I’ve been conceal-carrying. No, not OUTSIDE my home. That would be illegal in Maryland. I’m just practicing with a holstered pistol on my waist to see how various holster types feel.
Surprisingly, when I found the right spot a little to the rear of hipbone on the left side, they are quite comfortable. A vertical mag carrier on the other side is a little bit troublesome and digs in a bit, but there are horizontal magazine carriers out there to try. You don’t notice it there, much at all. Sitting in a soft easy chair or an office chair is cake. Standing carry is never a problem, by design.
The difference between the Paddle type and the Inside the Waistnand (IWB) type are, the paddle is MUCH easier to re-holster, but the IWB is better hidden. Obvious. So, go with the IWB for all but the most jacketed outside opportunities. Most likely, I’ll go through life NEVER having to unholster it, but if I did, you only have to unholster it that one time, there isn’t a lot of out then in, out then in. The Paddle is good for any future IDPA interests, where you practice more of a real life scenario in friendly competition with other shooters.
Of course, my leather holsters are decent quality Galco products, but there are better ones out there. The Milt Sparks IWB is thought very highly of, and it’s loops are separated more for a better shirt tuck. And I have a spare paddle style Serpa holster made of plastic that has a more positive locking mechanism to secure the gun in place than the snap on the Galco paddle.
I might like a Small of the Back holster for comfort, but there are anecdotes out there of falls on an icy sidewalk causing spine injuries, and back there it is easier to be disarmed by surprise.
There is one other option that is even MORE comfortable. The manpurse option. Either something like the courier bag Carteach reviewed or a fanny-pack style. There are downsides to those. The fanny pack is decent for not attracting attention, but it’s dorky. The courier bag LOOKS a bit more obvious these days, and Carteach bears that out, and it’s dorky. They ARE manpurses after all. There is the risk, because it isn’t attached that it can be put down and forgotten or even purse snatched (how humiliating to be a man that got purse snatched…) then your firearm is out of your control. Holsters are less likely to get separated from your body. Everywhere except the bathroom, where standard ablution contortions tempt you to detach the holster from your belt to accomplish the task at hand. The risk here is that the gun might fall in the terlet, or that you will put it in the toilet seat cover dispenser and you’ll forget you jammed it in there and walk away. The TSA guards have a habit of this at airports. Best solution to that is to put it in the crotch of your underwear while you sit there, like a suburban dad in his backyard hammock. Better your holster touch your skivvies than to forget it in the bathroom for an unauthorized someone to find.
I kinda like the courier bag Carteach reviewed, anyway. I don’t carry a lot of gear, normally. I have no cell phone or personal data assistant. I wouldn’t keep my billfold in there. If I had a bag like that I’d definitely add a flashlight and multi-tool. A chapstick. But that’s not much gear. Almost not enough to justify the hassle of the bag. Even adding something like an iPhone to the mix still seems sparse.
I rejected a shoulder holster out of hand. I have one to go with the Bianchi mil-style belt holster, but I don’t wear a suit jacket much and if I did I’d want to be able to take it off on occasion.
Other than the man-bag or carrying a tiny .380, how DO people carry in the summer with gym shorts and t-shirt? Or are you just stuck wearing nothing but cargo shorts and 2 shirts, t-shirt and button-down? And even then forced by excessive printing, or revealing you are carrying with an unsightly ‘bulge’ (heh), to carry smaller guns.
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