Where On My Body Should I Conceal Carry?
There are many thoughts and opinions about where one should carry their firearm. Should it be carried on a hip? What about in an ankle holster? What about in a purse or bag? Is one method more comfortable, or more accessible, or more advantageous than another?
It is not as though there is only one right way to carry. Sometimes things such as work attire, type of gun, or physical activity make it difficult to carry in the same position all the time.
Below, we have created a list of pros and cons for several common positions of carry that we hope you find helpful:
Hip / Back Hip
Advantages: Quickly accessible; allows for a consistent draw stroke; relatively comfortable; relatively easy to conceal; additional magazines can be kept on the belt; easy to run/move.
Disadvantages: Difficult to conceal in tight or light colored clothing; difficult to access while sitting; difficult to conceal when bending over; slightly uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time.
Advantages: Quickly accessible; relatively comfortable; easy to access while sitting (cross-draw).
Disadvantages: Very difficult to conceal without a coat or some type of jacket; gun is often sweeping others as you walk and move; difficult to conceal when leaning over; slightly slower draw stroke than hip, slightly more difficult to run/move but still possible.
Advantages: Quickly accessible; easy to access while sitting; can be accessed with either hand; doesn’t imprint when you lean over; easy to conceal.
Disadvantages: May be uncomfortable on your stomach when sitting down; you’re limited to using a smaller gun; the gun is often pointing at your own body; slightly more difficult to run and move than hip or shoulder carry.
Advantages: Very concealable; easy to access while sitting down; doesn’t imprint when leaning over; works well with business attire.
Disadvantages: Much slower to access; usually requires two hands to access; can be very uncomfortable; ankle holsters often fall down unless they have an attached calf-strap; some people complain of bumping their gun on objects or their other leg as they walk; cannot be worn with shorts; more difficult to run/move.
Belly Band/Shirt Holster
Advantages: Comfortable; doesn’t imprint much when you lean over; can be worn without thick clothing; very easy to run/move.
Disadvantages: It is very slow to get to your gun, especially if your shirt is buttoned, tucked in, or doesn’t open; unnatural draw stroke.
Advantages: Easy to carry; doesn’t imprint; a larger gun and more ammunition can be carried; doesn’t require loose or baggy clothing.
Disadvantages: Slow to access; one’s purse is not always on their person; there is a potential safety hazard of something in the bag/purse bumping the trigger; it’s easier to be disarmed by an assailant if they take the purse; not easy to run/move.
Small of the Back
Advantages: Very concealable; easy to run/move.
Disadvantages: Cannot access while sitting down or if you get knocked on your back; uncomfortable when sitting down; you must often sweep your body when drawing; some have injured themselves and become paralyzed by falling back on their gun.
Advantages: Concealable; quickly accessible; a good choice for business attire; doesn’t imprint when leaning over.
Disadvantages: Limited to very small pistols and low magazine capacity; can make pants or pocket appear bulky; something to cover the trigger is needed to prevent accidental firing; some states don’t allow pocket carry; can bounce around when running/moving.
As you can see, all types of concealed carry have their advantages and disadvantages. In reality there are a probably a few different positions from which you will learn to carry and there are certainly positions with more advantages than others. Just make sure to practice drawing and holstering the gun if you carry in a new position to remain safe and combat effective.