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How Do I Actually Conceal and Carry

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Find A Method To Fit Your Lifestyle

First Step - Make The Commitment

Constantly carrying a handgun can be a bit of a pain. Till you adjust to it. It will require more thought in your wardrobe choices. Your handgun choices. And some effort to find what works for you.

But that pistol will do you NO good at home in the safe. I watched a chilling video yesterday of an armed robbery. As the victims were forced into the back office at gunpoint, forced to lie down as their hands were tied behind them - all typical preparation for an execution - a chill ran down my spine. I doubt at that moment any of the victims would have thought carrying a handgun was "too much trouble."

I've always been a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy. But I choose to carry a full sized handgun, and my chubby body is not crazy about an Inside the Waistband holster. So button-up shirts with tails designed to be worn outside. And no one notices, and I literally forget, that I am carrying.

Regardless of body type, life style, or clothing options - there is some combination of handgun and carry methods that will work for you. And you may need one method for the office and another for jogging after work. It will likely involve some experimentation and research on your part. But we'll try to get you started.

Small of the back holster for concealed carry

Small Of The Back

...seems a REALLY bad idea to me. Have to be a contortionist to reach your handgun under a cover garment, and it would require the use of two hands. Much easier for an assailant to reach than for you. If you are pushed to the ground, there is a large lump of hard polymer or metal slamming into your spine. And if everything goes perfectly you will sweep your own body with the muzzle of a loaded pistol if you ever draw it in anger. And it prints (displays the outline of your carry gun) really badly every time you must stoop or bend. For those of a certain body type, it may seem a tempting option. I emphatically DO NOT recommend it.


Could be very effective when sitting (office). Might work well for a backup gun of diminuitive size. But generally the draw backs seem to outweigh the advantages. Hard to keep in place, they ride down. Uncomfortable. Limited in pistol selection. Awkward to both conceal and to draw under duress. Not our favorite.

Ankle holster for concealed carry
Groin holster for concealed carry


Yes, Virginia there is such a thing as groin carry, and it is exactly what you would think. Lest you accuse us gentleman of being ineducabley coarse, you will notice that our illustration for this particular method is of the female persuasion. I can not imagine trying to dig a loaded gun out of the front of my pants in a hurry. Sweeping is again an issue, only now instead of liver and spleen and assorted stuff like that, we're talking muzzling IMPORTANT stuff. Not recommended.


...essentially moves an Inside The Waistband Holster, usually holding a smaller piece, to about the 1:00 o'clock position. Seems to me slightly more sensible than groin carry, if only because the holster is somewhat more accessible. Appears to be terribly uncomfortable for any sort of activity that involves sitting. And for us "larger" people, it is not even an option! But a lot of people use this method and seem happy with it. Ron Pincus, a nationally known trainer who I respect tremendously, carries a full sized Glock here. If it's good enough for Rob...

Appendix concealed carry holster

Shoulder holster - may not be used in class

Shoulder Holster

... Don Johnson on Miami Vice, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness - all the cool guys wore shoulder holsters. And so did I as an off duty policeman. Till I became weary of feeling as though I were walking around with a watermelon in my breast pocket. Shoulder holsters move, a LOT. Unless you strap it down so tight you can’t bend at all at the waist. If it makes you feel all macho, I won’t tell you you're wrong. But there are much more effective ways to carry.

Fanny Pack

The only carry method available to any Illinoisan with a FOID card. IF the gun is unloaded. Ammo can be in the same caae. Though tactually, it would seem to me to be quicker to load if the ammo was in pocket or otherwise readily available. Obviously, gun will be loaded if you have a Concealed Carry permit. Make sure to only use a fanny pack designed for Concealed Carry. A decent method of carry if your clothing offers no reasonable concealment. With so many great pocket guns now on the market and Concealed Carry Licenses available, not as useful as it was.

Carrying Concealed in a fanny pack

Sneaky Pete handgun holster

Sneaky Pete

Halfway between a fanny pack and an Outside The Waistband holster, the Sneaky Pete brand holster intrigues me. To me, it screams, "Hey, look! I'm carrying a handgun!" But, we are "gun aware". Most others are not. With so many carrying cells, tablets, and all sorts of devices in cases on thier waist - this may be plenty "Sneaky" enough. I've yet to form a firm opinion.

Cross Draw

Perhaps the most useful form of carry while driving. Makes it easier to access your gun even while seated, though you will need to develop the habit of clearing your firearm of your seat belt each time you buckle up. A good quality holster will be fitted for your particular make & model. Two hands are needed to clear your cover garment. Not a bad choice.

