The search for CC begins.


October 5, 2006, 12:11 PM
I recently received my CCL but haven't started carrying, yet.

My carry guns are a Smith and Wesson M66 with 2 1/2 inch barrel, S&W M66 with four inch barrel, Glock 17, Ruger GP 100 with four inch barrel, Colt Combat Commander, and a Sig P220St.

I'm looking for a suitable rig (rigs?) to carry. And the possibilities are overwhelming. I need belts. Holsters. Maybe even new pants if I go IWB.

Plus, I'll have to have different sized belts for different rigs. IWB. Paddle. Pancake.

And after buying the above and experimenting, doubtless most will not be satisfactory, thus I'll have to sell said belts/holsters/pants on Ebay for about half of what I paid. And this equipment isn't cheap.

Mitch Rosen makes nice stuff. But his holsters that I like are about $200.

There's got to be an easier way.

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October 5, 2006, 12:18 PM
I primarily pocket carry a Smith 442 with a holster. Cheap approach and flexible with Uncle Mikes pocket holster. On occasion I have used a Bianchi clip on holster with my loose pants. I don't carry all the time and do not plan going to the lengths that some do in search of the "perfect" rig.

El Tejon
October 5, 2006, 12:28 PM
First, get a cardboard box. Second, start filling with holsters.:D

YMMV, I recommend Milt Sparks. Buy a hoslter and belt from the same company. Get a good gun belt. Gun belt, not one from the Gap or Old Navy, a gun belt.

If money is an issue, I would get a 2nd job or sell something. Money spent on a quality holster, no, not a holster you get at Megalow Mart, a quality holster, is money well spent. Buy right, buy once.

October 5, 2006, 12:58 PM
Get a good gun belt

Do I order my waist size? Or do I add a size to it in order to accomodate the holster?

I have a Safariland Ranger Gun belt that I never wore because I've never had a pair of pants with big enough belt loops.

Where do you guys buy your clothes, anyway?

El Tejon
October 5, 2006, 01:08 PM
I always order about 2.5 inches more. The Milt Sparks catalogue gives you further sizing info (IIRC, I think).

Well, I did shop at Territory Ahead, but the girlfriend put the kybosh on that.:D I like Bill's khakis for pants, if not wearing a suit. Not really a blue jean guy.

USMC - Retired
October 5, 2006, 01:08 PM
Where do you guys buy your clothes, anyway?

I don't know... If my wife didn't buy clothes for me everything I owned would be in Mossy Oak Break Up!

But I do second the thought to get a good gun belt. I got my favorite CC holster at a gun show. Good way to try a lot of options without having to buy them. Just make sure it's at a larger show that will have a lot of vendors.

October 5, 2006, 01:12 PM
+1 on El Tejon :D I like Galco belts, they are good quality and you can get multiple widths. Mine are all 2" longer that normal, that way I can IWB or OWB with the same belt. As far as pants, I use 5.11's as they are not outrageous in price and are pretty good quality. I carry a Kahr P9 in a Don Hume paddle, as I'm in and out of Federal buildings all day. Everyone is different, so YOU have to decide what YOU like:evil:

October 5, 2006, 01:13 PM
Rafter S gun Leather. ALOT cheaper than Mitch Rosen, and I love their quality. Get the Sharkskin, great deal, imo

October 5, 2006, 01:14 PM

Go to the High Noon sight - they talk about how to measure for a gun belt - atleast when ordering THEIR gun belt. 1.5" is fairly typical width - and 1 should be enough. Don't balk at the prices; a good one is worth the cost. Desantis and other brands are readily availble in store - so try before you buy is possible (standard is to add 2" for IWB I think).

Pick 1 or 2 carry guns - the bigger revolvers might be nice to have a hunting type snap holster for - they tend to be more reasonable, but most likely you won't cc them. (I would start with the Commander!)

Jeans typically have fine belt loops, dress pants will likely require a narrower gun belt to fit.

My 1st buy would be a Kramer OWB belt slide for the Commander, and a good gun belt. High Noons are nice too, but have a long lead time.

October 5, 2006, 01:47 PM
I just went out yesterday and bought a ton of holsters to try and find one that fits right and feels comfortable. I bought three different styles for each of three of my four carry options. I have had no luck finding a comfortable way to carry concealed.

October 5, 2006, 02:34 PM
If you're on a budget there is absolutely no reason to buy Mitch Rosen leather. There are plenty of other leather makers out there who make a top quality product like Lou Alessi, Tucker, Milt Sparks, and Kramer just to name a few. Personally I wouldn't even consider rosen's stuff.

Fwiw you can also resell a like new holster from a quality name for what you paid for it pretty quick usually. Most holster makers involve several months wait, someone being able to get it that week is a pretty big help for resale.

October 5, 2006, 02:41 PM
I have had no luck finding a comfortable way to carry concealed.

Well, that's encouraging.

October 5, 2006, 02:59 PM

I am having a problem finding a way to be comfortable but not having to dress like a baggy old bum.

October 5, 2006, 03:17 PM
Yeah, I hear you.

My pants fit me just right. But I think I might need to go IWB. But there's not enough room for a holster and weapon.

I used to make fun of the old men in kal (I lived there till recently) who wore the big Hawaiian shirts to hide their guts.

I maybe am gonna be in that class.

October 5, 2006, 03:19 PM
I maybe am gonna be in that class.
Ugh...I think I would rather take a vicous beating than to have to look tacky all the time

October 5, 2006, 03:47 PM
You must get a shoulder holster. You'll probably get one someday (though you might not ever wear it), might as well get one now. The Ken Null SMZ ought to be available for most of the guns you listed. It's an upside-down vertical holster, which makes wearing it and drawing from it under an untucked shirt easy.

