Keeping Your Mouth Shut

Sometimes its just best to keep your mouth shut. Too many times it seems that gun writers, firearms trainers and so called gun experts like to run their pie hole to put down a product, trainer or even another concept. I guess the thinking is that if they can talk bad about something then it makes them look smart.

First of all there is a difference in looking smart and being smart. My dad taught me that. He said, if you don’t know what you are talking about; keep your mouth shut. However, the human tendency is to be resistant to or negative about things we don’t understand. The .300 Blackout cartridge is a perfect example. Some labeled it an answer to a question no one was asking right out of the gate. Others, declared it the answer to every ballistic question.

Handloaders can do some interesting things with the .300 Blackout.
Handloaders can do some interesting things with the .300 Blackout.

I was skeptical but reserved judgment until I’d had a chance to put the cartridge through an extensive test. I guess in the beginning it might have made me look not all that smart. After all, all the gun experts have been pontificating on the cartridge for more than a year now. My first print article on the .300 Blackout is due out in about two months. In summary, I was initially uninspired by the cartridge but after a thousand + rounds and a lot of handloading, I’m starting to see the light, its just not as bright as most folks claim.

What I’ve have learned is to keep my mouth shut until I have challenged my perceptions. Another perfect example is the Versacarry handgun carry system. About two years ago one of these showed up at my home unsolicited. I looked at it and said, out loud, “No way.” I tossed the package in the corner and forgot about it.

But then I got to thinking that who ever had come up with this gadget had sent it to me for an opinion and in order for me to provide one I needed to actually try it. So I did and I was shocked at how well the Versacarry allowed me to conceal and comfortably carry a handgun. I contacted the man who conceived this cool tool and found out that the story behind the product was just as neat.

Just because the Versacarry is different does not make it wrong.
Just because the Versacarry is different does not make it wrong.

While in Texas working on another project I took the time to look this guy up and we visited for a while about his invention. I then wrote the Versacarry up in several magazines and here on the Empty-Cases blog. While doing that I tried to convey my initial misconceptions about the Versacarry and illustrate how well it actually worked.

Of course there were still doubters. Some were just average gun guys and others were, so called, gun experts and tactards. They complained that it did not cover the trigger or that it was stupid to stick a rod in your gun barrel. Some even belly ached that it would not work on the range because it was too hard to re-holster and that it was not safe.

I’m betting none of these folks have actually tried the Versacarry and I’m also betting that some of these folks are spokesmen for are sponsored by other holster companies. Even if that’s the case, you don’t prop up your product by trying to degrade the competition. As you can see, Galco Leather sponsors the Empty Cases blog. One of the qualifiers for sponsorship is that I have to use the product, the other is that I like the folks who work at the company and the last requirement is that they write Empty Cases a check. Trust me, it’s a small check!

Even though Galco is an Empty Cases sponsor and even though I think they make some of the most incredible leather products and holsters for guns that you can find, I still speak positively about the Versacarry for one reason and one reason only: It works and so far it is the most covert way to carry a handgun that I have found short of sticking it in your pocketbook. I don’t carry a pocket book by the way.

The OSS String Holster is an interesting and effective way to carry a handgun concealed.
The OSS String Holster is an interesting and effective way to carry a handgun concealed.

How would I know this? Well, I’ve been carrying handguns with the Versacarry for two years now. The newer models do cover the trigger guard but I don’t use that feature which is optional. I’m not worried about someone sneaking their hands in my pants and pulling the trigger. If this is a common problem for you, I’m not sure I want to hear about it. And, you don’t holster a handgun in a Versacarry like you do with a traditional holster so it is a non-issue.

In fact, the Versacarry is very similar in function to the OSS string holster which everyone seemed to think was a brilliant way for covert operatives to carry a handgun. The OSS string holster and the Versacarry is not a training holster or a range holster. It is a system for carrying your handgun concealed until the time you need to pull it out and use it to save your life. If you are going to the range to train, take a different holster!

As for the rod in the barrel, if you think an undersized plastic rod stuck in your barrel will harm your barrel, then you better stop pushing copper jacketed bullets down the barrel at more than 1000 fps. And, if you think it might get stuck in there and blow your gun up, you have not done your research. Research is something experts are supposed to do, right?

