As we put the cold behind us, and head into the summer, the dynamic of concealed carry changes for many of us. No more can we hide our guns under (or in) big coats, jackets, sweatshirts, and other large clothing items. For many of us we will start breaking out shorts and t-shirts for the summer months. But that doesn't mean that you can't still effectively conceal your firearm. Here are a few tips.
First, consider the size of your gun. Obviously, smaller guns are easier to conceal. Depending on the gun you carry, you may want to switch to a smaller gun. Different guns can be carried differently. A small gun may do well with pocket carry. A very concealable method with quick and easy access may be just what you are looking for in the summer. Make sure to get a proper pocket holster (not any holster will do and you certainly do not want to pocket carry without a holster). Some of these guns may not be pleasant to shoot, but you can still get some practice and have a firearm with quick accessibility.
This may not mean you need a new gun (although I’ll take any excuse to buy a new gun). Sometimes it’s as simple as changing magazines. Glock and Springfield XD, among other guns have longer magazines with pinky extensions on their smaller guns so you can use the bigger magazine (with a better grip) in the winter and swap it out for the smaller magazine in the summer. That will help keep the visibility of your gun down.
You can also consider where you carry. OWB (Outside the waistband) may be doable in the winter, but if you want to keep your gun concealed that won’t work well in the winter. IWB (Inside the waistband) may work, but in a t-shirt you risk printing or having the grip pop out the back of your shirt. Pocket carry works like we talked about already. If you still want to carry a slightly larger gun than pocket carry allows for consider deep conceal carry (like the bands you place completely inside your pants) or possibly appendix carry. Both of those are very concealable even in shorts and a t-shirt.
One thing to consider as you swap guns and/or move your gun around is to practice with whatever setup you decide to use. If you’ve trained with your gun on your hip and now you swap to appendix carry your brain may default to your hip should you need to draw your gun unless you override the brain with new movements. Even if it doesn’t, you may not be as quick and smooth in your new location. You should practice drawing and presenting your firearm first with dry fire and then with live fire to get it down.
You may not need to change anything about how you carry, but for many of us our summer wardrobes make it harder to conceal your firearm and a few tweaks and changes may help keep your concealed firearm concealed.