I know the trend, now, is moving towards concealed carrying your full size .45, but let me tell you—bigger isn’t always better. Sure, there are benefits to carrying your double-stack .45—literally more bullets—however concealed carrying that pistol is going to be a nightmare.
During the summer, many people carry their .38 specials or 9mms—mostly so that they don’t have to conceal their firearm as heavily. Take myself as an example:
I am a 5’3” woman with a medium build. Now, let’s pretend I could hold a .45 comfortably (in reality, my hands are too small for me to confidently carry/shoot a .45). To properly conceal a .45 on my hip, I would have to wear an undershirt, loose t-shirt, jeans with a good belt, and a vest. I live in Arkansas—where the summer feels like hell on good, breezy days. Wearing all those clothes in the heat is not going to be comfortable, which means I’m not going to want to carry my weapon.
This is counter-productive; I have a concealed carry license so that I can carry a pistol every day to protect myself and my family. I am less likely to carry if I have to be uncomfortable just to keep my pistol concealed.
Many of the men I know don’t want to wear their long-sleeved shirts, multiple layers, and pants. We all want to wear tank-tops and shorts! Trust me—I’m right there with you. So unless you want to be miserably hot all the time (I can’t imagine how you guys that work outside all the time, carrying a full size concealed, feel), it’s probably not a good idea to carry your full sized pistol during the summer. I go more into summer carry, here.
Now, I obviously do not carry a .45. In fact, my winter carry pistol is a 9mm Browning Hi power (which to all you 1911 fans, it’s super similar; comparison post is in the works). I have written in other posts that I carry a .38 special during the summer with speed loaders. But even during the winter, it can be uncomfortable to carry my Highpower, even then I might opt for my smaller pistol.
One way to carry your full size pistol is, of course, with shoulder carry, but even then you would have to wear a button-up shirt or perhaps a vest—which during the summertime can be a pain, but perfect for winter.
The point, however is to carry. Do what makes you comfortable, fast, and remain safe, but carrying that full size isn’t always going to the best option.
If you carry your full size during the summer, how do you stay concealed and comfortable?