Need Carry Advice


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KingHugh
May 11, 2007, 11:32 PM
Hey Y'all.....or is it All Y'all I can never keep that straight.:rolleyes:

Anyhow, I've been licensed for a very long time, 10+ years but have always been a "fair weather carrier". I carry my pistol when it's convenient, and comfortable. Recent events have made me re-examine my past practice. I think I should be carrying much more often.

In the winter I carry most often, wearing a jacket makes concealment easy. Summer is a different story though, no jacket and I'm a fat guy so IWB isn't really an option.

I've recently thought of using a fanny pack. This would allow me to carry my pistol and 2 spare mags, with full concealment, and very conveniently. This will mean I'll carry more often.

Now, I know I'll never win any speed draw contests with this set up, but I'll have the better to have a gun and not need it, than need one and not have it deal covered.

Any comments on this choice? Feed back, good or bad all appreciated. Would a commercial pack designed for firearm carry be better than just a regular type with a single pouch?

Thanks Y'all;

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Kacerdias
May 11, 2007, 11:54 PM
It's hard to suggest something without knowing your typical style of dress. I'm in New England as well so I can relate with the ease of throwing a coat over a large OWB semiauto. Being from Texas, I've done my share of packing in HOT weather. Cover shirts or coats aren't always practical since you'd likely die of heatstroke. :p I can only speak for myself and how I tend to carry:

Winter - jacket over fullsize OWB semi auto (CZ75B .40) More likely to punch through a coat should I be in such an unfortunate position.

Spring/Fall - Tshirt with a fleece or button down shirt with polymer compact semi-auto IWB. (Walther in 9mm) Lighter, doesn't need such heavy cover to conceal but allows for quick deployment.

Summer - When it's too hot for any form of coverup, pocket carry is best. I tote a J-frame in a Desantis Nemesis in my strong side hip pocket with a speedloader in my weakside pocket. It'll disappear in a pair of shorts and provides adequate protection. Any good pocket auto will work be it a Kahr, Rohrbaugh, Kel-tec, CZ RAMI, small revolver, etc.

Those are just some ideas. It will ultimately boil down to what weapon you are comfortable with and how you dress around it. Be aware that a fanny pack just screams GUN. Check out a Smartcarry or Thunderwear, maybe a belly band if pocket carry.

Good luck.

Nomad, 2nd
May 12, 2007, 12:02 AM
First rule of a gunfight:

Have a gun.

Once you have this covered (Even if it's a mousegun) THEN move on to the others.

Aguila Blanca
May 12, 2007, 12:36 AM
I've recently thought of using a fanny pack. This would allow me to carry my pistol and 2 spare mags, with full concealment, and very conveniently. This will mean I'll carry more often.

Now, I know I'll never win any speed draw contests with this set up, but I'll have the better to have a gun and not need it, than need one and not have it deal covered.

Any comments on this choice? Feed back, good or bad all appreciated. Would a commercial pack designed for firearm carry be better than just a regular type with a single pouch?
There are those who will assert that a guy wearing a fanny pack just screams out, "LOOK AT ME! I'M CARRYING A GUN!" I don't subscribe to that theory, and I do on occasion carry in a fanny pack.

The one I have is purpose-built for concealed carry, and the gun compartment is secured with velcro. Access to the gun is VERY fast: grab right corner of front portion of pack with left hand (in a reverse or weak hand cross-draw motion), rip open the pack with the left hand, draw the pistol with the right hand.

I suppose those confirmed "gunnies" who know about such things might spot it as a gun pack, but those aren't the folks I worry about. I live in a "blue" state so very few people ever consider that a mere citizen might be carrying a gun, and they've probably never heard of a fanny pack made for haulin' yer shootin' iron ... so I don't think it's likely to be spotted.

RNB65
May 12, 2007, 12:36 AM
CC in cold weather is easy. You can hide a submachine gun under a bulky coat.

Warm weather is a different story, but there are plenty choices --

Fanny packs do scream GUN! But who cares? As long as it's closed, it's no one else's business what's in it. Let 'em guess!

A long, loose fitting, untucked shirt can hide a lot of things such as a handgun carried in a high ride belt-slide holster or a belly band. I can strap on my full-size 1911 in my belt-slide holster and throw on an extra long shirt and it disappears. The more compact the gun, the more it disappears.

