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Posted: 6/3/2003 1:05:09 AM EDT
I am confident this is an issue that many here among us have faced in the past and I would just like to hear from others who have confronted this issue. Me, I am about 5'11" and 175 lbs. I have no problem concealing a full size Smith and Wesson 686 or a 1911 in a high ride pancake holster when I can wear even a light jacket over it. But the problems start when the Winter coats and Spring/Fall jackets are tossed into the closet for Summer. My normal mode of Summer dress is either Polo shirts and Dockers (or something similar) when at work or t-shirts and jeans otherwise.

Now since I normally go with shirts tucked in, IWB holsters aren't exactly my first choice. On top of this I find them very uncomfortable. So in short, IWB holsters just aren't my thing. But I realize this doesn't leave me too many options. But I don't want to suddenly change the way I dress and go from being a well dressed, tucked in type of guy to wearing loose, untucked button-ups. That would be a dead giveaway that I was packing.

So I figure my options are limited to a small gun in either an ankle holster or a small gun inside one of those Kramer concealed carry "Confidant" shirts, which for those who haven't seen them, basically amount to a mesh wife beater shirt with a gun pocket underneath the arm holes. Also an option is a pocket holster with a smaller pistol, but these aren't exactly my favorites either. So, if you were forced to carry a compact pistol/revolver concealed while wearing typical Summer clothing, would you go with the ankle rig or the shirt? I realize the shirt is great for deep concealment, even under the lightest clothing. But I have never had one of these and have no idea if they are practical. They could be awkward to get to in a hurry, but I think in an emergency I could just rip open the top few buttons of my shirt or pull the shirt up enough to get to my gun fast enough. Plus, the second pocket would give me an extra mag or speed strip holder. The ankle holster would probably be faster, but offers no place to carry spare ammo and would likely be harder to keep the gun totally concealed. Also, the ankle rig may require the gun to be even smaller than what I could carry in the Kramer shirt. Again, I am no huge guy and normally wear clothing that isn't oversized. So, once again, which do you think would be best suited to the type of carry I am talking about? Any experience with ankle holsters or the Kramer Confidant?

And last but far from least is the choice in gun! I currently have nothing in my inventory except a Taurus Model 85 snubby that would even come close to being what I need. All of my current pistols are full size duty type weapons. Two guns that I really like are the Smith and Wesson 6906? (or whatever model is like a 5906 with a 3.5" barrel and bobbed hammer) and the Smith and Wesson 2" titanium snubbies. My minimum calibers are 9mm for an auto and 38 special for snubbies. So please, no suggestions for .25 ACP's, 22's, 32's, etc. There are also some single stack, compact Sig's that may also be exactly what I am looking for. So, out of these choices, what would you get and why? Are the Smith and Wesson compacts reliable and can you hit anything with them? What about the compact Sigs? And last, do the Ti S&W snubbies have a decent or horrible trigger pull and can you hit a bear in the a$$ with one at 7 yards shooting double action?

I know that with all of the limitations set forth my myself and nature that any decision I make will at best be a compromise. But I want to attempt to stay with a decent caliber and gun and not resort to "mouse guns". But I know based upon my size, method of dress and my preference in carry options that I must also keep size to a minimum in order to be practical. What are your experiences and advice when it comes to Summertime concealed carry, carry methods, holsters and guns? I look forward to the responses and feel free to make suggestions toward other options I may not have considered. Afterall, if I knew everything I would not have needed to post this in the first place!

Thanks,

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 3:36:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 3:38:06 AM EDT by RugerCal480]
Why not carry ANY gun you wish, with any kind of clothing? If you're not looking for a super fast draw, although the claimed 1.7 seconds isn't bad, take a look at the "small carry" standard holster at $47.95. I just sent for one and their "car carry." The holsters are returnable within 60 days, if you are not satisfied. That is a deal that most holster companies don't match, and from the comments by customers they deliver "on time." Their website is at http://www.smartcarry.com. If anyone has positives or negatives on the company, I would appreciate any comments to that effect. Thanks,
Rugercal480 (Mike)
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 4:18:58 AM EDT
I like the new plastic IWB holster shirt tucker models. also a little J-frame or officers model 45 disappears in the pleated dockers pocket. or I would wear a IWB with my polo shirt or T shirt pulled out. it helps if the polo is on the large size or a full size larger than normal. I moved my IWB holster in front of my right hip and usually put my right hand in the right front pocket so the curve of my arm shields the gun and makes it totally invisible. most of the time in Tex in the summer I wear cargo shorts and my Kimber ultra CDP is in my right front pocket.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 6:36:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 2:55:42 PM EDT by KODoc]
I'm not crazy about ankle holsters because of their slow and clumsy draw. They're OK to cary a lightweight piece in if you can anticipate an emergency (contradiction of terms), draw it, and stick it in your pocket with your hand on it.
If you want to go the ankle holster route none come close to Alessi.

You can use a pocket holster with a lightweight revolver or semi. They work OK except they're not very comfortable when seated in jeans. Uncle Mike's makes one thats inexpensive and as useful as any out there.

You can use a fanny pack if you can tolerate their appearance.

You can wear a non-tailed short sleeved shirt untucked.

You can wear a lightweight horizontal shoulder holster over a T shirt and under a tucked in short sleeved button(not polo)shirt with the knowledge that drawing the weapon will sacrifice a button or two. I frequently carry a bobbed hammer DAO lightweight snubby this way.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:45:36 AM EDT
A very real problem in the south. I am in Houston and personally I can't get from the house to the car without breaking a sweat in the Summer.

It does not answer your question, but I have gone to keeping a truck gun instead of on my person at all times. I just cannot dress cool enough and hide a sidearm, though with your size (I'm a bit larger) you might look into the shirt tucker models. I have seen quite a few guys that wear them well.
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