Concealed Carry: Guns, Holsters, Questions, & Answers Video

This video is in response to ebommy’s questions. He asked a couple questions that I will answer in order. There’s another question that I’ll address at the end of the video.

His first question was, “Do you carry and how?” I do carry. I carry every day. I’ve carried a lot of different guns in a lot of different ways. I’m trying to find out what works best for me. I’ve narrowed it down, but still haven’t perfected it yet. After several years of carry, I always find a better way, sooner or later.

I do carry all day, every day. When I get up in the morning I put it on. When I go to bed, I take it off. When I go to bed I put it in a safe. The guns have to be locked away when they’re not on my person. That’s for safety’s sake.

Like I said, I carry all day. I don’t do it because I’m afraid something’s going to happen in my house. I do it because I’m a little scatter brained and absent minded. If I took it off every time I came home, then 70 percent of the time I’d be leaving the house with now fire arm. It would be safe, probably. Chances of needing it are pretty slim, but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Plus, there are some areas nearby that I would not go unarmed. There’s a couple malls in downtown Portland that have a little bit of a gang problem. Most areas I go are pretty safe. I stay in the suburbs. Still, I do carry. I carry every day.

In this video we’ll discuss what I carry, how I carry it, and we’ll answer another question at the end. Let’s get moving!

A major focus of this video is how I carry. We’ve already established that I do carry. Now, we’ll discuss how. I always conceal carry. I never open carry. I’m not morally opposed to it. I’ve seen people around here doing it. It doesn’t bother me.

I have open carried in some situations, like hiking or camping. I don’t have a moral objection to it, but I do have a tactical objection to it. An advantage is only an advantage if you don’t give your enemy the opportunity to counter that advantage. Why would I give away the greatest advantage I have? That would be that I’m armed.

I feel it’s not a smart thing to do. I don’t open carry. I’d like to keep my advantages secret. People don’t know what I’m doing. I carry multiple types of guns. I’m not one of these people that thinks you can have one gun for every possible scenario. I don’t think they make such a gun. You need different guns for different times. I don’t dress around my gun. The gun needs to fit the way I’m dressed.

When you start dressing around your weapon, you become obvious, so I try not to be obvious. I’m not concerned about being made. I was when I first started carrying I was concerned about bumps and printing. Now, I feel like people don’t pay any attention.

We were at a local restaurant the other day, Pig and Pancake. When I came back from the bathroom I realized that my cover garment had pulled up over my gun. I was open carrying for an hour in the restaurant. Not a single person noticed, even the five other people I was with.

Only I noticed when I started to get up, that my shirt had been tucked under my gun. No one else noticed, said anything or made eye contact with the gun that I noticed. People just don’t pay attention to you.

Like I said, I’ve tried different methods. I’ve tried shoulder holsters, inside the waistband, outside the waistband, packs and everything else. I’ll discuss as much of that here and address as much issues with each that I can. I’ll address which guns I carry and we’ll get on to it.

Let’s deal with the method I first started carrying with. I first started carrying outside of my waistband or OWB. I carried multiple types of holsters, carried with holsters with thumb breaks. I carried regular little Don Jume belt-slide holsters. I carried big paddle holsters with the thumb lock. This is good for big, heavy guns because it keeps them in place. They won’t fall out if you bend over or anything like that.

One of the first issues I found was about looseness. When you would jog or run the gun would kind of want to bounce out. Outside waistband has its advantages. It’s much more comfortable for just standing and walking because it’s not held tight against your body. It gets uncomfortable when held inside waistband.

It can be more cumbersome. It’s easier to hit it on things. It gets in the way of your seatbelt. It sticks out a little further, so it’s harder to conceal. You can carry some pretty big guns that way. If you’re not worried too much about concealment, then I’ll carry outside the waistband. I’ll wear the right clothes. In the winter time, I’ll wear a heavy jacket or a hoodie that I’ll keep on. Then, I’ll carry outside the waistband because it’s comfortable. I have primarily gone to inside waistband.

Outside waistband is great, but it’s usually not what I go for now. I worked my way with all guns. I’ve used small guns, revolvers, Kahr K40s, smaller officer’s model 1911s and more. The Sig P229 is my big gun for outside carry. I’ve done videos on this gun before. It makes a gun like this comfortable to carry. Like I say, it conceals pretty well under a hoodie. You’re going to see a bulge there, but no one will know what it is. We wear bulgy clothes in the winter, so no one will pay any attention.

I like the outside waistband for some of these big guns. They’re more comfortable. It doesn’t feel secure to me. It is as secure, but you need a strong belt when you’re outside waistband carrying. All the weight is on the outside of the belt, so it will sag and droop. You really have to have a good, tight, solid belt for outside waistband carry. That’s not an issue with inside waistband carry. You need a solid belt if you’re carrying a heavy gun like this one.

