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A Look at Quality CCW Shirts

by on 2012/04/15

Sure you can hide your widow maker  with normal clothes the same as you can with clothes meant to hide guns, but normally those non gun clothes lack a few other nice little refinements. Until recently anything  made to be worn with guns was usually something  meant to be be more of what I call uniform casual. The police polo shirt with hooks for radio wires  or other shirts meant to be more “tactical”, whatever that means these days.

I do not consider my self fashionable, but I do kinda of like my clothes to be presentable for dinner or a date. Most of the clothes I used in the past to hide my  sidearm looked pretty sloppy and had my girlfriend complaining about my looks. She is always dressed in current fashion and when we went out , I did not think it was asking to much for me to look like something she would not be ashamed to be seen with, at least clothing wise. So Last year she bought me a woolrich elite CCW shirt to wear. Not only did it hide my gun well, it looked great!. It was comfortable, it was light, it did not stain easy and it let me stay cool in the summer. After this, I became more interested in shirts that hide guns and all the other stuff that usually goes along with them.

Not too long ago, Woolrich came out with some more shirts in the line. They look even better then the older solid color shirts from a few years ago, but are nice enough to wear anywhere for most events you may find yourself dragged to willingly or out of duty.

The 1st of these is the Woolrich Elite series tactical shirt

As you can see in the picture the shirt looks good, wears good, and hides a full size 1911 and spare mag easily. Both right and left sides have the hidden split side with velcro closure. This lets you grab the shirt and rip it open to get to your handgun or reload easier. when not in use, they split side is hidden.

The bottom button of the shirt is also false. Instead it has a small magnet on each side that stays put until you need to  move it, then it comes away easily to let you move the shit to get to whatever you need. Also the back of the shirt has a vented back for better cooling, as I will show in a later pic of another shirt.  The shirt hides inside and outside the belt holster well adn with very little printing. Here is a side view of the shirt  doing its thing.

The next shirt is another Woolrich CCW shirt but not the Elite series. It is however just as nice. It has all the same features as the above shirt but has some extras.

The shirt has the same velcro split side as the elite series  on both left and right sides and the vented back. But, it also has a middle section of false buttons. The middle section is not velcro however. Instead of having velcro that would wear out or be too noisy in a bad situation, it has magnets behind the false buttons that allows you to slip your hand into the shirt to get to a gun in a shoulder holster. I thought this was a great solution for the shoulder holster. I rarely use a shoulder rig because of not having a easy way to get to it with normal shirts.

As can be seen, the shirt easily pulls away right where you need it to.

And here is a picture trying to show the left side vents. Both woolrich shirts have these vents on the right and left side along with a breast pocket that is closed with velcro.

These shirts come in a few different colors and patterns. They are light and very very comfortable. They fit me just as they are supposed to. A size M is a size M and the material they are made from is soft and is hard to get to wrinkle. To add to that I have to say they look really good, everyone that has seen them has commented on how nice they looked and had no idea of there purpose. Since the remarks came from some women I consider that pretty good proof that the shirt does its job of deception.

The next shirt is not a Woolrich  but the ever popular 5.11. I like some 5.11 stuff and have a couple of pair of their pants but this is the first shirt that I have tried from the company. Before I got the woolrich shirts I liked it a lot. I still like it, but now I see its not all it could be. But it is still a very nice shirt that does its job well. I think it would do better for a police officer or some one that needed to carry a lot more gear. or just a guy that likes to carry a lot more gear.

The shirt works great for hiding your handgun.

But I find the side velcro splits do not come up far enough to always clear the gun like they are meant to.

Pretty good, but not as much as I would like.

Like the woolrich, it allows you to get to a shoulder holster but with a different solution. It uses metal snap buttons under false conventional looking buttons.

Once inside the shirt, there are two huge inside pockets that are closed by velcro. They are big enough to hold anything you can think of. I was able to fit an entire Gov model 1911 in the left side. The same pocket is on left and right of the shirt.

That is a lot of room. I was able to get  30 round AR15 mags in the pockets as well as flashlights, wallets, spare pistol mags and a lot of other things useful and not useful.

Here is a picture of the hidden buttons along with the outer false buttons. The inside rear of the shirt shows the material meant to make the shirt cooler and to get some air inside. It does a poor job at this but I consider the shirt more for cooler use. The material is very soft and wrinkle free, but it is heavier then the woolrich. Though it might be hotter and heavier, it is not by much and it may make it last longer and be tougher, but I do not think it would be enough to call it an advantage over the woolrich.

All of the shirts will do exactly what they are intended to do. I have to say I have a love of the woolrich though. They have more styles and they area lot cooler in the summer. All of the shirt shown are pricey, but what product in our lifestyle is not pricey these days? Especially if you want quality, and I have always lived by the “you get what you pay for”  philosophy. All of the shirts will do a good job and I highly suggest giving them some serious thought.Sure I can hide a 1911 , two reloads and a Ar15 mag under a wife beater Tshirt, but why not look good and have something the wife/girlfriend/ boyfriend??  would be proud to be seen with you if you are wearing it.

From → Reviews

11 Comments
  1. Sally permalink

    With all due respect, this seems like a sad comment on where our country has come to. Yes, you have a right to own a gun, but any right under the Constitution is subject to regulation. Your freedom of speech does not permit you to shout “fire”in a crowded room, or to sell child pornography. Similarly, a state can–and I believe should–restrict you from concealing a device that is designed to kill people.

