An important factor to consider when choosing a concealed carry firearm is the size and shape of your hand. There are actually many types of hands — some are small with thin fingers and others look like they belong to lumberjacks. This is why it is essential to match your hands to the right handgun.
There is a steady rise in popularity of so called “fist guns” in smaller calibers like the .380 acp.
Unfortunately, these downsized guns won’t work for everyone.
Some people will discover their hands are simply not suited to operating these smaller weapons.
Regardless, these small pocket guns do work great for many people and are especially sought after for their low profile and concealment potential.
Author Bob Pilgrim addresses this concealment versus firepower compromise decision in his article “Rapid Access: How Fast Can You Get Your Concealed Pistol Into Action?” on USConcealedcarry.com:
“Being habitually armed is challenging and can be physically uncomfortable. Hence we have witnessed the proliferation of small, lightweight, sub-compact handguns in .32 and .380 ACP calibers. Citizens have compromised on stopping power in the interest of being armed, almost always, with minimal discomfort.” (Read more about smaller concealed carry holsters and compatible weapons here)
If you do choose to carry a smaller handgun, there are a wide selection of holsters to pick from.
For active lifestyles, there are gun retention systems called micro undergarment holsters. Rather than leather or other synthetic materials, these are made of soft cotton, and are designed to ride on the front of your body at about mid chest level.
This type of holster excels at holding the gun securely during activities like running, twisting, and bending over.
Then there are pocket holsters. They come in several different designs. Some are simple leather holsters that hold the gun securely and can be worn inside most pockets. They do a good job of hiding the gun and often look like a wallet. This style can grip the pistol securely but it may require an extra second or two to disengage the gun from the holster.
If this is a concern, there is a variation on the pocket holsters called a “shoot- through” holster. This is a holster that stays on the gun. Think of it like a protective case for a smart phone that protects the phone while allowing it to be used at the same time.
The shoot- through holsters offer trigger protection and gun stability in your pocket. There is no need to worry about separating the gun from the holster; you simply shoot the gun/holster unit as a whole.
And finally we have what is called a neck holster. These are holsters worn around the neck and carried on the front of the body. They work well with lighter, smaller guns. This style of holster can be prone to moving about and becoming intermittently visible through clothes. Despite this, it is one of the quicker ways to access your gun and the carry location lends itself to concealment as most won’t expect a gun to materialize from this area.
As always, surprise is a desirable advantage with any concealed carry gun/holster combo. The great thing about many of these holster designs is they allow the carrier to get a firm and ready grip on their gun without actually pulling it out into the daylight where it can be detected.