The Underwear Gun (T.U.G.)

…police say the pair started demanding money, something the 28-year-old said she didn’t have. That’s when one of the attackers allegedly picked up a kitchen knife, turned on the stove, and put the blade in the flame.

“And then four separate times burnt the 28-year-old female, burnt her face, both of her arms and her stomach,” Small said.

Still she refused to speak, so the crime went further.

“Then picked up the 28-year-old’s two-year-old daughter and threatened to kill the daughter if she didn’t say where the money was,” Small said.

Source

Home invasions are one of my biggest fears when it comes to armed confrontations. I think it’s because they occur inside the most comfortable and trusted shelter we have, our homes. Where you should be able to go into condition white and turn off your vigilance and recharge your batteries. A place where you kiss your child good night shouldn’t be the place that you have to fight for your life. But alas, there are some people on this planet that don’t feel that way. In fact, the kind of predator who breaks into your home when he knows you’re there is a special kind of dangerous.

Burglars are one thing. Those guys don’t necessarily want to interact with you in your home. They want to get in and out with as much loot as possible, as quickly as possible. Home invaders are scary because they know you’re home, and they still want to come in. As a result, I have taken several precautions to prepare for this. In fact, I suppose several of my posts so far have been dedicated to topics that all tie back to defending from home invaders. I mentioned in another article that I carry a gun inside my house. This article will outline the requirements I have for an ‘underwear gun’, the gun I chose for the job, its accessories, the drawstroke for T.U.G., and some of the drills I do with this gun.

Jack Black and I get down like this.

Mission: Choose, outfit, and always carry a pistol meant to be worn around the home.

The requirements I had for an underwear gun:

  • Must be reliable
  • Must be able to be securely held in drawstring sweat pants or exercise shorts, no holster required
  • Be lightweight enough to not pull said shorts down
  • Because I don’t want to wear a holster and I carry a loaded gun with a round in the chamber, double action only or DA/SA is required
  • Be able to find something for less than $325
The Dusk Till Dawn crotch gun was never put on the market, so I needed another solution.

The reliability requirement is obvious. I have no requirement for minimum caliber size for T.U.G., only that it be reliable when I need to use it. As an aside, don’t take my (or anyone’s) word that your gun is reliable. You have to know this for yourself. Small guns (due at least in part to the tight angles that ammo has to feed from magazine to chamber) tend to be very ammunition sensitive. Some ammo will work, others just won’t. You should run a few boxes of your chosen defensive ammo in your underwear gun before you even start to call it reliable. Small guns can even vary in reliability within the same model. It sometimes only matters what month the gun came off of the assembly line.

No Holster!

There is a short list of accessories that allow me to satisfy the second requirement depending on my choice of guns:

  • Universal Clipdraw – Semi-AutoThis is the universal clip draw. I wouldn’t use this on a Glock or any striker fired gun with a loaded chamber. I’d only put it on double action guns, or guns with safeties. It can also be used to replace a flimsy flashlight clip with a very beefy spring steel clip.

  • DeSantis Clip Grip – This is a cool set of grips that has a flare of material on the right side of the gun which can go over the belt and keeps the gun secure inside the waistband. It’s a great update to the Barami Hip Grip, which felt like greased soap and didn’t fill the hand very well. The DeSantis grips are legit, though.
Barami Hip Grip
  • Techna ClipThis is nearly identical to the clipdraws, but they are made for the newer generations of small framed pocket guns. This is what I have on my LCP. They also make left handed versions, which is good for those that need it.

With a double action gun, and an on-board clip to keep it from falling down my pants, I’m in business. You could technically do this with any gun you wanted if you always wear a belt, but my requirements limit the size of the gun I can carry. Which brings me onto my next point.

The weight and size envelope matters. I want something that I can carry in exercise shorts or sweat pants around the house. As a result, I am limited to a pocket gun (mouse gun), usually in a caliber less than or equal to 9mm.  This is my favorite chart for getting an idea of what I should expect when I go to handle different pocket guns. I also satisfy the next requirement by simply looking for a DAO gun in the list.

