Body Type and Concealed Carry


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Skribs
June 6, 2012, 06:42 PM
I've seen both of these (I'm paraphrasing) at different points as I've been reading on forums, regarding concealed carry:

1) I'm not a big guy, so its not easy to conceal.
2) You might want to lose weight to make it easier to conceal.

These seem contradictory to each other. I'm wondering if different people just have different experiences, or if body type plays a role in what type of holster you should have/where you should carry.

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Badlander
June 6, 2012, 07:10 PM
I an A little guy. 5'9" 145 lb. I carry A full size 1911. whenever I am not working.
The gun melts into my waist line and covers very easily.
My heavy friend mike cant even carry his Sig .380 on his belt without it showing.

jad0110
June 6, 2012, 07:13 PM
If you carry on the hip (IWB or OWB), I have concluded that as long as your shoulders are at least (roughly) as broad as your waste, you should have little much trouble concealing even a full size handgun with a loose fitting shirt as it will tend to hang away from your gun. However, if your waist is much bigger than your shoulders, your shirt will tend to hang and drape right on top of the butt of the gun. Also, if you are carrying around a rather large beer keg (as opposed to a six pack), it can potentially make appendix carry rather problematic.

HGUNHNTR
June 6, 2012, 07:14 PM
It depends just as much on the size of the gun and method of carry as the size and shape of the individual. At 6'0" and 172 pounds I don't have difficulty concealing and being comfortable until the gun is larger than a G19. I like to carry IWB at 4 o'clock.

9mmepiphany
June 6, 2012, 07:57 PM
These seem contradictory to each other. I'm wondering if different people just have different experiences, or if body type plays a role in what type of holster you should have/where you should carry.
They are and are from different points of view (POV)

The first is from the POV of a carrier. They have either chosen too large a gun or don't have a good understanding of how a pistol is properly concealed.

The second is from the POV of an observer. Extra weight around the waistline tends to push a holstered pistol away from the body if worn loosely or be displaced un-naturally if worn tightly. Either will tend to draw unwanted attention

JustinJ
June 6, 2012, 07:58 PM
1) I'm not a big guy, so its not easy to conceal.

I'm not saying it can't be done but it certainly easier for someone to conceal something that is smaller relative to their size unless that size comes from a large gut that causes shirts to be tighter at the waist and midsection and said item is being carried in that area. The best body for concealed carry is broad shoulders and a narrow waste so that the shirt is naturally loose at the waste and midsection.

2) You might want to lose weight to make it easier to conceal.

See above reply.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
June 6, 2012, 08:15 PM
I'm 5'10" and weigh in at 235lbs and I can make a G22 disappear on my hip with IWB carry.

jeepnik
June 6, 2012, 08:53 PM
You know, when I first started carrying, I was like most folks. I worried about concealing the firearm. I tried all sorts of uncomfortable ways to "conceal" a handgun. Then I realized a couple of things.

First, the vast majority of non-gun folks never even think of looking for one. If they see some sort of bulge, they are more likely to think colostomy bag than gun.

Second, depending on where you live, concealed may mean simply "out of sight". So if you do "print", you aren't in any sort of violation, and if you do, most folks think colostomy bag.

These days if I carry on my waist, it's in a crossdraw OWB. As long as it covered, I'm not worried. And, over thirty years of carrying have proven that to be true.

However, much of the time I used to use a "fanny" pack. So gun type folks will say it screams "GUN". But, that's only to gun type folks. Most just think "gee, that fellow is, way out of style / really old". These days I use a versapak or similar.

And yes, cops have sometimes given me a second glance in any configuration I used. But, since permits aren't that common here, I generally get a knowing nod if anything, and everyone goes on there way.

There are two things to remember. One if you don't act like a paranoid fool, or keep grabbing your gun, most folks don't have a clue, and those that do figure you're doing nothing wrong. The other is relax and don't make a big deal out it. Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff.

