4 Steps to Carrying a Full-Size Pistol Every Day

Combine a polymer frame with a quality holster and belt and you can carry a full size pistol daily.

Combine a polymer frame with a quality holster and belt and you can carry a full size pistol daily.

April 14, 2015, a man holding his three month old infant son was attacked by a gang of teenagers in the middle of the day at a gas station in Memphis, Tennessee.  The man was beaten and bruised but he managed to shelter his infant with his body.

August 26, 2014, Ralph Weems IV was attacked while trying eat at a restaurant in West Point, Mississippi. The assailants were a gang of black men screaming about “justice for Michael Brown.” Weems was beaten so severely that he was put into a coma and doctors fear he will have permanent brain damage.

You are reading this article because you are either a gun carrier or are considering carrying a gun. What I am going to ask you now is to consider what kind of gun you are carrying or thinking about carrying.

Many years ago my friend Walter Rauch (former Secret Service agent and one of the founders of IDPA) opined that American men like to “talk .45’s, shoot 9mm’s and carry .38s.” With the rampant popularity of the compact .380 pistol during the last decade, I would surmise that the last part of that statement could be modified slightly.

Pen Lights and Pocket Guns 

Pocket Guns, a man's got to know his limitations.

Pocket Guns, a man’s got to know his limitations.

A few years ago I attended an event put on by a friend at Gunsite training academy called “Pen lights and Pocket Guns.” For three days we used .380 ACP pocket guns and .38 Special snub-nosed five-shot revolvers as well as the small “Backup” light from SureFire. Basic range drills on paper silhouettes were a pretty standard affair; stand, aim, shoot. However, after the day one warm-ups we moved on to the live-fire shoot houses in the day time and then at night.

On the third day we had to fight “the robot” (a remote controlled armored chassis with a cardboard or plastic target man on top). The shoot house required us to move around, use cover and engage multiple threats at varied distance. Engaging the robot was naturally a greater challenge as it could move and charge you very quickly and it was unpredictable.

After three solid days of training, everyone present had learned many lessons and were left with lasting impressions. “Pocket guns are there to protect your virtue.” stated one instructor. Another said that “A pocket gun is what you carry when you can’t carry a real gun.”

During the lowlight shoot house drills it was readily apparent that the point and shoot method offered by experts becomes a dicey operation, especially when the target at the end of the hallway is holding “your daughter” and trying to get away with her. Regardless of the target, small guns are tough to get good hits with under any type of realistic stress. Reloading a pocket .380 or even a .38 DA revolver under stress is quite the challenge, even for skilled shooters. Many of the participants found themselves with empty guns in hand as the robot kept charging after taking only marginal hits.

The moral of the story is this: a pocket gun is better than no gun at all. However, if you are serious about coming out on top of a violent encounter, a full-sized gun is a more prudent choice.

Full Sized Pistol EDC

Frequently I hear excuses about how it is not practical or possible to carry a “big gun.” Men and women alike give themselves reasons to either not carry or carry something marginal. Again, A GUN is better than NO GUN, but let’s consider the two incidents mentioned above. Both situations involved multiple attackers mercilessly beating their victims.  It was shear luck and good fortune that prevented the infant in story number 1 from life-threatening harm. In story number two the victim will likely live but carry the results of the attack for life.

Put yourself in that position. Two, three, or more thugs decide that they are going to beat you to death. What would you rather have in your hands; a compact .380 that holds six shots or duty-size gun that hold 15 plus rounds? Are you willing to bet your life on the fact that the gang of thugs will be impressed by the .380 and run away? Do you think they will even notice as they are stomping you into the asphalt?

Step 1: Polymer is your friend 

The Springfiled M1911A1 TRP is a solid, straight shooting pistol. That gun weighs 42 ounces empty according to the manufacturer and holds eight rounds. The new TP9SA pistol from Century Arms weighs 26 ounces empty and holds 18 rounds of ammunition.

Whether your bias has you hating or loving polymer guns, carrying one extra pound of pistol weight, or more practically, carrying around one less pound of weight makes a big difference. Solid steel guns are tough and the extra weight helps dampen felt recoil, but they pull down on your pants all day long.

