Layers of carry- New to Concealed Carry Pt 2
In part 1 I talked about holster types and the quirks of each in a very long post. In this post I’m going to break it down further with my ideas concerning layers in concealed carry
I can hear everyone thinking…What is he talking about now?
Layers of carry
Very simply, your handgun and holster should be part of a layered system with multiple options. If you follow along in my thought process you decided where on your body you wanted to carry.
You decided what holster and then you decided what gun.
If we go from that process then we have to determine what options for carry there are with the same gun in different areas and clothing.
It also shows the necessity for more than one gun, in order to cover all the options and circumstances
Clothing and holsters
Men’s clothing is broken down in categories.
For most of us it’s in 3 parts
Business, which includes suits, both 2 and 3 piece. All I can say to formal wear, always go for the best wool you can find and have it tailored while you wear your gun. Upper end tailors have a clear understanding of how to do this AND more importantly they know how to cut the suit to hide the gun.
Bring your belt and holster, have the belt loops sewn to fit your belt as well.
If they flinch, find someone else.
In business attire you have the run of the holster box, everything from shoulder holsters to ankle rigs. As long as you wear your jacket you can do it all.
Layers in Business attire. Starting from smallest gun to largest. A small compact or subcompact pistol, in a realistic caliber which for our argument is a 9mm. Ankle holster on the opposite ankle than your shooting hand.
I have this holster, I like it a lot. I have a Glock 43 in it now, but a Glock 26 fits just fine. Fine Merino wool or tropical wool drapes nicely over this holster as well as jeans.
If you like fine leather the Galco ankle glove is hard to beat.
On the belt you can carry anything from a Glock 17/ full size 1911 as long as you wear your jacket and take the time to have it cut correctly.
The belt is more important than the holster. Most dress belts are not cut thick enough or strong enough to hold up a handgun.
Get this right. Women look at your belt and your shoes as soon as they see you. They must match. Not to mention men who are familiar with dress etiquette.
If you wear a belt holster in formal attire you must wear it behind the 3 o’clock position which is where your arm normally rests when you are standing. This is due to unbuttoning your jacket when you sit down and in order to not flash the gun when you button or unbutton the jacket.
The exception to this rule is if your office etiquette or social circles allow wearing a vest. The vest must be tailored for Appendix carry of your gun, and Ive found guns with a smaller grip work better with this carry. Of course, if you wear a vest the jacket is optional in office wear.
Cummerbunds work remarkably well with a Tuxedo for exactly the same reason. They aren’t just a confusing piece of fabric once you understand them. It goes without saying, the folds face up because a Tux is not supposed to have pockets and the cummerbund replaces the pockets.
Do not go with a cheap nylon holster. They will sag, allow the gun to flop and the majority do not hold the butt of the gun against your body under the jacket. In honesty, I sent many different manufacturers emails in order to be fair with this post and holster types. I bought all of these holsters at one time or another and they are all still being used. I will cover BellyBand types in another post as they are a category of themselves.
Layers here are apparent. If you are in a close environment, you can remove your jacket, and then remove the holster and ammunition. You will still have the ankle rig on with the smaller gun and you will still be covertly carrying. It goes without saying if you remove the belt gun or shoulder holster you must have a secure place to store them.
Smart casual, this always includes a sport coat or Blazer. This is what I wear most of the time with a minimum of a button down shirt and a sport coat from Duluth Trading company. I have 3 of these coats, in Desert Khaki, Brown and Black. I’m wearing the black in the picture. The reasons I like these coats is the fabric is thick enough the gun doesn’t print ( show through) the fabric in normal movement. Notice, belt and shoes in the ankle rig picture match
Holsters and layers here are apparent as well. You can remove the Jacket, then either the shoulder rig or belt holster and you are still carrying the ankle gun.
Belts for smart casual range from the leather shown above to nylon, depending on your shoe choice as well
I wear Logger type boots, clean and oiled with a black nylon belt
I like the Spec Ops brand but as long as it has a multi layer construction one brand is as good as another.
A note about Cobra type buckles. Yes they look cool, yes they are all the rage in tacticool circles. They are also a pain to run through belt loops, and very slow to put on and take off without removing your pants. This will be important if you need to remove your belt holster during your day.
Casual , This is everything from Shorts and flip flops to Jeans and a Hoodie. And whatever else you have in your closet.
Casual is great. My choice is a button down shirt, untucked with a lightweight t-shirt underneath. This is to keep the gun off bare skin where it will pull, stick and generally be a pain. Shoulder holsters are also nice but you need a shirt 1 size larger as a general rule if you go this route.
Hoodies are awesome for hiding a belt full of goodies, if your social circles allow them I make them a first choice if it fits the weather.
If you wear shorts the ankle rig wont be feasible.
Of course the off body carry will be optional, from the nylon butt packs for casual wear to the higher end leather briefcases and shoulder bags for more formal environments.
An important observation
If you bought a common handgun from a major manufacturer, there are usually different sizes of the same gun.
To illustrate this Im going to talk about Glocks. For no other reason than its what I carry most of the time, and its a good example.
The regular size frame for Glock, most 9mm and 40 caliber Glock pistols are built on is the same. The magazines will fit in the next smaller sized gun of the same caliber i.e. the G17 magazine will fit in and work in the G19 and G26. Of course the magazine will stick out of the shorter frames.
Being fair, Springfield, S&W, HK, CZ and I’m sure there are more who build guns exactly the same way.
There is a point here somewhere….
So you bought a Glock. There is a rule in my group, 2 is 1, 1 is none. Not to mention the reality most people buy more than 1 gun, after they have the first one to fill in the perceived needs they have.
And you bought a Glock 19. Good choice, its my daily carry too. My holster is an Inside the Waistband, Appendix Carry (IWAC or ACIW) Either way its right up front, beside my belt buckle. Ammunition on the left side of my belt buckle in matching magazine pouches.
If you chose a shoulder rig, its the same for this example, its all under a cover garment. Either a suit, sport coat or sweater.
You can carry a Glock 26 in an ankle rig, and the magazines for the 19 will fit the 26.
The magazines for the 26 will NOT fit the 19, and this goes across the board with the different manufacturers and their guns. As a general rule.
So don’t overthink this.
Spare ammunition should only be carried in the larger framed gun magazine ( in this example the Glock 19).
The 26 should have its short magazine loaded and inserted but it can be reloaded with the longer magazine if necessary.
Having the second gun also provides a very fast alternative to a reload once you are behind cover, simply draw your second gun and continue to respond to the danger as it appears.
I hope this has made carrying concealed in layers more understandable.
Layers of carry- New to Concealed Carry Pt 2