My conclusion for using full size firearms for conceal carry

If you’re going to be standing for more than 4 hours at a time go with a smaller gun.

If not carry full size.

Everytime I carry my full-size for an 8 hour shift, the extra weight digs my belt into my thighs, making it very uncomfortable.

Carrying a Gen 5 Glock 17 in a Crossbreed LDS 2.0 holster, with a crossbreed mag carrier that holds 2 spare mags of the Glock 17. Gives me a total of 52 rounds.

Compared to my Glock 43 when carrying that set up, it’s only 19 rounds.

Though I carried my Glock 17 all day yesterday, most of it was sitting in a car driving, or sitting at the eye doctor, or meeting with an attorney.

So it didn’t bother me at all yesterday.

But if I put it on for an 8 hour shift 4 hours into it, it’s a huge pain in the butt.


Did you have a jacket on?


I had a blazer on when meeting with the attorney.


I use Dickeys suspenders that hook under the belt with a tank t shirt underneath and a t shirt over everything. The suspenders really help keeping the weight of the gun off the hips without cinching the belt too tight.

The only issue I have with a full size gun is the grip protruding too much with just a t shirt, not the weight.


My conclusion is a bit different. The more I will be standing, the larger the firearm I tend towards. For me, standing is generally the easiest position to conceal. IMO that’s why you see all those pictures people post on various medias of themselves standing still and upright ‘see no printing’ with full size guns. As soon as you sit down, let alone sit down and lean forward, or make the motion to sit down, or standup from seated, or maybe the worst - sit down on the ground - concealment is a lot more difficult.

I suggest that if it digs into your thighs due to weight, a better/stronger/stiffer belt or better/just-different holster should be explored.

IMO the comfort can be fixed with belt/holster. And what holster, worn wear, at exactly what position, at exactly what cant, absolutely varies between individuals


I recently picked up one of these when Versa had another sale, along with my KORE belt it is very comfortable, distributes the weigh great.
Element holster


Got it too when it was on sale

Very stable and balanced


Yes, this.

I bought myself a Hank’s Belts bison belt. Although it was almost too stiff initially, with a little time, it’s become pretty close to perfect. It never sags, and does a good job of distributing the weight of my pistol. It also looks great.


I’m not sure we all mean the same thing when we say “full size.”

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FWIW, when someone says “full size,” I think of service pistols like a M1911 in .45 or an M9 in 9mm. These pistols were not designed to be carried concealed. I’ll admit that I can conceal carry a 1911 because it’s so slim, but it’s not something I choose to do.

I could race a 1969 Dodge Charger on one of those autocross courses they set up in parking lots, but I’m probably going to lose to a little Honda with half the horsepower even though I clearly have the superior 'Murican muscle car. It’s kind of the same thing with pistols. I can conceal carry a pistol that’s meant to be open carried, or I could just buy a pistol that meant to be conceal carried.

That said, I maintain that each person should carry what s/he is comfortable with. If that means you have a 1968 Dodge Charger in your pants, that’s awesome.


Agreed. And body size has a lot to do with the ability to conceal a full size 1911 as well. I can do it, but question if I’m actually concealed when sitting down, or bending down to grab something off a lower shelf, etc. And it’s heavier. So I immediately jumped to the opposite end and carry Kimber Ultras; 3" barrel & the shorter “officer” size grip. Within 15 yards, I shoot well with them, so they pass the test. But at the range, I can’t help but go after that steel out there at 50yds. That’s when I appreciate the increased sight radius and slightly less recoil of full size vs compacts. So now I’m trying to find a compromise in the middle. Even though 15yds is probably the limit on distance needed, I want increased sight radius while still being comfortable and concealable. It’s been a slow process because of CA’s constraints on my choices.


A full size steel 1911 in a Wilson Lo-profle on a decent gunbelt is very comfortable and conceals well under a sweatshirt, untucked shirt, sweater or jacket. At least for me it does.
Enzo recommended it and he obviously knows his stuff!


Things like sweathshirts and jackets make concealment about 500 times easier, that’s for sure.

That season is coming to an end here, soon. At least, for however months until it gets crisp out again.

For much of the country. Some are there year round


For me, it’s all about the holster and belt. I normally carry fs firearms concealed… that is until I got the M18 kit for my 320. It’s going to be my new go-to. Fantastic firearm in case anyone’s looking to add to their collection.


Carry full size off & on. Shoulder holster & a cover garment. Have to admit finding a useful cover is a problem occasionally.


Great analogy right there.


Yup, but, you’re losing to the driver, not the Honda😀
I ran DSP, SCCA Region 7


Drivers being otherwise equal, wouldn’t you agree that the smaller, more nimble car is going to beat the big, heavy muscle car on a tight autocross course with a lot of turns? Get them on the drag strip and you’ll likely see different results. That’s all I meant. Different types of firearms will have advantages in specific situations, but there’s no firearm that’s superior to all others in every situation.


And that’s when the Hawaiian shirts come out. :sunglasses:


Works best if you can grow a Tom Selleck moustache.


Yeah, probably so. A small low speed tight autocross course is generally going to favor a better handling, quicker to change direction, nimble vehicle vs a larger heavier even if more powerful and better acceleration car. Car guy/former muscle car owner here, I get it.

Also depends how cars are built or modded, I removed the front sway bar from my muscle car for better rearward weight transfer accelerating in a straight line…wasn’t the best for tight back and forth turning though.

If it handles ‘okay’ the muscle car probably does better out on real roads, actual road courses/race tracks, drag races, etc…but wouldn’t be the best fit for a short tight small course setup with cones in an abandoned kmart parking lot