Step 2: Buy a Quality Holster

Flimsy, soft plastic or stitched nylon holsters are inexpensive and they help keep the dust off of your gun, but that is about it. Ever wonder why your gun is constantly shifting around as you carry it? The first item to consider is your holster.

A quality holster should be rigid and built with high-quality stitching or riveting. If the weight of the gun is enough to pull or stretch the holster, throw it out and buy a good one. It is only your life we are talking about. Crappy holsters lead you to the bad habit of either not carrying your gun or taking it off all the time. Both are dangerous habits to develop.

Step 3: Quality Belt

Get out a crowbar, pry open your wallet and purchase a quality belt from the same company you bought you holster from. If the holster company does not offer belts that is called a “clue.”  Putting a fighting gun and a quality holster on a $5.oo Walmart belt is ridiculous and amateurish.

Dress belts are not designed to support two pounds of gun, 12 hours a day.  That belt will eventually break, most likely at an inopportune time. I was young and dumb once. I bought a saddle brown leather holster from Galco and thought I could get by with a leather dress belt of matching color. Wrong! I was working on protection assignment and somewhere around 2 a.m. the belt broke. Lesson learned on my part.

Step 4: Cover Garment Selection

One of the biggest excuses for not carrying a full sized pistol is the fear of “printing.”  No, I do not expect you to carry a G17 in a swim suit.  However, if you are wearing pants or shorts with belt loops you can get away with it with a bit of forethought.

There are numerous companies producing light-weight button down shirts with tailored/hemmed shirt tails. Try the layer method. Put a T-shirt on over the holstered pistol and then don one of the aforementioned shirts.  Ta da! you now have loose fitting layers over your full sized pistol and it will not print.  If it is cool or cold, your jacket or sweatshirt will do nicely.

As for cover garments, dark colors print less than light and patterns are good for masking the silhouette of your favorite blaster. Yes, it takes a bit of effort and thought, but it can be done.

There you have it folks, four easy steps that you can follow. I apologize to the few of you whose excuses I just deflated. It is your life, do as you will. Hell, leave the gun on the dresser if that makes you feel comfortable. As for me, I will do my best not just to be an armed citizen, but a citizen armed with an effective tool.

For more details and suggestions regarding gear selection, lawful use of force, and what to do AFTER a lethal force encounter you can pick up the ARMED LIVING DVD (just click the blue words).

Leave Your Comments Below

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Paul Markel

Founder & President at Student of the Gun
Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

Latest posts by Paul Markel (see all)


  1. Lee J C

    Paul, what are you thoughts on a G26 with a 12 round mag and a extra 17 round mag?

    I found that my dedicated carry belt was more uncomfortable than a thinner belt of the same size. The CCW belt wouldn’t conform to the front of my hips, the regular leather one does.

  2. Art

    i carry a gov 1911 all day every day i use a stealthgear iwb with compleate comfort

  3. Kevin Volz

    This is all fine and dandy if you have a large dsposable budget or get quality products from sponsors but if a person has little in the way of discretionary funds, they have to find ways to carry within their budget. There are holsters and belts that function just fine that won’t break the bank. One such holster is Every Day Carry holsters (combination leather and kydex). I’ve had one that I’ve used almost every day for close to a year now. It’s comfortable, has held up well, holds my pistol firmly and stays firmly in place even during the draw. The great thing is it’s very affordable. Combined with a wide thicker real leather belt, I carry comfortablely all day every day for a lot less than what I would have to spend from the big name companies. Would I be more comfortable with the big name companies equipment? Possibly but as it is, I am comfortable enough that I sometimes forget I’m carrying and am comfortable enough to nap while wearing my pistol.
    I do agree you need equipment to meet the requirements that you have stated, comfortable, hold your pistol securely while remaining in place securely itself and allowing one handed reholstering. I’m just saying it can be done for a reasonable cost.

