12 Apr 12
There are three levels of concealment: Casual, Rigorous, and Total.
A pistol in a waistband holster, covered by an outer-garment, is an example of “casual” concealment, and that, or something similar, is the preference of most of us who carry daily.
However, with the current spike of interest in personal-protection pistols, many, who heretofore never even thought about owning a gun, much less carrying one, are now seriously, even desperately, investigating ways to have a pistol on them, concealed, and yet continue dressing as they always have.
This is the realm of “rigorous” concealment, often used by Operators for back-up guns, but now used by many neophytes for carrying their one, and only, gun!
One method I’ve used is concealing the pistol in an elastic band around my torso, sandwiched between the T-shirt and the dress shirt. Concealment this way requires no vest, nor an outer-garment of any kind, nor does it involve a belt, nor the waistband at all. And, your shirt can be tucked-in normally.
Two products I use, and like best in the regard, are the Kangaroo Carry, and the CCW Shirt. In the former case, a thin shoulder-strap keeps the elastic band from sagging. In the later case, the pistol is well supported within a jersey-type undershirt.
Both products are best suited to small, flat, single-column pistols in 9mm and 380auto and small revolvers in 38Spl. Most such pistols can be comfortably carried this way with minimal “printing.” Full-sized pistols can be thus carried too, but are more likely to generate a printing issue, depending on your size, shape, and the way you move.
Printing is minimized, in either case, when you wear an outer shirt with a light pattern. A solid-color shirt will cast stark shadows when in direct sunlight. A pattern in the shirt will camouflage such shadows, breaking-up the outline, and making the pistol underneath far less obvious.
With either the CCW Shirt or the Kangaroo Carry, you’re going to have to reach through the front opening in your outer shirt in order to draw the pistol. Thus, you’ll probably have to leave at least one button unbuttoned. Some shirts from 511, and others, have snaps (masquerading as buttons) that greatly facilitate this process.
In either case, your draw will be “one-way.” That is, you won’t be able to reholster quickly. Getting the pistol back into its holster is slow and requires both hands. So, when you need to get your drawn pistol out-of-sight promptly, it will probably have to go into a pocket or handbag. This maneuver, along with the rest of your repertoire, needs to be exercised during range training.
Currently, sales of small 9mm and 380auto pistols is brisk, to say the least! As noted above, for many, such a small, limited-capacity pistol will represent their main, indeed only, defense, and most of these folks will be carrying concealed for the first time in their lives!
Many seasoned Operators consider them all to be “Johnny-come-lately” to our Party, finally emerging from self-imposed denial. Probably true, but they still need solid guidance and encouragement, and we need their support in opposing anti-gun legislation.
They need reminding that “concealment is an attitude.” They need to get over it, used to it!
“Late” converts are still converts!
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