No, off-body carry isn’t ideal. That said, it’s a reality. It’s the only way some people can or will carry a firearm. As the video above lays out, there are some best practices for toting your mohaska other than on your hip. There’s no shortage of options out there for concealing and securing a handgun other than a traditional holster. So if you’re on off-body devotee, how do you carry yours?

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42 Responses to Question of the Day: How Do You Carry Off-Body?

    • Same here. I’m usually rock scrambling and don’t want it banging against everything as I’m making my way around.

      Same if I am desert riding my dirt bike. Sometimes when boating (particularly in inclement weather).

      Other than that, always on-body, concealed.

    • Same. Also BTW Maxpedition makes the large carry pouch, if the hip belt on your back has MOLLE straps it works great. Like a strong side holster but on the hip belt.

  1. I sometimes carry in my lunch box, between my truck and my shop. It’s not really a traditional lunch box, it’s one of those soft “cooler” type things with two cloth-loop handles and a shoulder strap, the lid zips closed. I carry the pistol on top of the lunch, and I don’t zip the lid, it just lays in the “closed” position. I also have a holster/ fanny pack that I used to employ when I was doing my “scout pace” in a t-shirt and Army surplus pants (that’s 50 paces walking, 50 paces jogging)

  2. I had to laugh at this video, it’s so ironic. He makes some good tactical points, but he understands NOTHING about the relationship of most women and purses. I only know because my wife has been in high-fashion retailing for our whole 36 year marriage and she has a whole closet full of purses, most of them cost more than most of the guns anyone reading this is carrying, I kid you not. She sold a used one on EBay for $1,200 once! My wife would no more carry the bag demonstrated in the video than I would carry a Hi-Point. After 36 years, I just accept it. Happy wife, happy life. I know some of you guys have wives who are exceptions. Good for you! But for the rest of us…

    The same “logic” that limits women from on-body carry, that is the need for each individual woman to to fulfil her own personal fashion sense, also limits men’s suggestions about off-body carry, maybe even more so. What is my solution? It’s the same solution I have to selecting a gun for a woman. Offer her options, then let her choose and finally shut the heck up. Ultimately, women should design holsters for women and and advise women how to carry. Guys getting in the middle of it poisons the well of good ideas. Here’s another hint guys: Don’t tell your gal what shoes she should wear for tactical situations either!

    Also, that bag/holster combination would not keep a toddler from that gun. You think a kid can’t figure out a zipper?

    • What’s funny is that Galco’s concealed carry purses are made by Coach (so the VP/Marketing at a major gun maker told me), and yet they don’t advertise that.

      • Sorry to say, Coach is middle-class popular, but it is not high-fashion. My wife wouldn’t get caught dead with one of those either. Also, the logo is as important as the bag itself.

        Now if Chanel, Prada, Hermes, Fendi and perhaps even Louis Vuitton (only the exclusive lines, not the usual stuff) started making holsters and carry purses, you might be on to something!

  3. Haven’t done it in a while, but I sometimes carried a full-size pistol in this: http://www.leapers.com/prod_detail.php?level1=Bag_and_Pack&itemno=PVC-P218G
    It has a dedicated gun pocket where I attached a Maxpedition holster. The ability to pack seven more rounds didn’t make up for the PITA of always making sure it was secure — no hanging it on a chair back, no setting it on the floor, slinging it when I went to the head, etc. Great way to distract from situational awareness.

  4. Also, just to answer the OP’s question: I would point out that if a purse is off-body carry, you have to fess up and admit carrying in an outerwear coat pocket is off-body also. You’re going to take it off when you get where you’re going right? Just like a gal will do with her purse. I do coat pocket carry sometimes, but figuring out what do when I get where I’m going can be a challenge.

    I carry in a soft-sided briefcase sometimes, but when I do, I lock the zippered compartment with the gun anytime the briefcase will be out of my hand, with a luggage-style three number combo lock. I think there is a market for a secure, but quick-actuation lock for purses and soft-sided briefcases.

    Here is my most creative off-body: I take hot yoga classes. There is no place to hide a gun in a yoga outfit and even if there were, I would wind up doing some of the poses with gun pinned in between me and the mat. So it’s leave it in the car or find another solution. So I found a yoga block that is made of bamboo and has a hidden compartment in it. Just enough room for a mini-9 or a snubbie. So it’s off-body, but right next to me all the time and no one has any idea. My wife and I took classes together for months and she didn’t have a clue.

