So how do I carry over the summer...


May 19, 2008, 07:02 PM
This is the first time the weather's been warm since I got my LTCF. Typically I just wear my 1911 in a good OWB leather holster and cover up with a hoody/jacket/suitcoat depending on where I'm at.

Basically I see my choices as:

...Stick with what I'm doing but "hawaiian shirt" it. No, I'm not doing the photographer vest thing--if anything it's more obvious, and the vest just screams "retiree fisherman" to me.

...Go with an IWB, possibly downgrading to a smaller piece (Dad doesn't carry his baby Glock anymore since he got a P9S). I'm not sure if I can comfortably fit a full-size 5in barrel auto down my pants, without my belt riding up to my ribcage when I sit down. I've never used an IWB rig before. Dad has, but he generally only carries subcompacts.

...Hawaiian shirts and shoulder holsters--I've been hitting the weights pretty hard getting ready for OCS, so all of a sudden I actually could hide something up there. Advantage: Much more comfortable driving and sitting down.

What do you all do when it gets warm enough that OWB isn't as convenient anymore?

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May 19, 2008, 07:57 PM
Shoulder rig + hawaiian works for me. Depending on the rig, you could even button & tuck the hawaiian shirt. Horizontals will print more, verticals less. I'm fairly thin of torso, and can handle a S&W 4" K-frame in a vertical rig under an oxford or hawaiian shirt, buttoned and tucked.

May 19, 2008, 09:22 PM
Pocket carry 642

Green Lantern
May 19, 2008, 10:01 PM
I IWB carry a G19 with a loose-fitting dark, patterned shirt in summer - no problemo. Never tried it with a 1911 though..

For when I can't (or can't be bothered to carry something 'big'), I pocket carry a P3AT.

The Lone Haranguer
May 19, 2008, 11:50 PM
IWB holster and untucked camp shirt.

May 20, 2008, 03:59 AM
I also pocket carry a S&W J frame but mine is a M638.

IMO, if your belt holds up well to the weight of your 1911 when using an OWB holster it will do equally well with an IWB holster. I know several people who carry a 5" 1911 IWB without a problem, after all, as you know a 1911 is a very thin gun. Personally I wouldn't want to carry a handgun that heavy but that's just my preference. Since you already carry that weight I see no reason for you not to switch from OWB to IWB in the summer. I would say give it a try before you invest in an expansive shoulder rig. I never did like shoulder carry for some reason.

May 20, 2008, 04:21 AM
I typically wear a full size 1911 (or similar sized gun) OWB in the summer easily enough. I don't wear a Hawaiian shirt, just a normal button down collared business or club type shirt untucked over slacks. That might not work for everybody though, it's all about your body shape. I'm 6 foot or so and have fairly broad shoulders and a slim(ish) waist, so theres a lot of room for a gun where my shirt is hanging free.

Actually I dress exactly that way pretty much every day both in summer and winter. Every once in while the shirts I wear will be more tightly fitted. If they wont cover a 1911 strongside, sometimes I'll do IWB small of the back with the Bersa .380.

Shoulder holsters are very possible for me, but really under a shirt like that I feel the gun is a little useless. If I can't draw it fast , I don't think it's worth carrying.

May 21, 2008, 04:59 PM
Pocket carry, I currently use a Kahr PM9.

May 21, 2008, 05:03 PM
IWB holster and buttone up "Hawaiian" or just simple colors. im told patterns break up the pistols outline better than solids (makes sense, camo and all)

May 21, 2008, 05:16 PM
Another option is one of the gun bags that look like a fanny pack. I have one by Bianchi that I really like. I know they kind of scream gun to LEO's, but I've never had anyone hassle me about it. Some people don't like them because they think they look dorky. :neener:

May 21, 2008, 05:29 PM
Open Carry!

