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I am 100 percent against off-body carry. Gun owners who carry off-body run the risk of A) not having a gun when they need one, and B) losing their gun when someone nicks their briefcase, gym bag, handbag, etc. Worse still, a child could delve into their bag, get their gat and trigger a tragedy. Slightly less worse (but a lot worse for you) an off-body gun could get hung-up inside its container; you could fail to extract your gun in a timely manner when facing an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm and . . . lose. While the market’s welcoming stylish, well-made, practical off-body carry solutions like the concealedcarrie.com bag above, and Colion Noir carries off-body, I say humbug. There’s more than enough on-body carry solutions for every possible outfit and circumstance, for women and men. Am I wrong? Is off-body carry one of those “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” deals? Give me one example where it’s the only and/or the preferred choice.

99 Responses to Question of the Day: Off-Body Carry. Yes or No?

  1. If you have off-body carry, it should be a larger weapon, like an MPA Defender or 6″ revolver or something, and you should have another gun strapped to your body.

  2. LOL,

    I’ve got to know what you think about, 1) Naked in the shower, 2) Bathing suit on the beach, 3) Naked in bed?

    All places I use off body carry. So ya, while I believe on body carry is the preferred method. There are time when I do not think it is the best option. If given the choice I use a shoulder holster first, then IWB, then pocket carry, then … Oh you get the idea.

    Also, I never worry about fashion or any of that kind of bull, course I’m old enough now to realize survival is more important than looking pretty.

    I read TTAG and am a fan of most of what you say. This topic is a little harder to write. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  3. More like the perfect being the enemy of the reckless.

    If you want to dress stylishly and carry, get a .380 pocket pistol.

    If the threat level is such that .380 is definitely insufficient, be a little less stylish.

    Otherwise you’re taking a risk that is unwarranted given the ease of on-body carry.

  4. Not the best way to go about it, but it’s A: better than nothing and B: in some circumstances might be your only viable option.

  5. “Give me one example where it’s the only and/or the preferred choice.” OK, here’s one: participating in hot, power yoga class, which I do 3-4 times a week. Don’t knock until you’ve tried it. There is no place in a yoga outfit for a gun. There is no part of your body where a gun could be that would not have your full weight on the gun at some point in the class. I found a wooden yoga block, that I can actually use in the class that has a hidden compartment that will hold a fanny pack containing my Sig P290RS, an extra mag and a Spyderco Delica. I can also fit my wallet in the compartment.

    Who’s to say someone might not come in to shoot up a yoga studio? I’d be ready! But that’s not really my main concern. I want to have the gun on the walk to and from the parking garage. I have it around my waist in the fanny pack in an appendix position. However, in the class, it’s in my yoga block.

  6. And Noir just lost some points with me for that article. Seriously? complaining about a Kahr PM9 being uncomfortable to carry while lounging around a coffee shop??!?

  7. Thumbs up for occasional off body carry.

    I’ve got a couple of off body solutions that work great for things like cycling, hiking, shorts/t-shirt, etc. Not a lot of room to conceal in a lycra bike outfit – or to carry concealed when toting a full pack – or to carry a significant caliber in a 90/90 day in South Florida.

    Carry strategy has to fit clothing/activity/conditions…

    • “I’ve got a couple of off body solutions that work great for things like cycling, hiking, shorts/t-shirt, etc.”

      Are we supposed to read your mind as to what those solutions are? 🙂

      Any links? I cycle about 100 miles a week…

  8. Maybe a secondary weapon could be carried off body(in a proper storage container), but your primary weapon or ccw? No way jose…

  9. Anecdotally, I get the impression that an inordinate number of accidental/negligent discharges happens due to off-body carry. I have no clue if anecdote is supported by statistics.

    Personally, I would never carry off-body. If I’m carrying, I have one in the chamber, and the safety off. If my gun comes off my body, the safety is engaged, and the gun goes in a secure location. I’m a creature of habit, and not having undergone the stress of a deadly force engagement, I don’t trust myself to keep track of what gun is where, and what safety is engaged or disengaged. The fewer decisions I have to make or things I have to remember in such an unfortunate situation, the better.

