What is the best and most discreet way to carry a revolver?

This is a discussion on What is the best and most discreet way to carry a revolver? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello everyone, I have just created an account here because you guys are the first result that came up when I checked Google for what ...

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Thread: What is the best and most discreet way to carry a revolver?

  1. #1
    New Member Array DingDim's Avatar
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    What is the best and most discreet way to carry a revolver?

    Hello everyone, I have just created an account here because you guys are the first result that came up when I checked Google for what I needed. That said, I have a question.

    What's a good, very discreet way to carry a revolver? I am looking to carry a gun and I need something to carry it with. I would like something that does not affect me too much so it would still be possible to be agile and run with it without it getting in the way, but not let it jump around or imprint.

    I absolutely can not under any circumstances let anybody know I'm carrying. I have been looking at some vests since it's summer time and it's better than an a heavy jacket to hide my gun. I have looked at some vests already but most seem to be centered towards a semi-automatic due to where the grip and trigger guard would be, a regular revolver might simply slip through that. I'm also somewhat scared somebody who is familiar with this might recognize what I'm wearing, and I don't want anyone knowing I have anything on me at all, law enforcement or citizen, so I was thinking I might double it with a very light jacket since, like I said, it's summer. It would be nice to be able to carry anything from a small snub-nose to a full sized revolver. (4+ inches or so)

    What do you think Defensivecarry members? What could you recommend according to that? Also, it wouldn't have to be a vests specifically, but I don't want to carry on my waistband or anything because I'm deathly afraid of somebody seeing it and flipping out. It might also be nice to be able to wear shorts once in a while, so no ankle holsters.

    I was thinking something like what's in the link below because it looks like it has a false bottom where the zipper is and I could put any type of handgun in there. What do you guys think? Thanks.


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  3. #2
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    First question: What is the revolver you want to carry, and what is the barrel length? There is no one solution for discrete carry of a small snub nose (which can weigh as little as 11-12 ounces) to a full sized revolver (which can push 48 ounces). Typically you will need to adjust your dress depending on what you are carrying.

    Do you have a particular revolver in mind?
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    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    1. All guns are always loaded.
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  4. #3
    Nix is offline
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    It sounds like you have not decided on which revolver you want to carry. I think different revolvers might call for different solutions.

    Personally, I would feel a little odd walking around in a vest. I'm weird enough that I could, but it might seem a little out of place and draw more attention. That's just me.

    I generally prefer a "inside-the-waistband" (IWB) holster as it keeps the weapon close to your body, conceals the lower half of the weapon well, and is fairly comfortable. Comfortable, that is, for smaller framed revolvers. Full sized "N" frames or GP100's seem a little more difficult to carry IWB without buying larger pants for the job. The big guns always seem to print for me in some way. But I can wear my snubbie in my (new) SHTF hybrid holster with a T-shirt and have it disappear.

    Other options might be an outdoorsy waist pack or belt case that looks like it holds an electronic device instead of a gun. There are lots of options, you'll probably end up trying more than one.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Most people will tell you that wearing a vest, especially during the summer is going to scream GUN!

    What you can discreetly wear depends on your build, your style of dress, the environment you will be carrying in, etc. You might want to look at something like a Smartcarry, but chances are, like the rest of us, you will need to try several methods before you find the one that works for you.

    ALL concealed carry methods involve compromises so you had best resign yourself to that fact.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Well, if running and carrying a j-frame, a belly band and a conceal carry shirt work well. However, I don't think a 4" revolver would work in them well "while running". Maybe, the "right" conceal carry shirt. I carry a .357 - 7 shot .... and sometimes just take a IWB holster and attach it to a nylon gun belt, and put it on , then put my cotton shorts on over it ....... and no one is going to see it with a semi-baggy shirt. If I'm wearing jean shorts, I just wear it IWB and charge on. The revolvers I have that are 4" or longer ..... due to the weight of them (they are L & K frames) , I carry only in OWB holsters and it's difficult for them to NOT be visibile..... although I know some people that can pull it off.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post

    First question: What is the revolver you want to carry, and what is the barrel length? There is no one solution for discrete carry of a small snub nose (which can weigh as little as 11-12 ounces) to a full sized revolver (which can push 48 ounces). Typically you will need to adjust your dress depending on what you are carrying.

    Do you have a particular revolver in mind?
    Yep...this is probably the single most important question we would need to give you some opinions and options. For example, if you wanted to carry a small 5-shot snub 38Spl, I and others might recommend pocket carry, while others might suggest an IWB rig. The frame size, and sometimes even the manufacturer, make a huge difference in options. Just based off of your need to remain completely concealed I would start leaning toward a small j-frame revolver from the S&W line, or a Ruger SP101 or LCR. Give us a shout back and let us know what your trying to pack and trust me..... you WILL get a bunch of replies from some very helpful folks here like PEF that know the CCW game.
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  8. #7
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    Take a look at these: Pistol Wear - Comfortable Concealment Holsters For Concealed Carry Good for active wear, self-supporting and fairly versatile. Cool (enough) for hotter weather.
    -- Robert
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  9. #8
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    For a J-frame you can pocket carry, and have a variety of holsters to chose from, use a tuckable holster like White Hat Holsters Max Tuck I have the Velcro clips on mine and it is almost invisible. Also you can use a Smartcarry holster which is about as concealed as you can get.

