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Louisiana Concealed Carry Association

The “Magically Shrinking” Concealed Carry Holster

The “Magically Shrinking” Concealed Carry Holster

One of the greatest and most frequent misconceptions about concealed carry holsters is something I like to call “size reduction theory”. It seems like common sense, but for some reason many CCW owners have a tendency to think that there is a magic concealed carry holster out there that will shrink their gun when it is in the holster on their body. Then when they need to draw the weapon it will magically return to the gigantic size and caliber that they need to neutralize the impending threat.

Of course, I am being a little silly, but many people really think they can holster a larger gun than their body type will permit and think it all revolves around the “right” holster.

The truth of the matter is that to carry concealed properly you must first and most importantly match the size of the weapon to the size of your body. While a good concealed carry holster is important it is not as important as properly choosing the size of weapon for your body size and type.

So, how do you do you choose the right gun for your body size and type? Consider the two following suggestions.

First, when you are gun shopping or choosing the weapon you want to conceal consider your body type and size as compared to the available sizes of firearms available.

For example, if you are a petite size woman your options will be limited mostly to the pocket gun and sub-compact sized firearms.

If you are a medium to large size woman your options will range from sub-compact sized firearms to compact and possibly full size (more than likely this is not the case though for most woman).

Maybe you are thinking great, I might as well just carry a rock in my pocket because now I don’t have the choice of a large enough caliber for self-defense purposes.

Don’t be so fast to discount the smaller calibers as adequate for self-defense. 9mm and .380 hollow points are adequate for self-defense in most every situation. Also, recent technology has made available more sub-compact fire arms in .45 , .357 and .40 caliber. For instance the M&P Shield and the Springfield XDs are available in 9mm, .40 caliber and .45 caliber respectively.

Now back to our original subject. Size matters when matching a concealed carry weapon to your body size and type.

Most men will be able to carry pocket guns, sub-compacts and compacts relatively easily with the right choice of concealed carry holster and proper dressing techniques. If you are a larger built man you will be able to carry pretty much any handgun of your choice with relative ease. Considering again that you have the correct holster and proper dressing techniques to adequately conceal your gun of choice.


Pocket to Sub-Compact

Sub-Compact to Compact

Compact to Full Size

Woman Build

Petite to Small

Small, Medium, Large

Extra Large

Men Build



Large to Extra Large


Secondly, after choosing the right sized weapon  you will want to test conceal the gun you are looking at purchasing or at least one similar in size and shape. This can be done at the gun store. If you ask politely and explain you are purchasing for concealed carry purposes it shouldn’t be a problem with most sales reps. I suggest purchasing an inexpensive, inside the waistband, soft side, clip type holster for this purpose. Bring the holster with you and as you are looking at the different possible choices ask the sales rep if it would be alright to test fit the gun into your holster for concealed carry. It is helpful to have somebody with you to see if the gun is obviously noticeable or not.

A better and more thorough test fit scenario is to test fit a friend’s gun that is similar in size and shape to the one you plan on purchasing. If this is possible it will give you more time to evaluate different positions, methods and clothing for concealed carry of your weapon.

Another test fit option, but admittedly a little more costly one is to purchase a Blue Training Gun, Air Soft replica or BB gun of the handgun you are considering purchasing. Most popular gun models are available in Blue Training Guns for around $50 or less. Some Air Soft models and BB gun models can be as inexpensive as $10 or less online. Spending $50 to find out the gun you are thinking about is impossible to conceal effectively is better than spending five to six hundred or more on a gun you just can’t use for the purpose it was intended.

Once you have selected your gun properly you can fine tune your concealed carry method by choosing the best holster(s) for your gun, body size and modes of dress.Matching the gun to your body first will save you time, money and a lot of future frustration in attempting to conceal a gun that is just too big for your body. Stop looking for that “magical, gun shrinking” holster, because it just doesn’t exist (not yet anyway!).

About the author: Anthony Battaglia is the founder, owner and developer for TactiPac – Tactical Solutions Provider , the founder of Missionccw.com and The Louisiana Concealed Carry Association . He is a Christian, Husband, Father, business owner, U.S. Navy Veteran, CCW permit holder, gun enthusiast and outdoorsman. You can receive more information or contact Anthony by visiting AnthonyBattaglia.org,  Tactipac.com or MissionCCW.com .

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