Concealing a firearm is usually painless when you’re in a casual fit with the top hanging loose, but what about when it’s time to dress up and tuck in a dress shirt? Is a concealed carry with a tucked-in shirt possible?
Today, we answer all your burning questions with regard to carrying a concealed weapon with a tucked-in shirt, from whether or not it’s possible to alternatives that you ought to consider.
Can You Conceal Carry With a Tucked Shirt? Short Answer
Yes, you can conceal your handgun with a tucked shirt. What you’re going to need is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster with a J-type belt clip. Ideally, the tuckable holster should have two belt clips to ensure a smooth profile for your weapon.
How to Conceal Carry Your Gun With a Shirt Tucked
There are two main factors you have to consider if you want to achieve the perfect concealed carry: the type of concealed carry holster you’re going to use and the carrying position.
The Type of Holster
Even though it’s possible to conceal your gun behind a shirt using just about any concealed carry holster, the most convenient option is the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. As the name suggests, an IWB holster is one that clips onto your belt and hangs inside the waistband.
Ideally, you should opt for an IWB holster that features two J-type belt clips. Unlike regular clips, J-type holster clips allow for some space between them and the holster itself. Said space is where you’re going to tuck in your shirt.
You’re probably wondering, “Why not just one belt clip instead of two?” Good question!
Carrying a single-clip waistband holster with a shirt tucked will force you to continuously bunch up your clothes, which can easily ruin the aesthetics of your fit.
Per contra, a double-clip holster will smoothen out the profile of your firearm and ensure a firm tuck-in that won’t get bunched up as you’re moving.
We’d recommend investing in a belt holster that features a neoprene back to ensure maximum comfort. Neoprene back pads do a great job of distributing the weight of the holstered gun across the user’s waistline.
The Carrying Position
When it comes to carry positions, the two positions to consider here are the side conceal carry and the appendix conceal carry.
Strong Side Concealed Carry
If you’re a right-handed individual, start by positioning the holster at the 3 o’clock position on your waistline. If you’re left-handed, start at the 9 o’clock position.
Now, tuck in your cover garment—whether it’s a shirt, t-shirt, or sweater—and take a look in the mirror to see if the gun is concealed properly.
If your firearm isn’t properly concealed at the 3 or 9 o’clock position, or if you’re simply not comfortable, try moving the holster to 4 o’clock if you’re right-handed or 8 o’clock if you’re left-handed. This will position your weapon right behind the front part of your hip.
Alternatively, you can try moving the holster forward to 2 o’clock if you’re right-handed or 10 o’clock if you’re left-handed. Experiment with these different o’clock positions until you find one that works for you.
It’s worth noting that we’re quite fond of the 4 o’clock position—8 o’clock if you’re left-handed—because it works for guns of different sizes and it allows for a good drawing capacity. What’s more, in this clock position, the holster clips are behind the hip, so it’s hard to see them from the front.
Generally, when trying to determine the ideal position for your holster, you want to scan your waistline for any flat contours.
Tucking in your holster at a waist position that has flat contours will add an extra few inches of width to your waistline, which will help keep the holster under wraps and allow for an easier draw.
Appendix Concealed Carry
The appendix carry position is hard to pull off with a tucked dress shirt, but it offers a ton of advantages if done right. Some of these advantages include:
- Great concealment
- Ease of access
- Works for all handguns
- Super fast drawing
The reason why an appendix carry is hard to pull off is that it positions the holster right at the front, which in turn exposes the holster clips.
If someone takes a good look at your belt and notices the belt clips, they might be able to tell that you’re carrying. This is why we don’t recommend this type of carry if you’re looking for ultimate concealment.
To minimize the chances of people noticing the belt clips, make sure to wear a black belt that matches the color of the holster’s belt clips so that they blend together, making it seem as if the clips are part of the belt.
Check out this strong side vs. appendix video for more insight.
How to Draw From Concealed Carry Behind a Tucked Shirt
Drawing a gun that’s concealed behind a tucked shirt can be a bit of a challenge at first. As with anything, though, practice makes perfect!
To access your gun while it’s holstered behind your shirt, you have to pull up your shirt using your support hand. If you’re wearing some sort of jacket or suit coat on top of the shirt, you’ll need to use the arm and wrist of your dominant hand to push the jacket or coat aside before you pull up the shirt using your support hand.
When pulling up your shirt, make sure your grip is solid. Also, make sure to grab the shirt from a point that’s near the waistband before you pull it up. Grabbing it from high up may force you to have to pull it up a second time, especially if the shirt you’re wearing is too long.
If you’re using a holster that uses some sort of fastener or Velcro strap to secure your weapon, be sure to release the securing mechanism so that you can take out your weapon without obstructions. Now that you have enough clearance, you can fully draw your weapon using your dominant hand.
What Is the Best Alternative to an IWB Holster Carry?
Not a big fan of tuckable holsters that go inside the pants? Don’t worry; there are a few other convenient ways through which you can conceal a pistol while wearing a tucked shirt.
1. Ankle Holster
If you don’t want to bother with concealing your pistol behind your shirt, an ankle holster is your best bet. Just bear in mind that it takes longer to access an ankle-holstered pistol than it does to access one that’s holstered around the waist area.
2. Belly Band Holster
Using a belly band holster is one of the simplest ways to conceal your handgun under a tucked shirt. It’s one of the best alternatives to an inside-the-waistband holster when it comes to comfort, but it’s not that great when it comes to drawing speed since most belly band holsters use Velcro straps.
Note that, with belly band holsters, printing can occur if the shirt you’re wearing is tucked in too tightly. So, if you’ll be using a belly band holster, make sure to tuck your shirt a little loose to prevent printing.
3. Pocket Carry
As the name suggests, a pocket holster is one that’s placed within a pocket. The pistol is then holstered inside it, granting you easy access and a relatively fast drawing speed.
We’re generally fond of the pocket carry method, but you need to keep in mind that it doesn’t work if you’re wearing pants that are too tight. To use this holstering method effectively, you’ll need to wear pants or shorts that are a notch or two larger than your regular fit.
You now know that concealed carrying while wearing a tucked shirt isn’t as hard as it seems. You’ll need time to practice your drawing and to experiment with different waistline positions, though.
The best way to conceal a gun with a tucked shirt is to invest in a tuckable IWB holster with two J-type clips. There are two main carry positions to choose from: the strong side carry and the appendix carry.
With the side carry, the holster is positioned near the front part of the hip. With the appendix carry, the holster is positioned right at the front. Each position has its pros and cons, so try them both.