Over the near half-century I’ve been alive, on several occasions I’ve spoken about things when I knew nothing of what I was talking about and I looked like a fool for doing it. I don’t like looking like a fool so I try to get some information – a lot if possible – before I open my mouth anymore. Dad, as usual, was right!

Safely and covertly concealed with the Versacarry.
Safely and covertly concealed with the Versacarry.

Not liking something is perfectly acceptable. I don’t like the .30-06, the .40 S&W and I don’t watch Duck Dynasty. Go ahead, hate me if you like. But, running your mouth about something you do not understand or putting it down because it is your competition is like wasting ammo. Maybe some of these gun experts should have had a daddy like mine.

Its OK to keep your mouth shut sometimes; it can keep you from looking the fool.

21 Comments

  1. Although we’ve had a disagreement or two, due primarily to the instilled difference in thinking between you Yanks and us Canucks…I gotta say you have lot of golden nuggets in your posts.
    I too try and keep my mouth shut whenever possible…it’s a big world and what I see as a useless trinket just may solve a lot of problems for the next guy.

  2. Now here I am feeling all insecure cause I don’t like the Versacarry 🙂

    However…. I have 3 different models and HAVE used them. Just not my first choice compared to other holster options. Funny how its caused such a passionate debate though. Keeps things interesting.

  3. Great, now here I am feeling all insecure cause I don’t happen to like the Versacarry 🙂

    But, I HAVE 3 different models and HAVE used them. To me, the few extra millimeters of thickness reduction doesn’t make up for some of the drawbacks. To each his own I guess. They’re just not my first choice compared to other available holster options. It’s interesting how much of a passionate holster debate they’ve created though. Keeps things interesting on the interwebz…

  4. Normally, I’d agree with you. Wayyyyy back when I used to write for magazine regularly, the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” policy was considered Moral High Ground when compared to some writers who would regurgitate whatever the press release said about a new product. It is usually considered poor form to wast valuable page space with a negative review when their are lots of good things to talk about.
    But, it’s 2013 and we have unlimited page space without killing a single tree… so, it’s not as big a sin as it used to be. And, when SAFETY is the real issue, it’s definitely worth speaking up.. at least for those of us in the education field. There are a lot of well explained safety concerns with this device (exposed triggers, obstructed barrels, recommendation of empty chamber carry are the top 3.) and because it is is relatively inexpensive and ‘different’ it gets a lot of peoples attention. The question is: Why take on the extra risks ? What are the advantages? When you look at this device ( I won’t call it a “holster”, it really doesn’t offer any advantages over designs that DO cover the trigger and Don’t obstruct the barrel. some people tout it’s minimalist nature, but it really isn’t much more compact than many modern IWB holsters and it’s certainly wider than several solutions.
    so, in this case, for many in the defensive shooting world, it’s worth speaking up.
    -RJP

  5. Normally, I’d agree with you. Wayyyyy back when I used to write for magazine regularly, the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” policy was considered Moral High Ground when compared to some writers who would regurgitate whatever the press release said about a new product. It is usually considered poor form to wast valuable page space with a negative review when their are lots of good things to talk about.
    But, it’s 2013 and we have unlimited page space without killing a single tree… so, it’s not as big a sin as it used to be. And, when SAFETY is the real issue, it’s definitely worth speaking up.. at least for those of us in the education field. There are a lot of well explained safety concerns with this device (exposed triggers, obstructed barrels, recommendation of empty chamber carry are the top 3.) and because it is is relatively inexpensive and ‘different’ it gets a lot of peoples attention. The question is: Why take on the extra risks ? What are the advantages? When you look at this device ( I won’t call it a “holster”, it really doesn’t offer any advantages over designs that DO cover the trigger and Don’t obstruct the barrel. some people tout it’s minimalist nature, but it really isn’t much more compact than many modern IWB holsters and it’s certainly wider than several solutions.
    When this device was first announced, I honestly thought it was a joke. When I found it was real, I checked it out. If only I had been right…. I got one of the most current versions to see if my opinion might change after I started seeing it showing up in stores. It didn’t.
    I would not recommend VersaCarry and I certainly wouldn’t allow anyone to use it in a training class.

