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[How-To] Concealed Carry a Full-Size Gun

We take a look at why you might want to conceal carry a full-sized handgun and how to do it successfully -- from AIWB to OWB to what clothes to wear.

    Sometimes you don’t want to just concealed carry a pocket pistol…you want something big.

    Maybe it’s a Glock 17, H&K VP9, Kimber Stainless II 1911, or something similar — nevertheless, it’s a full-sized handgun.

    DSG Holster with Glock 17
    DSG Holster with Glock 17

    Of course, carrying a bigger gun brings a different set of challenges than sub-compacts or micro-compacts.

    So, we’re here to help you out with a few tips and tricks to get you started carrying a full-size gun.

    Concealing a Big Gun

    We’ll cover what constitutes a full-sized gun, why you might want to carry a full-sized model, and how to do it successfully.

    So, let’s get started.

    Table of Contents


    Why Full-Size?

    So what do we gain with a bigger gun?

    For starters, you can carry larger rounds, and more of them — 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP with a 15+ round capacity can bring more to the table than a .380 ACP micro-compact with a 7-round capacity.

    Glock G17 Gen 4
    Glock G17 Gen 4

    For those with larger hands, a full-size also feels more comfortable shoot.

    Not to mention, a longer sight radius often means more accurate shots on target. In a stressful defensive situation, that could prove advantageous.

    HK VP9 Shooting
    HK VP9

    Full-size guns also work well in the winter months where you might be wearing an outer layer.

    A full-size in an OWB holster with a jacket layered over top is a bit easier to get to than a micro-compact in an IWB holster under a shirt and a coat.

    OWB Holster Bravo concealment Blazer
    Bit easier to reach.

    The trade-off, though, is that some people find a full-size a bit difficult to carry in warmer climates when t-shirts are the norm.

    But that’s why you’re here…

    Carry Positions for a Large CCW

    Now that you know what you’re getting into, let’s talk carry positions for your big CCW gun. 

    Like most things in the gun world, carry position greatly depends on…you — specifically your body type.

    Kore Essentials and P365 Concealed
    Everybody is different so that means what works for one person might not work for another.

    Someone who is 5’11” might have different options than someone over 6’5″.

    Of course, your clothing choices will also play a part. If you prefer baggier shirts you might have more leeway than someone who prefers tighter fitting t-shirts.

    OWB Holster Printing
    Definitely don’t want this…

    Appendix Inside the Waistband

    Appendix holsters make it easy to conceal a full-sized pistol.

    They position the gun in front of you and hold it against the widest part of your body. This makes concealing a full-sized pistol with a red dot sight and even a weapon-mounted light easy.

    PHLster Floodlight AIWB
    PHLster Floodlight AIWB

    A good appendix carry rig makes it entirely possible for a person of any size to carry a full-size handgun with ease — including shooters both big and small.

    Womens Concealed AIWB
    PPT Managing Editor Jacki — who is 5’1″ and 100 pounds — carries a Glock 19 sized pistol AIWB as her EDC.

    You won’t need a special shirt or jacket to conceal it either…a t-shirt works perfectly fine.

    I’ve carried my big Glock 17 with a red dot and TRL-1 without issue.

    The real challenge is finding the right holster. I suggest sticking with a well-made rig from a reputable holster company.

    PHLster Floodlight AIWB Seated
    Drawing from the PHLster Floodlight

    Personally, I carry with a PHLster Floodlight. It meets my needs and most of my guns. I have a full review of the Floodlight if you want more details on the setup.

    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Holsters from Dark Star Gear, Raven Concealment, and Henry’s Holsters also get my vote.

    If you want to learn more about AIWB, we have some other articles to help — Concealed Carry: Benefits of Appendix/AIWB Carry and 5 Best Guns for AIWB.

    Concealed Carry Gun in Holster
    Dark Stear Gear holster

    Inside the Waistband

    An IWB holster is also an option. These holsters place the gun on the inside of the pants but on the hip or slightly behind it.

    5 o'clock Holster Position
    IWB in the 5 o’clock

    Body type plays a part in getting the gun situated without printing. Some people find they can CCW at the 3-o’clock, while others need it more at the 4- to 5-o’clock.

    Also, when opting for IWB, a tuckable holster can help when you aren’t wearing a jacket or some other outer layer like a sweatshirt.

