Buying LE Trade-In / Used Glocks & What to Look For

One of the most reliable firearms you can decide to buy is a police/LE trade-in or used Glock, if you know what to look for. When looking at one of these used Glocks there are important things you need to look for and replace, if you purchase one.  In this article, I will breakdown some of the key things to look for and avoid, as well as the critical parts that must be replaced after your purchase. A gun store will not let you strip the gun completely down to its small internal parts so you have to understand what to look for, to insure you are getting what you want. This will cover only Gen2 and some Gen3 Glocks, there is a reason for that, and you will see why as we go along.

Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19
Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19

Advantages:

First let’s talk about the advantages of buying a police trade-in or used Glock. When you understand what to look for in a used Gen2 or Gen3 Glock, you know you are buying the most reliable and longest serving generations of the Glock design. You are avoiding the sometimes problematic issues with the newer Gen3 and Gen4 designs and you are hopefully spending a lot less on the firearm.  On average you can get the trade-in /used Gocks in the Low to Mid-300 dollar range. I recently helped a co-worker select an excellent condition LE trade-in G23. He spent $314.00 on the firearm, I put in $20.00 worth of parts and it was good to go.  Another huge advantage and one of the main reasons to buy the older Glocks, is no MIM parts. The Gen2 and select Gen3 Glocks have investment cast /machine tool steel locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. You are getting a more robustly built Glock, with higher quality parts in those key areas, vs. the newer Glocks.

Serial Numbers:

You must pay close attention to serial numbers when looking at used Glocks. This will serve several purposes, unique to a Gen2 or Gen3 Glock.  The serial number will help you identify the approximate date of manufacturer and what to look for, depending on it being a Gen2 or Gen3 gun. Look to see if the Serial numbers on the Slide, Frame and Barrel match. If the serial numbers on any three of these only contain numbers, then they have been replace or are aftermarket if they are not OEM Glock.

CGN - Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM - Gen3 Late- 2002
CGN – Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM – Gen3 Late- 2002

Gen2 Glocks:

Gen2 guns have had several mandatory part changes and upgrades, depending on the approximate date of manufacturer. This will also help you understand how old the firearm is. All Gen2 guns will have the tool steel parts we have already talked about, unless someone changed them out.  In the 2002 Glock armorers guide, replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring is recommended. All Gen2 guns will need this part upgraded.  Some Gen2 guns that have a black trigger bar will need the Six-Part upgrade.  Serial Numbers starting from AA through SL (depending on model) may need this upgrade, if not already done. (see Six-Part Upgrade: below for more information) If you stay in the three letter serial number range starting at (AAA###) and up, you should be ok as far as the Six-Part upgrade is concerned.

Gen3 Glocks:

With the Gen3 guns, you want to look at the serial number closely to make sure it was made before Early to Mid-2009. As long as you are under serial number range (MSZ###) or do not have the dip extractor you are probably ok as far as MIM parts.  Sometime in Early to Mid-2009, Glock started using the MIM locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. There may be some mixed MIM/non-MIM parts in the (M) serial number range, so be aware of that. The only required upgrade/replacement part in pre-2002 Gen3’s, is the replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring, as mention above.  2002-2009 Gen3 guns will not require any part upgrades. important to note: if the serial number on the frame starts in the (EAK### through EVR###) range, the rear slide rails are prone to breakage. Glock recommends those frames be sent in for replacement.

Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / MIM Dip Extractor
Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / Dip (MIM) Extractor
Non-MIM locking Block (right), MIM Locking Block (left)
Non-MIM locking Block (left), MIM Locking Block (right)

Wear:

There are some key areas of wear that you can look for, on trade-in /used Glocks. This will help you identify if the firearm has been used excessively or minimally, depending on caliber. Your .40 cal and .357 sig Glock will show more wear in these areas than a 9mm or 45ACP will, due to them being harder on the firearm.  Add all of these indicators up to make a decision on how used you think the firearm is. It will really help if you ask the gun shop, if you can removed the slide (field Strip) the firearm, to inspect the gun. I do not buy any used firearms unless I am able to do this. Bellow are examples of normal wear on 9mm and .40 cal Glocks, nothing extremely heavy.

