We’ve taken a lot of inquiries recently about concealed carry; which is great! Love to see folks taking a vested interest in their personal security by carrying concealed.
Don’t limit yourself
I’ve had this conversation almost a dozen times it seems so it’s probably worth it to do a blog and especially for those who will be attending our upcoming Concealed Carry Tactics class. In the class we are going to cover a primary, secondary and backup method for carrying concealed. In our experience it is best to have several different methods for carrying concealed. A big mistake we see is folks putting all their eggs in one basket with a single method of carrying.
While it’s simple to say “well, I only use such and such because it’s the best” it is a simpletons response. Instead think big and embrace your feminine side; holster to men are what shoes are to women. I have more holsters than I know what to do with and pretty soon you will be accessorizing with belts, magazine pouches and all sorts of other gear. Seriously, it’s pretty funny. So, if you have only one holster imagine only having one pair of shoes.
For the class we will require the student to bring a open top belt side holster, preferably a pancake style such as the Concealment Pancake from 5-Shot Leather. The beauty of this holster is it’s body hugging design, which as the name implies is like slapping a pancake to your side. The belt loops being spread out help pull the holster tight against the body. This is a true staple any aficionado’s inventory.
The second holster we recommend is an inside the waistband. Ideal for concealment work, the IWB helps break up the silhouette of the pistol by being inside your waistband. A good choice would be the IWB Version 1 from JM Custom Kydex. Similar to a pancake style holster this style will do a great job of breaking up the silhouette. It is recommended that you have a pair of pants that are one size larger in the waist to accommodate the IWB. If it is so “snug” that you are constantly adjusting due to lack of comfort it will not serve you well.
As for the backup, we encourage folks to bring their ultra compact pistols or revolvers. These smaller brethren are still a viable option under certain circumstances and we want folks to be aware of the requirements as well as the drawstroke. The most common backup we see is a 5-shot revolver carried in a front pocket. Not a bad option, but it does require a sleeve to break up the outline as well as protect the revolver from foreign objects. This model from Kramer Handgun leather is one of my favorites for sure, the Pocket Gun Holster offers legendary craftsmanship along with smooth drawstroke.
We also see some backups that are too big to fit in a pocket, but not convenient to wear in a traditional holster setup for many reasons. So, a good alternative is the good old fashion ankle holster. While not as secure as a belt holster it does a great job of giving a completely different option for those formal dinning affairs. My personal favorite is from Alessi Gun Holsters and my late friend Lou Alessi. The Ankle Holster offers a wide ankle band helps insure the holster stays put along with large felt pad to add comfort for extended wear.
The clothes make the man or woman
In the class we will require you to draw from three different modes of concealment. When you read the gear list you will see we are asking for a T-shirt/polo, button down shirt and sweater/hoodie. Each of these different garments have pro’s/con’s and getting familiar with them ahead of time is key. Some will find themselves in a specific wardrobe while others have more flexibility. You are not going to know what works best until you take the time to work from them all.
So, if you were to take the primary, secondary and backup then work though the three different concealment modes you will see several combinations. Some work better than others and the most important thing to take away is training to determine what works well, what is more convenient or one you want to avoid. This information is so important to making good procurement decisions down the road. Like I said, have a metric ton of holsters just sitting in a large bin for Lord only knows what.