More people now have a permit to carry a gun for self-defense discreetly in the United States than ever before. Some states even permit carrying without the need for a private citizen to ask permission and get a permit. And guess what? The violent crime rate is at the lowest level it has been for 43 years, and it’s still dropping. At the same time, despite a great increase in the number of guns owned by private citizens, accidental deaths with firearms have also seen a huge decrease.
Many people have clearly come to the realization that the police, even though they do the best job they can, just can’t be everywhere all the time to protect citizens from crime. So these citizens have decided to provide for their own protection by carrying a firearm.
But carrying a gun discreetly, so it is out of sight yet easy to access in the event of a deadly threat, is a challenge. And depending on the clothing worn and where the citizen happens to be, different methods of carry may or may not work. Some clothing styles and some environments require that the gun be carried so it is less likely that a sharp eye will detect its presence. Often referred to as deep concealment, these particular methods of carry have their pros and cons.
On the pro side, deep concealment means less chance that others may spot the outline of a gun hidden under a garment. But the deeper the concealment, usually the more difficult it is to draw the gun and defend oneself. So it is important to weigh the benefits and liabilities of any carry method before selecting it—and then practice drawing under stress with an unloaded gun or inert replica.
Most people who own guns for concealed carry have a box full of holsters they’ve tried and don’t like for one reason or another. Sometimes that reason is comfort. Not all bodies are built the same, which is especially obvious when discussing men and women.
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Women have special challenges when it comes to carrying a gun discreetly. Darlene Cahill of Can Can Concealment said, “Women’s bodies are unlike men in that they are generally softer and curvier.” She goes on to explain that with Can Can holsters, part of the gun’s shape is pressed into the body, making it less obvious. Where a man may be able to wear a holster under loose-fitting shirts, a woman may not. Pockets on women’s clothing are generally decorative instead of functional, and women don’t want to add bulk that makes them appear larger than they really are.
Bearing all of these concerns in mind, Can Can Concealment developed a line of holsters especially for women. All of the company’s rigs can be had in different sizes to fit the lady’s particular body or the size of the gun she wants to carry, from smaller sub-compact pistols to larger, hand-filling handguns.
Hip Hugger: Can Can holsters are designed to be worn beneath an outer garment for maximum concealment. The Hip Hugger is a belt that is worn around the hips—over the undergarment and under the outer garment. It has four holster pockets that accommodate either left- or right-hand carry in front or back, and it is equipped with a tab to hold the pocket open while the gun is inserted. There are also three other pockets to carry spare magazines or anything else a lady wants to carry discreetly, like knives or pepper spray. Made of heavy-duty stretchable polyester with three rows of metal hook-and-eye fasteners, it can be adjusted for a comfortable fit and at the same time hold the gun closely to the body to minimize bulges or printing. The non-slip Tacti-Grip material keeps the holster in place.
Garter Holster: Can Can also makes the Garter Holster, which is worn on the thigh beneath the outer garment. With two holster pockets, three pockets for magazines or other items and six rows of metal hook-and-eye fasteners, the Garter Holster can be adjusted for a secure fit. It also has the same silicone non-slip Tacti-Grip material as the Hip Hugger to keep it in place. The holster can be worn for left- or right-hand carry on the inner or outer thigh, and tabs on the holster pockets assist in holstering the gun. It also has built-in attachment points for use with a garter belt.
Sport Belt: Similar to the belly band holsters that have been worn by both men and women, Can Can Concealment’s Sport Belt has three holster pockets with tabs to assist in holstering the gun. There are also four other pockets so a variety of items can be carried. It is made of the same material as the Garter Holster and the Hip Hugger with the silicone non-slip Tacti-Grip material to keep it in place. But instead of metal hook-and-eye fasteners, the Sport Belt uses hook-and-loop fasteners. For its larger customers, Can Can also offers a Size Extender that adds from 3.25 to 5.5 inches to the Hip Hugger, Garter or Sports Belt designs.
Another deep-concealment rig is the Urban Carry Holster. It doesn’t look like a holster, and the first time you look at one, you are likely to wonder how it is worn. It is best described as a leather pocket for the gun that is worn inside the pants, allowing access by first pulling the holster out of the pants. It sounds more complicated than it is, though.
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The holster can be used for a right- or left-hand draw and can be carried nearly anywhere on the side or in front of the body. The front-facing side of the holster has a belt loop at the top that is folded toward the outside to allow the belt to be threaded through it. When threading the belt, you will need to do it largely by feel because the folded-over portion of the holster will prevent you from seeing exactly what you are doing. It’s actually simple, though. Next, the gun is inserted in the holster and the holster is pushed down inside the pants. The flap on the backside of the holster is then folded over the belt and held in place against the belt loop part of the holster with a magnet that is concealed inside.
To draw, pull the outer flap sharply upwards until the holster clears the belt line and the gun can be drawn. The best advice is to watch the video on the company’s website. It may take a little time to get used to, but it affords another deep-concealment option. The Urban Carry Holster is available in sizes to fit most handguns.
For More Information
Can Can Concealment
Urban Carry Holsters
This article was originally published in ‘Combat Handguns’ February 2017. For information on how to subscribe, please email subscriptions@