1. Barrel Wear Areas

Barrel chatter marks will be visible on the outside of the barrel. The top of the barrel chamber will also have wear marks where it makes contact with the top of the slide. The stronger / more pronounced the wear in these areas will indicate use.

Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear
Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear

2. Slide Wear Areas

The outside slide condition will indicate carry use. The inside of the slide will show wear in two particular areas. The inside top of the slide will indicate wear, where the top of the barrel makes contact with the slide as it reciprocates and on the slide rails on each side of the barrel chamber.  Heavy peening wear on the slide rails slightly in front of the barrel chamber area indicates heavy use.

Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22
Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22

3. Frame Wear

You want to look at the frame carefully to inspect it for cracks or any major damage. While the frame is polymer (plastic), wear on the outside of the frame is not an indicator of firing use, only carry use. A lot of the LE trade-in guns are carried more than shot.

Frames-Right & Left Sides
Frames-Right & Left Sides

In the picture bellow; a G19, (SN# FKF 826), date from 2003, has a cracked dust cover.  I purchased this pistol for 334.00 dollars out the door.  I did not notice the crack at the time of purchase, but when I got home and did a detailed strip and inspection, I noticed the crack.  I remembered there was another G19 at the store with an FKF serial number, so I returned the next day with the cracked frame Glock. Luckily for me, this store was a Glock LE distributor and traded the firearm, no questions asked.  Make sure you check the frame areas very carefully, as some stores will not let you bring the firearm back.

Dust Cover Frame Crack
Dust Cover Frame Crack on SN#  (FKF 826) G19

Replacement Part Recommendations:

After selecting the used Glock and purchasing it using the information above, I would recommend purchasing an OEM Glock Spring Kit and have it instaulled. This serves two purposes. (1) If you have a Gen2 or Gen3 with the old slide lock spring, it is in the kit. (2) The spring kit replaces all six of the springs in the firearm and will insure that all springs are fresh as true round count will be unknown. Replacing the main recoil spring is also a good idea when round count is unknown. Since the main recoil spring and slide lock spring are in the kit, this is the best purchase as it will only cost you around $20.00 dollars. Most Glock parts are very inexpensive, if you identify any weird after market parts you are not sure about, replace them.

Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring
Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring

Trigger Springs (NY1) & (NY2):

Some Police/LE trade-in Glocks might have New York (NY) NY1 or NY2 Trigger Springs in them. A NY1 spring will be OD green and a NY2 spring will be Orange.  Bellow: The black frame on the left, has a NY1 OD green spring in it and the OD frame on the right, has a stock 5.5 lbs spring. If you have one of the NY Trigger Springs, your trigger pull will be heavier than the stock 5.5 lbs spring. You will probably want to removed the NY’s and replace it with the 5.5 lbs spring. If the Glock has a NY1 spring and the trigger pull is relatively smooth and easy to pull, it probably has an OEM (-) Connector. This is a popular combination with LE Glocks.

      Connectors:

Now, you wont be able to see if the Connector is a (-), standard or (+) Connector, without stripping the Trigger Mechanism down, and the store is not going to let you do this. If you see the Glock has a NY1 Trigger Spring and the trigger pull is excessively hard/heavy to pull, it probably has a standard or (+) Connector.  You will have to decide if you want to spend the approximately 20.00 dollars to replace or experiment with there combination.  Note: I prefer a NY1 with (-) Connector combination in my Glocks.

