Is Belly Band a good/bad way to decide on carry position


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Plan2Live
July 23, 2011, 07:44 PM
I am struggling with what to buy for conceal carry in a hot/humid climate and how to conceal carry same. I looked back at some older threads and thought more current info might be helpful. I would prefer to buy the XD(m) Compact in .40 but am concerned about concealability. Maybe some of you Glock 26/27 folks can offer suggestions since they are very similar in size. Is a Belly Band a good or bad way to help decide on concealability for various carry positions? I bought a Belly Band today to experiment but am not happy with results. Oh, I should meniton that the test weapon is a S&W 459, a good larger than the XD(m) Compact but all I had to play with prior to purcahse of CC weapon. No, I am not looking at pocket carry or pocket caliber at the moment, that will come later as a secondary option. Also, 5' 10" 200lbs fairly broad shoulders giving body some semplance of a "V". Will be used mostly in non-work environment with casual attire. Please share your updated tips and thoughts.

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AK103K
July 23, 2011, 07:51 PM
I have a 26, and the main way I carry it this time of year is IWB, as I do with pretty much anything I carry. Its really the best way to go for daily carry, if you can accommodate it.

If you wear loose enough pants, a Smart Carry might also work well for you, if you like the belly band idea. They are well made and work very well, but tend to be dependent on gun size and pants fitting.

I also have a Desantis ankle holster for my 26's, and it too works well, but can be limiting. Its not my choice for a primary carry, and I usually use it as a back up.

Sam1911
July 23, 2011, 07:52 PM
I would think a belly band would add a bunch to the discomfort level of a hot, humid climate. They do conceal pretty well, though the access is slow.

I'd opt for a tuckable IWB holster carried at 4:00 on the strong-side hip. There are lots of great options for those and they can be concealed with a tucked-in casual shirt, if you're adverse to the loose shirt tail look.

I actually think the blousing effect of a tucked in shirt with a tuckable holster may conceal better than a loose shirt draping over the gun.

Remember, no one will notice you "printing", so don't expend too much stress on how invisible you think your gun isn't.

Vonderek
July 23, 2011, 07:54 PM
A belly band in a hot humid climate is instant torture. You are better off IWB with a loose-fitting shirt.

DesertVet
July 23, 2011, 08:04 PM
Try Desantis Nemisis holster? I have had very good luck carrying my Glock 27 in the front pocket of cargo shorts (make sure they have deeper front pockets) & I have carried this way while wearing carpenter jeans and SOME Docker type dress pants. Desantis Nemisis holster is inexpensive hot weater option.
Also I have had good luck with Galco King Tuck holster, Kramer horsehide IWB, Aker flatside pancake style, or Galco Ankle glove for Glock 27 depending on how I am dressed.

Sam1911
July 23, 2011, 08:41 PM
As the OP said ... No, I am not looking at pocket carry ... at the moment ... I don't think the Nemesis is going to fit the bill.

JTQ
July 23, 2011, 09:29 PM
I think a good way to go is with a multi-use holster like the Raven Concealment Phantom. With one holster and different attachments you can wear it IWB or OBW with different cants and ride heights.

I know this holster is geared for the experienced tactical crowd, but I've found it most useful deciding what type of carry and position works for me.

http://www.ravenconcealmentsystems.com/

In leather, the Simply Rugged "Cuda" offer's some of the same IWB/OWB versatility.

http://www.simplyrugged.com/cuda/

I think everybody is going to go through a variety of holsters before they find the one that works for them, but anything you can do to narrow your search is a plus.

Frozen North
July 23, 2011, 09:47 PM
Belly bands are hot and take a LOOOOOONG time to draw from. I carry a G26 in a Comp Tac MTAC tuckable IWB holster. This holster has adjustable ride height and cant, so it can be made to work in many ways.

If I had to choose ONE holster, this would be the one.

Don't loose your mind worrying about printing. The public is not looking for your gun, you are just paranoid that they will see it! We all start there and after a few months it's like second nature to carry. Practice makes perfect, and eases the nerves.

Old Fuff
July 23, 2011, 10:03 PM
I have used a belly-band ("experimented" might be a better word. They work for deep concealment, but are hard to get to. They work best with smaller/lighter guns, as weight can cause them to sag. A pair of lightweight suspenders attached to the band can help. Wear something under the band, and cover it with a shirt, vest or lightweight jacket.

