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…