When it comes to everyday concealed carry, do you ever wonder, Why is this so hard for me? People on social media platforms post pictures making it look effortless, but somehow you feel as if you’re out there printing like you’re boasting a banner that says, “Look at my gun!” Yes, we understand carrying isn’t going to be the most comfortable thing we’ll ever do, but at the same time it shouldn’t feel as if we are trying to conceal a cannon. How do others do it and make it appear natural?
The reality is that more people struggle than we realize. Social media posts are exactly that, a post. Many of those posting the “effortless” pics are simply just posting a pic. If we were to follow them around throughout the day, we would see that most of them are going through the same struggles we face. People become frustrated, feel hopeless, and ultimately decide to not carry on their person.
We are not alone in the concealment journey though. Before we give up the gun and decide to carry off-body — or, even worse, to not carry at all — please know there is hope. There are tips and products out there that can put some ease into your concealed carry lifestyle.
Concealed carry varies greatly between men and women, and even from person to person. We are all shaped uniquely and have varying needs. This topic could be broken down and addressed to the most minute details as there is a wealth of information to be obtained. However, there are some basics that will provide a good starting point universal to both men and women of varying shapes and sizes.
First, decide the main position in which you want to carry. I always try to keep my gun at my core, typically appendix. I may venture to the right but never beyond the three-o’clock position.
Once you have the position that works best for you, it’s time to consider gear. A good belt is essential! It needs to be somewhat rigid and able to keep your holster tight against your body. It also serves to keep the holster in place when drawing your gun. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more for higher quality. This is going to become a part of you, so quality makes a difference.
Wearing a thin undershirt or tank top is an excellent way to enhance concealment.
A good holster should be gently contoured to fit your body. Edges should be smooth and rounded, and it should give you the ability to adjust the clips for the best fit. A wing can be added to provide a little extra “push,” keeping everything in toward your body. One of my favorite holsters is a Kydex holster with sidecar and a wing attachment. I carry this appendix, and it enables me to carry an additional magazine with ease while the wing pushes the rig into my body to eliminate printing. Wearing a thin undershirt or tank top is an excellent way to enhance concealment by providing an additional thin layer of material to soften the edges of your gun.
There are also options that alleviate the need for a belt or holster if your clothing doesn’t accommodate this combination. Enter the UltiClip. This retention clip has been tried and tested, and it works wonderfully. The clip is attached to the holster and clips onto your waistband. Once attached, the holster stays in place. To make this work well, wear pants that have a fitted waistband. If the waistband is too loose, the holster will move. With the right fit of your waistband, the UltiClip gives you the freedom to simply clip it and go, no belt required.
Another method worth checking into is a belly band. I have found these to be the highest in comfort and versatility. A belly band wraps around your body and attaches with a sturdy Velcro closure. They can be worn on the hips, the waist, or even higher at the ribcage, providing several carry options. There are many belly bands out there, and they are not all equal. Some fit like an ace bandage with a pocket. It is of the utmost importance to choose a high-quality belly band that stays in place and protects the trigger. The sport belt from Can Can Concealment is my belly band of choice. This is not just for women; they have a sport belt designed for men as well. The material is thick, supportive, and has great trigger guard protection. With multiple pockets, the sport band enables you to not only carry your firearm, but also additional magazines, a wallet, a phone, a flashlight, a knife, keys — and possibly even the kitchen sink! Seriously though, any item that you need to carry daily on your person can be easily — and comfortably — concealed in this band.
Whatever you decide, the most important aspects of concealed carry are training with your rig and making sure your trigger is protected — the trigger should not be accessible until you draw, and you must be comfortable drawing your gun should the need arise. Carrying should be comforting over comfortable, yet it doesn’t have to be a chore. Armed with the right knowledge and training, concealed carry can be a stress-free part of your everyday life.
Karen Hunter is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. As a freelance writer, Karen is featured in national print magazines such as Personal Defense World Magazine, Ballistic Magazine, Gun Primer Magazine, Concealed Carry Handguns Magazine, and Skillset Magazine. She is also a regular contributor to online magazine platforms such as NRA’s America’s 1st Freedom and Getzone. Karen is an avid Second Amendment and Personal Protection advocate and has been a guest on a variety of podcasts. She is the Senior Range Officer for Force Options USA as well as a certified firearms instructor in defensive handgun and carbine.
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