Largest pistol you feel comfortable carrying in a "No show" state


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Collector0311
November 2, 2012, 01:29 AM
I have been studying, as it is what comes with the curse of an over analytical mind, all of the myriad options available to me before I pull the trigger so to speak on my carry weapon. My question to you gentleman, is, what's the largest frame weapon you feel comfortable concealed carrying in all seasons (i.e. jacket/no jacket, pants, shorts, etc) while also not risking an inadvertent exposure. And what are some tricks of the trade that mitigate this tricky area from even becoming an issue.
Sorry for the edit, nailed the send button on accident

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klyph
November 2, 2012, 01:41 AM
Pardon my ignorance, what is a no show state?

Collector0311
November 2, 2012, 01:45 AM
No sir, that's my fault. No open carry is what I was getting at. In which state, a concealed carrier who exposes their weapon has the possibility of being charged.

TAKtical
November 2, 2012, 01:47 AM
I used to carry a full size 1911 will full length rail. Now I carry a glock 17 or 21.

Apachedriver
November 2, 2012, 01:59 AM
I normally carry a full size 1911 as well.

The largest I ever carried concealed comfortably was a full size HK USP .45 at the 4 o'clock with a double mag holder on the 8 o'clock. The mags held 12 rounds a piece. I did that for about a year regardless of the season and I was able to carry without it printing.

A quality gun belt and holster are key as well as dressing appropriately. And no, that doesn't mean wearing ill-fitting over-sized clothing. Just find regular brands that are cut to fit you with your carry style and weapon.

Bobson
November 2, 2012, 02:04 AM
I carry a G19, and while I don't have to concern myself with whether the gun shows or not, I wear it IWB. I wouldn't want to carry anything larger than it, though. Maybe I need to change my wardrobe a bit (actually, I know I do), but I also know the G19 prints somewhat regularly.

mljdeckard
November 2, 2012, 02:08 AM
A full-size, all-steel 1911.

Collector0311
November 2, 2012, 02:14 AM
Seems as though I have let my assumptions get in the way of things. Looks like with some time and experience you can carry any full size pistol, just so long as you know the right combo of clothing, belts, and holsters.

Rail Driver
November 2, 2012, 02:17 AM
Well, largest thing I've personally carried here in Florida has been the full size 1911 that I carry daily. I've owned 2 or 3 that were larger, but didn't carry them.

Apachedriver
November 2, 2012, 02:23 AM
I should mention I'm 5'10" and 200 lbs. My older son is 6', 180 lbs, and he can conceal the same weapons even easier than I can even when he's wearing a long T-shirt. I can't get away with carrying those in a T-shirt but that's not my dress style anyhow.

tarosean
November 2, 2012, 02:36 AM
I'm blessed to have wide shoulders and chest so I can conceal any handgun. Barrel length is the only contributing factor. A 10" barrel is not exactly draw friendly. LOL

Teachu2
November 2, 2012, 02:46 AM
1st CCW was a 6" S&W N-frame. Carried full-size all-steel 1911s for three decades. My Glock 30 seems small (and light!) by comparison.

I'm 6'3, 280.

ugaarguy
November 2, 2012, 03:39 AM
With a good holster I can easily conceal a full size 1911 or a standard size M&P - so basically any full size service handgun. I did it all summer in GA wearing shorts and untucked polo shirts. If I'd lose my gut I could conceal them under untucked t shirts or even tucked in polos if using my Comp-Tac Minotaur (or a similar tuckable holster).

bikerdoc
November 2, 2012, 06:10 AM
I am small. 5'6" 140. In the hot VA summer I can conceal a 1911, or a 4" 357, under a T shirt. Reality is, I pocket carry a snub, or a 380.

bannockburn
November 2, 2012, 06:19 AM
About the closest I get to carrying anything full size would be something along the lines of a Colt Commander. More often than not though I would opt for a SIG P238 or a S&W Model 638 for CCW.

hso
November 2, 2012, 08:10 AM
I carry a Hi Power in an IWB holster most of the time, but if we're forced to eliminate the possibility of the firearm being even momentarily exposed you're almost limited to pocket or "tunderwear" type deep concealment. In those cases I carry a P3AT or PF9.

jwrowland77
November 2, 2012, 08:45 AM
I think it all depends on the carriers build and frame.

I am a short sawed off fellow, so the largest I feel comfortable carrying is a 9mm or .380. Most the time it's my Walther PPS 9mm though. If I could find a .40 that is small like my Walther I'd probably step up in caliber.

Lawdawg45
November 2, 2012, 09:55 AM
Another vote for the 1911 here. I carry a 5 inch model in a Texas Yaqui style holster and it prints less than my Glock 19!

