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Pimping the 2016 Texas Firearms Festival at the Temple Gun Show yesterday, I struck-up a conversation with a newbie. Her Texas LTC is due in the mail any day; she wanted to know what kind of gun to carry. I repeated advice I’ve given here many times: choose your carry method first, then find a gun to suit. She asked me how and what I carry.

desantis-blue-logo-no-back-4-smallFor fast, efficient unholstering and reholstering, I’m an outside-the-waistband holster kinda guy. This carry method necessitates a slim firearm — a gun that won’t print like The New York Times when I slip-on a T-shirt. That’s one of the main reason I carry a .45-caliber 1911 in a K Rounds holster. When I have to go to meetings/dates suited and booted, I pocket carry a Smith & Wesson Airweight 642 in a DeSantis Super Fly holster.

How do you carry? What kind of gun + holster combination(s) do you deploy? Please describe your carry evolution: the holsters and guns you tried before arriving at your ballistic solution.

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  1. Mostly a Glock 21 OWB in a Kramer sharkskin….I am in Alaska along the coastline so concealment is easy do to layers of clothing.

    Before I left the people’s republic of Commifornia I carried a Glock 30 OWB or offbody if I had no other choice.

  2. Locked in a safe at home. The police will always be there to protect me, and a gun carried by me is more likely to be used against me in a crime.

    Thank goodness for the wisdom of the NJ legislature.

    (I hope it’s not necessary, but /sarc)

  3. During the summer, a Taurus 24/7 g2 .40 in a shoulder rig, with two extra mags
    in a shoulder rig.
    During the winter months, a Taurus tracker .357, six inch barrel, and two speedloaders,
    also in a shoulder rig.
    I carry a Taurus tcp as a backup, in the pockets of a booster vest.
    And two mags for that, year round.
    And sometimes I open carry a Bond Arms derringer as a political statement.

  4. If I’m wearing Long pants Glock 26 in a Glaco ankle holster. If work pants a single G17 mag. If not then 2 G17 mags on the opposite ankle. Balances out nice.

    Short pants? Ruger LCP with a spare 6 or 7 round mag or two in a back pocket or other pocket.

    Trick I have learned with pocket carry. If it’s starting to print and you going into a place where it’s not really supposed to be or frowned upon then put your phone between it and the outside. The LCP really makes the phone print and then it’s no question of what’s in there.

  5. Para Elite Commander .45ACP, Galco V-hawk IWB. El Paso Saddlery double mag pouch. At least I did before the boat capsized.

  6. When I lived in NY. I carried a S&W Model 66 2.5 inch with Federal 147gr +P and a speed strip belt holstered. Or a Hi-Power in 40 S&W in a Kramer IWB.
    Now that Im in Florida.
    90% of the time since Im in hot and humid Florida.
    At work a T-shirt tucked with a Sig P938 6+1 with a SHTF IWB holster and SHTF belt mag carrier 1 mag 7 rounds
    Any other time and I carry 20/24 including home carry.
    RIA 1911 3.5 inch or Officers size 45acp also in a SHTF IWB tucked and extra belt mag carrier.
    SHTF is now Black Arch and Im a confirmed user of their products for all my holster needs.

  7. I live in NJ we don’t have any form of carry here so I have to carry a cop. I keep telling him to stop eating the donuts but he never listens.

  8. Personally I’m a huge fan of the “Plaxico Carry” but it’s a little rough on your legs so it might not be for everyone.

    No, in reality I have a few methods that change based on what I’m doing and where I’m going.

    My usual method is a full sized USP .45 w/threaded barrel in a BlackArch ACE1 Gen2. Plus a spare mag carried in a variety of ways dependent on what I’m wearing. For trips to the mountains or long car trips I’ll carry the same gun in a kydex BlackHawk! leg-drop holster.

    If I’m going some place more formal and I’m going to wear a suit or a sport coat it’s a generally .40S&W 941 Jericho in a Falco Roto-Tilt shoulder holster.