  10. It’s either off body carry or no carry in my particular situation. While I agree that optimal carry is OWB, that’s not possible 90% of my time. As for the downsides, it’s largely a matter of discipline…you train yourself however you carry. But it’s not a “wrong” method.

  11. no. and it drives me NUTS when i see all these gear reviewers praising the “concealed carry pockets” on bags. HATE it.

    • I’d say no. Fanny packs are secured to the person therefore are on-body. And since there’s Another Robert using one and Matthew McConaghay has now admitted he wears one all the time, I don’t feel so lonely!
      Group hug?
      Anybody?

      • Here’s a hug, Gregolas. 🙂

        I have had occasion to carry in most kinds of holsters and a lot of different rigs during training, and I teach CC. I seriously discourage students from off body carry, for all the reasons given here already. The wardrobe thing is the big sticking point, but web sites like “Cornered Cat” have a lot of helpful information. http://www.corneredcat.com/

        On the few occasions I am not carrying openly, on my belt, I use a leather fanny pack with holster inside. I would not consider any of the off body options. I was never interested in fashion, so I dress around the gun.

        But, each to his/her own. Ideally, people will make an effort to think about the pros and cons, deciding for themselves what they want to do and the risks they are willing to take… well then, more power to them.

        • Not specifically. I don’t endorse or suggest any particular gun, for the most part. I allow the students to fire any of my guns they want to try, and urge them to handle and shoot as many other guns as possible before they decide what they want to carry, and that they must consider their wardrobe and how they’ll carry it as well. We talk a lot about the different options and demonstrate as many as we can. There’s just so much out there it’s impossible to cover much of it in a single class.

          We joke about the fact that they’ll probably change their minds about what they want more than once, and wind up with a box of holsters and gear they probably won’t use again, just like I did. 🙂

          My problem with super lightweight and mini guns is the fact that they are so darn uncomfortable and hard to shoot that I doubt the ladies would dedicate the time and effort necessary to become proficient with them. But that is ultimately their choice. I offer a weekly shooting clinic for women, and some of the things they bring the first time are amazing. If it works for them, we work with it. If it doesn’t, we work to find something they like better.

        • “and wind up with a box of holsters and gear they probably won’t use again, just like I did. ”

          Ah the dreaded holster graveyard. I have one, right next to the rifle sling graveyard. (So few rifle slings are sold with even a visible picture of what it will look like in use, much less any instructions on how to set them up, so after pitching every single one I ever bought off the shelf, I eventually just started making my own. Not fancy but at least I know WTF I am getting.)

    • As long as you don’t take the fanny pack off and leave it somewhere – it is definitely on-body. It is by FAR the most comfortable and easiest access for a primary carry gun when you are driving a car.

      Position the bag over your left hip with the seat belt running underneath the bag. Access is very fast with the right hand and not even the slightest body contortion is required. The pack also gives you a small amount of Man Purse type storage for extra mags, knife or whatever. If I am parked and the situation looks even slightly threatening, I will open the pack so it is ready for instant access. I like and use the Tommy’s Gun Packs. Good stuff. I don’t give a flip what I look like wearing it. It plain works.

      No way can I carry with a holster in a car. It hurts me too much.

      John Davies
      Spokane WA USA

  12. That Noir article was a little dodgy as for his reasons for off-body carry. I’m sitting in a café now, too, much like Noir was, and while I’m aware of my gun (maybe because I’m reading a gun blog), it’s not so uncomfortable to distract me from my thoughts and the task at hand. I’m new at this (less than 2 years carrying every day with the exception of 1 trip to NJ for family matters) but even I’ve gotten used to my EDC piece being on my side. I notice it, but I am not inconvenienced by it. It’s all in picking the right weapon and the right holster. I’m not a fan of .380, so the lowest I’ll go is 9mm. There’s plenty of “pocket 9s” out there and you can even rock a full-size 9mm comfortably if you know what you are doing. My clothes don’t scream “gun guy” or are oversized either. Same things I’ve always worn.

    Off-body carry scares me for precisely the reasons Robert mentions. Theft, and accessibility of the weapon in an emergency. I get that there’s situations where OBC would be required (beach day, etc…) but one can plan for those. But doing it just to do it, no way. There’s untold holster/gun/clothing combos. One will work for you.

