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A Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry: Understanding Different Positions

A Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry: Understanding Different Positions

A Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry: Understanding Different Positions

The Importance of Choosing the Right Concealed Carry Position

The way you carry your concealed weapon is just as important as using the weapon itself.

Most new shooters start off thinking concealed carry is as simple as carrying a firearm in their pocket or tucking it into their waistband. But oh, how wrong they are!

Carrying a concealed weapon involves far more than just tucking and going. It’s a thoughtful process that requires consideration and practice.

The first step is choosing the right concealed carry position. This will promote comfort, accessibility, and most importantly, safety.

What to Consider When Choosing a Concealed Carry Position

Remember, the best concealed carry position is one you’ll actually use.

Before you start concealed carrying, you should know how and where you are going to carry your firearm. There are a few factors you need to consider when choosing a concealed carry position. This decision may seem minor, however, it can drastically impact both comfort and your ability to draw your firearm effectively when it matters most.

  • Comfort: Nothing will make you abandon concealed carry faster than a nagging discomfort in your side every time you sit down. The position you choose should be comfortable for long periods, whether you’re standing, sitting, or moving around. If a holster chafes your skin or digs into your hip, it’s not the one for you.
  • Accessibility: Your firearm is no good to you if you can’t get to it quickly and efficiently. Consider how easy it is to draw from various positions and how natural the motion feels. If reaching around behind you to a back holster feels awkward, try a different position.
  • Concealment: The key to concealed carry is having your firearm concealed and being aware of ‘printing’. This is when the outline of your firearm shows through your clothing. Choose a position that hides your weapon well. If your firearm prints through your clothes when you bend over, you need a better position.

Choosing a concealed carry position isn’t just about what looks cool or what’s popular. It’s about what works for you. Remember, the choice is highly personal and depends on your body type, clothing style, and daily activities. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different positions until you find the one that fits like a glove… or, in this case, a holster.

Now, let’s break down some of the different positions you can choose from:

  1. Hip Carry
  2. Back Carry
  3. Appendix Carry
  4. Ankle Carry
  5. Bag/Purse Carry

Hip Carry

The Hip Carry is a popular concealed carry position that involves carrying your firearm on your dominant side, usually at the 3 o’clock position for right-handed shooters and the 9 o’clock position for left-handed shooters.


  • Easy Access: With your firearm resting on the dominant side of the body, you are able to quickly and smoothly draw in the event of an emergency. While the firearm is easy for you to access, the location of the holster significantly reduces the risk of your firearm falling out or being taken.
  • Natural Position: The hip bone is a natural resting place for the hands, making it easy to carry for extended periods of time without discomfort.
  • More Clothing Options: The firearm can be easily concealed under a jacket, sweater, or loose-fitting t-shirt. This makes it a versatile carry position for different weather conditions or occasions.


  • Uncomfortable While Sitting: Though the hip is a natural resting place for the hands if you are going to be sitting for extended periods of time, you may want to choose another position. The pressure of the holster against your hip bone can cause discomfort and even bruising.
  • Not Suitable for Tighter Clothing: Hip carry requires you to wear thicker or looser clothing. Because of its placement, the bulge of the gun can be more noticeable and may print through your clothing.
  • Not Ideal for Larger Firearms: If you are carrying a larger or heavier gun, the weight of the gun can cause the holster to sag or shift, which can not be uncomfortable and make it more difficult to draw quickly.

Back Carry

The back carry position is a popular concealed carry option for those who prefer to have their firearm out of sight and out of the way. This position involves carrying the firearm on the back, either horizontally or vertically, usually in a holster that is attached to a belt or waistband.


  • Ease of Access: Unless you are lying down (which you definitely shouldn’t do with a firearm attached to you) concealed carrying on your back offers easy access to your firearm.
  • Concealment: Yes, every concealed carry position offers a level of concealment, however, with back carry you are much less likely to print through your clothes.
  • Comfort: With the proper holster, back carrying is normally one of the more comfortable concealed carry positions. Some holsters are designed to distribute the weight of the gun evenly across your back, which can help prevent discomfort or back pain.


  • Possible Drawing Difficulty: If you are in a standing position, drawing your firearm can be difficult because you may need to twist your body to access your gun, which can slow down your response time.
  • Fall Risk: Carrying on your back can be dangerous if you fall or are pushed onto your back, as this can cause serious injury to your spine or internal organs.
  • Discomfort While Sitting: Carrying a firearm on your back can be uncomfortable, especially if you are sitting for long periods of time. The pressure of the firearm against your back can cause discomfort or even pain.

Appendix Carry

The appendix carry position is one of the most popular concealed carry positions. This position involves carrying the firearm in a holster positioned in the front of the body, near the waistline, typically at the 1 o’clock or 2 o’clock position for a right-handed shooter and the 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock position for a left-handed shooter.


