How Much Can The Handgun Show When Conceal Carrying? What type Holster To Use?

How Much Can The Handgun Show When Conceal Carrying? What type Holster To Use?

This is a discussion on How Much Can The Handgun Show When Conceal Carrying? What type Holster To Use? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Going to be taking my first CCW class in a couple weeks. Been looking at all the different kind of holsters that are available. Will ...

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Thread: How Much Can The Handgun Show When Conceal Carrying? What type Holster To Use?

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    New Member Array soundhd's Avatar
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    How Much Can The Handgun Show When Conceal Carrying? What type Holster To Use?

    Going to be taking my first CCW class in a couple weeks. Been looking at all the different kind of holsters that are available. Will be carrying a four inch 1911.
    First question how much of the weapon is allowed to be seen.......seems it would be hard not to at least have the outline of the grip showing through the shirt (I wear a lot of t-shirts during the summer months). How does one go about keeping the outline of the grip showing through the shirt? I guess I understand using a inside the belt holster vs a outside the belt......seems that a outside the belt would be very hard to hide.
    And on all the different types and designs of CC holsters.......seem to have a lot of "terms" related to all the different types & styles of holsters.....is there a web site somewhere that explains all those terms? Also of all the different styles & types what are the advantages & disadvantages to each type? In some the weapon seems to sit very high and other it seems to sit low....In some you can see very clearly the outline of the weapon (like the holster is custom formed to the weapon)...seems like with that type it would be harder to "pull".....sorry for all the questions but just trying to make an educated choice on a holster........don't have a lot of money to spend so do not want to have to buy something that will not work well for a four inch 1911 type pistol and have to purchase a different type later. Any help would be appreciated. A "newbie" in Michigan


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundhd View Post
    Going to be taking my first CCW class in a couple weeks. Been looking at all the different kind of holsters that are available. Will be carrying a four inch 1911.
    First question how much of the weapon is allowed to be seen.
    None of it.

    ......seems it would be hard not to at least have the outline of the grip showing through the shirt (I wear a lot of t-shirts during the summer months).
    Seeing the outline of the weapon through in the cover garment is called "printing". A weapon that is printing is "not" concealed.

    How does one go about keeping the outline of the grip showing through the shirt?
    You experiment with guns and holsters till you find a combination that does not print. Concealed carry guns are not picked in response to a fad, or a testosterone spill in aisle 3 of the gun store, they are picked because they a gun that is both concealable on the body of the buyer, and a gun that the buyer shoots well in mock defensive situations. Moving/draw/double tap to COM, etc.

    That's why I have two carry guns. Glock 26 is my normal every day carry, a Ruger LCP is my pocket carry. I carry the Glock 26 in a CrossBreed SuperTuck at 4:30 it hides under everything but a T-shirt with out printing. When I "must" wear only a T-shirt, or other clothing that just plain won't completely conceal the Glock 26, I carry my Ruger LCP in a front pocket.

    I guess I understand using a inside the belt holster vs a outside the belt......seems that a outside the belt would be very hard to hide.
    They are, at least for me. I only own one OWB holster. It's used only for IDPA matches because my SuperTuck isn't allowed by the range master.

    And on all the different types and designs of CC holsters.......seem to have a lot of "terms" related to all the different types & styles of holsters.....is there a web site somewhere that explains all those terms?
    At this point you need to buy a couple of books on concealed carry and read them. One of the books should be "In Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. There is another that he wrote that talks all about what you are asking here. Read it. It's better input than you will get from unknown respondants on forums, inclluding me.

    Also of all the different styles & types what are the advantages & disadvantages to each type?
    People have written books in answer to that question. Time to get a couple and read them. Read first, buy gun second.

    Fitch
    Last edited by Fitch; January 28th, 2011 at 10:11 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Welcome. Yes you can hide a 4" 1911. I know it does not seem like it, but you can. You need a holster that holds the gun tight to your body. As you have already surmised, IWB Holsters are easier to conceal than OWB, but a quality OWB does a pretty good job.

    First, concealed means concealed, no printing (gun outline showing through your cover shirt). Given that you are on a budget, I would go with a Kholster. (If money was not a consideration, I would go with a Black Ops Pro from Pure Kustom, but you mentioned a budget and they are $185 delivered.) Many on this forum will try to steer you to a Crossbreed, and that is a good holster of the same type as the Kholster, but almost twice the price if you wait for a sale. The Kholster also is more adjustable for cant and ride height. See www.Kholster.com.

    Ride height is a personal preference. I like all of the gun except the butt behind or below my belt. Many people like to carry higher than that and some lower. The Kholster will allow you to play with this to find what you like. It is also a very comfortable holster.

    Save some money for a good gun belt. This makes a world of difference in keeping your gun where you want it. See site sponsors for options.

