Top Five Deep Cover Carry Options

Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.

Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:

Deep cover concealed carry comes with a bit of a conundrum: the deeper you carry your gun, the longer it may take to access it. And as you know, the whole point of concealed carry is to be able not only to access a defensive tool but also to do so very quickly.

While the shorter the time between you deciding you need to access a gun and you actually accessing your gun the better, exactly how much time is too much time is a bit of an enigma. Moreover, the deeper you carry your gun, the more likely you are to have it on your person, though it will be well-hidden and may require a bit of effort to get to it

Well, we can discuss the nuances and debate the pros and cons for a long time. In the meantime, if you do decide to carry under deep cover, here are my top five options for doing so.

Ankle Holster

The Glaco Ankle Grove Holster retails for $121.95.  (Photo: Galco)

I put ankle holster on the list of deep cover carry options more because it requires some extra finesse in order to access a gun carried there. Although covered only by an easily-pulled-up pant leg, getting your hands to the vicinity of your ankle requires either a serious bend at the hips, squatting or dropping to one knee.

Once your hands are there, the next matter is getting the pant leg up and out of the way in order to draw your gun. Depending on the ankle holster, you may have to defeat a retention strap of some kind. So, for the complexity required in accessing an ankle-carried gun, it gets put in the “deep cover” category.

My favorite ankle holster is the Galco Ankle Glove Holster ($121.95), a very comfortable and secure means of carrying a small gun. For me, a J-frame is the ideal ankle carry gun, preferably one th

at weighs less than 14 ounces. Since I’m a righty, and dropping to my right knee is a natural motion, I prefer to draw from my inside left ankle. Carried in the Galco, a J-frame hides very well under dress pants but does okay with the right pair of casual pants, too.

***Shop for your new concealed carry pistol on GunsAmerica***

Integrated Undershirt Holster

Undertech’s Concealed Carry Tank retails for $59.99.  (Photo: Undertech)

The last several years have seen numerous innovators and manufacturers integrating a carrier or holster into the fabric of an undershirt. It’s sort of like stitching a belly band to the side of a shirt. A stretchy holster carries the gun, sometimes with a retention strap of some kind, putting the gun under the armpit, similar to where a gun resides in a shoulder holster rig.

Undertech’s Concealed Carry Tank ($59.99) uses a similar design with the shirt material made from a very stretchy and durable micro/polyester fabric blend. The tank conforms to your torso, fitting very snug, which provides the stability needed to carry a gun in either (or both!) of the holster pockets. Each side also integrates pockets for spare magazines. You can also carry a gun on one side and handcuffs or other gear on the other.

Obviously meant to be an undershirt, another shirt goes over the top, effectively hiding any guns and gear stowed therein. One key advantage to this setup is the ability to carry a gun and gear and wear a tucked-in dress shirt or even a suit and tie. One key disadvantage is that you have to access the gun through the front of your shirt, usually after you defeat at least one button. If I wear a tie, however, I can leave two buttons undone and simply reach in behind the tie to access my gun.

***Shop for your new concealed carry pistol on GunsAmerica***

Tuckable IWB Holster

IWB

The Cooks Tuckable IWB holster sells for $49.95.  (Photo: Cooks Holsters)

We’ve got plenty of tuckable inside-the-waistband holsters available to us today. The majority of which provide a deep cover carry option that results in only one or maybe two black clips being visible. When the clips are hanging on to a black belt, they’re barely visible (but a trained eye can spot them).

Even in 21st Century America, plenty of people still dress up — meaning they wear a tucked-in shirt — for work or whatever else. As with most of the deep cover carry options here, the smaller the gun the easier it is to hide it. Same with a tuckable IWB such as the Cooks Tuckable IWB Holster ($49.00). In fact, the Cooks holster can be adjusted to cant forward or backward, which makes it more versatile and able to be carried in a variety of locations on body.

Set up for a straight drop or just a slight backward cant, you can carry the Cooks at 1 o’clock (appendix) and tuck it in. Depending on your build and how you dress, you now have the ability to more easily hide the single exposed clip.