    1. Spice54

      Kevin, slow down. He never said you had to cancel cable or sell your wife’s jewelry. You and I know ‘get the best you can’ is reality, he never said anything against that. NO ONE that reads these articles is going to dump what he has and quit carrying because it wasn’t high enough quality. But you and I also know, there is almost always a ‘better’ that we can strive to get as the situation presents itself.

      1. William B

        Yes, but cancelling cable is still a good idea!

    2. Paul Markel Post author

      Century TP9SA pistol: 18 rds, 9mm $339.95 http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F1CTP9SA
      Crossbreed SuperTuck holster w/horsehide backer $84.75
      Crossbreed High Quality Leather Belt $59.50

      Total Investment (minus ammo and clothes) $484.20 Divided by 365 days
      $1.32 day.

      We are talking about tools to SAVE your LIFE. Can you budget $1.50 per day?

      1. William B

        Paul, I think I would hold off on recommending a new, unproven handgun for defensive carry. There have been other new guns that looked promising and then, poof. They turned out to have a serious problem and were recalled. Caracal and Rem R-51 come to mind here. If I’m going to carry a gun to protect myself and my family, I don’t want to be the post production beta tester of the firearm. If a friend asked me for a suggestion, I would recommend spending a little more for a proven handgun, like a Glock, or if you are a thumb safety person, then a Smith & Wesson M&P.

        Holsters, I agree with you, except most tuckables like the Supertuck, are time consuming to put on, and I prefer a belt clip when I don’t have to tuck. CompTAC Infidel or Cooks IWB are both excellent and durable. The Galco belt you mentioned in your article is excellent. An equally good belt, I’m told, can be had at your neighborhood Tractor Supply store for less money. I keep meaning to stop by and look.

        Thanks for your good work and advice.

        1. Paul Markel Post author

          Unproven? I have one on my hip that has fed and fired nearly 1000 rounds of numerous types of 9mm ammo without flaw.

          I personally tested and witnessed testing of a half dozen TP9SA pistols last Dec. We abused the crap out of them and all they needed was cleaning and lubrication to keep running after we dropped them in red TN mud repeatedly.

          FYI: This is not my first rodeo. I’ve been on this rodeo circuit for nearly 3 decades now. Carry on.

      2. Kevin Volz

        It may only be $1.50 a day but you made one key statement, “Minus Ammo”. I would rather see someone with equipment that isn’t name brand equipment that actually practices on a regualr basis than someone with all the name brand equipment that never practices. Like I said earlier, I agree that the equipment must meet certain requirements that you stated, hold the pistol securely, be comfortable, hold up to use, one handed reholstering, stay in place while about our daily routines and while drawing. I’m simply saying there are some small companies that are making equipment that meets those requirements that are a lot more affordable than the name brand stuff. That is unless self defense is only for those that are more financially able. The Every Day Holster (leather and kydex) I use now for my Glock 23 (Gen 1 bought used), holds the pistol securely, is very comfortable as I wear my pistol from the time I get dressed until I go to bed except at work where I can’t wear it. It’s comfortable enough that I have forgotten I have it on. It holds the pistol securely. The spring metal belt clips are still strong and holds the holster in place even after almost a year of every day use. The leather has held up well along with the kydex. No problems what so ever with the holster which cost me $35 shipped to my house. That is about half of what the Crossbreed holster you recommend in which they are very similar in construction. Would the Crossbreed be more comfortable and last longer? It’s possible but how much so for twice the price? I do intend to buy a dedicated gun belt when I have some extra funds because I could see where it might be a little more comfortable but that said, the heavy duty leather one I have been using has served me well for a couple of years now (used an all kydex IWB holster before I got the hybrid holster) while being pretty comfortable, has held up well and again for about half of the Crossbreed gun belt. So with what I saved over the name brand stuff, I could buy 200 rounds of ammo to practice with. Even more with what I saved buying the used G 23 which came with a couple of boxes of ammo. So as long as I can carry with my gun and holster securely in place pretty comfortably, meeting said requirements as I have been doing, I will spend my extra funds on ammo for practice and competition which in my opinion better serves me than forgoing that to buy name brand equipment which may give me a little more comfort. I believe it was Clint Smith that stated when asked why he carried a full size 1911, that carrying a pistol should be comforting, not comfortable. Being I am carrying pretty comfortably, spending my money on ammo over name brand equipment gives me more of the comforting than the little bit more comfortable I might get.