Of course, the holster makers of the world will try to convince you that their products are the only way to "conceal" without been spotted, but most of their verbage is just hype to buy their products.

Nushif
June 6, 2012, 09:21 PM
I don't think anyone will think colostony bag is what people would think, at least in my case. Or in the case of pretty much anyone I know ... I think that's a bit ot a different demographic.

But oftentimes people do tend to think cell phone, cop or whatever way before they think MANWITHGUN.

holdencm9
June 6, 2012, 11:43 PM
Yeah I am skinny around the waist, and not uber-broad shouldered, so in a t-shirt my LCP is the biggest I can carry IWB. If I have a looser-fitting collared shirt with a good plaid pattern or something my CW9 is fine. Or jacket. There is skinny, and then there is skinny waist with super broad shoulders. Those guys have it good! Also I think some people wear a lot looser t-shirts than me. So I dunno.

Gtimothy
June 7, 2012, 11:19 AM
I'm 195, 6ft and carry a P229R 9mm in a IWB Kydex rig and have no problem. I've learned that wearing large, patterned shirts break up the outline. And as others have said, most people aren't even looking!

Salty1
June 7, 2012, 11:28 AM
I am 6'2" and around 185, what I have found is that the holster makes the difference. Typically I carry either an LCR at 2:00 with an IWB or OWB at 4:00. Both are hidden by a normal size T-shirt and the gun can easily be fully covered with a tuckable IWB as well. With my 1911 compact I tend to IWB and OWB at 4:00 with a slightly longer shirt. Body type does determine how and where the gun can be located but the holster is what actually makes it work properly, if it is not comfortable then people tend to not carry.

Drail
June 7, 2012, 11:29 AM
This question has always amused me. My belief is that concealing a gun (any size or type) is all about using a good belt and holster and most importantly - your clothing. When carrying a concealed weapon fashion goes to the bottom of your list of priorities. I am 5'11" and 150 lbs. and have carried 5 in 1911s and N frame S&Ws since the 80s and no one has ever "made" my gun. I quit wearing snug fitting pants back in the 70s. Besides, loose baggy clothes are more comfortable and allow you much more freedom of movement. And allow you to hide all kinds of "stuff". Another point people should understand is that almost nobody is looking and scanning you for weapons other than police officers. Most people walk around completely oblivious to their environment.

ForumSurfer
June 7, 2012, 11:30 AM
I''m 5'10" 160 lbs. I'm preparing for a 9K mud/obstacle course (benefit fund raising run for the Multiple Sclerosis Society) so I've leaned down dramatically from my usual 175. I'll be back to 170ish soon. My current favorite to carry is my g26 in an appendix rig. If I carry my g19 anywhere, it is highly noticeable if I wear anything that remotely conforms to my body shape.

When I was a chunky 185 before I started working out I could carry anything I wanted short of a howitzer. I was also very careful not to wear anything that conformed to my shape (or lack thereof). I've found that if you lose weight and get more fit, 9 out of 10 people like wearing clothes that fit more snuggly.

tyeo098
June 7, 2012, 12:49 PM
I noticed that my 5'10 165# frame can make a full size CZ75B disappear if I place it at around 4:30.

But my belt sucks and the CZ is too heavy so now I mostly CC my Makarov :rolleyes:

Time for belt shopping :D

ForumSurfer
June 7, 2012, 12:58 PM
I noticed that my 5'10 165# frame can make a full size CZ75B disappear if I place it at around 4:30.

