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Old 10-24-2012, 05:23 PM
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Default Full Size M&P 9MM Conceal Carry

Hi everyone, I've recently bought a FS M&P 9mm and I love it! It's a pleasure to shoot, look at, and all around a great gun. For the past few months since I've been carrying I started with an old police model S&W .38 Special and a nylon IWB holster. It wasn't perfectly comfortable but it was manageable.

I decided I wanted a new gun and the local gun shoppe owner directed me to the M&P. I feel like I should have done more research before purchasing it but it's a great gun so I don't regret it. (You can never have too many guns) I plan on starting a collection as time permits.

The only issue I have is everyday carry. I have a Galco King Tuck IWB holster that is wonderful and conceals it pretty damn well and is semi comfortable but only in two positions. The grip still prints sometimes and fully loaded it's heavy on the pants not to mention the area that it is in makes my hip or backside look a little bigger. If I have my shirt tucked in with a polo its not a big deal but how the hell am I suppose to get it out in time of an emergency? With an undershirt and t-shirt over it makes it easy to acquire but doesn't hide it quite as well. I plan on buying a heavy duty belt and I have some jeans/pants that are a size bigger but it still just doesn't feel natural.

Does anyone have any advice as to how to conceal and carry a full size weapon practically and somewhat comfortably? I can't really afford to get a Shield or Springfield XD9 SC yet and I want to carry I'm just trying to figure out how to do it properly. Open carry is legal in AL but I don't like sticking out like that haha. Is this something I just have to get used to or am I doing something wrong? I'm fairly new at CCW so any advice would be wonderful.

I do plan to buy a SC as soon as I can but I don't know when that will be. When I do, however, what do yall recommend? Single or double stack mags? Thanks in advance.

-Jazz

Last edited by JazzyJ; 10-24-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:01 PM
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I carry a full sized 9mm (fnx9 17 round mag) in a cross breed super tuck holster. Carry it at about 4 oclock and it covers just fine with just a Tshirt. Im fairly slim though so my shirts hang from my shoulders leaving my clothes looser at my waist. I would recommend a good belt, when I was carrying it daily normal belts only last about a month if lucky.

I don't tuck my shirts in when I carry my 9mm but practice practice practice drawing how ever you where yours.

And use someone else to tell if your gun is showing. Its probably never going to stop printing in your eyes because you know EXACTLY where it is. And even if it does print... its very unlikely that anyone will notice. Ive had the wind blow hard enough that you could clearly see the grip, hammer, and rear sites sticking above my belt through my shirt and no one even looked twice.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:11 PM
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I have two King Tuk holsters and they are OK. Not great, just OK.

It's hard to conceal a full size gun IWB without wearing a loose shirt or jacket.

Sounds like your next gun should be an M&P compact!
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:04 AM
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A simple rule of thumb for most of us is that bigger and heavier eventually gets left at home (regardless of holster choice), while small and light gets carried daily. Some can carry a full size gun w/o a problem but I was never one of those people.

My EDC is a small & light revolver. For semiauto folks the same principle applies - good luck.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:19 AM
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A simple rule of thumb for most of us is that bigger and heavier eventually gets left at home...

In my experience, this applies to 98% of the people out there that CC. That is to say, 98% of the people out there that CC are just not going to carry a full size gun every day of their life all the day long. They end up leaving it at home or in the car and that's not a reasonable solution in my book. Much better to have a gun that you will put on in the morning and take off at bedtime, even if it is only an Airweight Centennial.

Centennial every day!
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:05 AM
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I only carry full size guns (ok technically the G19 is a compact). My carry guns are G19, G17, 1911, HK USP9, S&W 5946 and M&P45.

I had the king tuck and didnt like it. It was thicker and made my pants uncomfortable. Switched to the Crossbreed and love it!

What belt are you using? You need a gun belt not just any old belt. Trust me, it makes a huge difference! Also play with the location of the holster, a little forward, a little back, youll find the sweet spot. Im a lefty and carry at the 8 o'clock position that would be at about 4 for you righties!