(left) Black Frame with OD NY1 trigger spring (right) Green Frame with 5.5lbs Spring
(-) Connector & OD NY1 Trigger Spring

.40 Caliber Gen2 Glocks:

If you are buying an early Gen2 .40 caliber Glock, usually pre 1995, you will need to be on the lookout for the 4340 ejector.  The 4340 ejector was replaced with the 1882 ejector. Some confuse the 4340 ejector as a broken ejector, due to its short appearance.  The 4340 ejector was replaced, as it puts unnecessary stress on the extractor and due to late ejection can cause case deformation and crimping. This can also cause stove pipe issues.  Over time the use of the 4340 ejector can cause the extractor to break. If you find a .40 cal Glock with a 4340 ejector, you may want to pass on it. If you buy a Glock with the 4340 ejector, replace it with a new Trigger Mechanism Housing with the 1882 ejector.

4340 ejector & 1882 ejector
4340 ejector & 1882 ejector

Six-Part Upgrade:

It is important to note this upgrade is extremely rare to come across, as it was identified over 20 years ago. Some  Gen1 ‘s and early Gen2’s may require the Glock Six-Part upgrade as mention above. If you identify the Glock is one that needs this upgrade, I would suggest passing on that particular Glock as replacing the firing pin and extractor with new MIM parts would defeat one of the main reasons of getting the older/used Glock. If you are looking at a trade-in /used gun, you can easily pull the slide back and look at the trigger bar. If it is solid black and not just dirty from use, it will need the upgrade. This consists of replacing the (trigger bar, firing pin, firing pin safety & spring, extractor and spring-load bearing).

(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed
(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed

Conclusion / Final Thoughts:

Most police/LE trade-in Glocks have been maintained by a department armorer and will probably have the upgraded parts already in them, from years ago. Used Glocks that where in private hands, will more than likely be the ones that need minor part replacement here and there. I have purchased several LE trade-in /used Glocks. Two of my main personal defensive firearms are a late Gen2 G19 and an early Gen3 G22. These have been my go to Glocks and I prefer the quality of the older Glocks compared to the new offerings. Glock does not care if you are the original owner. They have a lifetime guarantee and if you ever have a problem, simply call them and they will take care of it on their dime. I will put a few links to serial numbers, they change from time to time, so if one does not work you can go to the next. Information on Glock serial numbers can be found here: (Glock Talk Serial Number Project),  (Glock Talk Serial Number current Updates),  as long as they stay up. If you remember to look for the key things talked about here, you will be walking away with a excellent Glock, that will be very dependable and reliable for years to come.

Duncan

Front Range Survival Fire Starting Rod Review

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A few weeks ago we got contacted via our facebook page by Front Range Survival about their products.  http://www.frontrangesurvival.com/

A few days later I got an item from them to test out and review.  As you can see in the picture of above it is is a fire starting fire rod. The handle/lanyard if 14 feet of military grade parachute chord in hunter orange for ease of locating it once you drop it in the grass. Or, if you need to make a shelter, signal help or first aid use in case of things turning really bad.

I and a friend spent the last few weeks working with this thing and it is the best one of these we have ever used. We have looked at fire starting rods and kits over the years and had a lot of frustration and failure with kits that are supposed to be the best.  Not with this one. It sparks immediately and the sparks are large and hot.  The first time we went to use it I crumpled up some dry leaves and some very lightly damp grass. It took three swipes of the knife on this thing and we had a very good flame going that we turned into a fire in no time. It was a cool damp day with a little wind, but the sparks from this thing got the job done.  It is really impressive.

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I use the tool with the USGI knife I also threaded with a lanyard. The flat screw driver “blade” made it fast and easy and the two can be wrapped up together.

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the Front Range tool is seen here with the utter failure that is the Bear Grylls fire starting tool kit.  I have seen Mr. Grylls use this kit on TV many times and make it look easy. But I will tell you right now, we spent many hours in the best conditions trying to get something going with it to no avail.  It just does not compare, The sparks are tiny and pathetic. It looks good and is a great idea in theory but it just does not hold up to the FRS piece.

