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More ways to carry concealed | Human Events

More ways to carry concealed
By: Richard L. Johnson
3/31/2013 09:00 PM


Ownership is just the first part of carrying a gun for self defense. The other side of the coin is having a viable method of toting that pistol around. Last week I wrote about two forms of carry: traditional outside-the-waistband and inside-the-waistband. Let’s now take a look at a few other means of carry.Pocket Carry – Carrying a small gun in the pocket is very popular with many people, including myself. Pocket carry tends to be very comfortable, and with the right size pistol, no one will ever know you are carrying.
Pocket carry also gives you a tactical advantage in an unknown situation. You can literally put a hand in your pocket, and achieve a grip on the gun without anyone realizing what you are doing. You can’t very well do the same thing with a gun carried on the hip.


One of the key things to remember is that a holster is still strongly suggested for pocket carry. A holster can keep the gun properly aligned for a rapid draw if needed. As important, the holster can prevent anything from getting into the trigger guard that could prevent a draw, or cause an unintended discharge.

Inexpensive holsters like the DeSantis Nemesis serve well for many years.


Shoulder Holster
– Some folks love shoulder holsters while others do not. They’ve certainly been popular in television and motion pictures such as Miami Vice and Bullit. They are not seen as often in use by real-world pistol carriers, though.


While the shoulder holster may be merely a status symbol for some people, they are still a viable method of carrying a defensive firearm. Some shooters find the shoulder carry to be more comfortable than other methods – especially when compared to inside-the-waistband.


One of the keys to comfortable carry, though, is to find a rig that works for you. Depending on the design, a rig may distribute the weight in an uncomfortable manner, or the straps may pull at a part of your body that is annoying.

Shoulder holsters are typically set up for a cross draw. For the same reason an outside-the-waistband holster in a cross draw position works, the shoulder holster may be a good way for drivers to carry a pistol when in a car for a long period of time.


There are several drawbacks to the shoulder holsters. First, you always need a jacket or similar type of concealment garment. An untucked shirt will not work with a shoulder rig.

A second drawback is the price. Many shoulder rigs are priced much higher than other types of holsters. The increased price tag is often the result of the additional leather and craftsmanship that is needed to go into each rig.

There are nylon rigs available, but they are still more expensive than other nylon holsters.


Ankle Holster
– Carrying a gun on the ankle presents many problems, but it is still a viable option for toting a small handgun. As a police officer, I always carried a backup gun on an ankle. Off duty, I carried one on the ankle far less often.


Drawing from the ankle is much slower than from the hip. The ankle is just about the farthest place on the body from the gun hand, so no matter how you draw, it will take longer to get it done in most circumstances.

Carrying a handgun on the ankle exposes that pistol to puddles, mud, dirt, dust and all of the other grime that your feet encounter during the day. Regular cleaning of the pistol becomes even more important. This is also one of the reasons I much prefer to carry a revolver in this position than a semi-auto pistol.

Ankle holsters are very good for carrying while driving. For example, if stopped in traffic, it can be much easier to grab a pistol on the ankle than to draw from the hip while seated. Also, by bringing the ankle back to the hand to obtain the weapon can be done is a less obvious way should a potential threat appear.

There are a variety of ankle holsters on the market. For general carry, I’ve had good success with the Galco Ankle Glove. For carrying while wearing boots, I like the inexpensive Uncle Mike’s nylon holsters. They are very secure and can be easily washed when exposed to mud or other dirt.

Hip pack concealed carry



Belly Band
– Belly bands come in several different configurations, but essentially they are a wide band of soft material that wraps around the trunk of the body. In or on the band is a small pocket or pouch for carrying a handgun. A shirt then conceals the band and pistol.

Belly bands work best with small firearms. Larger guns tend to bulge too much, and are more likely to pull the band out of position.
Drawing from a belly band tends to be slower than other forms of carry, but it removes the need for a stiff belt or pockets. People wearing lightweight shorts while exercising, for example, might find this an acceptable compromise.
While not technically a belly band, there are several companies who make undershirts with holster pockets built in. They offer the same general advantages and disadvantages of the belly band.

Waist Carry
– In last week’s column, I talked about outside-the-waistband carry in the context of traditional holsters. There are other options for waist carry beyond the normal holster.

Waist packs, or fanny packs, allow the carrying of a full size handgun without the need for covering garments. These can be great options when working out or working in the yard.
A waist pack has the additional benefit of being able to carry additional ammo, a flashlight, a cell phone and other bits of gear you might consider essential.