My last requirement is easy enough to meet. I had my short list of guns that I thought would work, kept an eye out on the used market, and waited for something to pop up.

I have had a KelTec PF9 (9mm), a Smith 442 (.38spl), a Taurus PT22 (.22lr), and now a Ruger LCP (.380) to fit this role. After selling the PF9 to fund a M&P shield, and selling the Taurus to my dad as his underwear gun, I am left with the J-frame and the Ruger. Due to weight and magazine capacity, I find myself carrying the Ruger most often.

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Accessories

  • Techna Clip as mentioned above
  • Crimson Trace Laserguard– I think lasers are a great addition to any gun, especially one with sights as small and difficult to see as the LCP (gen 1). I also am fond of a laser that comes on when forming the full firing grip. It also has the benefit of allowing one to turn the laser off if one trains to relax that middle finger, as situation dictates. Lasers won’t make you control your trigger better, so you’ll still need to do the work.
  • Hogue Handall Grip Sleeve – This makes the grip of the gun just a little bit fatter. This allows a more hand filling feel, as well as a less cramped trigger pull.
  • GARRISON Grip Extension– This cool mag extension allows me to get all of my fingers on the gun. The tail of the mag extension also serves as a hook to keep the grip of the pistol right at my pants line. Without it, and the gun only has one point of contact at the clip, and can roll behind the pants (great for when you require the deepest concealment).image_6

Teeny Weeny Drawstroke

The drawstroke of a gun as small and deeply concealed as the LCP has to be modified a bit in order to build a full firing grip before presenting the pistol. Here’s how I do it:

  • Index the muzzle of the pistol through the pants with your middle and/or ring finger, and your thumb’s pad to the rear of the tang.
image_7
Note: my shirt is tucked so you can see what’s happening. Really, the thumb is used to swim under the shirt material and then indexes on the tang.
  • Press in and up with your middle/ring fingers and slide the pistol up as you slide your thumb behind the pistol.
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The photos were taken with a potato. Excuse the poor quality.
  • Pinch the pistol between your thumb and index finger to lift it high enough to get your fingers wrapped and complete the drawstroke as normal.
image_13
This is what the pinch looks like. The pinch is what lifts it high enough to form the full firing grip.

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Ammunition

This article gave me some ideas about .380 ammo selection. I had previously been using ball ammunition, because I was concerned about penetration and feed issues. I will be buying a few boxes of the top two he mentions in the article to try out.

Training/Drills

Surprise! Nothing is different here. I do what I do with all my other pistols. Dryfire and drills.

Issues Specific to the LCP

In such a small package, the .380 is a snappy little beast. I’m personally good for about 50-75 rounds before El Snatcho gets me and I fatigue to the point of diminishing returns. The hogue and grip extension mitigate this a bit, but only a little. This is an argument for a KelTec P32, or a .22 in a similar sized package. The sights on the LCP are just little bumps on the slide (sights on the gen2 are much better). I routinely make hits at 15 yards into the head box of an IDPA target (sans laser), but it took work. Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s only a bad-breath distance gun. Gain competence, and you will gain confidence. The trigger, like most all tiny double action guns, isn’t great. But again, dry fire and meaningful range time will allow you to work around this.

In Closing

I have had T.U.G. in its current configuration for about a year. This gun gets a lot of carry and shooting time (about 30% of my range time). T.U.G. in addition to allowing me to be armed around the house, makes a great grocery run gun, dog walk gun, gym gun, jog gun, and a wonderful Non-Permissive Environment gun. I always carry as large a gun as I can, and sometimes that gun is T.U.G.

May we always shoot home invaders in the face.

Protect the Brood,

Defensive Daddy.

16 thoughts on “The Underwear Gun (T.U.G.)”