On the website, the company describes their thinking and the tools as  follows.

“We set out to make the best survival gear on earth. Everything we carry has been field tested by us.Its our gear… and now it can be yours.

Our flagship products are Fire Starters.”

They had a real winner with this tool.  I am by no means and expert survivalist, but I know quality when I had it in my hands. And when some one as clumsy as we are, can work something so fast you know it is good.   As my friend says. this is the kind of quality tool that makes a person get excited and want to practice their field and bush craft more often. I agree with that statement absolutely.  Everyone who tried the fire starter was instantly impressed and wanted one,  Not many people I personally know has tried one of these that works as well.

After talking about the tool for a while we determined a nice little kit to put together with it for signaling and making fire while on a hike or for whatever reason.

We gathered some things together and found a spare MOLLE GP pouch it would all fit in and leave room for more as we deemed might be needed  and of course we can remove or add to as the situation may dictate. The idea being to have one on you, in a pack or left in your vehicle.   The pouch as seen above comes with the knife with lanyard. The FRS fire started and some cotton and dryer lint ( which with the FRS tool makes fire as fast as a lighter) A signal mirror and a Military pilots cloth signal panel.  Some medical gear and of course a lighter or two will be added as well as some other odds and ends. But this is a good starts so far in our minds.

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The Front Range Survival fire rod is heavy duty and the pictures don’t seem to show just how big it is. It is not huge or unhandy but you get enough to do the job. It will last a long time.

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I wrapped it up in a sealed bag with some material to help with the fire and cinched it with a rubber band. This will let it easily fit in a single AR15 mag pouch and still have some room left over.  You can store one about anywhere.

A lot of people are always looking for more effective survival and outdoors tools. This is certainly a winner in my opinion, If you do anything or go anywhere you may find you need a fire, this thing is worth having. I would not go on an over night hunt without one of these now.  If you want one, the link to the amazon page is below. You can also read the reviews from buyers there as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Firesteel-Emergency-Survival-Paracord-Necklace/dp/B00KY7901E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=8-3&keywords=firesteel+orange

 

 

BREAKTHROUGH ( Military Grade!!) Gun Cleaner 1st impressions

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This will basically be a “part 1″ of a more longer lasting test period. Cleaning solvent is one of those things it takes a long time and a lot of different things to really evaluate to my satisfaction.  I wanted to talk about  it and my first thoughts on it as sort of a kick off. As the weeks go buy I will post updates on the stuff and my opinion of it.

 

 

I got this cleaner a few weeks ago from a gentleman looking for writers and bloggers to send free samples to for testing. It was being pretty heavily talked about on said page, and obviously was meant to be the new better mouse trap for cleaning.  I gave me address and a few days later got the sample.  I had read plenty of stuff about how safe it was for mother earth and you can even drink it and not get sick, but I did not see anything about what it may or may not work best at, or what it was intended to be.  I fired off an email and asked what exactly was it supposed to be used for .   the response was ..”it will remove all fouling & residue (Brass, Carbon, Copper, Dirt, Grease, Lead, etc.), it’s also PH Neutral which means it’s safe on your firearm’s wood and / or polymers.The ad on Amazon had this to says.”Removes ALL Fouling, PH Neutral, Non-Corrosive, Safe on all Plastics and Polymers, Does not Freeze, Non-Flammable, Non-Water Based, Virtually Odorless, Low Toxicity, Low Vapor Pressure, Non-Carcinogenic, No Components or Characteristics of Hazardous Waste as per EPA, Not Regulated by the OSHA Z-list.

I have some pretty high standard for gun cleaning products and if you read my earlier posts on how to clean precision and match barrels, you know I am hard to please. I have never seen a cleaner that did more than one or two things and did it well.  Actually I never seen a 2in 1 or 3 in 1 cleaner good at any of the 2 or 3 things it is supposed to do.  But I do keep an open mind because I have faith in technology and I have seen better and better solvents come along over the past twenty years.

