View Full Version : How to Carry concealed?

March 30, 2011, 08:04 PM
Ok so I am new to concealed carry(got my license a couple weeks ago) and I have been experimenting with many different ways to carry my XDSC 9mm. I have VERY little trouble drawing and firing from IWB carry in the small of my back. My problem is that I have trouble with printing when I do that (hence why I have not carried yet, well that and the fact that I am in one of those lovely gun free zones that all the criminals keep hearing about called a University). I also have an under the shoulder carry that conceals well undera button up(like my columbia or a suit). Drawing from there takes considerably more time for me even though I have practiced. So I am asking for options on carry or maybe ways of reducing printing?

My IWB attire is usually a golf/polo shirt that is slightly longer and a pair of cargo shorts that are a little baggy. I live in Florida, so there is a lot of different attire that really isn't an option (the shoot me vest or the look shoot me I have something valuable in my fanny pack). I understand that carry requires dressing around the weapon and I guess I seem to be having some difficulty because it would just make me stand out like a sore thumb in most clothes that I wear(not during the winter but more during the spring summer and fall...Florida). I have heard of carrying in the front IWB, slightly on the left...but the idea of a loaded pistol pointing at me groin area makes me feel a little...uncomfortable. I have at least tried the carry there and it disappears with no printing(even with a t-shirt), but drawing from that position is awkward with a belt on.

I left out that I have an uncle mike's holster for the pistol and I also have one of those new 5.11 tactical underarmor type shirts with the holster weaved under the shoulder(which works quite well and distrubtes the weight VERY well...just awkward on the draw when wearing a button up).

March 30, 2011, 08:22 PM
There are lots of ways to carry, but I think most people when they start to conceal carry feel everyone can tell that they have a firearms...

The truth for me in my experience is people are generally unobservant of even the most obvious. I dont know what your state law says, here where I live if my gun was showing, open carried (intentionally or otherwise) or well hidden in CCW mode I am covered legally by my permit. (Standard exclusions for government property and 2 counties in MN)

People think vest are obvious but really given our cultures complete lack of standards in dress, I wouldnt let this be a deterrent. If yo homes and the crew can sag the pants, you can wear a vest.

For myself in cooler months I much prefer the shoulder holster.

In hotter months the vest is a winner and two light but colorful shirts arent too bad. On rare occasion I will IWB with my 380 but my primary carry Sig P220 takes more cloth to cover.

EOTAC is the only vest I own and its a ccw machine.... So many pockets to carry things in. I prefer the interior pockets for my weapon and I carry my mags in the mag pockets and they dont print.

I unzip the front and let the vest open and wave around a little so everyone can assume I have nothing in there, my how wrong they are so long as its legal for me to carry where Im at.

Glenn Bartley
March 30, 2011, 08:29 PM
I recommend carrying strong side just a tiny bit around the outside curve of the hip toward my back, hip holster, on the belt. Wear loose fitting shirts, light jackets, or a tee shirt with a button down shirt over it that is neither buttoned or tucked in. As far as the ever so intolerable 'printing' concern goes - so what if it appears as if there is a lump, bump, or something else under your shirt? How many cell phones, and other things do people carry on their belts that 'print'? The great majority of people will never notice and the pistol will be in one of the most accesible for you), yet secure places it can be kept while wearing it.

All the best,
Glenn B

March 30, 2011, 08:53 PM
What kind of belt/holster are you using? You need a holster designed for concealment and a quality gun belt, both are essential to proper concealment. I've seen people conceal full-sized 1911s in a T-shirt and jeans.

March 30, 2011, 11:24 PM
Thanks yall. I am still experimenting and I like these ideas. For clarification about Florida laws, I cannot show my weapon at all. Open carry is not legal here(unless you were hunting). It sucks, but bill 234 tried to get through and the good guys were not very smart in how they tried to get it through(why try to legalize open carry on campus before you legalize open carry for general population? Or legalize concealed carry first for campus?). So basically if I show I am a felon depending on the cop.

My holster is this...http://www.unclemikes.com/products/inside_the_pant_holsters.html I am note sure how to post just an image. My belt is just a standard belt with a shotgun shell brass tops imbedded into the leather. It is what I wear every day. I do like the 2 shirt style, and I guess I just am concerned about making myself obvious. Is there a specific belt I should be looking at? Wide? Loose? Tight? I am still new and I do talk to a guy I train Kali with who is on the gang unit about concealed, but I don't get much range time here because the only range is an NRA range and I am not a member and there are so many anti-gun nuts on my campus(and one is in my apartment so rather than bring out conflict by telling him I have my gun I just keep it locked in my nightstand).

March 30, 2011, 11:43 PM
First things first, buy a gunbelt. I like the Galco Carry lite belts, as they are well up to the job of holding your gun securely while not being too expensive. It's $29.95 from galco.

Also I would ditch the $12 holster, and get something better.