Another option for waist carry without the need for a concealment garment is a “hip bag” that attaches to the shooter’s belt. One of these kinds of holsters completely encase the pistol in a pouch that looks more like a large cell phone case or a trendy bag.


Off Body Carry
– Off body carry is exactly what it sounds like: you keep a gun close to you without it being tethered to your body in some fashion. These kinds of carry can be very comfortable, since you do not have a gun rubbing against, or pulling down on your body. However, they tend to be the least secure methods.

One style of off-body carry is the purse holster. Carrying a gun in a purse is an old concept. There are a variety of modern leather workers who make very stylish handbags that have special compartments for carrying a pistol.

Another form of off-body carry is the use of a personal organizer designed with a holster built in. Day planners are carried far less frequently today because of smart phones and tablet computers. Yet, a businessman would not look out of place carrying one around.


The key to off body carry is ensuring the security of that firearm. Many women have purses stolen from shopping carts and office workers of all genders have items stolen from their offices. When taking a pistol into public you have to make sure that criminals do not have access to it.


Crotch Carry
– There are at least two companies making non-traditional holsters for hiding a piece in your crotch: the SmartCarry and ThunderWear.


Both companies use a similar design with a pouch that hangs off a belt. The belt goes around the hips and the pouch hangs down the centerline of the body, below the belly. Both the belt and the pouch are completely concealed by the pants of the carrier.


Accessing the gun is slower than appendix carry, but these rigs offer complete concealment of the handgun. Both companies offer models that can carry extra ammo or other items in addition to the handgun.


What experience do you have with these methods? Are there other carry forms you use that I missed? Sound off in the comments and share your experiences!
 

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More ways to carry - part 1

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Carrying Concealed: Inside & Outside-the-waistband | Human Events

Carrying Concealed: Inside & Outside-the-waistband
By: Richard L. Johnson
3/24/2013 03:19 PM


There are a lot of different firearms designed for concealed carry. Yet without a method of actually carrying them, the firearm just sits in a drawer or box, never used for its intended purpose.
Clever people have devised a myriad of ways to carry a gun. Each style of carry has benefits and drawbacks. Your circumstances, gun and style of dress all have an influence on what works for you.
Two of the most popular ways of carrying a concealed firearm are generally classified as outside-the-waistband and inside-the-waistband.


OWB – OWB, or outside-the-waistband, is one of the more common ways of carrying a handgun. The gun is carried on the waistline of the body and requires some type of cover garment to conceal the gun and holster. The cover garment can be an untucked shirt or jacket.




A variety of positions are available when carrying OWB. One of the most popular is the strong side carry where the gun is carried on the strong hip in the three o’clock position. Many people will move the gun slightly off the hip and to the rear, which can allow the gun to pull in tighter against the body and conceal better.


These positions offer comfort for carrying the pistol, especially for long periods of time. Many times training classes are set up with the assumption that the students will be drawing from this position.

Another version of OWB carry is the cross draw. A cross draw holster is carried on the reaction, or weak, side of the body (the non-gun hand side.) The gun’s butt is pointing forward, and the carrier reaches across the front of his or her body to grab the pistol.


Some people consider the cross draw to be slow. Others suggest this style could be dangerous as the grip end of the gun is facing your attacker. However, this style of carry is great for people seated in an automobile. For long road trips or even local couriers, this could be a good option.


Carrying a pistol in the small of the back is a somewhat popular form of OWB. Some people really like this method of carry, but it does put a hard metal object at the base of your spine. At the very least, this can be uncomfortable for sitting. Should you ever fall on your back (ever walk on black ice?), your pistol could cause serious injury to your nervous system.


IWB – Inside-the-waistband, or IWB, is a style of carry where the gun’s holster rides between the body and pant. A cover garment is still needed, but the lower portion of the gun will not be exposed if the garment rides up at all.

IWB is frequently considered superior to OWB from the perspective of concealment, but with the drawback of being less comfortable since the gun is held tight and directly against the body. Comfort can often be increased by finding a good holster and by wearing pants one size up from your normal size.


Typically, the gun is carried on the strong side just behind the hip. However, a subset of IWB carry is the appendix carry. This is where the gun is carried on the strong side of the body, between the midline and hip.

Appendix carry is considered more comfortable that behind the hip IWB to many people. Some people feel it is faster to draw from the appendix position as well. However, a drawback is the gun’s position is more likely to cause serious injury if a negligent discharge happens.