A small, lightweight gun can be easily carried in the pocket. I often throw on a pair of khaki shorts and a nicely fitted, tucked polo shirt and carry my Kahr P9 in my front pocket using a FIST kydex pocket holster. No one would ever suspect that I have 8rds of +P JHP in my pocket ready to go if needed.

A company in Texas sells the Kangaroo Concealed Carry holster which is a cotton and velcro shoulder holster that allows that shoulder to support the weight of the gun. Take a look at it -- http://www.tidepoolwebdesigns.com/kangaroo/

Dorryn
May 12, 2007, 08:40 AM
Fanny packs do scream GUN! But who cares? As long as it's closed, it's no one else's business what's in it. Let 'em guess!

Until i started visiting THR, the only thing "Fanny pack" screamed to me was "Fashion faux pas!" and "Completely socially maladept!".

JamisJockey
May 12, 2007, 09:03 AM
Skip the fanny pack and get a murse. (man-purse).
http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=4


I'm a small framed kind of guy, and always struggle to conceal anything large. This is why I switched to a kel-tec p3at .380. I'd prefer to carry a 4" .45 and a few spare mags, but always step out of the house with the kel-tec. As someone stated....first rule of gunfighting....bring a gun :neener:
Lesson: Carry what you can. If downsizing means you'll carry 100% of the time.....then downsize. Some will advocate changing your style of dress. This, of course, is another option....but for me, I'd have to wear a sportcoat all summer to carry anything bigger than what I have.

Rangr44
May 12, 2007, 09:44 AM
I, too, am a heavy guy (300#), late of NY,but now from Southern New England.

In warm weather, I actually find IWB carry easy, for two reasons:

1) I wear my shirts outside the pants, covering the waist - which is what 99.9% of the public expects when they see a big man.

2) I carry either my Kel-Tec P-32 in my waistband, no holster-just the carry clip; or (if heavier artillery is indicated) I carry a DS or a chopped 1911 in a set of Thunderwear.

And, with the element of surprise, a "quick draw" is indeed possible. :neener:

mnrivrat
May 12, 2007, 10:03 AM
Adjust your attire to meet the gun , or buy a gun to meet your attire.

From another fat guy, I see nothing wrong with the fanny pack carry you are looking to do. My choice was to purchase a small firearm ( light weight snub revolver ) and front pocket carry.

My first carry gun was a Kel-Tec P3AT which pocket carry'd extremely well. I went up to a Titanium snub revolver for increased power over the .380 acp but I can't say I felt all that underguned with the .380 either.

CajunBass
May 12, 2007, 11:14 AM
1) I wear my shirts outside the pants, covering the waist - which is what 99.9% of the public expects when they see a big man.

I do the same, but I don't even button the shirt. I just tuck the tail into my pocket to keep it from blowing open. It just looks like I caught it up when I put something in my pocket.

I use a fanny pack sometimes, especially when I'm going fishing and wearing shorts or something really casual like that.

Travis McGee
May 12, 2007, 11:33 AM
Lots of good approaches to summer carry above. Just as important, IMHO, is carrying a light gun that conceals and carries easily. For me, it's a Kel-Tec p-11. Yes, it has a long DA trigger pull, but I like it that way. 10+1 of 9mm HP is plenty for me, and there are even 12 round mags available now that the LE-only thing is in the past. I have a normal build, and my P-11 under just a loose t-shirt strong side at 4 oclock is completely invisible, yet ready to draw. I wouldn't want a heavier or bigger gun there with just shorts and a t-shirt, though.

pax
May 12, 2007, 11:55 AM
KingHugh ~

This was written for women, but gives a pretty thorough overview of the different ways to carry a gun:

http://www.corneredcat.com/Holster/howhide.aspx

I'm not a terrific fan of fanny packs as an everyday thing, but they do have their place. They work best in tourist-y areas, or while wearing exercise clothing.

Don't carry in a regular fanny pack if you can avoid it. The draw from a regular fanny pack is really slow, and they tend to sag from the weight of the gun and just look wrong.

Instead, get a pack specifically designed for firearms carry. It will have a built-in holster (usually a set of elastic straps and some velcro to adjust them how you need them) to hold the gun in the same orientation toward the opening all the time. It will also have a little reinforcement in various places to provide some structure. There will usually also be some padding or an extra pocket or something else to break up the outline of the gun so it's not totally obvious what is in the bag.

