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Clothing Options for Concealed Carry in the Summer

Question:

I recently received a CCW license but am struggling to find a convenient carry method. I seldom wear a jacket and am not thrilled with an ankle holster. What option do you recommend for year-round (especially summer) carry? So far I’ve found a ‘belly band’ most comfortable. I am carrying a Kahr PM 9, if that matters. Thanks for any insight.

 

Erik 

 

Answer:

Hi Erik,

You are discovering the difficulty that comes with making every day carry of a firearm part of your routine.  You are correct, it is quite difficult to find a way of concealing a firearm without a cover garment.  

As far as suggestions go, the belly band is not a bad idea, but it is very difficult to get to quickly.  Personally, I use an inside the waistband holster with an untucked shirt.  It is consistent with the current ‘style’ for men and does a nice job of concealing a small semi-auto.  

There is another device that might work well for your Kahr.  It is a rubber sleeve that has a metal clip attached that can be worn inside your waistband.  The draw is accomplished by pulling out the waistband slightly with the off-hand.  The gun rides fairly deep.  Check out www.covertcarrier.com

I’m not sure if Kahr makes a pocket clip, but that might be an alternative as well.

I’m not a fan of off-body carry (briefcase, day timer) or fanny-packs, since they scream ‘gun’.

Take a look at a good IWB holster and some minor wardrobe modifications, it might be the best compromise of speed and availability…

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More concealed carry gun options…

Question:

I am looking into getting my Concealed Carry Permit and after looking at a few guns and was wondering if you could give me your opinion on the quality and reliabilty of these guns.  I live in New Orleans and there are plenty of ranges here so the gun would be for enjoyment as well as protection. The Guns are Walther PPK Sig-Sauer P232 Baikal IJ 70 (the one I looked at was chambered with 9×18).  Thank you for taking the time to look at this.

Thanks,

Casey

 

Answer:

Casey,

Thanks for your question.  If you are looking for my opinion of the best overall choice of the three you mentioned, I’d go for the SIG P232.

Here is my reasoning.  In my own experience, the SIG P232 functions flawlessly, is easy to conceal, has easily available ammo and accessories and is manufactured by a well known, broadly supported manufacturer.  This means that if your gun ever needs work, you’ll have no problem finding a gunsmith that can work on it or finding parts for it.  I know at least 2 other owners of the P232 and they absolutely love their guns.  The fact that they are extremely reliable is a very important factor for concealed carry.  You want your gun to work every time.

As far as the other two you mention, the Walther PPK is a decent gun with an enduring design.  The design is fundamentally unchanged since the 1930s.  Here is my issue with the Walther PPK.  First, there are reliability issues with many Walthers.  I had a student in a recent class who experienced jam after jam.  He finally switched to a different gun to complete the course.  There are also some issues getting parts for older style Walther pistols.  It is a gun that is more popular with collectors due to its history and the association with the old ‘James Bond’ character.

The Baikal is essentially a Russian made knock off of the Walther.  Some often refer to this gun generically as a Makarov.  They are very similar pistols in many ways.  There are some differences in operational design, like the fixed barrel on the Baikal.  While I have not personally shot this gun, from the research I did it seems to have reasonable levels of reliability, at least after running a few hundred rounds through them.  It is not unusual for some guns to require a ‘break in’ of a couple of hundred rounds before they loosen up enough to be reliable.  I would suggest that any type of accessory or parts will be pretty hard to come by.  Also, the 9×18 ammo is non-standard.  I would stick with either .380 acp or 9×19.  Non-standard ammo is expensive and hard to find in some places.  That fact alone would eliminate the Baikal for me.

If you are open to looking at some  more modern designs, the Glock 19 and Springfield XD 4″ barrel in 9mm are tough to beat in terms of price, reliability and ease of operation.

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Concealed Carry Gun Options

May 12, 2008 AZ CCW Laws, Equipment Reviews Comments Off

Question:

I am looking for a good gun and concealment method to carry.  I currently have a Glock 22, but I think it is a bit too wide to carry comfortably (from what I hear).  I would like a Glock 26, but it is the same width of my Glock 22. Do you have any experience with a Glock 26 or similar gun, or any suggestions for a semi-auto that is comfortable to carry preferably IWB?  I need to go shoot some, but I am not sure where to start.

 

Thanks,

 

Justin 

 

Answer:

Justin,

Thanks for your question.  Your Glock 22 is a nice pistol.  The issue with concealed carry for a Glock 22 is the physical size of the gun, not so much the width.  Depending on your physical size, concealing a full sized Glock on your person could be difficult.

Regarding the Glock 26 for concealed carry, unless you specifically want a 9mm, I’d suggest you look at the Glock 27.  It is the same caliber as your G22, the magazines from the 22 will also work in the 27 (nice for practice), and in my opinion, you  get a little more stopping power in a .40 cal that in a 9mm.

I personally have a Glock 26 that I bought as a backup gun early on.  If I had it to do over again, I’d buy a Glock 27 instead.  Now the 26 is in my rental inventory.

To talk a little about concealed carry, I would investigate ‘inside the waistband’ carry of a 26 or 27.  You can get some nice inside the waistband holsters from either Blade Tech, Sidearmor or Galco.  The Blade Tech and Sidearmor holsters are kydex.  The one from Galco are leather.  Bear in mind that you will need to allow an additional 1.5 inches or so in your pants size.  I normally wear a size 36 waist, but for IWB carry, I wear a size 38.

If you aren’t prepared to revamp your wardrobe, you can also get outside the waistband holsters from the same manufacturers.  By the way, for civilian concealed carry, I would probably avoid any ‘retention straps’ or the like.  You just won’t need them.

Personally, I carry at the 4:30 position on my body (think of your belly button as being at the 12:00 position).  My G26 will nestle right into my back hip on the right side and with a loose shirt or t-shirt, the firearm will not be visible.  Similarly, you can wear a sweatshirt or jacket as a cover garment.

As far as the width issue that you mentioned, I personally don’t see it as an issue.  The width of the Glock is not significantly more than most other pistols in the same caliber.

If you want something that is VERY concealable, you might check out the Keltec P-3AT.  It is a 380 auto, very light weight and very tiny.  It is strictly a backup or deep concealment gun though.  If you want a real combat firearm, stick with your Glock.

Just a final comment about concealed carry, you mentioned wanting something to carry “comfortably”.  Unfortunately, concealed carry of a firearm is seldom comfortable.  I am reminded of what an instructor told me very early in my shooting career…”Concealed carry is not comfortable, but it is comforting…”

Something to think about…

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