Concealing a weapon on a day to day basis can be a challenge. Choosing the proper weapon for comfort, and more importantly concealment, can often be a compromise in firepower. The advent of concealed carry is here and its explosive growth this last decade has produced an entire line of small pocket pistols chambered in rounds like .22 25 32 and 380.
The Dilemma of the Pocket Pistol
Outside of the .22, the 25, 32, and 380 weren’t exactly big contenders in the firearms ammunition market until recently. The 380 has always had its place in small guns, but in the past we weren’t seeing very many capable defensive loads, or options for effective loads.
The 25 and 32 has nearly faded to non existence until the Taurus Tip up 25 gained some steam and KelTec has brought back the 32 ACP as a concealed carry load.
These small guns seem perfect for CCW – small, lightweight, and incredibly easy to carry. They seem just too good to be true, but fact is there is always a catch. These small weapons are often in under powered cartridges and barely pass the 12 inch ballistic gel test mandated as necessary to score a vital hit. The small round hampered by a small magazine capacity and a short barrel which does nothing for velocity and accuracy.
Large Firearms for Concealed Carry
Larger weapons in larger calibers are of course bigger, heavier and are thought to be uncomfortable to carry. The fact is, a larger weapon chambered in a more potent caliber like 9mm, 357 Mag, Sig, 40S&W and 45 ACP are vastly superior to the miniscule, underpowered mouse gun cartridge.
Most are larger and easier to shoot, with higher magazine capacities, and the longer barrels that deliver more accuracy and velocity which increased penetration. The fact that the weapon is larger gives the idea that it makes itself uncomfortable and is often overlooked. The fact is, a bigger weapon is a more effective fighting gun, and these days there are options for effective concealed carry, even with a larger weapon.
So let’s look at three potent, powerful, and large firearms one could arm themselves with. These handguns are all extremely popular for both service and home defense use, and due to their size, are just sometimes overlooked for daily carry.
First off, the 1911 pistol, is a weapon that needs no introduction. The weapon has been around for over a century and is still serving in limited numbers with the military. The Marine Corps Special ops community has recently purchased Colt 1911 combat handguns. The 1911 is larger, but very thin, which aid in comfort and concealment.
Next is the Sig Sauer P226. The P226 is a large DA / SA handgun in service with the United States Navy Seals. This weapon is chambered in either 9mm, 40 S&W or 357 Sig. The Sig features an impressive 18 round capacity when chambered in 9mm.
Our third recommended option is not a particular weapon, but more of a size, the S&W K and L frames, or medium sized Ruger and Taurus revolvers. These weapons are most often chambered in the man stopping 357 and/or 38 special. These larger than snub revolvers offer increased controllability, a magnum caliber option, and a longer barrel and sighting radius to improve accuracy and penetration.
These three weapons are all extremely different, but are popular and very capable gun fighters. The increased fighting capability offers an extreme advantage to smaller concealed pocket pistols. In your opinion, which would you rather be in a fight with? A P226 with 18 rounds of 9mm, or a .380 with only 6 in the mag and one in the pipe?
The first step in carrying a large gun is an effective holster. Some holsters work better than others, and sometimes it’s more about the shooter’s body type and personal preference. So let’s look at a few examples.
Holsters for the 1911 – Desantis
For the classic weapon, a classic style holster is needed, for both fit and comfort, and also just a bit of style. Desantis has produced excellent holsters for decades now in every shape and size you can imagine. The Desantis holster company produces fine leather holsters. Leather holsters are ideal for the 1911. The Desantis 057 Inner Piece is a narrow holster designed for the 1911.
The Desantis 57 is a thin and compact holster that stabilizes itself with two leather belt clips and a wide wing to keep the holster from moving. The lightweight and thin nature of the holsters keeps carrying 1911’s comfortable and the leather build keeps it very comfortable.
Another simple 1911 holster is the even thinner Sof Tuck. The Desantis Sof-Tuck holster for the 1911 loses the wing, but is tuckable. The holster is a single clip design that is both wide and long to accommodate the long 1911. The Sof Tuck gets its name from the soft leather material designed to maximize comfort and reduce the potential to chafe.
Holsters for the P226 – BladeTech
The Sig P226 being much more modern than the 1911 deserves a more modern holster. The latest craze in holsters is kydex. This kydex material is a plastic based polymer. Kydex is extremely tough and offer a number of advantages over natural materials. Kydex holsters are resistant to weather, moisture, gun oil, and any kind of tearing.
Bladetech is a company that is established in the kydex holster industry. The Bladetech Nano for the P226 is a form molded holster. This form increases retention and improves draw speed by eliminating any extra nuances from the holster. The Bladetech Nano is flat side base which improve comfort, the dual clip design keeps the weapon secure on a belt. The Nano keeps the weapon nice and snug inside the waistband, ready and waiting.
Medium Frame .357s – Don Hume Holsters
The revolver may be old technology, but companies have constantly kept the weapon updated. These modern .357s are made from a wide variety of lightweight metals, and with improvements in machining and tooling have made the revolver a modern work of art. The 357 magnum is one of the more potent man fighting rounds that is a compromise of fire power and the ability to control recoil.
The Don Hume JIT slide holster for medium frame revolver is an excellent solution for carrying a 3 or 4 inch barreled revolver. The revolver has a natural slimness to it and makes it easier to conceal. The Don Hume JIT is a simple holster that slides onto the belt.
The JIT keeps the weapon tucked into the body and takes advantage of the natural slimness the majority of the revolver has. The JIT is an open top holster and relies on passive retention to keep the weapon in place. The joy of a revolver is its simplicity, and the best of part of the Don Hume JIT is its simplicity.