Being disabled and partially sedentary I have put some weight on. However, carrying concealed is still a priority and I have adjusted appropriately. Now for the record, I have lost 12 pounds and counting over the past couple of months. For now, I can honestly say I am a fat guy who successfully carries concealed. This article addresses concealed carry for fat guys, and gals as well.
Among some in the concealed carrying community, there are approaches taken when you are fat. First, men and women, skinny jeans are not beneficial for many reasons. I see fat people on all sides of that argument wearing them with abandon, and honestly, if you want to carry concealed drop the skinny jeans.
You do not need to wear 511 tactical cargo pants either, in fact, all you need is to wear clothing that fits relaxed or lose. I love my Levi Relaxed Fits in shorts and blue jeans/khakis. They provide movement ability which is essential because let’s face it, we fat guys are REALLY BIG targets.
If you find that carrying causes pinching, buy one size larger pants and belts, this will help you easily fit the firearm or alternative defensive devices easily within your belt line allowing for positive concealed carry.
Move off the X, this means always be moving sideways to an attack and finding cover. I can get really small when I want too, and during practice, with simunitions, air-soft, and paintball guns I have learned to be aware of my surroundings and seek cover. Learn to move and exercise enough that when you may need to defend yourself you can do it professionally, legally and with a solid approach.
Pain is a wonderful way to ensure training sticks. I have learned much being hit with sticks during Escrima/Kali training, being shot with simmunitions, airsoft and paintballs and lastly during training blade fights. Get some training and do not be afraid, even us fat guys and gals can train and keep up with the skinnies of the world!
Here are just a few ways you can carry when you are overweight…
Appendix or modified appendix carry works when you are a fat guy, simply make sure you purchase pants that can be hiked up above your belly crease (that area where your belly hangs down in front). This way when walking you can tighten the belt and carry lower, and when seated loosen a bit and bring the firearm up.
This approach to carry is beneficial simply because it allows draw regardless your size and is relatively easy to conceal due to shirt hang and tuck if needed. (appendix and modified appendix are carry methods that have the firearm seated in front of the body, basically where your belly button is at, this carry approach works equally well for females and males with less body weight, but can be made to work for those who have more body weight as well. Modified extends this to 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock from the standard 12 o’clock position)
My personal favorite carry method is the 1-3 o’clock or 9-11 o’clock method, depending on whether you are right or wrong handed. (my mentor and a very close friend is wrong handed and taught me the benefit of learning, practicing and shooting with BOTH hands!) this carry method allows me to easily and comfortably carry in a manner that is where my hands hang naturally.
Additionally, I train to be moving and crouching and in non-standard shooting positions which means that my body is never going to be exactly lined up with the target as it is on a normal practice range. Carrying in this manner allows me personally best access even if I end up on my back or stomach after getting hit or falling which has and does happen.
Cross-draw, ankle holster, underarm/shoulder holster carry. These approaches are among my least favorite when I was skinny, young and in shape and now being disabled and fat they are even less my favorite.
In fact, without extensive firearms yoga practice, these methods of carry are least likely to see a positive outcome in training. The only cross-draw carriers I have ever seen who made it work are the cowboy action shooters. They are fast, accurate and it works because that is how they train.
However, if anything happens that disrupts the flow, if they end up on the ground or having to duck behind cover or lay on their back, side or stomach the cross draw quickly loses its efficiency. The ankle holster really is a last-ditch carry option and I have never found a good way to carry in this manner. Some companies make very good carry options, however, these do not make up for the approach itself.
Oddball holsters are belly band and deep concealed pocket type carry. Of these, I can say absolutely that belly bands are useless. Honestly, I have not found one yet that is built to carry a firearm especially one that you will be carrying.
This leaves the deep concealed pocket type holster that drops down below the waist and is extremely comfortable and works very well depending on what type of clothing you are wearing at the moment. The only manufacturer I can honestly recommend is Don’t Tread On Me and they are found on Amazon!
These are four of the ways to carry if you are like I am and are overweight or fat! Now let’s take a look at some great holster options. Some are available on Amazon and others are available directly from the manufactures. Be sure to click the links as they will take you directly to the holsters in question. The links are attached within the lines describing each manufacture and or type so be sure to check them out! I have used each manufacture and truly enjoy most of them with no negatives for any of the listed manufactures.
