‘Printing’ While Carrying Concealed – Is it Really a Problem?

Concealed carry printing

RF for TTAG

By Travis Pike

The first day I carried a gun I was absolutely terrified that someone would see it. I was freaking out that someone would ‘make’ me. I constantly readjusted my clothing and always worried about the gun slipping and showing, and of course, I worried about printing.

Printing is the outline of the holster and gun protruding through your shirt. This is a very common fear, and when I teach concealed carry classes, it’s a pretty common question.

After carrying concealed day in and out for nearly a decade, I’ve learned not only how to avoid printing and changed my overall opinion of it in general. I don’t like to leave people hanging with my writing. If you are worried about printing and want to know a few ways to avoid it, here it is. However, stick around after this and I hope to leave you with a better mindset about printing than anything else.

The easiest solution is to get a smaller gun. A lot of people can’t afford to just go out and buy a smaller gun, so that’s not really good advice. I typically carry a full-sized pistol myself, at least when I can. When I can’t the SIG P365 is my go-to.

I do know you can conceal a full-sized gun. My GLOCK Polymer 80 Lower build is one of my biggest guns and  I can easily conceal it.

Here are four ways you can easily avoid printing:

Wear the proper attire

I love my schemedium shirts. After a week of working out I want to show off these beginner gains.

However, you really don’t want to toss on that near skin-tight Under Armour shirt to conceal a gun. A simple T-shirt can conceal a gun very easily, just make sure it fits.

Also, avoid shirts that are lightly colored. For example, plain white Hanes shirts will show your gun off more than something with a pattern.

Courtesy Travis Pike

I use a size tall shirt for a little extra concealment length and I’m also a tall guy, so it’s a must-have to effectively conceal a gun. Additionally, a shirt with a pattern, like flannel, can conceal a gun very well.

Solid-colored shirts will show lumps, shadows, and other giveaways more. A shirt that is patterned will better conceal your gun.

Courtesy Travis Pike

Try adding cant to your carry

A straight up and down carry position turns the gun into a shelf for your shirt to sit on. Canting your gun slightly forward, between 10 and 25 degrees will prevent this from happening.

This works for both OWB and IWB carry, but it’s more important with OWB carry. If you carry a full-sized gun inside the waistband, then adding a little cant can go a long way. The majority of Crossbreed holsters allow you to easily add a little cant to your carry.

Courtesy Travis Pike

Choose the right holster

There is a big difference between a holster designed for concealed carry and a holster designed for any other task…between a holster that clings tightly to the body preventing the holster from sagging or one that drags outwards.

The right holster goes a long way to effectively concealing your weapon. Holsters designed for duty use, for example, carry further away from the body. This makes them print more and makes them ultimately harder to conceal.

Get a good gun belt

purpose-built gun belt designed to carry a firearm is a must-have when carrying. It ensures the gun doesn’t sag or stick outwards.

The stiff nature of these belts keeps the gun up and in the correct position for a fast draw. A good gun belt is a must-have for effective concealed carry. It prevents the holster and gun from moving and this aids greatly in concealment.

The truth about printing

The reality is, printing isn’t a big deal. Unless you’re truly wearing the worst holster and a full-sized gun, you don’t need to worry about printing. Carrying a GLOCK 40 in a Safariland level 3 security holster designed for police officers is not going to conceal well.

Kind of gives itself away, doesn’t it? (Courtesy Travis Pike)

If you are actually attempting to carry a gun in a concealed manner with good equipment, then it won’t be an issue. Following the above steps will ensure your gun is effectively concealed.

The thing is, the vast majority of people don’t pay that much attention to whether you’re carrying a gun. People are so wrapped up in themselves they won’t notice a slight bulge here or there. Some police officers and other concealed carriers may spot it, but that’s nothing to be concerned about.

Printing is really a non-issue if you invest a little bit of time in prepping for day-to-day carry. Stop worrying about printing, you are fine. No one cares, and that’s a good thing.

Crossbreed banner

 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.

 

comments

  1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Nah its not really a problem.
    I carry IWB and wear a t-shirt. Sometimes tucked in some days not.
    If someone looks yes they can always see the loops of my holster. Might they know what that are?? I don’t know nor care. Same with my horizontal on the belt mag holder.
    Its there for all to see next to my phone.
    Not a peep has been said to me in almost 20 years of daily carry. Not by anyone ever.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      CCWs are mythical items of legend in LA County. We hear about them, but nobody’s ever seen one. And the consequences of getting caught by the po-licia in CA for carrying without a license will ruin your life.

      So nearly every non-LE guy I know carries a big folding knife. As of yet, they’re still legal here.