    • “if a purse is off-body carry, you have to fess up and admit carrying in an outerwear coat pocket is off-body also.”

      No it isn’t. Maybe the coat will be taken off when you get where you’re going, maybe it won’t. It depends where you’re going. Even if it is, that doesn’t mean you can’t securely & discreetly transition it to a pants pocket.

      None of which matters anyway because purses aren’t coats. Purses are common targets for theft. Purses are commonly set down out of reach. They are by their nature and design easily set down and left.

      I understand that on-body carry is more difficult for women. That doesn’t make purse carry a good idea. Even worse if the person won’t use one dedicated to CCW and insists on using their “pretty” purse and just dropping the gun in there to mix and shift with the rest of the contents. That’s just reckless.

      A better solution is to find a different gun that can be successfully carried on-body. If that isn’t an option, then dress around the gun. Carrying a gun means taking on a responsibility to do so safely, which sometimes means compromises in the choice of gun, of outfits, even of actions (as in, not drinking). Those compromises aren’t always good, but compromising safety of yourself and the people around you is much worse.

  5. When I’m cycling – and I cycle a lot – I use a waist bag – which is a modified North Face product. It doesn’t look hugely ‘tactical’ and is easy to access. It’s a hugely convenient way to carry but I do have some anxiety around leaving it in a coffee shop by mistake.

    When I’m hiking with a significant pack my regular strong side holster doesn’t work that well so I wear a chest holster for my .44 pistol (on body) or a sheath and shotgun on my pack (off body). The chest holster works great, but when in bear country I really like my shotty with slugs.

    The rest of the time it’s iwb strong side or ankle holster. I am loving my ankle holster with my Kahr PM9.

    • I use a triangular frame bag for off body carry when cycling. It’s well concealed and accessible between my knees. Feels more secure and without the sweat than anything else I’ve found.

  6. I occasionally carry a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 carbine folded in half in a notebook computer case.

    Once in a blue moon I carry a handgun in some other carrier like a duffle bag. If I have a semi-auto pistol in such a bag, I keep the chamber empty to make unintentional discharges impossible.

  7. It’s winter so yeah, I off body carry an sp101 naked in my coat pocket. If Im going to be making snow angels or sledding I’ll go hammer down empty chamber, but otherwise …meh.

  8. I always advise my students about those purses (not against, for the same reason the author listed it’s gonna happen) I typically pull out a plastic gun case and ask if they’d carry this with a gun different than they carry a purse with a gun. I’d emphasize that a concealed carry purse should be carried like a Glock box with a gun in it, with the same level of awareness and security provided to it

  9. When I ride my bike to the local range, I transport an AR or 10/22 takedown in a backpack, but there’s a difference between carry and transport.

    I don’t OBC because there’s no need for me to do so. If I had no other choice but OBC, I’d use anything that worked and just accept the fact that OBC is inherently less secure and probably slower to deploy.

  10. I play baseball. No, not slow-pitch softball. Not fast pitch softball either. Baseball. The real deal. Wood bats, hardball pitching, 90′ bases and the works. It’s an over 35 amateur recreational league.
    I can’t exactly carry while playing sports but some of the neighborhoods we play in have a history of car break ins. We play at High School fields and they are usually far away from the parking lot and we play on Sunday so there isn’t many people around to keep watch.
    I have a back pack that I carry my gloves and gear in and it has a pocket that holds my Glock 19 so perfectly that it looks like it was designed for it.
    It stays in my dugout. Half the team has a heater in their bat bags.

    • That’s fair but it just confuses the issue. He’s not talking about occasional off-body carry in response to a specific situation, he’s talking about carrying off-body as the usual practice.

      Of course there are times when on-body carry doesn’t make sense but that doesn’t mean off-body carry makes sense as a general practice.

      • Okay, didn’t give attention to the key word “devotee”. I carry on body every chance I can and off body in more than the situation I mentioned. Dr.s office visit for example. I put my gat in a laptop bag and bring it in. You know ’cause doctors like to do things like examine you.
        I think we part timers have something to add to the dialogue. Flexibility seems to be in order so we can function more freely.

    • +1 for the Maxpedition Versipacks. I have a Mongo and a Fatboy. The Fatboy is for every day, and it goes in the drawer at work, and then the gun goes back on my hip after work. I used the Mongo more when I was using public transit and carrying my lunch and such in it.

      They’ve got decent Velcro retention holsters in the dedicated pocket, and I practice with the bag. It’s certainly slower, but at least I’m armed where I wouldn’t be otherwise.