Appendix holsters there are a few – these days anyone with a computer and access to Amazon can purchase a basic kit for making your own holsters. This has led to hundreds of holster makers, some base their products name on their ability to market and others on their ability to mass produce.
All Kydex holsters run between $35 and $120 any that are more expensive, are simply not worth the extra and many that are under $40 are not worth the money spent either. For a solid appendix style holster with a “sidecar” rig that allows adding your spare magazine, you will be looking at around $85 or so. IronXholsters can be found on Amazon and has a wide selection with a good reputation. 77 Solutions found on Etsy also offers appendix holsters and has become my personal favorite choice.
Standard concealed carry IWB hip there are a couple I recommend. First found on Amazon is CYA holsters version setup how I like mine to be set up! These run $35-$56 depending on features and firearm types. Next are my personal favorites. 77 Solutions is made by a really solid individual and is NOT mass produced.
The easiest link is to his Etsy account, most of his holsters run between $40 and $65 which is a solid price considering the value received. It should be noted that he also offers appendix rigs for a solid price! Next, I suggest simply shopping around locally, you may find local vendors who build solid holsters and this is a great way to get to know others in the local shooting community.
There is one oddball holster that I have used and continue to use regularly. It is made by the company, Don’t Tread On Me and is called the deep conceal approach. Basically, it works very well if you are in sweat pants or basketball shorts. It is a pocket setup made extremely well that drops down into your crotch. As a fat guy, I have used and do use this one regularly! Highly recommended!
As for the other types of carry, again, I cannot in good conscience offer any holsters though I own and have used belly bands, ankle rigs, cross draw holsters and underarm/shoulder rigs. I would definitely test a few different approaches and understand over time you will end up with several holsters as your body shape and weight changes. Be ready and prepared to invest $100 or so dollars into two holsters minimum.
Lastly, make sure you invest in a solid belt. Daltech makes the Indestructibelt and I really love this one, it keeps its shape and is literally indestructible! Additionally, it looks good enough to work in dress pants as well as work pants. I own two and would not trade them for the world!
If you have any questions or additions make sure you comment below! Very important as your feedback allows me to better present future information for your use.
Free the mind and the body will follow…
How about an OWB, close fitting holster and a loose fitting shirt?
Big Guys and IWB can be very pinchy.
Good Article! Thanks!
Dan B, so very true. That was my major concern when I gained unwanted weight post becoming disabled. I am losing it ever so slowly but still have to carry.
I would say, look for a position that allows concealed carry with solid ability to draw and engage- without too much pinch. I used to use crossbreed however, found they do not work for my body now.
M.D., Great! article! I too have that uncooperative body shape…fat. Working on loosing some as well.
I recently came across an article that called attention to AlienGearHolsters “ShapeShifter” starter kit. The kit runs $100 but gives you three different carry positions as well as a mountable piece for under dash/desk. A bit of a learning curve to switch between carries. And I complicated mine even more by adding a second holster (different size firearm) into the fray.
But, have had mine for about two months and it’s working for me. I have about 7 other holsters I’ve gone through and not happy with, so, yes, you’ll wind up with a collection of them…especially if you switch between firearms as I do.
Jose. Very true. Find what works best!
At 5’10” and 205, I’m hardly slim and trim and I carry around enough extra baggage that finding a practical and comfortable CC holster for my Ruger LC9 took a while. A friend of mine suggested something from N82 Tactical. After looking over their products, I settled on their “Original Compact” model (https://n82tactical.com/product/original-compact/) and really liked it from the first time I put it on. I wear it at about the one o’clock position and most of the time I don’t even notice it’s there.
Good job, again, Jesse
You grossed me out as I imagined a 5’2″ rolly poley in basketball shorts, LOL! I’m 6’2″ at 275 extra large rolly poley. Big belly, no butt..I spend most of the day pulling my pants up. I call it the curse of being a old man. Even when I was lean I hated ankle holsters. I’ve tried carrying small backup pistols in my boots, too. Worked, but real hard to get to. I do own a Miami Vice rig and really like it in cold months, but it has access limitations as you stated. My primary weapon is a SIG P 220 & my secondary is a SIG 938. I use a Blackhawk Serpa for my P 220 and have for years. I’m going to get a Blackhawk Omnivore and give it a try as my new sigs have rails & lazers, the Omnivore will fit. As for my 938, I’m still looking for a good holster for it. The ones from Sig that come with 938’s are P O S . Personally, I do not like iwb holsters, I don’t want body oil & sweat on my weapons, and scraping into my flesh. Just opining.. GOD Bless & have a great day.