      1. avatar Gunny says:

        Just a little add on here… concealed carry of a knife that has a blade in excess of 3” is illegal in Commiefornia. The laws are pretty strict as to what is a “gravity knife” too. A LOT of times, knives that are “assisted opening”, are considered switch blades for carry/possession purposes. And do not carry a knife with a blade sharpened on two sides, or any that might stick, poke, cut, or possibly injure any person in any manner or “they” will get u!!! (Sarcasm included free of charge!) But seriously, check the knife laws carefully. They are onerous and when it comes to dirks and daggers, downright vague!! Best of luck!!

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          You are correct on dirks and daggers, but folding knives are fully legal, as long as they’re folded while concealed. I work with LEOs, and we all carry the same “assisted flick” knives. Those are fine, as they cannot be flicked open without the additional assistance of a finger adding pressure. Hence the term “assisted flick”. They’re common here and sold everywhere including WalMart.

          Oh, speaking of which, I just topped off my ammo stash with my final purchase, as the July 1 deadline is approaching as people are now (why only now?) beginning to clear the shelves. Good thing I began stacking a long time ago.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Oops…mean to write “oh, speaking of Walmart”…that’s how I transitioned from knives to ammo. 🙂

        3. avatar Marty says:

          Gunny, you are absolutely right. Don’t know about the present, but when I escaped from Kalifornia in 2005, it was a misdemeanor to carry w/o a license. But it was a felony to carry a dirk or dagger. Also a felony to carry a billy club or a sap. Research your weapons laws.

        4. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

          While folded in CA, folding knives are not considered weapons, so cannot be an illegally concealed weapon. As far as I know assisted open is still kosher too, since the last attempt to ban them failed in a rare moment of clarity for CA lawmakers.

          I moved away a few years ago, so my info may be outdated.

        5. avatar Jeep1967 says:

          Everything I can find says dirks and daggers can legally be “open carried” using a sheath hanging from the waist. Concealed, they are illegal. Switchblades with a blade longer than 2″, ballistic knives, disguised or misleading knives (cane swords, buckle knives etc.) are always illegal. As far as I can tell, assisted openers are still legal as long as the blade stays in the closed position when subjected to the “gravity test”.
          I’m pretty sure OTF auto knives are illegal.

      2. avatar Mikial says:

        So why do you still live there? Move.

        I lived in San Bernardino country for 18 months after getting out of the Army and got out of there as soon as I could. And I had a wife and three kids, so it can be done if you want to do it.

        1. avatar Craig B says:

          We are leaving as soon as our house sells after 30 plus years

    2. avatar Arc says:

      Mhmm IWB, Shirt, then a regular button shirt that I never button. I could hide a shotgun in that shit.

  2. avatar Imayeti says:

    Anybody asks, I tell them it’s a medical device. If they push me, I tell them I’m a nurse and I use it to administer a hot lead enema.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I have had ‘colostomy bag’ on deck in case people at places I worked ever asked. I have carried since ’96 or so and no one ever has and I do print occasionally due to carrying large handguns. Most people are oblivious, with the possible exception of fanatical fashion critics and other carriers that are practicing spotting weapons.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        I’ve variously claimed the bulge was an insulin pump and a colostomy bag. With the latter, it’s fun to watch people wilt from the explanation.

        These days though, given that I’m lawfully concealing and in a place where it is well accepted, when questioned I display my piece and talk about it.

      2. avatar Jedi Wombat says:

        Just remember, colostomy bag is left side ileostomy bag is right side and a little lower, ask me how I know…Most people wont know the difference, but anyone in the medical field will. And all my plumbing is now hooked properly back together, diverticulitis can be an M-Fer.

    2. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

      “It’s an insulin pump” also works very well.

      1. avatar SoCalJack says:

        Yes! That’s what I’m planning to say. Insulin pumps are appendix carry.

  3. avatar DCJ says:

    Discreet is nice if you can do it. Very important if you regularly transition between no carry zones and don’t want to constantly be taking off the gun.
    You pays your money and you takes your chances…

  4. avatar No One Special says:

    I carry every day, everything from a S&W M&P Shield to a FS S&W M&P or a 4″ S&W L frame. I don’t worry about printing but I also wear clothes that are appropriate for carrying a firearm concealed. The only time I can think of to worry about printing is if you choose to run in somewhere that is suppose to be a gun free zone. I personally wouldn’t blame someone if they did but I could see where you wouldn’t want your firearm showing through your clothes if you chose to do so.

  5. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

    Thanks for the tip on the printed shirts. Never thought about that. . Actually about the only people to catch a hidey gunm are other gunm owners or cops

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      “the only people to catch a hidey gunm are other gunm owners or cops”

      QFT. Last week I got sloppy at work and was called out for the first time in 5 years by a guy that said “That’s why I ankle carry. Nobody ever looks at your feet.” 😀

      Although I’m always wary when people have their kids in the office. Kids spot *everything* you don’t want them to.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        Shawshank Redemption; Red “I mean, really, how often do you look at a man’s shoes?”

        1. avatar Doc says:

          Great statement

      2. avatar possum" they can take your badzooka I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

        Like a good politician, I CMA with the word,”about”. .

