How do you carry OWB and stay concealed


March 25, 2005, 08:54 PM
Well guys and gals I am at the age in my life where my narrow waist and broad mind have switched places. I carry a Commander size 1911 for my CCW and I am finding it increasingly uncomfortable to carry IWB. So I thought I would give OWB a try. My question is as the title states. I live in the south and it gets HOT here in the summer. Even with my now less than stealthy profile, I still dress down in the summer. I.e. shorts, tee shirt. Etc. So, do you find it is difficult to carry OWB and stay concealed?

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March 25, 2005, 09:08 PM
Due to my lifestyle and the way I dress, I can generally only ankle carry. As such, I can't usually carry my weapon of choice, the G23. For the last 5-6 years I've carried a Taurus 450. The carry method makes it slow to accsess and I only have 5 rounds, but it's always with me and they're 5 BIG rounds!
On ocassion I also carry an AMT 380 Backup in my hip pocket.

Black Snowman
March 25, 2005, 10:33 PM
Long coats or jackets. My duster can conceal some really big stuff. Even my gut. ;)

March 25, 2005, 10:48 PM
I cannot ever manage IWB - too much bony contact - does not work for me.

So - all year - OWB 3.00 to 3.30.

Once real hot (and believe me - I sweat - buckets) I resort to a Smith and Alexander vest in denim. It keeps me covered with my SP-101 and this summer I think I might still manage to keep SIG 226 on board.

Length is well adequate and when biking - I do up two front buttons - it works very well. Some folks will say - vest = ''shouts, I carry''. So what I say!! Let folks guess - does not bother me - concealed is still concealed and prefer that to fanny pack. Used all last summer - no hassles.

This vest goes over T-shirt - which may well be untucked over shorts. It works - no printing either. Works for me.

March 25, 2005, 10:52 PM
I carry a Colt Combat Commander in a Ross Leather M7 OWB, my usual manner of dress is just a t-shirt and blue jeans.

Does it print? yea somewhat, but most folks dont seem to notice and those that would are probably only other CCW'ers or LEO's.

To me concealed means - out of plain sight, as to not upset the sheeple, not crammed deep within one of my orifices.

March 25, 2005, 11:07 PM
I am going to be finding this out myself this summer. I was planning on carrying my SP101 in a tuckable IWB under a t-shirt when it's hot. But, I too have found out that boney hips and dense metal gun is UNCOMFORTABLE!

I currently use OWB, and my plan is when I can during the summer I'll go with a baggy tshirt or my normal cover garment, which is an unbuttoned shirt over that. We'll see how it goes, otherwise I'll have to get used to the IWB, maybe move it back to about 5 oclock so it's more over my skinny butt instead of smashed into my hip...

March 25, 2005, 11:22 PM
I live in the South too. Deep East Texas. It is hot in the summer & warm in the winter. I wear an under shirt to soak up the sweat and keep my holster away from bare skin. Try buying one pair of pants 2 inches larger than your waste size & wear a high quality, all elastic, wide pair of suspenders. Put your undershirt or t-shirt on. The suspenders over the T, then a cover shirt sush as a polo. If you tuck a shirt in then the suspenders are worn regular & use a vest to cover with. Even in summer a light loose vest w/ several pockets is quite popular here & does not, as some think, cry gun. I think suspenders are CC's best friend. I have always worn them from youth to now. (55). My thoughts. Hope you get comfortable.

March 25, 2005, 11:29 PM
Football and basketball jerseys are great for OWB carry. They are extra long so you won't have to worry about them riding up and get them one size larger so they will fit baggy on you.
I also look for extra long pocket tee shirts one size larger. The ones in various colors do a better job of concealing the handgun than the white ones. That is one good thing about the kids style today. They love the big sport shirts and every store sells them now.

Bear Gulch
March 25, 2005, 11:35 PM
Long shirts are good. Jackets are anothe option. Fortunately, Idaho stays cold for a long time, making concealed carry easier.

Randy in Arizona
March 26, 2005, 12:31 AM
Osteo Arthritis hurts most of the time but heat & Naproxin Sodium make it bearable. :banghead:

So wearing more than light summer clothes allows for better concealed carry.

March 26, 2005, 02:00 AM
My mode of carry only changes* when the wife makes me put on "slacks" to attend some law-firm function.

Otherwise, I carry with IWB holsters (Alessi Talon, Don Hume H715), worn OWB, in between my belt and jeans/shorts with an un-tucked, square-bottom, button-up, short-sleeved, casual shirt as a cover garment.

