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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gun = 5" Taurus 1911

Build = 5'11" 190 pounds

Dress = business casual (Khakis and tucked in button down long sleeve shirt)

(And no...I don't like long walks on the beach...)

I have been researching this a long time and have played around with a few different options but as usual would like some input.

I have a medium frame and have a little bit of torso protection (Fat) but I don't have a gut.My pants fit me, and aren't too tight or too loose. I tuck my shirts for work and thus need to find the right balance of holster. Worse case scenario I fall back to my Kel Tec P-32, but I really want the .45 with me.
I work in the legal field and therefore have a mix of activity (Sitting, standing, driving) in any given day.

Now there are a couple of ways to approach this that I am aware of;

#1 IWB - Pros = Most accessible, least risk of harm from gun being pointed in unintended direction, lowest probability of having draw blocked.

Cons = Requires larger waistband, lack of comfort in many situations, not easily accessible while driving or sitting.


#2 Shoulder rig - Pros = Can be concealed under shirt (With barrel pointing straight down), easily accessed in car or while sitting (Shirt partially unbuttoned)

Cons = Not nearly as quickly accessed (When under shirt), more movement in holster, potentially uncomfortable.

#3 Crotch holster aka "Thunderwear" - Pros = allegedly good concealment, reasonably good access, alleged comfort.

Cons = Compared to the IWB, its a slow draw, but prob. on par with the shoulder rig, printing ( given the positioning, this may not be a con...), potential uncomfortable when seated.


I have concluded as have many on this forum that there is no perfect, can do it all, holster option.

That said, I would like to know if anyone has successfully worn a concealed (Under a button down shirt) shoulder holster. (ONe of the guys at my local gun shop uses one under a button down, but he also wears a vest).

ALso, any IWB holster will have to be tuckable. I have seen the Crossbreed (http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/beltslide.html)option on the web and it looks promising, but of course. I am looking for actual, hands on feedback from those who have used them.

I understand one must dress around the gun, but I cannot wear hawaiian shirts, nor cargo pants to work.

I will increase my pants waist size to match, but, I don't want to have that tell tale bulge on my hip and that is what I am seeking to avoid. Also, I have to maintain a businesslike appearance and cannot have the clothes hang loose and baggy.

I am looking for anyone who has used any of the holsters I have mentioned (Or similar) to describe their experiences with concealing a 5" 1911 while wearing dress pants and a tucked button down shirt. ( I know there is no magic bullet, so I'm looking for the best compromise). Also, while I know most people are well intentioned in their responses, I have no immediate plans of changing guns (Finances will not allow it). Therefore, any advise to do so, will not benefit my inquiry.(I will fall back on the P-32 if the 1911 just doesnt work out).

BTW I live in FL and wearing a sport coat would at best only occur in an AC office building. Even then, it would likely not stay on very long, thus this choice is not tremendously likely either.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Personally I have concealed a govt 1911 under a suit with a Rosen "Workman IWB" tuckable and with a VMII but never found myself comfortable with the tuckable feature. In the environment you describe a Govt 1911 may not be the way to go. I tried some of the gimmick rigs on the market but most of them are at best gimmicks. Never felt comfortable with a gun pointing at certain body parts. I'd go with the smaller kel-tec, much easier to conceal and while not the most powerful it will do it's part if you do yours.
 

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Just my thougts - Go with the P32 or change the rules.

Just my thougts - Go with the P32 or change the rules. Wardrobe for on body will cost as much over the long haul as a good BUG of the small Glock or 3913 or what have you variety.

I'd give up the 5" Taurus for on body carry - or go off body to keep the Taurus. I'd put a snap-on the belt holster in the briefcase and carry in a day planner or a pistol pocket in a cover garment accepting the necessity to hang the jacket/vest with the pistol in the pocket on the back of a chair, on the car seat or as required.

Notice that most if not all of the on-body concealment I'm discussing here demands a weak hand rip and draw and violates a one gun one carry rule for someone who carries openly or otherwise changes circumstances from time to time.

I've known a fair number of people in and around Miami/Coconut Grove to carry a true BUG successfully - from J-frames in the 8 Ball design pocket holster to PPK size flat not revolvers in shoulder holsters under heavy fabric weight well starched shirts.

