Heat: The enemy of concealed carry.


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Mikhail Konovalov
August 13, 2007, 06:02 PM
Alright. Long time reader here, and by long time I mean about three years, but this is my first post. First impression time.

I am attempting to circumvent the need to blow my cash on a compact auto or snub-nose revolver and figure out some way to hide my existing weapons. The problem: It's hotter than heck's furnace here throughout most of the year.

I have considered many options, and have ruled out strongside IWB, as my only handguns fit for carry are a 5" 1911A1 and a full-sized IMI Jericho 941 (Good luck finding a holster for that one.), both of which are very tricky to conceal with a tee shirt, or at best, a Hawaiian shirt.

My current theory on how to get around this little hitch is a vertical-draw shoulder holster (At 6' 1" and 130 lbs, I'm way too skinny for horizontal draw.) under a partially-buttoned shirt, with a wife-beater under that. I'm thinking the Galco vertical rig. Too bad they don't make one for the Jericho.

Suggestions? Comments? Has someone else already solved this problem?

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Schwebel
August 13, 2007, 06:31 PM
Your 1911 shouldn't be too hard to conceal, they are very thin. I carry mine in a OWB leather pancake slide holster. I just wear a T-shirt and a button up short sleeve loose shirt with a pattern. The trick is to have a nice thick gunbelt so the weapon is pulled tight to your body. My brother is 6 foot and like 145lbs, and carries a full sized Taurus 24/7 OWB the same way and has no problem with printing.

Mikhail Konovalov
August 13, 2007, 06:40 PM
Curse my generation and their close-fitting upper garment fashions!

Thanks, though, I'll check on that. I know I've got a nice, thick belt laying around somewhere, not to mention a Don Hume IWB which begs for use.

I won't be carrying for about two months, so I've got a little time to work things out, including wardrobe changes. From the look of things I'll have to invest in a few new shirts.

Oh, and the much-maligned shoulder holster back-printing problem isn't a problem at all when you're sporting mid-back length hair. Just thought I'd throw that in.

archerben
August 13, 2007, 06:53 PM
Here's a tip that an IRS agent buddy of mine gave me for carrying underneath a button up shirt:

Take the buttons off of your shirt and replace with velcro. Next, reattach the buttons to the shirt/velcro where they would typically be buttoned for appearance. This gives you quick access to your gun underneath your shirt while still giving the appearance of a standard button up shirt.

Mikhail Konovalov
August 13, 2007, 07:01 PM
Ohh, that's slick. Here I was thinking snaps as a possible option, but that sounds downright cunning. Buddy of mine's got some velcro and a sewing machine... I think I just may have to try that one out.

By the way I lost that friggin' belt. Long story, and it certainly lacks believeability.

vanilla_gorilla
August 13, 2007, 10:27 PM
Stop reading too much into it. It's not as difficult as people make it out to be.

I carry a full-sized 1911 in a Sparks IWB holster every day. It has reached over a hundred with heat index at 110 nearly every day this week. Mine hides inside a pair of shorts or jeans, with an XL T shirt to cover it up. The biggest difference between you and I is size, but I cannot see why a slightly large-for-you shirt won't do the trick.

highfive
August 13, 2007, 11:02 PM
6' 1" 130 pounds??? :eek: oops sorry did I say that out loud I'm 6' 1" 212 pounds and I carry a 4" 7 shot revolver with only a t-shirt and my shorts works pretty good to me. I'll say is just the way you wear it, I carry mine about my 4:00 and it feels fine and conceals good as well.

AZAndy
August 13, 2007, 11:03 PM
As an Arizonan, I think I can claim some familiarity with desert heat and the difficulties of carrying therein.

When I decided to carry full-time, I had to change my wardrobe. I went with slightly oversized outside-the-pants style shirts and a size larger on the pants to accommodate an IWB. (And two sizes larger on the gunbelt, because that's the way that works.) I wear a "wife-beater" undershirt (with IWB, you'll need something between your skin and the pistol) and a roomy cotton or silk shirt above.

You may have to experiment a little to find a way to carry in the heat, but it can be done. As mentioned above, there are same OWB's that can work with such a getup, too. Dark colors conceal bumps better, but who want to wear black when it's 115 F outside?

