Tag Archives: CCW

A Look at Quality CCW Shirts

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.

Looking for a nice IWB holster?

Back in 2007 I decided I needed a IWB holster for my 1911. Like most people I ended up with a enough holster to outfit a rifle squad while trying to find one I liked that worked for me. I was reading the book Living with the 1911 when I noticed a company in Texas that made some really nice handmade custom leather and decided to give them a try.   the company is Kirkpatrick Leather and they do indeed make a truly awesome holster. They have something for everyone.

The model I choose has the snap loops for a belt and I got it in chocolate color. I have always liked this color over black or the lighter tan. The model I use is called the Commander Carry Model TCC. You can have it made for a commander or Gov model like I did. Looking closely at the holster reveals true craftsmanship that a off the shelf  holster usually does not have. But, that is okay, they are for mass production and do their job just fine. They are not meant to be custom made just for you.

The CC TCC  has a hand molded finish, a shirt guard and  can come with kydex belt clips installed instead of the leather loops and snaps. Also it has the slight FBI style cant. One of the little touches I consider a must have feature is the reinforced opening. It allows you to reholster with one hand by keeping it open. It may not seem important to people that carry as a after thought, but this is essential to have in a situation where you need to keep your eyes on threats  or on a door nob or dialing 911 etc etc.

As you can see, it has a small footprint. I have never had a problem keeping it well hidden with no printing, even with a fairly tight fitting Tshirt in the summer time. It does its job well when it comes to hidding the gun.  The shape and fit of the holster makes carrying the full size 1911 all day  and hidden, as easy as falling off a frog.  I have worn it every day since Jan 07 and have worn out three belts will wearing the TCC  yet I have not seen any wear on the holster.

Getting your hand on the grip and establishing a solid firing grip is easy as well. On some holster, the shirt guard will sometimes get in the way for me when grabbing a 1911 with the high thumb grip. Not so with the commander carry. It is just right. This is not a add for the company, but I really can not say enough good about the gear they make.  I have spread the word on this little shop since I got the  holster. Anyone that has been frustrated by IWB holster that come up short, or may just want a nice custom made holster just for them  or their custom gun should try them out. Of course they make holsters for more then the 1911 so don’t let that stop ya.

http://www.kirkpatrickleather.com/

Lesser known holster that should not be

1911 with surefire light

I would like to start the blog off with a short write up of a small company I found out about a few months ago on a gun board.  The holster was custom made for me by Dark Star gear in PA.   I was looking for a holster that I could mount on a normal belt or a MOLLE type war belt. After looking at all the more common popular options I just was not happy.  I called up the company  and the owner agreed to make a holster for me with my specs.  I asked for  it to fit a Colt rail gun 1911 with surefire X300 light with the FBI cant in coyote tan.

The owner was a great guy, he was careful to make sure he knew and understood exactly what I wanted. This one is the 1st one he has made for the 1911 type and it is just impressive. The holster  oozes craftsmanship and thats hard to do considering the material its made from. The fit of the gun in the holster is snug.  I held the two upside down could not get it to fall out after vigorous shaking.

belt loops for casual belt/riggers or MOLLE

One other thing that really impressed me was  the slight curve of the holster that is so subtle but perfectly conformed to my body. With a button up dress shirt on, i was able to easily conceal the full rig including the wilson  10 round mag. The belt loops can easily be re positioned however you want and  there are extra holes for attaching a knife,maybe a light, whatever..

If you want a very well made nice custom holster that is not made from one of the more popular well known companies that take forever,give Dark star a try. Ican not say he will make anything you dream up, but I am sure he will try to meet your needs. I will say he does NOT make IWB so if thats what you  want you are likely SOL. I will say I was so impressed I have another one on the way.

If you like what you see them a ring at www.DarkStarGear.com  I hope he can meet your need and you can help out a small biz in Pittsburgh,PA and get a  first class piece of gear for your sidearm.