Galco makes several good IWB holsters for you gun and should have something in the $40-$60 range that will serve you well for several years. And if you buy one from them when you buy one of their belts, it'll save ya shipping charges.

High Noon Holsters is another excellent holster maker that should have a holster that will fit your needs, however they are a semi-custom shop, and if you order one they don't keep in stock it can take several weeks to get you holster. Still well worth the wait to me, and I have about 5-6 of their holsters for various guns.

March 30, 2011, 11:45 PM
What kind of gun do you have? That image shown of the glock seems to be riding awful high IMO. No wonder it prints with that holster. I carry strong side just behind the hip bone kind of over right cheek, but as forward as possible without being in front of hip bone. I find it the most comfortable. I carry an officer sized 1911 in a IWB Tucker Gunleather Silent Thunder (http://www.m1911.org/ezine/tucker2.htm).

March 31, 2011, 01:03 AM
I am using the XD-9 sub-compact. Location for carry is also about the same. I reckon I do need a new belt though. I mean the one I wear is nothin special. If I am looking to buy a good gunbelt I need something leather(which I guess is obvious). But what are the specifics of a good gun belt? This is what I really need to know. I mean width is a factor. How should it be constructed? I will be researching all of this now that yall have put this bug in my head about the belt, but I am curious what makes a difference between a galco 2 inch belt and a 2 inch leather belt from a walmart? I mean obviously quality lol...but I guess what I am saying is what makes these brands special?

March 31, 2011, 08:46 AM
Majority of my peer group are ivory tower liberal (predominantly anti-gun) so when in their company discretion (invisible carry) is important.

My smallest 9mm is a Sig P239 and though it is only about 6.5" long it prints badly (in summer clothing). In the cooler weather I can get away with shoulder carry and IWB, but in warmer weather this is much more difficult.
Since deep cover is the only option here, this means ankle carry, which in my case is either a PPK or a Sig P238. Kahr is another option, but I don't do DAO very well, tho I suppose the new Kimber Solo might be alright, time will tell. It is possible to carry bigger handguns on the ankle, but awkward and difficult, so for the time being I am pretty much stuck with mousegun ankle carry.

My belt is 1.5" wide, strong, sturdy heavy black leather, hand made bought at a gunshow. Cost about $30. You can hang a 10 lb sack of potatoes on it, it won't flex.

Have too many holsters to list, all are leather except for the Wolverine ankle holster. Visit a large outfitters store, buy the best that works for you, regardless of cost (within reason), you need something more robust and retentive than what you are carrying.

Good luck.

March 31, 2011, 02:12 PM
I have been in Florida for 50 of my 54 years, and I spent 8 of them in Gainesville, although those 8 were before concealed carry was shall-issue.

First, please reconsider SOB carry. Too easy to sweep yourself and others on the draw, and way too easy for your cover garments to ride up and expose your firearm without you realizing it. Those who recommend strong side carry just behind your midline have wisdom born of experience. Easy draw, comfortable, minimizes printing, maximizes retention.

Next: Casual dress in Florida makes it very easy to carry IWB. With any kind of T or tank-style undershirt, there are lots of styles of shirts that can be worn with the tail out. If you like the shirt tails to be square to be worn out, as I do, it is an easy job to cut the tail off square and run a little hem around the bottom. (It is particularly easy for me, because my wife does it for me.) Keep your eyes peeled and you will be able to pick up a couple of very light, cool sport coats for times when it is more appropriate to have your shirt tail in. Wardrobe complete.

Except for your belt and holster. A good belt for a gun is stiff and keeps its shape. You might get lucky buying a belt in a department store, but you are more likely to watch it sag and deteriorate with the weight of a gun on one side. Several holster manufacturers make decent gun belts, and lots of us like beltman.com for our belts. Like a good belt, a good leather or Kydex holster costs a few bucks but pays off in comfort and longevity. Galco and Desantis are just a couple of the several companies that make holsters of reasonable quality and price.

I have never heard of minor printing becoming a legal issue for anyone in Florida, but I would not press my luck on campus. When I come up for games I discretely lock my firearm in a lock box secured in a locked car.

Go Gators.

March 31, 2011, 03:13 PM
Thank you guys so much. And yes go Gators! I actually will never carry onto campus just in case I do have that one bad luck incident where a cop spots my firearm and I get that license revoked.

I reckon I will be looking around for belts first, and then on to some shirts. I looked at some stuff at old navy, casual short sleeve shirts and stuff. They look acceptable for concealed carry. Of course I can simply adjust the placement of my pistol to midline. From what everyone is saying, my holster sucks? I will experiment with it and a few other holsters. I have no question that I can clear the holster though. It holds in place very well when worn with a tight belt.

Oh and just a final note: minor printing shouldn't be an issue, but we all know that it only takes one cop having a bad day to notice.

March 31, 2011, 04:37 PM
I'm a big fan of Appendix-IWB (what you call "front IWB"). It is fast, secure and conceals very well. I carry a Glock 19 there pretty much year round dressed very similar to youself.