October 5, 2006, 04:43 PM
As mentioned:

RafterS makes a nice product. I love the Sharkskin belts.

I'd start with that Commander, too.

I suggest you try a traditional OWB first. Get your waist size for an OWB, add 2" for IWB.

Milt Sparks is very popular here and elsewhere.

I find IWB uncomfortable. You'll find what works for you on your own. Its a very personal, and individual process.

October 14, 2006, 09:41 PM
Milt Sparks all the way! I love my VM2!

I really didn't do any drastic wardrobe changes when I started carrying. I wear a tshirt most of the time now to keep the holster from rubbing my love handles and my jeans (walmart wranglers, nothin special) 2" bigger around.

Same crappy $10 walmart belt. I tried a reinforced gunbelt from Galls, but it was too thick for my cell phone clip, so I tried out my old belt. At first I was surprised that my walmart belt works so well, but it is fine for me.

I've found that I like a 1.5" width best. Most pants, holsters and belts seem to be available in 1.5". That way I know they all fit together with no mismatching or worrying about packing a 2" belt with a 1.5" holster. (If anyone would do that, it would be me :o )

VM2 with a 1911 is so comfortable for me. I started breaking it in while putting up 5 strand barb in July on my dads land in Missouri (before CCW was legal). I was working with my dad and the two brothers that own the gunshop I got my .45 from, and knowbody had any clue I was carrying.

My biggest prob is how to carry extra mags. Made the mistake of getting a double mag pouch from Milt. Wow! That didn't work so well. Way uncomfortable after a short time. Definately stick with a single first.

Do your homework before buying. $115 is alot of cash to waste on something that doesn't work for you. I bought my first CCW holster and tried it out for a while before getting another. This gave me a feel for what I did/didn't like. It would suck to get a variety of holsters for a few different guns only to find out that you hate SOB carry (for example) even though you are the proud new owner of 3 SOB holsters (as in, for different guns).


Oh yeah, the VM2 snaps onto your belt and is very easy to put on/take off with out doing the belt shuffle. I've also ran (50yds or so) with mine and had no retention probs either.

October 18, 2006, 10:33 AM
Couple suggestions.

First, if you are looking at IWB (which I do use and recommend), try taking your (unloaded!) gun and just sticking it inside your waistband. Move it around, move it up or down, change the angle, etc until you find a place where it sits comfortably. Make sure you try moving yourself around some, too. Try sitting, standing, twisting, etc the way you would throughout the course of the day, and see if it's still comfortable. A while back I found an extremely comfortable and invisible way to carry my PPK/s, only to discover that is painfully poked me right in the short rib every time I tried to get into the car.:rolleyes:

Once you've found a place that the gun will sit comfortably against the contours of your body, you can start restricting your holster choices to ones that match that angle / depth. But keep in mind that the comfortable "sweet spot" will likely be different for different guns, so you might want to start with just one gun. I'd also start with the Commander.

Also consider that a holster with a little play in the holster-to-belt fit could be more comfortable. For example, a holster that has 2 widely spaced belt loops may hold the gun rigidly at that specific angle, but if the angle is just a little off, or if you change pants and the belt rides at a slightly different level, the gun may suddenly be uncomfortable. Whereas a holster with a single loop, or loops set close together, or loops that are just a little large for the belt, or adjustable loops, can let the gun move around a little and settle into that comfortable "sweet spot."

Lastly, keep in mind that your holster will never be as comfortable as not wearing a gun. It is possible to carry pretty comfortably, but have realistic expectactions. You still have a big chunk of metal strapped close to your body.

Hope that helps!

October 18, 2006, 10:39 AM
Also, if you like Mitch Rosen Holsters, but not the price, take a look at his Express Line. I know Brownells has some, though not as many as they used to. With my C&R discount (best $30 ever spent :cool: ) I ended up getting a couple at about half what the standard models cost. Sure, it's not fancy shark skin or anything, but we are talking about a concealed holster, right? :)

October 20, 2006, 12:16 PM
IMHO you need three holsters:

1. An open top pancake from any reputable maker - High Noon is my favorite pancake

2. An IWB in the style of the Milt Sparks Versa Max - Offered by several different makers

3. A belly band - Wear under your belt line over a t-shirt and under a button up shirt. The gun should be just behind the hip at 4 o'clock. Trigger guard under the belt. This is for when you need to be virtually undetectable. Untuck your button up shirt slightly to conceal the butt of the gun. It will work for most guns and is quite versatile.

October 21, 2006, 10:27 AM are at the typcial CCW dilema like many of us have been in the past.

Here's a secret to ordering a gun belt. Pants and single layer belts STRETCH ALOT! It will surprise you.....if you have a supposed 34" waist....your belt will measure 36" and so on. Noone takes this into account. Measure the belt you wear like the maker of the belt you want, specifies and this will prevent you from returning it.....

Id get a good solid 1 1/2" dress/gun belt and you can wear it with any gun you carry with.

As for a holster.....hell, from a makers point of view....200$ is ALOT of money for a holster.

Heres a tip for you....find a cheap spring clip holster for the main carry gun you want....uncle mikes or whatever. Where it in many different carry positions over many days and see what works for you.

Now you can get an idea of what you want and THEN call a reputable maker and work with what you have learned about your chosen carry position.

Now spend 100$ or so on a good good holster and it really should work for you for many years to come....

Hope this helped and god bless

October 21, 2006, 06:20 PM
Now THAT is some great advice.

Good words, PCRCCW.

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