  4. William B

    Items 2 and 3…easily overlooked to save money but very important. I once thought an Old Navy belt was adequate. While it never broke, it sagged more than I realized until one of you guys convinced me to buy a real gun belt. The Galco belt I bought three years ago is as rigid and straight as it was when I bought it. My holster requirements are affected by my work, which necessitates that my gun goes on/off several times a day. For that reason, a kydex IWB with a belt clip (rather than a loop) is my preference.

    Cooks IWB, kydex with a wide kydex belt clip, has been my holster of choice for some time, and I’ve replaced two others with Cooks, and made it my automatic first holster. It is available in three thicknesses of kydex. Since I carry a full size .45 (Sig P227), the heavier gauge kydex option is a plus. Cooks also supports many of the less common guns. In fact, their website says you can go to their plant, and they’ll make one for you while you wait!

    As in your example, I once carried a 1911. It weighed 48oz with a full 8 rd mag +1. The Sig with 10+1 is half a pound lighter. My SA XDM-45 4.5″ with 13+1 is another 4 oz lighter, so it makes the most sense for carry, but I shoot the Sig better.

    Concealment. Fortunately I can wear an untucked straight bottom “Hawaiian” cut shirt. Under that I wear a black “wifebeater” T-shirt. The black T helps the black grip of the gun to disappear, in the unlikely event of someone seeing through my outer shirt or the shirt even momentarily blowing up.

    For “light” travel, I have a Glock 19, the ultimate compromise concealed handgun. 23oz unloaded, 4″ barrel, full 3 finger grip (very important to me), 15 round mag. I’ve added Truglo TFX sights and a Cominolli thumb safety. If it had a grip like the “E2 grip” on my P227, it could probably be my only handgun.

    Finally, when I MUST have a tucked shirt, I use a belly band holster. Not very elegant but infinitely adjustable and much easier to put on than any tuckable holster I’ve had–and I’ve had several. The advantage of the belly band is that it is attached to you, not your pants, and that makes dressing 100% faster and easier.

    End of Novella. Guys your points are well made. And coincidentally, I’ve been a subscriber to all four elements for a long time. Thanks for the confirmation.

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    1. Greg Tag

      I ordinarily carry a Colt Officers 45, steel frame, supplemented by a full size steel Government Model or a Combat Commander.
      The key is as pointed out in the article , a good holster a good belt and dress appropriately. For casual wear the square bottom shirt of Costa Rica or Hawaiian styling works great with a Milt Parks Versamax. For wear under a business shirt tucked in the Versamax works although I prefer s Midway belly band worn at waist level. The pistol rides in the belly band rides on top of a t shirt, the dress shirt is smoothed down over it and then my slacks are pulled up and belted. The trouser gun belt then carres the pistol which is stabilized by the belly band. The shirt is then bloused just a bit and the pistol totally disappears under my professional business attire while I carry it to client meetings as a Land Surveyor and Urban Planner. The draw is a Hackathorn Rip yanking up the shirttail with left hand and drawing pistol with the right.

  6. Gene

    As always great advice Professor! I started out with the Ruger SR40 a few years back so needed to figure this stuff out if I was going to carry daily…one necessity is the mother of invention they say.

