Concealment… on the face of it, it seems simple, but it can actually be one of the harder elements to master of concealed carry.
Concealment is a very big deal here. Lets face it, not only is it called “concealed carry” for a reason, but in many areas, failure to properly conceal can be considered a crime unto itself. Even if it’s not a crime, you end up causing a ruckus, attracting official attention, and just plain end up making the rest of us look bad… we have enough issues with the the populace already, afraid of us simply because we actually chose to take responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones… lets not give them any reason to think about us any further, especially in a negative light. Think hard about the true concealment of your weapon, not only the holster or rig, but also the “rest of the package”… you, how you dress, how you act, even what weapon you pick to carry affects this. Larger weapons are harder to hide, all other things being equal. Plus, how you act is very important as well… the best concealment in the world can be blown by absently putting your hand on your weapon and/or rig to adjust it while waiting in line at the grocery store. Get a good rig that doesn’t need adjustment, and don’t adjust it, at least not where people can see, ok?
It’s vital that you try on a holster before you buy it, if for no other reason than to find out if it actually concealed on your body frame. What conceals for your buddy, or the magazine writer that penned that wondrous write up on the XZY 2000 holster, or the mega-sporting goods store clerk, may or may not conceal on you the same way. TRY IT FIRST! If in doubt about how well it conceals, ask a friend, a passerby, the store clerk, find a mirror, whatever… make sure that it hides properly.
Now, there’s a fine line between “realistically hidden” and “vanished into thin air”. If you can see it, knowing where to look exactly because you just put it there, that doesn’t mean that every person passing by is gonna start bleating “man with a gun!”. If you can see a small telltale, realize that it’s because you know where to look and why to look.. the vast majority of the population doesn’t. However, the fewer tells you can give off, the better. Aim to have fewer tells whenever possible within reason.
Also keep in mind that, unless you wear the same set of clothes all the time, the holster that works so well with what you had on when you tried it on, may or may not work as well with your “Sunday go to meeting” clothes, or your “working on the lawn” clothes, or your “taking the spouse to the grocery store” clothes. I’m sure you get my drift. Not everything works with everything all the time… be prepared to be creative.