John R, well said and I will say I have too clean my carry firearms /knives a bit more especially during summer months. However,because I do carry blocks *glocks* and or sw shield 2.0 and rarely CZ 82/75b or a fegpa63 I simply clean em and use holsters with sweat shields.
You described me to a T, I’m 6’2″ and I use to weigh 270, Ive been trying to lose some so I’m down to 240, anyway I carry a 4 inch barreled Mod2 9mm IWB with no problems, its all in the holster and I have to disagree with this article about cheaper Kydex holsters, yes there may be ones under $40 that are crap but most seem to be decent, I have an IWB Kydex holster for my 1911 that cost $24 and it’s great, my EDC holster is custom made Kydex and I only spent $50, I got it made before they were so popular, now i can get the same for under $40, I’ve been using mine for over 5 years with no problems.
you might mention a bra holster–for the amply endowed woman the should be invisible.
E-says , I agree, they work quite well – for some. I believe I mentioned this holster in a previous article- on holster types. Thank you for the reminder !
If you live in an open carry State, why carry concealed? I’d think open carry gives you faster access. Just asking because I’m uncertain about the advantage of carrying concealed.
Oh, I’m one of those old rolly pollies and I have to sling the open carry holster for my Colt Delta Elite 10mm low on my hip so the weapon doesn’t poke me when I sit down. The advantage is the pistol rides right beside my hand, making for quick, easy access.
Ray W. Agreed, however, I live in a city sadly and around many people who thanks to today’s media and this bullshit political lying has created an atmosphere where law abiding citizens are seen as the threats…we *you and I* know this is untrue, however, it is a reality and so I conceal.
Thanks for the response article MD.
Yeah, open carry in an urban environment wouldn’t be for me. In the small city I live in you can’t go out to eat or to a local grocery store without seeing one of more people exercising their right to open carry and I like that. When I lived in Colorado Springs back in the 70’s there were still a few old timers that walked around downtown strapped. None of them were peacocking–they just didn’t feel dressed without a gun. I can also see how a bad guy NOT knowing you are armed can come in handy. Oh, those holsters are SWEET!
Ray W. Again I agree. I open carry when in the woods and country, it isnt peacocking just us being safe! Love your input always brother sir!
I always enjoy your articles too, amigo.
There is an old saying. “An armed society is a polite society.” The folks who said that never envisioned armed gangs terrorizing our inner cities.
And the folks who are for gun control never seem to understand how easily a militarized police force can become an armed gang.
I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that made me laugh out loud. “We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control.”
Ray, I’ll say it again. I’d gladly introduce you into our mag locally anytime!
Arizona may not seem like a good place …however, it really is as long as you ignore the ultra state lovers -on both sides
Thank you for the compliment and I’d gladly do the same.
I love living in AZ, with it’s generous open and concealed carry laws, and while we are being invaded by Californians, most of them are Conservatives fleeing the socialist State and really are NOT interested in turning AZ into CA politically–thank God!
“I love my Levi Relaxed Fits in shorts and blue jeans/khakis.”
Okay. This is where you lost me. You’re a F***ing idiot. Levi’s is donating $1MILLION dollars to gun control groups. And you still support them? Every thing you said after that is BS.
Well, I would have just said: “I hope you realize that Levi’s doesn’t love you.”
One of the benefits of being a “big & tall” carrier is that you can carry full-size sidearms without showing. I’m partial to polos, and in the proper size, they drape pretty full — not really a male muu-muu, but close enough to get what you want.
I detest politics, after all trump supporters worship his pick Kavanaugh who is extremely anti 4th amendment and absolutely would support any gov legislation- the opposite side are even worse idiots.
I do not have social media and also do not have network tv. I am happy to report I have no clue what the deal is with Levi and dont care.
My statement was regarding blue Jean’s- however- that would entail actually reading which you reddit troll types never will do
Dude, Levi Strauss is VERY anti-gun.
This article was originally written before all of that came out and just so you know just about every big corporation, professional sports team owner, actor and musician are also. Stop nitpicking and just stop buying Levi’s® .
I’m 5’6″ and was 5’8″ just ten short years ago…my spine is fucked which of course lends to added weight sadly.
I’m not big and tall, I am round – regardless.
Eh., this is why good information is hard to find, people like you guys make it impossible, and so sell outs like your fav YouTube idiots proliferate