So, after looking around on the details of the cleaner and what I could find so far, because it is so new, I went and got my carbine. This gun never gets cleaned, just  oiled. the gun is FDE anodized inside and out and the upper was coated black on the inside from carbon. The bolt and carrier had also only been oiled.  I got them out and got my cleaning tools ready not knowing how much elbow grease it would take to work with this stuff.  when you brush your teeth you use the tooth paste and a brush. and no matter how good gun solvents are, they almost always need a little extra help.

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I sprayed the cleaner inside the upper and let it set for a few minutes,. Upon the stuff hitting the inside I notice immediately black sludge start to run out. Very few things have done this that was not under a high pressure or  brake parts cleaner.  After 5 minutes of so I wiped it out with a rag. and above is what it looked like.  No brass brushes. Not pip cleaner or any of that. I did use a tooth brush but only to help flick some goop out of the crevices, not because I had to really work at it.   Very nice so far, but, I have found that FDE anodized ARs seem to clean up easier for some reason, It may be in my mind. but it does seem so. So, I went to the BCG.

I sprayed it with the odorless stuff and again, the black water ran off.

 

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I let it set, then just used a red shop rag to wipe it off. No brush.

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It did not get all of it out of the inside, but it went a long way toward getting it all.

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Cleaned up the bolt as well. But here is the first sign of weakness. It will not remove the hardened carbon on the boats tail and better than the mediocre stuff like Hoppes. Even with the addition of a brush it did not really do much better.  In fact Slip2000 carbon cleaner works faster when trying to remove the hardened stuff.

It is really good at removing the loose sludge that does not need as much work. But it is held up on the hard stuff. I have not cleaned a bore yet to see if it remove copper and lead as claimed, but I wanted to see how it did on carbon first.

A few things to think about first.  Good weapon lube will keep carbon and grit and sand etc,. sort of suspended in the lube. It will not let it stick so to speak. The lube will keep the gun wet and lubricated while keeping the grit and fouling from causing problems.  Obviously this helps a great deal with cleaning, Since it is a lot easier to wipe away lube with fouling in it than it is to scrape it off the metal. Dirty lube might look and seem bad., but it is still doing an important job. A good lube will suspend the fouling and particles and let you wipe it off and re lube so you can get buy a long time until you do a real serious cleaning. That is one of the reasons I rarely clean a fighting gun like I would a match bolt gun. A good lube lets you do that.  I use Slip2000EWL and it excels at this. It does not burn off fast, it stays in place and it is not harmful to your body. It is really super stuff and it is the ONLY lube I use if I have a choice.  So in the case with this cleaner. I think the Slip2000 made the job a lot easier.  That is not a rag on the Breathrough at all.  It needs to be thought of as a system.  If the Slip suspends the crud and the Breakthrough just sprays on and the fouling runs off with no work, I call that pretty good.

But, that is probably not what the makers want to hear or have in mind.  For sure the idea is Breakthrough military grade cleaner is suppose to be super easy to use regardless of the oil used on the weapon.  Alas, that is not how the world works. So I will be be trying it out with cleaning guns with different lubricants and no lube to see if it makes a difference good or bad.   So far, when used to clean guns oiled with Slip2000 it shows some real promise. I would not stop using the SLIP line of cleaners and replace them with this stuff yet, but we will see.

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Above is another picture of the carrier simply sprayed and wiped off.  As you can tell, the cleaner leaves no film behind. It is not CLP and does not leave behind any protective film.

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I will continue testing it out to see if it is snake oil or worth its price. I can not recommend it yet.  I am not sold on it as of yet but I am curious. The military grade claims is not something I pay any attention to and I advise you to ignore it as well since it really does not matter much in my opinion. I use a lot of cleaners that do not boat military grade properties and nothing else out there beats them.  I am sure that is hype made to cash in on the same people who buy stuff because maybe a NAVY SEAL uses it.   A few more weeks and I will give my final verdict.

