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Old April 12, 2010, 10:51 AM   #1
cowboy_711
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5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the 5.11 tactical holster shirts as a deep concealment option? I realize they will probably take a little longer to get at than a traditional IWB holster or similar, but I am looking at it for summer carry and/or deep concealment. I am used to wearing the Under Armour/Dri Fit shirts, so the tightness would not be an issue for me. I would probably be carrying something along the lines of a Taurus 709 Slim or smaller. What are your opinions and what do you carry in yours? Thanks for the help.
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Old April 12, 2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Actually Cowboy, you're in luck. I just recently received mine and will be updating a few other members here on my "review" of sorts. Lately I have been trying it out with 2 very different guns.

For grins I tried it with my Walther P99, fullsize poly frame. The shirt supports the firearm well and keeps it close to the body. The very bottom of the handle does tend to protrude slightly at the side of the Pec muscles. But then again, the shirt wasn't designed to carry a fullsize.

The next test was with a Ruger LCR. The LCR is very much in the same areana as a Taurus Slim, LCP, Kahr, PPS, etc.... The smaller framed gun has a tendancy to drop a little lower into the pocket of the shirt, but is still very accessable. As far as printing.....What printing? The shirt has a sort of thin foam sewen into the outside layer of the pocket. This breaks up any hard lines and printing from the firearm.

In my opinion the shirt is AWESOME! Very comforable, Affordable, and Versitile. It is important to remember that this is a deep concealment application, and draw time will definately be less than an Outside the Waist holster, and Inside the Waistband holster, and Shoulder Rig. However, it is not so slow as to be an ineffective means of carry.

I found that the shirt pairs best with the 5.11 Tactical Covert Carry shirt. This shirt has quick pop snaps in strategic areas to allow very fast access to whatever you may have under the shirt. The top button is a real button, then two snaps disguised as buttons, then one more button and two more snaps. It also has 3" velcro closures at the bottom sides of the shirt to allow quicker access to a belt mounted holster.

Hope that helps ya out. I have been testing this for a few days so far and have yet a few more left. I will also get some pics up for everyone. Cheers and Enjoy.
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Old April 13, 2010, 11:50 AM   #3
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qcpunk describes it well. I have carried an LCP and a PM9 this way. No point for the LCP; it's better carried in a front pocket. But great results with the PM9.

Two minor issues: first, they are HOT for summer wear; second, the holster pocket is very deep--you could put a full-sized 1911 in there! First isn't too much of a problem in an air conditioned space, and I've considered a line of stitching across the lower part of the pocket to help the gun ride higher--do it by hand and it would be easy to remove later.
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Old April 14, 2010, 02:12 AM   #4
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I need to look into those. Thanks for the reviews.
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Old April 14, 2010, 06:36 AM   #5
Hwood
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I've had my shirts (one crew, one v neck) since sometime in February. While it fits and works, I have had 2 occasions where my full size Beretta PX4 slipped out while bending forward. One time it was into my zip-up hoodie, the other time it slipped out (hoodie unzipped) and onto my garage-entry door's doormat. I think a smaller guns will be much better, but overall the shirt hold the gun comfortably and very stable. One can fit 4 double stack mags on the opposite side as the pockets are the same size right and left. Big guns can make it look like you have a tumor growing on your side if your outer layer is a normal tee or something on the tight side.

Comfort-wise, some have complained of itchy flat lock stitching, but I have not noticed that. A plus is the padding on the body-side of the pocket, preventing your gun from digging into your side.

Access while driving is much better than from a hip holster. I do however notice that the shoulder "yokes" cut circulation slightly while holding the wheel.

They MUST be ordered 10" smaller than your chest (see sizing chart on their site) or the gun will bounce off your side. The white one is just as sheer as a standard UnderArmour tee.

Overall it is a good alternative holster or BUG storage spot. It's also nice to not have to have a mag pouch sticking off you belt. Good for use while working out too.

I can post some pics if you'd like as I was unhappy with what i could google on the net.
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Old April 14, 2010, 07:33 AM   #6
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I have the Kramer shirt holster and I have no problems with either my Bersa 380 or my S&W 669. The Kramer includes a velcro strap for retention purposes and a pocket on the other side for extra mags. The only issue I have had is the mags are not as secure as I would like them to be. Kramer suggests that you alter the pocket carrying the mags to tailor them better. They recommend you buy the shirt holster on the small size to allow the gun to sit better against your side.
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Old April 14, 2010, 11:05 AM   #7
cowboy_711
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Hwood & qcpunk, if you could post a pic or two that would be great. The only time i have ever seen one with a gun in it was from a distance at a local gun show. One of the dealers had just the 5.11 shirt on with what looked to be the size of a glock 26 or xd9c but I couldn't tell. It looked pretty slick and that's what got me interested.
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Old April 14, 2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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Cowboy, I'd be happy to, I'll see if I can get some up tonight when I get home.
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Old April 14, 2010, 06:54 PM   #9
Hwood
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Photos #1

Here I'm in a fishing shirt with the 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt as an undershirt. Also on me is my full-size PX4 and 4 mags (68 backup rounds).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1515.jpg (11.4 KB, 287 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1520.jpg (32.7 KB, 235 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1521.jpg (31.4 KB, 233 views)
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Old April 14, 2010, 06:57 PM   #10
Hwood
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Photos #2

Here is the shirt with contents. First has the PX4, third pic has the 92
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1524.jpg (177.4 KB, 267 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1525.jpg (164.7 KB, 237 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1528.jpg (174.3 KB, 250 views)
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Old April 14, 2010, 11:59 PM   #11
qcpunk
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Wow Hwood, quick on them pictures there Looks like you've got it covered.

