Year-round concealed carry has to be practical and provide three essential characteristics: maximum concealment, ease of retrieval and comfort. While that sounds pretty straightforward, each of those elements requires an individual choice by the person carrying the gun. With so many of the latest pocket pistols being made lighter and easier to handle, the choices in concealed-carry guns has increased exponentially over the past few years.
Practical, seasonal concealed carry, if you are going to stay with only one gun, can and often will require more than one type of holster to accommodate changing concealment needs dictated by clothing, weather conditions and certain situations. The latter is reflected in your need to carry—the greater the
need, the greater the demand for either quick access or deeper concealment.
For most individuals with a CCW permit, the need is basic personal protection, rather than as a sidearm intended for persons whose line of work may put them directly in harm’s way. For most, it is a need that can be fulfilled with one gun and a choice of holsters that, above all else, address the third requirement: comfort. To that end, we have broken down holster options to five primary types of concealed-carry methods: pocket carry, inside the waistband (IWB), belt, shoulder and ankle holsters. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each, most often dictated by comfort, degree of concealment and ease of access. Some methods will compromise one of the three carry guidelines to achieve another, and this is where the following breakdown of holster types and features will help in making this all-important decision for concealed carry.