How to Conceal Carry a Full-Size Handgun

How to Conceal Carry a Full-Size Handgun

Concealing a full-size handgun might seem like a tall order, but it’s totally doable and can make you feel both prepared and comfortable. This guide is all about showing you how to discreetly carry a bigger gun without giving away your secret.

We’re going to dive into everything from picking the perfect holster and belt to dressing in a way that keeps your firearm hidden but handy.

It’s not just about having the right gear, though; it’s about getting comfy with the idea and putting in some practice time. Whether you’re new to the whole conceal carry scene or looking to up your game, this intro is your first step toward becoming a pro at keeping your full-size handgun under wraps.

Why Choose a Full-Size Handgun

Opting for a full-size handgun for your conceal carry might seem like a bit much at first glance, but hear me out—there are some pretty solid reasons to consider it. Here’s the lowdown on why bigger can be better:

  • Better Accuracy: Thanks to a longer barrel, hitting your target is generally easier with a full-size handgun, especially under pressure.
  • More Ammo: You get to carry more rounds before needing a reload, which is always a plus.
  • Comfy Grip: The larger grip area means you can hold on tight and stay in control, making it a great choice for those with bigger hands or anyone who finds smaller guns a bit fiddly.
  • Less Recoil: A bigger gun absorbs recoil better, so it’s easier on your hands and helps you keep shots accurate.

Especially if you’re not too worried about hiding your gun, like when you’re out in the sticks or driving, the extra firepower and precision you get from a full-size handgun could really pay off.

Choosing the Right Holster For a Full-Size Gun

Read our article Best Holsters For Concealed Carry

Choosing the perfect holster for your full-size handgun is a bit of an art form. It’s all about balancing concealment, comfort, and quick access.

Let’s dive into some of the best holster types for carrying a bigger gun and how they match up with the challenge:

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters

IWB holsters are a solid choice for keeping your larger pistol hidden, even under lighter clothing. They snug your gun inside your pants, which can surprisingly accommodate larger firearms without bulging too much, especially with the right outfit. They’re a staple for concealed carry, offering both concealment and quick draw capabilities.

Appendix Carry Holsters

For those carrying a full-size gun, appendix carry holsters provide an impressive blend of accessibility and concealment. Positioned right in front, they make drawing your large handgun quick and straightforward. While this method can be a bit more challenging with a larger frame, selecting the right holster design can mitigate discomfort and make it a viable option for speedy access.

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder holsters and large framed guns go together like peanut butter and jelly, especially if you’re often seated or driving. They allow you to carry a larger firearm comfortably without worrying about waistband pressure. Plus, the weight distribution across your shoulders makes carrying a heavier gun less of a chore. Just throw on a jacket, and your concealment is good to go.

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Holsters with Concealment Clothing

OWB holsters are inherently comfy and accessible, and with the right concealment clothing, they can work surprisingly well with full-size handguns. A loose jacket or an untucked shirt can easily hide your firearm, offering a comfortable carry option that doesn’t sacrifice quick access. This method is especially appealing for those who prioritize comfort and ease of wear with their larger guns.

Incorporating a full-size handgun into your daily carry requires a holster that suits not just your gun, but also your lifestyle and attire. Whether you lean towards the deep concealment of IWB holsters, the quick access of appendix carry, the comfort of shoulder holsters, or the ease of OWB carry, there’s a solution that can handle the heft and size of a larger firearm effectively.

Choosing the Right Belt For a Full-Sized Gun

Read our article Best Gun Belts For Concealed Carry

Selecting the right belt is just as crucial as picking the perfect holster when it comes to comfortably and securely carrying a full-size handgun. A sturdy belt not only supports the weight of your firearm but also ensures it stays snug against your body for optimal concealment and accessibility.

Here are a couple of standout options tailored for those carrying heavier guns:

Kore Essentials Tactical Gun Belt

The Kore Essentials Tactical Gun Belt is designed with the needs of the concealed carrier in mind, especially those packing full-size handguns. Its ratcheting system allows for precise fit adjustments, ensuring your gun stays exactly where you need it without sagging. This belt is robust enough to support the heft of a larger firearm while maintaining a sleek profile that doesn’t scream “gun belt.”

CrossBreed Executive Gun Belt

For those who prefer a blend of style and function, the CrossBreed Executive Gun Belt offers an elegant solution. Crafted from premium leather, it looks at home in both casual and formal settings. Don’t let its sophisticated appearance fool you, though; it’s built tough to handle the weight of full-size handguns, ensuring your carry setup remains stable and concealed throughout the day.

A belt like either the Kore Essentials Tactical or the CrossBreed Executive is not just an accessory; it’s an integral part of your concealed carry system. Investing in a quality belt means investing in your comfort and confidence as you carry your full-size handgun.