  13. I am amazed that people have such vehement opinions about choices other people make that do not affect them. Isn’t that what the anti-gunners do to us? If they are against gun ownership, I say great, don’t own one! Just don’t tell me what I should be doing. This is the same thing on a different scale. If you are 100% against something, to me that is taking the position that it should be outlawed. It would say on your carry permit, “No off body carry.” Otherwise I’m hearing something way less than “100% against.” Also, are we going to get into the equivalent of “caliber wars” over carry methods?

    OK, I’ll weigh in on that. I’m 100% against ankle holsters…especially with shorts!

    • While I understand the variance of opinions here (so much for the echo chamber), this decision is a matter of personal choice. In VA, I didn’t carry every day for a variety of reasons (worked on a base, rarely home carried, new to CC, etc.). However, the OPTION to carry has become significantly trickier now that I’m in CA (come on Peruta—give us some real hope for change). Even so, I’m a little less inclined to go through the goat-rope bureaucracy to beg for special permission from the People’s Republic of Californistan. I have such a relatively short time remaining in the Land of Fruits and Nuts that I may just put up with it. Perhaps I’ll reconsider this stance once I return to CONUS. For now, I’m content with on-body, OC of both pistol and long gun. Then again, that’s the SOP while downrange. Always feels weird (actually alarming is more like it) when I have to adjust to “civilization” all over again.

  14. As a couple people have stated before, how you carry must match your activity. I think there was mention of yoga and cycling not having any place to practically on body carry. I think that those are smaller sections of the population that do these activities regularly. Going to the beach is a place where I and my girlfriend find it very difficult to conceal carry. Board shorts (for me) and a bikini (for her) do not offer many places to conceal a firearm of any size. Not to mention It would have to be removed every time we get in the water. So our firearms are in a hidden pocket in the bag we bring. We just have to be careful that there is always someone with our stuff, and we are the only individuals who get stuff from that bag.

  15. At work.

    There is nothing saying I cannot bring a firearm to work in my employee manual so I do. But you better bet I won’t be wearing it because I don’t want to deal with the shit storm that will likely come if it become exposed accidentally. Therefore, it remains off body in my desk, locked away and unknown to everyone.

    I agree its not on me so it isn’t at hand if needed but, being in my desk is a hell of a lot better than being in the car in the parking lot if it is needed.

  16. Off body IS an option. I do it when circumstances dictate … can’t tell you “how” as it’s my secret. For me, it’s a 99.9% safe solution — in-hand at ALL times.

  17. Two things I’ve learned from my wife – 1) I have no clue what women find fashionable, 2) style trumps safety, every time. So is it optimal? No. Is it better than nothing? Yes, as long as she keeps a death grip on her bag (which she does). The upside is she’s not limited to a pocket .380, although size and weight are still factors, so carrying my .44 magnum Blackhawk is still out of the question. The tradeoff is she carries a 9mm she can shoot well instead of .380 she can’t.

  18. Three reasons why I’m against off-body carry:

    1. If I carried a purse, I’d get arrested for purse-snatching.

    2. It’s very difficult to find a purse that matches my outfit.

    3. Fishing a gun out of a purse or similar contraption is likely to get one killed, so instead of off-body carry it should be known as dead-body carry.

  19. Alameda County CA resident. My only solution is off body.

    I leave the house, the gun goes in the safe. It don’t get more off body than that.

  20. Well when I head to the park to run sprints on the grass, or push the Prowler around, carrying IWB as I usually do just doesn’t cut it. So the gun (in it’s holster) goes in a bag. Do I run the risk of someone running over and snatching my bag? Sure do. But I’m generally not more than 50 meters from my bag, and I’m also not doing this in Baltimore or Chicago or Compton. If I were, I might not feel comfortable with this routine.

  21. I’m hesitant to say that any carry is always the wrong choice or always the right choice. For long road trips the best option in my mind is to have something safe and secure on my belt for when I’m out of the car and to have something secure but accessible off body for when I’m in the car.

    Discipline is what really matters. That’s where safety and responsibility come from.