You will always have some printing, its impossible not to with full size guns unless you have a sweater and jacket on. Most often they print when you bend down. Unless you wear a shirt 3x smaller I wouldn't worry to much about it. 99% of the public doesnt even notice. Most people dont know the color of the car they were behind for 10 miles let alone see your printed gun. One day (with the gun or without) pay attention to the people around you and what they do. Most are in their own little world and wont notice you let alone the one small spot around your hip.

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:34 PM
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Great advice! Yeah I am almost positive no one really notices so it's probably just my paranoia. I've only had one off duty cop notice and talk to me about guns but no one other than that. Still however I think I may need to get one size larger t-shirts as I only have a couple that conceal it great. I've been carrying at 6 o clock the last couple of days. Best concealment and pretty damn comfortable other than driving. The only issue is drawing the weapon out, but that is a training issue I suppose. Since it's still hot where I live I'll make due but winter is coming and putting a jacket on will be great and give me a few months to decide on a SC.

I've heard the crossbreeds are amazing comfortable, another "rush" error of mine although I can say the galco is still better than anything I've ever had although it is a little thick. Next gun I buy (I might move up to a Springfield XDS .45 SC) I will definitely try out a crossbreed and let everyone know how it goes. I don't really like the idea of single stack magazines but thickness really is a main issue along with grip length when CC'ing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:47 PM
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The cop noticed because he carries too. You'll see, the more you carry the more you notice slight signs of on others who carry. This June i was out a local dog adoption event being held at a shopping center. (Adopted a puppy rat terrier) as usual i was CC'ing my G19. There was another guy with his girlfriend doing the same thing and he was OC'ing a stainless 1911. Lots of people and im almost a 100% positive i was the only one that noticed.

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:38 PM
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For me, the words "Full-Size", "IWB" and "Comfortable" cannot be used in the same sentence. Hiding a full sized M&P takes some work, and making it comfortable just compounds the task.

I can get away with carrying a mid-sized (4-inch barrel) M&P45 during the winter months when I can dress appropriately. Going with a pancake style holster makes it comfortable enough to wear all day long.

I really like this high riding belt scabbard by Kramer:



It tucks in the butt of the gun very well. With a slightly larger than normal un-tucked camp style shirt, it easily goes un-noticed.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:24 PM
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Looks very nice, MP Freak. I suppose I may be asking too much out of an IWB holster considering I have a full size M&P. It's definitely bearable and I'm sure I will get used to it in time, just need to find the "sweet spot" and carry during the winter months the full size and purchase a smaller weapon for spring and summer. I appreciate all the help.

Arik, yeah it is easier to spot someone doing the same as yourself but I just have to get used to the idea that everyone is not paying that much attention to me (even though I am eye candy JK lol)
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:45 PM
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Okay so I've decided on a Springfield XDS .45 ACP (5+1 mag SS) for EDC. I love the .45 cartridge and after shooting it at the range I have fallen in love. If anyone has any recommendations for a good 9mm or .45 Smith and Wesson sub compact I'm all ears.

As far as the M&P FS goes, the 5/6oclock postion has worked fine with me so far with a Galco Kingtuk although I hear Crossbreed is better. I'll keep using this during winter time since it is going to start cooling down soon and a light jacket will make it easy to conceal a fullsize.
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:45 PM
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A M&P 9c is easy to conceal. The 45c is slightly larger. The crossbreed style holsters make a world of difference. I have carried four different guns in them and while new to this art I had some difficulties getting comfortable. Once I found the sweet spot for my body shape, it's easy now. I like mine at 3:30. With my Beltman belt and a pair of pants one size bigger, and the holster adjusted to the proper cant and the gun riding at the proper height, the butt of the gun is pulled snug against my body and it doesn't interfere with the natural hinge of my hips. This position works great when in my truck, sitting at my desk, and walking around. I can even crawl on the couch and curl up with my legs under me to watch a movie.

