Compromise in an IWB carry


January 1, 2003, 05:52 PM
Which part of the gun do you considered should be compromised when carrying concealed IWB while wearing light clothing such as jeans and shirt? Would it be the slide length or the grip length?
For 1911 Govt model, the 5-inch slide hits the pelvic bone, and the grip does sticks out when you sit.

Compromised would be that the shorter the length of slide, the shorter is the sight radius, thus more difficult to acquire the shot; while shortening the grip, you would have to have lesser round capacity.

Which would you prefer?

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El Tejon
January 1, 2003, 05:59 PM
How are you carrying it?

Carry a government model in Milt Sparks Executive Companion. No poking or sticking here (unless bending at waist for dropped car keys), but I'm tall and kind of lanky.

January 1, 2003, 06:06 PM

I'm not certain I understand the question the way you intended it.

Concealed carry is always a compromise to concealment. Many members have commented on carrying full sized Government models and I'll take their word for it. I don't.

My Para C7.45 has a 3.5 inch slide, about 1 1/2 inches shorter than a Government model, and thats my preference. I have no difficulty with "concealing" the slide and I doubt that people carrying a full sized gun do either but there is always the matter of the distance between the belt line and the seating surface. I suspect that a full sized gun could be a problem at times, particularly when seated.

My Para has a slightly shorter butt, which contains only 7 rounds. That's one round less than the Government model. I'm certain that the butt size is a very relevant factor to concealment but I feel proper positioning of the weapon may be more of a factor.

I wear my Para just behind my hip and the butt tucks in behind me, conforming to my back. The butt does not protrude, is not normally visible and seldom actually touches the seatback. I should qualify this be saying that I carry all day, every day; even at work; so I do have some experience to lean on.

Does that provide any semblance of an answer to what you're trying to learn?

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2003, 06:30 PM
I don't think you have to compromise anything -- within reason. I carry a full-size M1911 clone (Kimber) and have carried M1911s concealed for a great many years. Revolvers are a bit more difficult to carry concealed, but I have carried a full-size .357 as well.

Get a good holster, and tailor your wardrobe to conceal. Carry every day, everywhere, until you forget the gun is there -- and no one will notice it.

January 1, 2003, 06:32 PM
I find that guns with a short muzzle carried IWB tend to dig into the pelvis from belt pressure over the course of the day, whereas a typical 5" Government model does not because there is more slide length to distribute the weight of the gun across the hipbone.

Of course, YMMV. To answer your question, grip length is more important than slide length when it comes to concealment. But if the grip is too short and you can't aquire a proper three fingered grip prior to the draw, then the whole advantage of a short grip frame becomes a disadvantage.

That said, you can always accomodate for a full size grip frame by using a holster with a 15 to 20 degree cant worn farther back around the 4:30 position.

January 1, 2003, 06:37 PM
my favorite IWB gun is kahr k or p series, but it really is an individual thing, what feels good to one person may not to someone else. I carry round butt revolvers IWB and I like the way the grips lay against my body, my buddy carries a sig 245 IWB. Like was stated above holsters make a big difference too....tom

January 1, 2003, 06:42 PM
There is a tremendous number of IWB holsters and approaches to fastening them to a good gun belt. All you have to do is find one that fits your particular body type. I carry full size Kimbers, Pro Carry's in FIST IWB clip holsters. All at about 4:00 or so. I find them comfortable sitting, standing, walking, etc. They don't stick out to be seen. If you carry concealed the onus is on you to find a style that works for you. Fortunately, there are a bunch. Good shooting:)

January 1, 2003, 07:12 PM

It's when seating where I find the full-size carry a bit of a problem. I'm relatively a short and small guy, so it has to be carried higher. I currently have to do it using a fanny-pack. In our country, as a civilian, you have to 'vanish' it when you're carrying.

