There is a lot of confusion out there about how and when to carry.
The answer to when is always.
Now “the how” is a different story entirely, here is some insight into how you should carry for absolute concealment.
What size weapon do you plan to carry?
The size of the weapon can be a large factor in determining how to carry.
Most people would not shove an IWI Desert Eagle chambered with .50 cal rounds in the pocket of a pair of gym shorts. In the same respect, most people would not carry a Boberg .32 in an IWB holster.
Be knowledgeable about how certain weapons can “print” on you.
What will you wear?
I know most of us don’t have a cartoon closet at home, where we wear the same outfit every day.
Pay attention to your wardrobe.
If you are going to be in certain styles and fits, you can print more noticeably.
That can also determine where you are going to carry if you are choosing IWB.
Drawstring clothing such as; sweatpants, yoga pants, and shorts won’t be as effective in holding up a pistol designed for IWB carry. It can be noticed and the weight could cause an embarrassing situation.
If at all possible, try to wear a belt.
IWB with a belt may be more suitable. In fact, if you feel so inclined, you can carry both.
It is not uncommon to have a primary on your belt in an absolute concealment holster and a pocket rocket in a pocket holster.
Listen to the Weatherman/Woman.
If you live in sunny Florida and are so worried about printing, you are wearing a parka, or you live in
California and are wearing a belt with basketball shorts…
It is definitely time to rethink your concealment strategy. Printing is the last of your worries at that point.
If you are able to wear a belt, that could be enough to effectively conceal a gun IWB, with the right holster, and still be comfortable in your own clothes.
Let’s hit the gym!
Okay, this is the tough one.
How can I carry on my way to and from the gym, or in gym clothes in general?
When in clothes with no pockets or belt loops, most would not carry.
There is a solution, you will laugh, it is actually quite common.
A belly band.
I said you were going to laugh!
In all seriousness, they are wallet friendly and highly effective. The slimming waist wraps that you see advertised all the time work great for concealed carry purposes. They have a solid waistband that can support a holster and they are designed to fit beneath clothes without a trace.
I won’t be gone long.
You may feel that it’s easier to grab a pocket gun if you’re only out for 15-20 mins, and that is understandable. If you plan on being gone an hour or more, the IWB with a belt may be more suitable for you.
Again, you can carry both. It does not have to be an either-or situation.
If you are the kind of person that always carries in a holster and you want a backup gun too, pocket & IWB carry are a great combo for personal defense.
The reason I emphasize both as an option is because they both have their merits in a situation.
If you are surprised, having a primary IWB holstered gun is faster to present.
If you suspect trouble and want to be inconspicuous, a pocket holstered gun can be easier to present if you already have your hand on it.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to pocket carry vs IWB carry. It is not a competition.
It is just using common sense and knowing how to be effective at gaining a tactical advantage in all scenarios.