When sitting, the muzzle of the gun carried in an appendix holster may press uncomfortably into the thigh. Guns with short barrels have an advantage here.


Another variation on the IWB carry is accomplished using a tuckable holsters. These holsters are designed so that the wearer can tuck a shirt in on top of the gun and holster, concealing them from view without the need of additional cover garments. These holsters can work very well, but work best with smaller guns.

“Wait,” you might be saying. “There are other methods of carrying!” You would be absolutely correct. I’ll explore some of those next week. In the meantime, feel free to share your own preferred carry methods and what holsters you’ve had good luck with in the comments below. Everyone benefits when you share your experiences.


Note: Thanks to Galco Gunleather for the photos showing OWB and IWB style holsters.
 

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I've been eyeing the packin' tee as I have several shirts with snaps. I also like the modular velcro accessory arrangement - it allows you to adjust the cant of the weapon to your preference, plus you can easily carry a spare mag on the other side.
 

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Good writeup. One method not mentioned is the concealment vest. I rely on the vest and find it convenient and comfortable. Being confined to a wheelchair makes waistband or belt carry almost impossible. The vest with a inside pistol pocket gives me a secure place for my pistol as well as inside mag pockets, a knife pocket, and multiple pockets for wallet, keys, and cell phone. It may not work for all people in all situations but it is a good option.
Concealment Vest, Black - 713613, Concealment Holsters at Sportsman's Guide
 
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One question I've been wondering about in regards to one of my pistols in particular - I have a surplus CZ 82. These are usually police/military issue (so I'm told). Mine came with a leather holster that completely encases the pistol (+1 extra mag). I've wondered if I wore this holster OWB if it would be concealed carry, since you can't see the contents?

edit: Here's a pic - not mine but this is what my holster looks like:

cz82s.jpg
 

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Good writeup. One method not mentioned is the concealment vest. I rely on the vest and find it convenient and comfortable. Being confined to a wheelchair makes waistband or belt carry almost impossible. The vest with a inside pistol pocket gives me a secure place for my pistol as well as inside mag pockets, a knife pocket, and multiple pockets for wallet, keys, and cell phone. It may not work for all people in all situations but it is a good option.
Concealment Vest, Black - 713613, Concealment Holsters at Sportsman's Guide
One warning about concealment vests; many of the bad guys are so familiar with them that in gang circles they are referred to as "SMF" vests - SMF stands for 'SHOOT ME FIRST"

There are some jackets that have concealed holsters that are not as recognizable as concealed carry clothing.
 

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I can see where that would be a problem in some areas. It is still a viable option for someone in a wheelchair like myself where I live and travel. I also have a jacket with large inside pockets I use in the winter but in warmer weather the vest works well.
One warning about concealment vests; many of the bad guys are so familiar with them that in gang circles they are referred to as "SMF" vests - SMF stands for 'SHOOT ME FIRST"

There are some jackets that have concealed holsters that are not as recognizable as concealed carry clothing.
 

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I have a couple of the Sleeveless T shirt holsters. They allow me to carry under my shirt and much tighter than the shoulder holster. But the gun is in the same location. They also provide a little gut hold in protection, Not a girdle, but still does help the spare tire effect.
 

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Good write up, one method not discussed and maybe more because it is for the ladies but there is at least one company that make holster systems for carrying under the bra. One of my wifes friends has just bought the flash bang holster and is talking to my wife about it.
 

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i like the t-shirt holsters. never heard of them before today. $40 a pop tho? yeesh!
 

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Got a link for this one. i think my wife would like this for running at night.
I'll have to dig for an exact link but I found that on Amazon.com. Actually there were a lot of interesting carry garments like this on their site. You might just want to play around and do some searches and see if there is something she might like even better.
 

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I carry my TCP in an Uncle George's hip pocket holster and it is great PROVIDING you wear either certain Wrangler or Levi jeans. No other jeans have deep enough pockets to properlly conceal it. However the Wranglers found at Walmart, Academy, etc work just fine. My secondary carry is ankle holster inside my boots. Works great with a snubbie.
 

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Hi all; I have had my PT809 for several months now. I have several locations close by to get a certified training certificate for getting a CCW. What I cannot seem to find is a holster for my PT809. I want to carry right hand IWB. I think that I seen somewhere that the PT809 3.5" barrel will fit well in a holster made for the 24/7, or the Millennium. Thanks for any help. OH, BTW, I'm kind of partial to leather. Tom
 
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