I am planning to buy another similar gun, solely for 'carrying' purposes, but with similar action to my main gun. Your LDA-7 would be similar to an 'officer' size 1911. I try out different cant and see if I can be comfortable with it.

tomkatz - I like the Kahr but currently has seen no vendors selling them. Also, how far is the double-action trigger compared with the single action of a Sig-226 or CZ-75/85?

January 1, 2003, 07:16 PM
I've found that grip length and overall thickness have the most effect on conceal-ability.

January 1, 2003, 07:55 PM
Ditto on the grip length being the controling the ability to conceal a 1911 type pistol. I have carried a full size S&W 645 in my waistband without printing, however I had to go sans holster to make it possible. With my C7-45, the shorter grip length allows for the use of a Galco Scout IWB while wearing shorts and a T-Shirt. Barrel length never posed a problem either sitting or standing. Bending over would make the pistol print, but if I squat as is the correct procedure, Problem solved.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the meanest SOB in the valley.

January 1, 2003, 08:52 PM
akula....I was an all out revolver guy for concealed carry, so going to the kahr was a natural for me as the trigger is nice and smooth double action, I also shoot glocks, so my main carry guns are all just pull the trigger type guns. But I also have 1911 types that I love. I don't do as well with traditional double action simply because I don't practice it enough, but I'm thinking about getting a sig239 sometime soon, I've been enjoying my friends 245 at the range lately.....tom

ps...after reading your question again, the kahr trigger is fairly short pull compared to some other DAO guns, but doesn't compare to a good single action pull

January 1, 2003, 09:23 PM
I too find that overall width and length of the grip are the most important factors, but put them in that order.

January 2, 2003, 11:45 PM
Butt length is my concern. I just purchased a Kimber Ultra Ten II, and it's shorter than either my GM or my S&W M60 w/fingergroove stocks. I took a caliper to the UT II and my GM, and I discovered that the Kimber is actually thinner in the grip than the single stack GM; 1.18" for the Kimber, 1.26" for the GM. The main width difference is in the frontstrap: .76" on the Colt, .83" on the Kimber.
As far as I'm concerned, this isn't a compromise, it's a gain. 10 +1 capacity plus shorter butt offsets the loss of sight radius as compared to the GM, and the double capacity of large hole ammo beats the tar out of the M60 with a similar sight radius (3" bbl on M60 and Kimber.)
Mainly, though, it's the weight that makes the diff for me. My hips aren't what they used to be, and the K loaded is only a bit heavier than the M60, and mucho lighter than the Colt.

January 2, 2003, 11:53 PM
Good Holster and belt is key.

Me, 5" 1911, k frames, P-11

can see where thickness might be problem.

Ladies build makes fitting more of a chore

Captain Bligh
January 3, 2003, 07:20 AM
Zundfolge hit the nail on the head. For me the most important factors affecting concealability are gun thickness and but length. That's why I prefer old slabsides. For me a 1911 with a shortened grip frame is the ideal carry gun: Large caliber and slim profile.


January 3, 2003, 10:40 AM
While most people do need to compromise somewhat for IWB... I'd say that a LOT of people over-compromise, especially with people who have just started to CC in the last few years, since there are so many "micro" options these days. There are very few situations/builds where two fingered grips and 3" barrels should be found in your waistband...

January 3, 2003, 10:52 AM
1) Thickness

2) Grip Length

3) Barrel Length

A good holster can help greatly by seating the pistol low on the beltline.

just my .02

-- ctc

January 3, 2003, 01:11 PM
I subscribe to the "No Compromise" slogan, :D:D:D

So I carry my full size USP9 IWB in a simple Uncle Mike's # 15 suede holster. Indeed, a stiff belt is mandatory. As I'm short and stocky, it's quite hard to find the proper body cavity to fit it in, but it seems to be very comfty at about 4 to 5 o'clock, even while I'm driving.

Although I do have to be very conscious about my posture when in public. A heavy shirt often does the trick of keeping clothing bloused over the weapon. ;)

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