of a stool.
Finally, the last and most important reason to avoid small of back carry is the chance of falling. If you fall rearwards, you will likely land on your gun. A firm piece of metal driving itself into your back can cause serious damage to your lower back. Even if you don't get into a fight, you can still fall, and falling on your gun will suck.
We all agree we are going to ditch small of back carry, right? Good, great, not let's talk about good alternatives. One good alternative is to check out appendix carry. Appendix carrying a firearm in a Rogue holster from Crossbreed is a great way to go. Appendix carry offers you an awesome level of concealment.
On top of great concealment, you can draw rapidly and with absolute ease. Appendix carry offers you the fastest draw from concealment available. You can draw from nearly any position, including seated positions. Plus, you can look at your reholster, adding some additional safety to your carry method.[caption id="attachment_6877" align="alignnone" width="600"] Appendix is a much better alternative to SOB[/caption]
Also, you can't fall and harm your spine by carrying appendix. Well, you can, but the gun won't cause additional damage when you fall on your back. Appendix is all around the better option for concealed carry. So ditch small of back carry and embrace the modern method of concealment.
What do you think? Let us know below!
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.
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