Green Light Shooting

Category - Concealed Carry

Whether it’s guns, holsters, or apparel, if it has to do with everyday carry and it’s concealed, this is where it belongs.

Smith & Wesson Shield VS Springfield XD-S

To keep with the theme of all of the concealed carry stuff I’ve been posting, I decided to link to this video comparing the XD-S and the Shield by Hickock45.

I included both of these guns in my Top 3 Concealed Carry Choices Under $600 video but I still get quite a few questions on both of them and people wondering what one is best for them.

Hickock45 does a great job as always explaining the ins and outs of each guns in a carry scenario. His videos are a bit long winded for me but I’m probably not his target market. If you’re getting ready to drop between $350 and $500 on a new gun, especially if it’s your first concealed carry gun, you want to know all the information you can. That’s where videos like this really come in handy.

As you guys know, I personally carry the Springfield XD-S in 45ACP. This video is comparing the 9mm version of each gun. I will say that my .45 is a touch on the ‘too snappy’ side. That is, at least for training on the range. I love the ballistic power of that cartridge but it really does start to wear on you practicing at the range. So a 9mm might be the perfect fit to bridge the gap.

I like how he delves into measuring every part of the gun as well. When you’re carrying a gun on your hip all day, from standing and walking, to sitting in a car or eating lunch, you really don’t want to be worried about if the gun is showing or if it’s poking into your side or whatever. I know that’s something I personally worry about from time to time. If I’m not wearing a big hoodie or jacket, I’m always concerned it my shirt is riding up or if the imprint from the gun can be seen. I think the Shield might have the edge in terms of sheer concealability. With that being said, I think the XD-S has better ergonomics (at least for my hand), and I prefer the grip safety over the manual thumb safety on the Shield.

Like Hickock says, there are tons of things you can say about each gun but at the end of the day, they’re both excellent concealed carry guns. You really can’t go wrong either way, it’s just a matter of personal preference. So, like I always say, get out and shoot them both. See what feels best in your hand, what feels best in a holster, what gun is easier to draw, etc. Then, come back here and let us know your thoughts on which gun is better for you.

Thanks for reading. We’ll catch ya on the next post here on Green Light Shooting.

Concealed Carry Holster Options for Guys

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When you’re starting out in concealed carry, it’s a little overwhelming. Not only are you worrying about the new responsibilities of carrying concealed and all the different gun choices, but you also have to think about how you’re going to carry it.

I’m writing this post specifically for males because I’ve been there and I know what worked and what didn’t work for me. Some of these options may work for females as well, but because of the difference in clothing, we plan to do another post just for women’s concealed carry.

So what kinds of options are out there for guys? I think the most common choices are: inside the waistband holster, outside the waistband holster, shoulder holster, ankle holster, and pocket holster. Of course there are other ways to carry, but from working in a gun store for a few years, these always seemed to be the most common choices.

So let’s break each one these down slightly and I’ll let you in on some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed with each one.

Inside the Waistband Holster – This is quite possibly the most common and easiest way to carry for guys. This is the way I personally choose to carry. Essentially, it’s a holster that fits between the top of your pants and your underwear. There is usually a clip that fits over the top of your pants and may even hook onto your belt. This secures the holster from moving around. There are tons of different styles of holsters. There are leather, kydex (kind of like a hard plastic), cross breed, and a few others. I personally like the leather/suede styles because they seem to fit the most comfortably. But once you’ve decided on the material and holster, then you have to decide where you want to position the holster. This just takes some playing around and getting used to. Some people like it in the front of their pants. Some like it on their lower back. Some like it on their hip. I personally have my holster situated barely behind my right hip bone. It’s far enough forward that I can draw pretty easily, but it’s comfortable to walk, run and sit with. — A little tip if you’re wanting to carry it in the small of your back. Get the opposite handed holster. So if you’re a right hander, get a left handed holster. This way, it’s natural to draw with your right hand. — One last tip, make sure you test sitting with the holster that you want. This is where I’ve found the most discomfort with holsters. You want to be able to sit naturally and for long periods of time if necessary in case you’re in a car or something.

Outside the Waistband Holster – This is a less common carry option but there are people who love it. This works especially well if you wear a suit jacket or even a baggy coat or top. This is almost always carried on the dominant hip with the clothing or jacket draped over to conceal it. There are a lot of options for material but the two most common I would say would probably be the kydex style or a nylon style. The nylon ones allow for a “pancake” shape. This keeps the gun’s profile slim and close to the body. The downside is, it doesn’t hold it’s shape and it tends to bounce around a little more. You’ll usually want some sort of retention on outside the waistband holsters as well since the gun is more exposed. Generally this can be something as simple as a strap that goes over the gun’s grip and buttons closed. On the kydex style, there may be a button or a certain movement that unlocks the gun. This is a very comfortable way to carry the gun but it’s one of the harder ways to actually keep it concealed.