  22. I bought a tactical messenger bag with a Maxpedition holster for jaunts with the family (like a street fair or short hike), mainly to hold snacks, water, sunglasses and the like. I can store a full-size handgun in there, but I rarely do because 1) it makes the bag so much heavier, and 2) all the objections mentioned above. In the end, the bag was just an excuse to buy a new gun to go with it.

  23. I oppose off-body carry for almost all situations for the reason that Mr. Farago pointed out. That said, there are a few situations where off-body carry makes sense such as while exercising or swimming. Even in those situations, I only condone off-body carry if you are within arm’s reach of your firearm at all times. Leaving your gear bag on the beach while you swim is a foolish decision in my book since any child or thief could access your firearm. I can also imagine some job situations where on-body carry is next to impossible.

    While off-body carry is not generally helpful for a sudden attack, it can be immensely effective if a spree killer strikes … as long as you are not the first or second victim. Then again on-body carry is no guarantee either if a violent criminal or spree killer just up-and-shoot/stabs/bludgeons you without any indication of an attack.

    • Off body carry may not afford much help in the way of attack while swimming (for example), but having a way to do it for that activity allows for closer access than locking in the car (for example) when you on-body-carry to and from the pool / gym / whatever.

      Just something I thought reading your post. The context of when something is applied could be important. If the alternative is “I’ll leave my gun at home when I go to the gym because I have nothing to do with it while I am AT the gym,” I think I’d prefer an off-body solution.

  24. Not the best option but if done responsible why not. We always say that a 22 is better then nothing so why is it soooooo horrible if you have a 357 mag in a backpack. Once again you have to be responsible and treat that backpack as a rifle sling and not a backpack. I off body carry when needed. I have often off body and concealed carried at the same time. I have concealed carry, off body carry, and have a rifle and shotgun in the truck-isn’t that a form of off body carry too. Each one that I carry has a different set of strengths and weaknesses so why not have the tools close to where you are.

  25. You think off body carry is bad, how about those on-body carry folks who do not use level 3 retention holsters, or carry pistols with no safeties. Oh, how about those pistols with light trigger pulls? And the worst of the bunch, those who walk around with bullets in their guns? See how fast this can devolve to the ridiculous. Off-body is safe if the carrier is safe. It takes a lot of work to carry off-body, to keep is tucked to your side, so I agree that many people should avoid it. Let us refrain from absolutes…unless of course we are talking about .45 being better than 9mm. 🙂

  26. I might argue with my wife about certain things, but I won’t argue with her about what gun to carry or how to carry it.

    The idea of being able to put your hand in your purse and have your gun drawn, aimed and ready to fire, all without revealing that you’re armed, is appealing to me. Think about walking through a deserted parking garage late at night, or similar situations.

    But if you want to carry in a purse, 1) get a purse designed for such, with an internal holster, and 2) carry a revolver so you can shoot through the purse multiple times without a slide to possibly hang up on something.

  27. Side comment: Unless I’ve read names/avatars wrong, all of the comments so far are from males. As a father of a daughter with a carry permit, there are some realities that women face regarding on body carry (Faliaphotography notwithstanding) that men don’t. Women’s pants don’t have pockets, or if they do are often too small to fit anything more than a NAA minirevolver, if that. Some options only work on skinny women (thigh holster anyone?). Women’s pants today typically don’t facilitate ankle holsters either. While I’ve encouraged on-body carry, and my daughter uses that method quite a bit, there are times when off-body is the only option remaining to be armed, and that’s more likely to happen with women than with men. So it shouldn’t be discounted as “not acceptable”.

    • MamaLiberty is very much awoman. And she says she wears a gun on her hip most of the time. Personally I don’t have a problem having a gun in a purse. As long as it’s dedicated and EZ and quick to access. That’s what my wife does. I can’t see her using a holster. Whatever-CARRY ON.

      • Mama Liberty also open carries (hooray).

        If you don’t need to conceal, you can carry a Desert Eagle (if you can stand the strain from that neutronium-framed thing, that is) or .500 S&W or whatever, no problemo.

        I OC a lot and the limiting factor for me when doing so is the bucket seat in my car which sends me down to a CZ-75 compact (their analogue to the Glock 19/23).

