Recommendations for concealed carry in professional attire

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by ItalianGator, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    I would like to get some recommendations/advice from the community regarding methods to conceal carry my Beretta 92FS. Although noted as being a "compact" model (albeit still not that "compact"), and being a bit heavier than other options (it is my only option right now), my question revolves around ways to conceal it in a way that doesn't seem out of place for me and my locale.

    When I was younger and could get away with looking "cool" with a leather jacket in the Florida summer, concealing then wasn't much of a problem (keeping hydrated was the problem!). I used/have a vertical under the arm holster and two OWB holsters, all of which would hide fairly well under the jacket.

    Jump forward to today... my situation has changed. I'm re-instating the CWP I let expire so as to protect my family/myself in these changing times. I'm also not as "cool" as I was back then (fashion-wise, but am cool tempterature wise). Today I work as a professional often wearing a dress shirt & tie, though rarely a suit jacket for the same heat reasons. Putting a jacket on now when others would expect me to "know better" would seem to indicate to the wise folks that I have something concealed. I would surely get comments from others to "take my jacket off" and "get comfortable"... people would get suspicious if I didn't do so because I had to conceal.

    Considering that I dress this way most days of the week (work, church, etc.), what might some good/better options for me? How well would an under the waistband holster work for my different image? How much "print" would show through my shirt? Are there any fanny packs that would actually look good with professional attire rather than drawing attention to me? Do any of you conceal larger-than-compact guns with experiences that you could share?

    I ask the question because I still need to make use of my current gun until I get a true "compact" gun. And even with a compact gun, I'll still need to find a system to work with my typical attire. Thanks!
  2. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Well, first off, the FS is definately not a compact. The FS stands for 'Full Size'. They have dbl stacked mags making them fairly think for CCW and the ambidextrous safety/sear disconnection. Beretta makes what they call a Custom Carry. It has single stack mags and a single sided safety.

    I can't recommend any holsters for the FS as I don't know anybody carrying one concealed. If you're wearing a jacket at all times I'd guess that any lower profile in-belt/IWB holster designed for the FS should work. Shoulder rig would work too. I can't imagine a FS being easily concealed in just a shirt. Other options might be small shoulder bags or soft sided brief cases. Not sure how much that helps you.

  3. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    I'm with Byte on that. A friend of mine carries an XD .45 (maybe a little bigger than your Beretta), but he's tall and skinny and wears very loose T-shirts rain, shine, or snow. You can see shadowing once in a while, but you can't really tell... Suit and tie usually means tucking in the shirt (unless you wear a barung tagalog :^).

    Let us know what you decide on! That's one reason a lot of people get pistols like the Taurus pt709, or Polish P-64.
  4. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    I like the bag idea

    I know I typed 92FS, but it is indeed the 92 Compact, built in Italy (that according to the side of the frame, no letters with the 92). Slide and frame are slightly smaller than a 92FS. I don't know for certain, but my compact variety must not be all that common. Regular Beretta 92 holster's wouldn't always be a good fit, the 92 grips I bought didn't fit (the company eventually replaced them once they began production on the compact 92 grips), and most printed material I find is for the 92FS. Beretta even sent me the manual for the 92FS even though I provided them with the serial number which should have indicated to them that it was the compact variety.

    One after thought was trying to find some stylish blazer-like jacket that is meant to look more casual than a suit jacket. Then your comment about a shoulder bag or brief case made me think that would be a good option. For work, I often have a laptop bag and shoulder bag with me. Up to this point, I was just thinking about carrying on my person, I had not thought about having it within on of the pockets of my bag or the outer flap section of my laptop bag. Not necessarily as secure (one downside), but it is an option if I keep my bag(s) within my proximity at all times.

    I made a stop at the local range pro-shop on my way home from work. They have a basic nylon IWB holster that claims to hold semi-automatics with my barrel length. Next opportunity I have, I'm going to see if it wil really hold my gun and if it'll work under my shirt. Otherwise, going with a more casual approach outside of work is going to have to come in to play.