For around town I can carry various small autos in 9mm (Glock 26, Kahr K9, Kel-Tec P-11) this way in complete comfort and concealment... or I can switch to one of my Bersas .22s or (most often) one of my Walther P-22s for around the place, cuttin' the grass, carry.

*Those other times I carry a Kel-Tec P-32 or P-3AT in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster, modified to also carry one spare magazine, and carry it in my right front pants pocket.

pete f
March 26, 2005, 04:20 AM
I carry a Commander owb in a Hume yaqui or a galco paddle. docker or equivelent shorts. A BIG hawaian or camp shirts over a miracle fabric t shirt, the underarmor loose tees or coolmax tees are fabulous when it is really hot and sticky, working in southern missouri and norther arkansas last summer made me a believer. I am looking for a paddle holster now that has that "comfort" strip that goes between sights/end of slide and body.

March 26, 2005, 06:05 AM
I can't carry OWB without a jacket. I can manage IWB with just a T-shirt, but OWB just doesn't work that way for me.

March 26, 2005, 07:46 AM
If you're getting long in the tooth, big in the middle, and it takes about 3 minutes to bend over to your ankle (like me) , then you might consider getting pouch to fit your gun that goes on your belt. I have one with quick "rip open zipper" with a holster inside. Its sorta rectangular in shape, has an outside zipper pocket for extra mag, or whatnot. I like it on my left side for the rip open aspect, with a right hand draw. Wear it with shorts and t-shirt in hot weather and you'll look like any other tourist with his fanny pack.

Ain't the fastest thing in the west but when an IWB or OWB isn't satisfactory its another option.

March 26, 2005, 08:46 AM
One of the ways I carry my P229 is OWB in a High Noon Slide Guard. I usually have a baggy pocket tee covering the weapon. A light vest works wonders too. If I must switch to IWB I wear trousers a bit bigger and with my High Noon Closing Argument I can tuck or not as desired.

Our clothing choices make concealed carry as easy for each of us as possible. Choose wisely.

Jeff Timm
March 26, 2005, 09:29 AM
Sounds like a job for the classic Hay'why'an Flower'dy shirt.

With darker colors near the waste and an "intense" pattern to disrupt the outline near the waist. Another reason for dark colored firearms. Trouble is I already carry a Blackberry and a cell phone on the belt.

Who is studying the matter.

March 26, 2005, 11:44 AM
I wear shirts with an elastic hem that you just wear outside and since you don't tuck them you can either go IWB or OWB..........

Old Dog
March 26, 2005, 02:15 PM
I submit that the "camp shirt" is the greatest boon EVER to handgun packers. These are the "Hawaiian shirt" style shirts that now come in solid colors (for us conservative middle-agers) and a variety of materials (instead of rayon or silk).

Our local Fred Meyer's, Macy's and Mervyn's up here all call 'em "camp shirts" now. They can look dressy (worn with slacks) or casual (worn with jeans or shorts).

I can easily conceal a full-size 1911 in either a Milt Sparks Watch Six (awesome rig), Kramer Belt Scabbard (my other favorite) or a Galco Concealable (a decent budget holster that does conceal quite well, though not as sturdy as my Kramer's).

I like to wear a mesh or silky tank top underneath, but over the holster (yeah, it slows the draw, but keeps the shirt from sticking to the butt or grips). This works well for me even in the middle of an Arizona summer (the folk's homestead).

I just don't think one needs a jacket or a vest to conceal even a full-size pistol or revolver ... Although I do like my Columbia and Banana Republic vests with all the cool pockets, and no, I don't think these vests scream "shoot me first" ... too many yuppies and tourists up (at least up in this area) wear 'em also.

March 26, 2005, 02:20 PM
A decent belt and holster helps a
lot in carrying concealed.They will
keep your piece from moving around
and attracting attention to you.
I carry a 3" 24-3 in 44 spl using
a kydex holster and a nylon belt.
At 3:30 on my waist it's very
well hidden under a loose shirt.

March 26, 2005, 03:42 PM
I carry a full size 1911 OWB in a Galco Yaquis slide at about 3:30-4:00 with hawaiian style shirts and an undershirt. The only times I ever have to watch out for exposing it is getting out of the truck and if I bend way over instead of squatting to pick something up.

March 26, 2005, 04:50 PM
I like a high ride forward cant with a thumb break.

The problem for summer clothes is that you need a pretty decent belt, I don't know how that works with shorts. But a pocket tee shirt works great for me to keep a pistol at 2:30 or 3:00 pretty well concealed.

Take a look at a Galco Fletch to get the style. Every major holster maker has a version of this style.

March 26, 2005, 09:04 PM
"How do you carry OWB and stay concealed?"