Now, we’ll discuss my preferred method of carry. That is inside waistband carry, or IWB. To me, this is the best way to carry for your everyday life. It has a lot of conveniences to it. It holds the gun tighter to your body. It holds it more securely and is easier to conceal. It doesn’t get in the way as much as outside waistband carry. It doesn’t print as badly as an outside the waistband holster does.

It allows you to carry a pretty big gun or small gun. A smaller gun will be more comfortable. I carry small guns this way. Thin guns are easier to carry this way, like the Kahr MK40. That ones comfortable inside the waistband. You can carry some pretty big guns, too. I carry this one. This is my Sig P220 Elite carry stainless. This is not a small gun by any means, and it’s definitely not a light gun, but it’s easy to carry if you carry it inside the waistband with a good belt and good holster. It really holds it securely. It’s not as comfortable as carrying in the car, but it’s still pretty comfortable.

I also like to carry revolvers inside the waistband. They’re a little thicker at the cylinder, but they’re so narrow at the bottom. That makes them more comfortable to carry. You have less poking you in the hip. They’re smaller at the top, so you don’t have as much printing. They are a little thicker at the cylinder. This is a Colt, six shot, so it’s a little thicker than my Smith & Wesson. That one is a five shot, so it’s a little narrower.

One of my favorite guns to carry is my Sig. We’ll go into why in another section of the video. This is a nice, moderately sized gun. It’s the sub-compact, double action only. It’s a good gun for carrying. The good thing about this gun is it’s easy to replace everything. I can replace the grip, slide and frame. For $45 I can buy a new one. The receiver comes out of the grip frame. If the frame gets scratched, you can replace it for $45. If it gets banged or dropped, replace it and it’ll look like new again. I really like that idea. It’s made for OCD people, like me.

Let’s get back to inside waistband carry. You can carry pretty small guns, too. I have some holsters that let me carry my little Seecamp that way. This is great for dressing up because it’s tiny. If you’re in jeans and a dress shirt, this is perfect. You can just put it under your shirt. I carry this at about 2:30. It’s easy to carry.

Inside waistband is my preferred method. You can carry multiple types of guns and multiple sizes. It seems to be the most stable method of carry. It’s not the easiest method of carry. There are methods that are easier, but they’re lazy and obvious. We’ll get into those later.

Now, we’ll discuss pocket carry. It’s not something I like to do because I don’t like the idea of putting a gun in my pocket. It’s something that I occasionally do if I’m dressed in a way that I can’t wear a holster. If we’re going somewhere that I’m going to be hugged repeatedly by friends or family, then I tend to not want to have a holster on my waist. It’s noticeable to everyone.

Sometimes I’ll slip my little Seecamp 380 into the pocket wallet holster. It goes in your back pocket like a wallet, so no one would know it was there. When you reach in, slide your fingers behind the holster and hook it with your thumb to pull right out. It’s a nice, easy, comfortable way to carry a gun.

I also have this holster for my Roreball, which is meant to be in the front pocket. I almost never carry it in the front. I put it in the back pocket. It’s a little, tiny 9 mm that is ready to go with you. Pocket carry is preferred by a lot of people. They’ll carry Smith & Wesson J Frames in a pocket holster. There’s no way. They’re too heavy for me. I couldn’t handle that weight in my front pocket. The back pocket is a little more manageable. These are lightweight guns, and they’re pushing it for me.

I’m a pansy when it comes to pocket carry. Some people do it all the time. It is a pretty safe method, but I don’t like putting a gun where I put my hands. The holsters have flaps that hold them secure, so they’re not sliding around in your pocket. When you reach in your pocket, your gun is where it’s supposed to be. That’s one method of carry I use occasionally, but it is not my preferred method.

Let’s discuss a method of carry that didn’t work out as well for me as I thought it would. Shoulder carry wasn’t comfortable for me. They’re nice in some ways. They go under a jacket. If you dress in a suit jacket, then they’re a good idea. I don’t do that, so they didn’t work out for me. They’re a little harder to access with a hoodie because you’ve got to reach up to your shoulder blades. It didn’t work out for me.

They keep it there nice. They hold the gun. There’s a spot for an extra magazine or reloader. I always add a little clip on one side to stabilize them. It just didn’t work out for me. This is for my Walther PPK. I keep it around for Halloween. If you’re dressed as James Bond, then you have to have your PPK in a shoulder holster.

It works out for a lot of people, but shoulder holster doesn’t work for me. It gave me a headache, too. I noticed a lot of shoulder and neck strain when I carried this way. It’s not a great method for me.