  6. avatar Amfivena says:

    If anyone does notice, tell them it is your colostomy bag. That is pretty much guaranteed to end any further discussion. Works especially well if someone bumps or hugs you and feels it.

    1. avatar Fully Involved says:

      A colostomy bag? Fuck that, I’d rather they think I’m carrying.

    2. avatar Jeremy says:

      What hard poops you have!

  7. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

    Look at that pic, you printing like a xerox. Jk, great article!

  8. avatar Lost Down South says:

    I’m more worried about my full size iron pulling my pants down.

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    IMO, there are three issues.

    If you can’t afford another gun you probably can’t afford to change your wardrobe and play with a bunch of holsters.

    However, I see this, outside of Florida (or other jurisdictions where printing = OC = illegal) as basically a non-issue. Even in hyper-liberal cities OC generally goes unnoticed and where it is noticed it’s generally ignored. It’s maybe 0.5% of people who might freak out and call the cops and 95% of the time you won’t know about that because you’ll have done your business and left the area before the cops ever arrive to the “person with a gun” call.

    So really, if you CC even with printing less than a few percent of people will know and the vast majority of them that do know won’t care. The issue is even less of an issue than OC because now you’re down to just the people REALLY paying attention and the vast majority of them are probably carrying too and therefore give no fucks.

    The only issues you might actually care about therefore IMHO are this: Many CC holsters use passive retention which can be a problem if someone tries to take your gun or you do something that causes the gun to come out of the holster unintentionally, like trying to bust a better move in a battle and “serve” an FBI agent at a bar in Denver. That might end badly.

    The second issue is that you might be asked to leave a business if you’re detected. Who gives a fuck? This has happened to me exactly once. I said “OK, I’ll leave”, grabbed my sandwich and walked out. I got a free meal for myself and my wife out of it because to stick around and pay would have been illegal. Maybe that moron should have thought through his actions rather than letting his hoplophobia take control. Regardless, I’m not seeing the loss on my end. He lost twice since I got free food and he lost the potential for a repeat customer.

    Further, if you’re just shopping, now you know that this business is anti-2A to the point that they don’t need your money, so leave and go somewhere else. Again, I’m not seeing how you lost on this.

    1. avatar Barn animal says:

      Printing in Florida isn’t illegal. Also I believe TTAG reported that Florida passed a bill that prevented someone from being arrested for “brief exposure” or something to that effect.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        If that’s an error on my part then OK, sorry about that.

        However, the overarching point remains:

        If there is no legal issue (as there is in, say, Denver) then basically there is no issue so long as you don’t do something that causes you to lose control of the gun, such as break-dancing with a holster that doesn’t positively retain the gun.

        There’s no reason to go out and buy a bunch of clothing or other holsters to solve a problem that only really exists in your head. Just make sure you’re not OCing intentionally or unintentionally without retention when in situations where someone can easily grab your gun. And… don’t have a dance-off with an FBI agent.

        1. avatar Barn Animal says:

          Oh I agree I wouldn’t want to print in a hard left state, regardless of the laws.

        2. avatar possum " they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

          How was the sandwich ?

        3. avatar Thomas Skaggs says:

          What is OC for us folks who have trouble with texting shorthand?

      2. avatar Wood says:

        It speaks volumes that law had to be passed, and you still best be careful depending on where you are. The rinos in this state make fine leftists.

    2. avatar Tejas223 says:

      I find most people who would freak if they “think” you may be carrying are wimpy libtards that are too scared to call the police on you. Plus… don’t most libs hate the police?
      What an oxymoron though…. they hate the police, but also want to disarm everyone so only the police they hate can have firearms?
      If you’re police and want to be the only one carrying a firearm… remember most of the liberals hate you and your gun too, and will turn you into a disarmed Bobby a.k.a. UK Police that have to wear stab proof armor.
      Anti gunners are totally insane.

  10. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    glad to see the ttag/ crossbreed alliance. 10% off is nice. a good belt and a freedom carry covers 80% of my carry needs. they are great when you want to carry “low” and canted.
    check the crossbreeds seconds site for perfectly functional returns or imperfects. lots of horsehide too.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    To overcome your fear of being “made,” do the Wally Walk! It’s a right of passage for newbies and normalizes carrying for the carrier.

    1. avatar strych9w says:

      Or just buy a copy of, and read, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

      https://www.amazon.com/Subtle-Art-Not-Giving-Counterintuitive-ebook/dp/B019MMUA8S

      No, seriously, maybe don’t pay the guy but at least read the “from the back cover section”. It’s a humorous way to basically say “Stop being a snowflake”.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Most folks are too busy looking at their phone to notice your gat. And some of those gadgets are yuuuuge. The colostomy bag spiel is a great idea too. The po-leece likely would leave you alone😏

  13. avatar Barn Animal says:

    Most people don’t even notice open carry. Peoples faces are so buried in their phones these days they probably wouldn’t notice if someone was just waving the gun around in the air.