If you want to try it out, or read marketing claims yourself,you can get it here and if you enter promo code Looserounds, you can get 10% off.

http://www.mountsplus.com/AR-15_Accessories/AR-15_Scope_Mounts/breakthrough_solvents.html

 

 

Female Conceal Carry for Fall/Winter

Cassie Larsen submitted this article.

The “Female Conceal Carry for Summer” article has been very popular. I know there is a lot of interest and a need, for more conceal carry information for women. I have found there is not a lot of information out there and I have had to do a lot of trial and error for this article.  In this article you will see several Appendix Inside Waist Band (AIWB) holsters and Outside Waist Band (OWB) holsters. These holsters and companies are as follows;  a Dark Star Gear holster, a custom AIWB kydex holster, a Raven Concealment Vanguard2 holster and Kinetic Concepts Tactical (KCT) holsters. Also, an I.C.E. Belly Band and Volund Gearworks Atlas Belt will be used. I will be showing you outfits that conceal a Glock 42, Sig P238, Glock 19, and a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

Sweaters with detail and skirts:

I’ve noticed when wearing a skirt and conceal carrying I have two options I can wear a looser waist skirt with the I.C.E. Belly Band and carry IWB or I can wear a skirt with loops, belt and carry OWB. It does become a bit tricky with high waist skirts. I have yet to find a comfortable carry option for those.

The great thing about this black sweater that you can’t see well in the pictures is that it has a fake wrap look with buttons on the front and side. With that extra detail on the front it hides any bulges from the firearm really well. I like to wear darker sweaters I find they hide the print of the firearm better. I also look for shirts or sweaters with added details; buttons, wrap, bunching, gathers, patterns.

I.C.E. Belly Band/holster with Glock 42
I.C.E. Belly Band/holster with Glock 42

Long Sweaters with leggings:

I love wearing a Belly Band with my leggings. It is very comfortable and with the I.C.E. Belly Band I have multiple options of what firearm I can carry. With this outfit a basic long sweater, leggings and tall boots I can wear my Sig P238, Glock 42, Glock 19 or Glock 26. With the Glock 19 or Glock 26 I use the  I.C.E Glock open bottom holster, attach it to the Velcro on the Belly Band and carry at the 4 o’clock position. I.C.E store carries several holster to accommodate firearms you may carry.

I have many different long sweater legging combos and I love being able to just throw on a comfy outfit and still be protected. Most long sweaters have a fly away in the front. I like having the break away in the front so I can access my firearm quicker if needs be. I wear an under shirt, then my belly band with firearm, then an over shirt or tank top, then my sweater. It really adds no more bulk since my under shirt is basically a top slip. The main use of the undershirt is so I don’t have the firearm resting on my skin for long periods of time.

I.C.E. Belly Band,  G26 or Glock 19
I.C.E. Belly Band, G26 or Glock 19

Work out clothing:

When I go for a walk with my kids or jog by myself, I like to bring along some protection. With the Belly Band and my Sig p238 or Glock 42 I can do that and I don’t have to wear a big bulky shirt or extra layers. If it’s cold I do add my workout hoodie, which only adds to the concealment. I usually wear yoga pants or shorts which I feel keeps my firearm more secure since the waist is tight.

I.C.E. Belly Band with Sig P238 and Glock 42
I.C.E. Belly Band with Sig P238 and Glock 42

Break away sweaters:

I use the same idea as the leggings with this breakaway front sweater, but use my kydex holsters. I prefer to appendix carry. It is the most comfortable for me. I can easily access my firearm with my kids, or holding shopping bags. I don’t have to worry about bending over to pick up my kids at the park or store and having my weapon print. I wear Silver jeans or Vigoss jeans and capris. I buy my regular size and have no problem carrying IWB. My carry belt is Volund Gearworks Atlas belt (Volund Gearworks Atlas Belt for Women). I’ve been wearing it almost daily for over a year and I still love it.