It really comes down to getting the gun exactly where it needs to be on your body to fit your shape. Some holsters are adjustable, but those that aren't are a **** shoot for your use. While one guy says the Milt Sparks is the perfect holster, the next guy make be thinner or thicker and it may not work at all for him. Hence the drawer full of holsters and the hundreds of manufacturers!
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Lake View Post
A M&P 9c is easy to conceal. The 45c is slightly larger. The crossbreed style holsters make a world of difference. I have carried four different guns in them and while new to this art I had some difficulties getting comfortable. Once I found the sweet spot for my body shape, it's easy now. I like mine at 3:30. With my Beltman belt and a pair of pants one size bigger, and the holster adjusted to the proper cant and the gun riding at the proper height, the butt of the gun is pulled snug against my body and it doesn't interfere with the natural hinge of my hips. This position works great when in my truck, sitting at my desk, and walking around. I can even crawl on the couch and curl up with my legs under me to watch a movie.

It really comes down to getting the gun exactly where it needs to be on your body to fit your shape. Some holsters are adjustable, but those that aren't are a **** shoot for your use. While one guy says the Milt Sparks is the perfect holster, the next guy make be thinner or thicker and it may not work at all for him. Hence the drawer full of holsters and the hundreds of manufacturers!
Very solid advice, thanks for your input. I just received my 5.11 Trainer's belt which is an inch and a half tall and it holds my holster and weapon and I don't even have to tighten the thing until I can hardly breathe! I've been playing around with some positions but the 5 position seems to be the best in comfort and conceal-ability for me although I would like for it to be up a little more to where yours is, my clothing and body shape doesn't seem to support it very well unless I wear a jacket. I'm not saying it sticks out completely but it's not as good as my current position.

I have considered trading in the full size for the compact but I would lose a little bit of money and I eventually plan on picking up the Shield anyway for my wife. I think I'm going to move up to .45 anyway, hence the XDS. I shoot it just as well and it packs a bigger punch; not that the 9mm is lacking in any way. I keep hearing wonderful things about the Crossbreed so I'm going to pick one up for my XDS when time and funds permit.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:48 AM
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Have you shopped budspolicesupply?

You can pick up a 9c new with three mags, free shipping and no tax if you are military for a great price.... $399!

Or what I have the 9c with night sights for $455
S&W M&P9C 9mm Night Sights 3 1/2" MS for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $455.00

The 45's run a bit more, $442 and $499 with night sights.

OOOORRRR... You can get a 40c and drop a factory 9mm barrel in it ($65 from Midway) and have a 9mm AND a 40. You can use the full size mags for the range too. Or you can put a .357 barrel in a .40.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:25 AM
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I've been carrying full size handguns for over 40 years. Trust me, should you ever really need it, nothing you can carry without wheels will feel adequate. Having said that, my EDC for 6+ years has been a M&P9.

Now then, forget 6 o'clock carry. As noted, you can't reach it seated and you stand an excellent chance of shattering your spine should you fall wrong.

There is a hollow just behind the hip that will allow concealed carry of astonishing things if you: have a substantial gun belt, not a Wallyworld $7 special, and a well designed and constructed holster matched to the width of the belt. Neither of these items will be cheap.

An improperly made belt will allow the holster to sag outward from the body, possibly bouncing around like a playful puppy. Not good. Likewise a cheap holster will allow the belt loops to move closer together, causing the same problem.

You have to dress around the weapon. That means your piece isn't inside a couple of shirts or under a tight shirt. Either buy your outer shirts a size large, or start layering your clothing. A T-shirt under an unbuttoned shirt works well. Ditto, the light jacket or sport coat over another shirt. If you do use a loose shirt without buttons, you need to practice- with an UNLOADED gun- getting it out. Sticking the thumb out to pull the shirt tail up may work for you. With unbuttoned shirts/jackets, a slight sway to the hips to the support hand side leaves you space to access the weapon.

I didn't mention specific makers/brands because each of us ends up with a box full of holsters we decide didn't work for us. You might check the local gunne shoppe and see if they've got a box of used holsters to pick through. I'll also note that money spent on Safariland/Bianchi gear is rarely wasted. If nothing else, it can be resold at good prices.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:46 AM
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Try different platforms of carry and find the one you like best. Once you found it PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE AND PRACTICE SOME MORE!!!!!! in the morning before leaving the house i suit up and practice drawing and ingagin a target a few times and i go on about my day. At night before i go to sleep and take of the weapon i again take about 10 minutes, draw engage target re-holster..repeat for about 10 mins, place weapon on night stand and get me so shut eye. i have two BG targets on my walls to aim at for that and dry firing.

