Concealing in Business Casual?

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Apr 28, 2008
NC Sandhills
DH has gotten the concealment of his S&W M&P 9 in his regular wardrobe down pretty well since he always has liked to wear a t-shirt or turtleneck (depending on weather), under an open shirt.

But today he has a rare business lunch with a client in a "business casual", cool-weather situation. He's in a tucked-in, long-sleeved shirt without a tie and his usual khakis. The M&P is in a tuckable holster, but DH hasn't had much luck with actually tucking his shirt over it because he dislikes the baggy, blobby, untidy look created by tucking a shirt that is baggy enough for adequate concealment. The gun butt prints badly in better-fitting shirts.

He's thrown on a sweater but is concerned that the restaurant is going to be too warm. A sports jacket is both equally warm and too formal.

Can a full-size gun be concealed in business casual with a tucked-in shirt that isn't so big as to make you look like you're wearing hand-me-downs from someone 100lbs larger?

Can an M&Pc be concealed in that way? Or does he need to get something truly small that can be put into a pocket holster for these occasions?
You are describing on of the toughest concealment situations. I have addressed it two ways. First, the tuckable you describe. Just deal with a little extra bagginess. regarding printing, others are not so observant as you think. Second, I have used an undershirt-type holster. There are several brands. Each have their pro and cons. They need to be worn fairly tight to be secure and not print. Too tight and you are tugging on them like a woman with an ill fitting bra. But that is about the best solution I have found to the problem you describe.

As an alternative, I'm in the market for a more pocketable pistol right now (with an appropriate pocket holster). That is not a useful alternative in some situations, but it will add another option.

I'd really like to try out one of those new Ruger Kel-Tecs...
The Ruger LCP. Me too. They are in short supply and high demand. I would buy the P32 or P3AT, but I don't like that they don't have a slide lock. The Ruger "copy" does. I have a Beretta mouse gun, but would like a thinner alternative in a better caliber.
Smartcarry, ankle rig, messenger bag?

I think wearing clothes that are too big is required CCW cultural conformance :) I take a lot of heat for this opinion but it is true.
Yup, that's a really tough one to work with.

In order of preference...

-Casual sports jacket and the usual OWB or IWB carry
-Smaller CCW gun (Bersa T380 Carry Concealed model in my case)
-Ankle holster
-Go without

Not really endorsed by me, but still a possibility...

-Smartcarry (just doesn't work well for large bellied folks, sorry)
-Off body carry (briefcase or soft-bag or Safepacker)
I purchased a lightweight leather vest (it came in my size regular or long, and I got the long) to wear on such occasions. Works great when attending the theater or other semi-dress up events too.
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That is my normal carry attire and method 99% of the time. I can conceal a Walther P99 in an uncle mikes IWB at 1:00 easily. It doesn't take much extra fluff to conceal, as the gun sits pretty low, maybe 1.5" above the belt line. The key is that the gun must be low in the holster, not riding high.

I like this method because if I need to go in a restaraunt, I can tuck the shirt behind it (actually, I've been OCing more often than not for the last several months anyway) and be in compliance with the "OC only if alcohol is served" law.

I can take a few pics when I get home.
I would buy the P32 or P3AT, but I don't like that they don't have a slide lock. The Ruger "copy" does.

You might want to check that again.

And the P-32 does lock back on empty.
PF-9 here. I have thought about this very situation, as IWB can be tricky with tucked shirts. I'll be trying out ankle carry for those occassion when the I have to go a little more formal than usual. But that's just me... YMMV.
Just like anything, I think the options are something like this:

1. wear oversized/unfashionable clothes and carry whatever you want. This seems to be the popular answer from the CCW crowd

2. wear normal clothes that don't work at all with CCW with a normal size pistol and either carry off-body, carry a tiny gun in your pocket, or use some other unconventional method like Smartcarry or ankle rig that may work for you.

3. Don't carry

This is a situation I deal with daily. For me, sometimes the SC works, sometimes IWB works, sometimes messenger bag works, and almost never does a full-size (medium frame) pistol work.
I would second the vest. For you and me, we probably would look a little silly in them (how many women do you ever see wearing vests? right) but guys can pull this off much better. A really nice lightweight leather vest would be a great idea with the khakis and tie. Just a little bit up the dressiness scale, and would hide the gun (as long as he's careful to get one long enough.

Business Casual?

The Sport Coat is the way to go! Just keep it buttoned, and it can hide that OWB holster all day.

Some other options I didn't see mentioned:

While a little slower to draw, it provides a nice easy way to put on a button down shirt over the gun.

Pocket Carry with a smaller handgun:
KT P3AT is perfect for this.

Tuckable IWB holster.
Hmm. Sound about what I was thinking. Either look like the fabric monster is attacking your waistline or go for a smaller gun. :D

The vest idea might work, he likes vests, but finding a dressy vest long enough could be a problem. Most of the long ones seem to lean either to biker style or fishing/hunting style.

A sports jacket is too formal for business casual in this place where polo shirts and golf shirts are the norm for that level of formality. A sports jacket is church clothes and the suit/tie only needs to come out for weddings, funerals, and, potentially, clients from big cities.

He's back and the sweater worked without overheating, but its something to work on as we obtain his winter wardrobe.
I'd add my $.02 on pocket carry too, or at least something a lot smaller, but IIRC correctly you have a schedule in your family as to who gets the next gun? Thinking that it isn't his turn at the moment? Of course, need might rearrange that schedule, too.

I dress like this everyday. I ended up buying a Ruger LCP to solve the problem My place of employment has a no weapons policy so concealing a bigger gun is just to risky for me. Find some Khakis with deep pockets, Get a P3AT / LCP and a pocket holster. Done deal.
You might want to check that again.

And the P-32 does lock back on empty.
Sorry. I meant a manual slide lock. I just handled one last week and confirmed that I could not lock it open with the mag out.

Doesn't anyone else consider the undershirt holster (like the 5.11) an option, especially in cool weather? My biggest complaint is that they are too expensive to keep half a dozen of them in the drawer when they will wear out in a couple of years or so.


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A sports jacket is too formal for business casual in this place

Sounds like an anti-gun plot to (if they can't ban all guns) at least ban anything bigger than a Seecamp!

.38 snub in a pocket holster. Use an alloy one if the steel weighs the pocket down too much.

BTW I have tried the "undershirt holsters." Real uncomfortable for me, and trying to get to it would be way slow, unless you rip open your shirt Superman-style!

For me, it's a Smartcarry holster in a lowrise 2-3 o'clock IWB position using a flat single stack pistol with a short butt. On me, anything up to a Officer sized 1911 is nearly invisible unless the shirt is really tight. Kahrs and the Walther PPS work particularly well.

As an added bonus, there are no tell-tale clips poking around and I've found that it often conceals better than untucked with slim fit dress shirts. A bit of blousing generally provides enough space between the gun butt and your shirt to minimize printing. Downsides are that it's marginally slower than traditional tuckables and it's not one hand holsterable. Belts also have to be cinched fairly tightly to prevent the gun from shifting when running/etc.
Tribal, that sounds like a great idea. One question - anyone ever tried it? Would the magnets have a tendency to try to stick to the gun during the draw? (Depending on where it was carried relative to the magnets, of course.)
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