    On certain days where I’m going “ultra light” on the clothing I’ll carry a G30 in a Galco IWB holster that similar to their “Royal Guard” holsters but is discontinued. This works best with two specific pairs of shorts that I wear for activities like fishing or taking the boat out.

    I also might carry that G30 in a Galco Jackass shoulder rig.

    That pretty much covers what/how I carry on a regular basis. Sometimes I’ll spice things up with the Star BM but that’s once in a blue moon.

    If you want to see my general loadout go back a few weeks and look at my EDC that was posted.

  9. 1) When I need to be tucked-in and neat: Ruger LCP in DeSantis Superfly, in front pocket. I don’t use the detachable flap because it interfered with gripping the gun quickly and made the whole thing print more. Without the flap, it’s basically a Nemesis with a different texture. The perfect pocket combo. Spare mag goes in DeSantis Mag packer in opposite pocket.

    2) When I can go the untucked shirt route or wear a jacket: Ruger SR9c in StealthGear Onyx Mini IWB. Best four-season holster I have ever owned. Spare mag goes in a DeSantis Mag packer when I carry one. My previous holster for this gun was Garrett Industries Silent Thunder Solo. The Garrett is a nice holster, but makes a hot spot in summer with the suede and neoprene backing, and not quite as stable as I’d like due to single clip design. I also have a Raven Concealment Phantom that I bought for any occasion when I might want to open carry the SR9c, or for any shooting classes I might take. It’s a quality holster, but rarely gets used. I once converted it to IWB mode to try out, by moving the belt loops to the outside, and found it uncomfortable.

    3) On the trail: Ruger LCRx 3 inch in Mitch Rosen leather OWB. Haven’t used it much yet, but it is a very light total combo for hiking, and the gun is a sweet shooter.

    If I tried to remember all the other holsters I’ve had in the last 25 years, it might hurt my brain. The finest three-season holster I’ve had for any gun was a Garrett Industries Silent Thunder Fusion for my now-gone LC9 and LC9s. Easily the most comfortable holster I’ve ever worn in cooler weather. I would take couch naps with my gun on, then wake up latter and not realize for some time that I still had my gun on me. It was a very stable dual clip design. I originally got loops but switched to clips later, and it was perfection….until summer when the temps got into the 90-100 degree range in Virginia, and the suede-neoprene-leather sandwich backing made a hot spot. I’d never found any IWB that isn’t hot against the body in that weather until the StealthGear Onyx. The SG doesn’t have the silent draw that the Garrett offered (there are scenarios where I can imagine where that is a plus) but it is just as stable, and reigns supreme in summer comfort.

    Other holsters I’ve had and regretted:

    1) N82 Tactical original model with elastic gun pocket, for LC9. Comfortable in cooler weather but too warm with all that backing material in summer, and the top of the backing would print while bending forward, even more than the gun did. The fatal flaw was the elastic pocket would collapse after drawing, and make re-holstering a complicated affair.

    2) N82 Tactical new model, with the twist-to-release rigid gun pocket. I’ll be damned if I could get my LC9 to draw reliably from this holster. Maybe the grip was just two small to get the required leverage. I had two many failed draws during practice to trust it. To N82’s credit, they gave me a refund minus shipping costs.

    3) Comp-Tac something-or-other IWB dual clip model for a Springfield Armory XD9 subcompact. Uncomfortable as hell, poked me in multiple places. Disappointed in the shoot-ability of the gun and it’s trigger, so sold them together.

    4) Sticky holster for my LCRx 3 inch. After a brief break-in, it started fatally snagging the adjustable sights on the gun, stopping the draw, and getting damaged in the process. Avoid this holster if you have anything but low-profile snag-free rear sights.