Crossdraw holster great for driving while concealing your gun

Inside the Waistband holster for concealed carry

Inside The Waistband (IWB)

One of the most popular, because it is most effective, methods of carry. Holsters are widely available in leather or Kydex (A plastic like material). Kydex is cheaper and more durable. Leather more traditional, and many argue, more comfortable. NEVER use cheap nylon holsters. Handgun retention may be achieved with various systems or straps, or just a super-snug fit of gun to holster. Many versions even allow for the tucking of your shirt around the holster, making it even more covert.

Outside The Waistband (OWB)

Choices abound with this method of carry also. May be utilized at anywhere from about two to five o'clock for right handers. Wherever most comfortable and concealable. THE most comfortable way to carry, at the cost of being less concealable than IWB holsters. With wise handgun selection and a bit of attention to your wardrobe, can be very doable. A slight forward cant (tilt) may aid in presenting the gun, concealability, and retention. The fifteen degree FBI cant (As shown in photo) is most common.

Outside the Waisband holster for conceaaled carry

Good gunbelt supports your concealed handgun

Gun Belt

For any belt holster, do yourself a favor and invest in a good gun belt. While not inexpensive, they are worth the price. Available in any color and style you could ask for, many look just like a high quality casual or dress belt. One excellent value is the line of Hanks Amish Belts. At about $40.00,they offer many of the same features as the $100.00 (and up) custom made handgun belts. But they are designed for the task of supporting the constant weight of a concealed carry pistol and accessories. Such as...

Magazine / Speed-loader Pouches

Normally available in single or double configuration. Might be something you want to add to your bag-o-tricks. Many people do not carry any extra ammo. According to FBI statistics the average gun fight consists of 2.5 (and change) rounds expended. Odds are you will never draw your gun, much less need to reload. Until you do. Then you would sell your soul for an extra magazine. Think about it.

Pouches for your magazines and ammo

And Just For The Ladies

Though women may use any of the strategies outlined above, the realities of a fashion driven world and anatomical differences have not been lost on the gun industry. With women, on an increasing basis, realizing that they are responsible for their own safety, they are entering the world of the gun in growing numbers. And every attempt is being made to serve them. Will just touch on your options below. There are a slew of sites that explore the many, many options for women to concealed carry.

Purse holsters hide your handgun

The Purse Holster

The first real effort to cater to women, a purse SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to carry a gun remains a viable, though problematic, solution. Women are prone to get separated from their purses. You may be defenseless if your purse is across the room when you you are assaulted. It is irresponsible to leave a loaded firearm not under your immediate control. It might be snatched. For many reasons this is a less than optimal solution. And, they are expensive. Add the price of a good holster to the price of a good purse...

The Flash Bang Holster

Yeppers. Bra carry. Invented by a woman, for women, It has been a runaway success. This is the original, others have followed that may or may not suit you better . Women assure me that with the right top, you can actually draw fairly quickly from this thing. And that with the right pistol, it is not only very concealable, but comfortable. Does not look that way to me, but I am not "equipped" to pass judgement. Is said to be somewhat anatomy dependent, so do some research before you purchase. This,slightly not safe for work, view gives a little clearer picture of how this holster works.

Bra holster conceals your pistol effectively

Thigh holster hides your gun

The Thigh Holster


Most require some type of belt and garter approach to prevent the holster slipping ever downward during activity. One brand, Remora, is touted for having non-slip material and is a simple band. The reviews I have read all rave on how well they work. Probably varies from brand to brand. Another option to return dresses to your concealed carry wardrobe.

Other Options

There are also a myriad of new and innovative spandex products as illustrated below. They all have rave reviews which remark on the wide range of clothing and activities they are suited for. The shorts can reportedly work under nearly anything. And similar comments are made about the belly band and shoulder holster types. Do a little research and I'm sure you can find a carry method that makes sense to you.

Spandex hip holster for concealed carry
Belly holster for concealed carry
Spandex shoulder holster for your handgun
Spandex shoulder holster for concealed carry

As you can see, there are many options for your concealed carry strategy. Some very traditional. Some new and innovative. We especially applaud the effort to make everyday carrying female friendly. With a little thought, effort, and investment, we can all take responsibility for our own security in an uncertain world. You may need to rethink your wardrobe choices. It might be necessary to have more than one approach depending on weather and your activities. But it has often been said, "People find the time and money for those things they care about." And isn’t your security, and that of your loved ones, the most vital concern of all?

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