One of the biggest concerns new gun owners have about carrying is printing. Not wanting people to find out that you have a gun on your body is the whole point of concealment, so this concern is definitely understandable. You can effectively conceal your gun without making too many changes to your overall style. Here are some tips and features to look for in holsters that can help reduce printing.
Why is Printing a Problem?
Printing can be an issue on multiple levels. We don't want the "bad" or "good" guys knowing that it is there. If someone who is intending to harm you knows that you are carrying, it can impede your ability to use it to defend yourself. If someone who isn't intending to harm you sees the outline of a gun on your body, they may confuse you with someone who has bad intentions.
Through a different lens, the concern over printing can definitely impact your ability to be an effective concealed carrier. There is a difference between simply being aware of your gun and making sure it is concealed, as opposed to constantly being worried that people can see it and adjusting your holster every few seconds. This type of behavior doesn't allow your mind to be focused on the things that matter more in self-defense scenarios, like situational awareness. This can also bring more attention to the fact that you are carrying.
Dress Around Your Gun
As a younger woman that carries, having an excuse to try on my clothes and come up with different outfits for concealing is actually kind of fun. I know that not everyone shares those same feelings. Once you start concealing, it will get easier to know what types of styles will work for carrying and what types of styles will not. This goes for men and women: you do not need to wear super baggy or oversized clothing to effectively conceal your gun.
You can take the approach of dressing around your gun, while still maintaining your style. Things such as wearing shirts made of more structured and less-clingy fabrics can help to reduce printing. Another great way to go about this is to use your clothing to your advantage. Try things like tucking in half of your shirt, on the side opposite of your gun to create a "bubble" of space around your gun. There is always the art of distraction as well, through the use of patterns or accessories that take attention off any printing that may occur and refocus it on another aspect of your overall look.
Incorporating a strong belt into your wardrobe will also help to reduce printing. A sturdy belt that is made to hold up the weight of a firearm will prevent your holster from having too much movement when being worn and will keep your holster and gun closer to your body.
Certain design aspects of holsters can be extremely helpful in decreasing the amount of printing that occurs daily. The biggest game-changer for eliminating printing with a Kydex holster is the addition of a Modwing (sometimes called a concealment claw). When a belt is pushed against the wing, the pressure brings the grip of the gun closer to your body. The grip of the gun is the most common cause of printing issues.
Another way your holster can assist with reducing printing is through the use of a low-profile clip. Clips such as the HLR Discreet Mod 4, the Monoblock, and even the FOMI clip, all securely attach to your belt while maintaining their slim appearance. Sometimes, even if your gun itself isn't printing, the clips on your belt might be visible. Making sure your clips aren't too bulky, but also function correctly, can help to prevent attention from being drawn towards your gun and holster.
To learn more about the holster clip options that we offer, check out this article.