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The Art of Concealment

art of firearm concealment

One of the most often asked questions that we get at Nashville Gun & Knife is “What kind of holster do I need for maximum concealment?” This is a very good and seemingly simple question that leads us to do some fact-finding. You see, this simple question is not that simple.


What kind of clothes do you normally wear during the day?


What kind of work or other activities do you do?


What kind of gun do you own or plan to buy?


There are other variables that have a great impact on your concealment plans and are obvious when you meet someone in person. Men and women conceal differently. The size and body type of an individual, whether male or female, can influence their holster choices. And, of course, money is always a consideration. What can the customer afford?


As long as we are discussing cost of concealment equipment (holsters), I have seen one puzzling trend with the gun buying public. They will spend $500, $1,000, $1,500 or more to buy a handgun, several hundred dollars learning to shoot it and getting their carry permit, and then put their life and the lives of their loved ones in jeopardy by skimping on a proper holster and one that allows quick access to the gun. When you make the decision to carry a gun, you must remember it does you no good if you can’t retrieve it in an emergency. We stress quick and safe access.


I have a bit of prejudice in favor of Berettas generally, because they are such consistently made guns, EELLs and old Beretta semi-autos in particular. Both, in their way, offer a lot of bang for the buck.


My advice is to budget for a good holster, a good cleaning kit with supplies, a supply of range ammunition for early and continuing practice sessions, and a proper method of securing your firearm at home when it is not in use.


Now let us deal with proper concealment. The world is full of well meaning individuals ready and willing to give you advice. Nowhere is this advice more plentiful than in firearms. (Everybody is an expert.) We are seeing many women buying their first gun. Usually, their husbands or boyfriends will make a recommendation as to size, style and type of handgun or shotgun that would be best. After discussing their lifestyle, those recommendations often change.


Proper concealment always begins with the size and shape of the gun and the clothes that must be worn for proper concealment. There is no way you can make a fat gun thin or a large gun small. Concealment by its very definition means, “to remove from sight”. If a man wears a suit to work or a lady wears a dress, the type of gun they will be able to conceal will be quite different from a man that wears jeans and a bulky sweatshirt. An ankle holster is hard to wear under straight leg jeans but works quite well under the larger leg of dress/suit pants. A pocket pistol is often the choice for a man. This however dictates that a full cut pant would be the proper choice. I personally wear trousers with pleats allowing me to carry a pocket pistol without the outline of a gun being visible.


A purse gun for a lady would require a small revolver, not a small semi-automatic. This is a safer option due to the heavier trigger pull. This lowers the chances of accidental discharge in the purse. More importantly, the lady carrying the purse over the shoulder can travel with her hand on the gun. In an adversarial situation she can simply shoot through the purse. This is fast and effective but hard on the purse. After all a person’s life and safety is more valuable than any purse no matter how expensive.


Blue jeans are the most difficult to disguise. The legs are too tight to use an ankle holster and the pockets are too tight for any but the smallest pistol. Even the hip pocket is too tight to gain ready access to a gun. Jeans wearers, and that pretty much includes all of us from time to time, really have only two choices, an “inside the waistband” holster or to wear the gun on the belt and conceal with an over garment such as a sweater, sweat shirt or a jacket.


Pick the gun that best does your job first and then we will work on concealment. You see, the variables are endless and require great discussion. Why don’t you stop by Nashville Gun & Knife and let one of our professionals give you some help?

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5703 Old Harding Pike

Nashville, TN 37205


Phone:(615) 356-0838

Hours: M-F 10AM-6PM | Sat: 9AM-6PM | Sun: Closed