        • Yes, I OC most of the time. I use a leather crossdraw/desk rider holster that places the slide almost level with my waistband. See a picture of it on me here. http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=848

          It is very comfortable when sitting or driving, and easy to access almost anywhere. The only place I would have trouble drawing (and that would be true of almost any right side holster), is when I’m a passenger in a car. The gun is close to the door panel, and can pinch easily if chunks of mama get between the grip and the door. Ouch! Glad I don’t ride with others very often. 🙂

  28. I’m male, and 5’4″. On-body carry is not an option for me for the weapon I own. (Walther P99.)

    There are a lot of off-body carry options that work fine, without the risks of loss. Straps that connect a satchel to a belt, etc. Many options now have integrated holsters to maintain proper position, and safety. I refuse to carry an LC9 or the like, because I can’t shoot them well, which is dangerous to everyone involved.

    And the ammunition is easier to carry (for my full-sized P99) meaning I always have more than you do.

    It’s not a completely bad idea, just comes with risks. Risks that responsible behavior can mitigate. No different from keeping one’s finger off the trigger, etc. etc.

    • When I have the option, I tend to carry my P99 in the thigh pocket of cargo pants or shorts. My remora tuckable holster holds the gun in place so it won’t move around, and the flap on the holster catches on the pocket and helps pull the gun free of the holster on the draw. You have to lean a little to the side to reach the pocket when standing, but the firearm is usually accessible when seated. The only downside to carrying in this method is that when you run, your gun will likely hit you in the knee, and as someone who is no longer a 20 something; my wife likes to remind me that Cargo pants/shorts are something that should have stayed in my 20s.

      I have carried the P99 IWB, and the only place I can comfortably carry it is in the small of my back, which has it’s own host of problems.

      I can certainly understand the appeal of carrying my P99 with a spare mag over my Wife’s Walther PPS and a spare mag, I like 25rnds of .40 over 16 rnds of 9mm.

  29. Going to or from the gym where guns are frowned upon, since I have to either wear clothes that won’t cover or change in the men’s locker room. Hiking with a full sized pack. Biking (what fanny packs were originally made for). Some business environments (planners or computer bags with a section for guns are a good solution). My wife dresses fashionably, and some outfits would allow, and some would not. Yeah, yeah, dress around the gun. But when she is going somewhere she HAS to dress that would not allow on-body, should she give up the protection of a handgun entirely? I don’t think so.

    Also, the whole “what to do with your carry gun in the toilet?” doesn’t come up with off body carry.

  30. Does a pack gun count? I usually put either a larger revolver
    or a take-down in my pack when hunting or hiking. Although,
    this is always an extra to whatever I’ve got on my person.
    As a primary CCW I guess I’d rule against it but I wouldn’t rule
    out off body carry for a backup.

  31. If you work someplace that has a ‘no guns’ policy, you simply cannot realistically expect to get away with on-body concealed carry for long. You may have no choice but to go for deep concealment in a bag that you stash by your side at your desk, in your desk drawer, by your feet…nobody has any right to search your private belongings.

  32. Since I’m no longer in an office environment, don’t have to dress up, so easy to pocket carry in holster designed for that purpose. I have no problem finding pants with large enough front pocket for a Ruger .38 LCR. Purchased Khaki men’s school uniform pants from Academy Sports. Since intended for school wear more a business casual look combined with Oxford cloth shirt or nice T-Shirt and only cost around $25.00 each. Beats the $65.00 each for cost of Carbela’s women cargo pants. Pockets are slightly longer so much more comfortable sitting down, does not dig into my hipbone. For the rare “dress up” occasions I have leather, beaded & cloth small purses with long straps that go cross shoulder arrangement, but do have to take husband to dress events so he can carry the money. There now you have a woman’s prospective

    • TxGal
      Back in my single days, when I went out to a club, I noticed ladies sometimes kept their basic valuables in a small pouch apprx. 2 1/2″ X 5″, that was attached to their arm. This way they could keep a larger bag with all the stuff ( 2 doz. hankies, 4 compacts, pit spray, cologne, hair brush, makeup kit, extra shoes, 3 extra changes of clothes, 1/2 doz. packs of cigs, camera, Smart car for two, and a little packet of you know what in case they got lucky) at their table, when they got up to dance, without worrying about loosing their ID, keys, and money.
      There’s no reason a small mini revolver couldn’t be kept there also. No room left in the regular purse, left at the table.