With that said, it isn't for everyone. It is best done with a dedicated holster designed for AIWB carry. Not a soft Uncle Mike's design.

Mr. James
March 31, 2011, 05:06 PM
Another vote for strong-side, either 3:30-4:00 position for right handers or 8:00-8:30 for left-handers. 86 the small-of-back carry. TailGator has enumerated the most pressing shortcomings of this style. Another is possible injury to your spine if you fall or are thrown down upon the gun in that position. Finally, accessing your weapon while seated in a motor vehicle is going to be a problem; this could become a real deal-breaking problem in the event of, say, an attempted car-jacking.

As for printing, this is far less of a concern than we make it out to be. I carry openly on a routine basis and go about my business unnoticed. It's truly bizarre. I tend to carry full-size pistols, too.

Finally, by all means, get a decent belt and holster. You don't have to go broke, but you really need a good belt. No standard belt purchased at Wal*Mart or Macy's is designed to hold the weight of a pistol. Having the support of a good gun belt makes a night-and-day difference as to stability of the weapon and your overall comfort.

Best of luck, and God bless.

Bob James

Dan M.
March 31, 2011, 06:38 PM
If you wear cargo shorts that are a little baggy, think about a pocket holster in your strong side front pocket. It's one of my favorite ways to carry, either with a 3" Kimber CDPII or even my 3" Ruger SP101. A Mika pocket holster is very inexpensive, but will do the job well and will stay put when you draw your XD. You can walk around wih your hand on the grip of your XD and no one will know the difference.

March 31, 2011, 07:22 PM
Winter is easy, most jackets will do. Summer requires more effort. I wear sports coats alot and sometimes use ankle holsters.

March 31, 2011, 08:14 PM
I'd like to suggest a good site for buying belts, if you can't find any locally.

www.OldSchoolLeather.com (http://www.oldschoolleather.com/)

They make nice thick belts out of full grain leather (the good stuff). I've ordered a few from them, and they're great quality. But it may take a couple of weeks for you to get it, as it's a mom-and-pop operation. I think they're in central Florida somewhere, so you'd also be supporting a local business.

March 31, 2011, 09:14 PM
It is important to figure out what fits for your body shape and attire. 6 o'clock is comfy for me, but prints like crazy when I sit down. My love handles pre-empt 4 o'clock carry. So I carry iwb at 2 o'clock (invisible, but uncomfortable when seated for me), or in a pocket, or at 6 with a jacket or similar cover garment.

Having a gun intended for ccw helps a lot too.

March 31, 2011, 09:24 PM
Thanks guys this is really helping out. I needed the wealth of information I guess to help me get the fundamentals. I know plenty of leather dealers(my father is a veternarian so I know places lol).

Question: I saw someone say that were having trouble with the 330-4 position because of love handles. I am no petite beauty queen, but I am not the grape ape either. I am a big guy, bout 6'1 230. I have love handles of a pretty good size(reducing because I do BJJ and Kali), so will they get in the way?

March 31, 2011, 10:51 PM
I'm relatively new at carrying and I'm using a belly band at the moment. I can tell it may not last more than a couple of years, however, that remains to be seen. The nice thing is, it isn't hooked to my belt which I like a great deal.

So far, carrying at three o'clock makes the most sense and conceals under a Hawaiian style shirt very very easily. Completely undetectable unless someone gives me a hug or something. Also, the belly band lets me carry a pretty large pistol which is good. Or a small one.

It's the flexibility I like.

Best of luck finding what you need!


April 1, 2011, 02:11 AM
I am very similar to you in body shape and carried an XD sub compact, 4 o'clock position, for a few years. Get a good belt and good holster, it makes all the difference.

For IWB my favorite holster was a comp-tac minotaur. It's like a crossbreed supertuck, but less expensive and you can buy the kydex shells for different guns without buying another holster. Very, very good holster and the customer service has been excellent when I had questions.

April 1, 2011, 08:21 AM
I carry a Sig P250c or a XD40sc or a xd9c in a kholster at 3 oclock. I can wear almost any polo shirt and they disappear. Kholster is having a 3 day sale starting April 2 for $30, April 3 for $42, and April 4 for $45. Check at kholster.com. Can not beat the price. Saves getting a drawer full of holsters like everyone else has, including me.

April 1, 2011, 09:00 AM
and lots of us like beltman.com for our belts

ditto times 10

The products put out by Jim The Beltman will last a lifetime, so that makes the pain of spending that kind of money for a belt disappear.

The reason most people excess about printing and the lack of comfort of a particular gun/holster combination is because the flimsy belt sags off the waist line and/or rotates/twists letting the gun flop around and hang crookedly off the belt. Once I invested in a super stiff belt, I mysteriously quit buying holsters. They all started to feel OK, even the cheap ones.

And as carrying becomes more routine over time, you, like most of us, will realize nobody is really looking at you as closely as you think they are.

