I’ve been in communication with some good folks, a conversation initiated by myself. I’ve been slow to respond to the last email, which contained the following:
In full disclosure, I’ve not been too interested in the hook grip designs (Barami, DeSantis, Rogers, etc.) in the past, so my experience with them is very limited. I’ve worn guns equipped with them a few times, but never felt like they solved a problem for me. […] I can see an advantage as a deep concealment option, where concealment is a priority over speed of presentation. […] I can also see how the grips would be a benefit to people who routinely wear pants/shorts that don’t use a belt.
In responding to the aforementioned conversation, I felt it appropriate to write it in a post. But be forewarned, I have a man cold, which essentially means I’m basically on the brink of death. I fully blame any incoherence on that.
We live in a gun friendly home. I have a black powder pistol on our fireplace mantle, and almost all the visitors to our home are armed. Throughout my children’s lives, it has not been uncommon for people to come into the house with rifle cases, exposed rifles, or bags/boxes of firearms.
Another thing that hasn’t been uncommon is for someone to come into my office, sit down in a chair, breath in heavy, arch their hips up into the air, and pull out their appendix rig. It usually has something like an optic on a small to medium framed semi auto, maybe a spare mag or tourniquet, and they ask, “Hey, you mind if I put this up on your shelf?”
To which I respond, “Sure, and then you can carry this,” as I hand them a j-frame with a hook. “It’s loaded.”
“How do I carry it?”
“Well, you can put it at 4 o’clock, just behind your hip, or you can shove it appendix, like Mexican carry.”
It’s generally 50/50 whether they choose AIWB or 4 o’clock.
Whatever amount of time passes, and 100% of the time, without fail, they say at some point something like the following-
- “Man, this is so comfortable, I can’t even tell it’s on me.”
- “If I had something this comfortable, I would carry 100% of the time.”
- “I didn’t even know it was there.”
- “I need this setup at home.”
Now, a lot of this goes back to the concept of being “Simply Armed”, and as Darryll Bolke has mentioned, it’s “living an armed lifestyle for normal earth people”. I am a normal earth person, my guests are too, and chances are, you the reader are a normal earth person as well.
Normal earth people, doing normal earth people things, can’t be “simply armed” in all that they do with a massive 5lb batman rig in or on their pants. They just can’t. There is a time for being Batman, but for the times when we don’t need to be Batman, what do we carry? It can’t be an all or nothing approach.
When I’m hanging out around the house with a man cold, in my pajamas, with a headache, I have a small snubnose on a hook, and my phone. When I have on a toolbelt because I’m framing a house, I have a snubnose with a hook. If I’m hunting in the woods, and I have to climb trees, through brush, cross streams, maneuver, or dispatch an animal, I have a snubnose with a hook. When I go to a range, indoor or outdoor, or I’m shooting with other people, I always have a “Rule One” gun on me, it’s a hooked revolver. Sometimes my OWB holster with a fullsize gun in it is loaded on the range, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I’m checking targets, and all the guns are on the firing line, but I’ll always have that Rule One gun on me. I know a few guys that cut trees, and when they’re 75 feet up in the air, hanging from a rope in harness, with a chainsaw, there are very few realistic carry options for them, but a hooked revolver accommodates this situation. When a plumber is putting in a trap under a kitchen sink, he’s not carrying a fullsize 15 round semi-auto, or a 2lb all steel firearm. And if it’s that or nothing, that plumber will opt for nothing. A snubnose with a hook allows that plumber to stay armed.
When I’m doing hoodrat stuff with my friends, I usually have a Glock or two. When I’m playing Batman, other things take the place of the hooked snubnose.
So to answer the question, a hooked j-frame solves the problem of being unarmed. When people disarm to perform a task, a function, or to enjoy a moment, a hooked snubnose rises to the occasion to fill the gap. It is the absolute most minimal carry possible. And when I’m doing things where most people would disarm, it allows me to carry.