  14. avatar tdiinva says:

    Gee, another article saying what I have been saying all these years.

    I would add that carrying a pistol with rounded edges is easier to conceal than blocky polymer framed pistols. My standard 1911 conceals better than my XD subcompact because there are no telltales sharp points sticking out on my shirt. Length is the least important dimension.

    Besides, unless you live in a non open carry State who cares? Most people won’t notice an open carrier. And as people carry a host of electronic and medical devices that print so unless are walking around with an NRA hat anybody who notices the buldge will think cellphone case, not gun.

  15. avatar Robman says:

    I never worried about it from day one, but that’s because for me, discretion was a top factor in my original concealed carry choices. It is very important for me because I am often in situations where the people around me would get the heebie jeebies if they knew I was armed, plus there’s the occasional foray into a “gun free” locale.

    I always pocket carry and started out with a Taurus 85GRC .38 snubbie in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster. That’s an all-steel gun, so it is heavy for its size, but it is still very compact for the type and just looked like an amorphous lump in my jeans or cargo shorts. The weight was an issue in dress slacks, though.

    I still carry the Taurus once in a while, but my standard EDC now is a Springfield Armory 911 in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster; extended mag in jeans/shorts and flush mag in slacks. The whole package with the extended mag, loaded and all, is just under 18 ounces. Never ever been made.

    I may not be light and slim, but at least my EDC is! 😀

    1. avatar Lance Manion says:

      Glad to hear from another pocket carrier. Mine is a Walther PPS in a Detroit Holster “John R.” It’s invisible in cargo shorts and I walk around with it in khaki pants all the time. If printing is an issue, I just put my cell phone in front of it and the phone prints instead of the pistol.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        I also agree with the pocket carry. I tend to go with my 642 most of the time, and my LCP for the times when the J-frame seems too big (rarely happens).

        1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          I find pocket carry to be preferred method in the Texas heat. Slower to deploy but easier to conceal and it always goes with me.

        2. avatar Wood says:

          An advantage of pocket carry is you can casually have your piece in a full grip while appearing casual with your hands in your pockets.

        3. avatar Marty says:

          Hands in pocket to me is a direct threat. If I can’t see the hands of a subject, I would immediately tell the person to carefully remove his hands from the pocket. If he/she refuses, I will draw down on him/her.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      I have stood next to police officers carry a full sized 1911 and wasn’t made either. Today I carried 15 minute conversation with a retired cop with an EMP carried OWB and he didn’t make me. Methinks you have exaggerate the risk.

    3. avatar Dude says:

      That exact setup is my main summer carry, when I’m wearing smaller shirts compared to cooler weather. It’s super easy and convenient.

  16. avatar Auxwood_Rebel says:

    If people don’t notice a full size automobile moving rapidly towards their hip, they generally aren’t going to notice anything smaller than a mossberg shockwave. A good belt and lots of plaid (or flower/hawaiian) shirts go a long way. Just forget about the old fishing vest, those scream pedo.

  17. avatar MLee says:

    Very few people notice a obvious gun bulge from carrying. The fact of the matter is around 98% of people are so wrapped up in their pathetic unimportant lives that they don’t see anything going on around them. You see them in the grocery store, they walk around like Zombies totally unaware of their surroundings towing their fat kids along whose faces are glued to some stupid electronic device. As others here noted, even open carrying, very few people notice. Bulges and printing is nothing to worry about. Folks make more of an issue than needed. Do your best to minimize it and let it go beyond that.

  18. avatar Greg says:

    When I started carrying again, I was super nervous about “Printing.” It got to the point I was carrying behind my back and printing near zero. Then 3 weeks ago, the dogs and I went boating. I left something I needed way up in the front of the boat and climbed up in there to retrieve it. Am 6′ 3″ and carry a G41. When I went to hop off the edge of the boat the muzzle snagged the hull. Edge of the boat is about 5 feet and it flung me down face first. As you may imagine it’s on my hip again and it nearly never prints.

    Crossbreed is the correct choice for IWB. Not only did it retain my Glock, it flipped 290lbs on it’s front, no broken clips nada problem.

    All this is pretty funny when you consider that before I started carrying again, I joked about getting a double drop quick draw set up and a couple Rem New Armys, just to be as offensive as possible.

  19. avatar SkorpionFan says:

    Trying to conceal carry an X Products XM-42 Lite, but it prints like spastic porcupine. Any suggestions?

    https://www.xproducts.com/product/xm42-flamethrower-lite/
    🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  20. avatar Gregolas says:

    First, thank you, Travis, for your faithful service to our country.
    Second, though I have carried concealed guns daily for 34 years, thank you for teaching me something new ! I’ve always worn canted holsters because they were more comfortable for me. I did NOT know that canting prevents the “shelf effect”. Thank you for giving me that “Aha !” moment. Excellent article that covered all the bases well.