May 22, 2008, 06:57 PM
I either pocket carry a Kel Tec 3AT or ankle carry a S/W 642. In the summer it's the 3AT 99% of the time, in the winter it's reverse.

May 22, 2008, 07:20 PM
My Primary Carry Gun, off duty, is one of four to select from as a Primary. I carry one of these guns all year long:

3" Ruger GP100
5" 1911
4" S&W 22-4
Glock 19

I find all of these guns easy to hide in the summer using a good quality IWB Holster and Belt. Good quality to me means Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen and Matt Del Fatti. It's too hot for a hoodie and I don't do vest or Fanny Packs.


May 22, 2008, 07:52 PM
Maxpedition Fatboy Versipak works for me down here in FL. Carry my full size 92FS, plus spare mag, plus SF 6P LED light, plus wallet, plus keys, plus cell phone, plu . .plus. . . plus

May 22, 2008, 09:46 PM
I have started wearing a vest. I am in SC, where it gets pretty warm in the summer. Woolrich Tactical Elite (the lightweight version) is what I wear. To me it screams: "GUY IN A VEST!" I don't get funny looks from anyone (OK... maybe my wife) and nobody but other gun friendly folk seem to know anything or even care.

I also wear button down shirts untucked and hawiian shirts. I am also considering buying 1 size larger shirts to give a little more room.

The Lone Haranguer
May 22, 2008, 10:23 PM
I neglected to mention that if I have to tuck in my shirt, I go to a Kahr PM9 in a pants pocket, with a Mika pocket holster.

Steve from Ohio
May 22, 2008, 10:32 PM
Try a Smart Carry. I think that one of the Smart Carry holsters was made specifically for the 1911 because the guy who founded the company - that is what he carries.

May 22, 2008, 10:39 PM
I carry a full size 1911 year round with just an untucked polo over it. Good belt+good holster=no problem.

May 23, 2008, 11:10 AM
Here in the Northwest, one can just about conceal any weapon 3/4 of the year. There have been some warmer weeks, however, where the lighter/easier carried weapons are nice options.

The S&W 642 in a Mika Pocket Holster is my most carried weapon...I even carry it around the house in my smoking jacket on occassion.

I am looking for the perfect OWB Holster (K.L.Null high rise perhaps) and I will seriously consider the G26 in my summer rotation as well.

May 26, 2008, 12:20 PM
From 1997 to 2002, I carried a full-sized 1911 all the time, openly while on duty, and concealed while on my own time. I used a Galco Avenger, which was an OWB, either under a textured cotton shirt or a vest. I almost never used IWB during this time period, but would on occasion use a G. Wm. Davis Security, which resembles today's Sparks Summer Special. (I had used the Davis Security off and on since 1984.) My shirts were usually Patagonia "AC Cotton" and styled like a Hawaiian shirt, but only one was colored like a typical Hawaiian shirt. FWIW, the current Patagonia shirts' cotton fabric is not quite as thick in texture. Royal Robbins and Columbia sell similar shirts.

The thing to watch out for, is that the grip panels do not stick to the cover garment. A key to comfort is to wear something under the outer garment. It is difficult to remember what I wore back then, but somewhere along the way, I bought a few sleeveless cotton T-shirts, which work well to this day, though Smartwool is better than cotton, and I am not kidding. It is what I wear now, under my body armor in the coastal Texas heat/humidity and under my "soft" clothes on my own time.

FWIW, my current duty and carry pistol is a personally owned P229, which is not a small pistol itself, and I use a Bulman FDS to conceal it most of the time. What the P229 gains in concealabilty through being less tall and long, it loses by being chunkier. The FDS makes the P229 seem to levitate; I would have loved to have a similar rig during my 1911 days!

One more thing that really enhances concealability is a "busy" pattern with dark colors. A busy pattern can be plaid, checkered, images of leaves or flowers, or my favorite shirts' print of a flowing trout stream. The pattern should be one that makes the exact outline of the shirt a bit difficult to discern.

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