Lets start out with the videos, and then get on with the talk….
This is a video that I made along with my daughter Morgan, giving you a basic demonstration of the Packin’ Tee system:
I plan on having at least one more video shot before too long, giving some closeups of the various reinforcements that this system has to offer.
Now, on with the endless talking… 🙂
The Packin’ Tee represents the next generation of concealed carry t-shirt. It’s been built from the ground up to solve the issues that face the CCW licensee looking for a good way to carry their equipment.
One of the first things that you notice when you examine one, is that the holster is modular and attached with industrial strength hook and loop material (Velcro). Turn the shirt inside out, and you see the reinforcements that have been added to the shirt to make sure that your weapon stays where you want it.
There are reinforcements around the side of the shirt, over the shoulder and around the arm holes, and across the back. Basically, the manufacturer made a cloth shoulder holster, and then sewed it into the inside of the shirt.
The shirt itself is 100% cotton, pre-shrunk. This means that it’s not only comfortable and easy to clean, but it “looks normal”. There are a number of concealed carry t-shirts out there that have rather “distinctive” (ahem) looks to them, looks that can give you away to people who know what to look for. Why on earth do you want to telegraph your advantage away like that?
One of the best features of this holster system is the modular holsters themselves… and not just because you can easily switch out between the various holsters to customize your carry to what you need to do -now-. The fact that it’s velcro’ed to the shirt gives you a lot of options in the adjustment department. You can move the holster up, down, sideways, or just give it a small cant forward or backward, whatever it takes to give you that “sweet spot” for carry comfort that makes all the difference in the world in whether or not a holster system “works” for you.
Time for the Questions… and of course, the answers!
[Q] Are there sleeved versions of these shirts, or all they all sleeveless?
[A] They are all sleeveless. If there were sleeves on the shirts, there would be a possibility of getting your weapon caught in the “dangling sleeve” during a draw, and that would not be a good thing for you.
[Q] Are there V-Neck versions available?
[A] Yes, there are, and they are available on the order page.
[Q] What colors are they available in?
[A] Black and white only.
[Q] Is there a weight limit on the gun carried?
[A] Older technology shirts had strict weight limits on the weapon to be carried. Because of the way these shirts are made, with the reinforcements on them, they can carry significantly more weight on them. As a practical matter, though, the heavier the gun (and the larger it is), the more difficult it becomes to hide the weapon for long periods of time. Let your ability to conceal the weapon be more of the determining factor than what the sheer ability of the shirt is to carry weight, because the shirts ability to carry weight is far in excess of any reasonable concealed carry weapon.
Want to talk numbers? I’ve been given two different ones… the manufacturer has told me in the past that the shirts were rated for up to 10 pounds per side. The official website states that there is no limit on weight of the weapons, but reiterates that the bigger the gun, the harder it is to hide. I can understand them going from 10 to infinity, though, for one simple reason… the Desert Eagle itself only weighs 8.5 pounds, and if the largest “normal” handgun is lighter than the “stated limit”.. that means that for all practicality, there is no limit. But, since I’ve had people swear that their gun is sooo heavy that it must have been made from dark star matter, lets just stick with the 10 pound limit, shall we? 🙂
[Q] How do I clean these shirts?
[A] Remove the holster patches before washing, then just wash them as you would do your regular t-shirts. If you mistakenly forget to remove the patches, they will not be ruined, but due to the nature of the industrial velcro used, you may not be able to remove the patches again, as they tend to “bond” to the shirt.
[Q] What is the life expectancy on these shirts?
[A] This is a piece of clothing, and underwear at that. Given that, it’s not going to last forever. The manufacturer has estimated that you should be able to get two years out of them under “normal use”. As of this writing, I have 1.5 years on some of mine.
[Q] Do I need to wear an over shirt with this?
[A] Only if you feel the need to conceal the weapon. 🙂 Seriously, though, pretty much every method of concealment depends at least in part on “cover garments”… this one is no different.
[Q] Does the shirt need to be tight on me?
[A] Previous designs of shirts needed a good amount of “snug fit” to keep the weapon in the place where it’s supposed to be. Because of the reinforcement built into this shirt, it doesn’t need to be worn as tightly as other similar products, but you do not want to wear it loose, either. Wearing it loosely will cause the weapon to sag, hang lower than normal, and bounce off your ribcage in a most annoying manner, so wearing the shirt “snug” is still a good idea. By the way, the manufacturer recommends a “compression fit” for best results. While that certainly works, it’s been my experience that the lighter the gun being carried, the more latitude you have in how close fitted it needs to be.
[Q] I normally wear a size (fill in the blank), what should I wear here?
[A] If you wear an XL, then get an XL sized Packin’ Tee. There is no need to “guesstimate down” the size with this shirt. These were built from the ground up as concealment shirts, and they were built knowing that they needed to be snug. So, if you normally wear, say, and XL for comfort, then pick up an XL here as well, and it will fit on you snugly.
