Dear Fellow Survivalist;
I’ve been carrying concealed for quite a few years and if there’s one constant in carrying concealed, is that the weight of the pistol and extra magazines tends to pull your pants down. Adding to that, many of us wear our shirts outside our pants, to conceal our pistols, eliminating any friction our shirts might provide to help keep our pants from sliding. The whole problem is made even worse for those of us who are overweight (I include myself in that), as the curvature of our bellies can make it even easier for the belt to keep slipping, once it starts going down.
So what do we do about it?
To start with, a good belt is essential. I wear only top grain and full grain belts. All of the other categories of leather and fake leather just aren’t strong enough. While they might work out in a pinch, they won’t last. The weight of the pistol and holster cause that belt to fail before long
But even a good quality belt won’t totally solve the problem. I find myself reefing my belt in as tight as I can, and then trying to pull it one notch more. Still, it eventually works its way down the curve, to the point where I’m at risk of losing my pants. Getting up and down, raising my arms overhead and carrying things all seem to make this worse.
One solution is to wear suspenders, along with the belt. While that is a satirical faux pas, it’s not as much of one as losing your pants in public. I wear my suspenders under my shirt, so they aren’t obvious, which seems to work out fine in the wintertime, but not so well in the summer. Once it’s hot enough that I’m sweating, the suspenders stick to my skin and end up coming loose from my pants. So instead of pulling my pants up all the time, I end up reattaching my suspenders to my pants all day long.
The other solution is to wear my pistol in such a way that it isn’t putting weight on my belt. There aren’t all that many methods which do that, but there are a few, specifically the belly band, the shoulder holster and the ankle holster.
I’ve never used a belly band or a shoulder holster, so I can’t talk about how effective they are or aren’t. Shoulder holsters have been around for a long time, mostly used by police detectives and security guards. The fact that they’ve been around for so long makes me think that they must work well, especially for those who wear a suit all day. The main reason I don’t have one is that I only wear a suit to special events, which isn’t frequent enough that I’ve talked myself into spending the money.
The belly band would seem to have the same problem as a belt would, except for one major difference… its elastic. That means it can react to changes in the body, specifically the changes in our girth that are caused by activity. So the belly band is a winner in my book, even though I don’t normally use one.
What I do use is an ankle holster. I actually have two, as I have two different carry guns that I use at different times. One of those is just a magazine holder, with slots for two magazines, while the other holds a small pistol and magazine. I use the mag holder when I’m wearing my pistol on my belt, but don’t have anywhere to carry spare magazines. I wear the other when I need to carry concealed, but am trying to avoid the problem of my pants falling down.
I’m right-handed, so I carry the pistol holster on the inside of my left leg. But when I’m using the other ankle holster, the one for carrying spare mags, I found I need to carry it on the inside of my right leg. That’s because I would be drawing those mags out with my left hand, so depending on the position I’m standing or sitting in, it’s easier to get it from the right leg than the left.
Surprisingly, I’ve found the ankle holster to be a good option. It’s comfortable to wear, secure and unobtrusive. Unless I’m wearing peg leg pants, it can’t be seen, especially since most people don’t think to look at the ankle for a gun. The one drawback is that if I need my gun in a hurry, it takes too long to draw it. On top of that, the pistol’s barrel is so short, it’s just for short range. For those reasons, I never use the pistol in the ankle holster when I’m shopping, going to the bank or going other places where the risk might be high.
Still, it’s important to be ready. That’s why I’m always saying to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand. That includes your daily carry pistol.