    Concealment Express Tuckable G19 Hidden
    A tuckable holster in action.

    We can help you find the right IWB holster for you in our Best IWB Holsters review.

    Outside the Waistband

    OWB holsters place the gun on the outside of the pants. These work best alongside jackets or other cover garments.

    PHLster Floodlight OWB
    PHLster Floodlight OWB

    If you do choose to use an OWB holster, be aware of where it is so you don’t accidentally expose it.

    OWB Holster Bravo concealment Blazer
    OWB and blazers are a great combo!

    Black gun, black holster, black pants even a darker shirt help with concealment in this case. And, of course, just keeping your jacket zipped or buttoned makes a huge difference. 

    For more on IWB vs. OWB, check out our article on the topic — IWB vs. OWB: Which Should You Choose?

    Shoulder Carry

    A shoulder holster is an alternative to a waistband holster if you are wearing a jacket.

    This kind of holster isn’t for everyone, though, and those with a slimmer build might struggle with positioning the gun so the gun doesn’t print.

    AlienGear Shapeshift Holster
    AlienGear Shapeshift Holster Shoulder

    When holstering your gun under your arm, make sure you practice your draw.

    If you aren’t accustomed to it, you may fumble or have an otherwise difficult time.

    For more on this style of carry, check out our article on the Shoulder Carry.

    Clothing for Full Sized Carry

    Jackets are great, but sometimes it’s just too hot – especially in places like Florida where I live – as such, there are alternatives.

    Carrying Concealed under the Propper Full Zip Tech Sweater
    This can get a little toasty.

    First, obviously, you gotta stay away from the Under Armor style shirts and similar athletic brands. They fit too tight and make concealment a hassle.

    Instead, learn how a shirt fits. The shoulder seam should be on your shoulder with 2- to 3-inches of looseness around the waist.

    Learning how clothes should fit will help you on your CCW ventures.

    Anything tighter will make it tough to conceal.

    Also, embrace patterns!

    Vertical patterns have long been used to hide a little excess weight, and they can also help hide excess lumps that full-sized pistols might create.

    Concealing a Big Gun
    Big fan of flannel.

    I like flannels for this reason.

    With a low contrast between colors, the pattern hides the gun easily enough. Leopard print works, as do most dense, non-repeating patterns.

    Concealed Carry Mirror
    Patterns work for ladies too. Jacki has a Glock G19 lurking under there.

    Softer materials also tend to slim, and this slimming design keeps the weapon concealed and hidden.

    Tactical Shirts

    Tactical shirts get a lot of hell, but a lot are purpose-made to hide a gun.

    They often flare the bottom of the shirt out slightly to accommodate a hidden pistol.

    5.11 Eleanor Jacket
    Companies like 5.11 Tactical make apparel specifically for CCW.

    That little extra flare does a great job at concealing your gun and prevents it from being spotted.

    They also often allow for quick access.

    Get a Good Belt!

    One big issue people don’t consider when concealed carrying a big gun is their belt.

    You want a strong, rigid belt that can support the weight of your gun — and one that keeps the holstered gun upright preventing it from sagging or twisting.

    Kore Essentials Belts
    Kore Essentials Belts

    Not only will it increase your ability to conceal a pistol, but it will increase your total comfort.

    Our fav is the Kore Essentials with X7 Belt…use code PEWBELT10 at Shall Not Comply for 10% off or code PEWPEWTACTICAL at Kore Essentials for 10% as well.

    at Tri Star Trading

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Get some belt recommendations in our Best Belt article.


    A full-sized gun can be carried with the right holster, belt, and placement on the body.

    Proper Grip
    Proper Grip

    Whether you opt for OWB, AIWB, IWB or go Miami Vice with a shoulder holster, you’re bound to find at least one means of carry that works for you.

    Have any advice for those looking to concealed carry larger sidearms? Drop them in the comments below. For more on concealed carry, check out our Concealed Carry Guide. And for our lady readers, also see our Best Ways to Concealed Carry for Women.

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    52 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      "The shoulder seam should be on your shoulder with 2- to 3-inches of looseness around the waist."