The only really hard part is learning how to draw from such an arrangement. Practice, practice, practice!

I think if you try out a few different arrangements, you'll hit on something that works for you. Worst comes to worst, get baggy pants and put something small in the pocket.

Andy

AZAndy
August 13, 2007, 11:09 PM
Oops, stupid post. Retracted. Sorry to waste your time.

86thecat
August 14, 2007, 03:19 AM
At 6-0 and 160lbs I find a shoulder holster that angles the barrel up at about 45 degrees works well (Galco Jackass for example). Went to a compact 40 S&W which seems a reasonable compromise between size and power and conceals under a loose western snap shirt. It's been pretty warm here this summer but daily carry hasn't been too much of a chore.

Mikhail Konovalov
August 14, 2007, 05:56 AM
Yeah, IWB in general is tricky for me (It can be done, though, with some effort.), big gun or not. I'm not only skinny, but my frame is... Well... Girlish, to be honest. Don't have the shoulders to drape much of anything over a gun, but as a person who is new to (Strictly in-home for now. I break NO gun laws, especially not safety laws.) concealed carry, in fact, not even legal for another two months, these tips have been quite valuable.

On the subject of practice, though, I haven't carried my .45 outside the home at all, but she's got holster wear like an old war horse. I don't even realize I click off the safety anymore. It's instinct. I practice drawing from concealment more than I practice drawing. I've got Jim Zubiena's magnificent demonstration in Miami Vice to thank for that.

In any case, whatever configuration I end up agreeing with in practice, I believe that signing up here was a capital idea. I've only been researching for my comic, and frequently citing this place, for three years plus. (It'll make Michael Mann blush.) I don't let good advice slip by unnoticed, and so far, this is definately good advice. I appreciate it.

P97
August 14, 2007, 09:31 AM
I have been carrying for years and have tried many options. One thing that I have found that makes a great difference in whatever option you choose is the holster. I have several IWB holsters, and when Milt Sparks came out with the VM2 holsters, if finally broke down and ordered one. I could hardly believe the difference between it and the other IWB holsters I have. I don't realize I'm carrying most of the time. I carry a full size gun (Ruger KP97DC) all the time, under a loose untucked shirt. Good luck on whatever way you decide. :)

Ala Dan
August 14, 2007, 09:40 AM
I agree, your 1911 shouldn't be real hard to conceal. I have an FBI agent
friend of your statue, and he prefers to carry a 5" Springfield Professional
TRP in a quality IWB; believe it or not~! He has many years of service in
the Bureau; and he says that this rig is the most comforting [given gun
and holster] that he has found; without giving up any firepower~! :scrutiny:;):D

Mad Magyar
August 14, 2007, 09:42 AM
Mikhail,
IMHO, with your body build & temp. situation, you are fighting a losing cause.
Living near El Paso might not be comparable to your area, but I tried many types of carry for my 1911. It just never seem to work out in terms of the right clothes, comfort, and printing issues..
Solution for me: I just picked up a few pocket pistols for the summer-time...Yes, they are not .45's but you learn to compensate & adapt.

CajunBass
August 14, 2007, 11:16 AM
I guess it depends on how "dressy" you need to be, but for everyday I just toss an unbottoned shirt with the tail out over my T-shirt. I tuck the tail into my pocket like it got caught there when I put my hand in my pocket to keep it from blowing open.

Or I just open carry.

armoredman
August 14, 2007, 12:17 PM
Been carring in AZ since I was 16, CCW since one month after the law went into effect in 94. I have been using an IWB rig for my CZ-PO1 for some time now, and it works very well.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/PICT0242.jpg

I use a loose fitting t-shirt, preferable with a print of some kind - cheap Wal-mart camoflauge shirts work well, if you don't mind looking "redneck". I never tuck a shirt in, except if I have a covering garment over it. Then the shirt underneath is either tucked in, or tucked behind the rig.

The trick is to find a rig with a sweat shield you can live with. The Bianch M-100 works OK for me, and the excellent polycoat on the CZ keeps rust at bay from anything that gets past the shield. I have had days with brown holster outlines on my shorts, due to sweat bleed of the dye!