I can, too. But it interferes with my active lifestyle because of all the real estate it takes up. If I wear something larger than a subcompact, it gets beat up pretty well.

hardluk1
June 7, 2012, 02:19 PM
Guess i'm the only fat guy here at 5-10 and 245. I have cc'd for 26 years. Worked in the constrution field for carpenter formen to super during this time. Always carried but I never meet a guy that could wear on the waist with a tool pouch on . I learned to pocket at work and Iwb after. Still do the same today but with a pair of kahrs. One for the pockey when weaing bibs anda larger model for IWB at 2:15 when dress up. I use a comp-tac monotaur neutral at 2:15 with no problems. Tucked in or not it does not show atleast I have never been called on whats the bump is. Some of these guys I have worked with 20 years Now they carry after asking them about it. I still get to pick out guys ever once in a while from some skinny to average guy that still thinks carry'n at the 3:30 to 4:30 position is clean. Till they bend over. It does not matter if tucked, shirt kept out or light coat. You still see the butt of the mid to larger pistols rub on the clothing or gathers up a bit on it when they bend over, pick up a kid or grab something off the lower sheives in a store.

ForumSurfer
June 7, 2012, 02:25 PM
Till they bend over. It does not matter if tucked, shirt kept out or light coat. You still see the butt of the mid to larger pistols rub on the clothing or gathers up a bit on it w
hen they bend over, pick up a kid or grab something off the lower sheives in a store.

I have that problem if I wear a shirt, or even a cover garment that is remotely form fitting. I have to wear it pretty loose (for me) or I'm going to print sooner or later.

Honestly, I don't care about occasional printing. :) Most folks won't notice or ill disregard it as some guy with a lump (cell phone, love handle, bat-belt or whatever).

bergmen
June 7, 2012, 02:47 PM
I mostly pocket carry these days so it doesn't matter what I weigh, anybody can do this and be completely discrete.

Dan

Impureclient
June 7, 2012, 04:27 PM
I just walked into a pizza place late last night with only police inside. There was six of them scattered around inside eating. I was wearing the normal attire of cargo shorts and white t-shirt. I'm 5'9" and 165.
The shirt is not really skin tight nor is it "homey g" loose, just tight enough to show off the bulges to the ladies ;) It clearly prints what I carry though, a CW9 IWB at 3 o'clock. I know they weren't really looking
too hard as they are at ease eating but whenever I am around police I watch to see if they are looking at the gun on me. Out of curiosity sometimes I'll even make sure I face police and see if they notice.
So far nothing and I have tested it around many city cops, sheriff deputies and a few state troopers. I think we are all too nervous for nothing when it comes to concealing. I think a lot of it has to do with your posture
and attitude your face and body gives off. If you watch people in public, you will notice some people are stiff like a board, nervous and look uncomfortable just standing in place. Those are probably the ones who are "made".
Since FL has decriminalized accidentally unconcealment, I have become much more relaxed and I really don't care if I do or don't "show" any more. Thanks Gov. Rick Scott.

skt239
June 7, 2012, 05:51 PM
My weight, because of illness, changes with the weather. A little over a year ago I weighted in at 180 pounds, today a scant 125. No matter my size, I can never comfortably carry a medium sized to full sized gun.

I also tend not to dress around my gun, save a cover garment when weather permits. So, because of limitations, both those that are self imposed and those that are not, I tend to carry small thin guns, skinny or fat.

I think it concealing comes down to the size of the gun and the way you dress around it. A good belt and holster certainly helps, especially in terms of comfort but it won't always save you.

Deltaboy
June 8, 2012, 12:23 PM
I pocket carry 80% of the time and owb the rest of the time.

Gunnerboy
June 8, 2012, 12:28 PM
At 5'9" and 134lbs i can make a full size 1911 disappear, its all about where you have it positioned.

tyeo098
June 8, 2012, 12:30 PM
At 5'9" and 134lbs i can make a full size 1911 disappear, its all about where you have it positioned.
Enlighten us as to your carry methods?

I can, too. But it interferes with my active lifestyle because of all the real estate it takes up. If I wear something larger than a subcompact, it gets beat up pretty well.
The hammer on my CZ sticks out an awful lot more than the hammer on my Mak. I'm afraid its going to hit something and come down or get snagged or break because of sideways pressure or something...

