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Posted: 8/7/2003 9:44:03 AM EDT
I am new to AZ. Let me tell you it is HOT HERE. Oh my god is it hot! I am wearing the bare minimal that I can wear (and not get arrested) just to stay cool. So my question is how and were do you put your guns? I wear sandals. So a ankle holster is out. I wear shorts and a tee-shirt so a shoulder holster is out. And since a tee-shirt is thin it will easy show anything under it. So that means a waist holster is out. So what do I do?
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 12:48:27 PM EDT
Here in Idaho we've actually had a couple of days recently where it was hotter here then in Phoenix.

I've been thinking that a "belly band" style holster would work good. The shorts that I wear most of the time just have an elastic waist so there is no way I could hang a holster off of them. I usually wear an untucked T-shirt so it would be easy to use a "belly band" style holster. Plus I usually carry a Kahr MK9 because of its small size...

Now for the important question: DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE TO FIND BELLY BAND HOLSTERS FOR SIZE CHALLENGED PEOPLE??????

Paraord16

Link Posted: 8/7/2003 4:12:13 PM EDT
"Workman" style holster. IWB that is covered by your shirt. Make sure your shirt has a pattern and is loose fitting. Preferably, you can wear an Aloha shirt with the tails out.
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 7:44:55 PM EDT
I've always been facinated by the number of people who think really hot climates means stripping as much clothing off as possible.

No matter what you may currently think of the Middle-Eastern people right now, they have been living in the desert for thousands of years. You don't see them in shorts and T-shirts. They wear long sleaves and long pants to keep the sun off their skin. There must be a reason for that, like maybe it works?

In answer to your question, I live in Tucson which isn't quite as hot as the Phoenix area but it regularly gets warmer than up state NY. In the summer I wear either a colored T-shit with a vest (cotton) or a light cotton undershirt with a loose fitting (one size too big) cotton printed shirt - dark colors are better for cover printing of the gun butt. My wife just bought me some silk shirts of the Hawaiian style that she found on sale. They are the coolest thing I have found for Arizona's summers.

One other point, the longer you live here the easier it will be to live with. I came here when I got out of the Army in 1971. I'm pretty well adapted to the climate. I carry a 1911 of some persuasion in IWB holsters under the above described vest or shirts. As long as fashion isn't your number one concern it isn't that much of a problem.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:18:07 AM EDT
AZ has one other advantage. If it shows, no one gets too excited. When I lived in Phoenix it was not at all unusual to see folk wearing openly.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 11:58:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2003 11:59:04 AM EDT by jtb33]
I live in Phoenix and I see people openly carrying all the time. Saw a guy walk into McDonalds openly carrying and no one so much as bat an eyelash except for one "soccer mom" who hurriedly grabbed her 3 kids, left what was left of their food on the table and rushed out. Was rather humorous.

I guess AZ is still the "wild west" in some ways.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 12:36:17 PM EDT
Thanks for the reply’s. Like I have mentioned before I just moved to the state. I am not well versed on the local gun laws. When I was talking to a gun shop owner on CCW classes he asked me why I want to carry a gun. He said that if all I want to do is carry a gun then I do not have to take any classes at all. He said that it is perfectly legal to openly carry a gun in the state of AZ. You do not have to sign any permits or fill out any paper work. I am not saying that he is wrong but I rather not find out the hard way. He then said if you want to carry a gun concealed then you have to take a CCW class.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 2:37:42 PM EDT
I live in Mohave County; the hot part of Arizona...really.
I carry a full sized duty pistol fully concealed every day in an outer waist band holster. How? I wear shorts usually, doesn't matter what kind, but usually black or dark blue. I wear a wife beater tank top tucked into the shorts. Then, I wear a button-up shirt unbuttoned and not tucked in. I buy my shirts a little larger than regular.
I buy them at the length that they cover the bottom of my holster.
Good belt and holster is a MUST. Currently I'm using an Improved Baker Milt Sparks holster. In about 2 weeks though, I'm upgrading to a Lou Alessi full sharkskin holster rig.
Get a belt that is 1.5" then, tapered to 1.25" in the front. It doesn't scream gunbelt like a 1.75" rig.
With black belts, holster, guns, pants; 90% of the population don't even notice that you have it. Even in plain sight.
In the winter, instead of the wife beater, I tuck in a T-shirt, and wear a leather jacket that I had made over the top.
Looks good.
-Steve
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 3:01:07 PM EDT
My town is 4600ft above sealevel so it only hits 100 a couple times a year. I can conceal a full size 1911 under a light button up short sleeved shirt over a t-shirt with no problem. It comes down to picking a quality holster, which for me is Sparks or Kramer.