Before I went IWB, I also carried strong side in a Galco pancake rig with my Witness 40, (last Galco Hi-Jak they made, still have it somewhere), and under the loos t-shirt, it worked quite well. That was a full size pistola. Moderate body movements, and you'll drop your percentage of exposing/printing, too.

BTW, any holster listed forthe CZ75 or EAA Witness should fit you Jericho 941 - the Jericho is mostly made by Tanfolgio, the same people who make the Witness, a CZ clone. Try some rigs out at the store.

littlelefty
August 14, 2007, 12:49 PM
short, skinny, lefty kind of guy here, but similar issues. I live in Florida and carry a full size 1911. Don Hume 721OT (leather pancake) with an FBI cant, strong side OWB with a tucked in T-shirt and another shirt over it. There are some sets of my clothes for which this will not work, but I did not want to (nor did I do it) purchase an entire new wardrobe. Works with most of my wardrobe and I have found that my self consciousness has lessened as I become more familiar with the set up. A quality belt is an absolute must though. A lesser belt will make you miserable in a hurry.

I did, however pick up a used Kel Tek P11 and a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster for the really hot days, or moreso when I just don't feel like "gearing up" with the 1911. Yes, I'm willing, in those instances, to step down in caliber. But for a quick run to the stop-n-rob it sure makes things, well, more convenient.:D

Kacerdias
August 14, 2007, 02:02 PM
I've been carrying for years and like most folks have gone from one gun and holster combination to the next. I've carried in sub zero temperatures and when it was well over 100F outside. I started with a CZ75B OWB, went to a J-frame Smith in a Nemesis, then a Walther P99c IWB under a shirt. For hot weather (I'm in FL) the most comfortable by far is my Kahr PM40 w/ flush mag and spare fullsize mag in a Smartcarry rig at 12 o'clock. It's small enough to disappear but can handle 12 rounds of .40S&W. Deployment from the Smartcarry is just as fast as from your belt if you practice enough. Heat is no problem as I only have a single tucked in shirt.

The Smartcarry website shows holsters that can accomodate a 5" 1911 though I can't imagine how you'd sit down with one up front. Either way, it's a decent option if you want to stay cool and concealed without resorting to pipsqueak rounds. :D

sm
August 14, 2007, 02:31 PM
Tailors & Seamstresses are your friends.
In a work I am familiar with, we had trusted Tailors and Seamstresses handle CCW needs.

Very hot and humid here in the South, currently it has been around 105-109* with the heat index.

Silk whisks moisture away from skin, in the winter this keeps one warmer, and in the summer, cooler.

See, in this work, concealed means concealed, and just not pertaining to guns.
Men and women have clothes "tweaked" , much like I go on about "gun fit to shooter".

Pockets are made such, not only bigger, also the shape and material , and the guns can be accessed easier, not print and sweat is less likely to chaff men and women, and less chance of getting gun wet.

Full Size 1911, and without a "holster" still the 1911 was "holstered" IWB, and nobody ever makes folks.
Men or Women are not made.
I mean a 5'0 lady petite and not weigh much, or one a bit more older and "frumpy" due to the genes, or having kids, or just how gravity and time plays its toll on a body shape.

Fact of Life, some guns are more difficult to conceal. Glocks give the tailors and seamstresses fits. Granted the person's body shape, and dress needs plays a part, a SIG 220 was easier to "fit" to a lady than a Glock 26, go figure.

Take a lady with a dress, no vest, no jacket, hemline is about 3" above the knee.
She carries a 1911 Lt wt Commander and one spare 7 round mag.
She can access very quickly, still where is the gun? ;)

I was exposed to this in the 50's. It was going on before I was born.
Gun fit to shooter encompasses a lot of things. ;)

Find a trusted tailor and/or seamstress, that knows about concealment.

Mikhail Konovalov
August 14, 2007, 03:50 PM
Again, good stuff from all angles.

I know I'm a heathen for even saying this, but, any opinions on SOB holsters? I know about the potential spine-snapping involved, but I never really hear about this kind of carry.