LD

Tinpig
November 2, 2012, 12:05 PM
For me, in a definitely no-show state, it depends entirely on the season.
In the winter, when I'm wearing two hooded sweatshirts and a jacket, I can carry a 1911 or BHP in an M7 shoulder holster without problem. In the summer, wearing just a shirt, it's usually a .380 Sig P238 in a high belt holster with my shirt untucked.
All three single-action pistols handle essentially the same, i.e. cocked and locked.

Tinpig

56hawk
November 2, 2012, 12:29 PM
I have a S&W 500ES on my permit. It's surprisingly easy to conceal with a hip holster and a slightly baggy shirt.

Hootus
November 2, 2012, 12:36 PM
I'm only 5'7" and can easily carry a CCO size 1911 in a IWB holster like the Minotaur or Crossbreed all day long: under a standard Hawaii style shirt in the summer or any heavier shirt/sweater in the winter, and do it with complete concealment and confidence that no one will be able to tell I am carrying.

scaatylobo
November 2, 2012, 12:47 PM
I carry and conceal a Glock 23 in all climates.

Its a matter of learning to dress it down.

If you want to be a fashion plate - your outta luck for any CCW.

Old Dog
November 2, 2012, 01:42 PM
If you want to be a fashion plate - your outta luck for any CCW.How so? The fashion of the day for younger folk is heavy, baggy clothing.

While I typically wear jeans or cargo pants, I can wear a nice shirt, conceal a full-size 1911 or SIG with a Carrhart, Cabelas or Columbia vest or jacket and still feel "fashionable" for this part of the NorthWest ... Or I can wear slacks and a sport coat if I need to dress up a little, can still conceal anything. Even while living in Arizona in mid-summer, the right shirt can look fashionable and conceal a big handgun.

I submit that for almost any style of dress, there are ways to conceal even service-size handguns. As noted so many times before, it really comes down to holster choice and a good belt...

2zulu1
November 2, 2012, 03:25 PM
I IWB a 1911 Gov't comfortably, I don't like square slides because they rub hard on my hip bone @3:30-4:00.

The most comfortable IWB is the Browning Hi-Power, it's also one of the best pointers because of its ergonomics.

A good (wide) belt is a must.

GCBurner
November 2, 2012, 03:36 PM
My Taurus PT-99 is slightly larger than my 1911A1, but it was my first concealed defense pistol after I got my CCW, and it carries fine in a good inside-the-waistband holster, with a sturdy leather belt. I've since downsized a bit to a Glock 26 for IWB carry, as it's shorter and lighter, though with five fewer rounds of magazine capacity from the Taurus.

Jaxondog
November 2, 2012, 03:49 PM
Full size 1911. What else is there? ;)

Vern Humphrey
November 2, 2012, 04:01 PM
I carry a full-size M1911 (currently an early Kimber Classic) in a tuckable IWB of my own design. Arkansas does not have open carry.

Ehtereon11B
November 2, 2012, 07:03 PM
Oddly enough I don't carry my 1911. It is more of a safe queen and has only had 57 rounds through it.

My WP99 and RP94 are the largest weapons I consistently carry. The P94 is a little bigger than the P99 because the controls stick out more and has CT grips. I'll probably tote around the XD when I get it back but won't go larger than that.

Swing
November 2, 2012, 07:17 PM
Full size 1911. What else is there?

mhmmm. :D

FMF Doc
November 2, 2012, 08:23 PM
With a good solid belt, be it leather or something like a wilderness survival instructor belt, and a holster, like a Milt Sparks Versamax II, or a Raven Cocealment systems Phantom holster, you can carry almost anything. I have concealed carried Inside the Waistband a Beretta 92fs with a good 1.5" double thick leather belt and a VMII. Currently I carry a Glock 19 (not that much smaller) on a 1.75" 5.11 Tactical Instructor's belt IWB in a Raven Concealment Systems Phantom holster with no problems. The weapon is totoally secured, comfortable, and totally concealed with no printing. I am only 5"7 and come in on the scale at an athletic build of 170lbs. Another thing that helps is using a good deal of forward cant, 15-20 degrees. This places the grip of the pistol more over-top the barrel and reduces the overal "foot print". If you can find the right combination of Belt, Holster, and carry position, you can carry just about any pistol, no matter how big.

Series 70
November 2, 2012, 10:05 PM
I carried a full-sized 1911 for years, but downsized to a 4" CCO type to reduce the weight on my belt.

Liberty1776
November 2, 2012, 10:25 PM
year round, regardless of heavy clothes or shorts and a tank top, I carry either my Ruger 345 full-size .45, or a 4" full length bbl lug .357, IWB at 11:00. If my untucked shirt doesn't cover it, I wear a light utility-fishing type vest...

smalls
November 2, 2012, 10:36 PM
Officers sized 1911. I shoot the 1911 platform better than any other handgun I've ever tried, and carry a commander. I'd probably go with an EMP (even though its not a true officers 1911), because I really like the 9mm.

harmon rabb
November 2, 2012, 10:58 PM
With the right belt, holster, and clothing selection you can conceal anything.

