The Stylish Man’s Guide to Concealed Carry

by Antonio on September 26, 2012 · 218 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

How to arrange good-looking clothing around the decidedly non-standard bulge of a handgun is a topic worth looking at. It’s something that a whole range of men need to think about: police detectives, security guards, entrepreneurs in dangerous countries, and even your average American civilian who prefers to be armed.

“Concealed carry” exists for a number of reasons. When you’re doing it, you want to be living up to both parts of the phrase: you want to be carrying, and have access to, a firearm, and you want it to be discreetly hidden until such time as you need it.

For some men, any jacket long enough to hide a holster is sufficient. But for most men, concealed carry needs to fit other societal expectations:

  • Most plainclothes peace officers will have specific dress needs — either a respectable suit or blazer to give them out-of-uniform authority, or in some cases a disguise to help them blend into their environment.
  • Security guards are almost always expected to dress professionally, as much for the comfort of their employer’s clients as anything else. Banks and government buildings need high security, but prefer a discreet man in a blazer as opposed to a uniformed, paramilitary-looking trooper looming over their customers.
  • An armed civilian gets less hassle if he doesn’t fit the stereotype of an armed threat. A trenchcoat and combat boots conceal a weapon, but it doesn’t really conceal the likelihood that you’ve got a gun under there. Bringing a little men’s style into the equation makes the “concealed” part of “concealed carry” a lot more effective. Plus, it’s the law in most states that if you’re carrying heat, you conceal it. Editor’s Note: If you’re a civilian, be sure to check with your local and state laws before you begin carrying a firearm. Most states require citizens who wish to carry a firearm to obtain a concealed carry license; there also may be restrictions on where you can carry your firearm.

There are many reasons to think about both concealed carry and style in the same picture. This article lays out the quickest and best steps to making your concealed carry experience both practical and stylish:

  • Step 1: Choose Your Weapon
  • Step 2: Choose Your Method of Carry
  • Step 3: Choose Your Outfit
  • Step 4: Talk to Your Tailor

So let’s take it step by step:

Step 1: Choose Your Weapon

Concealed carry means striking a balance between firepower, ammunition, and size. You inevitably end up making a sacrifice in one area or the other — it’s more a question of personal needs and tastes than it is a matter of which is the “best” weapon.

But for choosing a handgun, which is what most men will be carrying when they carry a firearm in public, here are a few factors worth thinking about:

Magazine Size and Shape

A single-stack magazine is always easier to conceal than a double-stack.

The most important dimension of a pistol for concealment purposes is the width — how fat the barrel and the grip are. That’s what’s going to make a bulge under your clothing, more than the length or even the weight of the gun.

As a result, it’s better to have a single-stack magazine of relatively low caliber, at least in terms of concealment purposes. If that’s just not going to meet your needs in terms of firepower or ammunition, you get a slightly thicker magazine and cope as best you can.

The disadvantage of a smaller grip/magazine (aside from limiting your shots) is that a powerful handgun with a small grip has a ton of kick. The shorter the grip, the less leverage you have, making aiming trickier (especially follow-up shots after the first). A heavier frame can help compensate for a smaller magazine, and won’t alter the concealment in most holster types (though it will create more of a sag if you’re carrying it in your pocket or by another non-holstered method).

Look for a balance that suits your needs, but from a concealment standpoint do be aware that a longer grip/magazine is harder to hide, and may end up poking you depending on your carry method.

Caliber

This is one that some people have very strong feelings on. Some people will swear that you always want the maximum firepower you can carry; other people are comfortable with the idea that no bullet is a bullet anyone wants to take, and therefore even a tiny holdout pistol is plenty for self-defense.

You’ve got to make that call yourself. But the reality is, smaller caliber handguns are easier to conceal both because of the magazine size and the barrel width and length.

It’s not a universal scale — a .45 could be more concealable than a .38 depending on the shape and size of the grip and magazine — it’s just something you need to be thinking of as a firepower/concealability trade-off.

Exterior Construction

To use a very untechnical term, some guns are made with lots of “fiddly bits.”

You know what I’m talking about — everything from sighting notches to bulky safety catches to raised lettering on the barrel. Any of those is going to make the gun harder to conceal.

Weapons that are purpose-designed for concealed carry (and a number of manufacturers do have models specifically for the CC market) tend to be smooth-sided and streamlined. Look for designs with minimum “fiddly bits.” It’ll help both your concealment and your draw.

Barrel and Magazine Length

It’s a secondary consideration next to width, but the length of the pistol (in both directions) does matter. Extended magazines are hard to hide, and tend to poke you while you carry them.

Longer barrels give you range and accuracy, and longer magazines give you more shots without reloading, but the reality for most of us is that neither of those is a huge consideration. Unless you’re in an active military or paramilitary kind of situation, you — hopefully — won’t ever need more than a shot or two, even in the very worst-case scenario. Most of the time you won’t even need that.

So when possible, err on the side of a smaller weapon and magazine for the sake of concealability and comfort. It’s one of those trade-offs where you have to know your own needs, but don’t just default to the biggest magazine and longest barrel available for your handgun of choice.

Although easy to conceal, the mosquito gun is ineffective against anything larger than a squirrel.

So Which Gun is the Right One?

There’s no single right answer to that question. But, most men with concealed carry experience will recommend something along the same basic lines:

  • low to mid-caliber ammunition
  • single-stack magazine (or very slim-profiled revolver)
  • slim grip
  • short barrel
  • smooth exterior
  • light weight

Here are a few of the more popular models that get tossed around in discussions of concealed carry — this is by no means an exhaustive list, nor should any of these be taken as strong recommendations, but they’re good examples of the relatively broad range of options you have:

  • Glock Model 19
  • NAA .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver
  • Kahr PM9
  • Smith & Wesson M&P series
  • Walther PPS
  • Springfield XD

There are many more beyond these. But the important step here — and this is key — is to know which one you carry (or will be carrying) before you start planning your wardrobe around it, and especially before you have any tailor-made adjustments. You get the maximum benefit when you can have clothes tailored specifically for your gun and holster of choice.

Which brings us to our next step:

Step 2: Choose Your Method of Carry

Just like handguns, holsters come in every style imaginable. You might own one, or you might own a dozen. Depends on your needs. But for purposes of deciding what to wear and how to conceal your gun, you’ll want to know where you’re going to wear it, and in what kind of holster.

Regardless of your method of carry, one key piece of equipment is a very sturdy belt. This not only helps keep the gun in place and prevents your trousers from sagging, it’s also an important safety feature. You don’t want the holster shifting and you certainly don’t want the belt buckle popping open because of the extra weight or the jerk of your draw. Invest in something broad and made of sturdy leather or ballistic nylon. Most stores that sell holsters will also sell belts designed for them.

Paddle Holster, Hip Carry – OWB (Outside the Waistband)

  • Advantages: Simple, cheap, and quick to draw
  • Disadvantages: Bulky and hard to conceal

This is the most typical way for peace officers and soldiers to carry their primary handgun: a “paddle” style holster (basically the outline of the gun, with a flat “paddle” backing that rests against your body) worn at the belt line, with the pistol pointed down the thigh. The magazine points toward the rear of your body, and the grip is typically angled a bit forward.

The disadvantage for concealed carry should be obvious: it’s going to be very easy to accidentally reveal a gun that’s worn up by your front pockets. A long, loose jacket will do the trick, but as soon as you unbutton/unzip the front it only takes a stiff breeze to expose your holster.

It’s also hard to conceal the bulge if you wear a buttoned suit or sports jacket, even one tailored for the holster. You can pull it off with a small holster and a small gun, but expect to look pretty heavy around the hips when you do it.

Paddle Holster, Behind the Back – OWB (Outside the Waistband)

  • Advantages: Simple, cheap, and still fairly quick to draw
  • Disadvantages: Still bulky; still requires at least a jacket to conceal

An obvious solution to the hip-carry problem is to keep the same simple holster but move it to the small of your back.

This removes the problem of an unbuttoned jacket brushing back to expose the pistol. The whole back of your coat/jacket would have to flip up to reveal your firearm. It makes a suit or sports jacket much more effective concealment, especially if it’s cut a bit long in the rear. A little looseness also looks more natural on the back of your jacket than it does at the sides.

Drawing a pistol from behind your back is a bit slower than off the hip, but still not too cripplingly inconvenient. There is growing concern, however, that a gun in the small of your back can cause back injuries if you fall or are struck hard where the gun rests — many police departments mandate that nothing except soft items (gloves, CPR kits, etc.) be carried directly in the center of the back for this reason.

So while the simple paddle holster worn behind the back is an effective method of concealment, and still a favorite for a lot of concealed carriers, it comes with some safety cautions. And, of course, it requires you to sit down pretty gingerly, if at all.

Shoulder Holster

  • Advantages: Decent concealment, faster draw than behind the back
  • Disadvantages: Uncomfortable, easy to accidentally expose

The shoulder holster, which keeps the handgun tucked under your armpit and against your upper ribs, is a popular one with law enforcement (and one made famous by Hollywood and television cops). It’s a good choice for easy access, and only slightly slower to draw from than a holster on your hip.

Unfortunately, it’s also not that great for concealment. A suit jacket or blazer angles back toward the shoulder — you’ve usually only got a few inches between the butt of your pistol and the opening of your jacket. Unbuttoned, it’s very easy for the jacket to slide back far enough to reveal your weapon.

Typically, your draw with a shoulder holster also has to cross your body, with the barrel sweeping in almost a full semi-circle. They’re not allowed on many firing ranges for this reason — instructors and managers don’t want to risk other people being placed within the line of fire as you draw. It’s important to have very good trigger control and be careful with your safety when you’re drawing from a shoulder holster.

