Concealing a pistol in casual dress is easy. A long, loose, and untucked shirt makes a pistol and holster disappear without effort.
We can’t always dress casually though. I have been thinking about how to conceal a pistol when I need to tuck my shirt. I put on a dress shirt and carried a pistol at different places. I carried with a tucked shirt with a belly band holster. I also tried appendix carry and 4 o’clock carry with a tucked shirt. This is what I learned.
There are three ways to conceal a pistol with a tucked shirt. Using a holster with tuckable belt clips or a belly band allows tucking a shirt over a holstered pistol. Also, holster clips called ulticlips that attach to pants allow shirts to be tucked over holstered pistols.
The Video Shows How to use Ulticlips and Tuckable Belt Clips
Belly Band Holster and Shirt Tucking
A belly band holster is an easy way to carry with a tucked shirt. Belly band holsters offer good concealment and comfort. Printing can be avoided by tucking the shirt a little loose.
This is the best way to defeat the cover garment. Grab just above the pistol and quickly pull up as fast and far as possible.
There are some downsides to using a belly band holster. The most important of these is the slow draw speed. It’s slow because of the belly band retention method. Most belly band holsters use a velcro strap to retain a pistol. That strap has to be pulled off before drawing. Because of this it’s faster to draw from a good kydex appendix or strong side iwb holster.
Also, hot weather and belly bands don’t go together. Belly bands are essentially a piece of thick cloth that wraps around the waist. Wearing a belly band is like wearing an extra shirt. It will increase heat, retain heat, and absorb sweat. Having said this, hot weather with a belly band is only a problem for those who stay in the heat. If you live and work in an air conditioned building or car, then the hot weather outside won’t stink up a belly band with salty sweat.
Lastly, a belly band holster might make you look like you gained a few pounds.
Tucking a Shirt With Holster Clips
Tucking a shirt with a belt holster requires one of two types of holster clips. These are Ulticlips or tuckable belt clips. They both have space between the clips and the holster to tuck a shirt.
Ulticlips: the Best Way to Tuck and Carry with a Belt Holster
Ulticlips are the most concealable holster clips. They lock tightly right onto the pants. The allows a belt to cover the clips. Whether you strong side or appendix carry, Ulticlips are the best way to secure a holster and tuck a shirt over it. Here is a picture of Ulticlips on pants.
Tuckable Holster Belt Clips
Unlike Ulticlips, tuckable holster belt clips are exposed over the belt. This will compromise concealment unless a secondary cover garment like a jacket covers the clips. This is an example of tuckable belt clips with a belt and shirt.
The holster and pistol will be concealed behind the shirt. Also, everything below the belt will be concealed by pants. This just leaves the clips themselves exposed. I do not recommend going out in public with exposed holster clips. An observant person might notice the clips and realize a pistol is being carried. There is one more thing to consider when carrying with exposed holster clips. There are some states that don’t allow open carry even with a carry permit. While holster clips by themselves might not be enough to qualify as open carry, there is a risk of a police run in and legal trouble. An over zealous cop looking for overtime might not like exposed holster clips.
There are two things that can be done about exposed clips. Wearing a black belt, black belt clips, and black pants will make these clips look like belt loops. This solution eliminates popular pants colors like blue and khaki. Unless you are OK with only wearing a black belt and pants, I don’t recommend this belt clip hiding method.
Another way to handle exposed holster clips is to cover them. A secondary cover garment will reliably cover the clips and keep everybody unaware of a concealed pistol. However, a second cover garment has some downsides. In addition to the shirt under the holster and the shirt cover the pistol and holster, there is now another shirt covering the belt clips. Wearing 3 shirts could be hot in the Summer or even late Spring and early Fall.
More importantly, a second cover garment is another garment to move out of the way when drawing. Doing this with one hand or both hands is cumbersome.
Now I’ll go into carry positions with tuckable belt clips.
The Right Carry Position for Tucking with Belt Clips: Strong Side IWB or Appendix Carry
There are two places to waistband carry with a tucked shirt and belt holster clips. They both have their benefits and downsides. Many iwb holsters can work with both strong side and appendix positions. Ideally, you would have a holster that can do both. This would allow you to try each and see which one is best for you. The T.Rex Arms Sidecar holster I use is mostly meant for appendix carry. However, it works fine at the 4 o’clock position. I tucked with belt clips and drew with both carry position. This is what I learned.
Strong Side IWB with Tucking and Belt Clips
Strong side at 4 o’clock works good. Because the belt clips are behind the hip, they cannot be seen from the front. With the clips to the side, a top cover garment can be open in the front. By open in the front, I mean unzipped or unbuttoned. Having a top garment open makes drawing less cumbersome when moving two garments away. Watch me draw strong side with a tucked shirt.
Drawing like this is almost the same as drawing without a tucked shirt. Once the top garment is out of the way, it’s just grab, pull, and drawing with the strong hand. You can also try using both hands to remove cover garments. I prefer keeping my shooting hand dedicated to grabbing the pistol and not using it for garment movement. However, you might find that using both hands works better for you.
Strong side carrying is the best position for tucking with belt clips. It’s easier and simpler compared to appendix carry. Having said this, tucking a shirt with belt clips over an appendix holster is doable. Keep reading to learn how to do it.
Appendix Carry with Tucking and Belt Clips
Appendix carry is great when done right. Very fast drawing, comfort, and concealment are all features of appendix carry. However, appendix carry and tucking with belt clips is a bad idea. Yes, it can be done. However, the belt clips are exposed right in front. The picture below shows my appendix holster with a tucked shirt and exposed clips.
The belt clips probably won’t get noticed, but probably is not good enough for concealed carry.
After putting on another shirt to cover the clips, I practiced drawing. This GIF shows me drawing from the appendix.
I was able to grab the top garment without issue. Moving the tucked garment required pressing the top garment between my palm and belly. After this, I used my fingers to slide the tucked garment up and over the pistol grip. I suspect doing all of this would be more difficult with sweaty clothes.
Based on my research, Ulticlips should be unused if you want appendix carry with a tucked shirt. They hidden behind the belt which makes a secondary cover garment unneeded.