When Im lazy, I use an Eagle fanny-pack with my SIG P226.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 3:04:21 PM EDT
Yankeediver:
Try the smartcarry holster...you can wear it with shorts and a T-shirt and unless those are "skin tight" no one will be the wiser. It is the ONLY holster I have found that truly conceals under the minimum of clothes (course, ya hafta wear more than a jock strap!!)
check out: http://www.smartcarry.com
I carry with a Taurus PT-111, 9mm, and with a Kimber Ultra Carry II (.45 ACP) and NO ONE is the wiser...whether I am in a suit, shorts and T-shirt or even wearing just shorts alone without the T-shirt.

RugerCal 480 (Mike)
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 3:05:46 PM EDT
Paraord16:
I use a 44 inch waist smartcaryy holster...
RugerCal480
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 11:02:01 PM EDT
I live and work in the Phoenix metro area. stevenb gave some great advice, especially in regard to wearing the tucked-in "wife-beater" undergarment - it's much more comfortable to carry this way with an IWB set-up. (And I'm jealous that stevenb is getting a Lou Alessi sharkskin rig ... nice!!!).

I usually wear an untucked polo shirt (no tails) made of a heavier material (piquet), and avoid the thinner-cloth stuff. Heavy material is more effective at keeping your secret, and it isn't noticeably hotter as compared to a thinner garment. If you want to wear a T-shirt, then go with a dark color (black or navy) to diminish the visibiliity of imprinting.

Alternatively, forego the concealed carry (AZ state law dictates that a CCW permit is required to carry concealed) and wear your pistol in a visible belt holster (open carry). Just be aware that the law here prohibits roaming in certain places while armed (e.g., on, and in proximity to, school grounds, in establishments that sell alcohol to be consumed on the premises, public parks that are posted "no weapons", etc.). See the Arizona Statutes for all the details - accessible through the internet.

You will eventually adapt to the heat ... probably by next summer. I had the same reaction to the weather, as you're now experiencing, when I moved here four years ago.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:14:34 AM EDT
It is much better to get your CCW! You learn Az laws and can actually carry in more places! As far as where to carry I carry mine behind the back and leave my t-shirt untucked in the summer! If you get a good holster you shouldnt have a problem! Hope this helps and welcome to AZ!


P.S. If you ever make it to the West valley I'll show you some good places to go shooting!
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 7:37:41 AM EDT
Hey AZGunnut. Thanks fer the info. I live in Suprise. I was lookin fer a good place to shoot.
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 2:54:35 PM EDT
I have a good recomendation for a CCW right up in your area! He's a good teacher and keeps it fun! Just IM if/when your interested!
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 6:41:11 PM EDT
I'm not in AZ, but we've had some heat around here and being overweight I get hot easy.

I'm doing a Kahr MK9 in a IWB holster.

BDU or Jean shorts, tuck the T-Shirt right in with the holster.

I wouldn't mind some cloth between the gun & I, but I can't handle a double shirt arrangement.