Here’s a method of carry that tends to be a bit controversial with people. I use it often. It’s a waist pack carry. I wear it if I’m going to the gym or dressed for the gym. Today is Sunday and this is what I had on while I was doing the video. A lot of mornings I will get up and dress for the gym because I got nothing else to do. I’ll wear a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt. It’s hard to carry a holster, so I’ll slide my waist pack on.

It’s very practical for the gym. It’s got a front pouch where you can keep your cellphone. I keep my keys and iPod in there. I keep all my gym stuff in there. I used to keep my ID in there until we went to the fingerprint system. I don’t need it anymore.

It looks just like a regular fanny pack, but it has a zipper here.

It has a quicker way to open it, too. There’s your gun inside. The holster is held securely in the back. It’s velcro. I keep my Kahr PM40. This gun is not safety checked. This gun is loaded, so I’m being very careful with this. I just took it off my waist.

That’s what I carry a lot. A lot of people have a problem with this method because they think it’s unmanly. I can’t address those issues. Some people define manliness by wearing a waist pack while going to the gym. That’s a problem I can’t help you with during a video this short. I have no problem with it. I’ve never been called on it.

A lot of people also think that it’s obvious that you’re carrying a gun. If that’s true, then we have a lot of people carrying guns in Portland. We have a lot of tourists, so we have a lot of people carrying guns. Also, it looks normal when you’re going to the gym because you don’t have a place for your wallet. It doesn’t look out of place, at all. This is not the one I use for hiking. I use a similar system for hiking. We will go over that.

Let’s talk about another method of carrying to use for hiking. If we’re hiking somewhere really remote, then I’ll open carry. If we’re not in a remote place, then we might still run into predators. There’s critters in state parks and two legged predators. I carry in this type of pack. It’s bigger than my other pack, so it has room for other things. I can carry a small pair of binoculars or video recorder. It’s got bigger pouches.

It’s a bigger pack, so I use this one. It’s got water bottle attachments that go with it also, so I can carry water with it.

It is the same style holster that the other one is. I carry my Glock 29SF in this. I want something with a lot of power when I’m out in the woods. We do have some big critters around here, so a 10 millimeter is nice. With this gun you get 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. That’s 11 rounds of 10 millimeter. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

It’ll deal with any two-legged issues that present themselves. You have to remember that camping areas and trails have a large number of people that could do you harm. It is a nice place for them to be where they aren’t subjected to constant scrutiny, so it’s a good place to be if you’re a criminal. Look at all the stories of people assaulted while camping or hiking.

This is a little dirty because the cat has been using it as a pillow. It’s winter, so we haven’t been hiking as much. It’s a great method if you don’t want to show people you’re armed and freak them out. You don’t want to alert predators of the two-legged variety that you’re armed. This is a great way to carry. Put the water bottles on it, and it looks like you’re carrying any other hiking pack.

The holster is in the back, again. It’s hidden in a different compartment. It’s very easy to get to because it has one of these quick release straps. You just pull and get to the gun. It’s another great carry method that I use every now and then.

Now, let me cover some of the less physical aspects of carrying. We’ll talk about comfort aspects. We’ll talk about platform, printing and feeling safe. As you know, I believe in multiple tools for multiple jobs. My background is psychology and education, but I consider myself a craftsmen. People who watch my videos know I consider myself an amateur gunsmith and little bit of a woodworker, so I like to be handy. I like to have different tools. I don’t have one set of tools for every job. I have a different tool for every job. I feel the same way about my guns.

I try to stay in the same platform and same method of fire. These guns are different, but they all have one thing in common. You pull the gun and you pull the trigger. That’s all you do. The Kahr is very smooth and revolver like. It is almost like a double action trigger. Revolvers are, of course, double action triggers. The Sig P250 is a great double action trigger. It’s like firing a revolver.

The Sig P229 is also a double action revolver. You have a single action on follow ups on this, but the first shot is double. Pull the gun and pull the trigger. It works every time.

I did show some 1911s during this video. I used to carry 1911s. I have quit carrying them because it’s not the same platform as these. I’ll discuss that when we get into what you feel safe with.

Let’s move on to printing. These are all different types of guns. Printing is something that first time carriers are super concerned with. The longer you carry, the less concerned you will be with that. There’s a big difference between printing and brandishing. Most people are not going to notice a bump in your jacket. 99.99 percent of people are just going to go about their day and pay little attention to you, if any.

It’s a little bit of a paranoia that comes with first time carrying. We all have to work our way through. If you’re in that stage now, then don’t let it discourage you. There’s certain stages you have to go through. You have to be physically and emotionally comfortable. You have to learn to deal with it. It does come to you, but it just takes time. After a while you won’t be concerned about printing.