  1. nra belly band w pockets using lcp or similar small pistol in pocket holster worn at underwear-level below pants belt/waistband . appendix carry makes it invisible and no grip is sticking out at all bc its tucked in the belly band but can still be accessed quickly n easily if necessary

  2. Good read. One of my buddies told me about the clip draw clip a while ago and after seeing it I immediately found a pf9 with a clip draw clip already attached, (got it used). Then after thinking about how safe it was for the next week I decided it’s probably not a good idea to carry a gun without a holster even though it is a double action so I ended up getting a sticky holster if you know what that is. It uses friction from your body and your pants/belt to hold the firearm in place and release when drawn. So obviously you feel pretty safe about it using the clip draw and it seems your very experienced with firearms, what are your thoughts on this?

    1. I was back and forth on that issue for a long time. I bend, sit, crouch, crawl and do lots of physical activity in my day to day while wearing an exposed trigger double action gun and I haven’t shot myself once! 🙂 I know that just because nothing bad has happened, doesn’t mean it can’t, I just have come to feel comfortable doing this. My reasoning is that my pants are rigid enough to prevent something from getting into the trigger guard and pressing the trigger through them. Most negligent discharges happen upon holstering (material or a finger in the trigger guard) or unholstering (no good trigger finger index while drawing). So I am very careful of my muzzle while holstering to keep it away from delicate bits. I also thumb the back of the slide so that if the hammer starts to come back because the trigger is catching something, I’ll feel it. Ultimately, you have to make a decision based on what you’re comfortable with. My only concern with a sticky holster is when I’m going for a full firing grip on the gun, I’ll drive the gun under my belt line and down my pants. I do a relatively forceful movement to get my hand high into the tang of the pistol, so I’d be scared it would just flop down my pants. If you want to revisit the holster-less option, I suggest wearing the gun around the house unloaded, and see how it feels for a while.
      Another option could be getting a trigger guard cover like the Raven Concealment Vanguard, or http://dalefrickeholsters.com/product/zacchaeus-concealment-holster/ and looping it around a belt loop, thus covering the trigger only. Lots of small time kydex makers can do this sort of thing on the cheap. I hope this helps!

  3. After seeing your draw with the clip setup, it occurred to me that having the clip on the left side of your gun, and doing a cavalry draw, might give you a quicker and more secure grip. In other words, reverse the gun in the same spot, and slide your hand between your body and the gun, to get a full grip. I’m thinking this would be faster and less fumble prone than the process you currently use. Of course, it would be dependent on the availability of a “left-handed” clip for the gun, for right-handed people.
    As a southpaw, I may have to look into this, since the correct clip for this type of draw would be more common for me!

  4. I have used the Safe Carry rig for deep cover scenarios. It fits the requirements for the underwear gun. Not dependent on the waistband for support. With elastic or loose waist band the draw stroke is not bad.

  5. Great article! I’ve had a Keltec-made clip on my Pf9 for 9 years now and it’s my edc. I really like the simplicity and reduced bulk from not having a holster. With some practice the draw can be very fast. I really like the Pf9 for this role due to its thinness, weight, 9mm vs 380 or 32, serviceable sights and a railed dust cover for a light or laser. The Ruger LC9 and Taurus PT111 G2 are also both great guns for your requirements.

    1. I carried a pf9 for years. I really liked it. I ended up selling it to a friend and I bought a shield. What I wasn’t considering is the lack of belt clip on the shield. As a result I ended up with the LCP in the article. Thanks for your thoughts and taking the time to comment.

  6. I like the LCP in a Betty 2.0 holster by Flash Bang holsters. The holster uses a clip similar to a suspenders clip (they call it the Ulticlip), that clamps on the waistband. All the advantages of using a holster and “underwear carry” compatible. Check it out!

  7. Are you actually saying, as part of the drawing process, to put two of your fingers IN FRONT of the muzzle and pushing it up? Seriously?

    1. Yes. If the trigger is covered, I treat the gun as inert. In this case, it is covered, so I feel comfortable doing this. If you have a better solution, let me know.

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