In short, invest in a good stiff horsehide double layer belt first.

April 1, 2011, 12:54 PM
I'd opt for the belly band. Actually I have a holster identical to the one you have and I have a web belt that I use with it. I wear a dress shirt- tuck in the pants- so the type of holster with a clip- to be used with an un-tucked type shirt doesn't work. I put of my under pants and under shirt, put on the gun and belt/holster- then shirt and pants. To get at the gun takes more time because you have to unbutton the dress shirt- a button or two. I can live with that- I will unbutton the dress shirt if I feel I'm in a dangerous situation.

April 1, 2011, 01:37 PM
You may have saved my life, or at least my foot!

I have been shooting for a long time, and am comfortable with things.
Just ordered a small pistol and will be carrying it in a holster.

I know I need to learn how. So I did a search............ And found this series.

GREAT INFORMATION, and well presented.

I will take the tips and etc to heart.

Keep up the good work everyone!!!!

April 1, 2011, 08:21 PM
As a few others have stated, a good belt is your first decision. I've got a couple but the one that I almost always wear is the 5.11 Tactical Trainer. It expands and contracts with my ever evolving waistline. This is an excellent belt.

5.11 Tactical Trainer (http://www.cabelas.com/product/511-Tactical-Trainer-Belt-1-1234/750466.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch%2F%3FN%3D%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dbelts%26Ntx%3Dmode%252Bmatchall%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts%26form_state%3DsearchForm%26recordsPerPage%3D80%26search%3Dbelts&Ntt=belts&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products)

I'm still looking for an IWB holster and will probably go the appendix carry route. For OWB carry, I have an excellent Bladetech Sting Ray Belt Holster that I carry at about 3:00. Can't recommend this Bladetech holster enough ... great holster.

Bladetech Sting ray Belt Holster (http://www.blade-tech.com/SRB-Sting-Ray-Belt-Holster-IDPA-Approved-pr-939.html)

Good luck in your decisions.

April 1, 2011, 10:03 PM
I currently carry a Ruger 380 LCP in a wallet holster that allows the trigger to be pulled through the holster. This holster feels just like an actual wallet and is very comfortable to carry, draw, and shoot. But I am still uncomfortable carrying a round in the chamber with an exposed trigger.
Has anyone had or heard of an accidental discharge carrying in this manner or any other thoughts?

Lost Sheep
April 1, 2011, 10:38 PM
Apologies to the bandito from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

(edited for brevity and focus)To get at the gun takes more time because you have to unbutton the dress shirt- a button or two. I can live with that- I will unbutton the dress shirt if I feel I'm in a dangerous situation.
If you want to avoid all that, you can sew your buttons onto the placket (right word) of your shirt and replace their function with snaps sewn behind the button. Then you can just rip your shirt open (like Superman used to do). Or strippers (breakaway clothes, you know).

Of course, in case of extreme need, you could just rip your shirt open, buttons be damned. When you got to shoot, you got to shoot.

The snaps do make closing up your shirt a lot more convenient, though. Your main squeeze might appreciate the convenience, too.

Lost Sheep

April 1, 2011, 10:48 PM
Well salmon I would say (this coming from 15 years of firearms experience[no not handgun draw and fire and I know most of yall probably got me beat]) that if it has an exposed trigger that there is a chance. I mean I know a man who shot himself in the leg with a shotgun while walking through a swamp. Accidents happen. I would say that it is up to you though. One thing I am getting from this entire thread though has been to take what YOU like and what YOU feel comfortable with. One thing I might say...and PLEASE someone with more experience weigh in, but don't put anything in the pocket with the gun(like a pencil) lol. Oh and I reckon practice your draw with it unloaded.

Oh and I see alot of talk about kydex. I just want to post this link real quick that I recently saw...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeKtgkZKmQ. I dont know if anyone else has seen this, but that concerns me? Am I missing something? But I can't walk around with my gun exposed like that anyway(no open carry in the state of Florida...unless you are hunting...in which case I am always hunting for a good lookin woman :D)

But I will be headed to a couple of places around me looking for a good solid belt tomorrow I reckon. I will be carrying in my under shoulder rig though.

April 1, 2011, 11:02 PM
In cool weather, I carry my .38 revolver crossdraw, under a vest. Simple Uncle Mike's nylon holster on a leather belt. The little that I've open carried, I do the same way. With OC it is less noticeable to those not facing me & always somewhat in my vision if someone tried to snatch it. I occasionally carry in a front pocket; that works OK in some pants. I want to try a Smart Carry in pants holster I've seen advertised. I had a shop order me a belly band holster but I did not accept it. It had no way to secure the weapon; it was just a pocket in a band. I don't think even a mouse gun would be secure in it, & certainly not a .38 snubby. It would have bounced out the 1st time I sprinted across a busy street. That would be quite a scene. Some liberal bedwetter would start screaming the moment it hit the pavement.

