Sometimes being a bit husky or having a little more weight and size makes concealed carrying methods slightly different. Many people struggle with concealed carrying, especially with a bit extra around the waist area.
How do big guys conceal carry? For a large person to conceal carry it’s important to keep in mind a few things.
First choosing the right concealed carry method, holster, and weapon. People come in all shapes and sizes, for that reason it’s important to try out a few different options to see what works best for your particular circumstance. With that said let’s talk more details on different options and what to look out for.
Concealed Carry Tips For Big Guys
- Using the right holster position
- Choosing the best holster
- identifying the right firearm
Choosing The Holster Position For Bigger Guys
Some of the most popular methods are inside the waistband, ankle holster, shoulder holster. Most widely used carry method is inside the waistband. For the reason being is optimal accessibility for quick draw and comfort.
Inside the waistband positions can vary in terms of comfort. Be sure to try out different positions that work best for you. A good way to test whether or not the position will work for your particular body style is to try crouching down.
If your weapon digs into your stomach or body too much it’s probably not the right carry position for you. In addition try sitting down and doing different movements when you’re sitting down such as reaching down to the floor and reaching in different areas.
An Appendix carry holster is one of the most popular positions to for bigger guys. Again be sure to move in different motions to ensure that the appendix carry position is right for you.
Holster For Bigger Guys
No matter what size you are it really comes down to you wanting to be comfortable. Carrying can be uncomfortable and hot. The waistband can trap in heat. Choosing the right holster can make all the difference.
In addition be mindful of the area that you live in in case it is restrictive about printing. Printing is when an outline of a weapon can be seen in your clothing as your caring. Depending on the area you live in some places can be very strict about this.
Lets walk through some common concealed carry holster method pros and cons for bigger guys.
Ankle holster: Ankle holster can be difficult for bigger guys to quickly bend over to draw. The most common method is to drop one knee to the ground, pull up the pants with your non dominant hand and draw with the dominant hand. Some bigger guys may find this difficult on the knees.
Appendix Holster: Appendix carry is holding a gun inside the waistband at roughly the one oclock positon. For heavier guys this positon is often fine standing or walking around. Although sitting down often causes the grip and rear of the gun to dig into the midsection.
For people with a larger gut, it can block access to draw the weapon. This is one of the holsters that may be worth avoiding all together.
Shoulder holster: This position often has the weapon positioned on the left or right side of the chest. When drawing the hand on the opposite side from the fire arm position is used to draw. So if the weapon is positioned on the left, the right hand is used to reach across the chest to draw. For a bigger guy, depending on the sie of the chest, it can be difficult to reach over.
At this point you are probably wondering what holster is best for bigger guys? The simple answer is the holster that is most universal in comfort which is the strong side hip holster. This method can be positioned inside or outside the waistband.
This is a popular method because its just about the most comfortable positon. You dont have to worry about the firearm digging into your leg or an accidental discharge into your groin. Bending over is much easier vs appendix carry or an alternative position. With the firearm being on the side bedding over doesn’t create discomfort by digging into your body.
Most popular side hip holster position is IWB (inside the waistband). This conceals most of the weapon inside the pants with just the grip and rear of the firearm visible above the belt. For bigger guys with a mid section waistband IWB can sometimes cause the gun to dig into your side. If this is the case OWB (outside the waist band) may be a better option for you.
With this method the weapon is visible, although it nothing wearing an untucked button down shirt cant fix.
Choosing The Right Fire Arm For Bigger Guys
Chosing the right firearm really comes down to wanting to be comfortable. The longer or bigger the weapons typically means the more challenging and uncomfortable conceal carrying becomes.
This is not true for just bigger guys, but people of all shapes and sizes. Try to stick with a weapon that is smaller. In addition that has a shorter barrel and cmaller handle. This will provide less length and handle to dig into you.
People can have preferences on gun brands, for this reason I am not going to recommend a specific gun. Although here is some info on common pistol sizes to give you an idea of what size you might want.
Full pistol size: 4.5” + barrel
Compact pistol: 3.5-4.5” barrel
Sub compact: 3-3.5” barrel
Pocket pistol: <3” barrel
Earlier we talked about smaller the better. Although if a circumstance were to come up where you had to draw your weapon. You may not want a pocket pistol with a smaller caliber bullet. Although a compact or sub compact pistol may be a good bet.
Concealed Carry With a Belly
If you are a bigger guy, you have probably realized that not all holsters and carry postitions work well for everyone. Maybe you purchased a holster but it doesnt fit comfortable. Or maybe you read reviews on a holster that deter you from buying it. You are not alone in this frustration.
Being a bigger guy can create difficulties with drawing, access to body, leg holsters, ankle carry, and appendix cary positions due to the mid section. Keep in mind what works well for you. What movements or are difficult/easy for you?
For example if you are able to reach across your body easily. Then a chest holster may be a great option. If bending down on a knee is difficult, a ankle holster may not be the best option. Generally a side arm holster is a safe bet as it is positioned on the side of the hip with less friction bending over and easy access.
Concealed Carry With Love Handles
Extra weight can absolutely dictate carry positions. More specifically love handles can dictate what is or is not comfortable. Bulges and curves such as love handles can be a painful obstacle and barrier when conceal carrying.
The 2 oclock: IWB is a good place to start. Love handles have natural valley in between the love handles and the front girth. You can insert your IWB holster in this valley.
You should try crouching down in the position to ensure it is comfortable for you. If this position is uncomfortable for you, there is always the following option.
4-5 oclock: This is a good alternative to the 2 oclock position. This position is essentially the opposite of the two and that the firearm is positioned behind your body just behind love handles. This makes it accessible and comfortable.
if you are sitting for long periods of time, this may not be the best option. However if you’re standing a lot, this is a good option.
3 oclock: This position is pretty much directly under the love handles. some people might argue it offers extra concealment. But love handles can make it difficult to draw.
I am personally more of an IWB person but an alternative is OWB. The drawback to OWB is the weapon is exposed, although a button down short can fix this.
No matter your size concealed carrying can be an option for you. Don’t let your weight prevent you from concealed carrying. For skinny guys here is our guide for concealed carry for skinny guys.