BTW, Is that a Mag in your pocket or are ya just...... oh nevermind, it's 4 mags....

It looks like your PX4 sits about the same as my P99 in the shirt. Good to know.
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Old April 15, 2010, 02:08 AM   #12
GojuBrian
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I've never known someone to carry so many rounds and extra mags.

Thanks for the photos!
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Old April 15, 2010, 05:32 AM   #13
Hwood
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Haha, just for illustration purposes Brian.
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Old April 15, 2010, 09:53 AM   #14
cowboy_711
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Wow Hwood, thanks for the pics. That does conceal your PX4 nicely. And with an even smaller gun it would virtually disappear!! That pretty much settles it, I'm going to pick a couple up to try them out myself.
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Old April 15, 2010, 04:59 PM   #15
Glenn Dee
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I stopped and looked at some today... IMO They are really really nice. And for the price the sport shirts look great... I'ts like buying a decent holster, and getting a free shirt. Locally the sport shirts are $50., and the Tee shirts are $35. Like I said ... not bad.
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Old April 15, 2010, 09:15 PM   #16
qcpunk
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Here are pics of the 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt in black with my P99 my left side and one spare mag on my right.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.JPG (160.2 KB, 191 views)
File Type: jpg 2.JPG (78.5 KB, 154 views)
File Type: jpg 3.JPG (168.6 KB, 131 views)
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Old April 15, 2010, 09:19 PM   #17
qcpunk
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And here are three more pics. I think the contours and shadows show a little better without the flash. And the last two pics are with the 5.11 Tactical Covert Carry Casual shirt covering the Holster Shirt, still concealing the P99.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 5.JPG (45.5 KB, 140 views)
File Type: jpg 7.JPG (113.6 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg 8.JPG (119.7 KB, 131 views)
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Old April 16, 2010, 09:14 AM   #18
cowboy_711
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Very nice pics, thanks for the help
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Old April 17, 2010, 12:14 PM   #19
Nakanokalronin
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Seems like this shirt would be good for 2 things, as a way to carry a gun where you would not be able to do so because of clothing or to carry a backup. I still think a well made IWB holster,pocket holster or even OWB holster if you can do so would be a better option and quicker to draw from.

With this shirt you need to lift up your outer shirt and then reach up high and shove your hand hard enough to break the velcro open to access the gun unless your wearing a button down shirt but then you need to rip open your shirt like you were Superman before drawing. IMO, great for concealment but not so great when you need to get the gun in hand quickly.
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Old April 17, 2010, 12:22 PM   #20
qcpunk
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Naka, I definately agree with ya there.

Deep concealment, such as the case with this shirt, is definately not the quickest, most accessable means of carry. I still prefer my Supertuck IWB holster, but I think the shirt certainly has its advantages in a few areas. It could be used while jogging, casually clothed street carry, and in situations where you will be bending over and sitting a lot.

Just with all holsters, I believe this definately has its place in One's stockpile of holsters. As we all know too well, there simply isn't a single Do-All holster for every application.

Thanks for your input Naka, Cheers!
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Old April 17, 2010, 03:10 PM   #21
Nakanokalronin
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Thanks. I will also say for certain activities like you mentioned, jogging and other active situations this is good as it keeps the gun tight to the body and concealed due to activity that might otherwise cause your shirt to fly up exposing your firearm or have the firearm fall out of its holster. I guess my main point is that this is good for certain types of situations but for best results if your handgun was ever needed in a defensive situation then I would suggest a IWB,OWB or pocket holster for ease of draw with normal everyday carry.
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Old April 18, 2010, 03:18 AM   #22
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"...tactical holster shirts..." There's no such thing as a 'tactical' anything, never mind a shirt. The term is a marketing thing only.
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Old April 18, 2010, 07:17 AM   #23
AK103K
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I have both the 511 and the Kramer, and I prefer the Kramer.

The problems I have with the 511 are, the gun isnt held securely and tends to move around a lot, the shirt is hot in warmer weather, and the color (mines white) is too white, and doesnt look right.

The Kramer on the other hand, has pockets that are more like a holster, and hold the gun more vertically, in one position, and have a retaining strap. The shirt is made of an open mesh, that can be worn over your normal cotton undershirt, and is not visible when worn, so all you see is what you normally wear. The 511 in white makes you look like you just got out of boot, and doesnt look right in that respect.

With either, the smaller the gun, the more comfortable and concealable its going to be. I have used my Kramer to carry my Commander in one pocket, and its double reload in its belt carrier on the other, under a full cut oxford shirt, and had no trouble doing so, but a SIG P230 in each pocket is much more comfortable, and easier to do.
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Old April 18, 2010, 12:09 PM   #24
qcpunk
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T. O'Heir, The company's name is 5.11 Tactical. The product is called The Holster Shirt. We know that "tactical" is a marketing term, thank you.


AK, Very cool. I'm not familliar with the Kramer brand holster shirt. It sounds like they may have put a little more attention to the smaller details? How does the price compare to the 5.11 @ $50.00?
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Old April 18, 2010, 02:11 PM   #25
AK103K
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Kramer is showing them now at $45-55, depending on the type you order. I have the full length, which allows you to tuck in in, which I think gives more stability, but to be fair, I havent used the half length to really say for sure.

If you do decide to try one, they recommend you buy it one size down so it fits a little snugger. I did, and I can see where your normal size might tend to want to be too loose, and move around more than you'd like.

Heres a link if you havent already found it....

http://www.kramerleather.com/product...&categoryID=21

Another alternative you may want to look at is the Smart Carry. I used to use the Kramer shirt a lot more until I got my first Smart Carry. Depending on your style of dress and gun carried, you'd be amazed at what you can get away with, and you can even go with just a pair of shorts and no shirt. Its very comfortable too.
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