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Concealed Carry for Big Guys: Best CCW Tips, Holsters for Fat Guys

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Concealed Carry for Big Guys: Best CCW Tips, Holsters for Fat Guys

Let’s face it – concealed carry for heavy-set folks is not the same as it is for our smaller counterparts. When you have a *ahem* rounder midsection, strapping a gun and holster to your waistline can be not only difficult to conceal, but also wildly uncomfortable.

So, what’s a husky guy to do?

Concealed carry for big guys all comes down to finding the right gear and carry position. A quality holster for your pistol, a secure gun belt, and a concealment wedge can all do wonders to help prevent your CCW from printing and ensure it’s comfortable to carry throughout the day.

In this article, we’ll cover all the concealed carry options for fat guys and share some tips and tricks for finding that “sweet spot” of comfort and concealment – regardless of your size.

Best Concealed Carry Position for Fat Guys

As for everyone, where you position your gun and holster along your waistline makes a huge difference when it comes to the overall comfort and concealment of your CCW. And your size certainly influences which positions work well and which just… don’t. While everyone is different, the following carry positions tend to work best for heavy-set people, generally speaking.

2 O’clock

The 2 o’clock position, or 10 o’clock for lefties, is one of the easiest to start with if you’re new to concealed carry. It works particularly well for big guys since this is typically the region that falls between the proverbial “love handles” and stomach, making it a natural hiding place for an IWB holster. Not only is it really easy to conceal in this area, but it’s pretty comfortable for both sitting and standing, too, without having to constantly readjust your setup.

5 O’clock

Similar to the 2 o’clock position, 5 o’clock concealed carry (or 7 o’clock for our left-handed friends) positions your firearm right behind the love handle without entering into the danger zone that is small of back carry. It’s a little bit harder to reach back there, but it’s still reasonably accessible and is one of the easier positions to conceal – especially with a cover garment. The 5 o’clock position is pretty comfortable as well, though less so for those who tend to sit a lot throughout the day or suffer from a bad back.

3 O’clock

In terms of comfort, it’s hard to beat the 3 o’clock – or 9 o’clock if you’re left-handed – position. This is especially true if you’re opting for OWB carry, though it can work with IWB as well. Whether you’re sitting or standing, this position is overall just very comfortable to wear and easy to draw from, too. That being said, the downside to 3 o’clock carry is that it’s also incredibly challenging to conceal on any body type. Because of its position directly on the side of your hip, your carry pistol will stick out more than usual and you’ll have to be more selective about the clothing you wear. But if you can make it work, more power to you, because you can’t beat it as far as comfort goes!

Can Big Guys Carry Appendix? Of Course!

There is a common misconception in the gun world that appendix carry is reserved for skinny people. While sure, this style of carry is often easier for the smaller-framed, plenty of larger folks can and do carry appendix without any trouble – it’s all about technique.

Appendix Carry for Big Guys

So, how do you make appendix carry for fat guys like us work?

It’s a pretty simple strategy, really. And it’s known as the “300th Parallel.” A term first coined by Evolving Daily YouTuber Jacob in a Warrior Poet Society video, the 300th parallel refers to the shifting location at which guys over 300 pounds can successfully carry appendix. The problem big guys have with appendix carry is when we try to carry in that “in-between” space between the belly and the pooch that occurs beneath the belt line.

“If I wear my gun like I do when I’m standing up, then I sit down … then you’re getting pressure high and low,” Jacob explains in the video. “You can’t bridge the gap, there’s intersecting angles.”

Instead of fighting it, you have to be flexible. If you wear your belt a little loose, you can shift your firearm and holster as you sit and stand. When you stand, adjust your pistol over your below-the-belt pooch for deep concealment, and when you sit, lift it up to sit more against your belly. That way, you can significantly reduce the discomfort associated with the gun pressing against your body in that “in-between” space around your waistline.

At the end of the day, though, the holster you carry makes a big difference in how well this will work for you. It’s recommended that you carry a holster specifically made for appendix carry, like the Vedder Holsters LightTuck® or SideTuck™, paired with a padded concealment device like a holster wedge. We’ll get into some more detail about the best holsters for big guys next.

Best Holster for Fat Guys: What Are the Options?

When it comes to making concealed carry work for huskier guys, the right holster can make all the difference. There are so many options when it comes to CCW holsters. Inside the waistband, outside the waistband, pocket carry, off-body… the possibilities are endless. Let’s break it down.

Fat Guy showing off his Vedder Holsters IWB LightTuck

Most Comfortable IWB Holster for Big Guys

If the idea of carrying a firearm on the inside of your pants waistband makes you sweat, you’re not alone. But don’t worry. Large guys can carry IWB just as easily as anyone else with the right setup.

One of the most versatile CCW holsters for inside the waistband carry is the Vedder LightTuck®. This all-Kydex IWB holster is designed with adjustable retention, three levels of ride height, and 30 degrees of forward and reverse cant, making it super easy to customize to a position that feels comfortable for you. The LightTuck® is our most popular holster, and we’ve found it works for most of our customers regardless of size. You can also order it without a sweat shield, which can make it more comfortable for those of us with rounder midsections.

If you’re looking for maximum comfort, try a holster with two points of contact to evenly distribute the weight of your gun on your waistline. Holsters with two clips like the SideTuck™ and ProTuck™ accomplish this very well, while hybrid holsters with a leather backing, like the ComfortTuck® and RapidTuck®, are even more comfy.

