HomeGunsDeep Concealment: Is It Right for Me?

Deep Concealment: Is It Right for Me?

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If you concealed carry long enough, it becomes a bit of a science or maybe an art.

You learn strategies and tactics that allow you to carry different guns in different ways in different places.

Carrying Concealed under the Propper Full Zip Tech Sweater.

One strategy is the art of deep concealment.

Deep concealment is a specialized carry method that prioritizes concealment over all other tasks. Essentially it goes beyond hiding it under a t-shirt and calling it a day.

Would you guess our Editor-in-Chief has a gun under that dress??

Today, we’re going to delve into the inner workings of deep concealment.

We’ll look at what deep concealment means for concealed carriers and why you might want to try it out.

Concealing a Big Gun
Let’s get to talking about CCW!

Not to mention, we’ll lay out the pros and cons of this style.

So, keep reading if you want to learn more about deep concealment.

Table of Contents

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What Is Deep Concealment?

As I mentioned, deep concealment means that concealment is the top priority.

This means prioritizing concealment over accessibility. That said, we won’t sacrifice safety for a little extra hiding.

Glock G43X Concealed Draw
Concealment becomes more important than quick access with deep concealment.

Deep concealment positions may require a little effort to access. And it’s important to remember that deep concealment doesn’t always guarantee a fast draw.

If you’ve carried a firearm for any length of time, you know that smaller guns are easier to conceal than larger ones.

Handgun Grip Women Sig Sauer P238
Small guns like the Sig P238 are easier to conceal due to their size.

So, deep carry often involves a pocket pistol or mouse gun. (But some brave souls do go as large as a Sig Sauer P365 or Springfield Hellcat.)

Deep Concealment Methods

It’s important to realize the downsides of deep concealment. You should approach anything involving firearms with a healthy understanding of the good and the bad.

With deep concealment, the worst part is the lack of access — it’s rarely conducive to a quick draw.

Glock G43X Concealed Draw
Gotta train to get a good positive grip.

Keeping that in mind, it requires just as much training, if not more, than traditional carry.

Practicing your draw from deep concealment in multiple positions and arrangements should be done.

With compromised access, you need to take some time to ensure you know how to access the pistol in any situation and position.

Womens Concealed Belly Band
You have to make sure you can adequately draw the gun.

Deep concealment can also be less comfortable than traditional carry and can require a minimalist holster setup that doesn’t provide a ton of comfort.

On top of that, you may need to change up the way you dress to better conceal a firearm.

Beyond baggy clothes, you might decide to wear a button-up instead of a t-shirt or a longer or shorter dress than usual.

Womens CCW Dress
Length of dress might change if you’re trying to hide a gun.

Changing how you dress slightly can make a huge difference in deep concealment, making it easy.  

Rarely is deep concealment optimum, but sometimes it’s the only choice.

Levels of Deep Concealment

To make things nice and simple, I’ve broken down deep concealment methods and holsters into various levels of deep concealment.

Each level represents a different level of access while remaining concealed.

Level 1 – Fastest Access

Level 1 allows you complete access or near-complete access to the gun while remaining concealed.

It often positions a firearm in a more traditional position than other deep concealment holsters.

As such, they are unlikely to pass through a deep sniff test.

G26 AIWB Grip
Small gun with a minimalist holster means okay-ish access but decent concealment.

These options will work in social situations and places where there is no security working to detect weapons.

Traditional appendix holsters paired with pocket pistols like the Ruger LCP II practically disappear in your belt line.

These small, flat pistols disappear easily and can be tough to detect even when hugged.

Holsters like the Cherries Multi-Fit Deep Concealment Holster positions an appendix holster much lower than normal in an appendix carry position.

The holster disappears and is impossible to detect via an eye scan, and is almost pat-down proof.

PHLster Enigma
PHLster Enigma (Photo: PHLster)

The new PHLster Enigma also breaks boundaries.

It’s compatible with a good number of holsters and makes it easy to carry a firearm without a belt and even in sweatpants. Highly recommend this model if you want a good blend of concealment and access.

Level 2 – Non-Traditional Carry Options

Level 2 presents less traditional means of carrying a firearm but provides even more concealment…at the cost of less access.

At this level, you’ll pass more than just the eye test.

At Level 2, we are looking at belly bands, ankle holsters, and pocket carry.

Womens Concealed Ankle Holster
Jacki concealing in an ankle holster.

These three methods can help fool even people trained to examine others for weapons.

What’s important to remember is that these three carry methods attract many not-so-great holster makers who make not-so-great holsters.

Don’t buy anything cheap when looking at pocket, ankle, or belly band holsters. Stick to Galco, Blue Force Gear, and Gould and Goodrich options.

Womens Concealed Belly Band
Jacki concealing in a belly band holster.

These methods allow you to take your gun off your waistband and place it in an alternative position. Places people rarely associate carrying a firearm in.

51

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Level 3 – Specialized Clothing and Holsters

Hiding a firearm equipped with a MIC holster near your groin makes it hard to detect.

The same can be said of a woman’s breasts with a Flashbang holster.

Womens Concealed Bra Holster
A bra holster might be an option for women.

Using specialized holsters or even specialized clothing usually defies your typical security pat-down.

89

at Flashbang Holsters

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We have a full review of the Flashbang if you want to learn more!

Deep Concealment & Situational Awareness

Deep concealment lessens your access to your firearm. We’ve already spoken about that, and because of that, you need to take precautions.

Most importantly, you need to up your situational awareness game.

Carjacking Distracted on Phone
You gotta be aware of your surroundings.

Better situational awareness allows you to detect threats quicker and avoid or get ready for any trouble.

Since you can’t fast draw, you need that extra situational awareness to detect these threats early.

The more time you have to prepare, the better.

Final Thoughts

I rarely deep conceal, but when I do, it’s the only means I have to conceal. To me, it’s just another option for concealed carry.

Appendix Concealed
It’s good to have options.

Having a pocket pistol and a means to deep conceal it grants me an option for every occasion and situation.

What about you? Do you deep conceal? If so, what’s your setup? Let us know below! For more on concealed carry holsters, check out our list of the Best IWB Holsters and, for the ladies, hop on over to the Best Way to Concealed Carry for Women.

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