    You will need clothes that are not tight to more easily conceal. If you IWB carry, you will need to upsize your pants. If you are fat like me, you are lucky because they have plenty of adjustable waist pants at the fat boy store. These will work for either IWB or OWB (or no carry for that matter). If you ever think you may pocket carry, make sure the pants have deep pockets.

    Like all new CCWers, you are sweating the details that is a good thing. Just understand this will become second nature over time as you gain experience. As for a web site to answer questions, just ask them here. There is a lot of wisdom to be had from those on this board.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitch View Post
    ...Read first, buy gun second.
    YES! Best single nugget in a detailed and excellent response to the OP.

    Being presumptuous, I would like to add one thought. Between reading and buying, handle and shoot every gun you have an interest in - don't base your decision on Internet BS or glossy pictures on magazine covers. Most of us have fallen prey to that, at least once, and it is often an expensive mistake.
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    Body size and shape has alot of impact. Experiment.

    When not working, I generaly wear cargo shorts, Bought from LAPoliceGear. These have very large pockets and canceal my PT145 in a generic pocket holster. This is a big gun for pocket carry, 10+1 rounds 45 ACP. When I have to where pants with smaller pockets I sometimes pocket carry a Makarov, again in a suitible pocket holster. When I can't pocket carry, I have a IWB (Made by Eric Larson) for one of my cz52s. The CZ52 is roughly the same size as a full size 1911, a little slimmer, and no beaver tail. I carry at about 4:30, about a 15 degree cant, some times it prints slightly, but mostly it's comfortible and invisible. When standing up, getting out of the car . . . you must aquire the habit of adjusting shirt tail, not so much of a problem in jacket season.

    If you pocket carry, get a holster properly sized for the gun that covers the trigger gaurd. Also, I don't pocket carry a gun that does not have an external manual safety, just a personal choice, other see this differently.
    PT145, CZ52, PM for carry. Lots of others to look at

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    First off, Welcome Aboard!

    Your 4" 1911 is a good platform and very concealable. Do a good search of past discussions of this site.......This is very good fourm with a knowledgable, quality bunch here.

    I understand the budget. First, a good gunbelt makes ALL the diffrence.
    Second, the type of holster (OWB, IWB) will make a diffrence in concealment. An IWB (inside-th-waistband) holster is by nature extreemly effective in concealing a sidearm.
    A good OWB (outside-the-waistband) will hold your sidearm tight to the body and is a pretty good means of carrying itself.
    - A point here, the 'higher' an OWB holster holds your sidearm, the better it'll conceal under a tee shirt, for the most part.

    There's a BUNCH more I could post here about this subject......I recommend searching through here, reading and digesting all you can, including member reviews of diffrent holsters and the thoughts on 'em.
    By then you'll get a pretty good base of info.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Welcome to the forum.

    As to your question about how much of your gun can be showing, it is going to depend on state law. Virginia is an open carry state, so it doesn't matter if your gun can be seen or if your "printing". Other states such as Texas and Oklahoma, you need to keep your gun completely hidden from view.

    As to holsters, I carry a commander size 1911 IWB. It's pulled tight to my body and at the 3:30-4:00 position it disappears. You'll need to experiment to see what works best for you. I'd say the most important part of your carry rig is your belt. You need a good belt that is designed for carrying a gun. Your run of the mill dress belt isn't stiff enough to hold your gun secure.
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    Ex Member Array Kerby's Avatar
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    I agree 100% the belt makes the difference..... I carry a full sized Glock (22) winter and summer and I have never been spotted (that I know of printing or other wise) For me I think my choice of normal every day wear helps a lot. I normally wear un-tucked printed short sleeve button down shirts ( Hawaiian style kind of) the patterns on the shirt break any printing and the belt holds the gun tight at 3:00. My wife never knows if I am wearing or not (from time to time I do not carry as my job requires me to go on Federal property ) On those days I leave the EDC in the safe.

    When I first started I did not have a good gun belt, when I got one I was shocked at the difference!!!! Your holster is important, but with out a good gun belt it will not matter much..

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundhd View Post
    seems it would be hard not to at least have the outline of the grip showing through the shirt (I wear a lot of t-shirts during the summer months). How does one go about keeping the outline of the grip showing through the shirt? I guess I understand using a inside the belt holster vs a outside the belt......seems that a outside the belt would be very hard to hide.
    Didn't notice the answer to this in the advice so far, so.... T-shirts, along with all the holster advice given so far, try going one size larger and looking at darker colors such as black or dark blue, this will help hide printing, and don't tuck the T-shirt in, of course. If the t-shirt tail is long enough an OWB holster can be used. While I was in Florida for work I carried a SIG 239 in a T-shirt and shorts with no problem using a Black Ops from Pure Kustom (also used the same Pure Kustom to carry IWB when the length of the shirt length was a little short).

    Oh, and welcome to the forum!
    Rick

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    The answer to your question lies in your state's laws. Each state has different opinions on what constitutes "concealed."