Due to the concealment drawbacks and need for trained habits, shoulder holsters tend to be best for people like plainclothes detectives and security guards who are being discreet, but don’t need to effectively disguise the fact that they’re carrying a weapon, and tend to have more firearms training than your average civilian.

Sheath Holster IWB (Inside-the-Waistband)

  • Advantages: Good concealment, doesn’t require a jacket
  • Disadvantages: Requires tailored trousers

IWB holsters (the most common name) carry the gun tucked into the trousers rather than worn outside them. They make special holsters for this, which are worth investing in. Whatever you may see on TV, don’t go tucking guns into your pants without a holster unless you absolutely have to. Most IWB holsters can be positioned anywhere on your back, allowing for basic behind-the-back carry or for something shifted to one hip or the other.

The advantage here is that you only have to hide the handle of the gun, rather than the whole thing. A smooth holster inside custom-widened trousers conceals most of the bulk for you. Just a loose T-shirt will do to hide an inside-the-waistband carry in a pinch.

The downside is that it’s an expensive and a fairly uncomfortable option. You need the tailored trousers, the specific holster, and the willingness to stand and sit with a gun barrel pointed down your rear end.

Pocket Carry

  • Advantages: Good concealment, flexible positioning
  • Disadvantage: Requires a small gun, concealment can vary; gun may shift

Pocket carry is what it sounds like — sticking a gun in your pocket. How effective the method is at concealment depends on how large your pockets are, how thick their lining is, and what style they are — big patch pockets with thick lining and a closing flap will hide a gun fairly effectively, while the back or hip pockets of your jeans will not.

The biggest disadvantage of carrying your gun in your pocket is that, unless you have an internal holder sewn into the pocket (which we recommend if you plan on pocket carrying regularly), the gun will shift around as you move. This can slow your draw, make the gun more likely to “print” (show its outline through the fabric), and even be a safety hazard.

If you wear a garment with large, easily-accessed pockets low on your midsection, you can position a gun for off-hand draw as well. A side-slit pocket near where your off-hand naturally falls is about as easy access as you’re going to get for emergency off-hand draw if your primary arm is incapacitated.

Many people prefer to use pocket carry for a back-up or holdout weapon, paired with another method of concealed carry for a primary weapon. If you do pocket carry, be sure that the gun is snug in the pocket, and have a tailor sew a holder into the interior if necessary. You don’t want your gun falling out, or to go to draw it and find it upside down and backwards in your pocket.

Ankle Holster

  • Advantages: Excellent concealment
  • Disadvantages: Very slow draw, limited to the smallest handguns

An ankle holster is a traditional holdout option for very small handguns. It requires nothing fancier than boot-cut jeans to conceal, and may even be missed by careless pat-downs. But it limits you to little more than a derringer (though some police carry sub-compacts, usually in specially-tailored trousers), and takes several seconds to draw from, making it a backup option rather than a primary method of carry for most men.

Holdout holsters can also be strapped to a forearm, inner thigh, or other unusual point for maximum concealment. Again, however, these are difficult to draw from and can only conceal the very smallest handguns out there.

Step 3: Choose Your Outfit

Once you know what gun you’re going to carry and where you’re going to carry it, you’re ready to plan an outfit that both conceals the weapon and looks sharp on you.

Different men have different sartorial needs, just as they have different firearm needs. The good news is, there’s a concealing outfit for every standard of dress from James Bond’s tuxedo all the way down to cargo pants and a T-shirt.

Business Concealed Carry

Suit-and-tie concealed carry is more common than you might think. Businessmen who travel frequently like to take personal protection along with them, and some politicians actively advertise their habit of carrying a weapon as a matter of principle as well as protection.

Can you spot the handgun’s print?

Happily for all of them, a business suit is a fairly effective method of concealment. It’s actually one of the better options out there, short of a full length coat. You can use pretty much every type of holster:

  • Paddle on the hip (with the jacket buttoned; jacket should be tailored for the bulge)
  • Paddle behind the back (a long jacket easily conceals the whole thing)
  • Inside the waistband (practically invisible under a jacket)
  • Shoulder/armband holster (concealed as long as the jacket’s buttoned)
  • Ankle holster

The biggest consideration for a man in a suit is usually whether he needs to be able to take the jacket off or wear it unbuttoned. An unbuttoned suit jacket can still conceal either kind of behind-the-back carry, and of course a holdout, but will probably reveal a holster on the hip or under the arm if the wearer moves much.

Men who need to be able to take their jacket off and still keep a weapon hidden should wear trousers tailored for inside-the-waistband carry and a shirt with a long, loose back that can be untucked or draped over the butt of the gun.

Three-piece suits are also popular with concealed carriers — the waistcoat can be cut deliberately long to hide an inside-the-waistband carry.

If you’re actually likely to be in any sort of combat situation, be sure to swap a clip-on tie with a breakaway clip for the hand-tied version. They’re not quite as nice-looking, but someone who’s working as a bodyguard or security officer doesn’t need to be offering a free chokehold to potential assailants.

Business-Casual Concealed Carry

A step down from the suit and tie look, business casual is the style preferred by most men who carry a handgun as part of their job — plainclothes cops, body guards, security guards, and so forth. A business casual outfit looks respectable and often includes a conveniently concealing jacket, making it all around useful for people in that sort of line.

Civilians should also take advantage of the blazer-and-slacks combination. It gives you plenty of places to conceal a weapon, and it has the added advantage of making you look well-dressed relative to the average guy on the street. People looking at you are going to be thinking, “Hey, he looks sharp,” not, “Hmm, I wonder if he’s carrying a gun.”

A sport coat or blazer jacket and long trousers of any kind offer basically the same concealment as a suit jacket. You also have the option of wearing either an unmatched “odd vest” or a longer sweater vest, either of which will hide the handle of a gun worn inside the waistband without the need for a jacket.

Dress-casual concealed carry can be made to look quite casual — think Dirty Harry, Miami Vice, or Steve McQueen in Bullitt, all of which feature shoulder-holstered policemen in jackets and sharp shirts.

Of course, if you’re planning on serious physical activity or movement, don’t expect a suit jacket or blazer to provide much concealment. But presumably at the point where you have to sprint, concealment is no longer the chief priority.

Casual Concealed Carry

If there’s no dress code to observe, you can wear almost anything that conceals a weapon. That said, don’t default straight to baggy jeans and an untucked T-shirt — it works, but it doesn’t do much to disguise the fact that you could be armed, and it’s neither as practical nor as attractive as some of your other options:

  • Concealment jackets – These are coats made by arms manufacturers (or affiliates) specifically for concealed carry. SIG makes one designed to look like your basic work jacket, similar to a Carhartt or Dickies, making it very unobtrusive almost anywhere in America. Concealment jackets have large internal pockets, usually Velcro-sealed, with loops or hooks for a handgun. They’re great for outdoors concealed carry, but get both uncomfortable and obviously out of place if you’re indoors for any length of time.

  • Leather jackets – A classic style and excellent concealment, opt for one that’s on the longer and looser side. Bomber-style jackets are perfect for concealed carry, since they have a padded lining that conceals bulges and a longer waist than moto-style jackets.
  • Denim or wool coats – Lightweight coats are comfortable most of the year and can conceal any style of holster except the paddle (longer coats will even cover that). Just be cautious of tight-fitted waists, typical on jean jackets, unless you know you’re going to be using a shoulder holster exclusively.

  • Safari/photographer’s vests – The thigh-length, multi-pocketed vest typical among journalists and photographers is an ideal concealed carry garment. It’s long enough to hide holsters at the waistband, thick enough to disguise bulges, and features plenty of pockets for ammunition or even a smaller holdout weapon. There’s a reason they’re popular with people traveling in rough countries — that said, they’re also the most recognizable “concealed carry” garments, and may draw attention from people looking for concealed weapons.
  • Casual shirts worn untucked – Just a plain white dress shirt is plenty of concealment if you’ve got an inside-the-waistband holster. Wear any sort of collared or uncollared shirt loose and untucked and you’ve got enough concealment to hide the grip of a handgun from casual observation. It’s a good option when you’re carrying in places where a jacket or blazer would be conspicuously overdressed. Remember the guayabera shirts we just wrote about?

  • Sweatshirts/hoodies – These are pretty much everywhere, and they add plenty of bulk around the waist that can hide even a large handgun. Just be aware that men over 30 wearing a hoodie look like they’re trying a little too hard. It’s good gun concealment, but it’s not magical urban camouflage that will make people think you’re from the streets if you’re not. To learn more about your options check out this classic AOM article on sweater styles for men.

Step 4: Talk to Your Tailor

Bizarrely, this is the step most men skip — even though the cost of alterations is usually less than the cost of a holster, and certainly less than a decent handgun.

Don’t skip it.

A single purpose-made garment is better concealment than any half-dozen layers of unaltered clothing. Tailors have their jobs for a reason.

The key here is to find a tailor who’s willing to work specifically on concealed carry issues. Always ask ahead of time — it’s very bad form to walk into a stranger’s shop and pull out a gun unannounced, even for demonstration purposes. Set up an appointment ahead of time and make it clear that you’ll be bringing a gun.