  10. Warm weather means either my 642 in a Galco Pocket Protector in my right front pocket, or my 9mm Shield in my Spectre Concealment Kydex IWB at about 5 o’clock. Cool weather and more cover garments allow for bigger ballistic buddies, such as my CZ82, CZ75 PCR, or 6906. Even my 5904, 5906, or full size CZ75 isn’t out of the question. A couple different sizes of Bianchi 100 IWB holsters handle all those, plus a couple quality belt slide holsters if I want to occupy my pants alone. While the variety may seem to violate the concept of same manual of operations for carry, all of the guns are point and pew as needed… no safety, no problem. And I practice. Old school duty holsters (buy ’em cheap, bring ’em back to life with saddle soap/leather conditioner!) work great for shooting on our property or toting a Model 64 full of snake shot on the farm. Yes, I did earn a drawer full of holsters figuring out what works… but they became trade items. And of course I wear decent belts. Carhartt heavy leather belts provide good support but cost less than CCW belts.

  11. Glock 19 iwb in a blade tech klipit with 2 Glock 17 mags. S&W 66 with a 2.5 inch barrel in a galco holster with 2 speed loaders for owb.

  12. SIG P226 Enhanced Elite 9mm
    Garrett Silent Thunder 2.0 STX OWB holster.
    1 spare 18 rd. mag on support side.
    very comfy, and very concealable, even with a Polo shirt.

  13. Ruger sp101 bobbed hammer in a hydrid cover6 iwb strong side 3:00 with Bianci speed strip in weak side front pocket. SOG gripzilla in strong side front pocket. Works great, enemies when wearing scrubs.

  14. Cheap uncle mikes pocket holster with airweight 442. In the boonies cheap uncle mikes nylon for my model 10 or my sigma.

    • Here’s to the cheap holster! I appendix carry a .45 PPQ in some cheap-assed nylon IWB holster. My “dunlop” provides retention and concealment. Occasionally I’ll drop a .22LR NAA mini revolver in my cargo shorts pocket or sock/boot with long pants.

      As an aside, I’m also in the “remove holster and gun when public-pooping” camp. I feel that is the “best” of both worlds in that it keeps the trigger covered even when I’m “unnecessarily” handling the gun. YMMV.

  15. I have to wear a suit every day to work, so it’s a Springfield XDS 9mm in a DeSantis Nemesis for pocket carry. Since this is the firearm I know and train with, I go with the same pistol OWB when I’m not at work (with untucked shirt when it needs to be concealed). Usually when I’m OWB I swap in the extended magazine. My evolution on how I got here is an article, not a comment, with a box of abandoned holsters and even a few abandoned pistols along the way.

  16. In warm weather or in a suit: Ruger LC9s in a pocket holster with the spare mag in a pocket.

    In cooler weather, a SIG P239 in an OWB Kydex holster (I forget the make) w/ spare mag.

    At home, a Ruger LCP .380 in a pocket holster (unless I still dressed in my “outside” clothes.

  17. i mexican carried for years, first a davis p380 (koff), then a hungarian hi power.
    now i front pocket (long pants) or cargo pocket (shorts) the p938 in a recluse horsehide. if i’m feeling blousy i’ll use the r. grizzle “rough and ready” (terrible name) smoothside out in horsehide. i wish it was tuckable.
    when the sweatshirts come out i drag a 75b around in a cross breed “freedom carry” in horsehide. it’s a single clip but it’s in the right place and with a good belt it works well.
    if the clip is on the snout of the gun, your rig is not as thin as it could be. plus a rearward mounted clip pulls the gun handle in tighter…

  18. IWB, 7 o’clock, right-hand-draw. I can stuff six inches back there and hardly feel it. Good place for the gun also.

  19. Springfield XDs .45 in a DeSantis Minislide OWB at 1600, or in a Crossbreed IWB at 1100 crossdraw. With a Sub2000 in my laptop bag .

  20. Duty holsters – Bravo Concealment kydex for Springfield XD9. Old Safariland nylon thumb break for 1911. My boss insists that if we’re going to carry a cocked and locked 1911 it must be in a thumb break holster with the strap between the hammer and frame.

    Off duty cold weather carry wearing long jacket, windbreaker or sweater. Kydex rig for XD9 or leather El Paso Sky 6 thumb break for Kimber Ultra Carry II 1911 with El Paso dual 1911 magazine pouch and a nice Texas Ranger style belt. I like the brown leather 1911 rig and select that when I’m not in my class B duty uniform.

