Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Choose the Best Concealed Carry Position

The Best Way to Choose your Concealed Carry Position

I work in Customer Service for Dara Holsters and receive a TON of questions daily about what position I would recommend someone to carry. The thing is: there is no one size fits all position. It depends on the gun, your body type, what you wear, etc. So only you can decide where to carry. BUT hopefully this article will give you some good tips on deciding which position to carry at.

First things first, you need a firearm. If you already have a carry gun, great! If not, see this article where we give you some tips on choosing a great CCW.

Ok, so you've got your CCW in hand. Take the magazine out completely, make sure the gun is completely cleared and begin unloading the magazine. Check and check again that your firearm is cleared, insert the mag and now you're ready.

Since the 3-5 o'clock (7-9 o'clock for lefties!) is the most common carry position, let's start there. Stick your unloaded firearm inside your waistband at your strong side hip. First, try straight up and down, so that the slide is perpendicular to the floor. Walk around a bit, sit, bend over, etc. Play around with various cant angles by tilting the grip up and forward. You can also try different ride heights as well, by sliding the gun up or down 1/4"-1/2". 

After you have found what is comfortable to you, go check yourself out in the mirror. Does the gun print? If yes, then try something else. If it prints a little bit, the printing will only get worse with a holster, even if just slightly. If it doesn't print and it's comfortable to carry- you've found your position!


Here is my 3 o'clock try out with a KelTec PF9:

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The gun was pretty comfortable in the 3 o'clock position, but as you can see it just prints way too much. I'm about 5'4' and have a very small waist, so the grip is and always has been my enemy. I could counter that with a heavily forward canted holster, but for the article's sake I'm going to continue my journey.

Here is my AIWB try out:

I usually carry at the appendix position (11-1 o'clock) so I knew that this position would work well for me. I sometimes have issues when I wear a very thin shirt coupled with a thick belt, so when I do appendix carry I have to be conscience of what combination I'm putting together. I will wear a thinner belt or more structured shirt when I appendix carry. I also cannot conceal a full size pistol at the appendix easily unless I wear certain clothing. I can conceal the following very easily:
  • Glock 42,43
  • S&W Shield
  • KelTec PF9
  • KelTec P3AT
  • Kahr CW380
  • Walther PPS, PPS M2
  • XDS 3.3 in .45
  • Phoenix HP22
  • Taurus TCP
Now I may be forgetting some, but out of all my guns I know that I can easily conceal those, so that is what I stick to. I don't try to go for super high capacity unless it's Winter time and I can wear a sweater or jacket to cover up.

Also of note: I wore a very thin shirt and tight jeans for these pictures. I did this on purpose so that any women (or men reading on behalf of their women) would be able to see that you can conceal a firearm without changing your style. I strongly encourage all women to take full advantage of exercising their Second Amendment rights. With everything going on in the last few years, I highly recommend being prepared to defend yourself and your children if you have them.

 My 6 o'clock try out:

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I know many people are against carrying at the small of back. There have been horror stories about falling and becoming severely injured due to landing on the gun at the base of the spine and/or tail bone. I know the risk in carrying this way, but I'm also pretty confident in carrying a smaller firearm, as canted as this one will be, at the small of back with little risk.

As you can see above I have the most conceal-ability at 6 o'clock. The firearm is mid to low ride with a pretty heavy cant angle (about 22.5° FWD). Now all I have to do is find a holster company that offers such a set up. Luckily, there are many custom holster companies that allow you to choose your own ride heights and cant angles. If you can't find the exact angles you are looking for, don't hesitate to call or e-mail to ask them. We even accept pictures, like the one above, and make the holster so that it will sit exactly as shown above.

If you have any questions specifically regarding this post or how to determine a cant angle or ride height, please leave a comment below. The image below may also be able to help:



If you are in the Raleigh, NC area and are interested in taking the CHL course, visit DaraAcademyNC.com. They offer CCW courses, Defensive Shooting Classes and additional training classes such as Presentation Techniques. The Courses are taught by an NC state attorney, a Firearms Expert and a Retired New York Police Officer.

The tank top I'm wearing is from Grunt Style.








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