For true throw it on and don't have to even think about it, and belt carry, my P64 is the easiest. But with a little effort and selection, I can conceal my FNP of i want.

harmon rabb
November 2, 2012, 11:01 PM
Officers sized 1911. I shoot the 1911 platform better than any other handgun I've ever tried, and carry a commander. I'd probably go with an EMP (even though its not a true officers 1911), because I really like the 9mm.

EMP is everything a "true" officers 1911 wishes it was. 9mm is the right cartridge for an aluminum officers frame, and the little changes made to the emp make it the most reliable officers frame 1911 out there.

To anyone who disagrees - have you fired one?

lefteyedom
November 2, 2012, 11:16 PM
http://www.hackman-adams.com/guns/walker.jpg
Colt Walker Dragoon....without buttstock :evil: just kidding


My 24/7 carry is a kel-tec 380., I can carry a 1911 but it is not easy to conceal on my 5'8 225 frame in the summer heat.

smalls
November 3, 2012, 01:04 AM
EMP is everything a "true" officers 1911 wishes it was. 9mm is the right cartridge for an aluminum officers frame, and the little changes made to the emp make it the most reliable officers frame 1911 out there.

I don't disagree at all. Just stating that I said officers 1911, but that the EMP was not a "true" officers size.

Harley Rider 55
November 3, 2012, 06:35 AM
I carry a 329PD .44 mag on occasion.
I HAVE carried short barreled shotguns and rifles under jackets. It's no big deal, as they are not required to be concealed. Texas is a open carry state for long guns.

kyletx1911
November 3, 2012, 06:39 AM
Fs 1911 all day everyday

Yelovitz_503
November 3, 2012, 07:01 AM
I live in Oregon and while you can open carry a lot of places, it is prohibited in some cities. Portland (my home), Salem, Tigard, Oregon City, and a few others have a 'no open carry' but CHL is still allowed. I regularly carry my CZ75B, or my Glock 17 in the winter, although in the summer I stuck with the Sig SP2022. It's never been a problem, but anything larger than that I'd be worried.

threefortyduster
November 3, 2012, 10:53 AM
I'm not a huge guy, so concealing a full size 1911 doesn't work. I generally stick to small frame revolvers or a compact/subcompact semi auto. I can usually do a double stack, but there are always exceptions and YMMV.

trickyasafox
November 3, 2012, 11:43 AM
full size cz75, glock, or 1911 here

Stress_Test
November 3, 2012, 11:44 AM
I just don't see how skinny guys like me are able to carry large automatics at the waist without it sticking out like a sore thumb. :confused:

I'm about 6'4" and 195 lbs (and almost none of it muscle ;) ). A lean guy in other words.

My M&P .45 compact is I think about the largest frame I can conceal inside the waist band and not print really bad.

I mean, I've tried my Glock21 and in the mirror it can't be seen so long as I'm standing straight with my arms to the side, but as soon as I twist, bend, whatever, it suddenly looks like I have a length of 2x4 under my shirt. Even the M&P will show a little bit through the shirt if I'm not careful.

Yelovitz_503
November 3, 2012, 03:34 PM
I just don't see how skinny guys like me are able to carry large automatics at the waist without it sticking out like a sore thumb.

I'm about 6'4" and 195 lbs (and almost none of it muscle ). A lean guy in other words.

My M&P .45 compact is I think about the largest frame I can conceal inside the waist band and not print really bad.

I mean, I've tried my Glock21 and in the mirror it can't be seen so long as I'm standing straight with my arms to the side, but as soon as I twist, bend, whatever, it suddenly looks like I have a length of 2x4 under my shirt. Even the M&P will show a little bit through the shirt if I'm not careful.

I guess I'm a bit more "sturdy" (at 5'11" and 195lbs), but I can get both my full size guns of choice around no problem. I just wear a simple slim Blackhawk IWB holster between 4 and 5 o'clock and it's never been a problem unless I'm at the grocery store (all the squatting and bending down to get things on low shelves can be problematic). I generally wear larger shirts, and all summer would wear a button up shirt to add to the space I had, and to break up any printing that might occur.

I'm not surprised you can't sneak your 21 around, especially if it's not the slim frame model, I love the Glock 21 but it's a brick of a gun... not really small enough for anything but open carry. Now you could try to do it with a Glock 30 but then you run into another problem (namely the fact that you're doing anything with a Glock 30..). ;)

guyfromohio
November 3, 2012, 03:42 PM
Belt and holster are a big factor. I have found that the crossbreed supertuck hides a larger gun better than a cheapo hides a smaller.

dirtengineer
November 3, 2012, 03:44 PM
My Taurus PT-99 is slightly larger than my 1911A1, but it was my first concealed defense pistol after I got my CCW, and it carries fine in a good inside-the-waistband holster, with a sturdy leather belt. I've since downsized a bit to a Glock 26 for IWB carry, as it's shorter and lighter, though with five fewer rounds of magazine capacity from the Taurus.
When I was young and had no cash, my PT-99 was my only pistol. I carried it usually in an SOB holster with a long jacket or a denim button down shirt open and untucked. Would have been hard in a warm climate.

