I've been carrying a concealed gun just about every single day for quite a few years now. Because I've been carrying for a while and have been given a plethora of gear to try out and test, it has helped me become more confident and comfortable than the average guy or gal just because I've figured out what works best for me.
This article is meant to give you, the concealed carrier, some tips on how to become more comfortable with your gun so that you actually carry it. Because, as I've personally found, I really like to be comfortable and am less likely to carry my gun if it takes that away.
The biggest takeaway for you, is that if you're not carrying because it's uncomfortable, you can get to a spot where it gets better. It'll never be perfect, but you can get to a point where you forget the gun is there until you need it.
You have to work through this, though. As with anything worthwhile, it takes work and practice (not to mention money) to get right. Don't give up.
Let's discuss some points on how to be more comfortable while carrying a gun.
Believe it or not, the gear you use is directly correlated to how comfortable you'll be when carrying. Take the belt for example. If you're not using a belt designed to distribute the weight of your gun properly, the gun can sag, which only helps it dig into your body more.
Using a gun belt can really help aid in your comfort and is one of those things that nobody believes until they try it. When someone told me all those years ago that I needed a gun belt I laughed. Then when I was given one I saw the benefit.
The gun belt's ability to hold the gun up around my waist in a comfortable manner is unparalleled. I personally like the nylon ones better (because they're more comfortable for me) than the ultra thick leather ones unless I'm dressing up for something, but either may work for you.
Then you've got the holster. I've tried dozens of holsters for a plethora of different guns and can say without a doubt that some are way more comfortable than others. The only way you're going to get through this and find the one that works for you is to buy them and try them out.
Some holster and belt companies will give you a short period of time where they allow you to try it out before deciding to keep it. This can help you keep costs down in your search for your perfect setup.
What you don't want to do is buy a holster and give up when you realize it's not comfortable for you. There is something out there that works for you, you just have to find it.
Also, pay minimal attention to the reviews that say “most comfortable holster I've ever owned” because it's very subjective. What's comfortable for me may not be for you. Also, we're all shaped differently with bodies that bend and move differently so take reviews with a grain of salt.
It makes sense to think that certain smaller guns are easier to conceal on the body than other, bigger guns are.
I do want to say that this is not always true. For example, I know some very thin ladies who carry a G19 because it's easier for them to do than a smaller gun. Plus, it gives them a bigger, more shootable gun with a lot more ammo at their disposal.
The key here, is to not settle on, say, a Glock 43 or a Sig P938 because of their small stature when you may be able to comfortably carry something bigger like a G19 or a Sig P320.
If you're carrying in the 6 o'clock position and have some part of your gun digging into your spine, you know it's not going to be comfy. Is there anything in your own personal manual that says you can't try a different carry position?
Who knows? You may be surprised. Maybe you can make appendix carry work or one of the other positions. You'll never know until you try, and by trying I don't mean just sticking your holster in a different spot and seeing what happens. You may need different gear.
Work at it and return what you can to the companies you bought from.
You can also carry off the waistband. Maybe the only thing you can make work is shoulder, ankle, or pocket carry.
I live by the mantra it's better to have and not need it. Because of this, I've been known to carry either a SIG 938 or a snub nose revolver in my pocket (in a holster, of course).
A lot of people think pocket carry is stupid, and that's okay because it's my life and not my primary method of carrying. But, the way I see it, is that I'd rather be armed than not.
Maybe one of these other methods is for you. I can say that while they take some getting used to, these other positions can be quite comfy.
Sadly, the only way you're going to know what is going to work best for you is to actually try different things out. This sadly costs money, which is why people have that “drawer of holsters” that they no longer use.
There was nothing wrong with 90% of the holsters they decided to not go with, just that the one they did choose offers the most comfort to concealability ratio. And that's a final, important point to note. You'll never be 100% comfortable when you're carrying a gun.
What I mean, is that you'll never be as comfortable when you're carrying as you are when you're not. But you can get close, and the benefits of being able to protect yourself appropriately far outweigh the alternatives.
If you've been carrying for a while and found something that works best for you, we're all ears. We're a teaching blog, so please leave a comment for others to learn.
Next, here's an article about how you're giving your concealed carry away with your movements.