  21. avatar Mad says:

    I carry a Glock 21 usually wear a photographers vest lots of pockets

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Do modern photographers vests have teeny tiny little pockets for memory cards?

  22. avatar BlakeW5 says:

    Printing is of concern only in the mind of the person carrying. I’ve yet to have a random person (that I’ve noticed) notice my gun. Too many concealed carriers draw attention to themselves by constantly fidgeting with their holsters. I’ve open carried enough to know that generally goes unnoticed too.

    Nowadays people are too buried in their cell phones to pay attention to much else when in public

  23. avatar MGD says:

    Most people don’t pay any attention. I learned this one day when I left my jacket in the car and walked all through Walmart carrying my XD45 openly. (Perfectly legal where I live by the way even without a permit) No one noticed or said a word.

  24. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    I am fortunate enough to live in a state where open carry is legal without a permit. So, I don’t really worry about printing at all. T-shirt, polo shirt or light jacket over OWB pancake holster. If anyone ever notices my gun, “so what.” Most people aren’t really looking.

  25. avatar Jared says:

    If you’re a big guy like me, carrying concealed can be a bit of a challenge. Hip holsters don’t make it easy to carry concealed. IWB holsters aren’t really an option, especially if you have a big belly that overhangs your shorts/pants. My solution? I carry a Walther PPS M2 with the short 6-round magazine in a pocket holster. The imprint is very light and just looks like a cellphone in my pocket.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      ***Not being a dick***

      You know you can fix that small issue…

  26. avatar Tim B says:

    I typically carry strong side appendix, and it’s rare that I come close to printing. I have a few carry guns I alternate between depending on the weather/what I’m wearing. I’m not a fan of wearing baggy clothes or long shirts, but I’ve been able to get the right holsters/belts/guns to be able to dress like like and still carry. It’s been a process, but I think with time and effort, anyone can carry and not/minimally print.

  27. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Kids….little kids notice guns….I guess they are looking at belt level.

    When I started pocket carry, little kids noticed the “gun” on my Jean’s pocket.

    I guess there is a faint outline there.

    And we can say printing is no big deal…but go into a business in a decent sized city.

    Hysterics get results, and even if it’s legal it can make your day a lot longer.

    Not everyone knows or cares about the law (even cops). So you can be in for a harassment lesson.

    I travel a lot of states in the mid south and southeast. Had it happen more than once.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      I like my Beretta 92 FS for every day carry but that’s not always possible. When I do have to switch off to a smaller weapon it’s my Colt “Government Model” .380 ACP in a Ted Blocker wallet holster carried in my right front pocket. You can see something there but it looks like I’m carrying my wallet up front. There’s enough leather in this wallet that all you see is the square even in jeans. Plus, it’s super easy to get to and how many guys do you see walking around with at least one hand in their front pocket. Should I have to draw my gun I’ve already got my hand on it so……….

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      Yes, kids will vocalize it a lot too. During my OWB times, I’ve had it happen a couple times, and even from family (or related to) members kids at social gatherings. Most the times, the parents will do the right thing, but I will never forget the one parent who I wanted to give a lesson to. Not worth going into details, let’s just say she was condescending and made sure I could hear her from 20 feet behind me. I also had a family member of my last GF give me a funny look when their kid got a little rough (he was a heathen) and decided to try and punch me in the waist. He hit my gun and said “Ouch, what is that?” then tried to lift my shirt but I didn’t let him and just said “Abs of steel dude”. Seriously though, that kid was a punk. First time and last time going over to their house. /rant

  28. avatar Nate in CA says:

    While I’m still mindful of my conceal carry, sometimes you find you get a little TOO comfortable – like having your .38 un-holster itself and jump out as you exit your truck at the gas station, then kick it under your vehicle all the way to the other gas pump as people watch you. LOL!

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      Not sure if serious.

      If so, please invest in a better holster, and possibly rethink your carry position.

      Also, move out of CA. Serious.

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I have seen guns unholstered by ladder back chairs (2x) and a seat belt on the passengers side. On of the chair incidents was in a busy restaurant with polished concrete floors….pretty humorous with dead silence around the table as the M&P clattered onto the floor. Mgt was cool and dint make a big deal and the waitress made a joke cutting his coffee back. You oulda lit a cigarette on his face.

      Why I prefer a thumbsnap holster when I can.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Yea, in Montana, for out of state CCW carriers, thumb straps are required by law. Don’t know about residents.

        1. avatar Bruce says:

          Where did you find that information? Couldn’t find it searching the Internet, and no one I know in MT carries that way concealed.

          Good I searched, because I didn’t know that you can’t carry concealed in any govt buildings, banks, or anywhere that serves alcohol, even if you aren’t drinking.

        2. avatar Marty says:

          I’m pretty sure it was in the 2017 50 states gun laws publication. Could have been in the 2018 version. I’ll try and find the specific on and re post.

