The Best Way to Carry Concealed

ConcealedCarry

As a concealed carry license holder, I am always looking for the best way to carry concealed in whatever situation I find myself in. What I have found over many years is that this requires a little bit of flexibility and the method of concealed carry and more importantly, whether it will work for you, greatly depends on what you are carrying, where you are carrying and what you are planning on doing when you are carrying.

Today I wanted to discuss some of the methods of concealed carry that I have personally tried and share some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method from my own experience. I will talk about what works (for me) and what doesn’t and give you different scenarios where each might be better than another method. I am writing this post because for so many years I have been listening to “the experts” who advocate one method of concealed carry over another as gospel. Like the debate over which caliber handgun is the best or which is the best SHTF rifle: AR-15 or AK47, the debate over your personal best way to carry concealed will generate some different opinions.
BulletproofHomeDefense

Why carry concealed in the first place?

Before I begin with the different methods of concealed carry, let me briefly divert into why I carry concealed in the first place. Simply put, I carry concealed because I want options. If a bad guy is intent on doing me, my loved ones or even a stranger deadly harm I want to be able to address the threat with as much force as a bad guy is likely to have. Just recently, a man (in the video below) walked into a liquor store and started shooting up the place. The reason he did this doesn’t matter. The man is a lunatic who wanted to kill everyone and he should be dealt with as quickly as possible to save lives. According to news reports, what you don’t see is a concealed carry holder confronts the man off camera and put an end to the violence in the store. Unfortunately, the shooter escaped to injure his parents before he was finally put down by police.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be a patron of that store when this idiot walked in there and started shooting? If that ever happens to me, I want the option to do something about it. That is why I carry concealed. Options. Prepping is like that too. I prepare so I don’t have to go hungry if the stores run out of food. I won’t go thirsty if the town’s water is polluted and I can’t drink from the tap. If I have to bug out and leave everything I have behind, I have that option.

Different ways to carry concealed

Since I am talking about options, let’s look at a few concealed carry options that I have personally used and I will give you the situation I used these in and my observations.

Pocket Carry

Pocket Carry is probably the most common form (until recently) of concealed carry I have used. Why? Well, I work in an office where I sit down at a desk all day and work on a computer. I also have to dress up sometimes, meet clients and mingle. Pocket carry for me is as simple as it gets for the right size weapon. To facilitate pocket carry, I chose the KEL-TEC P-3AT. The KEL-TEC was my first weapon purchased for the express purpose of concealed carry and this has it’s good points and bad points.

PocketCarry

Pocket Carry is the most discrete and worry free method of carry, but compactness has it’s drawbacks.

 

Pros of Pocket Carry

  • Drop it in the pocket and forget about it.
  • Very concealable – I never have had anyone ask me about what is in my pocket and I have never had anyone accidentally touch my firearm when I pocket carry.
  • Works great in dress pants or jeans. Easily the least worry of printing in almost any situation.
  • Lighter weapon means you can also use this with lightweight hiking shorts without your pants falling down.

Cons of Pocket Carry

  • To get a weapon that will easily conceal in a pocket you have to limit your firepower somewhat. I used a .380 which is really not enough power in my mind now to effectively put down an attacker quickly. I know, I know, it’s all about shot placement, right and a .22 to the brain will stop someone just as fast as a .45. I disagree on that one. Would you want to go up against a bear or a 220 pound man who is high on Flakka with only a .380?
  • Sitting down in the car, seat buckled makes it really hard to whip this thing out. I could do it if I popped off the seat belt and reared back pretty far.
  • Pocket lint – minor issue I know , but man there is a lot of lint on my KEL-TEC so cleaning frequently was a good idea if for nothing else than it was embarrassing.
  • In some pants with larger pockets like my hiking pants, the holster would turn sideways with the barrel facing to my right making the draw a slightly more complicated process. Eventually the weapon would start swinging like I had a big rock in my pocket.
  • Reduces you to one pocket because you can’t put anything in there with your firearm.
  • I actually had to learn to flick the holster off with one finger because just drawing out the firearm would occasionally leave the holster on. The last thing I want to do is draw my weapon only to have it still safely ensconced in its holster and me with a stupid look on my face.

Small of Back

When I got my Glock 30SF, this was my preferred method of carry most times. I have heard this referred to by a few different names. 4 o’clock position behind your strong side hip is where I would always keep my heavy 45 and this had some advantages and disadvantages as well. The results for me were pretty much the same regardless of whether I carried inside the waistband or outside. Actually inside the waistband was much less comfortable.

SmallOfBackCarry

Small of Back is great when I am moving around, not sitting for long periods of time and works better for me in cooler climates. Holster is a sturdy leather.

Pros of Small of Back Carry

  • From the front, you are really concealed and there is no noticeable shape to discern.
  • Drawing from this position felt good and seemed natural. I didn’t have to manipulate my hand around the firearm, but again, this probably had some to do with the size of my handgrips too.
  • In the winter time or when I had more clothes needed for daily wear; this was my go-to concealed carry option.
  • Walking around this is very comfortable

Cons of Small of Back Carry

  • When you bend over, even slightly, people can see the lump in your back no matter the size of the weapon or whether it is inside the WB or outside.
  • You can’t tuck a shirt in with this method. Drawing would be a nightmare. Also, any kind of pack would be a pain with this method of carry.
  • If someone grabs you from behind, they might prevent you from drawing your weapon.
  • Someone could try to disarm you from behind and I know you are supposed to be more aware of things like this, but it is still a thought.
  • Sitting down is a pain. I couldn’t easily wear this at work.
  • On a long car trip? Forget it. Not only would your spine be out of whack, you would never be able to get to your firearm in an emergency.
  • I have been hugged and people will tap my firearm and ask me what that is. Depending on the situation I will either confess it is a weapon or lie and tell them it is an insulin pump.
  • Holstering might take a little longer. If you are carrying inside the waistband you might need to loosen your pants first.
  • Holster is right over my wallet which makes me have to carry the wallet in the front pocket.

