how to ccw in shorts

Concealed Carry in Shorts Can Be Quite Easy

Concealed carry in shorts can pose certain challenges to the daily carrier, but none that can't be overcome. It's certainly true that carrying under oppressive heat is not nearly as comfortable as carrying in perfect weather, but not so much so that one has to leave their implement of self defense at home during the hot season.

Granted, part of concealment has to do with how a holster wears on the wearer in question, so mileage may vary between people, so to speak. That said, if one means to forego the lower half of one's pants, keeping concealed can still be easily done. Except if you have an ankle carry holster - no concealing that in shorts.

Summer Concealed Carry Means Fewer Layers

summertime ccw clothing

Summertime means hotter temperatures and fewer layers, so summertime concealed carry can restrict the number of layers that people can comfortably wear. The jacket covering a firearm on the hip may not be wearable for much longer than it takes to go from the car to the office.

As a result, those who depend on outerwear for total concealment may find it more difficult to avoid printing without adjusting one or more aspects of their daily carry set up.

Along with omitting outerwear, many choose to forego any additional layers. The undershirt and button-up gives way to a lighter, breathable polo or t-shirt for many. Some may switch to a untucked short-sleeve button-up. Instead of long pants, summer induces people to wear shorts. On some days, wearing pants is just unthinkable.

Naturally, summer concealed carry means adopting a carrying strategy that is going to accommodate a summer wardrobe. If one wears shorts, ankle carry is going to be right out since it's no longer going to be concealed, unless someone is foolish enough to try and carry in a sock. (Don't even think about it. The pistol will print and fall out.)

Wearing a jacket when the weather is set to Broil is not going to practical or is going to make people suspicious. (Probably both.) Wearing the uber-obvious concealed carry vest is entirely the wearer's choice, but it can be a dead giveaway.

If one is going to opt for shorts instead of pants, that makes for additional challenges to concealment, depending how one is going to carry.

Tips For Concealed Carry, Shorts Wearing Included

wearing shorts with a gun

If one wants to concealed carry, shorts aren't actually much of a barrier believe it or not. Most "shorts" that people wear are pants missing the lower half. Typically, pants or shorts are not the barrier to effective concealment; shirts and outerwear are. The other important element is a good gun belt.

Inside the waistband, or IWB carry merely requires one's trousers have enough room in the waistband to be carried. So long as you aren't IWB carrying a S&W Model 29, a person could practically IWB carry in Daisy Dukes, so long as the waistband can accommodate the pistol and holster and one is wearing a decent gun belt.

The same applies for OWB carry. Not every OWB holster is the same; some, such as high-ride OWB holsters, can be easily concealed under an untucked shirt. Holsters of that design can still be worn easily with shorts; merely wear an untucked shirt and proceed as normal. Others can only be concealed under outerwear. Unless one has some article of outerwear that can be worn in summer without discomfort, the choices become switch to a more easily concealed holster or open carry, if permissible.

Cargo shorts can make pocket carry astonishingly easy. Normal pants pockets can be a bit of a stretch to pocket carry in, but cargo pockets can make it a breeze. Simply put the pocket pistol in a pocket holster and deposit in a cargo pocket.

There are also bespoke concealed carry shorts available from clothiers specializing in concealed carry garments. These can allow for easier carry, but one will pay a premium to obtain them. There are also brands of CCW "underwear," typically akin to Underarmour or similar compression shorts. These can be worn under any type of shorts or trousers one chooses, though a belt is going to secure the pistol better while wearing them than carrying without one.

However, gym shorts, swim trunks and boardshorts are another matter. If one is going to carry in any of these categories of shorts, that requires additional planning. Belted carry may still be possible with athletic or swim trunks if they have belt loops, as this allows a holster and belt to be worn.

A drawstring is not going to be sufficient. Some people have reported being able to successfully carry with a drawstring and nylon pouch holsters, especially the "sticky" design that's become somewhat popular. A belly band holster may also be considered. However, many people have also noted these holsters feel less secure than a traditional, belt-secured holster design.

Other Strategies for Hot Weather Concealed Carry

carrying a ccw in hot weather

There are other strategies for concealed carry in hot weather. Some switch to a smaller pistol during the hot months, allowing for easier concealment with fewer layers of clothing. Slim, single-stack pistols are easy to conceal, which is why they're all the rage with a lot of the CCW community.

Concealed carry in shorts is no different than carrying with pants, if you're carrying IWB or with a high-riding OWB holster and can conceal with untucked shirt. However, other OWB holsters may not be practical - this will require either finding a more concealable holster or finding outerwear that one can don in the summer months without boiling or appearing obvious - which isn't as easy.

What makes the biggest difference in concealment are the top one wears and the gun belt. If neither assist in concealment, it doesn't matter if you wear pants or shorts. You will print and won't carry as well.

gun blog writer sam hoober  

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..