Random thoughts from flyover country

Saturday, August 30

What to wear; what to wear?

This isn't about clothes, and it isn't about guns. It's about what clothes you have to wear to conceal the gun[s] you want to carry. For example, today I carried a four-inch S&W Model 681, a two-inch Taurus 85SSUL, and a KelTec P32 concealed in 95ºF heat. How did I pull this off without suffering heat stroke? It's really pretty easy.

I carried the "big gun," which is equipped with Crimson Trace laser grips, in Bianchi Model 7 thumb break holster using the slots for a strong side FBI carry. I carried the box stock "medium gun" weakside in a Bianchi Model 105 Minimalist. The "little gun" I front pocket-carried in a Blackhawk holster.

My clothes for the day? I wore a Hanes Pocket-T, Levi's 501 jeans, and a photographer's vest, and my self-defense suite was undetectable. However, my former neighbor, a DEA agent, had he seen me, would have asked what I was carrying. Why? The vest. He remarked on more than one occasion that I looked like a "Feeb." No, that's not a derogatory term for someone who is mentally challenged, it's what he called FBI agents. (Hmm. I'll have to give that some thought.)

Later in the day, my wife and I went to the grand opening of the new BOK Center in Tulsa to see my mom's tax dollars at work. Since my wife really gets tired of the vest, I made an adjustment in my concealed carry battery to fit the situation. I left the M681 in the pistol safe, removed the Minimalist from the belt, and moved the 85SSUL to an IWB strong side holster. Because the temperature outside had increased, I changed the Pocket T for a regular t-shirt and wore a Hawai'ian shirt over it. Downtown Tulsa was crawling with police officers in cars, on foot, and riding bicycles, and, again, my self-defense suite went unnoticed/undetected.

Earlier in the week, I joined fellow scooterists for our regular Thursday evening group ride and dining out activity in 90º+ weather. (Actually, it was around 86º when we started.) My S&W Model 13 rode IWB strongside, the Taurus Ultra-Lite IWB weakside, and the KelTec, again, in my front pocket. I wore a graphic t-shirt under my FirstGear Venom mesh jacket and Levi's. Due to the breathability of the mesh jacket, no one thought my wearing it in the restaurant was unusual. In fact, the A/C had the place pretty cool.

The point I want to make is that you can conceal handguns up to full-size service guns like the Smith & Wesson 681 if you take the trouble to get a decent holster and dress appropriately. If the situation prevents you from wearing a cover garment like a vest, a coat, a jacket, or an untucked shirt, you need to carry a gun that you can conceal in your pocket or a push-up holster. My choices will probably not be yours, but take the time to examine your carry options and your clothing options.


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