Winter weather provides quite a few benefits to gun owners. Big, heavy coats and shirts more easily hide the bulges of carrying full-size guns, and make smaller guns completely disappear. By April, though, shooters need to be thinking about warm weather concealed carry, as most summer clothes don’t provide the best concealment.
Now there are a lot of ways to hide a heater in the heat, but it requires more thought and commitment. Many people can easily hide a gun under an untucked T-shirt, but sometimes that’s not an option. Some folks have to go a bit dressier due to work or other commitments. Others just don’t have the proper body style to keep a gun hidden under really light shirts. Or they just don’t want to carry that way.
All this limits, but doesn’t eliminate, options. It just requires shooters to put more thought into warm weather concealed carry. Carrying in the summertime might require changes in clothing choices, as well as handgun and holster options. But, it just might be worth it. Here are a few options to consider.
Options for Warm Weather Concealed Carry
Most shooters don’t really understand belly bands. They hear the word belly, and think that is where you have to carry it. That’s not the case with these elastic bands. Belly bands are actually extremely versatile, and can be worn pretty much anywhere along the torso. Some folks push them down to the belt line, which allows carrying in any position along the waist. This includes appendix, SOB, crossdraw and strong side. And guns practically disappear under any shirt, while provide very fast access.
Others place them around the chest, providing almost a shoulder holster type carry. This works pretty well for those required to wear dress shirts. It’s not the fastest method of getting a gun into action, but it keeps a gun on the body.
Another option for those who have to dress up a bit is an ankle holster. This method requires getting used to, and some folks just can’t handle the weight of a gun around the leg. For those who can, slacks make an excellent cover garment. However, folks might want to get the inseam a little long to keep everything covered when sitting, and ankle carry requires practice to obtain a smooth draw. Ankle carry requires a little more commitment on the part of shooters.
A lot of folks like to wear cargo shorts when it is warm. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is comfort. Some shooters like cargo shorts because those pockets make a good place to hide a gun. In fact, folks can drop a gun into almost any pocket on these shorts. One tip, through, use a pocket holster; don’t just drop into a pocket. A pocket holster actually helps smooth out the harsh lines of a gun while covering the trigger, which makes this carry much safer. Be sure to get one with a sticky exterior and smooth interior, such as the Comfort Cling, for a quick draw.
With pocket carry a lot of folks prefer to drop the gun into the front pocket. This has the benefit of allowing the hand to be discretely placed on the gun. However, guns in this location, even smaller guns, put out a pretty big bulge. Some might think this is a wallet, but others won’t.
Fanny Packs & More
Many gun owners claim fanny packs scream gun to the masses. But does it really? Most folks today don’t look up from their phones long enough to notice a car heading at them, much less look at what might be hanging from a waistband. Some folks, mostly other concealed carriers, will notice the pack and believe there is a gun inside. Each shooter must decided whether that matters. Benefits of a fanny pack include good concealment of the gun for warm weather concealed carry, along with pockets for carrying other gear, such as an extra magazine. However, getting a gun out of a fanny pack takes some time; it doesn’t provide for a speedy draw.
Those who work in an office have the option of briefcases and laptop bags with specific pockets for carrying a gun. Sure, its better to have the gun on the person, but sometimes compromises must be made. Uncle Mike’s sells a pretty good looking one that provides room for laptops, keys, pens and much more, along with a special pocket containing an adjustable holster.
Strong Side IWB
One benefit of carrying strong side in an IWB holster is it works year round, even for warm weather concealed carry. There are even tuckable holsters available for those who must tuck shirts inside of pants. This method also covers fairly easily under most shirts, though lightweight T-shirts sometimes print. However, this is another case of where most folks don’t typically notice the bulge. Some might, but they may also think that it is just a cell phone on the waist.
Something to consider, though, is that leather holsters don’t breath very well, and can get quite hot and sweaty when it is warm. Kydex and neoprene holsters typically work better, but some folks wear a lightweight undershirt.
Carrying a gun is important for self defense, but more thought must go into warm weather concealed carry. Just remember that most folks won’t notice weird bulges or other anomalies, and those that do are probably another concealed carrier.
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