looking for advice on concealment


Safety First
December 28, 2002, 07:10 PM
I have purchased a handgun for personal defense purposes.. I am looking for a way to conceal the gun discreetly. I carry on the strong hip side and need a sport coat,vest or some type of jacket to properly conceal. My dress code is casual and do not normally wear a tie,so I am looking for the casual options... any and all suggestions will be appreciated..

I of course do have a ccw permit for the state of Ga..I am fairly new at this carry business and want to do everything properly as well as safely...This is my first post at The High Road.The site appears to fairly new but should become very popular for gun enthusiasts everywhere...:

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December 28, 2002, 07:12 PM
A good holster and belt is all you really need. What kind of gun do you have and are you carrying it now? What kind of gear are you using? Are you having problems concealing the weapon?

December 28, 2002, 08:10 PM
1911 in a Summer Special 2 under a jeans jacket.

1911 in a Wilson pancake holster worn a bit farther back than normal (because it rides higher than the Avenger or the S/S2) under a sports coat.

My favorite two options, and my worthless two cents :b


December 29, 2002, 12:04 AM
Don't know what kind of weapon you have to carry, but take a hard look at www.miltsparks.com (http://www.miltsparks.com/). I found holsters to be VERY good, nicely made, and worth the money. Had to fit the unusually shaped P7.

December 29, 2002, 12:34 AM
First off you mention dress code which implies you'd be carrying at your work. Check what company policy is before carrying a weapon into your work place. I'm not suggesting you necessarily obey company policy but you need to be aware of the consequences if someone spots the weapon, and choose your course of action from there.

It would also be advisable to make sure there are no State legal ramifications to carrying in your work place with all the recent focus on "workplace violence".

Personally, I prefer alive and potentially unemployed but I know several that leave their weapons locked in their cars for fear of company policy...

Concealment options depend greatly on the weapon you have chosen and what type of shirts you prefer to wear.

For example, when I wear an oxford button up shirt I'll put my Kimber in a belly band. For a golf / polo shirt I'll use an in-the-waist. And if I wear a sports jacket or anorak/pullover, a Safariland paddle.

Also consider your spare ammo needs. While a 1911 mag conceals ok in a back pocket it can be uncomfortable if you sit at your job. And a USP 45 mag, for example, is big enough that it will profile in a pocket drawing unneccessary attention. Revolver speed loaders are usually more difficult to conceal in which case speed strips may be a better option.

Lastly, body language is important. I've seen a lot of inexperienced concealed carriers unconsciously and continually checking their weapon position, repositioning and verifying retention. Choose a good carry system and learn to be comfortable with it, and whether the retention is trust worthy. Then wear the rig, even around the house and on weekends if possible, so that its presence, weight, position and integrity of retention becomes a normal and natural part of life.

My $0.02 anyway....

December 29, 2002, 12:37 AM
Depends on the gun to a large extent. What did you buy?

Captain Bligh
December 29, 2002, 12:44 AM
I, too, would be interested in knowing what you're wanting to conceal. Here in Indiana in the winter time, I find pull-over sweaters to be the ideal concealment cover-up. In general, I would think a sport coat over a long sleeved T or a mock turtle neck would work for a business casual environment. It's a far greater sin to be underdressed than overdressed. No boss is going to criticize you for setting the bar for a higher standard of what business casual means.

I also concur with advice to read your personnel manual carefully. You should know exactly what your company's position is.


Safety First
December 30, 2002, 09:30 PM
I purchased a sig p239 9mm, I have purchased a belt and iwb holster from Wild Bill's Concealment. I of course do not carry at work as the work place guidelines strictly prohibit. To try and be a little more specific I am looking for casual dress concealment ideas. Mainly what are the favorite garments and what manufactures or retail stores did you find them in?
Also I am very impressed with post I have read here,not your typical chat room or web site..I look forward to learning from those who have the experience and knowledge needed for safe carry as well as learning of new guns and related products.

December 31, 2002, 10:50 AM
Well, a selection of great purse holsters is likely out...


I see lots of people who love IWB holsters; but to this girl's eye they're almost always easy to spot as they ruin the drape of a pair of Dockers (and even jeans). A good pancake willl work wonders, as long as you don't slouch, and nearly anything will cover it - just be very careful when reholstering to not sweep the muzzle across your person as you slip the gun past the lips of such a holster.

That's why the "Askins" type holster has remained in favor, with it's reinforced top...

For clothes for concealed carry, I just by off-the-rack at places like LL Bean, and REI Outdoors as nobody looks twice at such prevalent labels.

Try and make as few modifications to your wardrobe as possible, especially style-wise, or you'll draw attention to "the new you."



Zak Smith
December 31, 2002, 11:10 AM
I have a CCW in Colorado and have found that for me - about 160lbs, 5'9", 34" waist - I can conceal a Glock 27 / Makarov size pistol under a t-shirt, or Patagonia-type button shirt (meant to be untucked), or sweatshirt/fleece/sweater.

A Glock 23-sized (mid-sized) pistol can be easily concealed under all of those things except the t-shirt.

A full sized pistol such as the HK USP or CZ-75 is harder to conceal, and I pretty much gave up on that.

I have had very good luck using both strong-side IWB and OWB high-quality leather and kydex holsters. A strong, stiff belt helps a lot too. I have a double-thick 1.5" leather gunbelt I used to wear, but now use The Wilderness Tactical's Instructor Belt (1.5", 5-stich). This one is nice because it's infinitely adjustable for tension.