***Shop for your new concealed carry pistol on GunsAmerica***

Integrated Pants Pocket Holster

The concealment pants from CCW Breakaways start around $69.99.  (Photo: CCW Breakaways)

In addition to the myriad innovative holsters available today, some are also designing clothing to better accommodate a concealed handgun. The concealment pants offered by CCW Breakaways (pants $69.99 to $79.99) provides a deep carry solution that puts your gun in a pocket below your waistline, out of any pinch zones, and able to be quickly drawn using a natural motion. But the gun is completely hidden and doesn’t print.

The pockets are not typical, of course; they’re meant to house a gun while concealing it from view. But the gun resides more on the inner thigh than you’d think. You can insert your hand into your pocket, get a full combat grip on your gun, and draw it in virtually no time at all. This is probably the fastest way to access a deeply carried gun but it also requires the purchase not of a holster but of actual articles of clothing with a form of holstering designed therein. CCW Breakaways offers casual khaki pants, cargo pants and jeans with the integrated holster/pocket.

***Shop for your new concealed carry pistol on GunsAmerica***

Integrated Shirt/Jacket/Vest Pocket Holster

The Lightweight Concealment Vest available at the Glock Store retails for $109.99.  (Photo: Glock Store)

We’ve seen plenty of articles of clothing come with hidden pockets or pockets with integrated holsters. The Lightweight Concealment Vest ($109.99) found at Glockstore.com provides not only two zippered concealment pockets, but also a holster system that attaches via hook-and-loop closure to the inside of the pockets. This allows you to carry whatever size handgun you want (within reason) on whatever side of the vest you want.

Not surprisingly, the smaller the gun, the better the carry, and your build may affect concealment as well. But it is no problem to carry a J-frame or a small, single-stack nine in the zippered pocket. Just keep in mind that you have to defeat either the pocket zipper or the vest zipper (or neither, but the vest just works better when you use both of the zippers).

Note also that both concealment zippers can be locked. Overall, it’s a good-looking vest, very subtle, and suitable for a variety of environments.

***Shop for your new concealed carry pistol on GunsAmerica***

What are your preferred deep concealment methods?

Discover how you can join more than 200,000 responsibly armed Americans who already rely on the USCCA to protect their families, futures and freedoms: USCCA.com/gunsamerica.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Willie-O December 30, 2017, 11:17 am

    leather IWB holster – several sizes, brands and yes, even colors. ok, brown and black to match belts/shoes – women aren’t the only ones that “coordinate” (i.e. match). I own a ridiculous number of handguns, many of which are small(er) frame designs intended for comfortable, daily carry. That said, I usually carry a gen 4 Glock 21 and it is extremely comfortable by about day 3 or 4 – it won’t be initially, but you WILL get used to it. I simply like the advantages offered by a full-size, larger capacity handgun. Whatever you carry, however you carry it, just make sure you do.

    • Spencer January 23, 2018, 7:42 pm

      I bought a Ruger LCRx with 3” barrel over a year ago. I have tried every major brand of holsters to find an IWB to fit it but have had no luck. Even Ruger only carries just one holster for the gun and it’s an OTW.

      • Tom jones February 25, 2018, 9:56 pm

        I have a Ruger LCR 9mm. I carry everyday in a DeSantis IWB. It does not have a top strap, but after a good break in, it fits like a glove. I carry at 430/5 o’clock position or 11 without even noticing it. Never been called out for it.

  • Wayne H. December 29, 2017, 11:22 am

    I have a military style pouch with several pockets which holds a decent sized cell phone in the middle pocket, several pens on the outer area under the flap, and the inner pocket holds perfectly my Glock Gen. 4, 26. Other single stack cc guns kinda flopped around making them harder to grasp. With practice I can unzip and draw quickly. If questioned, I show my cell phone and it pretty much ends the query. This has worked for me for many years.

    • Roger December 29, 2017, 11:50 am

      What bag are you talking about? I’ve been looking for something like that so if you could steer me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it!

