Concealed Carry Discussion: Tips and Tricks

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by LAZY EYED SNIPER, Feb 14, 2012.


    LAZY EYED SNIPER Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    I've done a little experimenting with different holster types and different sized handguns for concealed carry. I've found that with the right holster, almost any handgun can be properly concealed. I used to think that light or summer carry meant being restricted to carrying sub-compact or micro-compact pistol. My everyday wardrobe when I'm on my own time almost always consists of shorts and a t-shirt. Also being that I'm 5' 8" and having a compact frame myself, I thought I was resigned to carrying handguns in the LCP or P380 size range. I've tried a few different holsters, belts, and handguns to find that with the right combination almost ANY handgun can be properly concealed with almost ANY style of dress. Even with my size I've found ways to properly conceal my full-sized 1911s, Beretta 92fs, and even my bulky Glock 21.

    First and foremost is choosing a firearm that you're comfortable carrying and that's been proven at the range to be problem free. It must cycle through your chosen carry ammo without failures. I use a 500 failure-free round limit before I consider any of my handguns for concealed carry. For practical purposes and due to the expense, a lot of us use different practice ammo at the range than what we carry. However, it's extremely important to make sure your pistol functions flawlessly with the ammo you plan to carry for personal defense.

    Next comes the holster. Finding the proper fit for your weapon is of utmost importance. Too tight, and you may find yourself playing tug-of-war with your belt when seconds count. Too loose and you might end up in an embarrassing situation, asking the person in the next bathroom stall to hand your pistol back to you after it fell out of your holster and slid across the floor. With larger pistols, the angle of carry and position of the holster on your belt is crucial to hiding the butt of the gun from sight. Carrying extra mags on your belt can sometimes be tricky as well. Finding the right mag holder/pouch is equally important.

    In my opinion, a proper gun belt is one of the most underrated tools for concealed carry. Even the best holsters can be handicapped by an improperly fitted belt. One that is too narrow for the loops in a belt holster can allow an outward cant and expose the profile of your pistol. You'd be surprised what a belt that's actually designed for carrying weapons and gear will do for ease of concealment.

    Your choice of clothing can be equally important for concealment. I'm not suggesting we all run around in 5.11 Tactical shorts and concealment shirts, but even the color of your clothing can make a huge difference in your pistol being properly concealed or being obvious to onlookers.

    So, let's hear it everyone. What methods do you use? What belt, holster, equipment do you use for concealment? Do you carry extra mags? Does the size of the pistol matter? In what position does your holster sit on your belt? Do you carry a back-up pistol or knife? If so, how do your carry it? This thread should be a great place for those new to concealed carry to get some tips, tricks, and advice. I'm sure those of us who've been carrying for a while might even learn something from each other too.

    Let the discussion begin...
    Rob poston likes this.

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    When it comes to my 1911s I always carry in condition one and prefer some sort of active retention but have never been a fan of straps. Here's my go-to rig of choice for my EDC Kimber Ultra CDP II.

    Bianchi CarryLok on a 5.11 Tactical 1.75" leather belt


    It offers a great combination of an open top holster with a lever release that keeps my Kimber nice and secure. Unlike most other holsters of its kind, the release lever sits just behind the trigger guard and is designed to be operated with the middle finger. This placement allows your index finger to operate freely and align with the trigger while drawing your weapon. It's a very sturdy holster and when used with a purpose built gun belt the rig is as solid as they come. You can see in the photo that the fully loaded pistol stands straight up in the holster on its own. It comes in a variety of sizes and molds for 1911s, revolvers, and a variety of other pistols.
    Rob poston likes this.

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    For most of the other CCW pistols in my rotation I use a simple inside the waistband holster. I've had good experienc with Uncle Mike's. Great prices for a basic IWB and they come in a wide range of sizes.

    Pictured below are two extremes in size between my Kahr P380 and my Glock 21...


    I haven't had a pisol yet that they can't fit. These IWB holsters are extremely versatile and are very secure with the use of the proper fit for your pistol and a good belt. While great for compacts and sub-compacts, when worn at a forward angle on your belt, these IWBs can conceal the butt of much larger pistols. Wearing just shorts and a t-shirt, I can fully conceal the G21 in the holster pictured above. With its diminutive size, the P380 can ride easily in the waistband or even be clipped into the inside pocket of a jacket or sportcoat.

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Picked up another Bianchi CarryLok for my SIG P220 this afternoon...


    I absolutely love these holsters!
  5. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    Good tips!
    I admit that my EDC was carried in the small of the back, for the reason that I am left-handed. I could not find a left-handed holster that worked for me, so I bought a right-hander and used it as a back-waist carry.
    Now, I carry a DeSantis, but am still not 100% happy with it. I have been on Versacarry for forever, to make holsters for us southpaws.
  6. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    Incidentally, I do tend to carry a smaller firearm (size and caliber) in the Spring/Summer. Typically, I carry a full size 1911 (.45 acp) in the winter, and a Sig Sauer P-938 (9mm) in the summer, though I recently found a sweet deal on a Shield 9mm, and have been carrying it lately. I stack all hollow points in the summer (9mm 115-124gr.); and in colder weather, I stack alternating hollow points/fmj's (.45 acp 230gr.). Reason for this is proper penetration through heavy winter gear. I only use hollow points in the 9mm, as the round is very hot, and over-penetration is a concern for me.
  7. RFalcon

    RFalcon .22LR

    [​IMG] As a retired LEO, I've tried many different rigs and configurations. My overall favorite hands down is the N82 IWB for year round carry, The most comfortable IWB I've used. Even a full frame firearm is concealable with a loose Tshirt. Wardrobe consideration is the best determining factor, IMO, for successful CC. I've used the exact same holster for compact to full frame firearms.
  8. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Looks like a nice rig...first time hearing about N82 Tactical.
  9. RFalcon

    RFalcon .22LR

    They make Kydex models as well, but the padding on this particular model is excellent.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  10. Norske

    Norske .410

    I like Yaqui slide holsters. When carrying while hunting, I'll use a fuller-coverage holster, but not for CCW.
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  11. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    Dillon Leather for me, belt and holster. The inch and three quarter belt makes all the difference in the world when carrying a full size handgun.
  12. Tim Lange

    Tim Lange .22LR

    I had a holster, IWB, left side, custom made for my Black Label 4.25" by Harvey's Holsters in Battle Ground, Indiana. I watched him make it in about 45 minutes. It is a hybrid, Kydex formed around my gun with leather that goes against me. After wearing it a half dozen times for more than an hour I can barely feel it unless I think about it.

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