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Posts tagged Dapper Concealed Carry

Buying Pants for Concealed Carry (Pt. 1)

If you have done any searching for how-to guides or just general information on concealed carry you have likely ran across the almost unanimous advice of gun belts and good holsters.  But finding information on pants buying is a lot tougher to find and usually coming from someone who is no where near a fashion expert (was that politically correct enough?).

In the gun forums, most of the recommendations talk about buying pants that are the next size up which is not bad advice; nor is it great either.  The reason I say it is not great advice is because it is too general of a statement.  Like shoes, pants can run big or small and have different cuts that affect the way they wear.

In this 1st post of a 2 part series, I would like to start by breaking down the pants buying process into 3 easy steps that will ensure that you get the perfect pants every time you shop.

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1. Know Your Size

Clothing Meaurement Tape

Knowing your pant size is as important as knowing your shoes size.  If you have never been sized or have not been recently, I highly recommend getting yourself sized.  Not only for pants, but for clothes in general.  One of the keys to living the #dapperccw lifestyle is wearing clothes that fit properly.  (Most big name suit/clothing retailers offer sizing as a complimentary service) Once you have your size you now have the essential piece of information needed to buy the perfect pants for CCW every single time.

2. Know Your EDC Loadout

EDC Loadout

 

We have all come across those individuals that can tell you everything about the guns in their safe all the way down to the date they were each manufactured.  But knowing your Everyday Carry (EDC) loadout goes beyond just knowing the specs of your firearms.  If you are truly living the responsibly armed lifestyle, then there is a lot more involved in your loadout than the gun you are carrying.  Without taking your carry gear into account when buying pants, you are likely to make purchases that do not completely fit you needs.

The following are just a few examples of the many items that may be included in you gear that you must account for when shopping for pants:

  • Gun(s) & Holster(s)
  • Belt(s)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Chapstick
  • Pen
  • Extra Mag(s)
  • OC Spray

You may be wondering what knowing your gear has to do with buying pants.  The answer is EVERYTHING.  If you do not know what is in your EDC you do not know what type of pockets (cut and size), how much inside-the-waistband (IWB) space, or what belt loop size you need.

3. Try Them On

Fitting Room Pants

This step is probably the most important and should go without saying, but in the age of things like Trunk Club and shopping online I have to make sure I say it.  Even though you know your size, know your gear, and have successfully purchased pants of the same size before, you still want to try them on (preferably with your gun and holster, at least) to ensure that they fit the way you want.  The only time this step is not an absolute must is when you are purchasing the exact same brand and model in a different color.


Now that we have gotten our 3 Steps to Buying Pants for Concealed Carry down, in our next post we will look at how these 3 steps work together and I believe they are a better guide than the general rule of thumb “buy the next size up”.

 

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– Peace

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Appendix Carry & Why I Prefer It

Appendix carry is not new, but in the last few years or so there seems to be a lot of rave about it.  Like every other topic or debate in gun culture, there are people that love it and there are those that hate it.  Me personally,  I absolutely love appendix carry and it is my preferred method for 2 main reasons:

  1. Ease of Concealment
  2. Tactics

***I purposely left out comfort because it is subjective and dependent on different variables from person to person.***

Before I dive into these, let me preface this by saying that: as of this time, I have only carried appendix and strong side (3 o’clock position).  I will update this post or revisit this discussion as I test more holsters and methods of carry.

Ease of Concealment

Concealed carry is all about concealment at all times.  This includes reaching up for something on a top shelf at Walmart.  When you wear shirts that are your proper size, they tend to be short; which makes reaching up for something without your gun becoming exposed nearly impossible without holding down your shirt.  This is why OWB doesn’t work for fashion conscious concealed carriers and certainly a problem if your state has statutes against exposing your concealed handgun.   By the very nature of this reaching action, you will likely be facing something that will obstruct the view of your torso; therefore, even if your shirt rises above your gun, no one is likely to see it unless they are staring.

This brings up an interesting thought.  Part of carrying a concealed firearm is thinking on a level that most people don’t think psychologically.  For example, we know that it is not polite to stare at another persons crotch.  Using this information alone, appendix carry is the best place to carry undetected because even if you are printing a little bit, no one will be looking long enough or hard enough at you to wonder what that slight bulge or imprint is on your torso.