what was that saying.....o yeah!! PRACTICE makes perfect!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:03 PM
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The CZ is also a full size service pistol that requires some thought and care to conceal easily. It's in a crossbreed copy that I found on Ebay in the picture above and after much adjustment I found my sweet spot. I had the CZ 75D PCR, which is what I bought the holster for, but traded it back for the full size CZ 75B as they fit the same rigs. For me the extra barrel length, capacity and weight were worth it as I am more comfortable and just better with the larger pistol. When I'm not wearing jeans with a cover shirt, it rides OWB in a pancake belt holster very similar to the one pictured by M&P Freak above. Then it's covered by my sportcoat or suit coat.

You really do have to dress around the gun and make a choice about how you are going to conceal what you have. Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:29 PM
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Wow all of that is great advice. I will continue to experiment and find out what works best thank yall for the info.

WRmoore I will check out safariland and what you mentioned, thanks for the informative post. I was kind of worried about falling down on my back that would suck.

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be but I am not cheap when it comes to this kind of stuff but I am trying to find the right gear. I think I made a good choice on belt but I am going to try a few more holsters.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:45 PM
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Crossbreed and King Tuck are the best way to go.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:08 PM
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I carried a Ruger SR40 full sized in a Simply Rugged pancake with a good thick, wide belt OWB. Loaded it weighs more than 2 pounds. Setting high on my side it concealed well under an untucked shirt. About 3 oclock every afternoon it seemed to really get heavy. It was like wearing a pair of too tight shoes. I could not wait to take it off.

It now is my bedside gun. I'm carrying a much lighter,easier to carry, more compact 2" snubby.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:45 PM
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This is a lot harder than I thought it would be but I am not cheap when it comes to this kind of stuff but I am trying to find the right gear.
Not to slight some of the patrons of this board, like Lobo Gun Leather (worth a look), but once you figure out just what works for you, you might want to check out Ken Null. His prices may strike you as ...steep, but the stuff is outstanding and wears like iron.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
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Wow all of that is great advice. I will continue to experiment and find out what works best thank yall for the info.

WRmoore I will check out safariland and what you mentioned, thanks for the informative post. I was kind of worried about falling down on my back that would suck.

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be but I am not cheap when it comes to this kind of stuff but I am trying to find the right gear. I think I made a good choice on belt but I am going to try a few more holsters.
Once you find the right setup you will know it as it will feel like the best setup. Good luck with your choices!!
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:35 AM
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Look at these holster makers' websites bec they not only make some of the best holsters around, but they also describe what makes a good holster and why. So, even if you don't buy from them you will learn a lot:
Garrity's Gunleather
5 Shot Leather
Mitch Rosen

carrying a gun is a lifestyle commitment, so you will have to adjust your wardrobe to make it work. The best way to conceal a large gun is IWB. Personally, I hate carrying large guns IWB and, therefore, I carry nothing bigger than a Kahr K9 Elite 03 or a S&W J-frame IWB.
However, I carry large guns OWB and these are not only very comfortable, but also very well hidden as long as you dress accordingly. You must have a high-riding pancake/paddle holster or the tunnel/loop holster to hide it well. That's why you should look at the websites above bec they discuss all this very well. You will learn.

I highly recommend the Kahr K9 Elite 03 - 7 or 8 rounds of 9mm in an all SS package for IWB - or BUG. They make Polymer versions if you prefer that instead. But once you shoot the K9 Elite you will want it. It is striker fired like the S&W and the SA XD. I would then carry your M&P OWB.

One last option - Shoulder Holster? Look at Garrity's SH - pretty much the best.

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
Not to slight some of the patrons of this board, like Lobo Gun Leather (worth a look), but once you figure out just what works for you, you might want to check out Ken Null. His prices may strike you as ...steep, but the stuff is outstanding and wears like iron.
I will take a look, thanks a lot WR Moore!

