Sunday, January 10, 2010

Concealed Means Concealed

I've only been carrying concealed about 10 days, but I already had some kinks to work out in the way I carry my hog leg. The most important thing I've learned is the difference a holster can make. In a lot of states you MUST use a holster to carry legally. Even in states where a holster isn't required, it's still the smart thing to do. Just ask Plexico Burress.

The difference a holster can make became abundantly clear when I tried to carry my P64 in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. Thankfully, I never got out of my driveway before I discovered that the finger rest at the bottom of the magazine was getting caught under my shirt as I sat down and pulling it upward when I got out of the truck. The P64 was pulling itself out from concealment as I moved around, which isn't cool because displaying your concealed carry piece is against the law. Concealed means concealed. Note the problematic finger groove below.

Then I tried carrying my M&P9C today in exactly the same position (just above my wallet, most people call it the "4 O'Clock position"). No problem. Now let me show you why this was surprising:

The M&P9C (Left) is much wider than the P64. Thickness is a problem with a concealed carry gun, especially if you are tall and skinny like me. I can get away with the M&P9C though. The P64 should be easy to conceal, but the $5 holster I have it in doesn't do a good job of holding it against my body and keeping the magazine's finger rest from getting stuck on my shirt. James uses a Desantis Tuck This (or Tuck This II, not sure) and he doesn't have this problem. He also carries in a different spot, but that shouldn't really matter since the problematic finger groove has equal access to his shirt.

The reason I can conceal the M&P9C so much easier is that I use a Desantis Tuck This, which was only $30 or so, but is infinitely better at holding the gun up against my body and spreading out the "print" across a much wider area without looking lumpy.

P64 at left, M&P9C right.

My point here is that you might want to spend a little more on your holster to make your life easier. I'll be ordering a Desantis Tuck This for my P64 on my next order from Midway. I think I've also made the case as to why you should do some dry runs with your CC rig before you go in public. A tiny bit of forethought will go a long way toward keeping you out of trouble.

Before I go, I'd like to remind you that even if your holster clips onto your waistband, you should also wear a belt! The belt will help steady and secure the gun, and keep you from drawing your Galco when you meant to draw your Glock. Avoid nylon belts, as they expand with temperature and moisture. Get a decent $20-ish leather belt that fits you properly. Higher end belts are great if you have the money. I've got my eye on a $160 shark skin belt. I may settle for horsehide though, as they're considerably cheaper, but resist weather just as well.


James said...

I think the position you carry in does matter. I have to pay attention to what my shirt is doing if I carry at 4 o'clock much more than if I carry AIWB. Then again, it doesn't help that 70% of my nearly six foot frame is torso. Shirts that fit me don't cover my waist well.

Aside from that, carrying AIWB keeps the gun flatter to you, and under a part of your shirt that's less likely to creep up over your waistline.

The P64 is great for AIWB carry. I can carry it other places too, but I get weary of paying attention to it. Carrying AIWB, the grip extension rests on my belt and doesn't really protrude. It's solid plastic, and there are some guys who've whittled it down. Can't remember how many mags you have, but I've got around six if you want to experiment.

Here's my little guy.

Huey148 said...

I often carry my M&P40c in a $20 kydex IWB holster I found online. It works very well. Kydex is rigid and slick enough that drawing and holstering are not a problem. If you can carry them comfortably they work well.

Anonymous said...

concealed means concealed? what about when you walk into a restaurant that serves alcohol? in many states concealed permit holders can't conceal their weapons in places that serve alcohol, forcing open carry. i doubt taking your coat off to reveal a gun on your hip would be illegal, it sure isn't in virginia. great blog!