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concealed carry during summer

How to Concealed Carry During Summer

We often discuss carrying capacity as a major issue for concealed carriers. A six-round magazine doesn’t give a lot of leeway if an exchange of rounds takes place. In the summertime, that’s sometimes all a person can concealed carry without showing or printing.

The term “showing” has popped up as a piece of the CCW community’s vocab because it comes up so often. Showing is when a concealed carry handgun is accidentally revealed to strangers. Innocently enough, it could be while trying to help someone lift some groceries or just picking up a piece of trash off the ground. In this process, the fact we’re armed is revealed.

The second vocab term is “printing”. That’s when someone can see the clear outline of a gun beneath a layer of fabric or clothing. Major culprits include fitted t-shirts or tight clothing.

Summertime is nothing if not tight clothing. Everyone is stripping down layers to stay cool and comfortable. There’s got to be a solution, right?

Good news: there is.
    It involves the following:
  • Dressing for the occasion
  • Switching to a smaller, compact gun
  • Wearing that gun inside the waistband
  • Carrying a backup magazine

Dressing for the Occasion

summertime concealed carry

Warm weather means less clothes. It’s a simple truth. The usual advice of ‘just wear more layers’ doesn’t apply well here.

Everyone’s body is shaped differently. Some guys can concealed carry a Glock 19 with only a t-shirt on. Some guys think they can conceal carry a Glock 19 with only a t-shirt on. Are we seeing the difference?

A Glock 19 is a compact version of the Glock 17. Extremely versatile, it holds 15 rounds and fires like an extension of one’s own hand. Beautiful. The only issue is that it’s square, blocky, and with only a thin t-shirt covering it, very obvious.

As a concealed carrier, keeping a Glock 19 in your IWB holster is a risky move in hot weather environment. This is assuming your state has no problem with “printing”. If your state doesn’t care whether you open carry or concealed carry, the nuances of hiding a gun along your waistband are likely lost.

Switching to a Smaller Compact Gun

small compact handgun

Staying concealed and keeping a low profile means you get initiative if defensive gun use is called for.

As such, if you notice that your Glock 19 is printing pretty badly, consider switching down to something that is an inch or just slightly wider.

    Options may include:
  • Walther PPS
  • Taurus PT111 (Gen 1 or Gen 2)
  • Glock 36/42/43 - Single-stacks
  • FNS-9c
  • Bersa Thunder .380 ACP

There are a many good compact pistols that maintain a low profile in your inside the waistband holster.

Wearing that Gun Inside the Waistband

holster for hot weather

Inside the waistband carry is the gold standard for a concealed carry gun. IWB keeps a gun accessible while you’re driving in the car, lounging in a chair at an outdoor event, or running around playing frisbee.

What types of activities you can do with a good IWB holster?

    Well, first, let’s make sure your IWB holster does the following:
  • Adjustable retention over the gun
  • Two adjustable clips that fasten to either the waistband or your gun belt
  • Comfortable neoprene backing for all day activity
  • Interchangeable plastic shells so you can swap out different guns

When your holster keeps your gun tight on your hip and comfortable to wear, it’s an extension of you -- ready when you need it.

Carrying a Backup Magazine

magazines for concealed carry
Carry a backup magazine in your pocket.


For those minimal capacity single-stack pistols, it’s nothing to slide an additional magazine in a pants pocket on the way out the door. An extra magazine is a life-line. It’s a chance to reload and work out a strategy to get you and your family out of harm’s way.

Magazine storage can be as easy or complicated as you want to make it. A pocket works fine but you can also look around and find magazine carriers that fit both inside the waistband and outside as well.

One point of caution when wearing an inside the waistband magazine carrier is that it will add to your waistline. Where there is already an IWB holster holding your everyday carry handgun, an IWB magazine carrier will add to that waistline. This may make some wardrobe choices…uncomfortable.

Those summer months don’t last forever. The sun is high in the sky until the late, late evening and the mornings are early and break-taking. Make the most out of it by equipping yourself for success with a great IWB holster, equipping a firearm for your wardrobe choices, and bringing a spare magazine.

Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to share, like, and comment below!

ccw in the summer
James England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is a contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan. His daily summertime carry is a Glock 36 chambered in .45 ACP in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0.