One of the best tricks for making CCW for fat guys work when carrying IWB is to utilize a concealment device like the Vedder Holster Wedge. This lightweight foam wedge is designed to adhere to the back of your holster and draw the top of your gun closer to your body. It’s one of the best ways to reduce printing of either your grip or a bulky slide, and it can create some added comfort as well. Plenty of big guys utilize a holster wedge to keep their rig closer to their body, and many find it especially helpful when carrying AIWB.

OWB Holster for Fat Guys

If you prefer open carry, or just find that outside the waistband carry is more comfortable for you, finding the right rig is still important in ensuring a good experience. Fortunately, we have some recommendations for you.

When it comes to concealed carry for big guys, the Vedder Holsters Quick Draw is probably the best option going. This hybrid OWB holster features a wide leather backing with loops that comfortably secure it to your belt and a durable Kydex shell. The leather backing allows the holster to really mold to your unique body shape for maximum comfort no matter what your size.

If adjustability and convenience are deal breakers for you, the ProDraw® paddle holster is a fantastic choice. This all-Kydex holster comes with a paddle-style clip that allows you to take it off and put it on without having to remove your belt. It also has adjustable retention and cant so you can customize it to your liking, and you have the option of ordering it without a sweat shield to prevent anything from jabbing you in the gut (nobody likes that).

Other Concealed Carry Holsters for Fat Guys

If waistband carry just isn’t working for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of concealed carry options out there, some of which work better than others for big guys. Although it’s hard to beat IWB in terms of concealment, many larger folks find that a bellyband or shoulder holster works well for them, both being a pretty comfortable option.

Off-body carry is always an option, though it’s not necessarily recommended thanks to some serious safety concerns. If you’re really struggling to make waistband carry work for you, pocket carry might be a better alternative. Holsters specifically designed for pocket carry, like the Vedder Holsters Pocket Locker®, can offer you the security and comfort you need when carrying in your pant or coat pocket.

Best Concealed Carry Guns for Big Guys

Whether you’re looking to make your first handgun purchase, or are looking to upgrade your system, you’re probably wondering which guns are best for bigger guys. The good news is, no matter what your size, you can conceal carry pretty much any pistol if you’re determined and willing to adjust your wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean that every gun is necessarily the most practical.

Big Guy Carrying IWB

The best pistol for you will entirely come down to your personal needs and preferences on things like price, features, caliber, and size. That being said, there are a few things larger men should keep in mind when searching for the perfect concealed carry gun.

Grip: First, when you’ve got bigger hands, you need a pistol that will feel comfortable to hold and shoot. A lot of people gravitate toward smaller pistils thinking they’ll be easier to conceal, and while that may be true, it does you no good if you can’t get a solid grip on the firearm to accurately shoot it in the first place. So, look for a handgun with a thicker, more substantial grip that you can comfortably get your paws around. It may even be worthwhile to look for one that comes with interchangeable backstraps so you can customize it to your hand size.

Weight: Most big guys are hard-pressed to carry around a few extra pounds if we don’t have to. So, while heavier steel-framed pistols are great if you want to reduce recoil, a lighter polymer one may be a better option if you’re strictly thinking about comfort. At the end of the day, this one is a personal choice.

Size: There’s no way around it. Longer, larger weapons are more likely to jab you in the gut or thigh, and husky guys simply have more to jab. We’ve already established that you’ll want a firearm with a larger grip, so this part will be a bit of a balancing act between finding something big enough to hold yet small enough to be comfortable carrying. Generally speaking, compact guns with a barrel length of no more than 5 inches or so are going to work the best here, but it all depends on your particular body and comfort level.

Fat Guy Concealed Carry Clothes: What to Wear?

Even the best holster in the world will be ineffective if the clothing you wear is too tight, too short, or too thin. Fortunately, there are a few guidelines you can follow to prevent your firearm from printing.

First, if you plan to carry inside the waistband, you’ll want to start buying your pants a size or two larger to accommodate the size of your gun and holster. Not only will this be a lot more comfortable, but it will conceal better as well. Beyond that, just make sure that the pants you buy have sturdy belt loops that can accommodate at least a standard 1.5-inch belt.

Vedder Holsters Wedge

Speaking of belts, a quality gun belt is another essential piece in a concealed carry wardrobe. While this is true for all concealed carriers regardless of size, it’s especially true for those of us who struggle to keep our pants up on a good day. The exact belt you choose comes down to personal preference, but make sure it’s a sturdy gun belt designed for everyday carry. These belts are built stiffer and more durable than most to support the weight of your carry system, effectively reducing the dreaded “belt sag”. If you’re not sure where to start, Vedder Holsters has several tactical belts for big guys to choose from, including the ever-popular Cobra® Quick Release, the low-profile V3 belt, and the classy yet rugged Polymer Core Leather Gun Belt.

The shirt you wear is another important element… obviously. While you can easily find roomy shirts specifically designed for concealed carry through companies like Vertx and 5.11, you’ll likely find there are plenty of usable shirts already in your closet. The main thing to keep in mind is that a concealed carry shirt should be loose-fitting, thick, and ideally in a dark color or pattern. You can also utilize things like vests, jackets, flannels, and Hawaiian shirts to really keep things under wraps, it just depends on your personal style.

Summary

EDC is different for everyone, and concealed carry for big guys can be especially tricky. Fortunately, with the right gun, holster, clothing, and carry position, it’s actually pretty simple. Even appendix carry is doable!

A quality, comfortable holster is by far the most critical part of successful concealed carry. If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster for your pistol, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.

Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of apparel, and accessories at our website, vedderholsters.com.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Vedder Holsters content and offerings, check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And be sure to visit our sister company, GeoGrit, for all your American-made minimalist wallet needs.

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