    The result of the US’ lack of meaningful gun control laws is clear. We have more guns per person (almost one per person) than any other country in the world. Yemen, which is second, has half that percentage. The number of children we lose to gun violence each year is greater than the number of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

    Do you Think that the reason why countries in Northern Europe have so much less gun violence than we do is because they have almost no mentally I’ll people and criminals than we do? I think it has to be because they have strict gun control and we do not.

    I have been a Woolrich customer for years, but now that I read about their new line of clothing, I am writing to tell them that I am a customer no more. There was no place for concealed weapons in the old West. ((The shoot out at the okay corral was occurred because Wyatt Earp was enforcing a strict gun control law.) And there is no place for concealed weapons in the US today.

    And now for the last very sad thing I will say. Even though you say my e mail address will never be made public, I am afraid to leave either my e mail address or my name (which is an unusual one making me easy to find) on your site. That is not because I am afraid of you, but I am afraid of being harassed by one or another of your readers. Readers who, I have to assume, own guns and may not all be mentally stable. I already have to fear that if I offend a driver on the road or in a parking lot, s/he might get angry and point a legally owned gun at me. (Did you know that the son of the President of the NRA is in prison for shooting someone during a road rage incident?)

    So the omnipresence of guns in our society is already chilling our most important Freedom — the freedom that protects all the other freedoms — our freedom of speech.

    I am sorry for, as I am sorry for all of us, that the leadership of the NRA (which, once upon a time, favored gun control) and greedy gun manufacturers have put us all in such a terrible position.

    • Diz Pareunia permalink

      Sally I don’t often carry, but when I do, you (yes, you) are a lot safer with me around, than not.
      I’m an ex-cop: does that help?

    • Michael permalink

      Sally,

      Where to even start?

      Rights do not come from the Constitution nor do they come from a popular vote. The Declaration of Independence states plainly that “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” The Constitution recogizes some of your rights but it is not their source. Since they are inherent within us as human beings, they are not subject to your opinion, the opinions of politicians or popular votes. You don’t get to regulate my rights no matter how self-righteous your argument.

      Further, I have no obligation to be a victim of someone else’s agression and you have no right to prescribe my response to someone else’s violence. Would you allow someone to second-guess your response to a violent attack on your children or would you do what you had to do to protect the ones you love?

      Guns are not “designed to kill people,” they are designed to equalize power. They make a frail, 98-year-old grandmother equal to the viscious street thug. They make a young woman walking home from work late at night as powerful as her would-be rapist. Guns are useful tools, that’s why we give them to our police.

      You’re right, the result of modern gun laws IS clear. Today we enjoy the lowest violent crime rates in more than half a century, even as more than 38 states have enacted shall-issue concealed carry laws. Not one of those states has seen an increase in violent crime and most have experienced a decrease according to the FBI’s statistics. Convicts routinely report more fear of armed citizens than of police. Here in Arizona, concealed carry permit holders are responsible for far less crime, per capita, than the general population and have a better safety record than the police.

      The notion that Europe and other western countries experience less violence than the U.S. is subterfuge. The U.K. and Australia both saw rises in violent crime after banning personal firearms and the situation in Britain is so bad that they are now working on banning knives because the pent up desire didn’t go out the window with the guns. Switzerland’s requirement for military service from all young men means virtually every household is armed.

      If you want all the facts and figures, pick up a copy of John Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime.” One of the things you’ll learn is that we lose more children to car accidents and backyard drownings than to firearms, I say we ban cars and swimming pools since they are dangerous and unnecessary.

      Of course, the founding fathers did not write the second amendment to prevent crime, they wrote it to protect against government tyranny. As long as there are people that wish to force their will on others through force (which is what government does) there will be a need to be armed and on guard.

      “When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don‘t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.”

      –By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

      Sally, if you are afraid to exercise your first amendment rights, maybe it’s time to exercise those recognized by the second.

      • Brad permalink

        Sally – Wait till you need a permit to exercise that First Amendment right to free speech.

  2. Jackson permalink

    “I do not consider my self fashionable, but I do kinda of like my clothes to be presentable for dinner or a date.”

    You’re actually able to get a date?

  3. Steve permalink

    I’m not sure if the owner of the blog is aware that the NY Times published an article about concealed carry clothing & referenced this article. That appears to be Sally is coming from in her ignorance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/us/fashion-statement-is-clear-the-gun-isnt.html

    • shawnmt6601 permalink

      the owners know, one of the owners was interviewed by the NYT for the article and was asked if the blog could be used

  4. Naomi Scherbel-Ball permalink

    Shawn, I’d like to interview you for the BBC later today. What is the best way to reach you? Thanks,
    Naomi

  5. Hi Shawn – really liked your review. We do a range of concealed carry wear that I would like you to look at – would be happy to send you something to review on the blog. http://kakaduaustralia.myshopify.com/collections/concealed-carry

    • shawnmt6601 permalink

      sure i would be glad too, how do I contact you?

  6. Hi Shawn,
    I’m the social media specialist for TacticalGear.com and the editor for Tactical Gear News. Really enjoyed your quote in the NYT article. Would you be interested in doing a Q&A for the blog? Just let me know and I can send over some questions and more details. You can contact me via the submitted email address. Thanks!

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