Some basic changes a tailor can make that go a long way in concealed carry include:

  • An extra layer of canvas and lining in the jacket increases stiffness, which reduces the “print” the gun makes through the outer fabric.
  • Extra length in the back (you can usually get away with up to an extra inch before it starts to look odd) helps keep a paddle holster concealed when you move or raise your arms.
  • Small armholes make the jacket rise less when you move your arms, making them good for paddle holsters. Large armholes, on the other hand, help hide a shoulder holster, and the hem of the jacket lifting doesn’t affect shoulder carry. Pick whichever you need for your holster.
  • Small pockets can be added inside the lining at the bottom front corners. You can slip a fishing weight or large coin into the pocket to help keep the jacket in place as you move, preventing any inadvertent holster-flashing.
  • If you’re planning on pocket-carrying, a small cloth sling or loop can be added inside the pocket to hold your pistol at the proper angle and keep it from sliding around.
  • Select a textured fabric to help break up lines, especially if you carry a bulkier gun. Herringbone, birdseye, and rough tweed all help reduce the visibility of the outline. Stay away from stripes, which emphasize any bulges.
  • A stiffened rod or strap can be sewn into the front edge of the jacket, making it easier to flip out of the way when you do draw but keeping it lightly weighted down at all other times.
  • Extra pockets can be added to any garment for spare ammunition. If you plan on carrying one specific type of magazine, bring an empty along and have the pocket made to fit it.
  • Get a tight-fitted shirt if you use a shoulder holster, to prevent the holster from tugging loose fabric into conspicuous wrinkles across the front of your body.

A good tailor will always take the measurement of the gun itself and of you wearing the gun. Be sure to have all components in place, especially if it makes a difference in size.

Once you have a jacket and trousers (or other garment) tailored for concealed carry, the rest is in your personal style and mannerisms. Carry yourself calmly and with confidence, and dress tastefully but blandly, and you should be able to slip past everyone’s notice without the possibility that you’re armed ever crossing their mind.

The worst thing a concealed carrier can do is fiddle with his clothing, especially where the gun is hidden, so keep your hands at your side and try to look bored. In the ideal concealed carry situation, no one knows you have a gun until you’re using it — and if you’re lucky, that means no one ever knows you have a gun.

Thank You

I would like to extend a big thank to the many law enforcement professionals, military men, and citizens whom I consulted with on this article.

______________

Written by Antonio Centeno, Founder Real Men Real Style
Want to learn more about style? Watch my men’s style videos here. 

{ 218 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Marcus R September 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

I’ll chime in with some belt ideas, as all the other points in the article and major points in the comments have been very thoroughly addressed.

I used to use a Fossil brand leather belt for carry; don’t laugh, it did surprisingly well as it was made of real leather, if a bit on the thin side of ideal. But when snugged up right it was adequate for a $50 belt.

Now I use a Saddleback Leather Tow belt, one of the 1.5″ ones. In short, it’s awesome. Very thick, very heavy duty, very stiff. As leather it has a great casual-smart casual look about it; no one finds a good leather belt out of place either. I haven’t had a chance to use their Old Bull belts yet, but I’ve heard good things from friends who have.

Other options worth looking at are the nylon & kydex belts made by companies like Ares Gear, Jones Tactical, HSGI, etc. Depending on the model and options you get, they aren’t super obvious in jeans or cargo pants unless you’re looking.

102 Miguel September 28, 2012 at 2:38 am

The point of carrying a concealed firearm is to have a firearm (and the training) that is adequate enough to stop a lethal force threat in it’s tracks… thus if you have a firearm that fit’s your hand perfectly, with the ability to manipulate all of the controls with either hand alone, and it is in the largest caliber that you can shoot well, then you have just enough gun (not too much) now the aim is to dress around that firearm so that it fits in with your lifestyle, so it is your clothing that needs to fit your firearm and not the other way around. Style is nice, but style doesn’t save your life when the chips are down, having a firearm that is adequate enough to stop the threat and the tactical skills and mindset to match is what saves your life.
As long as your clothing fits your lifestyle, and your work environment, then it should be adequate as long as it does a reasonable job of concealing your firearm.
Yes, there are people who must wear business attire and for those people, concealed carriage is a bit more of a challenge when it comes to finding the right wardrobe. BTW, ‘Tommy Tactical’ is OK if it fits with what you do… I am a tactical firearms trainer and close protection specialist/surveillance operator by profession so I can, for the most part, wear what I like (there are situations where a suit is required and I’ve had mine tailored specifically for concealed firearms carry) – As a pastime, I indulge in nature and wildlife photography so wearing a 5.11 tactical concealed carry vest fits with my lifestyle and doesn’t attract any more attention than any other type of clothing.
One other consideration when “dressing” for concealed carry, is to take into account the methods in which one trains with a firearm – if one draws from the strong side hip holster, then when “Warm Brown Instant Cushion Syndrome” strikes… guess where you are going to reach for in order to draw your weapon?… Clue: It isn’t going to be across your chest to that fancy concealed carry chest rig! So to simplify the problems of dressing for concealed carry, one must take into consideration, the following points:

1. Your firearm: Does it fit your hand perfectly? Can you manipulate all of the controls with either hand alone? Is it in a substantial enough caliber to stop a determined and immediate threat to your life but in a caliber that is manageable enough that you can shoot it well?

2. Your holster: Does it fit with your clothing? Does it feature mechanical retention devices that will prevent the firearm from dropping on the ground accidentally during normal routine activity but that you can easily manipulate to rapidly draw your firearm if you need to? Is it carried in a fashion that mimics your training style (if you train to draw from the hip… carry on your hip).

Your Clothing: Does your clothing fit well enough to conceal your firearm while still allowing for rapid draw if necessary? Does your clothing fit in with your social setting? Can it be easily modified if necessary?
Be aware that a lot of tactical outfitters are now manufacturing casual clothing that looks like ordinary , run of the mill clothing but has special alterations made to allow for superior concealment and ease of draw… That all being said… I hope this proved helpful to someone!

103 Kirby September 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

Outstanding article. Just in time and very informative. Just started looking into the Conceal and Carry laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gives me great base knowledge to start with regarding concealment, what to look for in a handgun and a holster.

104 Lesane September 28, 2012 at 6:58 am

Excellent article! Thank you. I am really glad to see this on this site. This whole site is a great resource.

105 Adam Brisebois September 28, 2012 at 8:19 am

You missed a segment of the CC industry, although somewhat niche, the Tuckable IWB holsters are a very important segment that should be addressed.

I carry my pistol in a High Noon “Split Decision” tuckable holster. This allows me to wear pretty much anything I want, keep my shit tucked in, and the way that shirts bunch around the waist and untuck slightly while moving keeps the entire gun hidden. No coat, no untucked shirt required. I have never been asked if I’m carrying. All you can see is a small black clip on my belt, which could be easily explained as part of a cell phone holster.

106 rob September 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

if I go somewhere that I feel the need to be very covert, I’ll wear a jacket. The vast majority of the sheep in this world don’t look at your hip/waist, they’re too preoccupied with their iphones. A friend asked him if I had my gun on me at dinner one evening, my response.. I’ve got pants on don’t I?
carry your gun everywhere, all the time.

107 W September 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

I carry a S&W N frame, L frame, and a 1911, depending on where I am going to be and what I’m going to be doing. I also buy simply rugged holsters. They are leather and priced right. The advantage to them is that you can carry them IWB, OWB, and crossdraw all on the same platform.

108 Dave September 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

Nice start to a great topic. As a full time and fully experienced instructor who teaches this subject to hundreds if not thousands of people a year, I would rewrite a good portion of the article due to my personal experiences and training background in concealed carry. I would consider this a starting point for those doing research into carrying concealed, but then I would offer that you should very quickly find a well known and competent CCW instructor who is an actual practitioner of the art and lifestyle of carrying.

There is more to this than just the ‘act’ of carrying a firearm. Will that small gun and smaller caliber ammunition function at 100% compared to a larger gun and caliber? We stress one thing above all: Carry and conceal the largest gun you can comfortably conceal, in the largest caliber you can shoot.

Don’t bet your life on a maybe, decide what you need and get it.

109 JBu92 September 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

One thing I would add for those who are new to CCW is that a standard belt just won’t hold a holster very well- purchase a gun belt. It’s a bit thicker, and much sturdier, so your firearm will stay put instead of having a lot of play because of the ease of twisting a thinner belt.

110 Joe September 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I’ve always carried in my front pants pocket, but I use a holster designed for that purpose:
http://www.uncle-mikes.com/products/inside_the_pocket_holsters.html

111 JBu92 September 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

For pocket carry, it’s a good idea to get a pocket carry holster- it’ll keep things out of your barrel and trigger guard, and usually they’ve got some sort of grippy material on the outside to help hold it in place. This will help keep it from moving around inside your pocket, and it holds the holster in the pocket when you draw.

112 Sutemi September 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

You don’t “err on the side of carrying a smaller gun.” You carry the gun you would want to have in a gunfight and find a carry method and mode of dress to effectively conceal it.

113 Maarten de Klerk September 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Gentlemen, I did not intend to initiate the old debate about the right to possess firearms at all, but I realise that my posting was not sufficiently clear.

I was just surprised, if not shocked, to learn from this article and the reactions to it, how relaxed the US social attitude apparently is towards gun carrying. That probably says more about the European naivety than about anything else. To avoid misunderstanding, I have fired quite a few different sorts of guns myself, and I dare to call myself quite good at amateur clay pigeon shooting.

Of course, I am aware that statistics should be treated with extreme caution. Especially when dealt with in combination with – always – distorting media coverage. And I am afraid that mentioning “European” statistics rather means “Western European”, or even “Benelux” in my case.

Also, especially as a criminal defence attorney, I am aware of the pro’s and con’s of gun availability. I even have several clients myself who may not have survived certain situations had they not been armed. On the other hand, shootings in The Netherlands occurr nearly exclusively within the “upper regions” of professional or organised crime. And victims are very seldomly “ordinary” citizens. Equally much, I am deeply aware that society is dangerous, evil and criminal. But the fact is that countries that allow firearms possession do not seem to suffer less robberies, rapes and assaults than societies with more restricted regimes. And even if this is different, still the question remains whether we would want to prevent such crimes at the (enormous) cost of human lives?

