Avoid Printing And Keep Concealed With These 5 Easy Tips!

One of the biggest concerns for people who are carrying concealed in printing, where your gun sticks out a bit under your clothes and shows itself off to the world. Ever get self-conscious while carrying because of it? A lot of people do.

It's good to be concerned. People who notice can panic or otherwise cause a fuss. In fact, printing in some jurisdictions can even run you afoul of the law, so it behooves you to make sure you stay concealed.

But how do you stop it? It's actually easier than you might think.

We're going to give you 5 easy tricks that will minimize, if not eliminate printing, and make sure that your concealed pistol stays concealed.

Try The FBI Cant

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One of the reasons a slight tilt (somewhere around 18 to 25 degrees forward) of a handgun - also known as the FBI cant - is popular is that it aids in concealment. It also helps that a person is better able to draw a pistol while seated than with a straight drop (which can be impossible) but that's a topic for another time.

Adopting a forward tilt to the pistol can adjust the slide (or frame if carrying a revolver) so that your clothes no longer drape onto the sharper parts of the gun. When carrying on the hip, the rear of the slide, the sights and (if carrying one) the hammer are often the culprits of a bit of printing. Tilting the gun forward in the holster can reduce this effect.

However, what some people have noticed is that the grip can then become the part of the pistol that prints, which leads us directly to

Adjust Your Carry Position

Another good tip to avoid printing is to adjust your carry position.

I know, I know, it's so natural to have a straight drop on the hip. Trust me, I get it - but part of the point of concealed carry is concealment, and you may have to make a concession to effectively conceal. One of the typical concessions is carry position.

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You'll have to experiment with the exact position, but move your holster forward and rearward of directly on the hip. What you're looking to do is balance two factors: comfort and where the pistol prints least. What you're doing is finding a spot on the body where your body's contours and those of the pistol align conducively to blend in, and find a spot where that happens that you can carry in comfortably.

Try Getting A Smaller Gun

Look...we all love our full-size handguns. There's nothing wrong with having one or even carrying it, but there's a reason why "winter guns" are a thing.

When you aren't wearing many layers, it may be time to leave your Glock 17 or Sig P226 at home. It may be a good idea to leave the 1911 in the safe for those who carry a 1911 because they love America and freedom carry one.

a good ole 1911

After all, the smaller the gun...the less of an imprint it makes. There's nothing wrong with having a Shield, Glock 26/43, or a J-frame.

Ditch The T-Shirt For A Polo Or Short-Sleeve Button-Up

We all want to be comfortable, but a t-shirt can easily lead to printing. Depending on how your size of shirt sits on you, it may even show off the lettering on the slide. How to avoid this without wearing a stupid amount of layers for the hot parts of the year?

Try a polo shirt or a short-sleeve button-up. Find examples of each that hang a little loose, as slim-fit is the enemy of concealment. These types of shirts are just as cool as t-shirts (maybe more so, depending on the material - seersucker for instance) look better on you (dress to impress, people!) are far more conducive to concealing without printing, due to the extra room.

printing while concealed carrying

You'll look better and carry better, and that's just good.

Get A Good Gun Belt And Holster...Then Leave It Alone

One of the best tips to avoid printing is to invest some cash in good carrying equipment. A good gun belt and holster will help with that, as these items will keep your gun exactly where you put it and won't let it move. That will keep any printing from occurring due to the gun moving.

a good gun belt

Know what else you need to do?

Leave the gun alone. With a good belt and holster, it doesn't need to be/should never be touched, safety-checked or anything. Put it in the holster, cinch up your belt and leave it alone. If you got a good belt and good holster, it isn't going anywhere.

Still looking for more tips & tricks for your daily carry? Bigfoot's got you covered:

Sam Hoober  

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.

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