My brother in law carries his .380 auto in a pocket holster in his jeans. Totally hidden, easily pulled. He carries in left pocket, pulls holster with left hand then pistol from it with right hand. That would be a good option with a lot of shorts & other casual clothes, I think.

April 2, 2011, 05:02 AM
Oh and I see alot of talk about kydex. I just want to post this link real quick that I recently saw...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeKtgkZKmQ. I dont know if anyone else has seen this, but that concerns me? Am I missing something?Yes. Use a quality holster and not Fobus junk.

April 2, 2011, 05:37 AM
Regarding shirt buttons, more likely than not, if I have to draw, there will most likely be buttons everywhere, all over the ground! :D

Just sayin.'


April 2, 2011, 08:57 PM
This was posted on my dept.'s web site the other day for officer saftey and it applies here also!! If the links do not work, I have posted 3 of the pictures.

Don't buy cheap leather holsters....

Don’t play it cheap…re-invest where it counts!

“What the hell was that?!?” she said. It took me a half a second to realize that my gun had just gone off…on my hip…in its holster. My wife and I had just finished breakfast at our favorite café and got into the car.

Me being the passenger, I rotated my torso to the left to fasten my seatbelt like I always do. When I straightened again, my Glock 19 discharged, blowing a 9mm hole through my pants, underwear, the leather seat and bottom of the car’s door frame.

The bullet nicked my hip, but the wound is nothing a bandage couldn’t cover. So what went wrong? Guns never go “Bang” all by themselves.

After ensuring I wasn’t hemorrhaging profus <<image001.jpg>> ely and didn’t have to make a dash for the hospital, I stayed seated in the car as my wife came around to my door and opened it. I undid my belt and slid the Galco JAK202 Slide Belt Holster <http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPT3.asp?ProductID=643&CatalogID=4> , with the gun still in it, off my belt. Why it went off was immediately apparent.

Accidental Discharge

Leather Holster AD 05 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/itstactical/5547242760/> The trusty, comfortable, leather holster I had been using for a year and two weeks had done what a baseball glove does after lots of use; It got soft. This particular holster carries the pistol outside the w <<image002.jpg>> aistband, but inside the belt. The belt slides through slots in the outer side of the holster.

The problem stemmed from the leather on the inner side of the holster getting soft. A crease formed, which eventually was large enough to extend beyond the trigger. Manipulate the gun in just the wrong manner and this crease is no different than a finger on the trigger. Boom!

Leather Holster AD 01 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/itstactical/5547242668/> I can’t say I didn’t know the crease had been formed in the holster. I traine <<image003.jpg>> d myself to be sure that when holstering, to make sure the gun was fully in the holster, with the trigger protected. On this day, did I forget to do that when I holstered up? Did the leather finally get so soft that a combination of body movements and interference by the cushy leather seat move the Glock enough to create a situation where the trigger was engaged by the holster?

Leather Holster AD 02 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/itstactical/5547242684/> I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure, but I’ll humbly admit to the former as the likely culprit. However, if it was the latter, then those of you who use this type of holster need to be aware of its limitations and the possibility of experiencing what I did.

I <<image004.jpg>> t might have been a very different story had the incident happened while we were dining. That bullet ricocheting off the concrete floor could have done untold damage and just as easily killed somebody. Fortunately nobody got hurt and damage to the car was minimal. It will be an interesting conversation with the insurance company to see if they’ll cover the repairs.

Lessons Learned

Leather Holster AD 08 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/itstactical/5546662701/> Holstering your gun can be just as important as drawing it. Make sure you pay attention when doing so. If your leather is getting soft and worn, be sure that it won’t interfere with your trigger or just replace it.

The back of the slide and/or grip was being pushed downward into the leather holster…or the holster was being pushed upward with some force. My guess is the firearm was being pushed and the fold in the holster acted as a finger and depressed the Glock trigger safety.

This truly brings home the importance of taking care of your equipment and ensuring it’s in proper working order. Hopefully you can learn from my situation and prevent an accident like this from happening to you.

April 2, 2011, 09:10 PM
the 4th picture.

And I prefer using a Fobus holster (with a Glock 19, 26, or XD 40) either just forward my strong side hip or just aft, depending on the situation. I just wear a t-shirt tucked in to prevent rubbing on my side and wear a little bit bigger t-shirt, button up, sweat shirt, etc. over that to conceal the weapon. I can open carry but prefer not to advertise POLICE everywhere I go.

Like earlier posted, don't worry about a little printing (unless completely banned in your state). Most people don't notice it. You will because you should be training yourself to notice printing of weapons on other people.

Whatever you decide, please train constantly on drawing from the position that you carry from. Be leary of changing your carry method often. When stressed, possible shoot situation, you will revert to whatever you train with the most which may not be your current carry method. This could and can result in you not being able to react in time.

Find what is comortable, safe and legal and stick with it. Train as much as you can and then some.