Shoulder Holster – These holsters fit on a strap that you wear around your shoulders. Most of them fit on like backpack straps and then have the holster on the weak side of your body. This is a very comfortable holster style to wear but it’s very difficult to conceal in the everyday world unless you wear a suit jacket consistently. These are usually nylon or leather. They also usually have a button style release on the holster. A nice option is that some of them allow you to carry additional magazines and accessories on the other side of the shoulder strap.

Ankle Holster – This is one of the most commonly sought after holsters. I think it’s because most beginners think it is the most comfortable, out of the way option to carry concealed. While that may be true, it’s still somewhat awkward. Generally, it’s made of nylon and secured with velcro around your ankle. Obviously, the smaller the gun, the easier and more comfortable it will be to carry on your ankle. So on the plus side, it can be comfortable and it can be something that’s out of the way completely. On the down side, you can only carry a very small gun and drawing from it can be extremely awkward. You can’t lift your leg off the ground and draw from it. You have to physically bend over to reach the gun. This doesn’t seem like an ideal situation to me. I think the only time I could rationalize an ankle holster would be if it were for a backup weapon. There are many people who like to carry two guns. Usually they have one bigger one on their hip, and small, micro-carry on their ankle for backup. Other than that, it just doesn’t make sense.

Pocket Holster – Pocket holsters are certainly designed for a specific style of gun. Most importantly, the gun needs to fit in your pocket. Pocket holsters are usually made of something light and thin like nylon. You simply put the gun in the pouch and put the pouch in your pocket. There are usually no clips or anything. However, on some models, I have seen a stickier exterior on the holster so that when you draw the gun from the holster, the holster stays in your pocket. Pocket holsters are awesome because they’re extremely comfortable and easy to draw from. The only reservation I have with them is again, they only allow for a really small gun. They also take up some valuable pocket space.

So there you have it. A quick and dirty rundown of (what I think) are the most popular styles of holsters for male concealed carry. Hopefully those gave you a little more insight and at least narrowed down the playing field for you.

We’ll do a future post on individual holsters and the benefits of each style of material but for now, this should get you going. If you have any questions or feedback, leave them in the comments below. Let us know what you’re favorite way to carry is.


Top 4 Best Concealed Carry Guns for Women

When I worked at the gun shop, I would get in women everyday looking for a gun to keep in their purse. Or, even more common than that, we would get husbands coming in to buy a gun for their wife.

In Utah, you don’t have to shoot at all or have a gun in order to get your concealed carry permit. So once you receive your permit in the mail, of course you want to buy a gun to use it! The problem is, if you haven’t shot much, there are so many choices to choose from and so many different opinions.

I will say that one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen ladies make is for their very first gun, they go out and buy a tiny little pink gun. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a pink gun, there is something wrong with getting a super small, super light gun if you’re not an experienced shooter. Generally speaking, the smaller and lighter the gun is, the more recoil it’s going to have. So these ladies get out on the range with their new gun and after just a few rounds, they hate it. They put it back in it’s box, store it in the closet, and forget about it.

If it’s your first gun and you’re not an overly experienced shooter, one of the most important things you can do is shoot the gun before you buy it. Get something that feels comfortable in your hand and is (relatively) comfortable to shoot. The most important thing I can say is to buy a gun that you will practice with.

Along those same lines, some new ladies just have a really bad experience with the slide on a semi-automatic handgun. Whether it’s just intimidating or it’s an actual physical limitation, there is no doubt that the slide adds another step to worry about in a critical situation. I would urge you to practice and see if that’s something you can work through but if not, the revolver is an absolutely solid way to go. Remember, get what you’re comfortable with. A concealed carry gun does you absolutely no good sitting at home in the closet.

With all that being said, we took 4 guns that would be great women’s beginner concealed guns. We tried to cover a broad range in terms of sizes, styles, and budget. Like I said in the video, my fiance actually shoots and carries the Sig Sauer P238. She loves that it’s got some girly charm to it but it still looks and functions like a high quality weapon. It’s something that she can comfortably shoot at the range every time we go. She has taught herself to be extremely accurate with it and most importantly, it’s small enough to carry with her everyday.

So let me know what you think about these choices. Would you agree with them? Would you change something? If we expanded it to Top 5 guns, what would be your choice for that fifth place?