A good shoulder holster with appropriate - often customized velcro for extra time and money or just weakened buttons for cheap and easy - rip access is better than many people give it credit for today - speedy access to off-side magazines is a joke and layering undershirts and straps without ever showing the straps is a nuisance - there's a lot more clothing there than folks can be allowed to see so it's suck it up, stay in AC and use lots of starch time. Threadbare shirts don't cut it so that costs a little more too. Again I've seen it done and been surprised when the PPK was revealed - owner bragging not a serious incident. But there was more effort there than an undershirt, shoulder holster for a heavy pistol with lots of strap to spread the load, the heavy pistol and a white broadcloth shirt. Kind of the difference between Mr. Null's J-frame holster and a tanker outfit for the 1911.

If I had to/chose to carry tuckable I'd carry a BUG appendix position. I wouldn't try to carry a full 5" 1911 appendix and I prefer something engineered to be small not cut down from Mr. Browning's design. I like the 3913 family ever since I paid top dollar for a Model 39 long ago and far away. Given a BUG I'd consider a tuckable cross-draw for the rip and draw stroke. Again long ago and far away, I carried strong side cavalry draw for a little easier but not easy draw stroke while seated with the obvious advantage of easy weak hand access. I might consider that for a tuckable setup - if so I'd go with Mr. Tucker's tuckable and rip with the strong hand draw weak handed but the pistol would be in my normal carry position with either hand access. There are many disadvantages to a cavalry draw just as there are to a cross draw including problems drawing and reholstering around others or on a range or training environment. Train as you fight and some carry methods make training a real nuisance. So I'd come back to a BUG in the appendix position original Summer Special style.

Much inclined though I be to agree with John Bianchi - and others - who have emphasized the one gun one carry principle I don't see myself ripping the shirt with my weak hand and drawing strong hand from my normal carry - which is 4-5 o'clock IWB position with cover garment.

My preferred holster maker doesn't currently make a tuckable for reasons I understand to be related to the necessary rip and draw stroke if any of his current production on the hip designs were modified to be tuckable - and he makes a great pull through shoulder holster that helps in the market place. -
 

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I've used a Galco IWB tuckable rig with a small .380 and it works pretty well.
I could never conceal a full sized 1911 that way and get away with it for long.
 

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My two - can be concealed under T-shirt or vest - gun is a Series 70 Government Model .45 ACP.



Rosen ARG



Sparks VMII -

Does require belt and trousers one size larger.

:rock:
 

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Have you looked at one of the Kramer "t-shirt" holsters? The undershirt has a built in holster. If you wear a tie, leaving a couple of buttons undone will not be noticible and access to the pistol a wee bit easier. Or you can go to the Superman draw where you grab both edges if the shirt and rip the buttons off.
 

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Mexican carry is the only way that I can carry a 5 inch 1911 with a tucked in dress shirt and have reasonable concealment. I also find a firm gun belt helps with weapon retention in this mode.
 

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That said, I would like to know if anyone has successfully worn a concealed (Under a button down shirt) shoulder holster.
I have a high-quality belly band from Magills. I put it around my sternum and turn it so it carries the pistol under my left arm, butt forward, like a shoulder holster. I have carried a 5" 1911 all day like this, though it stretches out the belly band. The band is really made for a smaller pistol, but I have worn that rig successfully all day a few times.

This really is a "Superman" carry, because you will have to tear your shirt open to get to the pistol.

This is the same idea as the t-shirt holster, but you don't have to wash the belly band every day. I wear the band over a t-shirt and under a dress shirt. There is even a pocket for currency/passport and even a spare mag sleeve that is centered on my sternum when the pistol is under my arm.

This is the belly band:

http://magills.com/pgroup_descrip/3...l=index&category_id=39&_Concealment+Holsters/
 

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Fist kydex is paper thin and excellent. BTW, I wear a suit and tie everyday and cannot afford to have any printing because I'm a cardiologist.
 

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CCW options

Like others here I am not very impressed with the tuckable holsters for a gun as big as a 5" 1911. If you really tuck your shirt, a gun that big makes you look like you have a goiter of worse under your shirt.