April 3, 2011, 01:21 AM
For right now I only have 2 methods that I would consider carrying. The 330 position(which I got the belt guys...it is a thicky sturdy leather that will hold up too...cant remember the brand though) and the under shoulder. My primary method is IWB 330 because that is the type of clothing I usually wear and my fastest/best form. When I actually use my standard holster I prefer it in that spot anyway. The only reason I would change to under shoulder is because I am tucked in and wearing a button up/suit. I practice from this position with an open shirt(because I determined that ripping buttons off is an easy enough task. If my ex girlfriend could manage it then I think I can too :p ).

Anyway guys thank you so much. Today was my first official concealed carry day too. Was a little odd at first because I was thinking about the gun being there. It was totally invisible and when I forced myself to stop thinking about it I was totally fine. I did develope a little trick though when I started passing out hugs to family that I ran into...I put a pair of sunglasses in my shirt pocket so that when someone went to hug me they avoided trying to crush the sunglasses and side hugged me. :D

April 5, 2011, 08:58 PM
A lot of good advice in the previous comments.

I particularly liked the comment that most people are not observant. I would like to expand on that.

I had an experience, while in civilian clothes,Badge and 45 1911 in plain site and accompanied by two uniformed Deputies, I entered an eatery. The casheir asked if I should recieve my discount. She did not see either the Badge on my breast or the Browning.

Later we responded to this same location, when a young merchant entered with a concealed weapon. It was the same clerk who had not seen my weapon.

The point is I did not carry myself as if I was armed. The Merchant, drug dealer, did.

You must carry yourself so as not to attract attention. If you do not appear to be armed people will not see the weapon. Many new CCW permitees walk like a movie gun fighter.

Good equipment, training and the proper attitude will conceal your weapon. Attitude I think is the most important.

One other tip, when you find the right position, adjust your belt loops to ensure that the holster stays in the same position. It is intresting when you are required to draw and your weapon is not in the place you expect it to be.

April 5, 2011, 10:57 PM
Just want to say thank you for ALL of the advice guys. It has REALLY helped. I finally got a chance to really try out the belt with my Uncle Mike's holster. I know alot of people were not fans of the plush holster, but it works just fine with a good solid belt. I also received some brand new T-shirts from my mommy that ride a little low(bout 2 inches lower than the waistband or maybe a little lower). The gun disappers. If it prints at all it looks like a cell phone or some other SMALL object. I actually won't have to change attire at all thanks to the advice here. I am very careful about the way I walk as well. I make sure that I never touch the area where the gun is unless I am standing up or sitting down(the check to make sure I am not exposed and I have yet to have a problem even when entering my very SMALL cab of my truck). I haven't changed my walking pattern really at all. I noticed at first I kept my back a little straighter than maybe a should have(because it just didn't feel natural). I am now after a few days of carry walking normal lol.

Now if you gentlemen will indulge me in a funny story. I left the dojo today and went back to my apartment. I was called and found out that someone had left their wallet in my truck. I told them ok and met them at a local restaraunt. We decided to eat there so we order and sit down. I picked the spot against the wall facing the register and right next to and out of the line of sight of the door. It is my favorite spot for 2 reasons. The first and most important is that I don't have to leave my seat to refill my drink hehe. The second is obvious. Well as we are chatting he asked me about my concealed license. He knows I have the license because he heard me talking to the cop at the gym. WELL he asked me what I would do if someone robbed the place we were in right then. I gave him the with what answer? He actually asked me what I would do right then "since I did not have my gun." Just a little proving story because I in fact did have the gun. My confidence in the concealment is now at its best. So again I thank you gentlemen.

April 6, 2011, 12:33 AM
'Hope you guys find this amusing and perhaps educational!

Do you know what a Tilley hat is? They're made in Canada, although there's another brand called "Ultimate Hats" that are made in USA. They're soft fabric hats with a brim all around, a bit like a boonie hat but heavier fabric and a little broader brim; they usually have ventilating grommets in the crown and snaps so you can snap up one side (Aussie-style) or both. And there are two cords that can go under your chin and behind your head and hold it on in a hurricane.

There's also a pocket inside the crown which holds a removable flat piece of foam that helps make the hat float.

OK so far? Well, 30 or more years ago (during my hippie days) I lived in the NW and I frequented a nude beach along the river. It was a pretty civilized place; even families went there, and everybody was very well-behaved, although naked, and there was never any trouble among the folks on the beach. But it was pretty remote (you had to drive a ways and then hike a ways) and there were no cellphones back then, of course, and even if there had been, if there were trouble you'd have to handle it, because calling the cops would be out of the question.

Well, occasionally there were some young guys who would come up in boats and harass the women (figuring "Hey, they're naked, they're fair game"). And sometimes they got pretty vulgar and aggressive, and a cautionary word from us (naked) guys on the beach was met with an "Oh Yeah, what are you gonna do about it?"

