Concealed Carry Holster and Wardrobe Tips

Well known firearms and self-defense instructor Massad Ayoob recently shared some tips about CCW wardrobe choices:

When it comes to carrying a concealed handgun, wardrobe is essential. While Massad Ayoob isn’t a fashion expert, he is one of the foremost authorities on firearms, self-defense and concealed carry, meaning he knows exactly what you should and shouldn’t wear the next time you step out in public with a handgun tucked away on your person. Watch the video above to learn some of Mas’ concealed carry wardrobe tips.

If you aren’t ready to start building your wardrobe around your carry piece and you still need to choose a holster, B. Gil Horman of American Rifleman points to five criteria that should be considered when holster shopping.  A good carry rig should:

  • provide a reliable level of retention
  • stay where you place it
  • allow for quick re-holstering
  • contribute to concealment
  • fit your daily functions.

I would have added comfort to the list.  To that end, the importance of a good carry belt can not be overstated.  Choosing a good belt like Wilderness Tactical’s instructor belt or Galco’s dress belt over a regular belt can make or break your carry setup.  A droopy, uncomfortable, or difficult to use setup often discourages people from carrying altogether, and what good does a handgun do you if it is at home in the safe?  CCW can (and should) be comfortable, natural, and easy if you choose the right gear.

We have dozens of options in our proverbial box-o-holsters at GunLink HQ, several of which have made their way into normal rotation.  Most often I will carry in an original Alien Gear holster; which is durable and acceptably meets all of the above criteria.  When weather, dress, or mood calls for something a little smaller, I like the N82 Tactical holsters with their smaller footprint and stronger retention.  For minimalist IWB carry, quick trips, or pocket carry, we have Sticky Holsters that will fit just about any gun in our carry rotation and when heaver clothing allows concealed OWB carry or when rarely open carrying, Fobus paddle holsters are quick, easy and affordable.

If you want to step up the retention aspect, Blackhawk’s CQC Serpa holsters are a popular choice that incorporates a locking system to keep your firearm in the holster until you are ready for it to come out.  Holsters like Galco’s F.L.E.T.C.H use a thumb-break for retention while offering the durability and classic look of leather.

Much of your holster choice comes down to personal preference.  Horman’s criteria are, to be sure, good features to have in holsters and a fine starting point, but a holster has to fit your particular situation.  The truth is, if you are serious about carry, you are probably not going to buy one holster and be done with it; you will likely need to try multiple holsters to see what works for you.  Then you’ll end up like us, with a big ol’ box-o-holsters.

Let us know what carry setup works for you (or not) in the comments below.



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