New guy to the forum wondering...Best way for a large man to conceal carry?
I've scanned the forums and have seen several topics on which gun to carry and what caliber, and so forth. But I'm a large man (6'3" 300lbs) and it's not an athletic large. I will be getting my conceal license in a few months and I've run into a problem, I can't figure out how best to conceal carry. I have toyed around with the full size Sig I own and my wife's Charter .38 revolver.
So, the question is, how do y'all carry? waist? ankle? pocket? shoulder? Have special outfits for times that you carry?
Also, full size? compact? sub? I will buy semi-auto.
Any and all feedback is welcome. Even models of gun, models of holster, etc. Thanks in advance!
I personally like OWB on my strong side hip... as a LEO i'm very comfortable using this position and my draw is quick (for me anyway) due to muscle memory. i've learned to dress around my guns to an extent and find this is my location of choice. Find what seems natural to you and make sure it's located in an area you can access quickly without straining or twisting yourself. Try different methods... a lot of my buddies like to appendix carry their handguns... some like the 5 O' clock position. Try different cants as well. I prefer a straight draw but don't mind a 10 degree cant either.
Hard for anyone to really tell you where is best since everyone's body type and reach is different. Some like pocket carry too... all depends on personal preference. Like most, you'll probly aquire a few holsters over time til you find one you like as you really won't know til you actually carry for a while.
I like kydex or leather holsters depending on my attire. A good open top leather pancake holster (Galco) is my favorite for deep concealment... where i'll wear a kydex with a jacket since concealment isn't such an issue. As far as size goes... carry what you can effectively shoot well, whether it be a full size, compact or sub. Most days i'll wear a Sig P238 but have carried full size handguns on occasion.
You will want to invest in a good sturdy belt as well... i'll use leather or a nylon reinforced belt. This is a part of CCW that a lot of new guys skimp on or fail to recognize.
Never found ankle holsters to be comfortable or easy to get to in a hurry... so I don't do the ankle holsters, or shoulder rigs either for that matter. I see their application as a backup though... although if you are going somewhere that requires 2 guns, maybe you shouldn't be going there in the first place.
Good luck and some other guys may have other ideas for you.
What state are you from? States like New York you don't want to print.(Where some one can see your handgun through your cloths).
The first thing is to get the handgun that fits you, Feels good in your hand while holding it and one you can shoot comfortably. Some guns feel good in your hand, but are uncomforable to shoot. Then again you have to be proficient with it as well.
Caliber is the next thing, a lot of guys feel the way I do about caliber. Get the biggest you feel comforable with and that you can hit the target.
Once you get that down find the right holster that feels comfortable and dress around it. I have several carry handguns and carry them differently,
My Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight (revolver)I carry in a nylon pocket sleeve in my jeans front right pocket. (very comfortable & easily eccessable)
My 80 Series Colt Combat Commander 1911 I carry in a Kydex in the waist band holster on the right side in the small of my back. (Very comfortable & accessable)
My Smith & Wesson 632 (revolver) 327 Federal magnum I carry in a Out of the waist band Galco leather holster. (Comfort OK)
My Ruger SP101 (Revolver) 327 Federal magnum 3" barrel I carry in a nylon pocket slever in my right front pocket, (very comfortale)
My Rossi 972 stainless 357mag (revolver) 3" barrel with compensator I carry in a Uncle Mikes nylon holster out of the waist band right side, ( very comfotable & easily accessable. I wear a long tail carhart button up shirt to cover up my gun. I leave it un-buttoned.(very comfortable & accessable)
My Ruger GP100 stainless 327 federal magnum (revolver) 4" barrel I carry in a Uncle Mikes nylon holster right side (very comfortable & accessable)
My Ruger GP100 stainless 357mag (revolver) 6" barrel i carry in a Uncle Mikes nylon holster right side, ( comfort OK, accessable but a little to big to really cover for me. I carry this when I'm out in the country or going fishing, hiking, hunting, target shooting, were I won't be in contact with too many people.
My Kahr PM9 - 9mm auto I carry in a lether Galco pocket sleve, 9very comfortable & easily accessable)
My Bond Cowboy Defender 45lc/410shotgun (derringer) 3" barrels i carry in a drop in leather holster, it's like having a tape-measure on your belt. (very comfortable, & easily accessable) I load it with 000 Buckshot for personal defense and #6 shot when sleaning up old wood piles, raking & baleing hay to shoot rats, mice & voles.
Here in Washington State we have open carry so we don't have to be as careful as some one from a communist state like New York. If you print it doesn't matter 99% of the time. Just dressaround what you end up with.