    So a combined bag-option @ work and a more casual dress down approach after work might be a good solution. Thanks for the suggestion. It was a good one I had not thought of.
  5. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Um... no to a barung tagalog

    I had to go to the link to find out what a barung tagalog was. If I were to wear that, being the Italian man I am with a well-known old-fashioned taste in suits (suspenders, fidora hats, etc.), I would be absolutely giving away plenty of signals that something was up.

    I'm going to try out that IWB holster I mentioned in my other post. I'm curious to see how much shadowing/printing shows through a loose shirt and perhaps a loose-fitting dress shirt tucked in. I suspect the material is going to bunch up around the holster unless I do a little custom tailoring at home to put in a slit up the side to go around the holster clip.

    In the end, the solution comes down to getting something smaller for concealed carry. The size and weight don't bother me, but ultimate concealability and accessibility is important to me.
  6. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++

    One of the 'tuckable' IWB holsters...

    Although I'd recomend a Subcompact version of a fullsized (Glock 26 etc)
  7. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    I stopped by the local gun shop yesterday and took a look at the Kahr CW9. Much more compact than my Beretta 92 "Compact"! Something smaller like that might even work well in a deep dress-pants pocket.

    Doing some additional research and reading up from some defensive carry forums, I found mention of the Galco Skyops (Galco holsters; Holsters; Gun holster, pistol holsters, western holsters, shoulder holsters, leather holster and Glock holsters), Tucker Gun Leather (IWB Holsters - Kydex Holsters | Tucker Gun Leather), and some Comp-Tac holsters (Inside Waistband Holsters -). Does anybody have these model holsters? Any comments/feedback that you could provide?
  8. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    I purchased JBP's #35 and #36 holsters -- I use only the smaller one. They're not too much money and work well for me (and they're ambidextrious). Holsters are typically expensive and hard to choose; I have several that I'll never use anymore.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    There are a number of executive type brief cases, lap-top cases, folios, etc. that have provisions for concealed carry of full-sized weapons, spare magazines, and even ballistic plates to protect your vitals should someone shoot back. You have no oiptions for concealing a full-sized weapon in the attire you described while carrying on your person unless you are horrendously fat and can conceal it inside a wrinkle.
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I used to carry an armory-shortened 1911 (as issued) in a forward tilted belt holster behind the strong side kidney, then they took the,.45's away and gave us the %%%&& berretta 92's in a strong side high ride'. the butt and mag gave me a sore spot on my rib,you could wear a shoulder holster if you jumped through hoops....of course "Agent attire " was jacket and tie or polo shirt./jeans/raid jacket. as appropriate out of the office.

    a 1911 with an "in the waist band" carries very discretely unless you only weigh 98lbs.
    I felt comfortable with 7 rounds .45 acp single stack. and a couple of spare mags
  11. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If I was going to carry off-body I'd have to get a KelTec or something for the pocket. I won't be without. I don't recommend purse carry for ladies any more than I will for you. Something skinny that could be worn in a "tuckable" might work. You may not be aware what that is from the way your first post worked-- normal IWB holsters don't let you tuck in a shirt without modification of the shirt, and even if you did modify the shirt it would show if it pulled up any. A tuckable, on the other hand, provides a slot between the gun and the pants, a place to put the shirt. All dress shirts fit loose, if you're doing it right.

    The other options that might work for you would be a Pager Pal or Thunderwear. In absolutely ANY scenario you need a belt that isn't found at JC Penney, you need a gun belt. The Aker B22 is the one I like after I got a cheap one used off fleabay. NOW I would actually spend the money, before I knew what I was missing I wouldn't have. If you're seriously going to carry for real, you seriously can't do without a good belt.
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Good point on the belt...So a sport or suit jacket is out? There's always ankle holsters or a cowboy boot with a .38 snubnose.
  13. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Interesting on the 92 markings. They did make a 92FC back in the 80's but I seem to rem it was clearly marked. Maybe you have some iteration of that? If it's a compact it'll have a 4" barrel vs the FS's 4.9" barrel. There weren't many around around and after a quick search I couldn't find many examples.

    My friend has a Custom Carry in SS and he really likes it. It does shoot nice.

    Hopefully you're getting your carry options sorted out though.