      For conceal carry there is a lot of stuff that goes around for how cloths should fit. I know someone who is actually a contractor that advises professionals on clothing for concealed carry and provides specialized clothing for it. He helped me out years ago with selecting the proper clothing from that commonly available on market. When this lady dresses you for concealed you could be concealing a tank and no one is going to know it. Ok, the tank was a bit of an exaggeration, but I've seen her conceal some large guns, even shorter rifles, and you would never know they were carrying. So anyway, most people are limited to whats they can get so ...

      For men, actually this is not a 'rule' ifs its a T-Shirt type of shirt or an 'intended wear = casual wear' polo shirt. For these the shoulder seam can be up to 2 inches below the top of the shoulder. And the bottom can be down to the bottom of the crotch area, which is actually desirable because the longer length will still help cover the gun if for some reason you reach up. The actual proper length range is from one inch above the bottom of the crotch to the bottom of the crotch.

      If its a large gun, the looseness should not be around the waist only but rather through the whole length of the shirt chest and down for T-Shirt type of shirt or an 'intended wear = casual wear' polo shirt.

      There are three types of main 'wear fit' categories for these type of men's shirts, sometimes they are noted for the product and sometimes they are not. These three types are 'Loose Fit' and 'Relaxed Fit' and 'Regular Fit'. The 'Regular Fit' category encompasses those shirts you see that fit so well form fitted on the models who wear them on a manufacturer web site, and it also encompasses and particular 'feature' for fit when is more form fitting, for example, Under Armour 'compression' shirts. The other two wear fit categories of 'Loose Fit' and 'Relaxed Fit' is where you want to be for conceal carry.

      'Loose Fit' T-Shirt type of shirt or an 'intended wear = casual wear' polo shirt. This is cut larger with a roomier fit in the chest and shoulders. This is what you want for concealed carry in these shirts.

      'Relaxed Fit' is a closer fit to the body but not exactly form fitting. It tapers in some and you do not want that for concealed carry for T-Shirt type of shirt or an 'intended wear = casual wear' polo shirt.

      'Loose Fit' will work for both thin and not so thin, just get the correct size. For sizing look at the manufacturers sizing charts and note the sizes in inches and not just the letter size (e.g. L, XL, 2XL etc...) and measure yourself for those measurements and if you are on the borderline or match those measurements but are not below them then get the next size up in letter size and that's all there is to it. (note though, some manufacturers clothing tends to run a little larger than the advertised size)

      Now we come to regular length or tall length. This is going to depend on how tall you are. Remember the length you want in these shirts - the actual proper length range is from one inch above the bottom of the crotch to the bottom of the crotch.

      So here is where we enter the 'very fluffy' range. For 'very fluffy' (exceeds a 3XL or is on the border line for a size larger than 3XL in loose fit) you have an added burden and you should probably be looking at a category called 'Oversized Fit' which is actually not a main wear fit category but rather an exception to the main wear fit categories intended to serve the 'very fluffy' market. But the same rules for these types of shirts apply for you too, you are just going to do it in the 'Oversized Fit' category.

      Also note that some manufacturers clothing tends to run either larger or smaller than the actual size indicated for a loose fit shirt. You will need to just try it on to see, try on at the store if you can but if ordered on line send it back and get the next size up or exchange it for the next size up in the same style and brand.

      February 27, 2023 1:58 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I bought the PHLSTER Floodlight IWB mentioned in this article and had to return it. I'm 6'2" and 200lbs with a 36" waist. Great retention on my G17 with a TLR 1 HL but the holster is just too dang wide. No matter how I placed it it looked like a had a tumor in my pants.

      January 10, 2022 2:08 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike T

      As a “heavier” guy (at 5’6”/220 lbs.) it becomes increasingly difficult to carry in any position around the waist (IWB) without making my grip stick outward.
      I can pretty much only carry at 6 o'clock because of the indent in the middle of my back having the best free space available and learned to wear a left-handed holster for my right hand because of a shoulder injury that prevents me from being able to rotate my arm that far around.
      There seem to be such a tremendous void of information catered to “bigger” (around) people or those with (permanent) injuries - I would absolutely LOVE to find a resource that addresses related issues or at least acknowledges some of the challenges and possible workarounds.
      Are there any websites or articles that address these types of issues? TIA.

      November 21, 2021 2:00 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Mike T;

        Have a friend in the same situation you describe. A Bravo Concealment Torsion IWB Gun Holster solved the problem for him. Its made so the grip of the gun is rotated in towards the body nice and tight and that works perfectly on bigger guys, no claws or any of that as the holster is design to do that.

