N frame concealed carry holster?


Guy B. Meredith
February 1, 2012, 10:37 PM
I like the idea of 8 shots in .38 spl or .357 magnum, but can't visualize being able to carry one comfortably. However, before I move on does anyone have positive/negative experiences and holster recommendations? I am 5' 10'' 170 lbs and trying to lose the paunch that put me over 155 lbs.

Second would be the 7 shot L frame, same question.

I prefer barrels in the 3" to 4" range.

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February 1, 2012, 10:43 PM
Unless you wear a black trench coat or cowboy duster all the time?
Pretty hard to do IMO!
But I''m pretty short & fat.

My upper tolerance level for all day CCW is about Colt Commander flat and weight.
Or 1 1/4" thick and 30 ounces.

Or a K-Frame S&W size revolver.

But more & more anymore, it's a S&W 2" J-Frame .38, or SIG P232 .380.
If I don't want to be up all night with a back ache.


Ralph G. Briscoe
February 1, 2012, 10:53 PM
I've got a 327pc--21 oz, 8shot snubnose version which I believe they no longer make.
I had mika make me a pocket holster for it. It fills up a pocket but isn't a bad carry and the power to weight ratio can't be beat. Also have a 327 Nighguard 3". Nice gun but too big and heavy for CC IMO.

February 1, 2012, 11:07 PM
Have you considered an SP 101 in .357? They have new ones out, a 3 1/16 " and a newer 4" out now. I have the 3", wear CCW in a pancake holster, don't even know its there. Its only a 5 shot though........ 3 short of what you're wanting I know. Its a dandy though, might look at it.

February 1, 2012, 11:48 PM
Milt sparks has made several holsters for me and i have never had a bad one.The versa max 2 is an iwb holster that i really like.I carry a sp 101 or a smith 640 both with 2 inch barrels.Occasionally i will carry a gp 100 with a 3 inch barrel in the winter with a jacket.It seems like the gp prints quite a bit more than the others with the clothes i wear in the warmer weather.

February 2, 2012, 01:10 AM
I've got a Simply Rugged Pancake for a 4" Redhawk. it came with IWB straps which make concealed carrying 3 lbs of revolver really handy.

I also use a Tagua OWB snap-top holster for a 4" GP100 that's really comfortable and tucks it into my body very nicely. It's not the nicest holster by any means, and the finish will peel off after some use, but the leather itself is sound, as are the stitches.

5'11", 210 lbs.

Risky buisness
February 2, 2012, 02:19 AM
I carry a S&W 25-5, 4" quite often in a Mitch Rosen hi ride pancake, it's not the best for carrying concealed, but it can be done, I usually have a loose fitting hoodie over the top, but Im not an office or indoor worker either, so here it is, if the N frame is all you have, or really what you want, leather it up right and plan your wardrobe accordingly. Any self defence handgun is better than none at all

February 2, 2012, 06:56 AM
For about 30 years, I have been using a Bianchi 5BH or Safariland equivalent to carry my reworked 28-2. Lately I have been using a pancake from Simply Rugged and find I like them as much as I used to when I first used them in the last century. The pancake can be rigged to be worn between the belt and your trousers for a bit better concealment and a little more security.

Does a N frame conceal in a pair of shorts? No but dress appropriatley and you'll have few problems.


February 2, 2012, 07:11 AM
Moderator Sam1911 uses a Hoffners IWB holster

Here he is shown wearing it.


February 2, 2012, 07:48 AM
Does a N frame conceal in a pair of shorts? No but dress appropriatley and you'll have few problems.

Actually, the shorts aren't relevant, but the shirt is. I live in the south, am 6'7" 182 lbs, 33 yrs young and even in the summer I carry a 4" N frame pretty regularly wearing shorts, and a XL Tall short sleeve shirt with a print.

Its not an EDC, but it honestly isn't bad once you get used to it. I carry mine on a 1.5" beltman bullhide belt in a Lobo Gunleather IWB holster. Paid less than $60 for the holster, and I liked it so much that I ordered another for a 4" K Frame (a K Frame is barely noticeable and very comfy to carry with this holster).

As I said, an N Frame isn't for everyone, and my skinniness and youth may have something to do with it. And I love my N Frame Model 28, shoot it better than any other handgun, so I have a strong motivation to carry it to which is probably the most important asset you can have. I've seen guys on THR complain that they couldn't conceal a Ruger LCP, while others apparently have no trouble with a 500 Magnum.

February 2, 2012, 07:52 AM
Moderator Sam1911 uses a Hoffners IWB holster

Yep! I do sometimes IWB carry a 4" 629 in a Hoffner's rig and it works great for me.

Here are some shots:




In the last pic, you can tell it's there if you're looking for it, but that's not bad for concealing a .44 Mag and 3 speed loaders.