I'll have to try stevenb's method next.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 2:36:18 AM EDT
Thanks for the compliments. I'm still waiting on my delivery. It could show up any day, and the suspense is killing me.
I'm not over-weight, but I can offer some help in making carrying a firearm more comfortable. Depending on how you're over-weight, being a male.
If you are shaped like a pear (big ass) or if you've got a case of TB (two belly) and only see your wang in the mirror. You can tailor certain parts of your wardrobe and gun rig to work better.
Many people who are overweight complain about belts cutting into their gut. This is where thick gun belts like 1.75" and 1.5" really hurt. These sizes are the best in stability for a good gun rig, expecially if you carry a big gun. Solution? Get a gun belt cut on the curve that is tapered in the front. So you buy a 1.5" belt, and in the front portion, it is tapered down to 1.25". This will give you the stability, and some comfort.
Not to mention it won't look so much like a gun belt.
Avoid overly flashy belt buckles. This draws attention to your belt line. You can have a nice buckle that is boarderline dress belt quality, just keep it simple.
If you carry a cell phone, get a clip which can allow you to attatch it to the belt. Then, put the phone so it is in front of either your spare mag pouch or gun. Careful on the draw not to bang the phone. If you don't carry a cell phone (which you should) get a small flashlight. Surefire makes excellent lights, I just purchased an Aviator A2. Very clean looking. Lou Alessi built a sharkskin snap release pouch specifically for this flashlight free of charge for me due to my large order. He's the man.
For holsters and mag pouches, consider getting snap's instead of belt loops. Not only is it 10 times faster to put on or off, it also reduces the wear and tear you put on your belt. Threading your belt thru matched belt loops will cause the edges of the belt to fray. Milt Sparks NP1 & NP2 are excellent, as well as Lou Alessi's ACP/s.
If you change your weight a lot depending on the time of year, consider having a quality belt made with extra holes to accomodate your difference. Lou Alessi is more than willing to help you.
Stay away from cookie cutter holsters and plastic/nylon ones if you like the finish on your gun. I wouldn't wipe my ass with one of them. Custom fit leather will fit you better, and keep your firearm's finish where it belongs. I'm biased -- not fair and balanced.
Carrying pepper spray isn't a bad idea. It is a good choice. Someone wants to fight, you don't want to and he won't get out of your face. *Squirt*
Better than blowing some bums or drunks head off -- legally at least.
For winter time, AZ does get colder than say Los Angeles. Get a nice leather jacket for yourself. Not that cheap Wilson Leather crap, or that beef jerky they sell as quality at the mall. Contact Coronado Leather, and they'll hook you up with a custom jacket, send you different models to try out for a few days, change small options like pocket arrangement, material quality, inner liner type, types/colors of zippers and so on.
If you're a big guy, or a fat guy, or a skinny mofo, they can help you. I spent 650 bucks last year for a top of the line jacket they offered. Weighs about 5 pounds, just the way I wanted it -- heavy and durable. Back outside, charcoal grey inner lining. 6 inner pockets with zippers, and two outer hand warmer pockets. Made from 2 pieces of leather total. Clean, and low profile. Here's some advice from growing up around casinos, keep your wallet in your jacket pocket, preferably with a zipper closure. Even wallets with a chain will still get taken, they'll lift the money, and take it right out of the wallet without you noticing and put your wallet back in. People with wallets in their jacket are too much work. In the summer, I carry it in a front pocket. I've seen some carry decoy wallets. Ever see people with their wallet/checkbook sticking out of their back pocket? Those are people who haven't been robbed yet.
If you go to the head, NEVER put your jacket on those coat hangers on the stall door, people will snatch those and you've got your pants around your ankles in a bad position to do anything about it. Hold it, leave it on, or leave it with the significant other or buddy.
www.coronadoleather.com

