carrying a J-frame concealed


August 18, 2006, 10:49 AM
Hi all,

I just applied for my CCW permit and am now researching firearms and carry methods. I am leaning heavily towards a S&W J-frame (640, 642. 649, etc).

Now for the carry method. Looking at the size and shape of my body, I am 6'3" tall, and relatively thin, but I do have a slight gutt. To me, it looks like the perfect place to conceal a J-frame on my body would be to have it IWB on my front right side (I'm right-handed), with the barrel pointing pretty-much at a 45 degree angle downward. LOL, it would be pointing right at the family jewels! I'd like just the butt of the gun to be above my pant line, and I could easily pull a long shirt over it.

What are your thoughts on this method of carry. To me, it seems pretty stealth and having it be in front of me, more controllable?

I also had another idea. Has anyone ever considered wearing an inner belt where the gun/holster was on that? That way, you can even tuck in your shirt and have nothing showing at all? Perhaps some sort or relatively comfortable, stretchy material for the belt? Anyone ever considered this or know of a specific product?

Thanks for your time. I'm new to CCW so don't haze me too hard! :)


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Dirty Bob
August 18, 2006, 10:58 AM
I just have a moment, right now, but I use the appendix carry a lot. I carry an all-steel J-frame, using a Barami Hip Grip. I also carry a Kel-Tec P-11 in a Galco Horsehide tuckable holster in the same location (not at the same time! :D ).

I usually wear a v-neck t-shirt underneath for comfort, and an untucked polo or t-shirt to cover the gun. I find this carry fairly comfortable and very secure. Best of all, the Barami Hip Grip is inexpensive. You could also try a simple IWB holster like the Alessi Talon in that position with the J-frame.

If it's supported by a belt, an all-steel J-frame carries very easily. If you get an Airweight (not Scandium or Titanium), you can also carry in a front pocket in a suitable holster. I don't like the Scandium/Titanium J's because the aluminum-framed Airweights are light enough and much easier to shoot.

All for now,
Dirty Bob

August 18, 2006, 11:05 AM
642 in an uncle mike's pocket holster. Not that I've ever done that before...:rolleyes:

August 18, 2006, 11:10 AM

I carry my Ruger SP101, IWB (Inside The Waistband) using a Tucker Heritage made for a J Frame Smith & Wesson. I really like the holster and mode of carry.

August 18, 2006, 11:14 AM
Took the large laser grips off my 642 and put on some thin wood grips - I just drop it right into my right front pocket, without a holster - fastest concealed draw I can think of...

August 18, 2006, 11:50 AM
What's it like to shoot with those grips?

August 18, 2006, 12:01 PM
"To me, it looks like the perfect place to conceal a J-frame on my body would be to have it IWB on my front right side (I'm right-handed), with the barrel pointing pretty-much at a 45 degree angle downward. LOL..."
I've tried it there, and while it was very comfortable while standing, I found it to dig into my thigh very unfomfortably while seated. I now carry in the same IWB tuckable behind the hip at around 4:30 or so.

I also have a pocket holster (this is a 342). The light weight versions pocket carry very well.

August 18, 2006, 12:07 PM
I use the appendix carry 90% of the time, sometimes with an IWB holster,but MOST of the time I use a simple belly band. The belly band is pretty much what you described in your post and is my favorite method of REAL concealed carry.
The only thing I don't like about it is, it pretty much eliminates most reasons to buy the "latest & greatest" holsters.

Good Luck,

August 18, 2006, 12:12 PM
Will someone explain appendix carry to me? Is it the same as cross-draw?

August 18, 2006, 12:26 PM
Pocket carry works well for me with my airweight S&W (642). For my all-steel SP101, I prefer IWB...though 9 times out of 10 I grab the Smith. You might check this recent thread ( more ideas on pocket carry -- if that interests you.

August 18, 2006, 12:50 PM
For my j-frame, I use either pocket carry or strongside OWB. I've tried IWB, but it just doesn't work for me.


August 18, 2006, 12:53 PM
VM2 from Milt Sparks
IWB from K & D Holsters

August 18, 2006, 02:18 PM
To try your proposed method, get the cheapest Uncle Mikes IWB holster to fit your gun.. about $10.00 Put the plastic clip on the waistband of your pants and behind your belt.

That will allow the holster and gun to rotate to the position you mention.. Muzzle toward the jewels. The muzzle wil rotate with your body and legs as you sit and stand..

I'm 6'2" 260# (read that as having Dunlop's disease, ie, belly done lopped over my belt):( and carry a S&W 640 stainless in that position quite often..

It fits right over your appendix and is sheltered and concealed by the overhang :o

If you find you like that mode of carry, you can do some looking at more expensive holsters to fit your needs.

August 18, 2006, 05:43 PM
i carry a light weight J frame in a pocket most times.....but if i go to a gun that is to be put on my belt, it will be more substantial that a 5 shot snubby.

August 18, 2006, 07:43 PM
What's it like to shoot with those grips?

Stunning - but just a little. The more ya shoot it that way the more ya like it...

August 18, 2006, 10:50 PM
I just bought a 642-2 and a Galco horsehide pocket holster.
Its the best carry gun combination ever on hot summer days.

August 18, 2006, 11:40 PM
I've got a S&W model 60 2" in .357 mag, five shot. I simply put it in my pocket! :) Simple, powerful, lightweight, reliable, and accurate.