  7. garand4life

    I had been using a Cabela’s nylon belt much like you see almost every TACITCOOL guy wearing on TV for the last, almost 5 years and thought I was doing okay. It held the gun on the belt if I cinched it down REEAAALLLLLYYYY tight but it never was comfortable even when using holsters like the crossbreed that ARE typically comfortable. So this last year I bought a dedicated gun belt from ICE Training and my GOD what a difference. It’s incredibly rigid and I don’t need to really tighten it down to get it to hold the gun in place. a $60 investment that is worth the pain of a little extra coin…

  8. 5WarVeteran

    I have all of the above and truly prefer the M&P 45. Yes it is hard to conceal compared to a Bersa Thunder 380 or my Ruger LC9 which is the EXACT SAME SIZE as the 380. Sadly my fat ass is not fat enough to easily hide the 45. (Which is a good thing.)
    However I do have a problem though, while off the Coast of Beirut I suffered heat stroke while wearing a firefighters suit and an OBA during a Circle William bio weapon attack.
    Ever since then my body temperature does not regulate properly and I over heat rapidly, which in South Carolina is not a good thing especially in the summer, so wearing layers is almost an impossibility. And yes I use the expensive wicking t-shirts. They make little to no difference.
    I am open to suggestions . . Please . . .

    1. steve G

      Like the guy above said. Try Alien Gear. They’re tuckable have a built in sweat band and each one is custom made to your gun. I have one for my Sig P230S (same design as your versa) and a Glock 22 40 cal Couldn’t be happier. Outstanding quality especially for the price.

  9. ttavis

    I’d love to carry larger. Living in Arizona , any layering is a huge summer challenge. But what does one do while at work in business casual ? Slacks don’t cover it ( pun intended) and dress shirts are tapered.

    1. Russ Z

      Carry two(2) lcp, P380. 738 etc., one in each pocket (New York backup). and of course a third back-up gun.

  10. wholearmor61018

    I IWB conceal carry my full size S&W M&P .40 all the time in a no-clip Remora. It’s extremely comfortable and effective. I do purchase the optional full sweat shield and smooth leather liner. I wouldn’t use anything else.

    1. Chad

      I used the same holster with my 24 7 oss. I bought an alien gear and it is night and day difference. Consider an Alien Gear. Never have to adjust again.

  11. Steve E

    My Glock 26 is only 27 ozs loaded. Why would I carry a Springfiled M1911A1 that weighs 42 ounces empty? I get ten rounds to do what needs doing. That’s plenty. Practice Practice Practice. Be safe Americans.

    1. Cain

      In a stressful situation, even trained officers miss 85% of their shots. That is why you always are hearing stories, when officers have armed confrontations, “The officers fired 46 rounds and hit the alleged (pick your crime here) 6 times. Factor in the two scenarios mentioned in the story (3 attackers) and even your 10-shot magazine is dry before shortly after you take out the 2nd attacker, leaving you (possibly) to deal with the third by hand or after a reload. My EDC is a CZ P-09, because it holds 19+1 and I always have a couple spare mags on me. If I am wearing clothing that just won’t allow to carry my CZ, I grab my Glock 23 which carries 13+1. Again, I am typically carrying an additional mag or two.

  12. Scott

    I carry a full size, becuase that’s all I have. I use the layer trick a lot and it works well. My only concern is as a average to small framed guy. When I have to bend down to pick something up or squat/ sit in a chair the grip of the pistol tends to swing out from my back and print. So when I am some place where I have to sit, I usually find a booth or closed back chair to keep from being noticeable.

    1. Andrew Zebolsky

      An idea may be to get and appendix holster with a decent amount of cant, and go that way. Or a quality holster designed for 3 o’clock carry.

      1. Jim

        I agree. I carry a g17 in a Crossbreed supertuk at 3:00. Layering and dark clothes help. Like the article says, with a little forethought it can be done. Carry on!

  13. Aelric the Red

    I started carrying in college after the Navy. I used a S&W Model 19 as my first carry gun. A 357 Magnum with a 4 inch barrel. I got it used at a price I could afford, it was a cop’s service weapon in a former life. His initials are etched on the frame below the grips. Fortunately nobody in Seattle blinks at someone wearing a fleece vest or flannel shirt over t-shirt, never had a problem concealing it. I still have it, but I carry a 1911 or an M&P 9mm these days.

  14. Ferd Berfel

    “Are you willing to bet your life on the fact that the gang of thugs will be impressed by the .380 and run away? Do you think they will even notice as they are stomping you into the asphalt?”
    I do not own a pistol chambered in .380, so would not be in this situation, however, if I were being shot at by someone with a .380, I would not continue to stomp them, I would be making a retreat!