With referring to the Wild West I tried to express that the US has a very well organised government system since at least a century in all of its regions, which means that it is no longer necessary to delegate law enforcement to non-professionals. The Netherlands view is that “The State” has a “violence monopoly”, meaning that anyone else than the authorities using violence will be prosecuted. The State simply guarantees everyone’s safety and can only adequately do so if it has the exclusive right to use violence.

Thanks for the links posted: I will definitely take a close look.

114 Thom Gressman September 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

All very cogent points so far.

For my part, I routinely carry a handgun. The specific piece (from a Colt 1911 to a Beretta Jetfire) depends on where I am going and the anticipated threat level. (yes, I practice regularly with all of them).
I usually use a strong-side pancake holster made for me by ShadowCat Leathers. It lies flat under my jacket or vest and is very comfortable. The Jetfire, I carry in one of ShadowCat’s pocket holsters. He makes them so the leather masks the outline of the weapon, it stays oriented grip upward, and so that no foreign objects get stuck in the trigger guard. He also makes the pocket holsters with the flesh (rough) side of the leather out to provide more friction between the holster and the pocket, so as to avoid a “Barney Fief moment” (going to draw the weapon and have the holster come with it.)

115 paul September 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

check out: versacarry.com
I have used this for over a year. suits me, even with minimal clothes on, but make sure you use a belt for extra security.

116 Jake September 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Great points all around. The only things I would add is that, from a law enforcement perspective, you’d probably like your concealed carry/backup weapon to be the same caliber and manufacturer as your primary weapon. In some cases, the backup weapon may even accept magazines from the primary weapon. In the Glock family for example, the Glock 26 will accept Glock 19 magazines and the 27 will accept 22 mags. Not necessarily the optimal arrangement but if your primary gun jams or is disabled, it’ll do in a pinch. These types of “pairings” are not only tactically sound but make accessories, etc. easier as you’re only dealing with one manafacturer.

Second, not to sound like a shill for Glock but as far as concealment is concerned, both the Glock 26 and 27 will fit in the palm of your hand, are easy to function, and highly reliable. Also, to contradict the article, they accept double stack magazines (nine rounds each plus one in chamber) and the guns are easily concealable. A point of caution, however, for folks who don’t train regularly: Glocks don’t have safeties so the gun’s “hot” when loaded.

117 Sharpie September 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Julenburg: No, I just recently saw the home defense firearm article, many of the first comments were like that.

118 Brent September 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Maarten, you state your view quite nicely, and you are certainly entitled to it. I am unsurprised that someone from Europe’s thoughts on this subject differ greatly from someone in the United States; the cultures are different. “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms” is a U.S. cornerstone, not a European one. I won’t go into the history; this is not the place for that lengthy discussion.

As to the concept of “The State” having a “violence monopoly”, while it may sound like a sound bite the reason many carry is that “when seconds count, the police are minutes away.” There is no way for ‘The State” to be everywhere. The distances are too vast. It may be true that we are not “professionals” but a responsible concealed carry person avails themselves of a good deal of training. You don’t let someone drive a car without training and a license – you shouldn’t conceal carry if you’ve had no training either. It may be legal to do so, but there are a lot of things that fall into the category of “just because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.”

119 Chuck September 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

“State simply guarantees everyone’s safety and can only adequately do so if it has the exclusive right to use violence.”

So is the state libel for ANY violence that a person suffers when a policeman is not around? “guarantees” is a very strong word and takes extraordinary proof.

What I see is that “guarantee” did not help Theo van Gogh. He is still quite dead.

Remember that the Netherlands is smaller than a lot of our states. We are 9,826,675 sq. km. The Netherlands is only 41,000 sq km. HUGH difference.

It is not practical nor possible to apply the same principles and lessons that work for your country. In our country it is possible to have a police response time of an hour. We can drive across your whole country in 2.

120 James Johnson September 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

To the guy looking at moving his M&P compact to AIWB in an Archangel:

It’s a great setup. That’s exactly what I use for AIWB. The only thing that I would have done differently is to buy the version for the full-size M&P. The extra length acts as a lever to push the butt of the gun into you, aiding concealment.

Also, while I can carry my full-size M&P in the compact holster because of the open-bottom design, it gets soot on my underoos because I never clean my guns.

121 Benzo September 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I typically wear inside the waste band with my 1911. DeSantis makes great inexpensive holsters. You forgot to mention “thunderwear” as a concealment option as well: http://www.thunderwear.com/holsters.asp

122 Joe September 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Maarten: We Americans believe it is our absolute right and ultimate responsibility to protect ourselves, our homes and our families from thieves, rapists and murderers. It’s a lot easier to carry a gun in my pocket than a cop, so…

123 Cliff September 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

If you are not in the armed forces, you are by definition a ‘civilian’. This includes Peace Officers (or in modern language, Law Enforcement).

124 Matthew B September 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Excellent Article. I noted a lack of my preferred carry position (appendix IWB/Belly carry) but overall a good article.

And in addtiton the Glock plugs I’ve seen (And I do love me a G26), I’ll also plug the subcompact Springfield XDs and Smith and Wesson M&Ps. Various incarnations of the same concept.

@ Maarten
Ah, but the “Violence Monopoly” equation falls apart when other realize that they are capable of using force as well. Firearms are not the only common weapon. When the UK banned civilian gun ownership, crimes involving knives skyrocketed.

While the state may have exponentially more force than a man accosting a young woman with a knife, at the time of the act the young lady herself is utterly outclassed. The State may punish the man later, if he is found, arrested, prosecuted, found guilty, and not released on appeal or a technicality. That does her no good when the act occurs.

A saying I’ve seen that sums up my point is that “Gun Control is the idea that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled to death with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police why a convicted rapist is lying there with holes in him.” The right to protect oneself from harm is as basic a human right as freedom to speak your mind or love whom you choose.

I myself have been approached by would be muggers at the ATM, and when friendly dismissal failed to send them away, display of a weapon did not.

I respect your opinions, but also respectfully disagree with them.

125 John September 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Good article, but I think it was Clint Smith who said ” A gun is supposed to be a comfort to wear, not comfortable to wear “. Thus I agree with those who say “dress around your gun”. I wear a .45 1911 Commander everywhere. Better to have it, and not need it, than to need it, and not have it. Stay safe everyone!

Keep up the great work on manly topics.

126 Steve Gordon September 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

I would recommend looking into the Kel-Tec handguns for carry; the PF-9 is a single stack and the P-11 is double stack, both are lightweight and very concealable. I carry, legally, in Colorado and prefer the Remora IWB holster.

127 Native Son September 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

A few comments.
Displaying a concealed weapon to discourage a perceived would-be mugger can get on into a whole lot of other troubles. Depending upon how one does it, you could open yourself to a charge of “brandishing a firearm”, which ties into assault charges where I live.
Antonio misses one disadvantage of ankle carry. You’ve got a couple of pounds of steel on one ankle. I know a few sworn LEOs who tried ankle holsters and found them cumbersome.
In my work I encounter pain clothes LEOs all the time. The only guy who was obviously carrying concealed wore European-cut suits, with the nipped waist on the jackets, and carried a full-sized M1911 variant in .45 ACP in a hip holster.

128 quickerNu September 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Suprised nobody has mentioned the Crossbreed. I have not found anything more comfy for either my 1911 commander or XDM. Nice to be able to tuck in your shirt and still conceal a .45.

129 Rundel September 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I remember visiting Boston as a Canadian and saw a man carrying a pistol on his hip. It was unsettling seeing a non cop/millitary man carrying a tool with the ability to end your life right infront of you on the street.

130 Sharpie September 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

quickerNu: A guy I know compared the XBreed to a company called “Old Faithful holsters” and he thinks Old Faithful is actually better.

Here’s the link if anyone wants to take a look.

http://oldfaithfulholsters.com/

131 Matthew B September 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

@ Native Son

Waving a gun around in public can land a “brandishing” charge, obviously. However, weapons can be displayed much more subtly.

Brushing or lifting ones shirt to reveal the holstered weapon is a lot harder to prosecute, especially when the only two witnesses are the potential victim and the approaching threat. And a mugger probably won’t go to the cops saying a guy showed him a gun when he approached them at the ATM late one night.

My priorities are first to stay alive, then call the lawyers if needed. A good lawyer is as important to the armed citizen as a good holster. Find one, get an appointment, and keep their number on you.

132 Dave September 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Great article; I am a plain-clothes LEO and am constantly on the lookout for tips on concealed carry clothing.

One tip I’ll offer: When looking for a sports coat or suit jacket; Get one with one slit in the middle, not two (one on each side). The kins with two slits sometimes hang up on the butt of a gun worn on the hip.

133 Jim Who September 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Some of the “agency” fellows were using
a simple “Banana Republic” vest. Now
nobody makes that type anymore.
I worked around a bunch of “agency” fellows
and never knew what they carried.

134 Ron September 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm

To the gentleman with the M&P. I carry an M&P comfortably concealed in a Cattasi Holsters Zura. Have had it for almost a year and it’s comfortable, keeps my carry weapon concealed and its accessible. If you have to wear dress slacks and a button-down, tucked in shirt and cannot have the tell-tale signs of belt loops or clips, check out the Zura at http://www.cattasiholsters.com.

135 Chris October 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

Great article overall Antonio. It definitely would have been of help when I started trying to figure out ways to CC in a button down and tie.

I will have to disagree with 2 of your statements.

1) With regards to the width of the gun. This is true to an extent, but unless you are carrying inside the pocket, the width between a normal single stack and a normal double stack isn’t enough to give up half of a magazine. A full size Glock or Springfield can be easily concealed IWB with the right holster. However, length is still a consideration with this method. I recommend White Hat Holsters, but Max Tuck and Raven Concealment are also great options.