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s249/tyeo098/20120607_183332.jpg

CountryUgly
June 8, 2012, 12:38 PM
My weight went up after several years of marriage so I can personally claim being the skinny guy and the fat guy who carries and I'll tell you what I learned over the years. It's all in the shirt. It doesn't matter how skinny or fat you are or where you carry. A good wide loose fitting shirt with a little pattern to it (doesn't have to Hawaii 5-0 flashy) will break up and hide anything on the waist line. If I'm lazy or will have to dress in a manner that doesn't permit my favorite carry shirts I just drop a J-frame in the 'ol pocket.

Plan2Live
June 9, 2012, 10:18 PM
When carrying a concealed weapon fashion goes to the bottom of your list of priorities.Not everyone has that luxury. Some of us still have to find a compromise.

I'm 5'10" and fluctuate between 185 and 200. Thankfully I have broad shoulders and a narrower waist (not waste) which makes it easier to hide a gun with a darker colored untucked shirt.

I carry an XDm 3.8 Compact in a Galco Avenger OWB holster at 3:30. Today I bought my son a Sig 239 for his birthday in November and carried it around half the day and it conceals just as well as the XDm using the same holster. The turning point for me was getting a really good belt and realizing no one is looking and if they are and see something they think is a gun they aren't going to confront you about it.

stantheman1976
June 10, 2012, 03:01 AM
I'm 5' 10" and a bit over 300lbs. I carry a Ruger SR9c IWB in a Mackenzie holster at about 3-4:00. I typically wear button up or polo shorts and always wear an undershirt and I rarely tuck my shirt. It's very easy for me to conceal this way.

As far as printing I think almost every single non-gun person if they do see a bulge will think it's a cell phone or some device clipped on your belt. People who don't carry guns don't go around looking for them typically.

GRIZ22
June 10, 2012, 03:25 AM
You can conceal any handgun no matter what your size if you are willing to modify your attire. There is a. 4'9", 85 lb agent I worked with who carried a Glock 17 concealed well and she always dressed well. She also is a good shooter with anything but really needs a short stock shotgun to avoid getting hurt. There are some issues with size as appendix carry doesn't work well if you're small as you get the barrel shoved into your leg or crotch. It also doesn't work well if you have a gut as it will always be digging in it.

Size may dictate where and how you carry but has no bearing on carrying up to a 1911 size auto or 4" ) frame size revolver. Those who say they can't carry something just don't want to.

Just my opinion.

spikedzombies
June 10, 2012, 04:07 AM
I'm 6'5 and 450 and carry my size really proportionate. my usual carry is front pocket lcp.

I also carry a g19 in a owb at 9/10 o'clock and or small of back.

just ordered my first IWB a supertuck clone by old faithful holsters ...

"Sent via my own personal defense satellite"

9mmfan
June 10, 2012, 05:47 AM
Currently, when I carry, it is a Glock 19 in a Minotaur MTAC. Stupid comfy. The progression was SP101, first butt-forward, no holster, wedged twixt my hip bone and the curve of my belt, strong side. Then TT Gunleather Mike's Special, worn 'bout 4:00. Got heavy, considering just 5 rounds of .38. Switched to 637, then .38 Bodyguard, then 642. Same holster, belt pressure kept it tight. EMP 9 fit in there somewhere, won't cycle HP reliably. Annoying for such an expensive gun marketed as more or less the ultimate CC piece. Occidental version of the TT GL holster. Then discovered the G19 and Minotaur. Very happy. 642 still pulls pocket duty from time to time. I am 5' 9", bout 235 lbs. Solid, with a gut. The trick for me has been to find the sweet spot just behind the curve of my hip where the grip lies just shy of parallel of my back behind my spare tire. If I bend over, there is a slight tell of the grip. Nobody seems to notice. I wear this setup while bartending 13 hours at a time. Odd positions, bending over, lifting heavy stuff. I have been made once at work, when a friend slapped me on the hip. He was surprised. I normally wear Carhartt painter type shorts or jeans at work depending on the outside temp. as far as shirts, loose fitting button-downs, untucked. I am somewhat broad shouldered, but as has been mentioned, as long as you make an honest concerted effort, most folks will not notice. Hell, I even once concealed a Beretta 92FS. Was responding to an alarm call at work, jammed it directly in my waistband, butt-forward, 'bout 4:00. T-shirt with an unbuttoned shirt over it. Met the police, if they noticed it, they never said a word. Wouldn't want to try that every day, but pulling it off once gave me some confidence. I will say that I have often thought that if I lost some weight, not only would my knee stop hurting, but my pants would stay up better, and the gun would be easier to hide. Reader's Digest version is that it might take some work and trial and error, but you will find what works for you. Buck up little camper, it's gonna be OK.