  29. avatar GS650G says:

    You could live in a state with open carry and not worry about it instead.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      I agree, however I have an incident where someone was mentally unstable at a checkout line, saw me OWB, and went on screaming about how he was gonna get me to shoot him with my gun. No lie. Made everyone uncomfortable. Not because the gun was there, but who knew what this jackass was going to do. I still OWB 99% of the time, but there is alway that one jackass who tries to ruin it for you. I have even been encountered at a diner by a waitress who said a couple tables over someone saw me coming in and they mentioned it to the waitress then said they felt uncomfortable. The waitress told them it was legal, and that I was off duty (which I wasn’t because if I was LEO off duty I’d be concealing). But just a shitty reason why OWB, unfortunately, in our society, if frowned upon and gets you noticed. Personally, I say fuck em. It’s my right and when nothing happens, instead of feeling uncomfortable they should feel nothing, because nothing happened, and that is one positive to OWB. #RaiseAwareness type of deal. People are sheltered. The only thing that will unshelter them is training them.

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        OWB != Open carry.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          Depends on the gun doesn’t it? And the length and structure of fabric.

  30. avatar retmsgt says:

    I don’t worry about it. I usually open carry, and even then most people don’t notice it.

    Of course, it helps that I’m in Pennsylvania, where it’s always been legal.

  31. avatar Jon in CO says:

    On the rare occasions you find people without their faces in their phones, people MAY look. Usually, those are other gun guys checking people out, so there’s zero worry.

  32. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    In nice weather I wear an open Hawaiian shirt over a tucked graphic t-shirt. Not only will that will conceal anything from a full size auto on down, with t-shirt between my skin ant the gun it is comfortable and cuts down on sweat and getting chafed by the gun or holster. I have had a couple of folks start up conversations assuming I was carrying in the last 20 plus years I have had a GA WCL, but I doubt they actually spotted the gun.

  33. avatar Robert says:

    I’m going to slightly digress [in order to aid in my digestion].
    As a note to the author, you set my teeth on edge for using “further,” rather than “farther.” —– It’s one of my pet peeves. It’s like saying “nukular” in stead of “nuclear.”
    Otherwise it’s a very good article.
    FURTHERMORE, “farther” is a perfectly fine word. Why is everybody so afraid to use it?
    Farther => distance.
    Further => in continuation.
    [so, smile and enjoy our language….. but only misuse it intentionally……..like I sometimes duz…..]

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      Irregardless, it was still an interesting article. 😀

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Heh-heh.

  34. avatar Old Veteran says:

    here in Alabama, we are Blessed….I carry everyday. Never leave home without my Glock 19. The law here states, it you have A concealed permit, you can also open Carry, I choose to carry concealed…a lot of Alabamians confuse the open carry w/a permit..as Constitutional Carry and wind up in a world of Colostomy bags….our State has let Constitutional Carry..DIE twice in the State House….we can only pray “maybe next Year”…..I wear T-Shirts and don’t worry about printing…even if I have to go into a Gun Free Zone, I just remove the Gun lock it a safe inside my truck…haven’t heard of anyone being arrested for a holster Yet..but who knows with all the anti-gunners around…

    1. avatar SouthAl says:

      Please give a reference for AL law requiring a concealed permit for open carry. While your statement that those with a ccp can open carry is accurate, I don’t think a ccp is required for open carry, which I took your comment to imply.

      1. avatar Old Veteran says:

        Since the State of Alabama is NOT Constitutional Carry..the State requires a concealed permit to Carry Legally….but WITH the permit you can legally open carry… if you are so inclined…but to just go purchase the firearm and strap it on your leg and walk the streets…not….that is Constitutional Carry…and Bama has let the Bill Die in the State House two years in a row…yes the Constitution gives us that Right…but Alabama and several other states…don’t see it that way…. I will look up the law and copy and paste it..but that will be later since I have a previous commitment

        1. avatar Stateisevil says:

          Open carry is legal in Alabama without a license.

        2. avatar SouthAl says:

          What AL has let die in legislature is concealed carry without a permit.

        3. avatar LazrBeam says:

          Open carry is legal here in Bama. I choose to keep my CCW up to date for two reasons. 1) I prefer concealed carry because, to me, if a bad guy decides to go active open carry is a big billboard advertising to shoot me first and 2). For reciprocity with States that Alabama has reciprocal agreements. The surrounding States, and most in the region, do that. Surprisingly, South Carolina doesn’t unless they’ve Recently changed.

    2. avatar SouthAl says:

      Also, no automatic arrest in AL just because of a gfz posting, trespassing if you don’t leave when asked, unless the law has changed. Even schools are not gfz with a ccp.

      Concealed carry without a permit will continue to die every year till legislators have the stones to tell the Sheriffs to pound sand

      1. avatar MGD says:

        I too live in Alabama. I ignore GFZ signs as it’s legal to do so except where the law states it’s prohibited. (Federal buildings, etc.) My wife understands fully what I mean if we approach a set of metal detectors and I tell her I need to return to the car. For whatever reason, detectors had been set up at a private event we attended that was being held in a city facility. The venue is not in the safest part of the city and I’m thinking, “Okay, who’s going to protect me between the front door and my vehicle?”