      • Wayne H. December 29, 2017, 1:06 pm

        Found it at Amazon, search for “tactical molle pouch, many styles and colors, mine is is black.

  • Paul December 29, 2017, 7:04 am

    I’d like to see some body armor that incorporates an assortment of Velcro back ,press and stick holsters that can be positioned nearly anywhere on the front or sides. Also, Velcro “press and stick” ballistic plates which can also be positioned strategically.

  • Peppergun December 29, 2017, 7:02 am

    I use a CLIP DRAW. Which is a clip that connects to your gun and clips to your pants . Anywhere you feel you want it. I have been using this for over 20 years and fine it quite well with any gun you choose. Go to ClipDraw.com to check it out . Not very expensive either.

    • zenmonger December 30, 2017, 4:26 pm

      I use this on my Ruger LC9 and love it. Eliminates the holster while adding many new options where on my body to carry. It allows the gun to adapt to the wardrobe, not the other way around. This now the main feature I look for when considering a gun for EDC. If the pistol can’t use the clip well (I don’t like guns that require the clip be mounted to the slide), then it’s a deal breaker for me.

  • Will Drider December 27, 2017, 1:23 am

    Your concept of “deep concealment” (DC) is a bit different then most and those listed are actually just CC alternatives. The average person will never have a requirement for true DC.
    DC is primarily hiding a weapon so it will not be found on a cursory visual check and phisical pat down. The only real reason for DC is your a good or bad guy going someplace where there is high probability you will “temporarily” hand over you piece for the Meet or be searched before reaching your goal, more then one potertial armed adversary will be present and the risk is too great not too have something to augment your hand to hand skills.
    DC verses the Search. A fool stops searching after finding one weapon, a good search will get your Pri, BUG and Blade. A Pro doesn’t stop searching from whats found, he stops when he is positive your body is cleared of hard weapons and potential improvised weapons. At the risk of being in delicate: fingers will run the length of you butt crack and your genitals will be cupped and seperated. Every inch of your body will be squeezed/pressed. This is not the cop show frisk or board TSA agent pat down. Higher levels may even require you change clothes!

    So DC is not with out risk of discovery and that is dependent on who’s doing the checking, how much clout and respect you rate and who you are dealing with. Odds are nobody reading this will ever actually need DC. Those that will, will get appropriate training/experience to get by.
    There’s guys thinking about NAA’s in man-buns, Secamp in tighty whities, a vest pocket .25 on a neck chain, Baby Browning sleeve guns or AMT’s in a boot: fagetaboutit. Lol

    • Paul December 29, 2017, 7:15 am

      Your comments have merit under certain conditions, and situations. But there are several potential circumstances a CCW holder/carrier could face where a deep cover weapon IS indicated, and useful. Your mistake is to address only the scenarios where a d/c weapon is a liability. The reality today is that there is no limit to the potential scenarios that may present a law-a binding citizen, and I say; Know the law, and control the situation around you in accordance with the law.

  • Scott Couch December 26, 2017, 10:56 pm

    You forgot in the pocket holsters, ankle carry is the worst. Imagine going down to draw, your going to get shot as you pull your pant leg up.

    • Jim X December 29, 2017, 8:25 am

      Hey Scott…I sell real estate for a living. So my days are spent in a car or at a desk. I have ankle carries for 20 years because IWB or OWB simply don’t work for me. I figure if someone bushwhacked me from behind it doesn’t much matter how I carry. Defending against a sudden, surprise attack will alway mean the victim will have to use his/her hands to create space allowing them to draw. So sure, ankle carry is far from optimal, but for most scenarios where it might be great to have a gun, my ankle is usually a lot closer than my house or my truck. I say that because of the number of guys (many of them way overweight, sadly) who only carry sporadically because it’s uncomfortable.

      • Guy Giordano February 2, 2018, 4:38 pm

        Why in the lord’s name does a real estate agent need to carry a gun… for 20 years yet? Well I guess the likelihood of you needing it to save yourself from an irate client or a boogeyman hiding in a vacant house is much greater today than it was 20 years ago.

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