        November 22, 2021 1:06 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Mike T

          Awesome news John. Sincerely "Thank you". I will definitely check it out.

          November 25, 2021 6:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      "Not to mention, a longer sight radius often means more accurate shots on target. In a stressful defensive situation, that could prove advantageous."

      I've been in "stressful defensive" eye blink in time situations. You are not going to be using your sights or red dot, you will not be "aiming", like people think will happen. You are going to target focus and align the gun on that target (not the sights or red dot) as quickly as you can and fire, if you don't you are going to risk dying.

      November 20, 2021 11:54 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        He's probably been in more stressful defensive situations than you, bud. Chill.

        November 21, 2021 1:21 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I normally lurk and do not reply to comments but I gotta agree with you John, there has probably never been a more true statement than what you commented. I've been in four of these situations in the last several years and did not use the sights at all because there simply was no time as it all happened so fast.

        I wish more people would think this way, that there might not be time to use the sights.

        November 22, 2021 3:25 am
        • Commenter Avatar


          counting my military service, then police, I've been in, somewhere around, 100'ish "stressful defensive" eye blink in time situations over the years where I used my handgun. There was no time to aim. But it sounds like you figured it out, I just wish more people knew this.

          November 22, 2021 12:54 pm
          • Commenter Avatar

            I practice with sights hoping that my muscle memory will just line me up on my target within a (hopefully) 3 inch pattern.. When I am calm and just range plinking I hit more often than not when target focusing but tbh I've never had to use my pistol was an 8404 back in the day and can't remember ever actually using the pistol.

            December 17, 2021 11:18 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I carry a full size 1911 and I am 6 ft and weigh 195 I mostly wear tee shirts because I live in California and it is mostly hot I carry it in a iwb holster with mag pouch I wear 34 in the waist but I buy 36 to carry my 45 . I have been carrying it that way for 20 years . A smaller gun is probably just as good but I just feel better with the 45 plus I shoot it fairly well it is an everyday carry . I have a kimber ultra carry ii but it always stays at home .

      August 9, 2021 10:32 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      So the article about how to carry a larger gun was written by someone who prefers to not carry a larger gun.

      March 25, 2021 6:42 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        lol, so true! I got a couple of sizes, and sometimes I wanna have the performance SW with 8 rounds.

        July 20, 2021 12:34 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I never realized finding the best match was so complex. I had thought about a longer barrel for better accuracy, but am thinking in a real emergency use, it would be a 3 to 10 feet away scenario, so now I'm wondering about going shorter for ease of carry and concealment. Thank you for your ideas.

      October 18, 2020 8:33 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I carry my P220 in a tshirt holster with spare mag and that works fine for me. Yep gotta practice drawing it, AND the shirts are sized to fit tightly so comfort might be an issue for you.

      September 22, 2020 5:58 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Carried a 1911 a long time ago (since converted it to a carbine), now prefer 9mm with tactical ammo in 20+ round mags - in a simple one on one, 45acp might have higher knock down but if the SHTF in a place like Chicago, fire supremacy (maximum available rounds down range) is more valuable than single round momentum

      August 16, 2020 5:40 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm 5'10" 195#, except for absolute dead of summer when I'm wearing very light clothes (at which time I carry a Sig P232 .380 with Sig defensive rounds) - I carry my full-size H&K VP9 tactical w/ MRO in an IWB without issue- if I need to be in Chicago at night, I may also carry by Beretta M9 in a small of back or shoulder holster as a backup, just in case

      August 16, 2020 5:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Darrell Ashby

      Could you please tell me the name of that black holster pictured with that Glock in this article?

      July 21, 2020 4:53 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Cody Starner

      5'11", 150LBS after an eating spree. Like, I'm a small guy. I carry a Glock 22, appendix, all day, every day. I've hidden it IWB pretty much everywhere from 12-6. Well, anywhere that the holster clips will co-exist with my belt loops. It pokes me on occasion but generally I don't have any issues.
      I don't know why people think that a smaller frame calls for a smaller framed handgun. If anything, the opposite is true. Skinnier builds like myself have big hollow spaces in basically the exact places you'd want a holster. Fat guys can't do it, the rolls get in the way.