[Q] I tend to wear two different sizes, depending on the cut. What should I wear here?
[A] If, for example, you wear both XL and 2X depending on the cut, then you should probably get a 2X shirt. Remember, these are built to be snug, and if you get a size too small, it’s – really- going to be a size too small! 🙂
[Q] Is this shirt hot to wear?
[A] Being in the midwest, I get this question a lot. The answer is “it’s no hotter than any other 100 percent cotton t-shirt”. If you can live with a t-shirt on, this will be no different to you.
[Q] Will my gun get rusty from my sweat?
[A] Well, I can’t answer to the rust resistance of your gun, but I can tell you this… one of the reinforcement layers that makes this shirt so suited for this job, is a thin layer of plastic that helps keeps any moisture from getting from you to your gun. Beyond that, if you tend to go swimming in salt-water, perhaps you should think about duracoating your gun. 🙂
I do want to add that the manufacturer has addressed this with the following statement: “We cannot guarantee you that your gun will not rust however; we have designed the arm holes to fit up under the arm pit to absorb as much sweat as possible. This should keep most of the sweat from getting to the gun.”
I will state from personal experience, that I have worn this in 110 degree Kansas heat, wearing a two gun rig and being outdoors for several hours walking around, that when I got home and took off my guns (one Para-Ord 1911, one Smith & Wesson M&P40 full sized, that neither had a single drop of sweat on them. Me, on the other hand, I needed a shower rather badly. 🙂
[Q] How do I draw my weapon from this holster?
[A] The Packin’ Tee is a “cross draw” style holster, traditionally one of the easiest draw motions there is. If you have a button down shirt, just reach inside and grab the weapon. If you have a non-button down (pullover) type shirt, just grab the shirt bottom nearest the gun, and pull the shirt over the top of the weapon, then go ahead and grab your gun. If you see me at a gun show sometime, ask me to show you the “boost-assist” method of drawing the gun through the neckline of almost any shirt. I would explain it, but it’s far easier to show you than to try to tell you about it. 🙂
[Q] Do these shirts come in “big and tall” sizes?
[A] Yes and sort of. Yes, in that they currently come in 2x, 3x, and 4x shirts. There are no specific “tall” versions, but these shirts were made longer than most concealment shirts, and as a result, most people will find the length to be fine. The larger the shirt, the longer they are, so be sure to check them out, you will probably be pleasantly surprised.
[Q] Can I get one of these shirts configured to carry two guns?
[A] One of the really nice things about this design is that you can easily configure it to whatever you need to go. It comes standard with both left and right mountings. Possible setups include:
One gun, no other rigging
Two guns, no other rigging
One gun, plus magazine carrier
One gun, plus hidden pocket
Bear in mind that you can buy the equipment to run any and all of these options, but you can only run the above options at any given time. The mag carrier takes the place of the second gun, for example.
[Q] What kind of shirt should I wear over the Packin’ Tee?
[A] Basically, you can experiment with this for the best results, but in general, whatever type of shirt you like, so long as it’s not ludicrously form-fitting, should be OK. And, even with the form fitting shirts, so long as you aren’t hiding a Desert Eagle or Ruger Super Redhawk (think small, thin guns instead), you might be OK. Your mileage may vary, so always check yourself out in the mirror when trying out a new combo, and ask a friend/spouse to check out angles you can’t see in the mirror.
Now, to quote the manufacturer on the subject: “Whatever you want to wear! If you are wearing a button up, you simply unbutton the top 1 or 2 buttons and reach in for the weapon. In a life or death situation you may need to rip the shirt open to save time. If you are wearing a polo style shirt, you can reach down through the top or come up through the bottom. If the shirt is tucked in, you simply grab and untuck the shirt to get to the gun. The Packin’ Tee is compression fit so it should not be affected by pulling your over shirt up. This same scenario applies to a T shirt being worn over the Packin’ Tee.”
Yeah, what they said. 🙂
[Q] How many different holsters are there available for the Packin’ Tee?
