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.
Summer Concealed Carry Options
Now there are a lot of ways to hide a heater in the summer months, 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. Especially when it comes to a full size pistol.
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 summertime concealed carry. Carrying in the summertime might require changes in clothing choices, as well as handgun and concealed carry holster options. But it is still a good idea and just might be worth it. Here are a few options to consider.
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. This becomes even more helpful when tucking in your shirt.
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 loose fit shirt, while providing very fast access.
Others place them around the chest, providing almost a shoulder holster type carry. This works pretty well for those who want to conceal your firearm but are 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.
The new Crossbreed Holsters Modular Belly Band Package 2.0 is a comfortable, breathable option. In addition, it has extra spaces for a phone and extra magazine.
For more information, please visit CrossbreedHolsters.com.
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.
The Alien Gear ShapeShift Ankle Holster is a lightweight and comfortable ankle holster option. CoolVent neoprene also keeps you cool while wearing it. Additionally, a tuckable portion keeps the holster from moving around.
For more information, please visit AlienGearHolsters.com.
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 carry in the summer. In fact, folks can drop a gun into almost any pocket on these shorts. Not to mention, extra magazines.
One tip, though, use a pocket holster; don’t just drop your firearm 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, carrying a firearm in this location, even smaller guns, put out a pretty big bulge. Some might think this is a wallet, but others won’t.
The Comfort Cling Pocket Holster has no belt clips and is held in place via friction. Likewise, the gel-like cushion ensures that the holster stays comfortable for all day use. In addition, it is ambidextrous for either right- or left-hand carry.
For more information, please visit ClingerHolsters.com.
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 decide whether that matters.
Benefits of a fanny pack include good concealment of the gun when wearing light clothing, like running shorts. Additionally, they contain 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, it’s better to have the gun on the person, but sometimes compromises must be made.
Along the same lines, Galco offers day planner holsters that blend right into a corporate environment. They come in multiple sizes for different size firearms and functions. The largest has room for your pistol and a tablet computer.
For more information, please visit GalcoGunLeather.com.
Strong Side IWB
One benefit of carrying strong side in an IWB holster (inside the waistband holster) is it works year-round, even for summer 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.
Versacarry offers many great IWB options in either leather or kydex. They have everything from single point to dual point attachments for your choice in retention.
For more information, please visit Versacarry.com.
Carrying a concealed weapon is important for self-defense, but more thought must go into summer concealed carry. Just remember that most folks won’t notice weird bulges or other anomalies, and those that do are probably concealed carriers themselves.