    So, in this case, for many in the defensive shooting world, it’s worth speaking up.
    -RJP

  6. Normally, I’d agree with you. Wayyyyy back when I used to write for magazine regularly, the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” policy was considered Moral High Ground when compared to some writers who would regurgitate whatever the press release said about a new product. It is usually considered poor form to wast valuable page space with a negative review when their are lots of good things to talk about.
    But, it’s 2013 and we have unlimited page space without killing a single tree… so, it’s not as big a sin as it used to be. And, when SAFETY is the real issue, it’s definitely worth speaking up.. at least for those of us in the education field. There are a lot of well explained safety concerns with this device (exposed triggers, obstructed barrels, recommendation of empty chamber carry are the top 3.) and because it is is relatively inexpensive and ‘different’ it gets a lot of peoples attention. The question is: Why take on the extra risks ? What are the advantages? When you look at this device ( I won’t call it a “holster”, it really doesn’t offer any advantages over designs that DO cover the trigger and Don’t obstruct the barrel. some people tout it’s minimalist nature, but it really isn’t much more compact than many modern IWB holsters and it’s certainly wider than several solutions.
    When this device was first announced, I honestly thought it was a joke. When I found it was real, I checked it out. If only I had been right…. I got one of the most current versions to see if my opinion might change after I started seeing it showing up in stores. It didn’t.
    I would not recommend VersaCarry and I certainly wouldn’t allow anyone to use it in a training class.

    So, in this case, for many in the defensive shooting world, it’s worth speaking up.
    -RJP

  7. I can agree with most of your post, until we get to the Versacarry. IT is in fact a piece of crap and no one should buy such a device. New shooters need to be steered away from junk that not only just costs them more money because they will end up needing real gear, but is unsafe and may actually get them hurt.

  8. I have to agree with Rob. Some things are worth talking about. I don’t see any real advantages to the Versa Carry, and if you have to explain every little feature, and try to justify why those features are “acceptable” (but not actually better) then you may in fact be seeing several red flags about the product.

    1. “… if you have to explain every little feature, and try to justify why those features are “acceptable” (but not actually better) then you may in fact be seeing several red flags about the product.” Gee, for a moment I thought you were talking about a Glock.

  9. I don’t own a 300 Blackout or a VersaCarry, but I have to say…

    Duck Dynasty is quite funny much of the time. Give it a try once – just like you did the VersaCarry – and you might like it. 😉

    Gotta inject a little humor into this topic; you guys are getting too serious.

    1. Patrick,

      The whole family gave Duck Dynasty several tries. It was too much like home to be entertaining.If we are going to watch TV we watch something unusual.

      Not saying the show is bad, I think it is great and I know lots of folks like it. Those guys are living the American dream. Good for them!

      RAM

  10. As the Owner and CEO of Versacarry I’d like to address some of these comments.

    The Versacarry does cover the trigger effectively shielding it from the trigger finger. As for Ads, it is a fact most are caused by the user placing their finger on the trigger when they should not. Many happen when the user is trying to holster the weapon. Having to remove the Versacarry to holster is effectively eliminates the most common type of AD. Don’t forget about our revolver model that does cover both sides of the trigger, not because there was a danger but it is structurally different and in most cases lasers for revolvers are not attached to their trigger guards.

    There are not many who have not tucked a handgun into their waistline a time or two, the danger wasn’t that something was going to magically pull the trigger but that the firearm would shift or fall down too deep into their pants. Fishing to find a firearm that has dropped below your waistline is dangerous. The Versacarry positions the weapon for easy retrieval while giving the user the ease of quickly tucking a firearm into their waistline.

    A common misconception is that the product creates a barrel obstruction. It does not. The barrel retention rod is smaller than bore diameter. Retention comes from the angle the clip is molded at. It is a friction design preventing vertical and lateral movement of the firearm.

    Another common misconception is that the rod will harm your gun barrel. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you fire your handgun a piece of metal flies down the barrel at over 1000 fps. Plastic isn’t going to hurt your bore.

    Our warnings do say not to carry a firearm in a Versacarry while loaded. We aren’t the only manufacture in the firearm industry to use such a warning. Many holster and firearm manufacturers have similar warnings. We have hundreds of thousands of users, Versacarry sold in more than 200 big box chain stores, and more than 2000 brick and mortar gun shops across the U.S. There is no way for us to know who buys our product or their level of competency so like many in the industry we adopt warnings that are safe for even the novice gun owner.