Fortunately, current fashion gives you another option: a dress/buttoned shirt, untucked. Tookk me a while to get used to it, but seems to be acceptable everywhere now. I used to think it looked sloppy, but now its fashionable !

The other way is to tuck the buttoned shirt in, then unbutton one button, reach in and place the gun without a holster, crossdraw, then button the shirt. Need to wear a t-shirt, but really woorks well, as long as your gun is dehorned. I have used this method to carry 1911's, Hi-Powers, and a Sig 225. Not real fast, but sneaky.
 

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My vote goes to BUG/Ankle Holster. I have carried a J frame in an Alessi Ankle Rig all day, and never felt discomfort.

Khaki's should mask the holster nicely (I cary mine Inside/Left Ankle for a Right Hand Draw, and that helps in the concealment department too).

You can get an Alessi Ankle Rig for Khar's, Glock's, J-frames, Kel-Tec's......

Just another option.

John
 

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Gun = 5" Taurus 1911


BTW I live in FL and wearing a sport coat would at best only occur in an AC office building. Even then, it would likely not stay on very long, thus this choice is not tremendously likely either.
Hell...Crocket and Tubbs wore Sport Coats 24/7...what's the problem :biglaugh:
 

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I guess I am the exception. I am also in the legal field, and live in a hot climate, and for the past 2 1/2 years I have carried a 5" 1911 in a tucked Milt Sparks VM-II. Prior to that I carried a 3" Kimber in a black Bianchi fanny pack (which I liked because I carried my wallet and a bunch of other stuff in there also, and figured if people saw that I was actually using the fanny-pack, they would be less likely to think I had a gun in it). Anyway, I decided that I would give the tucked Versa-Max a try with a Springfield lightweight full-size, and I have not looked back.

I will say that there is a bulge that is somewhat noticable if someone is really looking for it. That said, however, when I first started carrying tucked one of the guys at work saw that I didn't have my fanny pack and asked me why I wasn't packing my pistol. I told him I was, and he did not believe me. I untucked the shirt and showed him, and now he can pretty much tell when I am carrying or not, but he still guesses wrong sometimes. I also "blouse" the shirt over the holster a little, and that helps hide the outline of the gun.

Other than people who already know I am carrying, I have never been "made," at least not to my knowledge, and this includes people I work with who see me everyday.

I do not have to wear a different size of pants when I am carrying or not, but they are pretty loose when I am not carrying IWB. I am 6' 1", and 200 lbs. I wear 36" waist pants, but can squeeze into a 34" if I have to.

Anyway, thought I would offer my experience. It may be helpful to you, or some type of off-body carry might be preferable for your situation. That worked for me for quite a few years, and I often still carry my fanny-pack as a BUG.
 

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My .02
I too work in a casual environment, but it is liberal! While legal it would not be wise for me to be 'made'. While I have not tried it, I am not convinced I can pull off carrying a Browning style 45 (but yearn too). I also started with a P-32 but it just seemed so ... puny. I finally compromised with a Kahr PM9 in a SmartCarry. This has been totally successful for the past 6 months with everything from shorts, jeans, to dress pants. As a programmer I spend most of my time sitting and end up standing and sitting by others as we review our work. No one has a clue that I am packing:biglaugh: The PM series seems to me to be the largest gun I could actually carry in this mode. With Levi's, it's pushing the envelope. Not enough to be noticed, but anything else would be! The PM9 is as long as I would want to go at 5.3". I do wear my pants low on my hips. Someone who wears them higher on the waist could go with a longer gun. It's not the awesome 1911 I would like to pack, but its alot better than my P32!
 

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I have 2 of the Crossbreed holsters. One is for my Kahr p40 and the other for my Para LTC. I also have a VMII. And Ihave to say the crossbreed is my favorite of the 2. It has the tuckable feature you mentioned and is extremely comfortable. It also will fit all barrell lenghts of a 1911. Give Mark Craig a call. they have a 2 week trial period our your money back and life time warranty. Its not pretty but when its stuffed in side your pants who cares how pretty. Bottom line it is a very functional holster.
 
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