2) For Pocket Carry, most of the modern holsters have a tab at the bottom that make the firearm fill your pocket, restricting movement. When drawn, this tab prevents the holster from coming out with the firearm. I recommend Blackhawk, Safariland, and Desantis for pocket holsters.

A couple other options you failed to mention that I discovered recently:

5.11 tactical used to make some Concealed Carry Dress Shirts that look nice and work great. I couldn’t find them on their website, but OpsGear seems to have some.
http://www.opsgear.com/index/page/product/product_id/4689/product_name/5.11+Covert+Dress+Shirt+2.0?gclid=CLTJybXn37ICFWGnPAod-VcAOQ

Second option is a bellyband. Personally I hate this because I find it uncomfortable and feel that it adds quite a few pounds to my already short and somewhat stocky frame (5’7, 190, with a 34 CC pant size). However, some folks will find this to be the best option for them.

Pros: easy access to firearm, very concealable

Cons: comfort, recommended to replace at least one button with a false button that snaps.

Personally, the best carry method for carrying with a button down, tie, and slacks has been a 5.11 tactical dress shirt and a kangaroo carry holster for a full size or compact firearm (I carry a Springfield XD.40 4″)

Second has been pocket carry with a sub or super sub (I carry a Kahr CM9 in a blackhawk pocket holster)

Final word of advice, If you have the means, always carry a semi-auto over a revolver. It allows for faster reloads, more ammunition, greater safety while carrying, and as a general rule they’re more comfortable to conceal because of the angles.

If you don’t have a Concealed Carry License, I highly recommend getting one. There are a bunch of forums out there that can help you along your way and provide you with excellent information. Firearmsforum, concealedcarryforum, and the TexAgs Outdoors Board are the ones I would highly recommend. Most of the folks there are highly knowledgeable and can answer most of the questions you have. If you do visit, don’t ask if GLOCK or Springfield is better, it will derail the entire thread ;)

136 Graham October 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

Interesting instruction, however, not applicable in the UK as hand guns are banned! This means that you have to be a criminal to carry a hand gun here.

Your readers may find this amusing:
http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3r5461/

137 Mike Carew October 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Might I add another suggestion – a great concealment garment is a Tommy Bahama style Hawaiian shirt. The less garish versions of these shirts are very accepted as both biz casual and casual. That is my summer uniform, and easily conceals even OWB holstered handguns.

The winter is more of a challenge when one often needs to tuck-in a long sleeve shirt. In those times, I opt for pocket carry using a well-designed pocket holster like High Noon’s “pocket grabber.”

My day to day carry is a Kahr PM9 with a Crimson Trace laserguard 437. Higher threat level travel? I switch to my Glock 23 with a CT laserguard 436.

138 SeanM October 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I’ll chime in on the other side of which is the best concealed carry weapon. I understand the argument behind “carry what you’d want to have in a gunfight and dress around it”. Great advice if you can do it.

But that’s not always practical. The advice I give (and live by) is to choose a weapon you are likely to carry ALL THE TIME. Better a .32 or .380 that’s always with you than a 1911 you decided to leave at home because it’s heavy/bulky/uncomfortable/requires a concealment garment that’s too hot, etc. (The too-hot thing is a serious factor here in suburban Texas).

Is it a trade-off? You bet.

That said, I carry a Kahr PM40 nearly everywhere. Pocket-carry in the summer (with a holster that covers the triggerguard and holds the thing in place) and IWB at 4 o’clock when I can wear a jacket.

139 Steve October 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Great article with mostly excellent comments which did not devolve into calibers, etc. Also, glad not to have too many anti-s spouting off their opinions. I for one, with a CC permit, do not carry, but find it comforting to know so many men do. It is a great responsibility and I am glad so many are willing to “man up” to it.

140 LastGerman October 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Damn it.

If want a concealed handgun allowance too….

to bad i life in a postcommunist slaverey country only criminals can carry guns.

141 Nick October 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

While very good points on both sides, I think a very important one that Maarten mentioned was missed by Americans: the fact that the state COULD hold a monopoly on our protection is the exact reason this right is one of our nearest and dearest. This amendment was made in direct relation to the British tyranny over the colonies; were we not armed, we may have never gained independence and may still be bowing to the crown’s control. When something like that had such a large influence on our history, it’s a hard thing to give up, and the view that “the State has a violence monopoly” is met with more suspicion than it is with trust. We aren’t supposed to let our government decide what’s best for us.

142 Geoff October 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

One correction, that’s not a paddle holster you show in the photo, it’s a pancake type. Paddle holsters have just that, “paddles” that slip over and behind the belt allowing removal of the holster without undoing your belt, rather than slots the belt threads through.
Whatever firearm you chose to carry, practice often, especially failure drills if you use a semi-auto. Know the basic rules of gun safety, and know your state/local laws pertaining to concealed carry. It is an awesome responsibility and MUST be taken seriously.

143 Brookston John October 3, 2012 at 6:45 am

Great article! I carry a Taurus TCP 738 in .380 auto in a pocket holster. When it gets 104 degrees outside I’m not wearing a blazer, jacket or vest for anything.
Especially the “safari vest”. If you’re not holding an expensive DSLR and other photo gear or a fly rod, nothing else screams “GUN!!!!” louder than one of those. Except maybe a Hawaiian shirt un-tucked…

144 Chris October 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

I don’t care what US citizens say, a real man does not need to carry a firearm, and a man who does is the opposite of “stylish”. Fullstop.

145 Mandy October 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

While this is the manliest of sites, if there is a man’s man reading this who has a real woman of his own, then I would like to recommend the Flashbang Holster by Looper Law Enforcement for her.

146 Walt October 4, 2012 at 3:18 am

A “real” man DOES need to carry a firearm at times! Try walking to your car some night with your lady & a half dozen gang members decide to take a fancy to her plus your money….ok give up my money, no problem… but give up my lady???? No REAL man would do that!!! A REAL man prepares for the unexpected …a modern wuss fills out the rape report to the cops hours later at the hospital!

147 Ravistailor October 4, 2012 at 3:33 am

Interesting article,
I guess the next time one of my customer comes to my shop handling a gun, I will wait for his demand instead of running like a fool ;)

148 Enzo Pamrona October 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I have been carrying concealed since the late 70′s and have tried most of the available holsters. I am old enough that I can get away with wearing an Aloha shirt all the time, even at work. That works perfectly for concealment. I have migrated back to a conventional belt holster such as a Shoemaker N14 TB or a Bianchi 5BHL or equivalent(your mileage may vary, many very good holster makers today). I carry an aluminum frame 38 snubbie; a gun that is too big and too heavy is hard on the back. Remember, you will carry this gun for years without needing to fire it (hopefully never); if it is too heavy you will leave it at home on just the night you really need it.

149 Chris October 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

@Walt..A stylish man knows how to avoid that situation. A stylish man probably isn’t out all hours drinking at the local seedy bar with his woman to put himself in that situation. My 2c.

150 Victor October 5, 2012 at 8:29 am

I always forget how casual Americans are with firearms. The article and comments seem like another world to me as a Canadian. It is perhaps the only conversation that I can expect from well-to-do, respectable Americans that seems so foreign to me. Its almost like reading science fiction.

That said, if I had the option to own a firearm I would. And if I had the option to own one and someone wanted to take it from me, it would make me feel unsafe.

But I can say that I have had more experience than the average person with violence and I still have almost no exposure to firearms outside of hunting.

Its just interesting how distant the two country’s citizens are on this topic.

151 Dave October 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

@Chris “A stylish man knows how to avoid that situation. A stylish man probably isn’t out all hours drinking at the local seedy bar with his woman to put himself in that situation. My 2c.”

Being “stylish” has nothing to do with avoiding evil-doers…your response is laughable.

Can I borrow your crystal ball? I need to know when not to be home when a home invasion occurs, when not to be driving my car to be killed by a road rager, when not to be in the restaurant/work/school/movie theatre when someone comes in to kill people, etc. You should get the point.

152 Ray October 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

There is nothing “inexpensive” about high quality holsters, regardless of where they are designed to be worn. I daily carry a Glock 19 in a Blade-Tech IWB holster using regular, untailored cargo pants. T-shirts do a fine job of covering the grip of the pistol. Guess the fact that I’m prepared to defend my wife & children from those who would do us harm makes me not a real “man’s man” in Chris’ eyes though. While he’s busy trying to bust out some MMA crap with a sucking chest wound, I’ll be on my way home safe & sound.

153 Chris October 8, 2012 at 12:02 am

@Dave Your comment is also laughable. Have you heard of locking your door to stop a home invasion? Have you heard of driving away from a road rager. As for discharging a firearm inside a darkened theatre..come on..are you joking?? You would likely hit an innocent person trying to escape. How about going to a theatre that screens for firearms instead? Like I said, a “stylish” man doesn’t put himself in a position where he needs a firearm.

A mentally healthy person doesn’t carry around a firearm in normal day to day situations. I don’t have a problem with firearms. I have one locked up in my cupboard.

154 Bob D. October 8, 2012 at 3:08 am

Miguel said, ” Does it feature mechanical retention devices that will prevent the firearm from dropping on the ground accidentally during normal routine activity but that you can easily manipulate to rapidly draw your firearm if you need to?”

I can’t agree with Miguel’s mention of weapon retention strongly enough. Since we’re talking “style” here, there’s nothing as “un-stylish” as hearing your carry gun hit the floor and clatter around for a second or two.

Ever slipped and fallen? Been in an argument? A fistfight? A gun fight? Your odds of taking a spill or getting in a physical confrontation are exponentially higher than your odds of being in a gunfight. You absolutely want a holster that will retain your weapon if you trip and fall or get into a physical confrontation.