When I started carrying every day I was very uncomfortable, always checking to see if I was printing and just nervous about it. Now it's like natural to carry,two times I was running late and forgot my handgun and took off, I made it about a mile way both times.I turned around and went home to get my gun.
I will never be caught without atleast one handgun on my person. If I'm going to the city, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia I'll have two handguns on me and two speed strips for the revolver and two mags for the auto.
What ever you get MAKE SURE IT"S COMFORTABLE TO CARRY, IF IT's NOT COMFORTABLE YOU WON"T CARRY IT EVERY DAY! If it's not comfortable to carry,one of the days you leave it home WILL BE THE DAY YOU NEED IT!
Lastel carry att home every day as well, 100% of all home invasions HAPPEN AT HOME!
Dress around the gun. That is, modify your clothing and its style to better conceal the weapon, and to make carrying it as comfortable as possible.
A wiser man than I once said, "Carrying a concealed defensive weapon should be comforting, not comfortable."
Were you to take a concealed-carry class from a reputable teacher, you would receive lots of helpful advice to aid in solving your problem...if you ask.
Ahh, where to begin? I’m a big fellow, too. (Not quite as big as you, but still big.) What do I carry? Big pistols! I used to carry 1911 pattern and P-35 pistols. The reason I stopped is that all of them were custom-built, and way too expensive to ever wind up inside a damp, cold ‘n drafty, police evidence locker. So, nowadays, I carry a large, cheap, plastic pistol that I really don’t care about. It’s strictly utilitarian rather than aesthetic.
Unless you spend a lot of time sitting down (some people do), never carry on your ankle; and you need to be aware that the only good use for a pocket holster - which is invariably much slower to draw from - is with your secondary pistol - Which is best kept on your support-hand side, and in an outside jacket pocket during the wintertime. Otherwise (and after going through much of what you’re pondering, right now) I wear my secondary IWB and cross draw. This keeps things as they should be, and makes my BUG immediately available to either hand.
What you never want to do is enter into a CQB pistol engagement with your head closer to the ground than it needs to be. Because as Jerry Usher once sagely pointed out, ‘Most bullets tend to fly low in a pistol gunfight!’ (In my experience Usher is very correct; and you can see this for yourself at many fast action pistol shooting matches.)
Decades ago I began, ‘dressing around my gun(s)’. My shirts and jackets are often one size too large; and my pants tend to be baggy. Last Saturday night we had friends come in from Communist New Jersey; and they were quite surprised to learn that many Pennsylvanians go about armed. One of the women, whom I’ve known for many years, commented, ‘Oh, Doc is always armed!’ So, wide-eyed and obviously concerned, the New Jersey contingent gasped, ‘Are you armed right now?’ (We were at dinner in the best restaurant in the county.) Not to worry I opened the opposite side of my jacket, showed everybody my support side and replied, ‘Of course not - See’!
Later on, and as we were leaving the restaurant, one of the women came over to me, leaned forward, and kissed me good night while she, also, placed her hand against the strong side of my belt. When she did this she touched my pistol and said, ‘Men!’ ‘You’re all such talented liars!’ My reply? I winked at her, and said, ‘Yes, but mostly to beautiful women; and, darling, I learned a long time ago to never voluntarily admit that I’m armed’.
What gun had I been so successful at concealing all night long? A huge Glock Model 21! How did I do it? First, like I said, I, ‘dress around the gun’. Second, I always use a holster that tucks the pistol’s butt in tight to my side. The other things I always HABITUALLY do is that I know, ‘How’ to move while I’m carrying in such ways that my pistol will NOT have a tendency to pattern. You know, things like: Never bending the knee opposite to the side on which I’m, ‘packing’; or never reaching with the arm on the same side that I’ve got the pistol on. I, also, instinctively, ‘blade’ other people; and, as a general rule, I don’t allow anyone to reach underneath my arms in order to touch (or hug) my person. Usually I’m, also, unbloused about the waist; and, consequently, my primary is always underneath cover.
What are my favorite carry positions? Unless I’m being, ‘cute’ always on my waist, most often at 2:00 o’clock (appendix carry), and occasionally at 4:30/8:30 and just behind the point of my hip. There is a distinct advantage to using appendix carry: If you’re right-handed, and ever caught behind a steering wheel, AC is the fastest holster position to draw from. Me? I’m ambidextrous; but, because I’m usually the vehicle’s driver, I tend to carry on my right-hand side.
I’ll share another personal opinion with you: The finest OWB holster design - for a large heavyset man - is Wm. Tucker’s, ‘HF-1’ holster. (Warning: It’s expensive; but it’ll, also, ‘see you out’!)
