Concealed Carry Discussion: Tips and Tricks

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:37 am
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...
"We live in a society of wolves. You do not fight back by creating more sheep."
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:38 am
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

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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.
"We live in a society of wolves. You do not fight back by creating more sheep."
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:39 am
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...

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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.
"We live in a society of wolves. You do not fight back by creating more sheep."
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:40 am
Picked up another Bianchi CarryLok for my SIG P220 this afternoon...

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I absolutely love these holsters!
"We live in a society of wolves. You do not fight back by creating more sheep."
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:54 pm
In the cooler months I often carry a 586 in a Safariland paddle holster under a jacket of heavy flannel, I like the easy on easy off aspect of a paddle. the rest of the time I carry a Model 64 in an IWB apendix I made special.

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Regards,
Guy Smith
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:52 pm
Nice rigs!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:19 pm
My usual carry for social situations is a late model Colt DS in a Bianchi #8. I don't carry concealed very often, more often open and usually something a little larger.

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