Nowadays I usually opt for my LCP in a front pocket or a CM9 in a smartcarry when discretion is required.

Mikhail Weiss
November 3, 2012, 04:56 PM
While mine was still a no-show sate, the largest gun I carried while wearing shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops, was a Ruger P90. In those days I was 6'1 and 165lbs., and I carried IWB at about-ish 5:30 to 6:00.

Shimitup
November 3, 2012, 06:06 PM
When the weather actually lets you wear a jacket in Houston I've carried my 7 1/2" Redhawk in an old Bucheimer shoulder rig. It conceals very nicely.

Harley Rider 55
November 4, 2012, 06:02 AM
Under Texas law, I never worry about printing. Most folks assume it a cell phone or other device. It's not even a big deal if the wind should happen to move your cover garmet and expose your weapon. Thank God, Texas law is not as strict as other states when it applies to keeping your weapon concealed.

Sometime, I'll tell the story of when I carried an M4 carbine into my bank. :what:

guyfromohio
November 4, 2012, 06:14 AM
Honestly, the general public won't recognize a printing gun. Often, when I've surrendered my man-card and am forced to go shopping with the wife, I'll play a little game in which I try to look for CCWs. I've never yet seen one that I can be sure (100%) is a gun.

Certaindeaf
November 4, 2012, 12:23 PM
4" .44 magnum or a full size pistol.. Government model or Hi-power no problems under a t-shirt. I'm average size.

el Godfather
November 4, 2012, 02:13 PM
For me it would H&K USP 45.

golden
November 4, 2012, 03:37 PM
In FLORIDA, where I live, you cannot open carry and wearing a jacket or vest is a tell tale sign of concealed carry.
My largest concealed carry gun is a SIG 232, except for the winter, when my jacket covers a mid size 9m.m., either a BERETTA 92Compact, SIG 225 or WALTHER P-99.
I have found, that with loose fitting pants, like cargo pants or Docket style slacks, I can carry the SIG 232 in a pocket holster without a problem. When I wear something tighter fitting, my usual carry is a BERETTA Tomcat.

Showing in FLORIDA can be a major hassle, even if you are an LEO.

Jim

tomrkba
November 4, 2012, 04:23 PM
SIG P220. I carried one in Texas for a few years. There were no issues carrying it under a loose t-shirt. I don't understand why so many people need a tiny gun. Anyone should be able to effectively conceal a Glock 19 in an IWB holster.

Unka-Boo
November 4, 2012, 04:32 PM
I've carried a USP 45 in an IWB in shorts and T-shirt. Currently, I carry a G19, IWB. ( I'm 6'3", 225 )

Honestly, it's not a matter of "if" you'll print or show, it's "when".

Get past it now, it will happen.

JohnKSa
November 4, 2012, 04:45 PM
The important considerations are:

1. How long I'm going to be out of the house.
2. What I'll be doing.
3. What the weather is.
4. How I can dress.

A 15 minute visit to the grocery store down the street in the winter where I can wear a coat but I won't be doing any sitting, stretching, etc. and I can carry anything in the safe.

A short jaunt out of the house in the summer time with no heavy cover garment, when I don't expect to be doing anything other than driving or walking limits me to something along the lines of a Glock 17.

If I'm going to be out of the house all day and can't dress warmly but can wear an untucked shirt, then I can get away with something up to the size of a Kahr P9.

If I can't wear an untucked shirt then I'm limited to something Walther PPK sized or smaller in a smart-carry type arrangement.

VAPOPO
November 4, 2012, 07:45 PM
Full sized 1911 most of the time. IWB with 2 spare mags weak side.

easyg
November 4, 2012, 10:38 PM
Springfield Armory XD 45....

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/2012-09-22013512_zps1e3e303d.jpg

Yelovitz_503
November 12, 2012, 02:54 AM
I totally agree.. anybody should be fine with a Glock 19 and IWB. Pretty thin and small enough for a hot day

Vern Humphrey
November 12, 2012, 09:28 AM
I totally agree.. anybody should be fine with a Glock 19 and IWB. Pretty thin and small enough for a hot day
Nothing beats an M1911 in that category.:D

beag_nut
November 12, 2012, 05:09 PM
Ruger SP101 or its clone, a Charter Arms Mag Pug.

308win
November 12, 2012, 06:40 PM
4506 but not in a tshirt.

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