    1. Russ

      Make your .380 a Bersa Thunder PLUS, sixteen rounds in a PPK size pistol, very concealable and will stop threat at close (25 – 30 ft)

  15. Amanda

    Good tips. I’ve been carrying my ruger sr9c since I got my permit last fall. I’ve been experimenting with how to keep my weapon concealed. Being female and a mother of a toddler (i.e. constantly needing to squat, bend, etc to pick him up or pick up after him) it’s an ongoing struggle. It’s easier to layer up in the cooler months. Not sure how to pull it off in the summer months and not be miserable. shorts and baggy tshirts maybe. I hate not wearing my gun, but it’s hard to still dress like a girl and carry sometimes!

  16. drew

    I carry my canik Tp9sa everyday! 36 rounds with me at all times. If i go, it will not be for lack of shooting back

  17. Larry Chapman

    My EDC, once my permit gets here, will be my G19 Gen 4. I put 200 rounds through it earlier today, and I can consistently put rounds center head magazine after magazine.

  18. Rusty Jester

    XDM 3.8 9mm with 19 +1,,Crossbreed RH Appendix in Crossdraw position which places the butt of the weapon just above the left side of the Western Buckle……..CROSSBREED allows a tucked in shirt or the obvious shirt tail coverup…….sometimes wear the Alien appendix carry……both are excellent holsters

  19. Daniel W. Rose

    I carry A Ruger SR9 16+1 a little uncomfortable while driving but worth it. I am also a big guy 300 lbs plus and my holster of choice is a Versacarry easy to withdrawl and very comfortable standing or walking

  20. Mike Raleigh

    I carry a Glock 36, with Pearce grips on the mags, in an Alien Gear holster. VERY comfortable. This gives me 7 plus 1 rounds of .45 acp.

  21. Rich Grumbine

    I’ve always carried what I know will do the job. My years in Viet Nam showed me what a 45 will do, and it’s what I’ve always carried. Living in S. Carolina presented a challenge in the summer time, so the 1911 stays in the safe. I carry a Taurus PT145 Mil Pro and found it to be reliable and the 10 round double stack mag works great. I carry an extra mag and one in the chamber for a total of 21. A good kidec outside the waistband holster rounds it out.

  22. Dave B.

    XD-M 3.8 in .40….Versacarry, or Galco ITW. Lighter carry is the Ruger LCR in .38spl with +P also in a Versacarry. Then there is the always present NA Firearms 5 shot .22 Mag Derringer in my right front pocket. AZ is an open carry state and even if I carry concealed I usually feel better with an imprint or even the butt of the gun showing. Let them know what they are up against. Is that weird? Great article btw.

    1. Mark

      I don’t worry a lot in printing but I would rather not. I like to conceal my P2000 or SP-101 as much as possible otherwise I feel that I can be a target for a take-away. Greetings from Phoenix Dave, LOVE it here!

  23. Bill Hamilton

    My only problem is “done-lop disease” (my belly done lopped over my belt). It pushes the butt of the gun out. I know loss weight and it will go away. Constitution didn’t say any thing about open or concealed carry, this was brought about by people believing that no crimes would be committed by an unarmed society. Has it worked? Not from what I see.

  24. Chris Goldsmith

    I agree with all the points made above – I carry a G17 in a Crossbreed Super Tuck Deluxe holster all day every day

  25. Andrea M.

    I am a woman 5’8″, 132 Lbs and carry a M&P 40c in a IWB Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe, love my gun and love my holster. It takes a little thinking but I buy jeans a little bit larger and it works fine. I’d rather be prepared than look pretty and become a victim with no chance of fighting back and with all the options out there you can do both.

  26. Reed

    S&W M&P9 in a Crossbreed Supertuck all day every day and it hasn’t failed me yet. I wear under armour polos and never fret about printing. gotta love quality workmanship!