    “Driving” rig – if I’m going to spend all day behind the wheel traveling for pleasure I wear a cheap Uncle Mike shoulder holster with my XD9 or Kimber Ultra Carry. I’ve got 2 spare magazines on the off side and an automatic knife in a holster above the pistol. As long as I wear a jacket or windbreaker I’m covered pretty well. Some years back I was wearing the Uncle Mike rig and stopped in a rest area somewhere in New Mexico. It was late and I shouldn’t have stopped in such a lonely place but I really had to use the rest room. As I pulled in, a couple of rough looking characters walked toward my car. I opened my door, stood up and took off my jacket. The black shoulder holster was very visible against my light blue shirt. The bad guys took off at a run. I put my jacket back on, did my thing in the rest room and went on my way with the knowledge that I’d probably saved some poor miscreant’s life.

    My deep concealment church carry is usually a Ruger .380 LCP in my pants pocket. I have two pairs of 511 pants which have an internal concealment pocket. The LCP doesn’t print and I can get to it fairly quickly. In the days before the LCP I carried a Smith 640 in a Galco paddle holster. That meant that I had to wear a sport coat or wind breaker to church.

    I’ll admit that with LEO credentials I worry a little less about printing than some others. I’m a bit overweight and I’ve never been able to find an inside the waist band that I was comfortable with.

  21. Throughout the Summer, Kahr K9 Elite in a Remora Micro Clip IWB. Cooling down now and I’m still IWB but it’s an HK P2000SK V2 in Milt Sparks VM2. Winter carry will be a Glock 21 OWB in a Safariland retention holster.

  22. Lately I’ve been AIWB carrying a PX4 storm compact in a Corso Concealment Stealth rig with a 17 rnd back up mag in a Black Rhino Concealment mag carrier. I’m still in my first year of ccw, so I’ve experimented quite a bit. Initially I thought I would want the smallest thinnest gun I could find, si I had an xds 9 and then a Kahr cw9. I still have the Kahr but have realized that nobody notices/cares so I’ve been carrying compact and full-size guns owb at the 3,4,230 etc as well.

  23. A Walther PPS M2 9mm with a 6 rnd mag in a Clinger Atom @ 5:00 for Summer months.
    Springfield XDs 3.3 in 9mm with a 7 rnd mag in a Glaco Tuck-N-Go @ 5:00.
    Both are tuckable and, very light and comfortable.

  24. IWB, pocket, or boot depending on circumstances & weather I use my Ruger LCP Custom, LC9S, SR9C,.357 SP101 or .357 LCR–holsters are Blackhawk or Allen–most of the time carry any two of the above

  25. Have tried IWB (Alien original leather) and OWB (custom made kydex) with my Kahr CW9. I thought the OWB might be more comfortable – no, they both kinda suck. Got a Galco Classic shoulder holster and it is the most comfortable I have worn so far. I should be good for the winter, but not sure about summer carry.

    Where do people put their keys when they pocket carry? I already have my wallet in my left front pocket due to back problems.

    • Everything that’s not a holstered gun goes in the left pocket for me. Although the wallet thing would make it awfully crowded. I guess I’d try to carry as few keys and as slim a wallet as possible. I’m not comfortable with having anything else in my right pocket.

  26. I almost always carry a TCP in the right front pocket. Homemade leather pocket holster. Occasionally I carry 3 o’clock OWB. VERY rarely, I Mexican appendix carry my CZ 75 BD (usually when investigating some noise that woke my wife up…) I also sometimes carry it OWB 3 o’clock.

  27. Glock 26 in a Stealthgear USA AIWB holster. I carry at 4 o’clock and have an extra glock 19 mag in a magholder on the weak side. On a rare occasion I’ll carry a Riger LCP in desantis pocket holster.

  28. Ruger LC9s in an IWB kydex holster at 3:30-4:00. I started with pocket carry (Kel-Tec P3AT), then an all-steel J-frame, then a Glock 26, and found the happy medium.


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