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Strong Side Hip

Carrying at the 3 o’clock position is what you typically see cowboys, military and police doing. This method places the gun directly on your belt, strong side so you can get to it easily in most situations.

SideOfBodyCarry

Strong side carry is probably the most comfortable outside of pocket but the issues with printing are more pronounced. Holster is from Raven Concealed.

Pros of Strong Side Hip Carry

  • Drawing from the position was very intuitive and easy.
  • All you need is a slightly larger shirt or jacket to cover the weapon
  • Running or walking isn’t impeded by carrying in this position.
  • Holstering is simple.
  • This method of carry does not put the weapon in your back so sitting down isn’t a problem.
  • The weapon fits nicely beside your elbow so it is easy to maintain control or awareness of the weapon.

Cons of Strong Side Hip Carry

  • Even on the side, this method prints when you bend over and most people can see that you have something on your hip unless you are wearing a Fat Albert sized shirt.
  • In a car, this method is also usually covered by the seat-belt.
  • Again, this method is easily detected by hugs which happen from time to time.

Fanny Pack

Yes, I have used a fanny pack to conceal my .380 before when necessary. Fanny packs aren’t for everyone and they have to go on the front, not the fanny but they have some usefulness too.

Pros of Fanny Pack Carry

  • Many of the same advantages of Pocket carry. Drop it in the fanny pack and forget about it.
  • Very concealable – I never have had anyone ask me about what is in my fanny pack and I have never had anyone accidentally touch my firearm.
  • Works great in dress pants or jeans. Easily the least worry of printing in almost any situation.
  • Lighter weapon means you can also use this with lightweight hiking shorts without your pants falling down.

Cons of Fanny Pack Carry – Similar to Pocket Carry

  • To get a weapon that will easily conceal in a pocket you have to limit your firepower somewhat. I used a .380 which is really not enough power in my mind now to effectively put down an attacker quickly.
  • You do have to manage a zipper and possibly other things in the pocket before you draw.

Appendix Carry

This is the newest method I am trying to get used to because I finally got a hold of the new Glock 43 which is what I plan on carrying as my concealed weapon on most days now. Appendix carry takes some getting used to. Some people swear by it but I am still deliberating.

AppendixCarry

Appendix Carry is new to me, but with my new Glock 43 which boasts a lighter, yet powerful weapon, it may be the new choice in some circumstances. Holster is the Crossbreed Appendix Carry.

Pros of Appendix Carry

  • Arguably one of the best concealment of any method I have tried as long as I am standing up.
  • Can be used with a shirt tucked in or out
  • You can conceal a larger weapon
  • Drawing from Appendix carry might be a millisecond faster with practice.
  • You can drive while appendix carrying and still get to your weapon pretty easily.
  • I have never had anyone put their hands near my crotch at work.
  • Nobody hugs me down there.

Cons of Appendix Carry

  • Positioning, positioning, positioning. When I was first getting the hang of this, I think I pushed my holster too far down. Walking around this was OK, but bending over killed me. Once I lifted the holster up a little bit that got better.
  • Going to the restroom takes a little more finagling if you are carrying front and center.
  • I have to work a little more to get my thumb behind the grip because the weapon is pressed against my skin.
  • Might not be the best option for overweight people
  • If your weapon ever could go off, this is the absolute last place I would ever want it to be.

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Ankle Holster

This is the last method I have tried and I only tried it for about an hour. I think I finally threw my ankle holster away because it was just too painful to even wear.

Pros of Ankle Holster

  • Great concealment with minimal printing

Cons of Ankle Holster

  • Small caliber needed to be practical
  • Weight of even the modest .380 hurt my ankles quickly
  • Drawing would require some additional physical movement and dexterity.

So there you have 6 different ways of carrying concealed. I know there are more like shoulder holsters and belly bands, but I have never used those methods myself. I used all of these methods based upon the situation and what I am carrying. For instance on business travel, I may pocket carry or appendix carry but never the other two. In the winter, outside of work I am more likely to strap the larger .45 on and carry behind my back because I won’t be sitting all day . I don’t think there is any one best way to carry concealed, but there are many different ways  that you can carry that suit you and the situation best.

Options.

What is your favorite way to carry concealed and why do you like that method?

by Pat Henry

Other useful resources:

Pioneer Survival - Lessons We Should All Learn
Mega Drought USA:(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)
Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)
Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)
Survival MD(Learn how to survive without medication in any crisis)
Alive After The Fall(Advice on handling crisis situations)
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1 Response

  1. Don says:

    Small of the back is exactly that, the 6 o’clock position. 4 o’clock is not small of the back. The ankle holster should not be painful. I have carried mid size and compact .40’s that way with no problem, very comfortable.

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