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Tactics

While I am not an expert on being tactical or “tacticool”, I do believe I have studied and tried enough things to present some solid points on this topic.  Tactics are a huge part of CCW and even if you do not consider yourself to be tactical, you more than likely are because of the way you think in regards to self-defense and protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Ask yourself these questions.  How can you quickly and effectively draw your gun:

  • While seated?
  • If you are pushed down onto your back?
  • If your strong side hand is incapacitated?

It should not take you long to realize that, just in these 3 examples, any other method of carry (lets stick to the common methods of hip carry for the purposes of this topic) is inferior to appendix carry.  Dont just take my word for it; unload your concealed carry gun, holster it, and go see how quickly and effectively you can draw in these scenarios.  Yes I know that training can teach you how to do this, but even with training you will still be slower and you would have to practice those techniques as much if not more than your normal draw practice to make sure you stay fluid.

I will not go as far as to say that drawing from appendix carry is faster than other methods of carry because I believe that to be subjective and dependent on the individual and how much time they have put into training and practicing.  But I will say that no matter what the situation, carrying appendix makes the most sense because of the “right there” access it provides you to your gun at all times.

Conclusion

There are other reasons that I could have listed, but when you think about them, they lead you back to these two methods one way or the other.  And they are reason enough for me to carry appendix 90% of the time.

If you would like to see some convincing photos, head over to the Lookbook or check out the Instagram feed.

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– Peace

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IWB vs OWB Carry

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) and Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) are certainly the two most common ways to carry a handgun, but the debate on which is better will go on for years to come.  Personally I prefer IWB but there are times when I opt for OWB.  If you are new to concealed carry and still trying to decide which method of carry you want to use, I hope to provide you with a resource to help your decision.

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Carry

For concealed carry, IWB carry is the easiest way to conceal a handgun.  This is because the slide of the gun is down inside the pants and the only thing left to cover is the grip, which is as easy as throwing on a t-shirt.  Also, inside-the-waistband carry is extremely comfortable, contrary to older beliefs, especially with the current trends of “conceal carry handguns” and the wide range of holsters available.

Printing with IWB carry is relatively minimal compared to OWB depending on the handgun and clothing style.  I am consistently able to wear very fitting clothing without printing.

Appendix carry makes concealment even easier because the average person, man or woman, is not going to be staring into another persons crotch. (Unless they are a flat-out pervert)

Tactically, inside-the-waistband carry gives you better control and access to the firearm at all times, even while driving. (which I do a lot of.)

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Carry

When a lot of people hear OWB carry they usually think Open Carry, which is not always the case.  Carrying concealed with an outside-the-wiastband holster is very doable, it just requires a little more attention to detail than carrying inside-the-waistband.  Even though, IWB can be extremely comfortable, there is no denying that OWB is much more comfortable because you do not have the cold, hard handgun slide down your pants rubbing against you.

If you are gravely concerned about printing or you gun being seen, I would not recommend OWB carry for you.  This is because it is very likely that throughout the course of your day, someone will see your gun via printing

or because your shirt has raised up enough to reveal the bottom of the slide, or completely exposing your handgun.  As you can see in the above photos, OWB carry with properly fitting clothing makes me look bulky round the waist and if someone looks hard enough, they will likely see the outline of my pistol.  (Adding a jacket to this outfit, would probably get rid of the awkward wideness around the hips)

One major disadvantage to outside-the-waistband carry is driving.  Once you strap on the seatbelt, your access to your firearm is greatly hindered not only by the seatbelt itself, but also your cover garment.  This tactical disadvantage is at the top of my list for why I do not carry this way on a daily basis.  When I do carry this way; however, I often remove the firearm from the holster and wedge it in-between my seat and the center console area.

(I do plan on getting a Grassburr Mountable Holster for this purpose)

Which one is better?

I would not go on record saying one method is better than the other, but I will say that if you are new to concealed carry and are fashion conscious, IWB carry is the way to go because of the ease of concealment and minimal printing even with extremely fitted clothing.  If you can afford it, I would recommend purchasing a holster for both carry methods because there are pros and cons to both and there are times when one method is clearly more desirable and/or appropriate than the other.