  33. I see a lot of the “solutions” people have is basically spend more money. “Buy this gun, buy this holster, buy these outfits” etc etc etc. Some seem to forget the economically challenged can’t always run out and buy a bunch of new guns/ammo/accessories/whatever. So they make do with what they have.

  34. I spent close to 8 years as a full-time LEO. For the last 4 years, I still work as a reserve (usually 2-4 shifts/month) with my old agency and am a full-time COO of a company in a completely different industry. Now that I am not under the same restrictions as to what I can carry off-duty as when I was paid, I have more options. I’m no longer limited to either my duty Glock 21 or my back-up Glock 30.

    I’m tall and slim, which can be limiting on concealment. I’m business casual 70%+ of the time in the office. I usually have to ankle carry. On dress-down Fridays, I usually have an untucked polo shirt and jeans so I can IWB. I used to carry my G30 on my ankle quite a bit, but that is not only a pain, but it can be a little noticeable. I count on the “condition white” oblivion of most people to not notice. I now will typically carry either my S&W M&P340 CT, G42, or XD-S .45. It depends on the clothes that day. I’ve become really fond of my new G42, very easy to shoot, but also .380. It is very nice & tiny and has a much better trigger than the first shot of my PPK/S. I’ve always also kept (even when I was full-time LEO) a NAA .22 magnum revolver in a De Santis pocket holster as a “last-ditch” resort.

    My CEO is also an avid shooter, and we will often practice clearing our buildings and warehouse late at night when nobody is around. Since most of the time I have to down-size my gun, I do keep an off the body full-sized weapon accessible. Both my boss & I have GunVault Muti-vault biometric safes next to our desks as well as each other’s finger prints stored in the safes. In mine, I have my Para Black Ops (15 rounds of .45 immediately on tap) with a TLR2 HL light/laser, plus 4 extra mags. My boss has a Springfield XD-M in 9mm with the same TLR2, plus several extra mags.

    In our situation, I don’t see an issue with the off-body carry since it is secured to the floor and can’t be accessed by an unauthorized individual (Yes I do understand that a determined individual with the right tools could eventually remove it and eventually access the weapon, but the same is true with most of my firearms collection in a Ft Knox safe at the house.). I always have something with me to get to my larger weapon. I do take it with me at night, so it never stays at the office when I’m not here.

  35. I usually carry in a laptop bag I take everywhere. It’s not perfect but at nearly 550 pounds, I find IWB difficult. I have refined my laptop draw technique though.

  36. “Give me one example where it’s the only and/or the preferred choice.”

    I off-body carry every single day. Why? Because Monday through Friday I go to work where as I am not allowed to carry a weapon. On the weekends, when I can carry on my person, I sometimes choose not to because of the consistency in carry method and because many places do not allow firearms. Off body carry allows me to never leave my weapon at home, but also not leave it in my glove box 100% of the time. It allows me to carry as much as possible and never break the law. (Work, government building, school, etc.) I use a sling bag that I have mastered the technique of drawing my weapon just as quick as if the weapon was on my hip. The only time I may be at a disadvantage would be in the car or when I am in a building without the bag, which would be a crime anyway if I had my gun on my body. I would also argue that I have an advantage in the car, as I don’t know about you, but I struggle with trying to draw from hip, et al when locked in a seatbelt. With my bag on the passenger seat, slot facing me, it is as simple as reach over and palm my weapon all while concealed and still able to focus on the road (escaping.)

  37. I scrolled through the comments and found the first one to mention off body car carry was pretty far into the responses. It seemed more obvious to me that presentation from a seated position in general, let alone with a center console or seat belt impeding access, would be a greater challenge than from a standing position. Hence, off body carry would have an advantage in those circumstances.

    I would only extend that to individuals with walkers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters. There are more and more of these individuals as our society ages, life expectancies extend, and infirmities of advanced age develop. Every last one has a right to keep and bear arms and many are viewed as particularly vulnerable to potential predators. As with vehicles, it may not be comfortable or easy to present a firearm from a seated position, so a pre-positioned off body carry solution has an advantage.