    3. avatar S50B31 says:

      I live in MS and travel through AL often enough and I’ve never understood their car carry laws. I can open carry there without a permit but if I get in my car I have to unload it and lock it up out of reach. I stop for gas, open the trunk, retrieve my firearm, cock and lock it, holster it, then walk into the gas station. No, that doesn’t look suspicious

      1. avatar SouthAl says:

        Yup. That’s AL law. Dumbassery for sure, but better than many other states. The conglomerate of Sheriffs successfully block permitless concealed carry year after year, which includes loaded in the cab of a vehicle, since it would hurt their revenue stream from ccp fees.

      2. avatar LazrBeam says:

        Get a Mississippi CCW permit. Then you will be OK with your piece with you in your car. For whatever reason, carrying in a car is considered concealed. Get that MS CCW. Bama has reciprocity with Mississippi.

        1. avatar MGD says:

          Al. honors permits from every state in the union.

  35. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “‘Printing’ While Carrying Concealed – Is it Really a Problem?”

    As with everything else in life, you have to dress for success…

  36. avatar Jason M says:

    Outside of work, I always carry IWB usually wearing untucked, plaid, button down shirts, but sometimes t shirts. I’m a solid medium (maybe plus) build.
    At work, I’m a carpenter. Always in a t-shirt and likely having my arms raised over my head or kneeling/bending at any time. That was my issue for a long time before getting my permit. I tend to go to van many times a day for some tool, etc. I never lock it while working, so leaving my gun there isn’t an option (irresponsible, to me at least). So I tried an ankle holster and got my permit. I admit, it’s not the ideal spot if I needed it, but it beats the hell out of leaving it at home or in an unlocked vehicle. 3 years now, and no homeowner ever noticed. Not even a single coworker, and they all know I’m a gun guy. Some will randomly ask what knife I’m carrying, but never asked if I had a gun. I like that.

    1. avatar Doc says:

      Carry it in your bag, it will save your life. This is the only reason my Uncle is alive today. He had his back turned to the door when the man came in and said hands in the air. As my uncle spun around he pulled from his bag and shoot 3 times hitting him 2 times ending his life.

  37. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Anyone know what OWB holster that is in article picture?

  38. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Open carriers laughing. Deep concealment required for “gun free” zones. Other than that, who cares?

  39. avatar B.D. says:

    Pictures in these articles always show someone standing still and no wind or anything. You have to factor in how bad you are already printing, with movements like sitting down and such, plus if the wind blows is it going to press your shirt up against the gun and give an obvious print? Things like that need to be factored in, otherwise it’s pointless. Most of these reasons are why I wear a 6oz shirt or more, or a button down and carry AIWB. Anywhere else, I look like I have a colostomy bag stored inside my waistband, and some shirts I have it’s very obvious it’s a gun.

    Personally, I say open carry if you can, but of course in today’s society, out of sight and out of mind is better. However, it’s also an infringement on our right to carry. Too many times though, here in Montana, I see idiots open carrying in such unsafe manors, or just plain stupidly. I have seen everything from a cowboy style holster on a jack nicholson as the joker size revolver that goes all the way down to their knees, someone carrying at the 4-5 inside the belt with no holster, but my personal favorite that I had to take a picture of was some jackass with a serpa holster flapping around attached to his front pocket. These methods of carry are why open carry gets shit on so much. That and the .001% chance it makes you a target.

  40. Hard to decide which I give a shit less about…printing or over penetration.

  41. avatar enuf says:

    I suppose it depends upon where you live and how poorly law enforcement reacts to spotting a legally carried concealed weapon. Have never had that happen to me, never been pointed out or challenged. I do notice other people’s guns showing thru what they are wearing, to varying degrees. Doesn’t worry me so I leave it alone.

    When I selected a mouse gun for pocket carry I went with a pocket holster that can only look like a wallet. That’s the DeSantis Superfly. Dumb name, good idea.

  42. avatar Iarwain says:

    I am 5’10 and have a 36″ waist—I’m not a giant. My every day carry is a full size Beretta Px4 with a 20 round magazine and a Surefire light on the rail. I carry it IWB on my 4 o’clock everywhere that it’s not a felony. I carry in plenty of stores and other businesses that have policies against firearms. Most of the time I have my shirt tucked. Only on two occasions has anyone ever stopped me and asked if I was carrying a firearm. One was at a job site that didn’t allow guns, the other was at a Costco. On both occasions, my shirt was untucked, and they were looking at the bulge from my phone holster. I simply pulled my shirt up, showed them my phone, and carried on. I’m sure LEOs and other gun owners notice from time to time, but virtually all of the people who would be upset by me carrying a gun simply aren’t observant enough to notice.