No matter which you chose, ALWAYS carry and look dapper while doing it!

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– Peace

Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry and Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier Review

If you have been into concealed carry for awhile or even if you are a new comer to the community, it is very likely that you have heard of Crossbreed Holsters.  If you have not, you should check them out!  They are the original creators of the Hybrid Holster style of Kydex molded holsters attached to leather (or other material) backings.  This review will focus on their Appendix Carry Holster and Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier.

 

Appendix Carry Holster

The first thing that comes to mind for most men when they hear appendix carry is something along the lines of “you’re going to shoot your man parts off!”.  While this may be a valid concern, anyone who has been around firearms and understands how they work knows that as long as the TRIGGER GUARD IS COVERED and you KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER when holstering and drawing the gun is not going to go off unless it has a serious malfunction.

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Now that we have gotten that out of the way.

The Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry Holster is a great option for anyone considering appendix carry.  With it’s one clip design, it makes it easy to put on and take off easily without even having to undo your belt buckle.  The one clip design also allows you to easily adjust the placement of the holster when sitting, if necessary.  The factory retention is adequate for an IWB (Inside The Waistband) holster because the belt will add even more, but there is a way to tighten it if you would like.

The comfort of this holster is superb!  It is so good that I have actually almost slept through an entire night without realizing that my firearm was strapped to me.  And it actually gets more comfortable over time as the cowhide forms to your body.

The placement of the holster will vary slightly depending on how your belt buckle works (I really like the 5.11 Tactical Apex Gunner’s Belt for Everyday Carry).  I also have a modified Crossbreed Holsters Gun Belt w/ Velcro for when I need to tuck in my shirt.

The sweet spot for me is the space right between my upper thigh and my man parts. But there are times to where the one clip design causes the holster to shift on its own.  Sitting is comfortable as long as you actually wear you pants up on your waist.  But when sitting down in the car I usually hike my pants up a little bit because of the way my seats are.  This allows the gun to sit flat against my stomach and is the perfect tactical position while driving.

Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier

Like the Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry Holster, the Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier is extremely comfortable and conforms to your body over time.

Because of its wide, two clip design, this mag carrier’s placement will shift slightly day-to-day depending on where your pant’s belt loops are.  But even so its usually not that noticeable of a shift.  Because of my body shape and the split design of the kydex magazine slots, I had to test out a few different placement options before deciding on my desired spot, which is about the 7 o’clock position.

The only real problem that I had/have with this holster is that occasionally, when I am disarming for the night, I will pull out the magazines and notice that the top round is not properly seated.

After noticing this on several different occasions, I think I discovered the problem.  Because I often carry a backpack over my left shoulder, I believe that while walking the backpack would push down on top of the magazines causing this to happen.  I am still testing this theory and I will be conducting this experiment with other mag carriers to see if I experience the same problem.

Concealment & Clips

Both of these products conceal very well and because they are so comfortable you won’t be shifting them around all day drawing attention to yourself.  Because fashion is a big part of who I am as an individual, I needed to have a deep concealment option for those times when I am wearing tucked shirts.  The tuckability of these holsters is excellent and with the added V-clips (the V is for Velcro), people will really be clueless to the fact that you are carrying.  But there is a flaw to these clips.  The adhesive used to attach the velcro to the plastic clip does not last very long.  It is so bad that within weeks of receiving my holsters and wearing them daily, the velcro was starting to shift, before one finally lost all of its adhesive and will no longer stay on the clip.

The standard metal clips are perfect for Every Day Carry with untucked shirts.  It even works well with thick sweatpants!

Conclusion

The Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry Holster and Dual Tuckable Mag Carrier are two great holster options for anyone looking for a discreet and comfortable carry system. Especially if you are someone who dresses up often.  The ability to tuck in your shirt easily makes this one of my favorite carry setups because of its versatility.  Even with the terrible v-clip adhesive, you can figure out a way to reattach the velcro if it wears out.

I look forward to comparing this system to many of the others out there.

Here is the video review of these holsters and the Crossbreed Holsters Gun Belt:

If you would like to get one of these holsters or any others made by Crossbreed holster, consider using my affiliate link HERE (I do receive a commission from your purchase).

Thank you for reading.

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– Peace

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