    With a walker, an individual may not be able to stand without assistance, let alone stand and steady themselves to discharge a self-defense firearm. Therefore, an off body (on walker) carry solution would allow them to support and steady themselves with at least their weak side hand, while presenting their self-defense firearm with their strong side hand. Who knows? Maybe they could outfit their mobility device with custom sized ballistic insert panels. Their off body carry solution may end up providing a nice defensive attribute, in addition to making feasible a concealed carry capability.

    Finally, just as off body carry in vehicle scenario provides pre-positioning, off body carry in a purses and bags can provide what you might call the advantage of pre-, semi-, or partial presentation. Rather than waste valuable seconds clearing garments and holsters to present, an individual can have their hand already on their firearm and ready to discharge through the bag, if needed. One can accomplish this speedy use without arousing any suspicion among others in the area.

    Clearly, there are pros and cons, but just as the worst gun you carry is still better than the best gun you don’t carry, the worst manner of carrying is still better than not carrying at all.

  38. I off body carry my Judge often. A lot. And can draw and fire as fast as anyone when I do. It is in a sack in my left hand butt towards the sacks open end left hand holding the sack around the cylinder of the Judge. Sacks change to match the occasion.

  39. Because of my disability, I prefer off-body. But then just like the caliber wars, my question to this question is: I don’t think people should be preaching to others on what is the “right” thing to do with regard to carry – unless we are talking about responsible / irresponsible use of the gun. I understand Noir and his desire to look good and be comfortable. I understand the concerns of people who don’t want to risk losing their gun when they lose their bag/purse. But just like 9mm and .45, there is enough room for both kinds of people and their preferences.

  40. Due to job restrictions, I tend to carry from house to the office in a small tool bag (hey, guns are tools) and then lock up my handgun in a lockbox in my car during the day. It is not an ideal situation, but my firearm can sit on the seat next to me and be out of sight and mind from others on the road.

    Plus that bag holds everything, leatherman, holster ed hand gun, folding knife, spare ammo, and a flashlight.

  41. How many of you who oppose off body carry actually use a retention holster? We did a drill with a bunch of ccw holders doing take aways of holstered weapons….really opened some eyes!

    • Can you give us links to all of the documented “take aways” that have been reported in the 50 states in the last year alone? And I don’t mean cops, of course. None? Amazing…

      The best “retention” devices are the brains, along with eyes, ears, and assorted arms and legs of the person who is carrying. Just as those are the only true “safety device” for any weapon.

      And as far as I can determine, the cops are the only ones dumb enough to attempt to grab a gun from an ordinary person’s holster. There are other reasons to consider various kinds of retention devices, such as if you habitually do hand stands or bungie jumping while carrying… but some Joe Blow on the street attempting to grab your gun isn’t one of the things I spend a lot of time worrying about. My holster covers the trigger well, and has a thumb break to keep it snug until I snap it off. I don’t need anything else.

      Nobody has attempted to grab my gun off my body in all the years I’ve carried, and I’ve not heard of anyone else who experienced that either. Of course it COULD happen… anything MIGHT happen, but it would seem wise to prepare for the probable first, and worry about the improbable later.

      • +1

        I do think either a thumb strap or a snug fobus-ish holster or maybe a Serpa type release is prudent (assuming the serpa-ish mechanism isn’t prone to breaking and then refusing to release the gun at all), but I’m not too worried about the takeaway.

  42. It is absolutely a case of perfectionism getting in the way of practicality.

    What is your threat profile? How good is your situational awareness?

    If you are in a high threat environment, you shouldn’t be there in the first place unless it is your job to do so… in which case you should probably be armed with a rifle and have backup.

    If your SA sucks, it doesn’t matter if it takes you 2 seconds or 5 seconds to get your weapon in to action, you’re already f’ed.

    Having to actually draw your weapon, let alone fire it, should at most be a once in a lifetime event. If it isn’t you need to reevaluate your lifestyle and motives for carrying. You need to be worried a lot more about negligent discharge and being spotted carrying by a nervous nellie.

    I’ve been carrying most days for over 20 years. I’ve never had to draw. What I do have to do every day is take a dump. I’ve yet to find a waistband holster that doesn’t make using the porcelain convinenience an unwelcome chore.

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