Then again, where I'm from, anything but "Strongside OWB" carry is considered forbidden. They thought I was crazy for considering IWB, crossdraw, and shoulder holsters! (At least I'm not trying to tape a SIG-Sauer P232 to the nape of my neck and hide it with my hair.)

armoredman
August 14, 2007, 04:34 PM
Of course not! That's where you hang the NAA 22 mag...:D

RandomMan
August 14, 2007, 09:27 PM
I'm a 5'7", 170lb guy, and I work in HVAC in Texas, it's HOT. I carry, everyday, a Ruger P95. My holster is a Galco Matrix OWB with snaps, I picked the holster up on a whim, because it was $25 and I thought, "Well, I'll try it." On my gunbelt, I wear it just behind the point on my hip.

I wear a t-shirt tucked in, and then wear a button up Safari/Dickies style workshirt over it (loose fit), believe it or not this setup is NOT any hotter than just a plain t-shirt, infact it usually works quite well at keeping me cool. The shirts are a medium weight cotton-canvas, I picked lighter colors to deal with the heat. In 4 months of carrying this method, I have yet to have anyone make me. Heck, when I put the gun on and look in the mirror I can't see a bulge or unusual creases.

In fact I use a similar method when not working, I just wear shorts and a Guayaberra/Bowling/Hawaiian style button up shirt and usually carry a Colt Agent snub, it simply disappears.

-Rob

denfoote
August 14, 2007, 09:59 PM
I have considered many options, and have ruled out strongside IWB, as my only handguns fit for carry are a 5" 1911A1 and a full-sized IMI Jericho 941 (Good luck finding a holster for that one.), both of which are very tricky to conceal with a tee shirt, or at best, a Hawaiian shirt.

I sometimes carry a 1911 in a Kramer Belt Scabbard covered with a loose t-shirt.

Here in Arizona, it blends in with the scenery pretty much every day of the year!!

However, let me get philosophical for a minute. I've been carrying for 10 years now. During that time, I have acquired a box full of holsters and a safe full of guns!! I've come to the conclusion that small and light is good.

Now, I've hoofed the above mentioned 1911 around, but carrying three pounds of metal around, all day, in the Arizona heat is not what I consider fun!! There is a gun rag author, the chap who runs one of those ubiquitous schools, I believe, who says a gun is supposed to be comforting not comfortable. Horse hockey!!! His knowledge of materials science is stuck somewhere in the early part of the last century!! It is now possible to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak!!

That said, I restrict my carry guns to what can be carried in the pocket. Now just because your gun is small, that does not seriously limit your choices or caliber!! With the proper choice of trousers, I can successfully pocket carry a Glock 36!!! Normally, I carry a Kahr MK9 in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. Somewhere in the aforementioned holster box, I have a Belt scabbard, ankle, and IWB holsters for the same gun!! The same also holds true for my G36!!! Point is, adhering to the doctrine of small and light opens up your carry MODE choices. I believe it to be a more practical and saner philosophy.

Most of my full size guns now reside in the safe!!

sm
August 14, 2007, 10:24 PM
RandomMan,

Re: T shirts.

Funny you mention that, just talking about that with some folks.
Again, I am in the hot humid South, someone said with heat index it was 110* F here today .

I wear a T shirt, in the summer, year round as a matter of fact.
My standard shirt, a long sleeve oxford, button down collar. Year round too.
Roll up sleeves in summer, but rolling them down sure keeps one from getting sunburned.
Unbutton collar, and my neck will not get sunburned either.

21 year old gals look better in my T shirts and shirts than I do. :)

Her CCW is a All Steel Colt Combat Commander, Colt 7 rds mags, welded base, dimple follower. Smart girl *grin*

"Dressing around the gun giving her fits.
I hand her one of my Fruit of the Loom T shirts ( no tag) and Oxford shirts to wear with her blue jean cut-offs.
I ask her to tuck in the T shirt, and use the Galco IWB [forward cant, forget name, I want to say Summer Carry??]
An old Eddie Baur all leather wide belt to replace the one she had. I had to punch holes and cut off some of the length.

We go out and about, including her getting some T shirts, shirts like I wear and a better belt than the one I rigged up from a Feed&Seed Store, oh, it matches better ...

Granted guys are going to notice her, as boys will do, walking into parked cars, doors, and missing curbs, still she is concealing, and you cannot tell she is CCW-ing.