      May 25, 2020 11:56 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        That’s impressive bro, I was thinking about doing the same, although I’m not the thinnest fellow in the world.

        August 17, 2021 3:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm 5-10, 165 with my shoes on. My usual carry gun was a CZ97B, until I switched to carrying a Colt Delta Elite. Carried both IWB in a Kramer holster, spare mags opposite side. In Arizona. Under a shirt tail. Key to this is wearing a tucked t-shirt under the golf polo, then the grips aren't sitting against bare skin, and having a double thickness horsehide gun belt, and you must successfully fight the temptation to wear tight pants/shorts.

      With the Colt, when I get in the car, for trips over about 20 minutes, I switch the gun to a paddle blackhawk serpa holster, rotated for cross draw, that I leave in the driver side door pocket when I'm not using it. Very doable.

      My next mission is to figure out how to conceal a full size 357 with 5-1/4" barrel. To the guy that carries a 45 AND a 10mm, my hat's off to you.

      May 15, 2020 7:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm 5'10" and weigh around 212-215 depending on the week. I live in Las Vegas NV where there are two seasons........HOT and COLD. I carry a G19 with an extra 17 round mag w/ a Taran Tactical mag extension on it for a total of 22 rounds in that mag plus the 15+1 I carry in the gun. All wrapped in a Tier 1 IWB appendix and have no problems. I usually wear shorts and a t-shirt, dark colors, usually black. When I'm not carrying my G19 I carry a S&W Shield 9mm 7+1 with an extra mag in my front pocket. When I carry the S&W it's wrapped in a AIWB Vedder holster. I prefer the G19 over the S&W. I have tried before, and it wasn't very comfortable, carrying my Walther PPQ Q5 Match w/ a Trijicon Type II RMR on it and that gun is quite long for appendix. The Q5 is wrapped in a Tier 1 AIWB holster as well.

      May 9, 2020 11:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Up until this Covid-19 thing I’ve carried a Kimber Pro Carry II in .45 acp in a holster with a extra mag pouch built in. This was carried in my man bag or I carried a Colt Gold Cup Trophy National Match in .45 acp in a custom Galco Miami classic rig horizontally under my shoulder and two vertical mag pouches under the other. Since the virus has changed everyone’s lives I carry the same Colt Gold Cup .45 horizontally under one arm and a Colt Delta Elite 10 mm horizontally under the other since I’m truly ambidextrous and can shoot just as well with either hand. As for as extra mags, this custom holster allows me to carry 4 extra mags, two for each gun stacked vertically in the small of my back. Like the Galco this holster from lone star was custom built for my 6’3” 225lb muscular frame. They are both so comfortable that I forget I’m wearing them, even driving with four mags in the small of my back. Why so much firepower? Normally I would never carry this, but given the fact that my beautiful, loving, wife & I are battling her stage 4 metasticized rectal cancer and I am her only caregiver, formerly a nurse and NEC 8403 SOIDC, I gave my wife two daily injections and others at different intervals during the week &month. I give her an I.V. if & when she becomes dehydrated. I organize & distribute her truckload of medications. I cook, clean, arrange for groceries, do laundry and all other chores. You ask why would anyone need 50 pistol rounds or plus another 17 if I also happen to be carrying my man bag? The answer to that question is simply
      1.) I cannot allow myself to be incapacitated or killed where that I could not continue to give my wife the level of care that I do.
      2.) I cannot bring home so much of a sniffle home to her immunosuppressed, frail body. Meaning I cannot allow for any situation where that has the possibility of happening.
      3.) I cannot allow anyone to enter the “ plastic bubble “ environment that we now live in.
      4.) I cannot allow myself to be robbed of the medications she has to have when returning from the Pharmacy nor Hospital depending on the medication. Given that we live in a relatively small college town when the students are gone. People know my wife ( public figure for 30 years and someone who was born and raised here ) and they know she has cancer. A meth-head convicted felon tried to kick-in my front door a month ago & some other ex-con tried to rob me at an ATM 2 weeks ago. Neither attempts were successful.
      I’m sure some of you still do not understand my choices of carry. I was able to have a front-row seat to the apocalypse after hurricane Katrina. I saw first-hand what people who are hungry and have no source of water will do. I’ve also seen first-hand what people will do when they realize there is no law. After the hurricane looters broke into liquor stores, pharmacies, and then gun shops. We were trying to bring food, water, and medical supplies to these people and in their drunken, stoned, decreased physical state these intoxicants hit them even harder than normal, so while trying to help, they shot holes in our Blackhawk helicopters. I’ve seen this type of behavior around the world. ( if I mention individual countries or even regions my comment will be deleted again. ) I carry what I do to protect my wife.
      Thank you for the privilege of answering this question and I apologize for the long diatribe.