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster and Glock 19 with Raven Vanguard 2
Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster and Glock 19 with Raven Vanguard 2

Flowy shirts:

I really like wearing flowy light tops. This is a peasant type top, the fabric is light and not fitted at the bottom. Which conceals firearms really well for me. I have no problem with printing or the shirt getting stuck on the gun with appendix carry. The pattern on this shirt also helps with the concealment.

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster
Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Banded bottom:

Banded bottom tops also work well for me to conceal carry with. They have more give to the middle of the shirt but with a fitted bottom. Some banded bottom shirts can be trickier if the band is at the same height as the holster. I like the tight bottom on banded shirts because I know the shirt isn’t going to move and expose my firearm.  This particular top also has a low back so appendix carry or side carry work well. When it’s colder out I can still wear this tank top with a black jacket or cardigan which just adds to the concealment.

Sig P238 with Dark Star Gear OWB Kydex holster, Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster
Sig P238 with Dark Star Gear OWB Kydex holster, Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Combination Shirts:

This is a great home-run shirt for me. It has pattern, detail and a banded bottom. The upper back detail is great to draw eyes up and away from my waist wear my firearm is. The diagonal stripe helps camouflage printing and the banded bottom helps the shirt stay in place. I really like to find combo tops I think they work great for most of my firearms. With this shirt I can carry any of my firearms with any holster at either the small of my back or at appendix. With small of the back carry I do have to be careful with bending over or picking something up because the firearm will print. Which is another reason why I love appendix carry.

M&P Shield & Glock 42 in Kinetic Concepts Tactical holsters
M&P Shield & Glock 42 in Kinetic Concepts Tactical holsters

Light weight Jackets:

A great thing about colder weather is you can throw on a jacket to any of your outfits which adds warmth and another layer of concealability. I’m wearing a simple long sleeve shirt which is not skin tight. With summer capris that work great with knee high boots, no need to fold and tuck the bottom of your jeans. I can wear this shirt alone and conceal the Shield fine or add the extra layer of a jacket. Since I’m appendix carrying I will still be able to quickly draw my firearm if needed. If you are carrying in the small of the back with a jacket on I recommend practicing drawing your firearm so you don’t get hung up on the extra material. This jacket snaps closed so if I did get cold and wanted to snap up I could still quickly undo my jacket if needed.  Of course, cardigans and heavy jackets will work just the same.

M&P Shield with Kinetic Concepts Tactical appendix holster
M&P Shield with Kinetic Concepts Tactical appendix holster

Conclusions:

There is no reason to lose your style just to carry a firearm. I suggest carrying on the body whenever possible. I recommend when shopping for new clothing to wear your firearm, that way you will know if it will conceal well and not print. Remember, darker colored clothing will conceal better than lighter colors. If you don’t have a good carry belt or holster, I recommend getting one. Having a quality holster and carry belt will help you conceal your firearm. If you have a good foundation in place you will be able to conceal with comfort, ease and style. A good foundation consists of a good holster, belt, firearm and clothing. Without all (4) of these key elements, you will have a harder time concealing your firearm.

Don't forget, You can still be Sexy & Carry a Firearm
Don’t forget, You can still be Sexy & Carry a Firearm

I’ve showed you many different firearms, holsters and carrying positions as examples for you to find what works best for you. I don’t carry multiple firearms. Some days I do need to change my holster, belt or firearm to accommodate my outfit. Occasionally, I must change carrying positions between appendix, strong side traditional and 4 o’clock, based on the outfit I’m wearing.  Appendix carry is where I consistently carry and consistency in your carry position is what you want. Like I said above, the appendix position works best for my daily life and my body type. The key is to find what works best for you most of the time and what you are the most comfortable carrying.

Cassie