21 and she has never owned a pair of Fruit of the Looms, poor child. :D
My lady friend was assisting, with all this.
*somehow* a jock strap ended up in the 21 y/o basket.
An older checkout lady will get plumb stumped and embarrassed.
"Did you mean to get this?" she asked
Well, the 21 y/o lady is used to my and lady friends and the rest of "our bunch" razzing and teasing and ...
"Yeah, big day for me, I have never owed my very own Fruit of the Looms or jock strap before" - 21 y/0 replied :p

Even with all the heads that turned, she was not made. :)

Mikhail Konovalov
August 14, 2007, 10:24 PM
All of the sudden that Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug in .44 Special is sounding pretty nice. Any good rigs for that little darling while I'm at it?

Really, though, I have absoloutely nothing against carrying a .380 or other small handgun. I do, however, have a problem with trying to buy one on such an awfully tight budget. Between rent, girls (Give me a break, I'm 20.), my incessant chain-smoking, and helping out with my father's upcoming surgery, I'm a little squeezed.

Thank goodness my commitment to concealed carry begins at the mouth of our all too brief winter, but just in case we have another 80 degree Christmas, I would like to be prepared.

sm
August 14, 2007, 10:28 PM
Bulldog: Call High Noon and see what they have.
IIRC this is whom had something and delivery was fast.
"Down Under" I believe was the name of holster.

Hoppy590
August 14, 2007, 10:56 PM
cant help ya with the heat problem ( here in New England i can pull off a Dickies type button up on any day but the hottest summer days.) but i feel ya witht he CCW a 1911 weighing only 130lbs myself and being alot shorter, but not very big around

Mikhail Konovalov
August 14, 2007, 11:21 PM
Skinnay people of the world unite!

Now, if Colt (Or... Well, maybe some other company.) would start making the old 1903/08 pocket guns in .32 and .380 respectively... Improve the safety so it clicks... I think those things would sell like hotcakes. I have an old 1903 and that sucker is thin as they get, but I would feel a measure of guilt carrying an antique, especially considering its history (At least two kills in World War II, carried by a Flying Tiger uncle).

Well, until that day, it's SIG .380's and Charter snubs for me.

denfoote
August 15, 2007, 10:49 PM
Mikail,
I'm making a guess here.
As far as I know, the only Charter dealers in Arizona are in Yuma and Tucson!!

My wife and I took a trip all the way to Yuma, to visit Sprague's, with the intention of getting a .44 Bulldog.

They didn't have any!!!
Oh well.
It was a nice day trip anyway!!

Mikhail Konovalov
August 16, 2007, 01:04 AM
They've got a Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug with my name on it at my local gun shop. Thanks for the heads-up, though. I won't let this one get past me.

Oh, by the way, I'm not in AZ.

1911 guy
August 16, 2007, 09:44 AM
Your best bet may be to find an good IWB holster. I do find OWB more comfortable for longer periods of time, but I also find I can keep 2 knives, a flashlight, reload and 5" 1911 under a T-shirt if I use an IWB on warmer days.

gp911
August 16, 2007, 10:45 AM
Mikhail, I was the same size as you at about the same age. I had shoulders, but really I looked like a bunch of right angles with a sheet draped over 'em. You'll fill out more over time, to a point. I went on a beer-n-steak diet (fun diet, not the healthiest ;) ) one summer around age 25 and gained 20lbs, which looked better. I'm 170lbs now and look "normal" at age 32. I hit this weight around age 27-28, so eventually that hamster-like metabolism will slow down a bit. You're asking good questions here, good luck in your search.

gp911

Mikhail Konovalov
August 16, 2007, 01:50 PM
Thank you very much.

I don't believe there is one universal rig which will solve all problems, but I do believe that owning multiple holsters is a fine dodge.

With this in mind, for road carry, or for someone who slouches like Quasimodo's misshapen uncle, how's (IWB?) crossdraw? Especially when paired with a patterned shirt, a la Magnum PI.

This question is not only for me, but for my similarly-skinny friend, who is considering a SIG-Sauer .380 and a crossdraw rig. He is also terminally left-handed, if that makes a difference.

zoom6zoom
August 18, 2007, 03:02 PM
Granted guys are going to notice her, as boys will do, walking into parked cars, doors, and missing curbs, still she is concealing, and you cannot tell she is CCW-ing.

Well, she has an advantage you don't. Nobody's looking at her waist.

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