      If there was one gripe I might have, it’s that Mexpedition stuff looks a little “operator”, and I’d like a little more stealth. But honestly, in practice, people assume it’s a camera bag or a manpurse without wondering about a gun, especially when I pull my little 7″ tablet or glasses or whatever other random crap I’m carrying today out of it.

      • Most non-gunny muggles don’t even know what “tactical” is or what it looks like. Even so, if I had a do-over I’d get one in a different color (just so it isn’t black) to offset that a bit, not to mention that it’d make it easier to look in it to find stuff. I’ve also found it to be great as a quickie tool bag for work, so I’m thinking about picking up another one for that. If so I might just swap them around.

        Yes, it’s certainly slower to deploy, but it’s there…don’t forget the #1 rule of gun fights. It’s why I also carry a small holster in the CCW compartment for when I’m in the clear to carry so.

        And for you holier-than-thous who look down on those of us who have to carry off-body: I’m not going to disarm myself to suit either the gun control people OR you.

  11. I bought a car 5 years ago which has an out-of-the-way compartment which just beautifully accepted my 3″ 1911 and a spare mag. Car carry is legal, so if I loan the car there’s no problem, and I remove it before going for service. And yes, I lock the car if I’m going 10 feet from it. Meanwhile, my EDC LCP is positioned where it would be darn hard to access while driving due to the seatbelts, and I can think of many situations I’d rather have the .45 anyway, like if someone’s ancestors needed them some killing.

  12. I don’t remember if I have ever carried off body…. I have carried cased firearms from the gun store to the trunk of my car and from my car’s trunk to the range and back, so I guess the truthful answer is I carry off body in the locked trunk of my car?

  13. I just don’t. It’s a bad idea, no matter how you try to rationalize it. I just move to very small firearms if I’m somewhere where I absolutely don’t want to be detected. There are precious few outfits I’d be caught dead in in which I couldn’t conceal a Kel-Tec P32. on-body.

  14. I will admit to carrying my MP shield in my briefcase when I am wearing clothing where IWB isn’t an option, say when I am going to be in the car for long periods of time; however, I keep the pistol in the IWB holster, which covers the trigger, and fasten the clips to an inner pocket. The briefcase also never leaves my side, I carry it facing inwards and I am very paranoid.

  15. As I’m still working on getting my CCW in Illinois, I’m rather restricted to certain types of off body carry in my car. That means I have to be unloaded and encased. Fortunately, my center console and/or glove box counts as a case. My holster will hold a pair of magazines, so as soon as I cross into Missouri, I can load. In MO, in your car is treated the same as your home, so you can carry any way you wish. Since I’m not allowed to carry at work, it has to stay in the car (locked) anyway.

    This isn’t a huge liability, since I actually consider my firearm my backup weapon. With a 1800 lb, nearly 200 h.p. car that provides a significant amount of cover, I have no hesitation in using it for defense or escape. I’ll only switch to the gun if I’m forced to exit or must use a longer range defense. I’d be taking that same approach if I was carrying on-body.

    It may be less than ideal on paper, but it’s still better than not having access at all.

  16. I am a county commissioner and when in session my off body carry is in my brief case at my feet. While not ideal it does give me a sense of security!

  17. I’m one of those who always carry off body. I have a leather mini messenger satchel that is just wide enough to carry an ipad. Deep enough to also carry my wallet (back problems so i cant sit on it), phone, keys, change etc. and a separate pocket where my Glock22 resides. I never leave home without it and don’t take it off even when driving (it sits on my lap over the seatbelt-yes it’s a bother but i’m paranoid). When i am home i carry owb a Ruger lc9s that i will use to get to my wasr should the need arise.

  18. In my car. In a locked container with mags separate. Never on school grounds or I’d violate the Federal GFZ law.
    Not in a pack- that’s concealed, which is illegal without a CCW permit, which you cant get here in most counties.

    That’s Kali for you.

  19. This verizon/anyclip spam is really frustrating. It keeps autoplaying, and even though it supposedly has a mute control, it unmutes itself. This is especially maddening when trying to watch a video. I’m going to have to shut down the page and open the video on youtube to get away from this autoplaying audio.

  20. I used to keep a gun in my backpack at school a couple years ago (legal in my state). I did that for a couple months but I found that I would end up leaving my backpack out of arms reach (smoke break, going to the bathroom, shifting seats in class for group assignments) more often than I was comfortable with. I’ve been wearing it on my belt since then.

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