When hot I prefer a tight undershirt, usually a beater, and a short sleeve button down shirt, untucked and unbuttoned.

It works OWB or IWB for me. I prefer IWB.

moby clarke
March 26, 2005, 09:15 PM
I am a big guy also. I carry a Glock 19 in an OWB at about 8 o'clock (left handed). In the summer here in MN, I wear a "wife beater" shirt and then a larger t-shirt and go. I am strictly a shorts and t-shirt guy so this fits my look and I have had no problems. It prints some, but as others have said, most people do not notice. FYI, I have a high ride holster, which helps keep the bottom from showing when you reach up or bend over. Just something to consider.

March 26, 2005, 10:18 PM
Polo shirts work well for me. Maybe half size too big. I've been carrying my Springfield V10 Ultra Compact in a Fobus Kydex Paddle holster. The kydex paddle is one of the most comfortable holsters I've ever used. I love it.

March 28, 2005, 05:45 PM
I stick my Glock 31 in a Don Hume JIT and wear a big shirt.

March 29, 2005, 01:59 AM
Well, I definitely would not recommend any brand of the "Shoot Me First" vests or the "Shoot Me Next" fanny packs. If IWB is uncomfortable it might be because you are wearing pants that fit. The don't fit once you slide a holstered pistol into the waist. Try on some pants with a larger waist size you might be suprised. Most of my pants are also 2 sizes up. When I can't carry with untucked shirt or jacket than it is ankle holster or hidden in a portfolio made by Dillon.

March 30, 2005, 02:39 PM
I am a big guy...6'-6", 285lbs and even wearing pants 1 size larger IWB is uncomfortable. I wear OWB for my primary weapon using a Galco that sucks the gun into my love handles. Wearing a t-shirt under the overshirt helps in comfort. My overshirt is always a busy pattern that easily breaks up any printing.

For backup I either wear my Kel-Tec P11 or my Stainless Ruger SP-101 in an ankle holster but usually carry my Taurus PT-145 in the right front pocket of whatever style pants I have on.

To my knowledge I have never been made.

March 30, 2005, 05:26 PM
I bump up the waist of the pants by 1 inch and carry IWB at about 4-5. A polo shirt 1 size larger drapes enough to hide everything very well.

March 30, 2005, 05:30 PM
Hi moby we share several things in common since I am in Shoreview and also have a G19 for carry as well as a Commander sized 1911. My solution for Summer will be a photo vest but if I can shed even that it will help as I am a fat bugger who hates the heat (and did before I was a fat bugger too BTW!) I do have a KT P3AT on the way for pocket carry in slacks when business casual dress, but who wouldn't prefer 16 rounds of 9mm or 9 of .45 to 7 of .380 given the choice?

Without being too rude hopefully could you define "big". I'm 5'11 and 280. I have tried several leather holsters but they flop over with my prodigious gut pushing them, so I use a Fobus roto paddle set for crossdraw at 11 o clock. If you are of somewhat similar heft and have found a leather or nylon OWB rig which could work at a 3.30-4 and with an open untucked shirt and not print horribly with the spare tire being of the Corvette width :rolleyes: , I'd love to hear more. PM is fine if you prefer and many thanks!

April 4, 2005, 01:58 AM
I'm no fan of IWB myself either, as I buy my pants to fit my waist and not my waist AND a gun.

I'm particular of the pancake-style holsters, and use an Uncle Mike's for my .38 snubbie and an El Paso for my Bersa .45. For cooler weather, a leather jacket or baggy sweatshirt works great. In summer, like everyone else, it's dark solid polo shirts (a size larger than normal), or the Hawaiian/Camp shirts.

I do have a couple pairs of pants that I can wear my .38 IWB with. I usually only go IWB when I'm carrying in the wintertime and want to be able to take my jacket off indoors (certain not-so-pro-gun family members).

All in all, I think it's a matter of personal taste and what's comfortable for each individual person.


April 4, 2005, 01:05 PM
I tired IWB and was not too impressed. Carrying here in the winter is not problem since we are always wearing sweaters, sweatshirts, and big coats to stay warm. The tricky time to conceal is in the summer.

Here is what usually do in the summer.

S&W 637 in a high paddle holster. I will usually just wear a T-shirt and let it print out a little.

Stery S40 in a bianchi minimilast 105 slide holster. This rig I will usually wear a hawaian style button up shirt, or some type of summer vest. NOT A SHOOT ME VEST.

I usually carry in MN, MN has no
requirment that we conceal our handguns. We could carry openly if we really wanted to. I usually keep it out of open sight so that the sheeple don't get so scared and that has seemed to work just fine.

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