We have all read countless blogs, seen the videos about what style to carry concealed. Why does it matter? Aren’t they all the same? In some ways, yes, in others, no. Some are situational. Let me explain.
I started carrying on my hip, with a full-length 1911 concealed. I am a big guy, and I can get away with it. I wore pants two inches bigger, and I looked fluffier, but it worked. Hip carry worked well for drills, and it was easy to practice. The noticeable bump decreased as I dropped some weight, but the pants and shirt became baggier, making me look out of place.
As I moved locations across the US, it got hotter temperature-wise, and I needed to be in shorts more, and bigger clothes to cover that larger piece made it hotter. It also made me stand out more. I switched firearms, a sub-compact, and holsters and tried small of the back carry. It works great for hiding the bulge, and let’s be honest, who checks out my backside enough to notice? For a carry option walking around, it was perfect.
The downside? Getting in and out of vehicles was more challenging, even with a now sub-compact handgun. The seats were uncomfortable. It is also hard to draw from that position as well in a vehicle. So, my firearm while driving was in my glove box, not on me…. not a good solution for me.
Switching yet again, I thought, shoulder carry, that would work well, right? If in the woods, absolutely, especially in bear country. Downtown, concealed…not so much. Too awkward to draw and pull, and I had to wear two shirts which were terrible in the heat. However, it was perfect in winter as I had a full range of motion for final gardening tasks or chopping wood, and it disappeared under my heavy flannel shirt.
How about the newer carry appendix? I was super hesitant as I’m not too fond of a 1911, in condition 1, aimed at my favorite body part. However, with practice and the right firearm, it is quickly becoming my favorite. It also fits better without a bulge to the side, and NO ONE wants to get caught looking there. Additionally, I have found you can drive with it; however, I would not recommend driving a manual transmission as it can interfere with shifting depending on the size of the firearm.
So, which one is best? As with any writer, I would say…it depends on your preferences, firearm, and situation. As you can see, it can vary from one location or season to the next. Just remember whatever you choose to practice, practice, practice drawing, holstering, and carrying in all situations until you have total confidence it works for you.
Author: Ian Bolser