Concealed Carry Holsters & Clothing: How Are You Packing?

concealed carry holsters, concealed carry clothing, concealed carry methods

concealed carry holsters and clothing

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Concealed Carry Methods

It’s been said that concealed carry is a lifestyle. No where is that more apparent than with the holster and clothing and methods available to the armed citizen: From concealed carry holsters for women and iwb concealed carry holsters for men, the endless choices provide self-defense advocates with options for any wardrobe. This FREE download covers the concealed carry purse, concealed carry clothing for men and a look at the best concealed carry holster for any situation, including IWB holsters, outside-the-waistband holsters, pocket holsters, shoulder holsters for concealed carry and much, much more. Plus learn tips and concealed carry methods for using these concealment holsters in a variety of everyday situations so you can be ready and armed at all times.

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Concealed Carry Holsters: Strong-Side Hip Advantages

If the navel is 12 o’clock, a properly worn concealment hip holster puts a right-handed man’s gun at 3:30. In this position, just behind the ileac crest of the pelvis, clothing comes down in a natural drape from the latissimus dorsi to cover the gun without bulge. On a guy of average build, the holstered gun finds itself nestled in a natural hollow below the kidney area.

With the jacket opened in the front, the gun is usually invisible from the front. Being just behind the hip, a holstered gun in this location does not seem to get in the way of bucket seats nor most furniture, and doesn’t press into the body when the wearer leans back against a chair surface.

Because of its proximity to the gun hand, and because the gun can come directly up on target from the holster, the strong-side draw is naturally fast. For males, simply bringing the elbow straight back brings the hand almost automatically to the gun.

Concealed Carry Clothing: Holster Options

Continuing with the “clock” concept, let’s look at different spots on the belt for holster placement. 12 o’clock, centerline of the abdomen, will be comfortable only with a small, short barrel gun. It’s a quick and natural position, particularly for women thanks to their relatively higher belt-lines. My older daughter, tall and slender, prefers to carry her S&W Model 3913 9mm here, in an Alessi Talon inside the waistband holster, or a belly-band. It disappears under an untucked blouse, shirt, or sweater, but provides very fast access.

1 o’clock to 2 o’clock becomes the so-called “appendix position.” An open front garment must be kept fastened to keep it hidden, but a short-barrel gun works great here for access during fi ghting and grappling. A top trainer who is still active in undercover police work and teaches under the nickname “Southnarc” favors this location, with his retired cop father’s hammer-shrouded Colt Cobra 38 snub-nose inside the waistband at the appendix. It is very fast. Some top IPSC speed demons, such as Jerry “the Burner” Barnhart carry their competition guns in speed rigs at the same location. A small gun conceals well here under untucked closed-front garments. However, the appendix carry causes all but the shortest guns to dig into the juncture of thigh and groin when seated, and the muzzle is pointing at genitals and femoral artery. There are those of us who find this incongruous with our purposes for concealed carry, one of which is to prevent weapons being pointed at such vulnerable parts of our bodies. Moving more to the side, the true 3 o’clock position is not ideal for all day concealed wear.


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Riding on the protuberance of the hip, the gun protrudes accordingly, calling attention to itself even under big, heavy coats. The holstered gun at 3 o’clock will grate mercilessly on the hip-bone. Cops get away with it in uniform because their holsters have orthopedically curved shanks, and the weight is distributedon their wide Sam Browne belts. Neither mitigating factor will be at work in a concealment holster. 3:30, just behind the hip, seems to be optimum for comfort, concealment, and speed. It’s where most professionals end up parking their holsters.

By the time you hit 4 o’clock, there is more likelihood of the butt protruding. When you hit 6 o’clock, the true MOB (middle of back) or SOB (small of back) position, you’re getting into dangerous territory. The SOB is an SOB in more ways than one. While accessible to either hand, it can be mercilessly uncomfortable when you are seated. The rear center hem is the first part of an outer garment that lifts when you bend forward or sit down.

The gun butt can catch the hem and completely expose the holstered gun. You can’t see it and usually can’t feel it, meaning you’re the only one in the shopping mall who won’t know that your weapon is exposed.

Another extreme danger of this carry is that any fall that lands you fl at on your back will be the equivalent of landing on a rock with your lumbar spine. Very serious injury can result.

IWB Holsters: Inside or Outside the Belt

An inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster will conceal the gun better. Simple as that. The drape of the pants from the waist down blends the shape of the holstered gun with that of the body. The hem of the concealing garment has to rise above the belt to reveal the hidden weapon. This carry allows average size guys like me to carry full-size service handguns concealed under nothing more than an opaque, untucked tee or polo shirt, one size large. Held tight to the body by belt pressure, this design minimizes bulge.

Some have tried IWB and found it uncomfortable. This is because their pants were sized for them, and now contain them – plus a holstered gun. For preliminary comfort testing, unbutton the pants at the waist and let out the belt a notch, and try it again. If it’s comfortable now, nature is telling you to let out the pants if possible, or start buying trousers two inches larger in the waist. As noted elsewhere here, this practice “keeps you honest” (i.e., keeps you carrying) because now the pants won’t fit right without the gun in its IWB holster.

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