MICHAEL T
July 23, 2011, 11:10 PM
Just carry inside or outside of pants . With a t shirt or other loose fitting shirt . I carry 1911 Commander's that way Just need good holster and belt.

GCBurner
July 24, 2011, 12:03 AM
Heat index here today was about 105 degrees. I was wearing loose shorts, an untucked loose polyester wicking tee-shirt, and sandals, with a .380 ACP in a pocket holster.

Nushif
July 24, 2011, 02:12 AM
I find with a v shape an IWB holster looks rather ridiculous on me. 70 inches and 195 pounds here.
So I usually carry in an OWB slide holster behind the hip.

scaatylobo
July 24, 2011, 08:56 AM
5'4" and almost 200 pounds with shoulders and too much waist.64 years old.

I carry in all weather ,the same gun that I believe will solve all situations [ I pray ].

Glock 23 in a Ritchie IWB,or a Glock sport holster.

I have done so for many years and I wear LOOSE polo shirts and untucked button shirts that are loose and dont print.

I am also wearing a spare mag [ or 2 ] and a cell phone on belt and none print or show.

I tried the belly band it its HOT and sweaty,besides as mentioned = hard to access.

Plan2Live
July 24, 2011, 09:09 AM
Let me clarify, I probably won't carry using the belly band, I'll almost certainly buy an actual holster, the reference to the belly band was a question. Is a belly band a good or bad way to try the weapon in different positions to see how the weapon will hide BEFORE choosing a carry location and buying a for real holster? Does the belly band offer a realistic representation for carrying in that position? Using the band, I can move the weapon to different positions and adjust for different angles but am uncertain if this really duplicates the actual holster expereince.

Anyone answering with the IWB option, can you further share which position works best for you. I've looked at the Desantis and Cross Breed tuckables on line and the leather (pancake?) just looks huge. I'm surprised by the positive comments about these options but haven't worn one. This is one area where I think the Internet works against us. The holster manufacturers can sell online and undercut the on-site retailer but being able to try one on in real life would he extremely helpful. But a retailer would end up being the try-on store if they stocked them and most folks would run back to their computers and place the order to save a few bucks rather than thak the retailer by buying for them.

I've read lots of posts in the past where people admit to having a drawer or a box full of holsters they don't use. I'm trying to avoid trial and error shopping if possible. That's why I'm here. Looking for real world details for similar sized weapons. Thanks in advance for your input.

AK103K
July 24, 2011, 09:55 AM
The box of holsters is inevitable. The only way to know if a specific holster will work for you, is to try it. Just because it works for 100 others, doenst mean it will work for you. Just the nature of the beast.

For what youre using it for, I dont see the belly band really working any better than just sticking the gun in your waistband. Snug your belt, and pick a spot.

The Smart Carry is not a belly band, and doesnt really work as one (although it could be used as one I suppose). It is very comfortable, and can be worn all day, for a long day, day after day, with no problem at all. More often than not, you forget its even there. I still feel its the most versatile holster I have and use. People who use them understand them, those who dont, dont.

For me, IWB (with a slight forward cant) has always been the best option for primary carry. Its the most comfortable (once you get used to it) and concealable of regular holsters. I carry a 4-4:30, where the gun is in that little "nook" at your elbow, where your shirt hangs naturally. These days, Im still 5' 6", and running around 180 pounds, which is about 20 pounds above normal for me. I still have that "V" shape and no love handles, but as age increases, its getting harder to keep the weight down.

Sam1911
July 24, 2011, 09:56 AM
Is a belly band a good or bad way to try the weapon in different positions to see how the weapon will hide BEFORE choosing a carry location and buying a for real holster? Does the belly band offer a realistic representation for carrying in that position?
Oh! That is a somewhat different question. I don't believe it would. A belly band rides higher and draws completely differently than any belt holster. Conceals differently as well. You certainly can try one if you like (they're pretty cheap) but I don't think it's really going to make up your mind for you.

Anyone answering with the IWB option, can you further share which position works best for you. The "4 o'clock" position, just behind the strong-side hip, is the almost universal carry location. Trust the thousands and thousands who've already done the experimenting for you! :)

A few folks like "appendix" carry (more like 1-2 o'clock, up front). That only really works for small guns, for obvious reasons. If you try to sit down while carrying a 5" Gov't model up front like that, you'll figure out why it's not a great idea. Also, the tendency to print, especially right up front where folks are actually more likely to notice, and where an open, unbuttoned shirt can't cover the gun, is indeed greater.