The other thing is feeling safe. There’s two different ways of feeling safe. Your gun should make you feel safe. You should feel like this tool can help you get out of a bad situation, unharmed. It’s going to help you protect your friends, your family and your own life. If it’s not doing that, then the caliber is too small and it’s probably not the gun for you. If you need manual arms with it, then it’s probably not right for you. You have to feel safe with the gun.

I’m comfortable with anything that is 380 and above. Some people wouldn’t carry anything less than a 40. Some people wouldn’t carry anything less than a nine. Some people will carry a 45 or 10 millimeter and that’s all they feel safe with. It’s all personal preference. I often carry that Walther PPK that you saw. It’s not the biggest caliber in the world, but that gun is so accurate and I shoot it so well. I can hit tiny targets at 30 yards with very little effort. If I can place a shot that well, then it’s going to serve me really well. I feel very comfortable with it. It’s mostly about shot placement.

Just feel comfortable with your gun and feel safe with your gun. Don’t let anyone else tell you what gun is right for you. Always decide that for yourself. I tend to prefer revolvers, but I’ve moved to semi-autos a little bit because of them being thinner. I’ve found that even though they’re thinner, the revolvers are still more comfortable. They’re thinner at the bottom and top, so they don’t poke you in the love handles or in the thigh as much as the semi-autos.

The other aspect of feeling safe is asking yourself if you feel safe handling the gun. Is it something you trust yourself with? If you don’t trust yourself with a gun that has a lite single action trigger, then you don’t want to carry it. I quit carrying 1911s because I didn’t feel safe with it anymore.

While I was doing some drills, some fast draw drills, I found myself occasionally pulling the trigger before I released the safety. It’s not a gun I trained with much. That made me feel unsafe. It only happened a couple of times, but it would only have to happen once to cost me my life. I just don’t carry 1911s anymore. It’s not that I don’t feel like 1911s are a safe gun. I don’t feel safe with one because I’m not properly trained with one.

I’ve gone with the double actions. I’ve grown up with revolvers, and I’m more comfortable with them. I’m more comfortable with double action, and I shoot it better. With lite trigger pulls I tend to squeeze too hard, and I shoot low and left. I’m not used to compensating for the lite trigger. I’m used to putting a little more effort into the trigger.

Feel safe with what you carry. If you feel safe with a double action, carry a double action. If you feel safe with a lite trigger, carry a lite trigger. There are two ways you feel safe. You need to feel that you’re gun can protect you, and you need to feel that you don’t need protecting from your own gun.

That’s some of the biggest aspects of concealed carry, for me. I hope this video has been educational or at least entertaining. Once again, thanks for watching. This is the Yankee Marshall!

Ebommy’s second question deals with his Kimber and whether or not her should carry it. Is it too nice to carry? I carry some pretty nice guns. As you can see, there are some guns that are not cheap. The Roarbar alone is over $1,000. The Sig is between $1,300 to $1,400 MSRP on these guns. These aren’t cheap guns, but I do carry them. I like the look of a blued gun. A blued gun is the most beautiful gun in the world, but stainless works better for me because I’m OCD about scratches, dings and nicks.

I can carry this $1,300 to $1,400 gun, and if it gets a mar on the finish, then I can buff it out. It’s a good compromise for me. My answer would be, “Yes.” I would carry it, but that’s your personal choice. You have other guns that can do the same things if you practice with them, so maybe I wouldn’t carry that gun. I see no problem having guns that stay in safes.

All guns are tools, but some guns are tools you use, and some guns are just to look at. Some guns you just appreciate as a piece of art. I have guns that I don’t shoot. I have guns that I have no desire to shoot. I just like the way they look. I like the way they function. I think they’re beautiful.

I buy them, I keep them and I don’t carry them. I also understand if you think that a gun is too expensive to shoot. There are some guns I own that I would never shoot. I own an old Colt single action. It’s from 1939. It was passed down from generation to generation and is worth 10s of 1000s of dollars. It’s probably the most valuable item I own, and I would never, ever shoot it. It’s still in mint-condition, in the presentation box. I would never shoot it. It’s too valuable. Some people look at me and say that it’s a tool. They think you need to use it for what it’s designed for. I look at it as a piece of history and art, so I have no problem not shooting it.

Let’s sum up everything. It’s personal preference. The price of the gun is not the biggest issue. I would have issues with marring such a beautiful gun. I could easily understand if you don’t carry that gun. I do think you have other guns that can do just as well. I would stick to carrying those ones. It’s not a special concealment gun. It’s not made to conceal easier than other guns. It’s a big gun, so you’re going to have to work to conceal it. There are other guns that do the same thing and are just as easy to conceal, so why not just carry them?