    In Florida, the law says the firearm must be concealed from "ordinary view." Nothing is stated or implied about printing. The question is, what is "ordinary" view? To me, that would not include printing (could be a cell phone, Blackberry, etc.) or inadvertant exposure when reaching for a can of peas on the top shelf (unintended exhibition); the gun, or a portion thereof, must be intentionally or willfully exposed. But there is no case law on this matter, so...
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    For 1911s I like the DeSantis Cozy Partner. The cant puts just the right angle on the grip to make it disappear on me. With a loose fitting, dark colored Carhartt tshirt I never have a printing problem.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    None should know you carry. In essence the basic idea is: I can carry a concealed weapon, as long as I don't cause trouble, if I do, my permit will be revoked and possibly my weapon seized. The only lawful purpose of such weapon is self defense, the very act of showing such weapon in some municipalities can be interpreted as a threat.
    The mere act of showing that weapon, and I'm not saying pulling it out of your holster, is considered brandishing.

    For example, If I carry a weapon and I lift my shirt and show it to intimidate someone, then that person can call the police and tell them i pulled my gun and I push the weapon on his face, which is of course a lie, but.... when I'm asked if I carry a weapon, I admit to it, that is all the officer needs to arrest me, why? Because, if I carried that weapon concealed, how else otherwise would anyone know I carried it if I didn't brandish it in the first place?

    You see it is a slippery slope, when you take that class, a lawyer should discuss the legal implications, and a weapons instructor should give you enough advise to keep you fro shooting yourself or someone else accidentally.

    Very important to check your local laws, as is the State and municipalities the ones that regulate that, not the federal government like some people believe.
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  13. #13
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    You are going to have a drawer full of holsters before you are finished. Have fun!
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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundhd View Post
    Going to be taking my first CCW class in a couple weeks. Been looking at all the different kind of holsters that are available. Will be carrying a four inch 1911.
    First question how much of the weapon is allowed to be seen.......seems it would be hard not to at least have the outline of the grip showing through the shirt (I wear a lot of t-shirts during the summer months). How does one go about keeping the outline of the grip showing through the shirt? I guess I understand using a inside the belt holster vs a outside the belt......seems that a outside the belt would be very hard to hide.
    And on all the different types and designs of CC holsters.......seem to have a lot of "terms" related to all the different types & styles of holsters.....is there a web site somewhere that explains all those terms? Also of all the different styles & types what are the advantages & disadvantages to each type? In some the weapon seems to sit very high and other it seems to sit low....In some you can see very clearly the outline of the weapon (like the holster is custom formed to the weapon)...seems like with that type it would be harder to "pull".....sorry for all the questions but just trying to make an educated choice on a holster........don't have a lot of money to spend so do not want to have to buy something that will not work well for a four inch 1911 type pistol and have to purchase a different type later. Any help would be appreciated. A "newbie" in Michigan
    Welcome ot the forum. You have found "The Best" resource on the internet, as far as I am concerned.
    Here are a few points, from someone in Michigan that has just recently (2 years ago) gone thru the same thing you are.
    Michigan is an open carry state, you can carry a gun anywhere, except the areas listed as gun free zones. Your class will cover this. With that being said, if the wind blows open your jacket and someone sees your gun, fully exposed, it's not illegal.
    Likewise, "Printing" which is the outline of your gun showing through your clothes is not illegal. It is something you want to minimize just to avoid alarming the little old lady at Walmart. More about Walmart later.
    While it is generally true, depending on the holster gun combination that an Inside waisteband holster will conceal better, it is possible to conceal your gun in an OWB holster with the right cover garment.

    For a good primer on carry guns, and holsters see this;
    http://media.concealedcarryforum.com/carryguide.pdf

    There are links at the begining of the forum about terms and abreviations used here.

    This however is the most important point, and your going to have to wait until you get your permit to prove it. NO ONE is going to be looking at you, looking for a gun! When I first started carrying I thought everyone I walked past would notice a slight bulge in the my shirt. NO ONE has. I have even told my mother I was going to nbe carrying and until she looked, and looked she couldn't see it.

    If you don't tell anyone, the chances of gettting made are really slim. In our society it is considered implolite to stare at someone below the neck level. Even if you were standing on a crowded bus, with your gun at eye level to someone sitting down, they would most likely look away rather than stare at your waist/ butt.

    I said you would have to wait to prove this, thats why there is a tradition here at DC.com of doing the Wally World Walk. You go to Walmart whiel carrying and discover that everyone around you is totally clueless to your gun.
    see this thread for your official Wally World map and application;
    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...d+walk+walmart

    If you absolutely can't wait until you get your CPL you can do a home test. You are allowed to carry concealed on your own property. Put on your prefered gun and holster, invite a few friends over for pizza and soda's (no drinking while carrying please).
    See if anyone notices. You might want to study the correct technics for hugging if your friends are into that.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...hlight=hugging

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Another good source that will give you ideas is the photo thread in the holster section:

    34 pages + of concealed carry rigs
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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