Choosing the Right Clothing

Choosing the Right Clothing For Full Sized Gun

Dressing for success when you’re conceal carrying a larger sized gun goes beyond just looking good. It’s about strategically choosing outfits that enhance concealment while ensuring you can access your firearm swiftly when necessary.

Here’s how to select clothing that works with your carry setup:

Layering is Key

Incorporating layers into your outfit isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a practical way to hide the outline of your handgun. A light jacket, vest, or sweater can easily disguise any bulge from your firearm, making it virtually invisible to the casual observer. Plus, layers give you the flexibility to adjust for different settings and temperatures.

Opt for Loose-Fitting Garments

Tight clothing can make concealing a full-size guns challenging, as it tends to outline the firearm against your body. Choosing slightly looser garments can help prevent this, offering a more discreet carry. However, too loose can be counterproductive, as it might hinder quick access. Finding the right balance is key.

Specialized Conceal Carry Clothing

The market offers a variety of clothing designed specifically for concealed carry, from shirts with hidden compartments to pants with reinforced waistbands for holster support. These garments are engineered to conceal effectively while providing quick and easy access to your firearm. Investing in a few key pieces can make a significant difference in your carry experience.

Choose the Right Fabrics

Heavy fabrics and patterns can help break up the outline of your handgun, making it less noticeable. Patterns, in particular, can distract the eye and disguise any slight bulging, while heavier materials prevent printing. Consider incorporating these types of fabrics into your wardrobe for added concealment.

Dressing for concealed carry doesn’t mean sacrificing style or comfort. With the right approach, you can effectively conceal a full-size handgun while maintaining a sharp and accessible wardrobe. Remember, the goal is to blend functionality with personal style, ensuring you feel confident and prepared at all times.

Positioning Your Full-Sized Gun

Positioning Your Full-Sized Gun

Finding the optimal position for your full-size pistol is a critical component of successful concealment. It affects not just how well your firearm is hidden but also how quickly and efficiently you can draw it when necessary.

Let’s explore the most popular carry positions that balance concealment and accessibility for larger firearms:

Appendix Carry

Carrying your handgun at the appendix position, right in front of your pelvis, offers exceptional accessibility. It’s particularly effective for quick draws, as your hands naturally fall close to this area.

While it can be a bit more challenging with a full-size gun due to its size, proper holster selection and slight adjustments in positioning can make it a viable option for many.

Hip Carry (3 o’clock or 9 o’clock for Left-Handed Shooters)

The hip carry, positioned either at the 3 o’clock or the 9 o’clock position depending on your dominant hand, is a classic and widely used method. It offers a good balance of concealment and comfort, especially for larger guns.

This position allows for a natural and efficient draw stroke, with the added benefit of being relatively easy to conceal under a loose shirt or jacket.

OWB (Outside-the-Waistband)

OWB carry, where the holster sits on the outside of your pants, provides an excellent option for those who prioritize comfort and ease of draw. While it may require a bit more effort to conceal a large carry gun in this position, choosing the right clothing can effectively mitigate this challenge. OWB is particularly popular in cooler climates where heavier clothing is the norm.

Off Body Carry

Off body carry, which involves carrying your handgun in a backpack, purse, or other separate container, offers an alternative for situations where on-body carry might not be practical. While it offers maximum comfort and flexibility in terms of clothing choices, it’s crucial to maintain constant control over the bag to ensure safety and readiness.

Each of these positions has its strengths and considerations, especially when it comes to carrying a large pistol. The key is to experiment with different options and find what works best for your body type, clothing style, and personal preference. Remember, the best carry position is the one that allows you to comfortably conceal your firearm while ensuring you can access it quickly and safely in an emergency.

Importance of Training and Practice

Training and practicing with your carry gun is essential, particularly when it’s a full-size handgun. It’s crucial to become comfortable and proficient with the firearm you’ll rely on for self-defense.

Regular dry fire practice helps in mastering the draw, aiming, and trigger discipline without ammunition, allowing you to refine your technique safely. Specifically, for larger guns, practicing the draw is vital to ensure you can smoothly and quickly access your firearm when it counts.

Incorporating live fire exercises at the range further enhances your familiarity with the gun’s recoil and handling under realistic conditions. Remember, the key to carrying confidently is consistent practice, ensuring your skills stay sharp and your responses become second nature.


Read our article Ultimate Guide to Concealed Carry

Mastering the art of concealing a full-size handgun is a journey that combines choosing the right gear, dressing strategically, and positioning your firearm effectively with dedicated training and practice.

Embracing this challenge not only enhances your personal safety but also your confidence in handling potentially life-saving situations. Remember, the ultimate goal is seamless integration of your firearm into your daily life, ensuring you’re prepared, comfortable, and proficient.

By following the principles outlined in this guide, you’re well on your way to becoming adept at carrying your full-size handgun discreetly and responsibly.

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