    My carry rig for my HK P2000SK is a Texas Heritage IWB from Tucker Gun Leather. I really like it. Solidly built and excellent craftsmanship. My best belt is a GunnersAlley 1-1/4".
  14. pcc

    pcc Monkey+

    Here's one for you from GA based holster maker rgrizzle leather

    This is their city slicker tuckable
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
  15. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    sweet! There's plastic ones too, I might try one of those first to see how much I like it, but yeah, the leather will be the one I'd rather have.
  16. Boreal

    Boreal Monkey+

    I've got a fairly thin build (5'9" 165lb) and wanted something that would be easily concealed on my frame. I went with a Kahr PM40. You've handled the CW9, so you know how compact they really are. 3" barrel and single stack mag make for a very concealable piece.

    But, back to your 92. The IWB holster I purchased for my Kahr came from someone in your neck of the woods... Little Bear Holsters out of Jacksonville. I bought the tuckable model called the Wicked Axe and it has worked very well. Keep in mind that when tucked, the clips are visible on the belt. I've never had anyone notice or comment on my black clips against my black belt (also purchased from Little Bear... you NEED a quality belt, as has been said).

    Here's a link to their site: Little Bear Custom Holsters -  Greetings all. My name is Dave Galloway; creator an owner of Little Bear Custom Holsters. Some of you may already know me or my work. I would like to shed some new info before going further. Starting July 5, 2010, I a

    Give Dave a call. Great product and great service.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
  17. Old Sarge

    Old Sarge Old Sarge

    A Smart Carry is my first thought, here. I have one that I carry on a routine basis, and have no problems with it printing. In fact, there have been times when I completely forgot it was there.
    I made a vow when I retired, that I'd never never wear a suit and tie again, and have stuck to that promise. But, I can see the importance of some still wearing those clothes. Think about the Smart Carry, it's a good investment, as well as coming with a 5 star rating.
  18. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    I contacted Galco directly and, while they don't make am IWB holster for my Beretta 92F Compact, they did suggest their belly-band holster. Not sure if an elastic holster like that would be a problem when trying to draw... seems to me that the belly-band would have a tendancy to move with the gun especially if the draw was towards a thinner portion of my torso.

    But with your suggestion to look at the Smart Carry, I admit this looks like a better alternative than Galco's suggestion. Though with it, like the belly band, getting a quick draw is probably something I'm not going to get with such a large gun concealed deep. I suppose that's just going to be one of the tradeoffs until I purchase a true compact gun that I can conceal in a more readily available location.

    Does anybody else have experience with belly-band type holsters? Thoughts good or bad?

    BTW, I'm thankfully finding gun belts that are strong all around except thin out towards the front so as to give a dressy appearance without looking like a gun belt. That's nice! But I suppose if I go with something like the Smart Carry, I may actually want to go with a regular belt to provide me the flexibility to gain access to the gun rather than something that is more rigid. Afterall, if the gun isn't on the belt, any belt should do.
  19. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    That's why I like Aker B22. It's thin, all the way around. It gets it's stiffness not from a half inch of leather, but a strip of plastic sandwiched between leather. AND it's very inexpensive compared to any dress gun belt.
  20. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Yes, the barrel is about 4 inches long.

    Right side markings:
    MOD. 92F COMPACT - CAL. 9 Parabellum

    Left side markings:

    Agreed, can't find much information on this specific model. Heard from dealer that this particular gun had belonged to a LEO. He traded it in for something else. Not sure if it would have been issued by his department or if he purchased it from someplace else.

    Is there any way to trace the history of a gun? I'd be curious to know.

    So that this post isn't completely off topic, I wanted to ask if anybody has heard anything about Cross Bread Holsters? They have an attractive offer that allows you to try their holster out for 2 weeks. If you don't like it, you call them up and they buy it back from you. Since we know it is difficult to find a holster that meets an individual's taste in comfort, functionality, aesthetics, etc., this seems like a good marketing approach.

    So I'm curious if anybody has heard anything about this particular company's holsters (quality, service, etc.) and if they know of anybody else offering a similar "try-it" offer.
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