      April 24, 2020 9:29 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        David, PPT Editor

        Hey Rick, thanks for sharing that. Really. Stay strong out there and fighting the good fight. The whole Pew Pew team really appreciated your comment. Best of luck to you, friend.

        April 24, 2020 1:01 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          David, Thank You. Thank you much for sharing with the team! I don’t want anything for myself but if any of you believe in a higher being, I would appreciate you mentioning Karen.

          I appreciate your product and thank you.

          May 25, 2020 3:11 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Rick, God bless you and your wife! I hope things gowell for you! Your story qwas def worth the read.

        May 9, 2020 11:00 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Ace, Thank You very much! I appreciate the blessing for my wife! That caught me off-guard. Thank you again.

          May 25, 2020 3:05 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Very impressive, keep doing what you do my man, and my prayers are to your wife.

        August 17, 2021 3:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Notice critics already have a solution for “themselves”. Thanks for the info and found it very informative. i do carry a Kahr and love it, but am looking to get a more generous capacity. Thyinking about a Sig 365 XL.. I do like the pocket conversion but I do wear different types of pants here in Florida, but good idea.

      December 20, 2019 9:40 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      What they wrote is nosense . if you are thin appendix carry work fine with a 1911 . I can carry it crossdraw ,3 O'clock. Or at the 4 O ' clock and I can hide it under a tee shirt. Then if you still want a full size in all steel gun . get a Kahr . it is very thin. It is striker fire has a trigger that will make your glock friend cry . down side is if your a capacity junk.

      June 23, 2019 5:41 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      You forgot to mention pocket holster! I carry a glock g40 (long slide 10mm) with a 7" kkm 9x25 Dillon barrel every day. A desantis nemesis holster is what i use and it works great. I simply opened the seam at the bottom of my jean pocket and hand stitched a piece of old denim to extend and custom fit the pistol / holster. Took 30 minutes with a needle and thread. Gun sits 100% concealed in front of thigh. Can EASILY tie shoes and jump in car with comfort. The ONLY way to carry any gun - pocket holster. When I need to be super concealed, g19 glock in same holster. Always with underwood ammo.

      December 27, 2018 5:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Most of these carry discussions don't address what most of us do everyday. Driving. The only way I found to quickly access a firearm while in the driver's seat is weak side so the seatbelt lock isn't in the way of the draw which is anathema to concealing a full sized pistol.

      December 3, 2018 7:15 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        You can use a shoulder holster for driving.

        November 12, 2019 8:55 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Just use an auto type holster for dash or console. Just make sure if stopped, you have window rolled down part way with both hands on 10 and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel. First words out of your mouth should be I do have a CCP and a handgun visible. Have done this exactly, twice with no problem. Infact if it is a gun free state, it will be appreciated by the police.

        December 20, 2019 9:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      zebra dun

      I have carried both a full size 1911A1 and a Commander Concealed and on duty open carry.
      I prefer something smaller and lighter but it can be done.
      I carry my Colt Gov now open carry when I ride Horseback.

      October 26, 2018 10:04 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I have carried full size service handguns for 41 years in law enforcement and now retired. That include four inch S&W .357, 1911s, Sig Sauer P220, and more modern S&W M&P .45 ACP. I live in SE Texas where there are two seasons, Summer and August !! I have no problem carrying inside the waste band with any of those firearms. I carry the S&W M&P .45 99% of the time. I'm 5'7" and a stocky 200 lbs.

      It can be done. What I have found from reading most forum is people want to carry a handgun but they do not want the carry to be cumbersome. Larger firearms reduce recoil.

      Great article...food for thought.