[A] There are currently two, “large” and “small”. To make life easier for everyone involved, I’m selling these holsters as a set, so no matter what holster you need now (or later!), you will be set to go. To determine which one you need for your particular gun, just try them out and see which one fits better, but in case you want to take a shortcut, here’s a cheat sheet for you:
1911 pistols (any manufacturer, any barrel length, post front sights) – large holster
1911 pistol with a ramp front sight – small holster or large holster
AMT Backup .380 – small holster
AMT Backup .45 – large holster
Astra 357 Revolver – large holster
Astra A-75 – large holster
Astra Constable – small holster
Beretta 21a .22 – small holster
Beretta 70 – small holster
Beretta 84 84B 84F 85F .380 – small holster
Beretta 92 / 96 / M9 – large holster
Beretta 950 – small holster
Beretta 1934 .380 – small holster
Beretta 8000 8040 8045 (Cougar) – large holster
Beretta 9000 9000s – large holster
Beretta Brigadier – large holster
Beretta Centurion – large holster
Beretta Compact – large holster
Beretta PX4 Storm, Storm Compact, Storm Sub-Compact – large holster
Beretta PX45 Storm – large holster
Beretta Tomcat .32 (blue or stainless) – small holster
Bersa Firestorm Mini 45 – small holster
Bersa Firestorm Pro, Pro Mini RT – small holster
Bersa Thunder .380 – small holster
Bersa Thunder 9mm – small holster
Bersa Thunder 45 Ultra Compact – large holster
Bond Arms Derringers – large or small holster depending on size of derringer
Browning BDA .380 – small holster
Browning Hi-Power – large holster preferred, will fit in small in a pinch
Browning Pro-9 – large holster
Bryco .380 – small holster
Bul LTD Cherokee Compact – large holster
Charter Arms Bulldog – small holster
Charter Arms Pathfinder – small holster
Charter Arms Patriot – large holster
Charter Arms Undercover – small holster
Colt 1903 – small holster
Colt 1911’s (any) – large holster preferred, small holster optional if you have a ramp front sight.
Colt Detective Special – small holster
Colt Double Eagle – large holster
Colt Gov’t .380, Pony, Mustang, Pocketlite – small holster
Colt Lawman – large holster
Colt Pocket 9 – small holster
Colt Python – large holster
Seriously? You are going to carry a gun with a beautiful finish like that? Put that one up in the safe, and buy an ugly but serviceable gun and carry that instead! Pythons cost too much to risk on active duty!
Colt Trooper – large holster
CZ 40B 40P – large holster
CZ 50 – small holster
CZ 52 – small or large holster
CZ 75B, 75 P01, 75 P07 Duty – large holster
CZ 82 – large holster
CZ 97B – large holster
CZ 2075 – large holster
Dan Wesson Revolvers – large holster
Daewoo Autos – large holster
Desert Eagle (IMI) Baby Eagle, 941, 941R, 941RB, “uzi” – large holster
Desert Eagle (IMI) Micro Desert Eagle .380 – small holster
Diamondback DB380 .380 – small holster
EAA .357 6-shot revolver – large holster
EAA EA380 – small holster
EAA EZ9 – large holster
EAA Witness – large holster
EAA Witness PF .45 – large holster
FEG AP7 – small holster
FEG P9R – large holster
Fabrique Nationale (Herstal) FN 5.7 – large holster
Yes, this monster works in these. Make sure you wear a loose shirt, though.
FN Series – large holster
FNP45 – large holster
Glock series pistol – any – large holster
Just for completeness, this includes all of the following model numbers: G17, G22, G31, G19, G23, G32, G36, G20, G21, G37, G21SF, G26, G27, G33, G29, G30, or alternatively, Glock 17, Glock 22, Glock 31, Glock 19, Glock 23, Glock 32, Glock 36, Glock 20, Glock 21, Glock 37, Glock 21SF, Glock 26, Glock 27, Glock 33, Glock 29, Glock 30.
Helwin Brigadier – large holster
Herstal 5.7 – large holster
HiPoint .380 – large holster
HiPoint 9mm – large holster
HiPoint .40 – large holster
HiPoint .45 – large holster
HK 45 – large holster
HK HK4-32 – small holster
HK P2000 – large holster
HK P2000sk – large holster
HK P30 – large holster
HK P7M8 P7M10 P7M13 – large holster
HK P7 PSP – large holster
HK USP full sized (any caliber) – large holster
HK USP 9/40 compact – large holster
HK USP Tactical – large holster
H&R 32 Mag R73 – small holster
Interarms APK .380 – small holster
J-Frame (any 5-shot S&W Revolver or clone) – small holster
J-Frame with full underlug – small holster
Jerico – large holster
Jennings J22 – small holster
Jennings .380 – small holster
Jiminez JA380 – small holster
Jiminez JA9 – large or small holster
K-Frame revolver – large holster
Kahr auto pistol – any make, any caliber – small holster
Includes Kahr K40, P9, K9, MK9, PM9, MK40, P45, P380.
Kel-Tec P11 – large or small holster
Kel-Tec P32 & P3AT – small holster
Kel-Tec PF9 – small holster
Kimber 1911’s (any) – large holster
L-Frame revolvers – large holster
Llama .380 – small holster
Lorkin .380 – small holster
Makarov – most – small holster
Mauser 7.65 – small holster
NAA Guardian .32 & .380 – small holster
N-Frame revolvers – large holster
Para Ordnance 1911’s (any) – large holster
Includes the P10-45, P12-45, P13-45, P14-45, Carry 9, PDA.
Phoenix HP .22 – small holster
Rock Island Armory Armscor 9mm MAPP1 – large holster
Rossi M72 – large holster
Rossi 88 – small holster
Rossi R351 – small holster
Rossi 461 – small holster
Rossi 462 – small holster
Rossi 46102 – small holster