Summertime Concealed Carry: Gear and Tips

By Dave Dolbee published on in Gun Gear, How To

You can blame global warming for all I care, but whatever the cause, summertime means warm temperatures. As the mercury heads north, concealing your firearm becomes more difficult. However, the threat is just as high or higher than it has ever been, and leaving my firearm at home is an option I refuse to consider. So, I began looking for warm weather solutions. If you are of the same mind, here are a few tips, tricks, and alternative ways to carry a firearm without telegraphing or sacrificing your safety.

Concealed Carrie Leather Satchel Distressed Leather Brown

Concealed Carrie Leather Satchel Distressed Leather Brown

Tips

Stay Dry

Stay dry with breathable clothing. Stretchy fabrics with wicking properties are the ticket! They are much cooler than you might imagine, and most importantly, keep moisture away from the body. You’ll stay dry and have a barrier between your skin and holster or firearm.

Chafing

Chafing dovetails quite closely with staying dry to be honest. Chafing is a serious downer for a couple of reasons. First off, the less comfortable you feel when carrying, the less likely you are to carry. Secondly, the less comfortable your carry, the more you are going to fidget. This gives away a serious tactical advantage. An undershirt and holster with an “ear” that rises above the gun will help considerably. Another seasoned tip is to use a touch of baby powder or Gold Bond, or any of the roll-ons that are popular with athletes such as Glide for a more comfortable ride.

Alternative Carry

Waistband

I believe it is safe to say, the majority of  us carrying use either an outside the waistband (OWB) or inside the waistband (IWB) holster. With longer, thicker garments, this prevents printing and properly conceals your firearm. However, when shedding layers—and perhaps carrying a few extra pounds from the winter months—this is not as solid an option. When the weather is mild, below 80 or so degrees, a t-shirt and cover garment will allow you to easily carry with your IWB and likely your OWB holster. The key is having a garment that moves with you, not independently. For example, a slight breeze blows the shirt open and reveals your sidearm.

Bullet Proof Outfitters Ballistic Backpack

Bullet Proof Outfitters Ballistic Backpack

One of my favorite off body carry bags features a NIJ Rating 3A ballistic panel capable of stopping up to a .44 Magnum. This not only allows you to continue carrying a firearm, it offers a degree of protection. The panel fits discreetly in the backpack and meets all Federal requirement to carry through an airport or on a plane.

Bullet Proof Outfitters and
Magnum Safety Academy

467 Maple Street
Danvers, MA 01923
978.815.6989
mike@mabs777.com

Belly Band Holsters

Belly Band holsters work better than they look. I used to do a fair amount of personal protection work at high profile events in a tuxedo that did not afford the best concealment. I often wore a belly band holster with my back-up gun. Given the way I was dressed, it was not as easily accessible as I would have liked, but it was secure and well concealed, which were primary concerns. However, when simply wearing a t-shirt and shorts, belly band holsters are a viable option and allow quick access—they are also about half or less of the price of holsters.

Ankle Holsters

Ankle holsters are another popular method of carry for warm weather. Of course, you can’t be dressed in shorts, but a pair of jeans and a tight-fitting t-shirt will work just fine. Personally, I have never been a fan. Then again, I have never really spent enough time wearing an ankle holster to give much insight. Perhaps some of the readers of this article will chime in with a comment and personal experience and recommendations.

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies

Women have options that (most) men do not. I have a lot less experience wearing a bra or dress than an ankle holster, so I cannot speak to the effectiveness, but thigh holsters and bra type holsters such as the Flash Bang come to mind. Both have application and are worth looking into when your wardrobe dictates.

Off-Body Carry

Off-body carry is one of my favorite options, and one I employ often. I have several Diversion Packs from Blackhawk, leather satchels, laptop cases, and other bags that allow me to carry covertly without having the firearm under a garment. The downside is speed. In the case of a personal confrontation where you are forced to immediately draw and shoot, you are at a disadvantage. Sweeping away a cover garment and immediately presenting a weapon from a waistband holster is faster. However, when walking through the oceanfront sand wearing shorts without a shirt, a backpack is not out of place, but offer a degree of protection.

Though the ankle soxXx is tight, the fit is perfect. There is no slippage or movement at all.

Though the ankle soxXx is tight, the fit is perfect. There is no slippage or movement at all.

To compensate for a reduction in draw speed, I like to add a ballistic panel to my backpack. In an active shooter situation, you can, at least, cover your vitals organs.

There are other options such as groin carry, shoulder rigs, pocket holsters, and purses designed for concealed carry. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try a few different solutions. Not all methods of carry will work for every person or situation. I like options that allow me the maximum amount of flexibility based on my situation and required dress and you should too.

What is your favorite method of carry for warm weather? What tips can you share with other readers? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (38)

  • Steve F

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    I LOVED the Sig p938! Shoots great, feels terrific. Easy to be accurate. And it recoils like a .380, instead of the 9mm that it is. The only reason I didn’t get it was weight (and to a much lesser extent, size). I knew I just wouldn’t carry it regularly.

    Now, the Sig p238…yeah! Same attributes as the p938, but way lighter. Recoils like a .22 on steroids, that’s it. And with an extended clip and 7 + 1 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense .380 onboard, it weighs just over pound. Feels and shoots like a much bigger gun. I have the rosewood grips, fantastic for my oversize mitts. I love it.