  27. Jeff Beck

    I’ve carried a Glock 22 in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck for a while. Sure it’s heavier than my Sig P229 in a pocket holster, but as stated above – that’s not the point. TIP: Buying pants one size bigger than normal will make your life much easier when carrying a full size pistol.

    1. Jeff Beck

      Correction: I meant to say Sig P938, not P229 😉

  28. j.

    I open carry a Kimberly raptor II and 2 additional magazines. The weight has never bothered me. I agree with the belt and holster topic a dressed in this article. Don’t cheep out. You spent $700/$1000.00 on a firearm. Buy once, cry once.

  29. Matt

    Great topic since I just recent switch from carrying a Glock 23 to a Glock 22, just fits my hand better. Unfortunately I live in the communist state of CT. But if the gun feels better in your hand the more likely you are to train and practice with it. Besides, 95% of the none ccw people in this state wouldn’t know if your carrying a gun on not they are way to oblivious. Another point on the belt and holster for concealment, if it doesn’t move your not touching/adjusting it all the time making it noticeable to others. Spend the cash on them and it will last longer than you own your gun most likely.

  30. Steve

    I carry a S&W M&P 9mm, full size. After three IWB holsters, I now have a Stealth Gear Onyx, it is a very good holster, outstanding quality, breathable, and easily wearable all day. I carry a second magazine horizontally in a “Rite Edge” nylon knife pouch bought off Amazon for around 6.00. I a 5’11” tall, 190 lbs. and I wear a XL T Shirt all day and no one is the wiser…..

    1. James

      Awesome article. 100% spot on regarding belts. If your belt cannot support your rig then you probably won’t be wearing it frequently if at all. Comfort = Carry. If you really want to carry on a daily basis, especially a full size weapon, it HAS TO BE COMFORTABLE. Or you will fidget with it, reposition it, take it off when possible, and I guess that when you really need your piece, chances are it might not even be handy. Not good when some ass decides to threaten your life. Happens every day… but of course we think, “That won’t happen to me”. Carry or don’t carry. There is no middle ground to have safety.

  31. Douglas A Schultz Sr

    I carry a XD45 or FNS 40. I did a lot of research to try and find out who had the best holster. I 1st bought a Crossbred super tuck (horse hide) for the XD, I was a little worried that some people said it take a week to get used to, even Crossbred said give it 2 weeks. I’m smaller than the average person with a bad back, I cant have anything touching my back. I wore the Crossbred the day I received it and put in the XD. I wore it at 3 o’clock to keep it away from my back. After only 3 hours it was formed to me and I hardly felt it! That being said I bought the Supertuck (horse Hide) for the FNS and also ordered their belt and mag pouches for both guns(also in Horse). I probably will someday have a drawer full of holsters, But for now I will stick with what works for me, Crossbred super-tucks for all my full size EDC’s.
    Thanks Prof. Paul, and Jared for all you do! Keep making the right noise to help us from vaginating ourselves! Doug

  32. Orlando Piano

    I know Ralph Weems IV from high school at Northwest Rankin. He was jumped by anywhere from 10 to 20 assailants. They have only caught 3. He has permanent brain damage. Not pretty at all. I can’t remember if it was an article online or a mutual friend that informed me he had a small pistol on him and chose not to draw it. 6 small caliber shots would barely put a dent in 10 to 20 young angry black assailants looking for blood. I see why he didn’t draw. He was probably hoping to get out of the situation with an acceptable beating worst case scenario rather than shooting 4 or 5 of them, running out of ammo, and being killed for certain afterwards. Obviously, the beating went much further than that. Maybe he was worried that they were so close they would have certainly gotten the pistol away from him and shot him with it. Perhaps, with a full size service pistol, he would have taken the odds and let led fly. No one will ever know and no one can say for sure what they would have done if they weren’t there. Anyways, I certainly agree with carrying the full size service pistol. I carry a Glock 21 (.45 ) and 3 extra 13 round mags. Sometimes I carry another pocket pistol. I think if I were Two-Gun Tommy in that situation, I would have made a go for it. Pray for Ralph and his recovery.

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