My favorite personal arm at the time was a stainless .380 BackUp (a dandy little hand-cannon, except that it didn't have an exposed hammer and so there was no way to de-cock it except to drop the mag, eject the round in the chamber and then dry-fire it; also you had to drive a pin out in order to strip it for cleaning; I eventually traded it for a Colt Mustang -- same size package but a superior design, like a mini-1911).

I guess some of you probably already see where this is going. I stashed that BackUp in the pocket inside my hat. And when I had to admonish 3 or 4 guys who had come up in a boat and were being jerks, I just looked to them like a naked guy in a hat, but I knew something they didn't know, which is that, with my hat off and my hand inside it, I already had them covered. I was prepared to flash some steel if I had to, but never had to take it out of the hat. Somehow I managed to project to them, by my voice, attitude and posture, that they were at a tactical disadvantage. Sort of like Josey Wales talking to Ten Bears, there was iron in my words.

As they made their retreat, I looked around on the beach and noticed a couple of my fellow naked beach-goers with their hands inside beachbags or knapsacks. I surmised that they, too, were armed and ready, but no iron was ever displayed. I'm sure that, like me, nobody had a permit. But it sure seemed to prove that "an armed society is a polite society"!

Footnote: That's about the only circumstance where concealing a gun in your hat would work. Any other time, somebody could come up behind you and snatch your hat right off your head! But it also goes to show that you can be naked and still have something "up your sleeve"!

April 6, 2011, 10:10 PM
I have a Tilly hat. I'll have to consider that!

The carry method, not the nude beach. LMAO


April 7, 2011, 01:04 PM
Nice to know I am not the only student in gainesville that carries off-campus lol.

Oh and I like to carry with a pair of jeans and one of the columbia fishing shirts. They tend to hide the gun well enough. I also use a uncle mike's holster. Works well for my purposes.

But if you are looking for other holsters, the military surplus store on 13th or beckwith in micanopy are good places to find some.


April 9, 2011, 11:02 PM
I carried since I was in my 20s with a permit. It seemed so much easier back then. I was thinner and more limber. I may have a smaller of back, but not so small. My pants fits snugly and inside waste band (IWB) can work, but is only goo if I stand and walk. Sitting or getting into my truck is very very difficult with IWB on my right side, I look like I will not make it in. I even have a nice Galco horsehide holster that will let me tuck my shirt in, but my shirts are always pulling out as I move. The 30 pounds I have put on makes in a challenge to conceal effectively.

I am reluctant to buy larger clothes and resign myself to the weight, so things are very snug. If I knock off the weight, it would get easier again.

I agree that many carry options such as the vest or fanny pack is no longer truly concealed. When the weather gets hot, the options go to very little. I am often left with only being able to carry my Kahr P380, and I am not a mousegun fan.

I can actually carry my Glock 27 in my jeans (with pocket holster) if I wear an oversize t-shirt untucked.

Basically, I have learned that tight clothes with small pockets does not work. Also, good belts help and I have to keep it tight or constantly adjust the pants as they creep downward.

April 16, 2011, 12:47 AM
I have a DeSantis inner piece (IWB) for my glock 23 that was around $100 bucks new that conceals well under a t-shirt. I just finished carrying for a few weeks without a holster to see where and how it felt so I know where to look and feel on a pat-down.

April 22, 2011, 12:32 PM
ncpatriot mentioned a "Smart Carry" holster. I have one and it works extremely well with a medium-sized gun like a Glock 36 (.45 acp compact). It can be a bit of a problem when seated, but when I get in my vehicle I take the gun out of the holster.


My usual carry gun, however, is a Kel-Tec P3AT which I keep in my pants pocket in a pocket holster.

April 22, 2011, 01:49 PM
IMO, the XD9sc is a bit big for pocket carry, unless you have huge cargo pockets. And even then, presentation is less than ideal.

After getting a good belt, you have to really experiment with location. 3:00 carry is vastly different than 4:00... one may work great, the other could be horrible.

I have carried an XD40sc for 2 years with no issues. For me, it's Comp-Tac MTAC holster at about 3:30.

I also use a SmartCarry on occasion, but I've never been able to make it comfortable.

April 23, 2011, 08:09 AM
A vote here for Blade Tech's line. I just finished Front Sight's 4 day Defensive Handgun Course using one of BT's holsters and an Uncle Mikes tactical type belt with magazine carry pouch on the support hand side. Can't say enough good things about the course, the instructors or the Blade Tech holsters.

While they do stick out from the waist a bit, the draw is effortless and the gun is ALWAYS in the same position...a big item for muscle memory and a smooth draw. I used it with a Glock 17, rented from FS for the course...my first sojourn into the world of Glock and it's certainly no small gun. The BT holster held it well, and with a good shirt tail, I feel it would not "print" badly.