The HF1 Belt Holster | The Choice of Texas Rangers | Tucker Gun Leather
The HF1 Belt Holster | The Choice of Texas Rangers | Tucker Gun Leather
One other caveat: In addition to not usually carrying on your ankle (unless, of course, you spend a lot of time sitting down) stay away from shoulder holsters. I know they’re, ‘Dirty Harry cool’; and bike riders tend to use them; but, they’re slower than molasses in winter to draw from; and the horizontal carry models outrageously violate Cooper’s Second Rule of Gun Safety.
Wm. Tucker's, 'HF-1':
Blade-Tech, Custom, 'Carbon Fiber' Holster w/ Tek-Lok, Quick On/Off, Belt Clasp:
Another View Of Blade-Tech's Tek-Lok Clasp. (This Is Either A Left-Hand OTB, Or A Right-Hand ITB Holster Setup):
A Pair Of Blade-Tech, Custom Kydex, Belt Holsters (Set Up For Both OTB, And ITB Carry):
That should do it for ya!
I have several companies represented in my carry stable. Glock, Smith and Wesson M&P, and Kahr. My primary carry gun is one of my gen3 Glock 23's. Most always it rides in a Fobus Evolution belt holster on my strong side. Note, I said their "Evolution" model. I don't care for their standard model. The other holster I tend to use for this gun is a Comp-Tac belt holster. I do have a DeSantis Mini Slide leather holster for it but I one had a little problem when using that holster so I no longer employ it.
As for guns that I carry, the secondaries in my Glock stable would be: a gen3 G19, a gen4 G22, a gen4 G17, and a gen4 G21. For the S&W M&P, that would be an M&P 9 Pro Series (4.25"), an M&P 40 (4.25"), and an M&P 45 4". For Kahr it would be an Elite '03 9mm, an Elite '98 .40S&W, and a PM9. When not on a trip, almost always I carry that gen3 Glock 23 I mentioned above.
I also consider my clothes when carrying, which is nearly 100% of the time. Since I both conceal and open carry, mostly open carry, and I dress casually nearly always, clothing is not nearly as important as I am able to dress around my sidearm. I am 5' 10" and about 205 pounds of mostly a well proportioned frame so carrying doesn't present any problems for me.
Thanks for the great info! Glock Doc, I would have never considered carrying full size. You've given me hope that I can carry my Sig someday. And, Highland, I'm a Texas man. I also appreciate the info on holsters. I really had no idea where to begin on those.
I carry my Ruger LCP, with a spare magazine, for my EDC. I use, mostly, a BLACKHAWK! size 3 pocket holster. I like to use the Barnes TAC-X rounds for self defense loads.
I'm 6'2" and 195(finally) and I've carried full size 1911 IWB at 4:30 a lot, but as I've gotten older I'm moving more to a S&W M&P9c in a G-Code appendix rig. Very comfortable sitting or standing, accessible to either hand. I'm awaiting one of their holsters for my Commander length .38 Super/.45ACP 1911's. Good luck
X2 on what he carries same set up as me just different ammo.
Originally Posted by berettatoter
Heres my story,
Im 6 foot 4 300lbs and I myself was in the same boat as you. Its hard for us big guys with the love handles if you want to carry on the waiste at the 3 o clock position. Being your zipper is the 12 o clock. I myself have carried several different ways. You being from Texas I would imagine its pretty warm there most of the time. It was everytime I went. Im in Florida so I deal with light clothing and carrying. I tell all my students, carrying is an inconvenience in a lot of ways but find what works for you and it takes away from a lot of the inconvenience. I typically wear guy harvey shirts, larger than I used to because I carry. I now buy more cargo shorts than jeans.
I carried at the hip for quite sometime in the 5 o clock position and for the last 6 months I have stuck with in pocket holster with an extra mag on for my LCP 380. I carry a Glock 26 sometimes too. Just depends on what im doing. Buy bigger clothes with a looser fit. Seemed to me like no matter how you carry its better to have larger clothes. Wearing tight clothes like normal size jeans, makes it hard to draw from. My in pocket is not a problem and its a natural look for me.
Another thought is CCW Breakaways, it's a pant with a dedicated holster in the front pocket. I have carried up to a full size 1911, but find that a Commander or smaller gun works better. The down side is that whatever you normally carry in your front pocket must go somewhere else. See their website at
They also get around the problem of carrying different types of guns needing different holsters.
If I can't figure out a way to carry with the info and opinions y'all have given, I shouldn't be allowed to own a gun. Thanks everyone!
side note: really looking at the S&W M&P 9c
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