    Reply

  • Doc

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    Well aren’t you a butte !

    Reply

  • Carl Hess

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    How about this
    I worked my ass off starting at the age of 14 and still went to school, so that’s how I’m able to live where I live. So F off

    Reply

  • Mike

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    I was a police officer in both the Los Angeles and Phoenix metro areas for over 30 years, so know something about the heat and carried religiously on and off duty. Also, I never liked carrying small, low cap, mediocre calibers as a primary. I used to carry both on and off duty a 1911, .45ACP. It is big but thin. Later, I was forced to carry a Glock so went with a 21 on duty and a 30 as on duty secondary and off duty primary (smaller but thick with good capacity). Of course, I ALWAYS carry a spare mag tucked in somewhere.

    The best, practical carry that I found was IWB, either strong side or appendix. The key is to buy shirts a size or two larger and in some kind of pattern, the more intricate the better, to hide any “printing”. I found cotton better than wicking synthetics simply because cotton is usually thicker material which drapes better than clingy synthetics. This works even with the “tuck-in” type of holster; because the shirt is over sized, it blouses out over the gun. You don’t get style points for being chic.

    The belly-band conceals well if it’s pulled up onto the chest (not the belly) and spun to hold the gun just in front of and below the armpit (similar to a shoulder holster). The negative; the draw is slow and awkward. Similarly, I have used shoulder holsters under large shirts but again, the draw is bad.

    Ankle holsters…no. The draw is terrible, ability to move is non-existent, doesn’t work with shorts and since bell bottoms are no longer in fashion, my kind of gun leaves a conspicuous bulge.

    Carrying without a shirt? That is a real problem. I guess that’s when you go to a bag or the little guns I hate in a pocket. I just inconvenience myself and always wear a shirt.

    I have always been against off body carry. If you are robbed, what is the first thing they going to demand?…The bag you are carrying. You just gave them another gun.

    Carrying concealed in heat requires a real desire to carry because it will also require some changes to how you dress and act…but it can be done.

    Reply

  • Doc

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    Why don’t you get and carry a bazooka or hand grenades it’s much more effective, oh wait I think it makes more sence to move to a safer place, unless your going to arm your wife and kids as well. wow why didn’t you think of that? Use your brain if you have one? Idiots .

    Reply

  • Doc

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    Ok first you never read what I posted if you had you would have read that I am not a liberal in fact just the opposite. Second a gated community is in fact not as safe as a non gated community. Why you may ask well I will tell you. They are a prime target for criminals as there is no cops and no way for them to be in there. Get your head out of your ass and wake up.if you are in a gated community you can afford to move to a safe place. Third go back to school and learn how to spell!

    Reply

  • Carl Hess

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    This the man that posted the words of just move if your not in a save neighborhood

    Are you kidding me? Your a joke, I live in a gated Community that’s in one of the top 20 cities to live in, (as of the last 20 plus years). And there is been a rise in home invasions around here. I talking about people just sitting on the porch or sitting in the yard . This year I think 3 people have need killed this was. And you have the balls to tell me or someone else to move to a safer neighborhood . Get your liberal head out of your ¥¥¥¥ you know what. and how do you think that people that are on disability or Social security can just get up and move. You live in a bubble and have no clue as to how the real world is.

    Reply

    • Ringolevio

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      You tell ‘im, Carl!

      Reply

    • JAMES M MERIDETH

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      OK. Mr “know it all” Hess. Oh. And Mr. “agree with stupid” Ringolevio. Pay attention. When my wife and I lived in Fl. she had her own cleaning business. Of the 40 customers that she cleaned for, 32 of them lived in “gated communities”. She had to keep up with 32 different ” key cards” to gain entrance to clean their houses. The average home in these communities cost at least $200,000. So please explain to me how someone on disability or SSI (in case you don’t know what that is) (social security) can afford a place like that. And, if she forgot a key card or misplaced one she couldn’t gain entrance. Now I figure you would say, “why not use someone else’s card to get in”? Well, Mr Smartie pants. Each card was keyed to the day of the week that she was to be there. I know– you read it on the internet so it has to be true. So maybe you and Ringo need to get your heads outta your butts and wake up. And besides, what does anything you said, have to do with the article that you posted this on????

      Reply

    • Ringolevio

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      Boy, there must be a convention going on. And it seems to be a convention of morons. Morons with attitude.

      Reply

  • Doc

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    I also live in Central Florida and no need to carry at all ever here.

    Reply

  • Nick Z.

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    Crossbread IWB with an S&W 9mm Shield seems to work well with shorts and Hawaiian shirt, or loose tee shirt. If the shirt has an intense pattern on it, that helps protect against imprinting. I even carry it with my 8 round magazine.

    Reply

  • Bruce Porter

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    When I was a police officer I carried a backup in an ankle holster. One day while a suspect was resisting arrest I noticed a gun fall to the street at this time I became much more aggressive until I was able to cuff and stuff him. When I recovered the gun I was shocked to discover that it was my ankle gun. All holsters must be comfortable and secure!

    Reply

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