After you have successfully passed your “conceal and carry” course that allows you to carry a handgun in public for personal protection, you might be wondering what is the best way to carry your weapon. For me, I like the belly band. It hides my gun from public view so that people don’t freak out and it is an easy way to carry my gun on my person. Additionally, the belly band I have prevents an assailant from grabbing my gun from me.
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If you want to know all of the other reasons why I like belly bands, I have a little belly band guide for you below.
The Belly Band Itself
It’s essentially a wide piece of thick material that stretches around your middle and secures with velcro in front. Think of it like a weightlifter’s belt, but much smaller and less obvious. The actual holster for your gun is typically located on the back of the belt, the very front of the belt, or to the side. A lot of belts, however, opt to place the holster on the back to prevent an assailant that is coming at you from the front or side from discovering that you are carrying a gun before you can pull it out.
I like the deluxe belly bands best because they can hold more than just a gun. They can hold cash during travel, your phone, a spare clip of ammo, and one or two extra pockets for whatever you want. This particular style of belly band is very accommodating for many different sizes of sidearms, and they are the best for people who have a little extra girth and need a little more stretch from the belly band.
The Many Advantages of a Belly Band Holster
There are so many advantages to using and wearing a belly band. I find that they are very comfortable and not the least bit irritating. I do have to wear pants that have a little more room, because hey, I have to hide pistol in a holster covered by my pants. However, a little extra room in your pants is not a bad thing sometimes.
Oddly enough, I find that I slouch less wearing a belly band too. It reminds me to sit up straight and hold my posture when walking. Not doing so causes the holster to poke me a bit, and then I sit up or stand straight again. Good posture and carrying your gun in concealment at the same time? Who doesn’t like that?
A traditional hip holster, shoulder holster, or ankle holster is too revealing and not really concealing your gun as you carry it. Anybody can spot the gun bulge under your arm, on your back, or around your ankle if they are really looking for it. If you go around in shorts or not wearing a jacket, these holsters are extremely obvious. That kind of makes the whole “conceal and carry” license moot, in my opinion.
You really don’t have that problem at all with the belly band holster. It’s always hidden from view unless your shirt is too tight. A comfortable t-shirt, polo, or roomy button-down shirt covers the belly band with ease.
Finally, I have to say that the belly band is about the best way to safely conceal your gun within your pants. You see all these gangster types trying to holster their gun down their pants, but do you know what happens when you do that? You set yourself up to shoot yourself in the groin, the buttocks, or in the hip or abdomen by accident. When you know how to wear a belly band holster and you are wearing it correctly, there’s no way you can accidentally pull your gun from the holster partially concealed under your waistband and shoot yourself. You just can’t.
The Kinds of Guns You Can Carry With a Belly Band Holster
So now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, so if my pants covers the lower part of the belly band and my shirt covers the upper part, I probably can’t carry certain guns, can I?” Good question, but you would be surprised at how many different handguns you can carry in these things. There are multiple different holsters to carry guns of all sizes.
Some belly bands even offer you the option of removing one size holster to replace it for another size holster for a different gun. You can carry a different gun on your belly band every day of the week, if you want. The belly bands that have pockets for whatever else you want to carry are the ones that allow holster switch-outs.
Just to get an idea of what you could conceal and carry on a belly band, here are some of the guns recommended by the manufacturers of belly bands:
- Full-size, Compact, Mid-Compact, and Sub-Compact guns
- Glocks 19 THROUGH 36
- Smith and Wesson
- Taurus, including their Raging Hunter and Judge series
- M&P Shield
- Sig Sauer
- Rock Island
- …and literally dozens more.
If you’re concerned about belly bands fitting big bellies, you don’t have to worry about that either. They are usually adjustable, and come in waist sizes up to 53″, with some brands going a few inches more. You can also make them right- or left-handed draw holsters, depending on which hand you shoot with.
About the only guns you can’t put in these holsters are ones with longer than usual barrels, custom jobs, or guns that are clearly not handguns.
How to Wear Your Belly Band Holster
I put my belly band on before I put my shirt and pants on. Then I wear a loose-fitting shirt and a pair of pants that’s about one to three inches larger than my usual waist size, depending on which gun I want to carry. You’ll have to play around with the whole pants issue until you find pants that work with your holster and your gun. Adjust the belly band closure to a mildly snug fit and secure it. That’s it.