Practice the draw at home, with an empty gun (check three times). Pay specially-careful attention to where your non-shooting hand is while you are drawing the gun; you absolutely do not want to get into the habit of pointing the gun at your other hand or forearm whenever you draw it, especially since it is at such close range. Do what you need to do, but learn to draw the gun without pointing it at any of your favorite body parts.

If you decide to wear a fanny pack all the time, wear it. Don't get in the habit of tossing it underneath the seat when you get in the car, or draping it over a chair in the restaurant. Keep it on your body at all times.

HTH

pax

atomd
May 12, 2007, 12:11 PM
Don't rule out IWB completely until you've tried some good holsters. There's a BIG variance in comfort between the good and the...not so good. First, make sure your pants are a little bit on the big side. Then make sure you have a sturdy belt. Then go to http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/ and order a supertuck iwb holster. He gives customers 2 weeks to try it out. If it isn't comfortable you can return it (or easily sell it since they are pretty popular lately). If you don't like it then you aren't really out much.

If that's too much of a pain you could always go for pocket carry. A Seecamp or Kel-Tec can conceal super easy and safely with a pocket holster. A fanny pack isn't bad if you can deal with the look of it I guess. Good luck!

KingHugh
May 12, 2007, 12:57 PM
Wow, really great replies everybody, and good points to think about, thanks for taking the time to post them.

I'm going to look into the IWB holster site that was recommended. I only own 2 handguns, and neither is really comfortable to carry. Both are heavy, and kinda large.

Rossi .357 4" stainless is extremely heavy, and my 9mm S&W 469 ain't much better. I've been wanting to get a new gun for quite some time, I just don't know what I really want to get. But...that's a whole other thread. ;)

I'm gonna do the fanny pack temporarily, mixed in with my regular desantis speed scabbard when I'm wearing cover.

Thanks again.

aztnb
May 12, 2007, 01:21 PM
Check out this website. You can't beat the Safepacker Holster.

http://www.thewilderness.com

Lupinus
May 12, 2007, 01:42 PM
theres a few things you can do-

Find an OWB holster that rides high and switch to shirts that come kind of low such as tall sizes. Also, check into belly bands. Aside from that theres ankle holsters and if you have a pistol that is small enough pocket holsters to secure it and if anything look liek a wallet. However to me a wallet in the front pocket to a theif screams "Don't forget me!" and in the event I should choose to comply to someone wanting my wallet I'd prefer not to draw attention to it.

That said I don't personally care for fanny pack or purse or otherwise off body carry. Concealing a pistol slows down deployment time enough as it is without transfering it off the body. Added to that its a lot easier to steal something that isn't actually on you. A purse, a backpack, even a fanny pack, they are all very easy to snatch and grab.

obxned
May 12, 2007, 02:11 PM
Where I live, shorts and a T-shirt is normal attire for most of the year. I go with a P3AT on a belt clip.

Pocket carry would be fine except for all the other items that need pocket-space like keys, money, wallet, spare mag, knife, etc.

Oh, and NO, I won't carry a man-purse!

CNYCacher
May 13, 2007, 12:58 AM
There are those who will assert that a guy wearing a fanny pack just screams out, "LOOK AT ME! I'M CARRYING A GUN!"

LOL. Not in NY, brother. Nobody expects you to be carrying around here, it's just NOT something that is in the public eye.

KingHugh, welcome to THR. There are many pistols now-a-days that are very concealable, but you may be able to make do with what you have already. I know that you feel your current guns may be too big, but the proper holster and attire can really make a difference.
I am a bigger guy but I can houdini a Ruger P89 with my IWB tuckable holster from High-Noon Holsters (http://www.highnoonholsters.com) and that P89 is one pig of 10+1 9mm. I am generally wearing cargo shorts and a belt with a t-shirt in the summer. So far it has been no problem.
If the shirt is long enough that I know it wont ride up too far, I leave it untucked. Otherwise I tuck it. The key is a LOOSE shirt. I can get away with an XL, but I prefer a XXL when carrying.
Have pants loose enough to comfortably carry IWB. Some people will tell you to go out and buy all new pants with 2" bigger waist. I think that's silly if you don't try it with your current pants: they may be loose enough to work as-is. Try to slip a holstered gun inside your waistband at 3 or 4 oclock and see how your pants feel. If they are too tight then maybe go shopping.
Also, a sturdy belt is a must.

So to re-cap, what works for me is:
IWB w/ Adequate room in the pants.
Sturdy belt
Loose shirts

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