Motorcycles and Concealed Carry - Keeping Your Firearm Secure

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Concealed carry on a motorcycle is a matter of safety, comfort and concealability while riding at high speeds. A motorcycle’s charm is hard to resist. Wind ripples past the rider as they break through the inhibitions of their daily life. The noise from the engine will drown out the buzz of mundane concerns.

Once out there, concealed carry questions always come up. Do you keep your motorcycle carry gun accessible? If you plan to concealed carry while riding a motorcycle, we're covering some basic tips for how to ensure your favorite compact or full-size pistol can still be a favored travel companion.

Everyone has their own unique way of riding their motorcycle and a preferred method of concealed carrying. Thus, the terms “best,” “bad” or “good” are largely subjective as long as gun safety and security are already considered. We'll be covering a few possible places you can holster your concealed carry firearm comfortably and securely while riding a motorcycle.

Enclosed Motorcycle Jacket Pockets

In order to maintain control of a firearm in a concealed carry environment, it's first important to know where it can be secured. While some inside the waistband holsters – such as those that do not clip firmly into the belt line and include clasps or a scabbard – may not be ideal depending on a rider's particular riding style. One option is a motorcycle vest with concealed carry pockets. This is a great way to ensure quality motorcycle pistol storage while riding down the road.

However, you need to make sure that your pistol is fully protected, especially the trigger guard. Therefore, make sure you're carrying with a pocket holster.

  • PROS: Secure and accessible.
  • CONS: Rider must ensure a safe grasp of pistol grip. If safety equipment (like a reflective road vest) is worn over top, it needs to be moved out of the way to access the pistol.

Shoulder Holster Concealed Carry

While a shoulder holster isn't always ideal for a tactical environment, one good thing this style of concealed carry holster does provide is great positioning for those who are either driving a car or a motorcycle. Where many would prefer a strong side carry or even appendix concealed carry holster, a shoulder holster takes the pistol clean off the beltline and secures it on or near the ribcage.

Typically, the motorcyclist will already be wearing a jacket, so this type of carry is conducive to that environment. However, the shoulder holster should be adjusted to a snug fit that holds the weapon higher on the torso and close to the body.

  • PROS: Secure – especially if worn inside a motorcycle jacket.
  • CONS: Slow draw time. If a jacket or safety equipment is worn, it needs to be opened to access the pistol or revolver.

Inside the Waistband Concealed Carry Holsters

There are a couple requirements that need to be met before an inside the waistband ccw holster becomes a good concealed carry for motorcycle riders. First, the holster itself must have a tight grasp of the pistol. That pistol needs to be firmly secure prior to riding down the road at 60 mph. Secondly, it's highly recommended that an adjustable clasp system is used for securing the holster to the waistband. While some riders will swear that simply a stand-alone holster tucked into the waistband is perfectly sufficient – it still poses an unnecessary risk if the rider has a forward leaning drive position (sportbike, café cruiser, etc.).

If the rider opts for the IWB holster, there are positions along the waistline for the weapon, but the riding style and type of bike will affect where on the waist the CCW is located. A forward-leaning rider may opt for the 4 or 5 o’clock position, granted they understand the limitations and concerns of that place along the belt.

Additionally, should the motorcyclist crash, they must consider how the impact will affect the firearm, its retention in the holster and whether or not the weapon both will be damaged and potentially damage the rider.

According to MedHelp, the chances of dying in a motorcycle are 1 in 802. Don’t make the holster choice be a portion of that statistic. Choose high retention, secure clips and a position on the waist or body that best supports the firearm in the case of accident, making your choice to carry a handgun on a motorcycle a safe one.

Additionally, printing, or the display of a firearm through the clothing, is possible in the presence of airflow on the bike. If wearing a jacket or vest, button them down so as to avoid the underlying shirt from flapping on or above the holster.

There are IWB holster options that allow for the shirt to tuck in over the holster. This method combined with the previously mentioned holster positions is another IWB alternative, but be warned that carrying on or near the small of the back can be a dangerous and risky procedure.

  • PROS: Accessible. Depending on riding style – secure.
  • CONS: The number of layers worn over the concealed carry holster may hamper one's reaction time to reaching his or her pistol. Additionally, if the rider is forced into either a forward leaning (i.e., sports bike) or rear leaning (i.e., chopper), an inside the waistband holster may become uncomfortable.
James England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.