Real world firearm applications demand dexterous, fumble-free handling. An undercover duty handgun carried concealed will spend most of its service life holstered and must stay out of sight while remaining accessible. For ease of concealment, nothing beats small snub-nose revolvers, as exemplified by the Smith & Wesson J-frames, but in some situations, such as a VIP security detail, a more substantial handgun may be warranted.
Seasonal attire is a big influence here. In cold climates where a variety of coats are common attire, concealment options are more varied. But as the mercury rises, choices dwindle. The old standby of a photographer’s vest has become cliché and some trainers warn it may be an indicator of being armed. Similarly, fanny pack holsters are available but have also become an indicator and are passé—not that they were ever fashionable. Let’s look at the current crop of options that will allow effective concealment of a larger handgun in a variety of seasons.
Plenty of Options
Every holster is a compromise as no single design is perfect for everything. Belt holsters, with the pistol worn on or behind the strong-side hip, are quite comfortable and allow for the fastest potential presentation, which is why they are commonly used at most shooting academies and in practical shooting sports. Every handgunner should have a quality belt holster for gun handling exercises and learning a smooth presentation. As tens of thousands of practical competition shooters have proven, a well-practiced draw, including one honed with match-appropriate gear, translates to an improved draw in any other circumstance. With a suitable jacket or coat, even an external belt holster can be effectively concealed and used in the real world.
Photos courtesy of manufacturers