For actual carry here in KY, I use a light weight Tom Threepersons, open top holster for my wife's J frame Airweight .38 Spl as well as my S&W M-36 3" barreled Chief's Spl. We carry behind the right (strong side) hip in what used to be called the "FBI Carry". The draw from that position is good, and printing is negligible even when wearing a light summer T-shirt. The gun rides in the hollow of my hip, around the love handles area. It's a good compromise. Both hand guns have hammers, a detriment to a smooth draw from under anything, but using Front Sight's method of the support hand raising the concealment garment, then a smooth draw to the present position, we find the revolvers are the best choice for us. Granted, an automatic with bobbed hammer, would come up easier.

One other option not usually mentioned is the fanny pack method. If you're jogging, hiking, or just about anything short of going to church, or work in a business suit, it'll suffice. I do carry from time to time, and see others wearing fanny packs and honestly, never even wonder if they're carrying.

JMHO, Rodfac

April 23, 2011, 08:32 AM
nlrpd....thanks for posting that series of pics and the explanation that went along with them. Your honest appraisal of the circumstances has me re-thinking my carry methods...the exposed trigger et al. Re-thinking is the operative word...at 65 years old, it's sometimes possible to think I've seen it all...and then a different twist comes up and I reevaluate. Many thanks friend for shedding some daylight on an interesting topic. Rod

April 23, 2011, 10:21 AM
Kazanski612 said I also use a SmartCarry on occasion, but I've never been able to make it comfortable.I find that the lower I wear the holster (covering the family jewels, pretty much) the better it is. Riding low like that, I feel the bulk just enough to remind me that my friend is there!

April 25, 2011, 12:58 PM
The ways to conceal are too numerous to count.
The only way to find out what is best is to experiment.
You are on your way to collecting more holsters than you can possibly imagine:D

April 25, 2011, 02:01 PM
I cannot remember the maker, but back in the 1990's I knew a few people who carried PPK sized handguns in a pocket holster. It required a deepish pocket but it was practically invisible unless you wore your pant's too tight. Quick access too. I'll try to find out if they're still made.

April 25, 2011, 05:28 PM
I see that those pocket holsters are now made by several different manufacturers. They also look a lot nicer than they did in 1993 or so. I saw a bunch of them on cheaperthandirt.com just now. I'm sure the other sites have them too. Looks perfect to me for smaller guns.

April 25, 2011, 06:04 PM
The ways to conceal are too numerous to count.
The only way to find out what is best is to experiment.
You are on your way to collecting more holsters than you can possibly imagineTruer words were never spoken. After trying about 20 different carry methods and holsters, I now only have one carry method that works for me, and has now for about 5 yrs. Its IWB, 2:00-2:30 in a good formed Horsehide Holster, with a good belt.

May 12, 2011, 10:03 AM
I carry at the 3:00 to 3:30 75% of the time. It feels very natural for me walking and drawing. Any further back behind 3:30 is hard for me to reach and get a good clean draw because my shoulders are very muscular.
I LOVE AIWB. The draw seems very fuild, very fast and natural but you cannot sit down like that. Plus I kind of dont like the idea of have a gun pointed at my junk get my drift? But I do AIWB if I am not going to be sitting for long periods of time.

May 12, 2011, 02:54 PM
i have that same uncle mike's. I put my Glock 30 in it. Yes you need a good belt with it but it stays in position if you tighten your belt enough. Plus it is so soft you barely feel it on you. You need to reholster with 2 hands. to keep the mouth of the holster open but I like it and it works just need a belt, a good belt tighten up tight and it works.

May 12, 2011, 04:25 PM
what position is it called if i carry my gun over my right kidney area with the butt facing left? i find this very comfortable in all positions even in the car and i draw it and click off the safety in one fluid motion. i use the 12 buck unkle mikes and my weapon is a full size double stack .45. i dont even know its there unless i have to pick up something off the ground or the bottom shelf at the grocery store when i have to make sure my t-shirt or polo doesnt ride up. why is printing such a concern? especially where open carrry is legal? the only thing i worry about is a thug taking my gun and i usually dont let strangers get that close unless i'm in a line or a crowd and i darn near have my hand on it or an elbow/forearm protecting it then. whats the first style of holster for me to look at for competition shooting? hopefully it's also a good rig for carry so i can practice drawing for both at once

May 14, 2011, 07:55 PM
I realized a long time ago that CCW is a negotiation between how I want to carry and what works for my body type in normal clothing.

In the summer I carry a smaller gun than I would like to but its a negotiation.

In the winter I carry what and how I want but wear a little heavier/longer jacket than I normally prefer but again, its a negotiation.

Body type is a big factor. I have a 43" chest and 36" waist @ 5'10. I am considered chunky by most and I dont conceal firearms easily. My decision on how to carry is based on trial and error in front of a large mirror. IWB carry for me is limited to a classic loop and tunnel holster worn in the 4 o'clock. I know alot of people consider loop and tunnel a outdated design but it works perfectly with my body type. It rides high and tight against my side, which is what I want. I dont really need a stiff belt because the holsters design is very forgiving.