Innovative Carry Methods | Concealed Holsters

Pictured are a 5.11 Tactical casual shirt with integral holster…

Pictured are a 5.11 Tactical casual shirt with integral holster panel (in tan); a black 5.11 Undergear Holster Shirt (in black); a pair of Recluse molded pocket holsters (with Ruger LC9 and LCP) and Recluse double mag pouch (center); the DeSantis Super Fly pocket rig (lower right); the new Versa Carry platform (with Kahr), and the Deep Conceal Soft Shoulder Holster (in white).

Sometimes there just isn’t a practical way to wear a conventional holster, especially in hot or humid climates where lightweight clothing is worn, or situations where a belt holster, traditional shoulder rig or even an IWB holster cannot be used. These are circumstances that cannot only limit how you carry concealed, but what you can carry. There are, however, ways to get around even the most difficult of circumstances.

There are new and innovative concealed carry methods that do not require conventional holsters (though some of the rigs shown qualify as “unconventional”) and for each method of carry I will show how it is used and how it works.

Hot Topic
This past summer has certainly driven home the point of heat and humidity and the limitations it places on concealed carry. Having had a CCW permit for almost 20 years, I have tried dozens of different methods under all extremes of weather. And when the temperature and dew point increases, the amount of clothing one wears usually decreases exponentially. The most common option for hot weather carry is a small .38 caliber revolver or .380 semi-automatic in a pocket holster. But sometimes that can be an issue too, because even pocket pistols print through with certain fabrics. The general solution is to wear an oversized T-shirt hanging over your pant’s waist and pockets. This works, but can also be a potential impediment to efficiently retrieving your gun in an emergency. The author’s general solution has been an unbuttoned casual shirt (short sleeve or sleeves rolled up) that can be quickly swept aside to allow a pocket draw.


Pocket Pistol Carry

In the pocket category we have found three new rigs that stand out for best concealment and ease of retrieval with a Ruger LCP .380, the DeSantis Super Fly, the Recluse Kydex and the Galco Pocket Protector. All three are designed to eliminate print-through even with lightweight fabrics. The DeSantis uses a tacky rubberized exterior finish (sticks like fly paper, thus the name) to secure the holster pouch in the pocket and has a full shroud that covers the gun’s profile. At worst it looks like a wallet; at best, it just blends into the lines of the pocket. The shroud is also reversible, so the holster can be worn in a right- or left-hand pocket, the latter for southpaws or for use as a secondary weak-side backup gun. The inside of the DeSantis is a nylon fabric that allows the gun to slip easily into hand and be easily re-holstered.

The Recluse is in the “unique” category as it is a form-fit molded holster that completely shrouds the LCP from one side. The pistol is held in place by a contoured, urethane pad that forms a locking slot for the trigger and triggerguard. This is supplemented by a short muzzle pouch into which the front of the LCP rests. Once in place the gun and holster are one and the gun can only be retrieved by inserting your fingers between the holster shroud and the grips, which breaks it loose for a quick and unimpeded draw. Re-holstering requires removing the Recluse from the pocket to remount the gun.
The Galco PRO436 Pocket Protector has been around for a number of years and has been used by the author to carry a Ruger LCP since 2008. The Galco has a rough out suede finish that stays put in the pocket. The pouch has a deeply contoured cutout that leaves the grips exposed for easy retrieval. This can, however, leave an outline of the grip frame with some lightweight fabrics. Most people using a pocket holster wear jeans and print through with denim is very unlikely, even most suit trousers won’t print a grip profile. The PRO436 has a folded and stitched edge to give the pouch support.
All three pocket devices provide rapid access to the LCP (and also work with the Kel-Tec P-3AT) and leave little or no trace of the gun in the wearer’s pocket. This is an all-season option that can put a .380 within easy reach. The DeSantis can be used in either a front or back pocket; Recluse makes specific models for back pocket carry with slightly different contouring.

recluse-rigs-body-of-evidenceThe Recluse pocket holster is a unique design. It remains one of the author’s favorites for discrete carry of a pocket-sized pistol.

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