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Your Guide to Concealed Carry Methods

Concealed carry gives you the ability to protect yourself in the worst-case scenario. In Arizona, you don’t need a license to do this, but getting your concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit is beneficial for reciprocity purposes and for the extra training it gives you. If you are planning to carry your weapon, it’s important to do some research into the different concealed carry methods and to practice for each type you will use.

Some of the most popular ways to conceal a firearm include:

Off-Body Carry

Most concealed carry methods involve having the firearm on your body and hidden under clothing. However, you also carry your weapon in a purse, fanny pack, briefcase, or another type of bag. You should always have a holster inside of the bag so the gun’s trigger is covered and to prevent the weapon from shifting. Off-body carry, also called OBC, does present some risks because a criminal could grab your bag with your gun inside it. It is also not a good fit for anyone who is forgetful and might leave their bag somewhere, and it can be difficult to draw your firearm quickly with this method. That being said, there are some situations when OBC could be helpful, such as if your outfit cannot effectively conceal a weapon.

On-Body Carry


One of the most popular concealed carry methods is using an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. A clip attaches the holster to your belt. IWB works well even with lighter clothing, which makes it great for hot Tucson summers. It’s also easy to get access to your gun quickly. The main downside of IWB carry is that the gun is pressing against your body, which can be uncomfortable at first.


Carrying with an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster is typically going to be more comfortable than IWB, but it is also easier to spot. You will need to adjust your clothing accordingly. Depending on the size of the gun, your body type, and other factors, this may be as simple as choosing a long shirt or a jacket to hide the gun.

Pocket Carry

You may be able to fit a compact gun in a pocket holster. It’s especially important that this holster be high-quality and your firearm should never be loose in your pocket. This can be a difficult position to draw from safely, so you need to make sure you practice this technique. Trigger discipline is especially important with this style holster although it is an essential skill needed when drawing from any position.

Shoulder Holster

A shoulder holster is an option if having your gun on your waist isn’t comfortable or otherwise doesn’t work for you. For larger firearms, this might be a better choice than IWB or OWB. With this type of concealed carry you will need to wear a jacket, and you will need to be mindful of where the gun is pointing while it is holstered.

Belly Band

A belly band holster is an elastic band around your waist with pockets to fit your firearm. Women can also consider corset holsters, which are a variation of this concealed carry method. This style is a good choice for outfits where other holsters are too obvious and since the gun is pressed closely against your body, it is going to be well concealed. However, these can be more difficult to access quickly and the area under the holster can be sweaty and uncomfortable.

Ankle Holster

A gun in an ankle holster is difficult to get to quickly and this can also interfere with your ability to run away or otherwise maneuver around while reaching for your firearm. It takes a lot of practice to get used to drawing from an ankle holster. However, it can be a good option for a backup gun or if you spend most of your day sitting.

Bra Holster

Using a holster that attaches to your bra is an option for women and can be a helpful method for concealment if other options are obvious with the type of outfit you are wearing. The downside is that there can be safety issues with this carry method, so you need to make sure you are informed about these and practice drawing safety.

Hone Your Skills at The Hub

No matter what type of holster you use, training is essential to get the practice you need to quickly draw your weapon and fire accurately. We offer a variety of training options to help you hone your skills including one-on-one instruction and larger classes.

Visit one of our two Arizona gun stores today to learn more.
a man using the owb concealed carry method

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