If your holster doesn’t have either a thumb break or mechanism to retain the weapon (such as two of the holsters shown in the article) then try this: Unload and clear your weapon. Go into a room with a nice plush carpet. Do 10 vigorous jumping jacks. Did you hear a muted thud?
If not do this: Sit down and roll over backwards. Still have something in your holster? If you do, Great! If not then in a real confrontation you’ve either lost your firearm or maybe looking down the barrel of your own weapon!

And that doesn’t even address the issues of retaining your weapon when someone is actively attempting to snatch it from you.

Weapon retention is part of situational awareness and the failure to carry in a secure manner is nothing less than negligence.

155 John N October 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

5.11 makes tactical holster undershirts. They look like undershirts but have built in holsters on either side of the body.

http://www.511tactical.com/All-Products/Shirts/Undergear-Shirts/Holster-Shirt-V-Neck.html

156 Drew October 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm

@Chris, “Have you heard of locking your door to stop a home invasion?” Doors can be kicked in, and just about every house I’ve ever seen has windows, which are made of glass and can be easily broken. Driving away from a “road rager” can be just as deadly if you wreck your own vehicle trying to escape. Does it make you morally superior if you kill yourself fleeing from the dangerous situation? Very few theaters and other public places screen for firearms because that requires security personnel to be hired, which is another paycheck that the businesses may not be able to afford (much less have one standing at each emergency exit inside each screen room to prevent some psycho from sneaking back in with his personal arsenal). You can speculate all you want about discharging a firearm in a darkened theater, but I know I can see just fine in every movie I go see. And if one innocent person gets hit, that is 1 person accidentally shot vs. 12 dead and 59 others injured, who were all intentionally shot when some mass murderer brought his guns into a gun-free zone. I imagine that very few people who carry concealed intentionally put themselves into dangerous situations (I know I never do), but sometimes dangerous situations just happen, and cannot be avoided. Crimes take place in broad daylight, too, not just just down darkened alleys, and no one wants to be a victim.

157 Robert October 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

@Chris: “Have you heard of locking your door to stop a home invasion? Have you heard of driving away from a road rager.”

Chris – I don’t want you to feel like I am attacking you. I would strongly advise you to reconsider your opinion on concealed carry, however. I have a Bachelor’s in Criminology and am working on a Master’s degree in the same field. While I respect your decision not to carry a firearm – I disagree with your reasons. Rarely is locking one’s door enough to deter a burglar. Likewise, sometimes one cannot simply “drive away” from a threat. Don’t you think that avoiding victimization was this simple, there would be less victims of rape, kidnapping, and homicide? It’s unfortunate that we cannot ask the victims of Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez their opinions on the matter.

There are statistics that both support and devalue the role that concealed carry plays in our society. We KNOW that crimes are frequently stopped by concealed carry holders. We also have some evidence to suggest that states with more concealed carry holders experience less crime. There ARE studies that will maintain the opposite – however skewed their reporting may be with omissions of secondary contributing factors. Simply put – my point is that grandmothers, wives, sisters, husbands, fathers, sons, and daughters have saved their own lives through the use of a concealed firearm in self defense. While you may choose not to take responsibility for your own safety, I feel that it is a little unfair to suggest that those of us who do are not “mentally healthy”.

By the way – I would never recommend using a firearm in a dark theatre. However – these types of incidents DO occur:

http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top_stories/story/conceal-and-carry-stabbing-salt-lake-city-smiths/NDNrL1gxeE2rsRhrWCM9dQ.cspx

158 Jean October 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Probably way OT for this article, but something I’ve always wondered about for standard carry “holdout” use: why not a derringer-style or even semi-auto pistol firing 20-gauge shotun shells? Preferrably birdshot, so it’s highly effective at short range, and not too effective at longer range, eliminating risk to passers-by and “civilians” (used to denote those not part of the conflict). Is the concern running out of ammo, size (concealability), just no market?
I admit I’m not as familiar with guns as I’d like – grew up in NJ, never had the need, and now it’s a Pain in the @$$ to satisfy all the made-up, mis-enforced, variable rules (not necessarily laws).

Personally, I think if everyone were issude a 2-shot derringer-style like I refer to above, most criminals would want to find honest work as a first AND second option… Keeping honest people honest, if you will – the risk outweighs the reward if all citizens are (could be) armed.

159 Harry October 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I’ve been meaning to get my ltc for a while but the initial financial plunge has kept me from it. between the pistol, belt and holster you’re looking at at least 400 dollars unless you go for a cheap POS like a raven or lorcin

160 801 October 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

The fact that a nation state can openly state it has a monopoly on violence (and, apparently, have that claim honored by its people) is perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the Second Amendment I’ve ever heard. That probably wasn’t your intent, Maarten, but thank you for explaining the reasoning behind the Netherlands’ policies on violence. Obviously I don’t agree with it, but you explain it well and your voice is a welcome one here. When one point of view monopolizes a discussion, nobody learns anything.

161 Robert Barnes October 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

This was very helpful as I am looking at obtaining my concealed carried here in Kansas.

162 Jim October 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I’m a retired law enforcement officer and I carry a Glock 19 in a Comp-Tac Minotaur IWB holster. It is by far the most comfortable IWB holster I have owned and I have owned many. It’s adjustable and fast. My belt holster is a Mitch Rosen 5JR President. It’s likewise a very fast holster and I’m a leather guy, so it meets my requirements. For a belt, I find the belts by The Beltman to be superior in cost and quality. I highly encourage any of you to look into them.

Training is key, folks. Seek training from qualified sources and practice as often as time and budgets allow. Shooting is a perishable skill, so keep it sharp.

Maarten, a state that has a monopoly on violence is a frightening prospect to most Americans. A state that is powerful enough to provide you everything is likewise powerful enough to take it all away from you at will. Such is the case with many countries in the area of the world you call home. You have a very tentative grasp on freedom there and I’d like to point out that twice in the last 100 years Europe was flung into chaos by the rulers of virtually disarmed nation states. Tens of millions killed and little in the way of effective resistance to speak of by the populations. If you think that today’s civilized societies are above that sort of horror, I’d point out that many of the the citizens of Europe thought the same in 1915 and 1939. If you think that resistance would be futile and only result in certain death, I’d say to you that there are things worse than the fear of dying that gnaw on a man. Your opinions are welcome and encouraged, but I vehemently disagree with them.

As a former law enforcement officer, I encourage all law abiding citizens to own and train with a firearm for protection. Further, keep in mind that the US Supreme Court ruled, in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278 2004, that the police have no duty to protect the individual. Food for thought.

163 Bruce Allan West October 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm

excellent info!
I’ve been working on suiting up more for work. I believe I’ll find your advice for working with my tailor to reduce printing quite handy.

164 Maxi October 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

@Jim
Do you hear yourself talk? Do you honestly think that the World Wars could have been prevented by a bunch of people carrying around pistols under their jackets?
I’ll assume in your favour that you know nothing about the situation of Euope at the time (“disarmed nations”) and would encourage you to pick up a book on the background and events that led up to these tragedies.

On the general subject: I strongly dislike the thought of everyday people carrying around guns, since I’ve met too many of them to have much faith left.

165 TeriDavisNewman October 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

As a woman who carries, I found this article helpful too. I wish Cosmo would do something like this–and I wouldn’t have to put my gun in my handbag which I hate to do.

166 David October 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

This is a great article. I am a former LEO, a permit carrier and also pursuing graduate degrees in criminology/sociology. This article fairly addresses the needs of one who carries without making it a political issue. And while many others in countries without empowered and armed citizens cannot comprehend the authority Americans give themselves, and are perfectly happy giving government the monopoly on legitimate force, I concur with Jim and Benjamin Franklin who once said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

167 The Earl of Standish November 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Sir, in England a gentleman only needs a good umbrella and a rolled up broadsheet newspaper for protection. However, this is a good website for the ‘man about town’.

168 Ken Burke November 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

A simple idea if you’re wearing a shoulder holster – buy a blazer or sport coat that is one size larger than what you ordinarily would wear. The weapon will be concealed and you will not look unprofessional.

169 KJB November 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Great article! I CC everyday and have tried a lot of options. For my downtown/weekends gun (S&W M&P .45 Compact), my favorite setup so far is the IWB Super Tuck holster from CrossBreed. It’s ugly, but VERY comfortable. Plus, you don’t need special pants and you can fully tuck your shirt in around it and it is undetectable to 95% of the people you’ll encounter on the street. I can carry my .45 all day and almost forget I have it on! Using a sturdy Blackhawk! belt helps.

For my EDC gun (a Ruger LCP .380 with Crimson Trace), I carry it my back pocket in a Talon wallet holster. Comfortable, hidden, easy to draw, and a big surprise to any mugger when they ask for your wallet!

170 "Live Free or Die" November 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Overall a good article on holster/apparel options for CCW. I agreed with most of the author’s points but not with all. However as a private citizen and firearms instructor who for over 30 years has carried all types of firearms: semi-auto & revolver in both major & minor calibers, in all form of holsters: IWB, OWB, shoulder holster and ankle carry, in all sorts of dress. I can unequivocally state that it is your own personal situation that will determine which type of firearm and what type of carry mode you will use.

Yes we’ve all heard the mantra “carry the largest caliber gun you can handle”. While that may make sense in a “perfect” world, as we all know – the world is far from perfect.

If it can be done, yes it’s prudent to pack the large frame handgun with multiple back up magazines or speed loaders. In cooler weather with sweaters and/or jackets I can easily conceal a large frame major caliber handgun. Then IWB or OWB carry modes work well for me. On other occasions especially in a hot and humid climate it will be more difficult to conceal such a large gun and the extra ammo.

