The Art of Manliness on Concealed Carry Style
The truth is, even if you aren’t into fashion, clothing style does matter when you carry concealed. TAOM’s article is a pretty good one that covers different modes and methods of carry, and issues involved in it. And yes, that even includes visiting your tailor.
The article isn’t perfect, and I have a couple bones to pick:
Longer barrels give you range and accuracy, and longer magazines give you more shots without reloading, but the reality for most of us is that neither of those is a huge consideration. Unless you’re in an active military or paramilitary kind of situation, you — hopefully — won’t ever need more than a shot or two, even in the very worst-case scenario. Most of the time you won’t even need that.
So when possible, err on the side of a smaller weapon and magazine for the sake of concealability and comfort. It’s one of those trade-offs where you have to know your own needs, but don’t just default to the biggest magazine and longest barrel available for your handgun of choice.
Hopefully we won’t ever need our guns, but the reason we have them is because we realize we might. And if we might, shouldn’t we be best prepared to meet the needs of that situation? Given much of what TAOM’s website content is about — being prepared for life’s situations — I was a little surprised to read this. I’ll just fade back to Tom Givens and his now 60 students that have been involved in armed confrontations, with the number of shots fired ranging from 1 to 11, average of 3.4. I think Karl Rehn‘s data is starting to show that 5 rounds (e.g. a snub revolver) might get you through something like 70%-ish of confrontations. But again… statistics are of little comfort when you’re the anomaly. Granted, there’s always a tradeoff somewhere in concealed carry, just weigh the factors carefully and remember that a carry gun is to be comforting, not comfortable.
Regarding inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry:
The downside is that it’s an expensive and a fairly uncomfortable option. You need the tailored trousers, the specific holster, and the willingness to stand and sit with a gun barrel pointed down your rear end.
If they think IWB is expensive, I’m really wondering what they are considering inexpensive options, because they consider OWB to be inexpensive. Are we talking Uncle Mike’s here? Please don’t. This is life-saving equipment. You shouldn’t be going “cheap” no matter what mode you opt to carry in. But cheap price and cheap quality don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. You don’t need to spend hundreds on a hand-tooled custom-made leather holster, tho you can if you wish. Comp-Tac’s holsters run $50-$100 depending upon options. Similar for Blade Tech, Raven Concealment, Kolbeson Leatherworks, and other such quality holsters.
You don’t need tailored trousers, but then, maybe you do if all you wear are tailored suits. Basically you’d have to get a waist about 2″ larger than normal. Or if you really want to get fancy, consider layered waistbands with elastic. That is, from the outside everything looks fine and normal, but it’s actually got 2 “panels” of cloth that overlap probably somewhere above the front pocket but under the belt. Then there’s elastic around the waistband so the waist area can actually grow and shrink a bit. Some find this more comfortable and workable with the gun.
And gun barrel pointed at your rear end? First dude, there are worse options, like appendix carry, with the muzzle pointed at your femoral artery (and your junk). Second, every muzzle has to point somewhere. OWB still points down at your butt. Shoulder holsters point at the person behind you. There’s always going to be some sort of trade-off here, and pointed down is one of the less problematic options. But with a good holster, a good belt, and remembering to put the gun in the holster and leave it alone — no fiddling with it — it’s really not a problem. Guns don’t “just go off”, so having a “gun barrel pointed down your rear end” isn’t that big a deal… unless you think it makes your butt look big. And if a little gun makes your butt look big, you need to get to the gym and start squatting.
Minor nits in an otherwise good article.
What’s really great tho is seeing how this is further evidence of concealed carry’s acceptance into the mainstream. It’s not some taboo thing… now it’s something to discuss with your tailor.