    I use all three of these and pocket carry the most
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    I regularly carry a 2 or 3" K frame with a tucked in shirt in a Smartcarry.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    Under a folded newspaper. Can't beat the draw speed.

    Seriously, all of this stuff screams "gun" to someone who's watching:
    - a fanny pack
    - "CC vest"
    - BDU-style pants, boots, and an untucked shirt
    - The modified "thug walk" with the hand hanging out in or over a pocket
    - Shirt pulls and belt lifts

    So in your case where you're looking at concealment as your first priority for legal CC, I suggest you drop the 4" option and go J-frame or similar (LCR?) in a pocket holster or Belly Band. I could never really get used to the Thunderwear/Smartcarry thing, but some people I know swear by it.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Old_Dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    No one has ever know that I had a gun on me, even in places where the business owner did not want guns. Any way you carry where the gun cannot be seen is discreet so it depends on what works for you. No way is more discreet than any other if it works.

    For me, I pocket carry a snub nose at times in a Mika pocket holster. Its rounded shape looks natural and when standing there is no bulge in my dress or casual pants or shorts. When I sit there is just a gentle rounded bulge that is less than the bulge in my other pocket that has my wallet, handkerchief, keys and other items in it. In fact, several people who know I carry have asked just were in heck is my gun because they are looking for it and cannot find it.

    If you are willing to dress around the gun it is very easy to never be found out. I take my gun with me when I buy clothes to make sure that the pockets are big enough. However you can slip your hand in there and if it disappears, the pocket will work. I also have vests, jackets and coats with built in holsters as well as fanny packs, belt and shoulder bags. I do not buy anything that looks tactical. Take a look at these concealed carry vests at Kakadu Vests concealed carry outdoorwear . If you shop around you can get all items much cheaper. The sleeveless vest I use in winter looks just like any construction work vest. My jackets and coats from other makers look like normal clothes. My fanny pack is small and Red and designed so that it does not even look like a gun can fit into it. One is even a Harley Davidson fanny pack that I velro'd a holster into. My shoulder and belt bags look like any common camera bag and since I live in a place that attracts seasonal and tourist, I fit in with whatever I wear, even a backpack as the tourist walk around wearing vests and all sorts of bags. Not to mention the retired people who I live among.

    If you are willing to make the effort, you can carry anyway that suits you but you must dress around the gun. Safety trumps fashion in my mind but I still wear fashionable clothes that work for me. Get a size tall instead of regular if you wear an untucked shirt. it will be a little longer and cover your pocket so no on can see that HK P2000SK in there. Use Perry Suspenders that hook onto your belt under your shirt to hold your pants up if you want to pocket carry a heavy gun like I sometimes do. Vest work for me since I have been wearing them for 40 years as I as a photographer at one time and I do not like carrying things in my pockets. No one shot me first and that is just plain silly talk. If you want to shoot anyone you think is carrying a gun you would shoot everyone wearing pants because that is where most carry their guns. Your odds would be much higher by shooting the pants wearers than those wearing vest. Think of that. :)

    In conclusion, you can be discreet in many ways depending on how you wish to dress.
    The worst thing about growing old is that other men no longer see you as dangerous.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    I would do some research if I was you.
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  14. #13
    Member Array sebring's Avatar
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    Keep the revolver 3" or shorter. Good Inside the waistband holster. Loose shirts. Good to go.

  15. #14
    Member Array fredg53's Avatar
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    Nobody has ever noticed my LCR .38 IWB sometimes pocket holster even in shorts and t-shirt and I am not a big guy.
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DingDim View Post
    What is the best and most discreet way to carry a revolver?
    Generally, holstered, either in the pocket or a low-ride IWB. This presumes your body shape and clothing are well-suited to your chosen mode of carry. But generally, most people can succeed well with either one (or both) of these methods.

    With a pistol any larger than a snubbie revolver, I'd much prefer carrying IWB or OWB. With a larger revolver, my preference is also IWB or OWB. Only in the case of a snubbie revolver or pistol that's no larger than that will (for me) pocket carry really be an option.

    I've used both, both with small revolvers (~6.5"L, ~1.2"W, ~5"H) carried in the pocket and IWB, as well as pistols even larger (~7.2"L, ~1.4"W, ~5.25"H) carried IWB. Certainly, the larger pistols can be tougher to discreetly carry. But in all cases, it mostly depends on whether your body shape and clothing choices easily support carry at that spot. Note that not all clothing choices in terms of material, texture/color, or cut/design of the pants are going to conceal as effectively, on the same person at that same spot.

    If you can provide a rough guide to your overall size and shape (ie, basic numbers, and photos showing your midsection (wearing pants/shirts), along with your intended type of sidearm, we might be able to provide some better guesses as to options.
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