In short, if you've got a compact or sub-compact pistol, I think you should be able to use a good strong-side IWB holster and then just about any "normal" shirt which can be left unbuttoned.

Hope this helps.. people are built differently and some experimentation is needed. It's really not hard to conceal a pistol - it's mainly mental.

December 31, 2002, 11:48 AM
In the fall and winter, it is fairly easy to conceal a handgun due to all of the layers we wear. In the spring and summer, it is a bit more difficult since people wearing coats appear "off" when the temperature and humidity are both around "90".

I have found that I can conceal a small revolver, like the SP-101, using an IWB holster with only a T-shirt or a casual polo as the cover garment. My preferred summer carry method is an untucked polo over a tucked in T-shirt using IWB carry. The polo material and color are quite important. I tend to avoid material that is woven to loosely or is too thin, and I prefer darker colors since any bulges are masked by the lack of contrast in the cover garment and any shadows. I try to avoid any patterned shirts for the same reason; any bulge from gun, belt, or holster tends to show up because the garment pattern has been distorted, and people are very good at detecting deviations from patterns.

In my experience, grip size, not barrel length, is the determining factor for successful concealed-carry. Thus, one of my criteria for concealed-carry handguns is the size, length and thickness, of the grip. I have had good success with 1911-format pistols and Ruger SP-101 revolvers for IWB carry. I also carry an S&W J-frame in a pocket holster in my front pocket.

I have tried the Rosen Workman holster for carry in office environments where untucked shirts are not appropriate; however, it "prints" right through my dress slacks. In office environments, I am fond of pocket carry of the J-frame.

December 31, 2002, 01:15 PM
I'm using a Fobus holster right now with my Kimber.

Summer= Fanny pack with a Sig P239

December 31, 2002, 01:31 PM
I'm 6', 190 lbs, and have carried a Glock 23 in a Dillon Master Holster plus two spare mags on my left for several years. I normally wear XL clothing. However, I've found that buying XXL shirts (polo, t-shirts, etc) I can carry concealed with no one noticing. A good belt will help keep that holstered handgun close to your body.

When the weather turns cold, I'll wear fleece vests, flanel shirts, etc to conceal. I have found combining a fleece vest and jacket works well. When you go indoors, such as a market, bookstore or whatever you can remove your coat and still conceal the handgun with the vest or flanel shirt.

I have surprised many friends and acquaintences when they have greeted me or said good-bye with a pat on the side and discovered a hidden handgun.

Basically, you need to figure out what cloths work well with your particular body size/type. Stand in front of a mirror at home with your concealed handgun and see if you notice the handgun butt sticking out or your spare mages. Make adjustments and go from there. Buying one size larger has made a big difference.

December 31, 2002, 02:23 PM
I see lots of people who love IWB holsters; but to this girl's eye they're almost always easy to spot as they ruin the drape of a pair of Dockers (and even jeans). .

Very sharp eyes Trisha. It's so true.

I have several IWB holsters but I like the SmartCarry best for my Glock23, even thou still been spotted by those who have sharp eyes and know where to look, otherwise it's hard to tell.

Safety First
December 31, 2002, 07:55 PM
Thanks to all of you who took time to share your thoughts.. once again I think this board has some really great people posting here. I did get several good ideas that I had not previously considered... Hope all of you have a safe happy new years..

December 31, 2002, 08:29 PM
I have purchased lots of clothing from Cabelas www.cabelas.com.

The vast majority of what they have is both good looking and high quality!

Good luck!

January 1, 2003, 10:48 PM
A concealed carry tips page is located at:

January 1, 2003, 10:54 PM
First get a good thick belt- 1.5" wide if possible. I generally carry under untucked polo or rugby shirt with IWB. I like Kramer holsters and belts very much. Gun I carry is either glock 27 or J frame Smith IWB. Sometimes J Frame in Rosen pocket holster.

Jim K
January 1, 2003, 11:02 PM
When I carried, I had a 3" Chiefs Special .38 in an IWB holster on the right (strong) side. I always thought (and still do) that the 1911 is pretty bulky for concealed carry, though I know some good sized guys who get away with it.

Pointman gives good advice, especially about the tendency to constantly check the gun, feel for it, etc. Cops who see that kind of thing will almost always ask politely if the person is armed and if so is either LE or has a permit. If your answers are likely to mean trouble, learn to leave the gun alone.

Note that even when carrying legally, or even if a LE officer, being "made" can have repercussions. I know a detective who nearly got shot because a little boy saw the gun and touched off a near riot. (I have told the story, and maybe will again, but not right now.)


January 1, 2003, 11:34 PM
I have a Sig P239 (40) that'll be on my ccw next year. I was looking for a quality leather holster with thumb break retention that has a paddle for easy off/on. I just cannot wear in the waistband type holsters; my 34" pants keep shrinking -- yeah back to the gym starting this weekend. At the shop, we did not find a Galco for the P239, but tried the one made for the P225, and it fits great. Maybe it was mismarked.
I have had a ccw for 18 years (even in Calif) and carry only when I go to the Bay Area--or when I'm hiking in MT. The P239 I would wear in this fashion only with a jacket, possibly sweater, etc. Otherwise, it's my Glock 27 or Colt DS revolver in right front pocket in Uncle Mike's #4 pocket holster. (When I carry, the wife always makes it a point to walk on my right when she's along).

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