Kaeto
June 10, 2012, 07:18 AM
I just wish I could find a decent holster that would fit my C.A. Undercover Snubby.

Quoheleth
June 10, 2012, 08:07 AM
I'm a big ol' boy - 6'4" and plus/minus 300lbs. Anything I carry directly on the side of my hip, 9 o'clock, looks like I have a goiter or something. That's from Colt Detective Special, to Kahr CW9, to 1911, to SR9c. So, I roll it further back, so it's behind the hipbone - between 7 and 8 o'clock, so my "width" isn't any greater than it already is. I blouse my shirt a little bit and it's really not noticable.

I also pocket carry a small Taurus 738 .380. My daily slacks have rather big pockets and are somewhat loose so the gun just disappears.

Q

Gunnerboy
June 10, 2012, 11:43 AM
tyeo098, Enlighten us as to your carry methods? when i carry i have the 1911 tucked a little sideways on the small of my back.

Hunter125
June 10, 2012, 02:01 PM
I am a big guy as well, 6' 2" 320 lbs, though that is coming down now. I have neither a good belt or good holster yet, so I'm sure that would help, but I have found it is a combination of factors that allow me to conceal.
I used to cinch my belt as tight as I could to make sure my cheapo IWB holster didn't sag. This made my XDsc tilt away from my waist and print pretty badly regardless of the position, plus it was really uncomfortable. Forget about trying to conceal my XDm.
Then I was looking into holsters and gun belts and found out that you are supposed to wear a gun belt a couple inches looser than normal. I began loosening up my admittedly terrible belt a notch when I carried and now I can conceal pretty well. I also used to carry at 4-4:30, thinking behind my hipbone would be best, but I actually found that 3:30 is best with a forward cant.
I think it's all trial and error what holster/belt/position/clothing works best for you.
My next gun related purchase will be a good holster and gun belt.

ldsgeek
June 10, 2012, 11:26 PM
I'm 6'5 and 450 and carry my size really proportionate. my usual carry is front pocket lcp.

I also carry a g19 in a owb at 9/10 o'clock and or small of back.

just ordered my first IWB a supertuck clone by old faithful holsters ...

"Sent via my own personal defense satellite"
You'll like that holster a lot. I got the kit as my carry gun (Arcus 98DA) wasn't covered by the pre-made designs. It' similar to a BHP but the trigger guard is squared off. The holster, with a good belt, tucks in nice at about 4:00 and with the full sized pistol is comfortable even driving. I'm also a heavy guy, 5'7" @ 270 (on the way down) and even my son can't tell when I have the shirt tucked over the gun, and I know he looks as he carries as well.

JERRY
June 10, 2012, 11:54 PM
its not body size, its body shape. 250 pounds is fine if your chest and shoulders are broader than your waist. however 250 pounds on a pair shaped body will cause anything around the waist to stand out.

once you see what your body shape is, look for that area where a gun can blend into your natural shape. that is its best placement for concealment though not always for ease of draw or comfort.

i know a guy that has a huge gut and regular legs. his pants have a large waist line obviously and his legs do not fill out the rest of the pants. he can pocket carry a glock 26 without bulged while most other folks look like they have a box of cereal in their pocket, espcially when seated.

again, its about body shape, not your weight or even your height as many here from 5'07" to 6'07" have stated....

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