In that situation the best choice may be to carry a small frame semi-auto in a minor caliber (.380 ACP or 9 mm Para) or 5 shot snub nose .38 special or .357 magnum revolver. Small frame firearms aren’t just more appropriate for hot climates either. Who hasn’t had to attend a wedding and need to dance with your significant other after the reception dinner. Do you want to be dancing to multiple fast paced Rock-N-Roll songs with a large frame government model 1911 on your hip or in a shoulder rig? If you’re like me after a few fast paced songs I start to sweat. Then I want to take my suit coat off to cool down. You can’t do that with a shoulder holster or OWB carry mode. For me in that environment the ankle holster carry mode is perfect.

The key is to make sure your apparel will conceal what you plan on carrying. In that aspect his recommendation on having your clothes tailored to hide your gun and carry rig is spot on. If you can’t afford that route then make sure you buy clothes that fit properly and hide your firearm. In all my days of CCW I’ve never been discovered, even by police officers in casual conversation.

My following statement may scare some commentors who don’t believe in one’s right and the freedom of carrying guns for protection. When workplace homicides started happening more frequently in the country. I made a personal decision. I was not going to put my life and those of people I knew and cared about at work into the hands of some upper level management bureaucrat. So I decided to start carrying concealed in my work environments. This was in companies where the carrying of “weapons” firearms especially by employees was strictly forbidden. I was licensed by the state to carry concealed so I was not breaking any government laws, only a company policy. I knew I was never going to be an instigator of violence. Yet I was also determined not to be a victim of it either. Well thankfully as the Lord would have it the places I worked were spared of such tragedies and everyone always left work safely. And no one was ever the wiser that should something very bad had happened there, I was prepared to defend those around me if necessary. I would have lost my job in that process, but that was a risk I was willing to take.

“… the ultimate authority… resides in the people alone… (due to) the advantage of being armed which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”
- James Madison, Federalist Papers

171 peter December 14, 2012 at 4:44 am

My problem being that the Glock 26 (subcompact version of the 19 recommended here) has a handle as long as I am from front to back, and 3/4 as wide as I am from left to right.

This means no appendix carry, no 3 or 9 o’clock, no 6 o’clock, no ankle because I simply don’t like it, and no shoulder holster because I’ll look creepy wearing a jacket in the summer, so no carry then (when violent crime is highest).

Basically, my size and shape allows me to carry on a shoulder holster in the winter.

172 Brett December 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

With pocket carry it is ALWAYS advised to carry the weapon in a holster. For almost every ‘pocket pistol’ or firearm small enough to be pressed into that role, modern manufacturers have a holster for, often for cheap or reasonable prices depending on materials more than anything else. They do two important things. First critically they protect the trigger guard, at no time with any method of carry should the trigger be left exposed even on a firearm with a heavy double action pull. Second it helps to protect the firearm from dirt and debries that often collect in the pocket, even such as lint and string. Most modern designs of these holsters offer no added bulk and minimal weight that you’ll not notice and provide additional benefits such as helping to break up the outline of the firearm (expecially good for revolvers such as smith j frames or a ruger lcr), they will keep the firearm consistently aligned and not shifting in your pocket and they are designed as to not follow the gun as you draw. Simple even universal ones from uncle mikes Can be had for very little and even more tailored ones such as galco’s offerings aren’t too expensive.

173 Robert December 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

Very informative article. Could you perhaps write guide on concealed carry a bushmaster?

174 glenn December 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

At the risk of sounding reactionary I want the thugs to live in gated communities so I don’t have to spend money on a pistol. They can grow their own food and make their own clothes while the’re at it.

175 R.C. December 31, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I am grateful to Maarten that he was as civil and respectful as he was in broaching the subject. Kudos, sir.

I would like to add one important point from the American perspective, however, on the topic of the “monopoly of the state on the use of violence.”

In the United States, the government is viewed as the servant or employee of the people, not the owner or master of the people. This is not a trivial observation, but a legal reality.

I can hire a man to paint my house. I cannot, however, hire a man to paint YOUR house. The reason is that I myself do not have authority to paint your house, and, lacking that authority in myself, I have no way to delegate that authority to my hireling. Authority must first be justly possessed, before it can be delegated to an employee.

In the American view, individuals possess (“are endowed by their Creator”) an intrinsic, unalienable human right to forcibly defend themselves and other innocent persons from violent attack. They have just authority to do so; in some cases they even have a moral obligation to do so.

Now because they have just authority to do so, they can delegate that authority to hirelings. They might, for example, hire private security guards (if they’re particularly well-to-do). Or, more commonly, they unite politically to constitute a government and delegate the normal day-to-day organized exercise of force to that government.

But do not forget: The people have just authority to hire a government to wield force on their behalf ONLY because they, themselves, already had just authority to wield force in defense of innocent persons. If individuals did not have that authority, they could never delegate that authority to their hirelings — and that includes the people’s hired police force.

To put it more bluntly: If individuals do not have an intrinsic right to keep and bear arms, neither do their hirelings, the police; for the latter could only obtain the authority to do so from the former, through delegation.

Now of course once you have constituted a civil society, the very act of organizing the use of force through the state means that normally, private citizens will not exercise it. We don’t want bankers and interior decorators hunting down murderers and rapists. Not only do they lack the optimal training, but it’s also a sub-optimal use of their time, which is better spent in their fields of expertise (banking and interior decorating). So that task is delegated to a group of persons organized and trained for it: The police.

But the banker and the interior decorator retain their unalienable right (and in some cases, their obligation) to defend themselves and other innocent persons against wrongful attack. When I hire a painter, I do not lose my just authority to paint my own house; likewise, when I hire a police force, I do not lose my just authority to defend myself and my family.

One might reasonably ask, “If the police, authorized through delegation, are the only ones to normally exercise force, when does the individual exercise this right?”

The answer is, “In the gravest extreme”; a term of art which means, “When seconds count and the cops are minutes away.”

And of course, that describes most occasions of violent criminality! Criminals typically do not attack their victims when the police are seconds away. Nor do innocent persons spend most of their time within shouting distance of a policeman.

For these reasons, it is a common view in America, especially in rural American and enclaves of traditional thought, to think of concealed-carry as merely a sign of typical prudent adult behavior.

It is of course not for everyone: Some men and women are temperamentally unsuited for it.

Still, a society in which most adults have that sober, responsible, practical view of life which leads to concealed carry is much to be desired. We desire it for the same reasons that we desire a society in which every adult drives safely, and knows how to change a flat tire, and knows how to operate a fire extinguisher, and knows CPR, and knows the Heimlich maneuver, and knows how to swim.

But I digress. My primary point was this: The government do not own the people as slaves, but are instead the hired employees of the people. Their authority is delegated to them from the people. The people have just authority to use firearms in defense of innocent persons, and for this reason are able to delegate that authority to the government. But it remains an intrinsic right, which individuals retain for use in the gravest extreme.

176 M. Report December 31, 2012 at 11:49 pm

One of the old-time Texas Rangers carried
a 1911 cocked and locked and tucked in
the front of his pants. His friends asked if
that wasn’t a bit…dangerous, to which he
replied with a puzzled look: W’all…you’re
damn right its dangerous !
It seems to me that there is a divide between professionals like the Ranger and ordinary carriers who should be
more concerned with concealment and
safety, choosing a smaller, less powerful
weapon, carrying with the chamber empty,
and only engaging when they have an
unfair advantage.
My own method of ordinary carry was a
.380 Back Up in a home-made rig which
carried the pistol low over the abdomen
with the trigger guard up; Hook a finger
through the guard, pull the piece and
chamber a round before firing.

177 Alistair January 1, 2013 at 2:32 am

I see that another commenter has already pointed out that you misidentified pancake holsters as “paddle” holsters. This is a great reference article; please don’t just have the correction in comments, you have to edit the article to correct it, or at least add a prominent corrections paragraph.

It would be a real shame to propagate misinformation in such an otherwise good article.

178 Ed January 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

I carry a Kahr PM9 in an ankle holster. I recently acquired a S&W Model 10 (.38 snubnose) and I am looking for a good shoulder rig to use with it.

I agree with the comments about getting proper training and knowing the local laws- especially about ‘showing’ your gun to someone who you feel is a threat. Be careful, because in may localities this is a criminal offense known as ‘brandishing’ or ‘menacing’. It’s best not to remove your gun from the holster unless you are DAMN sure there’s an excellent chance you may use it.

As far as our Canadian and European friends’ astonishment that Americans want to carry handguns: we believe we are ultimately responsible for our own safety. “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

179 Sifu January 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

@Maxi said “Do you honestly think that the World Wars could have been prevented by a bunch of people carrying around pistols under their jackets?”

Yes, indeed, they could have. Two decades of insurgents in Afghanistan have, if nothing else, shown that a small group of armed people can be very, very effective against a military apparatus. Here’s a classic article on the subject, called “A Handgun Against an Army”. I suggest you read it.

http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2008/07/vanderboegh-handgun-against-army-ten.html

180 Kirk Parker January 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

Plus, it’s the law in most states that if you’re carrying heat, you conceal it [emphasis added]”

To back up what Steven said, peruse this map and you’ll see that the majority of states allow open carry in some form, in which places concealing absolutely is not a requirement.

Also. on your visit to the tailor: bring your carry gun unloaded! You (and the tailor) are presumably going to be handling it a fair amount…

Maarten,

Thanks for your measured reply. I’ll respond by saying that the Dutch attitude, as you put it, has subtle but extremely significant differences from the American point of view.

1. Regarding the “professional” bit, we don’t feel that the “pros” have any greater need or right to defensive weaponry than any citizen does. This attitude didn’t originate with us–it’s right out of Peel’s Nine Points* though the British seem to have entirely forgotten it in recent decades.

