Comfort and Concealment when carrying a firearm
I would like address two aspects related to carrying a firearm. Concealment and Comfort, in many cases concealment and comfort go together like oil and water. You might even look at is as concealment vs. comfort. However, there are some very good options through Cardon Holsters that will allow you to have the best of both worlds. Let’s start off by covering the topics individually.
Concealment, first a good holster isn’t necessarily a good holster for concealment. I love Tactical Drop leg style holsters but I am not going to stroll into a grocery store wearing one. Concealment is important for several reasons. You may not want to scare people around you. You may not want to make yourself a target or draw attention to yourself. This is particularly important for undercover officers but is still a concern for average civilians who conceal carry. Some states have pretty strict concealment laws and they require that your firearm be concealed very well. The reasons to have a well concealed firearm go on and on. Traditionally the deeper the concealment the more uncomfortable and inaccessible the carry method is.
This brings us to our next topic Comfort. You may feel like comfort is not that important if you are first starting to carry a conceal firearm. But after you have carried for a while you will realize that is a big deal. Here is a scenario that happens all too often amongst concealed firearm permit holders. People want to carry their firearm with them but it often gets left behind because it is just too uncomfortable or painful to carry. There are several factors that play into this unfortunate issue but right now I would like to focus on the Holster. If the holster isn’t comfortable then it can really throw a monkey wrench into your plans to conceal carry. Because in most cases if wearing your firearm is uncomfortable then you just won’t wear it. It will be left at home in your sock drawer. Then you are left unarmed and vulnerable. Remember the key is to be a sheepdog not a sheep. It’s kind of hard to protect your family, friends and yourself if you are unarmed and unprepared. Whenever possible you should be carrying your firearm on your person.
I have good news for those of you that are struggling with concealment or comfort issues. In almost every case a good holster can solve your concealment and comfort issues. You can enjoy a high level of comfort while concealing your firearm very effectively. At Cardon Holsters we provide all the attributes you need in a holster to enjoy the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and concealment. Let’s go over a few key points that will ensure you have a comfortable and concealable holster.
First your holster should transfer the weight of the firearm evenly over a wide surface area on your waistband. Holsters that just have one small area where the firearm is attached will often be very uncomfortable. They also stick out like a sore thumb and are not very good for concealment. (Those of you that have the holster that came with your Springfield XD know what I am talking about.) If you have an outside the waistband holster make sure it has a belt slot on either side of the firearm. This will ensure that the pistol hugs tight to your hip giving you better concealment and it will distribute the weight of the firearm over a larger area around your waistline giving you much more comfort. The P-47 Thunderbolt style holster from Cardon holsters is a great example of a highly concealable and very comfortable holster.
As for inside the waistband holsters, the same rules apply. Make sure the holster attaches to your waistband on either side of the firearm. This will insure the angle of the firearm always stays the same and it will distribute the weight of the firearm over a larger area around your waistband. Some inside the waistband holsters or IWB holsters only attach at one point. Generally they have a single loop or a clip stacked on top of the gun. The problem with that is you are adding extra thickness to the firearm causing discomfort and an increase in “printing” or firearm visibility. With a loop or a clip on either side of the firearm the holster is more concealable and more comfortable. It is also more secure and safe because it has two sources of retention on your waistband instead of one. The P-51 style holster from Cardon holsters is an excellent example of a comfortable and highly concealable inside the waistband holster.
Having a good holster is very important. However, to put it into perspective good shoes are also very important but they will not do you much good if you wear them on your hands. Likewise, holsters should be worn in the proper location in order for them to work well and be useful to you. I highly recommend that you wear your primary firearm on your waistband. Back up guns are fine to wear in other locations but your primary carry gun should be located on your waistband. If you should ever have to pull your firearm chances are you will be in a very high stress situation. In a high stress situation you will need to be able to move, run or walk. A waistband holster will be most effective under such circumstances.
The waistband is still a fairly large area. Let’s identify which areas of your waistband will allow you to conceal your firearm well and provide you with a high level of comfort. Pretend your waistband is a clock, your belly button is located on the 12 of that clock. Your right hip is located at 3 o’clock and your left hip is located at 9 o’clock. You will find the best concealment and comfort at the soft spots on your waistband. Bone on gun contact is very uncomfortable and can be very painful after several hours. That leaves you with 3 areas. Your stomach from about 10 to 2 o’clock. And the two areas between your hipbones and your pelvis/backbone from 4 to 5 o’clock and 7 to 8 o’clock on your waistband. The stomach is generally not an option because your range of motion is limited by the firearm when you try to raise your knee up or you lean forward such as in the sitting position. You can carry in the stomach area in the cross draw style but that is not a very concealable carry option. In addition carrying up front would be particularly devastating in the case of an accidental/negligent discharge. You could hit the femoral artery, lose your manhood/womanhood or something to that degree of heinousness.
A great location to carry is just behind your hipbone around 4-5 on your waistband clock. Or for left handed people from 7 to 8. The firearm is very comfy there and it conceals well there too because of the way the shirt fabric falls from your shoulder. The handle or Stock of the pistol also lies nicely along the body there instead of poking out like is does at 3 o’clock. In addition, it’s close to the area where many people carry their wallet and is a natural area to grab in the case of a robbery or a similar situation.
Buy a Cardon Holster and take the advise above on holster placement. You will be surprised how comfortable and concealable your firearm is all while enjoying a high level of accessibility.