Concealed Carry has its challenges for everybody…no one is immune from the issues that arise; however, what would be a problem for one person is not necessarily a problem for another. There is a perception, perhaps most among those who carry extra weight, that there must be a best concealed carry holster for fat guys. Since most of us aren’t doing marathons like the guy in the picture on the left…we’re usually less active and less active usually means less exposure of the weapon. Speaking of running, I have a joke among the kids in my extended family, I ask them “What does it mean if you see Papa Dave running?” The answer they all respond is, “You’re out of ammo.”
Let’s be real, skinny guys have problems too trying to figure out where to position their guns. Consider this “poor” guy on the right, what will he do? Where the heck could he possibly hide anything larger than a handkerchief? You see, you’re not the only one with an issue with concealment…haven’t you ever considered why the military and police wear baggy battle fatigues, it’s to hide what’s concealed.
Nevertheless, while there is certainly an increase in girth among the heavier fellows, it doesn’t mean each one is going to face a great deal of difficulty when deciding to carry concealed. There are many variables to consider. Think about it, some people sweat a lot, but others hardly sweat at all…moisture rusts guns; hence, guys who sweat a lot have a problem to solve.
Some guys wear their belts over their belly, other wear it on the belly and others wear it below the belly, sort like the guy to the left, if he were wearing a belt. Where you put your belt will affect the conceal-ability of the firearm. There are as many styles of dress as there are people; hence, some leave their shirts hanging out, others tucked in and there are those who wear tucked-in with a sweater, vest or jacket (again our friend at the right).
I’ve been concealed carrying for decades and I’m 305 lbs and just over 5″10″…can you get the picture (No! I am not in any of these pictures)? When individuals first consider concealed carry, they fall into an almost paranoia that others will see their weapon, and a reasonable amount of concern is justified. But the fact is, people are not looking for your weapon and unless you are wearing something that forces the outline of the gun to stand out, called “printing” it probably will never be observed. Now, you have to consider what clothes do when moving; hence, if your weapon is barely covered by a shirt and you bend over, you’ve got problems.
You’re probably thinking I’m just rambling without an answer to the dilemma of the Best Concealed Carry Holster for fat guys, and if you thought that, you’d be wrong…ask my wife, I always have an opinion. Due to our natural girth, which already extends further from our center point than others, we have to be careful not to disrupt the natural side silhouette of the body…that space between the body and our arms…can you see the space in the photo to the right? No, but if his arms were down you might…NOT! You can’t have daylight shinning through one side and not the other…people might wonder what is causing the difference; but consider this, most people wear cellphones today, therefore the majority of people might just categorize it in their mind as a cellphone.
Now To Actual Holsters
Personally as a “fat guy”, I would not use an on the waistband (OWB) holster unless it was made specifically to draw the butt of the gun in towards the body, such as the DeSantis E-Gat design which has a belt loop on the body of the holster and a posterior loop that draws the grip of the gun in towards the body.
My preference, instead, would be an inside the waistband (IWB) holster, minimalist in design. There are many clips that are made to fasten directly on the gun and become part of it; however, in my experience, they are normally sold for the smaller sized .380 – 9 mm guns. While I once purchase one, I sold the gun before installing it (which I believe is a rather straight-forward process).
A simple clip-like design but more substantial and separate from the weapon itself, is the VersaCarry, as seen above, is a plastic unit that drops down inside the pant line with a plug onto which the barrel of the gun sits. I use one of these attached to a mattress plate to hold my “night-time” weapon close at hand.
On my person, I prefer a holster with enough material-weight to put a barrier between the gun and my body so as to minimize discomfort, perspiration and possible chaff, such as the DeSantis Sof-tuck, a holster I’ve mentioned on other pages on the website. This model holster fitted, of course, to my particular carry weapon is the holster I use ninety-percent of the time.
Then there is the inside the pocket (ITP) holster that may be a good possibility keeping in mind the limitations of caliber and accessibility that such a holster presents. I believe I
have references and links to this type of holster under the category “Holsters By Type” but I’ll reference another, the GUNizer, here for your convenience.
What do I think about crossdraw, small of the back and shoulder holsters for fat guys. I’d summarize in the words of a little green creature promoting a product on a tv ad, that says: “Forget it!”
Since there is a physical girth protruding anteriorly (up front), one would have to overcome that dimension in order to reach both the crossdraw and the shoulder holster…shoulder holsters are sexy…we think of Don Johnson in Miami Vice right? Well, I’ve tried the shoulder holster and it was anything but sexy. The weapon actually fell back so far under the arm that, to be frank, I couldn’t reach across my stomach and chest far enough to get a proper purchase on the weapon in order to make its use safe for me and others.
I’ve never tried a crossdraw but to me, the gun would sit in front, just as it is in the picture above left, of what is already protruding and way too much in view for my taste.
UPDATE: Recently I read an article in the Concealed Carry magazine discussing crossdraw holsters and I considered I might be wrong…huh? Literally last night I took my blackhawk holster for my S&W M&P Shield and reconfigured the belt loop to the other side, placing the holster just left of my belt buckle almost horizontal with the belt…I could comfortably place my hand on the grip without issue. I then practiced the author’s technique of bring the weak hand over to meet the drawing hand, both hands then direct the weapon forward…surprised!!! It worked and without a major sweep horizontally but rather almost swiftly directing the weapon at the target. While Amazon does not offer the holster I utilized, it is available from the manufacturer, it is the Blackhawk Standard A.R.C. IWB Holster.
Finally, the small of the back holster (SOB). While I’ve never tried one, I can’t imagine trying to sit against a chair with a gun in the center of my back against my spine. In addition, the process of drawing the gun has its barrel sweep over one’s buttock, back, posterior thigh then around past anything to one’s side before bringing it into a position next to the body…I am NOT an expert, I’m a gun carrying enthusiast grandfather…but to me, knowing what I know about how the body reacts to stress, I wouldn’t want to risk my butt (literally) getting shot while I was trying to bring my gun into a firing position. I am so convinced that the last three holsters are NOT the way to go for a “fat guy”, you’ll notice I have not provided any brands or links…enuf said!
When I substitute-taught high school years ago at a boys correctional school, I used to finish each class with the remark: Are there any thoughts, questions, comments or threats? Well, whether you like the ad above or not, leave your comments.