August 18, 2006, 11:46 PM
For my 642 I always pocket carry it in a cheap uncle mike's pocket holster. I have crimson trace grips on mine and they do not add any additional length to the grip. I'm 6-1, 230 lbs and I usually wear Levi 550 relax fit jeans. There is a slight bulge in my front pants pocket, but not enough to attract attention. I tried IWB, but that seems to create a bulge that just screamed "GUN". At least to me that is.

Edited to add: Um, maybe bulge isn't the right word to use. lol

Tom Krein
August 18, 2006, 11:51 PM
I would like to recommend pocket carry, but I use a pocket holster. They are pretty cheap and also break up the outline of the revolver.

They also protect the trigger and keep something from getting in there and working the trigger.

If you want a tuckable, take a look at Matt DelFatti's work! Top notch stuff! I carry a model 60 like this and it is very comfortable and secure!


August 19, 2006, 01:52 AM
I just use a Fobus Paddle holster.

August 19, 2006, 02:01 AM

Works great.

August 19, 2006, 07:49 AM
I carry my 642-2 in a front pocket,no holster
but i stiched the outline of the pistol in the
pocket.That holds it in place quite well.My
other J frame is a 640-1,i use a fobus paddle
holster at 4 o'clock when it gets carried.

August 19, 2006, 10:12 AM
I just recently got my Kramer front pocket holster, and it works great. I've tried, K&D, Hedley, and the Nemesis. All of them seemed to just have more material than was necessary, and added too much bulk. The Kramer works great.

August 19, 2006, 11:49 AM
Will someone explain appendix carry to me? Is it the same as cross-draw?

Only if you're left handed:) Appendix carry is IWB at about the 1:00 position if you are right handed. It's a fast drawing position with the right gun/holster combination. Personally I have not been able to carry any semi-autos like that comfortably but my SP101 with Clipdraw has so far been a perfect match. Using a Barami Grip or Universal Clipdraw on a revolver allows the gun to move when you sit down making it comfortable for sitting/driving. A holster won't do that so it will usually dig into your thigh/body/whatever.

August 19, 2006, 12:14 PM
Dress around the gun, use a good belt and holster.

This is the basic rule of thumb for any platform for CCW.

Go here : and read up a bit on CCW and other questions you may have.

Yes, it is a ladies site - One of our Ladies here on THR.

She will point out, as others have and I will again - one must take note of THEIR needs. Meaning - yes dress around the gun - for YOU is this jeans, casual, suits, slacks with sport coats...?

Political temperature , attitudes of your jurisdictions also come into play.

Me? I'm 6' 170# and Prefer IWB at 4:30 -ish . I find this works for ME with full size 1911, K frame 3" RB, and J frames up to 3".

Galco Belly Band is another method I prefer.

August 19, 2006, 12:22 PM
I personally carry my Taurus 85 in a pocket holster in my front pocket. The biggest advantage of a snub nose is the fact it carrys so well in your pocket. Anytime you feel the need you just put your hand in your pocket and the gun is in your hand without alarming anyone. In a coat pocket you can even have it pointed at your potential threat withour having to draw your weapon or escalate a situtation by going for your waisteband prematurely. The fastest draw is when the gun is ALREADY in your hand you know. For IWB carry I clearly prefer a semiauto. I don't see any real advantage to carrying a snub IWB when I can carry much more effective semiauto that is easier to shoot and carries more ammo. (example: Kahr, Keltec, Glock subcompacts)

I know someone is going to say that a semiauto can be carried just as well in the pocket but a hammerless snub is much quicer to draw and can also be fire while still in your pocket if needed. I give the edge to the snub .

August 19, 2006, 01:36 PM
When I wear my 640 OWB, it's in a Wild Bill paddle:

And when it's IWB, a simple Galco works for me:

August 19, 2006, 02:03 PM
Another recommendation for "appendix" carry.
This is an ideal carry position for revolvers, but IME not for semiauto pistols. (YMMV, etc.)

While inexpensive holster examples adaptable to this location of carry abound, most are actually intended for behind-the-hip carry, and are less than ideal for appendix carry, though workable. IME, the most compact and comfortable appendix carry holsters are custom made examples which place the clip or strap for belt attachment BEHIND the cylinder location, so that the maximal overall thickness of the holster is less. (The inexpensive nylon and leather types all place a clip directly over the cylinder.)
Lou Alessi also makes a very nice holster for this location of carry, called appropriately enough, the APX, which places a clip well in front of the gun. I've had some difficulty with mine tipping backwards due to the weight being notably behind the point of attachment, though it obviously works well for many folks.

My left-handed example of an "appendix" IWB holster from Matt Del Fatti, nicknamed the "DD", is shown below with a S&W 642.
For those interested, very nice examples are available by request both from Matt ( and from Eric Larsen of HBE (

August 19, 2006, 02:09 PM
when i carry IWB, comfort is the issue. i have to use holsters with a "sweat guard" so the gun itself doesnt dig into IWB without a sweat guard just doesnt get it done for me.

August 19, 2006, 07:50 PM
This is just my humble opinion, but I think J-frames belong in a pocket holster. If you can conceal a pistol on your belt, you should carry a bigger caliber/gun - like a 4 inch .357, a compact .40, etc.

Jamie B
August 20, 2006, 11:12 AM

Very nice pictures, as always.


August 21, 2006, 10:49 PM

Come on up and visit with us at West Shore Sportsmans Assoc. in Lewisberry this fall. We meet every 3rd Saturday of the month.

You'll have an opportunity to see some of the different ways we find to walk about society armed, and you'll meet a lot of fellas who have years of experience doing the same.

If you enjoyed reading about "carrying a J-frame concealed" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!