A very few will prefer a cross-draw style (at 10-11 o'clock on the opposite side). That's mostly good for folks who drive constantly. The draw from a cross-draw holster is easily fouled/blocked if you are pinned in by your attacker, and these are hard to practice with as most ranges won't allow you to use a holster that makes you sweep everyone on your support-side when you draw -- and point your loaded gun somewhat UP-range when re-holstering. Also, the same printing/concealment garment issues apply here as do with the Appendix style.

A few old hold-outs still cling to the Small-Of-Back style (6 o'clock, right behind or beside your spine). That one's just completely worthless -- dangerous, in fact -- for several reasons explained in a bunch of threads on this site. If you're really curious, do a search, but otherwise just don't consider it.

So that leaves a gun carried IWB or OWB somewhere on your strong side. Most folks find it conceals better and is more out of the way when it's located just behind the point of your hip. A lot of folks also prefer a bit of forward tip to the holster -- the "FBI cant" -- that lifts the butt of the gun higher against your side for even better concealment.

I've looked at the Desantis and Cross Breed tuckables on line and the leather (pancake?) just looks huge. I'm surprised by the positive comments about these options but haven't worn one.
Actually, it is probably counter-intuitive but to some extent, the more leather or other material there is, the better the holster often will conceal and the more comfortable it will be. The more flat, wide leather there is against your body, the more it will spread the pressure against you. Having your belt and pants run outside the hoister (IWB) will smooth out the lump of the gun on your hip and make it less noticeable under a cover garment, and will of course cover the muzzle end of the holster if your shirt rides up a bit.

An OWB, especially the "pancake" or "Speed Scabbard" style conceals extremely well, too. In that case, the outer layer of leather, stretched taught between the forward and rear belt slots, smooths out the profile of the gun on your hip and draws it in tight against you. Wonderful concealment and very comfortable, too.

JTQ
July 24, 2011, 12:32 PM
High Noon will give you 30 days of wearing the holster to see if it is for you. If you don't like it you can send it back. High Noon also has some very inexpensive IWB holsters, that ship as quickly as the delivery guy can get to your house, that you can experiment with positions, and just IWB in general, to see if it is for you.
http://www.highnoonholsters.com/Guarantee/guarantee.html

Tucker has a 90 day guarantee if it is just not for you option.
http://rlcompanyusa.stores.yahoo.net/ourguarantee.html

There are others I'm sure, but these are the two I'm familiar with.

MedWheeler
July 24, 2011, 12:42 PM
I live in southern Florida, and carry my PF-9 in an IWB holster worn between the belt and pants. This is known as "inside-the-belt" (ITB) carry. It's more comfortable for me than IWB-carry, and has a smoother profile than OWB-carry. Many people who carry IWB find that they need to buy pants a size or two bigger; ITB carry eliminates that. On the downside, any covering garment needs to be able to cover a fully-exposed gun/holster combo, not just the part above the belt. Carry position is just aft of the hip on my strong side (I'm left-handed, so that puts it at my 8:00.)

Plan2Live
July 24, 2011, 12:56 PM
Thanks AK, Sam and JTQ, that's the fedback I was looking for although I was also hoping some of the Glock 26/27 folks would chime in. Maybe I should have pretended I was going to carry the Glock rather than mentioning the XD:neener:

I looked up the Smart Carry and it looks a lot like the Thunderwear product I have seen at many of the local gun shows. The belly band purchase was just an impulse buy to try different positions with a little more support than my waist band and/or belt. I feel like it did give me a little better idea of how much extra room I am going to need in the waist size to get away with conceal carry inside the waistband with a fatter profile like the XD(m). I think the XD(m) is about the same thickness as my old S&W 459 but smaller in length and height. Wow, looking forward to acquiring that box/drawer of unused holsters. :banghead:

Sam1911
July 24, 2011, 01:10 PM
I was also hoping some of the Glock 26/27 folks would chime in. Maybe I should have pretended I was going to carry the Glock rather than mentioning the XD

To a large degree, a gun is a gun.

All the manufacturers will wax poetic about 0.1" differences in thickness, 0.5" differences in length, and a few ounces shaved here or there.

Seriously don't sweat that.

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2011, 10:59 AM
A good IWB, with a tuckable option is the way to go. A belly band is torture -- but don't take our word for it, try it yourself.

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