2. Regarding the monopoly on violence, you left out the vitally important word “coercive”. The state has, in our view, a monopoly on the initiation of violence to coeerce compliance, and that’s all. Violence in self-defense, on the other hand, is a natural right that belongs to every living creature (even to the Dutch, who may or may not be aware of it.) As Bret’s cliched (but quite true) saying goes: when your life is at risk, and every second counts, the police are only minutes away. (If you need a local example, note that the police were of no assistance to Theo van Gogh.)

3. Don’t bother with the cross-national statistics; the differences in how the underlying numbers are gathered, and the huge confounding variables also present, make these problematic at best. Much more useful are longitudinal differences over time, and here the situation is much more interesting. In the US, a long, steady increase in the supply of civilian firearms has been accompanied by a long, slow decline in violent crime. Now, this correlation does not prove anything, of course, but it’s pretty fatal to many of the anti-gun arguments since it runs in the opposite direction. Britain, in contrast, has seen a surge in violent crime since their handgun ban went into place, including a large increase in the criminal use of handguns. Make of it what you will…

181 GeekWithA.45 January 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

A couple of points, if I may. “Small of the back” carry is popular on the screen, but not on the street, for good reason. First, you risk your spine in a fall. Second, you cannot avoid pointing your gun at yourself as you draw, a firm violation of rule 1, “don’t point your gun at anything you’re unwilling to destroy.” Behind the hip, at 4 and 8 o’clock is much more common and a whole lot safer
Next, I would like to address our foriegn commenters who perhaps should choose a word other than “casual”, which implies a certain amount of sloppiness and unseriousness. Those of us who carry arms daily take the matter with utmost seriousness, but perhaps without the fear and awe that comes with unfamiliarity, or the excessively ritualized behavior that is an artifact of teaching and instilling the habits of safe arms handling. Watching a competent gunman is an education in itself, he will simply never make a big deal of the fact that he never points his gun in an unsafe direction, or allow anything to enter the trigger guard.

182 Kirk Parker January 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Thanks to sifu for the link to “What can a handgun do against an army”.

On that note, and for our European commenters: I have an acquaintance who lives in the Former Yugoslavia, whose father was in the Yugoslav resistance in WWII. The way his father got his first actual weapon: sneaking up behind an Italian MP with his tobacco-pipe held in the manner of a pistol, sticking into the poorly-trained lad’s back, saying “Mano i alto!!!”, and disarming him.

183 Dan January 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

This article is about carry concealed handguns in a stylish manner. If certain commenters don’t want to carry, fine. Guys, please stop feeding these trolls.

184 Fred January 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

…and I was just about to like this page. It simply feels weird to learn about perfect behaviour on an airplane, respect towards other people, stylish dressing and social behaviour, only to stumble upon an article like this. I am probably too european to get it, and I really don’t want to offend anybody, but since this page is directed towards an international audience: it feels weird to see an article like this in a page like this. Other than that, very good work.

185 RiverWalleyeGuy January 19, 2013 at 12:28 am

I have been steep on the learning curve since last spring 2012 when after twice in a year my wife asked if I’d feel safer with a handgun in the house. This site has been a welcome read (mostly-well spoken January 2013 Dan) compared to the innane comments and “my gun is bigger and better than your’s” all the other blogs spill out. Halfway through I bought a 511 holster shirt, too! God bless you all gents.

186 Chris January 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

This is great, ever consider a concealed carry guide for fixed-blade knives?

187 Andrew H January 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I really liked Maarten’s comment. It is refreshing to hear someone with a different view who does not rant. We have a long and storied history of violence by bad guys with guns in this country and unfortunately all the bad guys have guns now. I don’t want to be a victim if I don’t have to so I will carry a handgun or at least keep one in the house. I suspect that there are not 300 million + guns in the Netherlands.

188 Wasim March 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Well, in Chicago, any type of cocealed carry is illegal (unless you’re police), so this is kind of out of the question for me.

189 Stan April 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Great article. I carry IWB, usually appendix style. The only issue I have is with the article is saying that pants have to be tailored to carry this way. I have a 34 inch waist, I mostly buy 36 inch jeans. In dress slacks, I look for those that have elastic, or some sort of stretchy material, in the waist. Always wear a belt with this method.

190 Jefferson Clarke June 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Great article. Generally, I carry a .44 single action revolver in a shoulder holster. Very easy to conceal in the fall and winter with a jacket or coat….Summers, not so much. In the warmer months, I switch to a belt style cross draw. I don’t recommend this for everyone, its just what I’m comfortable with. Thanks.

191 VM June 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

Very good article… even If I am a bit late to the party. It’s been my experience that “bigger is better” with regard to weapon selection. I carry a Para- Ordnance PXT Tac4 in a Gould & Goodrich Yaqui Slide at my ‘eight’, since I am a southpaw. Yes, I carry it cocked and locked, but since I spent a total of 26 years as both a professional soldier and a peace officer, I think I can handle it. As far as additional magazines go? If I need more than the 14 rounds in the weapon, I am in way over my head and need to fall back. With a quickness.

As for tailoring jackets and pants, I think it’s a very good call… but here is something not a lot of you may know. I learned a trick from a local BATF guy that I worked with once, and when he showed me, I pulled a total Keanu.

“Whoa…”

Simply buy 2 or 3 flat 3/4″ washers from your local hardware store. Wrap them together in duct tape, then sew (or have it sewn) into the hem at the front of your jacket seam. Have it sewn on the side you carry your weapon. The extra weight throws the coat fabric of to the side much better and faster, allowing you a faster draw. Granted, it does not work for a cross draw rig or shoulder holster… but if you carry on the hip FBI style or even from the small of the back, it is the duck’s nuts.

192 greg June 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I use an inside the waistband holster, a very simple leather one called a Galco Tuck-N-Go inside the pant holster. With a Sig Sauer P290 I have incredible concealment. I can wear jeans and a t-shirt and it literally disappears, no indication at all through my shirt. And I’m talking a normal size t-shirt not one of those huge ones that double as a gown. And it’s fairly comfortable. With my S&W 340PD the end of the grip does make a bump with this holster. So it depends on the hardware that you have. The Sig Sauer is nice and flat and compact. But packs seven shots at 9mm. Works for me. I got a bunch of other holsters to try, shoulder, leg, pocket, etc. And not a single other configuration works for me other than the cheap Galco and (not so cheap) Sig Sauer. Be well, and most of all be safe. Never carry without a holster.

193 Alex June 22, 2013 at 2:54 am

Thank you for the thoughtful and very informative article. I favor .357 J Frame S&W revolvers in stainless for concealed carry. I like pocket carry with an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster. Although very handy when out walking, pocket carry is not the best when seated. So in my car, the gun rides in a small holster stitched between the center console and the driver’s seat. In social situations I carry a tiny Kel-Tec .380 in my inside jacket pocket. Always let the weapon and carry method match the wardrobe and situation. No matter what weapon and carry method you like, practice, Practice, PRACTICE. A .22 in the hands of a skilled shooter beats a .45 in the hands of somebody who never goes to the range.

194 matt July 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

Some great info, thank you. I started out with a shirt that holds things safely, but have expanded to pants, and more.

195 Thailand Tailor July 31, 2013 at 5:03 am

Good points, and yes a good tailor IS a great asset for helping to conceal a handgun… Just saying…Just keep it up an unique information.

196 Carvalho August 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Greetings, gentlemen!

Regarding leather holsters, do they need to match your belt and shoes’ colour?

Let’s say I tend to wear black leather shoes and belt along with my suits, most of the time, and also carry my handgun inside a black leather holster. If I switch to brown leather belt and shoes, would it be weird to wear a black leather holster?

Thanks in advance.
Keep it classy, gents!

197 ข่าวดัง August 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for Conceal
carry

198 Tony September 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Excellent page with one minor exception. As a certified firearms instructor for permit to carry classes in Minnesota, I will suggest that while any gun is better no gun; .22 caliber is not a suitable defensive handgun cartridge. I would suggest a minimum of a .380 or 38 SPL. What ever you choose to carry, get to a range and practice often.

199 Kenneth del Valle October 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm

At age 66 I have been carrying a concealed weapon most of my life since age 15.

I have boxes of old holsters that at one time seemed like a good idea.

I am a veteran of numerous encounters and wars. I spent 16 years as a spec ops operator. I know firearms!

I am an attorney and I wear a suit almos daily.

About ten years ago discovered the “Clip Draw”. It is a metal clip that attaches to the slide with a powerful two sided tape. It holds the pistol in your waistband without need of a holster. I have carried everyrhing from .45 ACP XD tacticals to J frame revolvers. My usual carry is either a Sig 229 or Sig 226 in .357 Sig caliber and an extra mag in a Galco mag pouch on the port side.

I wear Perry suspenders that attach to my belt so that my pants are not pulled down by the weight of the rig and the weight rests on my shoulders.

The Clip Drraw works best with pistols that have external hammers such as the Sigs, Barettas, 1911′s and XD’s with a web safety.

For Glocks and other guns that can go off in an unholstered waist band I recommend any one of a number of IWB kydex holsters for the unexperienced. However, I use the Clip Draw for Glocks also.

The Glock 19 is one of the best all around pistols. Carried by begginers, cops and modern spec ops operators. It has great range of utility. Get five extra magazines.

The “Clip Draw” is fast and unobstrusive. Goggle it.

And… only movie stunt men carry in the small of the back.

200 John November 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

Shoulder holsters are a bad idea. Your muzzle is always covering people behind you, and when you draw from that type holster, you have covered everyone within a 180 degree angle to the front, assuming that is where the threat is. Always know where you firearm is pointing.

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