I get this question on a regular basis; what is the best concealed carry method? That’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables. Issues, such as gender, body type, and occupation, how you dress, and other factors can make answering this question challenging. I have been carrying a concealed handgun on my body every day for the past 30 years. 10 years as a private citizen with a CCW permit and 20 years as a law-enforcement officer. This experience brings a wealth of knowledge and I will share my thoughts and try and shed some light on this topic.
I will say that my absolute favorite concealed carry method involves caring the handgun at the waistband level. Meaning the handgun is carried somewhere around your waistband either inside or outside the pants. The handgun can be carried in the appendix area, on or behind the hip or in the small of the back area. When the handgun is carried somewhere at the waistband, it affords rapid access to the handgun. Since our arms are attached to our body it makes sense to have the handgun somewhere as close as possible!
My Favorite Concealed Carry Method
My absolute favorite concealed carry position is in an outside the waistband holster at about the 3 o’clock position on the hip. This is comfortable and affords a very rapid draw. I have personally migrated away from leather holsters and into the Kydex (molded plastic) type. These holsters are very durable, do not absorb sweat, and are molded to the exact handgun which affords excellent retention without a top strap securing device. My preferred holster for this type of concealed carry is manufactured by a company called X–Concealment. The design of the holster pulls the gun in close to the body and has a slight forward angle. This holster conceals my Glock model 19 9 mm handgun very well under a T-shirt.
My Second Favorite Concealed Carry Method
Second to this concealed carry position for me would be an inside the waistband holster at about the 4 o’clock position. This method improves concealment because the handgun is actually inside your pants. But, as you could imagine, having the gun shoved down inside your pants is not as comfortable as an outside the waistband holster. My preferred holster for this method of concealed carry is manufactured by a company called Alien Gear. This holster is also custom-molded to your exact handgun so it provides a good level of retention without a top strap. This holster also has neoprene shielding that goes between the handgun and your body which makes it more comfortable.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, some like to carry in the appendix area which is at the 2 o’clock position or in the small of the back which would be at the 6 o’clock position. Both of these are also excellent waistband carry methods. Waistband Carry covers about 90% of how I Carry concealed.
With any waistband carry, in order to conceal the handgun, I either wear a T-shirt untucked or throw a shirt or jacket on depending upon the temperature.
Additional carry options are helpful depending on how I’m dressed or where I am going.
My Third Favorite Concealed Carry Method
My third favorite way to carry a concealed handgun is in an ankle holster. This is where the handgun is literally strapped around your ankle and carried under your pant cuff. It should go without saying that this method doesn’t work with shorts or a short skirt! This method is definitely not as accessible as the waistband carry. That’s why I utilize this only when the waistband Carry is not practical. However, it works very well in the summer when it’s hot and if you have to tuck in your shirt.
These three methods of Carry comprise nearly every way that I routinely carry a concealed handgun. I do have a waist pack or often called fanny pack that I utilize occasionally. This is a good method for me if I am heading to the beach and in as little clothing as swim trunks.
More Concealed Carry Methods
I also have a belly band holster that I have utilized when I am out running in my jogging attire. Running or jogging is a unique situation where you may not have a belt on and don’t want a fanny pack flopping as you run. The belly band holster is a 4 to 6-inch wide elastic band with a holster built into it. You stretch it around your waist and untuck your T-shirt. The belly band holster also has a side benefit of having a slimming effect on your body!
Important Things To Remember
It should be noted that I have selected my preferred carry methods based on a couple of important facts. First of all, I do not carry small handguns like the 22LR, 32 ACP or even a 380 ACP. The smallest caliber that I prefer to carry for self-defense is the 9 mm. With that being said, the smallest handgun I routinely carry is a Glock model 26, which is the compact 9 mm holding 11 rounds. The handgun I most often carry is the Glock model 19, which is a 9mm holding 16 rounds. These handguns are concealable, have a reasonable degree of stopping power, are very reliable, have a reasonable ammo capacity, are controllable for rapid follow-up shots, and have a good degree of accuracy.
I’ll follow up in a future blog with my thoughts on selecting a self-defense handgun. The second issue that dictates my carry method is that I want rapid access to the handgun. I am firmly convinced that as a CCW carrier you may need to rapidly draw your handgun from concealment. If your carry method does not allow you to do this, you are putting yourself in a lesser self-defense position.
Other Types of Concealed Carry Methods
All this being said, there are many other methods of concealed carry including, pocket carry, shoulder holsters, compression holster shirts, purses, bra holsters, and others. As I said in the beginning of this discussion, it depends on your gender, body type, how you dress, and other factors. However, I am firmly convinced that many concealed carriers choose small caliber handguns that are more easily concealed and choose carry methods that are more convenient to carry. I believe these decisions are based on convenience rather than practical self-defense.
In other words, if you knew you were going to get into a situation where you would have to use your concealed handgun, you would not want a small caliber handgun carried in a pocket holster. I know some of you are thinking if you knew you were going to get into a self-defense situation you should just avoid it! Don’t be a smart a**!
I don’t personally subscribe to the philosophy that any gun is better than no gun. That’s just an excuse. If you’re serious about your self-defense, carry a compact but practical handgun in a carry method that allows it to be accessed rapidly.
What about you? What is your favorite carry?
Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this article.