  43. avatar Truckman says:

    I have carried ever since Fl. started giving out permits all ways outside pants holster
    and all sizes of pistols but now I carry a ultra lite 5 shot revolver and never worried about printing and in the small town I live i have got part uncovered and somebody will come by and will tell me your showing and will pull my shirt down now I have started wearing extra large long pocket tees stays covered now wear same type shirts even when go to the bigger cities around and have never been bothered yet

  44. avatar SoCalJack says:

    Great article. After choosing clothes for concealment, maybe make sure it allows for a smooth unholstering or better yet for single hand draw while the weak hand is unavailable to lift the shirt.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      So Cal, if you are still in So Cal, you have it easy. I worked in LE there for 31 years. Hawaiian shirts were in vogue there. I always carried a large frame auto in a horizontal shoulder holster. Wore a tee shirt under a one size up Hawaiian shirt, sometimes buttoned up, sometimes not. Never printed, and even in undercover work, was never made as a carrier. A plus, it’s the fastest draw from a seated position in a vehicle.

  45. avatar UpInArms says:

    I’m a whole lot more concerned about being able to draw the gun without getting tangled up in my shirt than I am about printing. I’m in DE, we have permitless open carry, so it’s not a big deal. I usually just wear an over-sized t-shirt in summer, add an unbottoned denim work shirt when it get cooler. And in the winter… well, in the winter I just hope I don’t have to get to the gun.

    1. avatar Wood says:

      In winter carry the biggest gun you own, and something you can get to. I have a Ted Blocker holster for big revolver that keeps the cylinder above the belt, and I can set it up for strong side or cross draw. It’s like a vertical sheath that slides into a loop on the belt. I can conceal a 6.5” Ruger Blackhawk this way, and still sit down. I bet it would work for my 5” GP100 too. Then the LCR can go in a front pants or jacket pocket.

  46. avatar Neil says:

    People look up from their phones?

  47. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    “Why don’t you ask your mom about the bulge in my pants? “

  48. avatar Charles says:

    I live in South FLA where it is common to wear cargo shorts and pants. I had the right, front pockets replaced with heavy duty canvas. My snubby is virtually invisible.

  49. avatar ozzallos says:

    Its hard to claim my 1911 as a colostomy bag, but then, ive only ever been called out on it once while walking into a costco… who ironically doesnt advertise a no-gun policy on their doors, but will ask you to leave if they realize youre carrying.

  50. avatar Phil LA says:

    Thats all fine and good until you go to the business-casual office with a no guns allowed policy 5 days a week.

    Pocket carry of mouse guns is a must. The LCP is the worst gun I own but the only one that can be 100% concealed all day every day.

    I want to move to the P365 but fear I’d lose some concealability.

  51. avatar Florian Geyer says:

    Forget printing, you’d be surprised how many people are so oblibious that they don’t even notice when you’re OPEN CARRYING.

  52. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    Stating that police officers might notice your carry is not encouraging.

    I would prefer that even police officers not notice I’m carrying (not that I spend a lot of time within easy viewing distance of police officers, nor am I doing anything illegal that I need be worried about.) It’s just preferable that no one – unless they bump into you, feel you up or are standing right on top of you – notice your firearm.

    Stating that other concealed carriers might notice is also not encouraging. Some of those “concealed carriers” might be criminals.

    All that said, I suspect 99 percent of people will not notice a concealed carrier unless he makes mistakes like constantly touching the firearm, adjusting his clothing to “better conceal it” – which does the opposite – or the like. Sitting down and banging the gun on the chair is another easy tell.

    But I’d pay attention to the one percent or even much less than one percent who might be able to tell. You don’t control their reactions except by being unnoticed.

  53. avatar Jr says:

    I’ve been pocket carrying in a thin holster and very obviously printing for years at my job and only one person has ever noticed.

  54. avatar Timothy V Noecker says:

    I Normally Carry My S&W Shield 2.0CT in My Relentless Tactical IWB Holster Without Any Problems, The Only Time Things Get Tricky Is When I’m Trying To Wear Loose Fitting Gym Shorts Then I Have To Make Sure The Drawstring On The Shorts Are Pulled In Super Tight…

  55. avatar David Smithey says:

    I’m a big guy so I have no problems with printing.
    I usually wear a one size larger Tall shirt or T-shirt.
    I normally carry using a sticky holster (large or medium).
    My go to carry is my G26 although I do carry my G19 or P10c on occasion.
    On the church “Safety” team I usually carry my G17 and I don’t care if anyone notices since most members know who we are and know that we carry. I have even carried my CZ SP 01 Phantom at church and nobody cared.

    If I wear a tighter shirt I carry my G2C.
    No one has ever noticed mecarrying so far.
    Plaid shirts work great for me.
    I have one black tall shirt that conceals any gun I own.

    You don’t need to break the bank to carry just be smart and realize that people just don’t pay attention.

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