      October 20, 2018 12:44 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Juan Mercado

        What holster do you use? I live In Houston and I am looking to carry a full size 1911

        May 18, 2019 7:54 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Found the article very informative. I used to carry a Dan Wesson multi barrel .357 revolver and loved it. But now in my late 60's and with a bit of nerve damage and loss of some strength in my hands I'm hoping to find something a little less expensive to shoot and something I can carry. I'm right handed, stand 6'2", 300 lbs. and have large hands so sub-compacts are out. Also my left hand has a lot of nerve damage and not much strength for racking an auto, but have read that the Bursa is easiest in that department. Any suggestions you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much and keep up the good work.

      September 11, 2018 11:03 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Ron Herrin

        I am 5'-10" and 249lbs. I own a S&W M&P Shield Performance Center .40, 7+1, 3.1" barrel and a Springfield Arms XD-M 3.8", 16+1, .40. I wear either one concealed using an Alien Gear IWB holster. They are both very comfortable sitting or driving when worn in the 4 o'clock position or the 10 o'clock position in a right hand cross-draw. I actually prefer the XD-M.40 when driving and traveling. Hopefully this will help.

        February 23, 2019 6:22 pm
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      no spam

      OK, fine. Enough with the "some people prefer" crap - I was expecting a solution. Not happening.

      July 10, 2018 4:02 pm
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      cecil works

      I agree with everything you said. The pistol , holster and carry location is a mixture of Your height and shape along with your weapon you can comfortably conceal , draw and control during high stress situation. Now for me it is a Glock 21 with two extra magazines and I have no problem with it. The question is , what can you properly conceal, safely draw and engage your target effectively. I would like to add that a good sturdy belt is essential as well as a good holster.

      May 24, 2018 5:38 pm
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      I have found barrel length and overall gun width to be less of a factor than grip height. Currently I carry a S&W Shield and absolutely love the gun, but have considered going to a double stack G19 or S&W M&P 2.0. I am the 180 lb 5-11 guy in the article, and I always worry that the gun could print at the 3 O'clock position as the grip base to slide top is longer than my waist is deep. Regardless of what you decide to carry, be comfortable carrying and spend time at the range becoming proficient.

      March 13, 2018 12:22 pm
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      John Grayman

      Invalid Reasons To Choose An EDC Pistol:

      1. Comfort

      2. Convenience

      3. Concealability

      4. Peace Of Mind

      5. Feeling Secure ~ [Because having a gun is better than having no gun, at all—Right? No, wrong!]

      None of the above five reasons are valid criteria for choosing which handgun to carry—None! It is a truism of EDC carry and handgunning that: The smaller, lighter, more comfortable to carry, and/or readily concealable a handgun is – no matter how secure having a gun might make you feel – then (Ready?) the more difficult it’s going to be to effectively use that handgun in order to try to save your life!

      Try this little test: If, by some miracle, you’re able to survive your first CQB pistol gunfight (or ambush) then, after the threat has passed, ask yourself this simple question, “Would my survival have been any more certain, or easier to accomplish if I’d used a full-size pistol?”

      Valid Reasons To Choose An EDC Pistol:

      1. High Magazine Capacity ~ [Because it may turn out to be a bigger, longer, or tougher gunfight than you ever expected to be in.]

      2. Large Caliber ~ [Because the other fellow, or fellows, might be tougher to stop, or put down, than you previously imagined.]

      3. Longer Sight Radius ~ [Because a pistol with a longer barrel is easier to shoot straight; and, within the time allowed, you may have to do some really straight shooting.]

      4. Heavier Overall Weight ~ [For a shorter (faster) dwell time between shots, and improved recoil control.]

      5. The added (realistic) sense-of-security that comes from going into the fight carrying a “real gun” instead of one of these adorable comfy little “pacifier pistols”.

      March 12, 2018 10:14 am
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        Eric Hung

        Thanks for your 2 cents, John...good points for anyone to think about!

        March 12, 2018 10:31 am
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        You make some good points. I am more accurate at the range with my glock 34 than my M&P Shield. This said if a gun is too uncomfortable to carry you may ask yourself in a CQB "Would I have done better if I was armed?"

        March 14, 2018 7:46 am
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        Hello John. I liked your post and carry a G19. I’ve recently started to think about carrying a G17 or G20. What do you prefer?

        October 12, 2020 10:19 pm
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      I carry a Sig C3 1911 AIWB without any problems. And two spare mags. I do not find it uncomfortable or encumbering in any way. I can not imagine carrying behind my hip. 6'1" 160lb.

      March 8, 2018 5:08 pm