Big Guy — Or — Gal — CCW

By Sammy Reese

Since I’m on the smaller side, I reached out to some of my bigger buddies to pick their brains on how they carry concealed. They all agreed it was definitely easier, with more options available when they were in better shape. Losing a bunch of weight may not be quickly or easily attainable, but the need to carry still exists.

Traditional carry methods like outside the waistband (OWB), inside the waistband (IWB) or appendix carry, inside the waistband (AIWB) and pocket-carry are all still viable, but may need to be modified for the body type. Traditional locations on the waistline may no longer work, but by moving the holster to another location, concealed carry can still be pulled off. Appendix carry may be turned into “front-of-the-hip” carry or even cross-draw if need be.

Belt-carry can be moved forward of the traditional 3 O’clock position or back a bit. The cant of the holster can be modified as well to achieve a comfortable and still concealable carry position. The same works for IWB.

Pocket-carry is a viable alternative. You will likely have to downsize your carry gun, which you may also have to do for some of the modified “traditional carry” methods as well. If you do choose to pocket-carry, please use a pocket holster and only carry the holstered gun in the pocket. Bad things can happen when stuff gets inside a triggerguard.

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For off body carry Maxpedition has the gear you need. The Sitka Gear Slinger is just the right size.

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The Tuff Products ITUCK carries your cell phone and small pistol or revolver.

Alternatives

If you are open to doing some downsizing of your CCW firearm, Tuff Products makes the iTUCK cell phone/firearm holster. It’s worn on the belt and is capable of carrying my cell phone and my S&W Shield or GLOCK 26. You can go smaller if you want too.

I’m a firm believer in carrying your gun on your person. Off-body carry can be a huge problem if you really need the gun and the carry system is not in arm’s reach. I use my off-body gear to transport an extra handgun and whatever stuff I think I’ll need on the current adventure (beach trip, road trip, etc.).

If you have no other option but to use off-body carry I would suggest you use a pack built for carrying a firearm and choose one not too big. The bigger the ruck the more stuff you will jam in there and when it gets too heavy you will choose to not carry it and be without your firearm. I’ve been a big fan of the packs made by Tim Tang at Maxpedition.

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Unless you’re a tourist from Europe visiting Disneyland, the shoot-me-first
fanny pack should be left in the old holster box in the garage.

Fanny Packs?

Please don’t go the “shoot-me-first” fanny pack route. Unless you are a tourist from Holland at Disneyland, the fanny pack worn in the front is a big no-no. This once-cool piece of CCW gear is a flashing sign you’re carrying — just like the shoot-me-first operator vest with 3,000 magazine pockets.

When I graduated from the police academy, the fanny pack was a mandatory piece of gear. We stuffed it with our duty handgun, cuffs, OC and brand new flat badge. We carried it over our shoulder as a badge of honor. What can I say? It was 1997.

Regardless of your body type there is a way for you to carry concealed. It may take some experimentation with holsters or methods and even modifying the size and type of gun you carry, but it can be done.

For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index

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