The ability to conceal and carry is a unique and complex topic. Setting aside all the legal challenges for another time the practical impediments are broad and diverse. Attire, chosen tools (not just firearms), methods of access, comfort are all considerations to be weighed back and forth to find our ideal. Contrary to what many YouTube channels would have you believe there is no one answer for everyone to these questions. Rather you must go through a painful and expensive learning process of which gear fits where and why.
Here we are going to show one option that isn’t discussed a lot. When CCW is talked about in the context of men’s professional attire invariably someone with a background in personal security work is the chosen expert to bring their background. While this isn’t wrong it doesn’t apply as much to the common man often. While we’d all really enjoy rocking a shoulder rig with a submachine gun and extra mags easily concealed under a suit jacket, that’s not the civilian world. Neither is having a team of armed professionals with different responsibilities contributing to the security of the group. You’re on your own hombre.
Now how you conceal and carry those tools has been a question for the ages. Looking back to prohibition era law enforcement versus gangsters one of the lessons we now draw from is what’s known as appendix inside the waistband. Commonly gangsters were able to get to their draw faster because they’d carry their pistols in the front of their waistband. Fast-forward a few decades to the early 2000’s and we started seeing the renaissance of what’s known as AIWB holsters. Today notably ones manufactured by Phlster, Dark Star, Tier One Concealment and JM Custom Kydex are solid choices.
From a safety standpoint alone there’s no reason to just tuck a gun in the waistband anymore. Whether it’s because you’re walking into a place where firearms are expressly forbidden or not right for the situation, those companies get it. There’s also the continuum of force to consider. It’s not advisable from a legal perspective to go straight to a gun more often than not. Things like blunt striking tools, pepper spray and tasers can be quite effective if used and carried correctly.
Lastly, when discussing clothing options, start thinking about not just buying “specialized” CCW clothing that is often expensive and overly complicated. Why not modify what you already have? As an example, taking a button up shirt and swapping the bottom two or three buttons to snaps. Whether you’re carrying appendix or on the hip this will allow for a faster, cleaner draw without the added risk of having your garment getting caught up.
Consider wearing pants that are one or two sizes larger than your normal waist size to accommodate your choice in tools. Start thinking about possibly having an ankle medical kit and more importantly the training to utilize it. Do you carry a handheld light? Even if you have a weapon-mounted light it’s not a good idea to use that to look for your keys. Do you wear a wedding ring and is it metal? How does that affect your grip, especially one-handed? Which wrist do you wear your watch on and if you’re running a handheld light how does that change your support grip on a pistol?
These are all concerns that are often overlooked but can dramatically change the way you go about your day. The key to coming out on top is planning ahead and setting the stage for yourself to have the best circumstances possible on what will likely be the hardest day of your life.