Behind the Shirts

Testing Guns, Belts and Holsters for Concealed Carry

I can't say what the best gun and holster for concealed carry is for you.

It depends on a lot of factors. But I will offer you this: I try out a lot of guns and holsters, carrying them concealed, making notes on what works and what doesn’t, and constantly comparing my experiences to many others who also carry concealed. Most often, my gun and holster are hiding on a gun belt behind a shirt, strong side. Sure, I’ve carried weak side, ankle, shoulder, off-body, and more — each has their strengths and weaknesses — but I always prefer some kind of strong side waistband carry. Here are a few peeks behind the scenes — behind the shirts, really — when I’m in the test & evaluation stage…

Sometimes I try some interesting holster concepts, such as those that cover only the trigger guard but attach to a belt loop with a lanyard of some kind. This is about as minimal of a holster as you can get. The good: Virtually no extra width to go between waistband and body. The challenging: The gun can move around a bit. A few variations on this theme exist in the holster market. Since some guns sit well IWB at 4 o’clock, stable and secure, it may be a good option.

Small, skinny guns hide IWB really well. But they also hide OWB well, too. Don’t automatically dismiss OWB carry because it’s traditionally been more difficult to conceal. Today’s slim nines (and other skinny guns) hide very well and OWB carry can be significantly more comfortable and accessible.

The nice thing about IWB carry is being able to hide a larger gun — if you have the right holster and a proper gun belt, of course. And don’t forget a proper covering garment. Since untucked shirts are welcome in most social contexts, take advantage of that to help hide a carry gun.