Stay away from shoulder holsters. They will kill your neck. They suck for anything longer than 4 hours. Cross draw exposes very easily. SOB will leave you paralized, or better yet try driving with it. Brief cases/purses/schedule books are gimmicks, and won't allow you to get to your weapon as quickly as a strongside weapon. If you're worried about it in the car, take the gun out and stick it between the seats or under your leg. Better yet, bolt a holster to the center consol.
Ankle holsters are okay for a back-up, but too slow for a main gun. I don't even carry a back-up. I'm not that paranoid, yet.
"Fag Packs" (Fanny packs) are okay for those who are willing to wear them. They're too "touristy" for my taste. They might actually start the problem after everyone calls you a fag though.
If you put a quality holster on a walmart belt, congradulations, you just thru your money in the garbage. A sturdy belt is the main retention device for a non-thumb break holster. It keeps the holster from sagging or shifting on the belt. The retention loops/snaps HAVE TO match the belt size.
A lot of this may seem as common sense, but you'd be amazed at how many have no clue. A lot of this is my personal opinion, and can be done differently, but it is what has worked for me and a lot of the things mentioned, I learned the hard way -- with a box full of holsters. Those photo vest/jackets scream gun to anyone in the know as well. You don't blend into society wearing one either. Women's concealment is far more difficult. Purse guns should be illegal IMO. Keep it on you, or don't bother. The least used items in a womans purse end up where? At the bottom. Robbers/rapists/killers don't wait for you to dig past the 4 brushes/combs, 3 make-up repair centers, 3 spare tampons, 14 cheap pens, 4 key rings with 5 HUGE cute key chains a piece, cell phone, extra battery, $8.39 cents in change, lint, 9 different shades of lipstick and chapstick, a checkbook, a drug store's ransom in pills, 5 different types of candy, a book full of family pictures, 3 packets of tissue, 2 different wallets, 7 different types of body lotion that are leaking, 14 old looser lotto tickets, box full of rubbers, 3 kinds of gum, 20 hair ties and clippies, 27 scrunchies, part of Noah's Ark, and a boat anchor and so on -- You get the picture. Then, is it in a holster, or is she digging an exposed trigger under stress? Yikes.
Then, if she has kids, even more shit.
-Steve
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:11:08 AM EDT
Anderson Enterprises makes the best fanny pack holster.

Mine is over five years old (888-778-5725) if their number has changed just do a google search and you will find several companies selling them retail.

I moved to AZ a couple of years ago and open carried until my CCW arrived in the mail, it’s no big deal to AZ natives to see a man or woman armed in public. People new to the state may be somewhat alarmed though.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:18:30 AM EDT
... This always gets me in trouble on any gun board when I mention it but, in the summer, and I'm dressed casual, I'm almost always wearing loose fitting jeans or shorts.

... If casually dressed, I keep a Glock 27 in my front stronghand pocket. No, I don't have anything else in the pocket, and no, i don't use a trigger guard thingy.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 8:34:51 AM EDT
Thanks for all of the great replys. I am not fat but I am over weight. I think the smartcarry is the way to go. Thanks stevenb for all of the great insight. That was amazing.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 9:32:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2003 10:03:42 AM EDT by az_larry]
A great belt is the Galco Stealth.
Edited to add that although I agree good leather is important and I also have a Milt Sparks, that I also find that the Bianchi Proffesional 100 series of IWB holsters work great and are not expensive. I use on for my Glock 36 I wear in the summer, and it's the most comfortable IWB I own. Check them out.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 8:47:42 PM EDT
Welcome to AZ, Yankeediver.I'm new here as well.I've been here for 3 weeks.First of all I suggest getting the book "The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide" by Alan Korwin.It'll inform you of all AZ gun laws.2nd, I'd get your CCW permit.It's better to not let anyone know you're carrying.I moved to an apartment complex and the last thing I want is for people to know I have guns.Concealed carry is also better from a tactical standpoint.I've carried a Walther P-99 and a Glock 26 in a Smartcarry comfortably.What do you carry?The Walther was about as big as I'd want to go.It's a slow draw but it was better than leaving my gun at home.Right now, I carry a full-size Colt 1911 in a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 but i sweat right through it.I think an OWB holster or a Kydex IWB holster would be better for the summer months.If you get a chance, you have to go shooting at Ben Avery and hang out in the AZ forum here.
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