You just bought your first small pistol and you’re ready to start being a part of the citizenry that conceal carries. But wait! Do you need a holster or should you just stick your pistol in your waistband and call it good? Sorry buddy, but that’s just an accident waiting to happen. When you carry without a holster, you risk accidentally triggering your firearm and being very uncomfortable throughout the day. Having some sort of holster for your gun is the best way to carry, even if it’s not concealed. Holsters also provide an amount of comfort for yourself depending on where you like to draw from. Today we’ll talk about one of the most widely used types of gun holsters, the small of the back, or SOB holster.
What is a small of back holster?
As its name suggests, a small of back holster holsters your gun on the small of one’s back near the bottom of the spine. Similar in design to an IWB holster, or an inside the waistband holster, these holsters are designed so that your pistol is tucked into your waistband. However, the notable difference between the two is that an SOB holster doesn’t have a hip plate and isn’t meant to be carried on the hip. Instead, the gun will just slip into your trousers and clip on to your belt. You will end up feeling this throughout the day, especially if you sit for long periods of time. A slight downside but that shouldn’t matter if you need to protect yourself or someone else.
Why an SOB holster over other types?
There are many reasons for this.
Concealment The main reason many individuals that conceal carry use an SOB holster is for its amount of concealment. Residing behind your back, a firearm is effectively concealed when wearing a jacket or blazer or any sort of garment worn over a person’s standard dress. While many other types of holsters are prone to showing an outline of the firearm when sitting down, SOB holsters are practically immune to this, or if they do show an outline, one’s back is not typically viewed as often, especially in dire situations.
Ease of Access Most types of holsters (save for an ankle holster) can sometimes make it difficult for one to access coat or pants pockets. However, due to its positioning, an SOB holster negates this problem entirely. An SOB holster also won’t let its users’ firearm interfere with daily tasks.
Prevents wobbling and fluctuation In addition to its other favourable attributes, an SOB holster prevents any wobbling or other movements from the holster while performing activities such as running, jumping, or climbing. This feature is great when doing things such as climbing stairs or lifting weights.
What Makes a Great Small of Back Holster?
There are three aspects to consider when choosing the perfect SOB holster, or any holster for that matter, for yourself: comfort, concealment and speed of draw.
Comfort When choosing any holster, but especially a small of back holster due to where it is worn, comfort is a huge factor. You don’t want to have your gun resting in an awkward position or making you uncomfortable while wearing it while doing normal daily tasks and sitting down. Kydex is usually a good choice of material for a holster, but nylon and leather may be a more viable option for comfort. There are also options for each with padding for extra comfort. Do mind your dominant hand for your draw when ordering an SOB holster as they are not ambidextrous.
Concealment As mentioned before, small of back holsters typically offer the best concealment for a handgun. However, there are some holsters (outside the waistband, OWB) that allow a gun’s barrel to be slightly visible and somewhere the butt of a gun may protrude just a bit. Make sure you choose a holster that best fits your needs and desires for your concealed carry. Additionally, you may want to change up your wardrobe in order to compliment how you want to carry with your SOB holster.
Speed of Draw Another big factor when choosing the right small of the back holster for your concealed carry is how well or fast you’re able to draw your weapon should the need arise. Small of back holsters are NOT ambidextrous so make sure you determine exactly how you like to draw first before you decide on a specific holster. Do you draw your firearm with your palms facing out or do you prefer your palms facing in? To easily determine this, practice (without a weapon) drawing your gun from behind your back and see if the palm of your hand is continually facing outward or inward toward your body. This will help you decide on the specific type of SOB holster you should purchase. Also, make sure that your holster has adjustable and proper retention as with any good holster.
How To Wear a Small of Back Holster
Small of back holsters are as easy to wear as they are easy to conceal. Whether you like to wear inside the waistband or outside the waistband, the holster will simply slide into or onto the waistband and will clip onto your belt.
Where to wear the holster is a different matter altogether. With your belt buckle as 12 o’clock, you shouldn’t wear your holster directly at the 6 o’clock position, directly on the spine, as this not only makes sitting with the holster very uncomfortable but also if one were to fall on your back or be hit, you can be caused serious pain or injury from a fractured or shattered vertebrae.
Determining where you like to draw from, a right-handed draw will typically wear their holster at a 7 o’clock position, whereas a left-handed user will normally wear their holster at a 5 o’clock position. This also makes sitting down much easier and more comfortable, and all it takes a slight shift in the position of the holster from directly behind your back.
Best Small of Back Holsters
Now on to the good stuff: the best small of back holsters for concealed carry. Here we will review some of the best and most recommended SOB holsters for those looking for great options for their concealed carry of choice.
Dazzling Universal Small of Back Holster
This small of the back holster has seen many a great review for it and well deserved too. It is made out of genuine leather so it won’t chafe against your skin, assuming you’re wearing underneath a shirt. For those with sensitive skin, this holster is a definite winner.
Despite it saying its made for a Glock, this holster is universal and will fit pretty much any pistol comfortably, regardless of size. It has both a belt loop attachment as well as a clip for the belt and can be used both IWB or OWB. What’s more, is that this holster is actually ambidextrous.
Fits most handguns
Lifetime replacement warranty
Comfortable whether moving or sitting
Opens at the muzzle end
Elite Survival Advanced Back Holster
Made out of high-quality leather and ballistic nylon, this small of the back holster is great as it comes in different sizes in order to accommodate both smaller and larger pistols. Because of the construction, this holster weighs in at only 1 pound, meaning it will add virtually no weight to your concealed carry of choice.
This holster attaches to one’s belt loops by means of a wide backplate, which allows the holster to distribute a gun’s weight more evenly across the back making it more comfortable and reducing vertical movement. It is also not form fitted so you can use whichever weapon you like with it.
Comes in multiple sizes to accommodate most handguns
Thumb release tension strap
Not the most comfortable
Gould & Goodrich G&G Back Holster
This small of the back holster is made specifically for Glock owners. Form fitted and made of genuine leather, this holster will fit Glocks like a glove. Because it is form-fitted, it won’t snag and slow you down on the draw.
This holster features no retention strap and instead relies on its shape and the tension of its premium gold-line leather build to keep your gun firmly in place. It also has a retention screw that can be adjusted for customized friction during the draw.
Made of gold-line genuine leather
Minimalist design for maximum concealment
Made in the USA
Doesn’t cover trigger guard completely
Takes time to mount and remove from belt
Pro-Tech IWB Small of Back Holster
One of the best in-waistband SOB holsters. This holster is made out of high-quality nylon and while it will fit most handguns, it especially benefits compact pistol users. It uses a metal clip to attach to belts and offers great concealment even with loose-fitting shirts.
Its minimalistic design ensures high concealment while also providing great comfortability. And even though it’s made from nylon, which is known for snagging, this holster won’t affect your draw or wear and tear.
Fits most handguns
Slightly difficult to reholster
The clip may need initial adjustments
Desantis Small of Back Holster for 1911
Here is a small of back holster specifically designed with 1911s in mind. Made of leather, this holster is durable and form-fitted providing great comfort and superior access for a quick draw and reholster.
Because of its leather make-up, this holster is able to bear even heavy 1911 frames. It also features an angled design to help with a quick draw as well as an adjustable tension device.
Made of leather
Durable and comfortable
Angled for a quick draw
Adjustable tension device
Works well with heavy metal frame pistols
Offers limited concealment