I removed the rear belt loop, drilled a hole a bit lower down along the rear edge of the holster, and reinstalled the loop there. That spreads out the anchor points on the belt and gave it a slight forward cant. Easy 30 second modification.


February 2, 2012, 08:41 AM
Real word, if you can't carry it everday for work and play it may not be a practical CC. Trail gun, heck yes. It up to you to deside that. To me if a 357 was simple a must have handgun but turns out to just not work look in to a glock 20 . Thinner more rounds and lighter so paints stay up. Guys will show off there big handguns concealed in standing photos but try to do some bend over yard work and a walk around the mall, Drive your car. If it works for all,your good to go.

February 2, 2012, 10:49 AM
I can conceal a 4" 629 in a Simply Rugged with a cover shirt over a tee shirt. I'm 5' 9" and about 160 depending on how much pie the wife has fed me.

It's not perfect and I need to be careful about bending over, but for the front range of Colorado and surrounding states it works fine. It does get a bit tiring after about 4-6 hours of wear, the cylinder will eventually cause some discomfort.

February 2, 2012, 01:34 PM
If you're 6' 7" the N frame shouldn't be much of a problem but if you're short like me it takes some consideration. I have the S&W Mountain Gun N Frame in .45 Colt weighing 39.5 ounces and that can be carried in a shoulder holster, not showing at all. Delta Force sells the holster, I forget the name of it. After about 4 hours it gets to be a bit much though.

February 2, 2012, 05:25 PM
jitterbug , Then you know what I mean. there concealed and then there concealed if you watch what and how you do something.

To me concealed is no jackets or vest be just the way you would have dressed before you ever carried concealed. Hard to fit in or not be noticed when it 100* out and your the only person wearing to much clothing. Or can't bend at the waist to pick something up. I remember the days in florida back in the early '80's when the atf was everwhere. Use to be fun to pick them out around the boat docks as they were they only dumbies over dressed.

February 2, 2012, 06:00 PM
I think they print a bit, but they carry just fine. It's not an easy gun to dress around. Good carry gun though.

I plan on carrying one some day in a shoulder holster, particularly in the winter. In the summer it would rarely be my first choice.

I have always felt that it was just a touch too big for easy concealment. I would consider the L Frame, unless there was some reason that N frame is calling to you.

If I were to carry it on the belt it would be fine. High rise maybe, and it's the cylinder you've got to get in the right position. I also like a respectable grip on my guns, especially a revolver. With a big grip, concealment is still an issue.

There used to be a holster called "CABO" I think, that would be just the ticket, assuming it was the only gun I carried.

Guy B. Meredith
February 2, 2012, 11:36 PM
CABO appears to be out of business. Simply Rugged has a mind boggling selection--which one do responders here use?

How do IWB and OWB compare on concealment with everyday activity?

I tend to think that I will not be carrying as a day to day practice. I'm pretty good at situational awareness and avoid problems. There may be times that avoidance won't work--like when I had a reason to be concerned that a meth freak might come calling at one time--and I would then carry.

February 3, 2012, 08:42 AM
It is always good to know ahead of time when your situational awareness won't be working for you.

OWB -vs. - IWB will be a balance between concealment, clothing, and comfort. OWB is almost always a little more comfortable, and doesn't require larger pants/belt. OWB generally requires a more substantial over-shirt or vest that will hang low enough to cover the entire holster -- especially if you bend and reach much. IWB is more forgiving in that way.

If this is just for when you've gotten the head's up that trouble is coming, OWB would be more than adequate.

February 3, 2012, 09:23 AM
I'm 5'8"/175ish. Last big revolver I CCW'ed was a S&W Mountain Gun w/4" barrel. Carried in a Mitch Rosen pancake on a Beltman 1-1/2" gunbelt. I also use Perry suspenders.
I carry over a T-shirt, under a square-hemmed short=sleeved shirt most of the time. The Rosen pancake rides just right, for me. Not too high, but high enough. No problems being caught out and the suspenders take some of the load off the hips. The Perry suspenders have been a blessing for my aging and abused body.

February 4, 2012, 08:42 PM
this doesn't really help unless wearing a jacket or zip-down sweatshirt, but I do indeed carry my 4" S&W 629 .44 from time to time when circumstances see fit. I carry it in an old Safariland (I think it's called the 101) shoulder holster, and I unconventionally carry it on the same side as my dominant hand, I'm a righty, so I carry it where a lefty would have it for cross-draw. I have practiced with snap caps and live fire and this is the safest and quickest draw for me. The holster allows me to pull the gun straight out and away (instead of up and out) I twist the gun as I bring the sights up to the target, resulting in the muzzle-aim going in a straight line from the within the holster to the ground in front of me and on to the target. Also is quicker than cross-draw, I practiced the heck out of both. What works for me may not work for others, but this works great for me. The holster is comfortable, I've worn it for hours at a time many times.


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