    Advantages:
    Our product weighs less than almost any other holster on the market. Firearm manufacturers work tirelessly to shave weight off their guns but no one ever thinks about the heavy holster. You wouldn’t build a racecar with a lightweight frame and throw rims on it that weight a ton.

    The Versacarry works with almost any laser or light on the market, so finally shooters can add any accessory they want without worrying about holster compatibility. I invented the product because I couldn’t find a holster for my Sig P238 with a Crimson Trace Laser Guard.

    It is quicker to put on and off than almost any other holster. Why keep a holster tucked into your waistline without a gun because you enter a no-gun zone. Many users have sent in reviews stating they carry more often because it’s quicker and easier.

    Sometimes a user’s dress won’t allow for a bulky traditional holster and in those cases our slim design is perfect. It only adds 1/8″ to the firearms width. Many professionals use a Versacarry for back up and primary weapons when deep concealment, such as undercover work, is necessary. We are proud to have sold product to common citizens, police officers, FBI Agents, and even our very own Texas Rangers. At this year’s Texas Tactical Police Officers Association Show we were met with great interest and ran out of product.

    While attending this show I was made aware of the large following we have among the professionals who carry a handgun on a daily basis and I am proud to have helped these guys and gals. Hearing some of the stories these professionals shared about the Versacarry makes the Versacarry team and me very proud.

    Our primary market isn’t law enforcement and most citizens don’t have access to that level of training and experience but if you want to hear what average citizens have to say, take the time and read some of the reviews by our 30,000 plus Facebook fans who use the Versacarry every day.

    I know Versacarry may not be the solution for everyone in every situation, but you can’t deny the large following we have and those that have found it a very useful tool in their day-to-day personal protection plan. If you’d like to learn more about the Versacarry product line check the quick video at http://www.versacarry.com/frequently-asked-questions

  11. “If you are going to the range to train, take a different holster!”

    This disclaimer leads me to a very important and practical question:

    What exactly are we training for if we’re not training with our EDC? Ammo is expensive, so simply going to the range to put holes in paper is pointless. Proper training means “training in context”, ie to become proficient with your gear in the same manner in which you will carry it for self defense.

    If a particular piece of gear makes training with it cumbersome, then it is self-limiting and self-defeating, and it no longer matters how good it may be in “the real world” because unless you can train safely and efficiently with it, you’re not going to become proficient with it. To use Justin’s race car analogy, you train in the same car that you’re going to race with, in the same configuration as race day. You use the same tires and “rims” (not to be pedantic but they are “wheels”, not “rims”), and wear the same helmet and flame suit and shoes, as any difference between your practice and race day will affect your performance on race day, when it actually counts.

    As for the rest of the features that Justin listed off, I can think of many reasons why these supposed benefits (thickness- 1/8″ vs 1/4″, time to remove- when are you in a hurry to remove a holster?, and so on) don’t really outweigh the inherent risk (as I see it).

    Reminds me of an old Russian Navy proverb: “Sometimes ‘Better’ is the Enemy of ‘Good Enough'”…

    1. Rob W.,

      I think you are missing the point I tried to make, maybe because I did not make it very well.

      When you go to the range to train, you don’t always train to draw and engage a target. There are other aspects of training. By the same token, you – maybe not you – but many folks do not always carry the same handgun in the same manner. I don’t always utilize a deep concealment holster, sometimes I carry using a belt holster.

      I guess what I should have said is that if you are taking a common defensive handgun course you need to utilize a range type holster that will allow you to get the most from the program of instruction. But, you should sometimes train with a Versacarry if you are going to use one. As an analogy, most police officers train most of the time with their duty gear but sometimes they train with their back-up gun, drawing from a holster they use to carry their back-up gun. And, yes, most back-up gun carry rigs are cumbersome.

      By the same token many women carry in a purse. Should that be the ONLY way they train? Should they never train using a common holster?

      It is also cumbersome to train to shoot with your support hand and to conduct one hand reloads but those things have training value. Still, we do not do it all of the time.

      If you do not like the Versacarry and think it is unsafe, I get it. Don’t buy one or even try it. You’ll save $ 25.00. For those same reasons I do not own or carry a Glock.

  12. If you ever see me in a public situation and I’m not talking much, it’s not because I’m anti-social — it’s because I’d rather listen and learn than say something stupid just for the sake of pushing a sound out of my mouth. Well said, Mann.

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