And thank you breakingbad I heard the Kahr 9's were very good although I really want a .45 after shooting it the other day although on 5+1 is kinda low. I guess that's with any single stack though. The Shield has a 7+1 but I've heard mixed things. A shoulder holster would be awesome but I don't wear suits or blazers very often and if I were wearing a jacket I would need to keep it on all day which sometimes is hard.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:50 PM
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Small .45 is great if you can handle it with accuracy. I can't so I stick with 9mm, but I do have an XD tactical 5" in .45 which is my favorite. That is an excellent weapon that has a good stock trigger and easy to handle. I wanted a striker-fired big bore full size polymer to carry in my backpack (I'm not comfortable carrying 1911 cocked/locked in a backpack, even tho' it's also in the holster). The XD has NEVER once malfunctioned, no matter what I put through it or how I shoot it. We can't get the XDm in Kalifornia, which is the newer generation.

.45 costs a lot more to shoot than 9mm tho', so I figure one day you'll get a 9mm anyway, in the same or similar platform, to practice with more often. I have friends who own M&P or XD in .45, and get same gun but in 9mm, which is lot cheaper to shoot. I think it's just another reason to buy another gun, bec you need to have a reason when you have to explain it to your wifey/GF.

:-)

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Old 11-03-2012, 02:35 PM
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I carry my FS M&P 9mm in a Old Faithful holster with no problems except when I have to drive my car. I have not yet found a good place were it will not poke my side. However, I never have a problem when riding my motorcycle which I ride everyday to work. I am a thin build 6'1" and a 140lbs, so I understand what you are talking about. I went with the Old Faithful mainly because of the price, not wanting to spend a lot money on something that did not work for me. Like others have said, it will take trial and error to get the holster to sit right on your body and a good gun belt is a must I got mine at the Wilderness company, they have a lifetime replacement.

Old Faithful Holsters | Leather Kydex Hybrid Holsters and Holster Kits

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Old 11-04-2012, 12:44 PM
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I had a king tuk for a while and liked it at first. I used it for my fs and compact. Just didn't conceal as well as my Theis does with my 4003. So I got rid of it. I am eventually going to get a Theis for my M&Ps but for now I carry them in a Safariland model 18 IWB.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:19 PM
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I normally carry my M&P40 compact in a MTAC Minotaur IWB, but it also fits all my other M&P' The full size 40 the fullsize 9mm as well as the 2 full size 45's I also have an MTAC for my M&P Shield 40 but I also wear a Woolrich Vest year round, and since everyone I work with or encounter seems to know that that is my normal attire nobody pays attention.

The Woolrich Vest is not the Tactical one with mag pouches and all but the lightweight but durable denim with venting and mag holders in the lower pockets for a total of six mags or even six shotgun shells as they are elastic and can expand, very inconspicuous.

I also am not a large man being 5'6" and 140 to 145 ponds and unless the wind blows my open vest away from my weapon it is unnoticeable, and if the wind does pick up I am prepared to zip it up. The way this garment drapes it allow not only IWB but also OWB with say a Blackhawk Serpa which I use alot also!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:23 AM
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I'm 5'11" an 180 lbs. Talk about cheap I carry my Ruger P95 in an Uncle Mikes IWB at about 2 o'clock and it works just fine. Everyone is different, you just have to find what works for you!
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  #30  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by M&P Freak View Post
For me, the words "Full-Size", "IWB" and "Comfortable" cannot be used in the same sentence.
Holy smokes that made me laugh. Don't get me wrong, I get your meaning and agree with it. The sentence just caught me off guard and made me laugh.

Last edited by Tomkat; 12-16-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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  #31  
Old 12-20-2012, 06:29 PM
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M&P Freak, I sorta agree with you on your above statement. However, you can get used to almost anything. Some of friends have the ugliest wives I've ever seen...
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:54 AM
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A simple rule of thumb for most of us is that bigger and heavier eventually gets left at home (regardless of holster choice), while small and light gets carried daily. Some can carry a full size gun w/o a problem but I was never one of those people.

My EDC is a small & light revolver. For semiauto folks the same principle applies - good luck.
Exactly. When I first got my CPL, I figured I'd carry my full size 1911. Didn't take long to come to Old cop's conclusion. Even my Compact 9's a problem in warm weather. EDC these days is either a Shield or Bodyguard wheelgun. If you're set on carrying full size, you'll have to find a way around the large grip printing. The weight's something you'll have to live with.
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