  • Optimal Concealment: The position of the firearm in this position makes it difficult for others to detect, even when wearing more fitting or lighter clothing.
  • High Retention Level: Since the firearm is located in front of the body, it is easier to keep control of the firearm in the event of an attempted gun grab or physical altercation.
  • Natural Draw Motion: Since the firearm is located in front of the body, the draw motion is more similar to the natural motion of the arm. This can make it easier to draw the firearm quickly and accurately in case of an emergency, and can also help to reduce the risk of printing or accidentally exposing the firearm.


  • Discomfort: Depending on your body type, this position can be more uncomfortable than others. In addition, because of the nature of the position, in a seated position the holster and firearm can dig into the groin.
  • Risk of Injury: The proximity of the firearm to the femoral artery and other vital organs means any discharge could have serious consequences.

Ankle Carry

The ankle carry position involves carrying a firearm on the inside of the non-dominant leg. This position is typically used for backup firearms or those who cannot carry a firearm in other holsters due to physical restrictions or clothing limitations.


  • Quick and Easy Draw: The ankle concealed carry position allows for a quick and easy draw, especially when seated or in a confined space.
  • More Clothing Options: This position is particularly helpful in business attire, where tops tend to be tucked in or slimmer fitting.
  • Alternative to Hip or Back: For those with hip or back problems, this position is ideal as it eliminates the need for a heavy firearm to be carried in a problem area.


  • Adjustment Time: Learning to walk with a firearm holstered to your ankle can take some time. Not only that, it may be quite uncomfortable in the early stages.
  • Pants are a Must: Unlike other concealed carry positions, the ankle carry only works if you are wearing pants or a long dress or skirt.
  • Decreased Mobility: In the event you need to run or move quickly, the ankle carry could impede your movement and slow you down.

Bag/Purse Carry

More popular with women, this concealed carry method involves carrying a firearm in a designated compartment within a bag or purse.

Most concealed carry bags and purses are designed with safety in mind and feature a locking mechanism to prevent unauthorized access to the firearm. Some bags even have a separate compartment for the firearm, which is accessible from the outside of the bag for quick and easy access.


  • Increased Comfort: Concealed carrying in a bag or purse can be a good option for those who prefer not to carry on their person. It allows for a more comfortable and convenient way to carry a firearm, especially for those who wear clothing that does not easily accommodate a holster.
  • Special Firearm Compartment: Purses designed for concealed carry often have a separate compartment with a holster to keep the firearm secure and easily accessible. This can provide peace of mind for the carrier, knowing that their firearm is safely stored and ready to use if needed.


  • Requires a Special Bag for Optimal Safety: To most safely and effectively concealed carry using a bag or purse, it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for concealed carry.
  • Easier to Be Taken: Carrying a firearm in a bag or purse requires a high level of responsibility and awareness. The carrier must always be aware of the location of the firearm and ensure that it is not accessible to unauthorized individuals. Additionally, it becomes a much bigger deal if your purse is stolen while there is a concealed firearm inside.

Choosing the Right Concealed Carry Position for You

Choosing the perfect concealed carry position is like choosing your favorite ice cream flavor; it varies based on your personal taste, lifestyle, and the outfit of the day.

Okay, maybe it’s a bit more serious than that, but you get the gist, right?

The decision on where to carry your firearm should not be taken lightly. It impacts your comfort and ease of access, and most importantly, it can mean the difference between life and death in a critical situation.

A few factors to consider when choosing your concealed carry position include:

  • your body type
  • your daily activities
  • the clothing you regularly wear
  • the firearm you carry.

It’s all about compatibility.

Concealed Carrying with a Suppressor

We’ve talked about how to conceal carry your firearm — let’s talk about how to conceal its sound.

Did you know you can conceal carry with a suppressor? Yes, we’re serious.

Let’s talk advantages: it’s an excellent choice for those who want to minimize noise and recoil.

The drawbacks? As you can probably guess, the added bulk can make it difficult to conceal the firearm effectively.

So, how do you carry concealed with a suppressor?

Well, let’s put it simply – you need the right holster and a fair bit of strategic wardrobe planning. A holster designed specifically for suppressed carry, with a sleeve to accommodate the suppressor, is non-negotiable. As for your attire, opt for looser clothing with longer hemlines. An untucked button-up shirt or a jacket can be your best friend in this scenario. Remember, the key is to strike a balance between concealment, accessibility and comfort.

Conceal Your Firearm and Your Sound — Shop Suppressors Today!

Ideally, your concealed carry firearm will never leave its holster. If it does, we want you to be as protected as possible. Shooting with a suppressor will help protect your hearing, decrease felt recoil, and improve your accuracy.

What are you waiting for? Silencer Central offers a wide variety of suppressors for various budgets and calibers and delivers them to your doorstep in the 42 states that permit suppressors.

Still have questions? Contact us! Here at Silencer Central, suppressors aren’t just our specialty –they’re our passion. We are ready and waiting to help you pick your suppressor!