By Doug Gilmer
What are some options for concealed carry and armed exercise?
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Physical fitness and being armed go hand in hand.
While carrying a firearm can be an equalizer or even give someone an advantage in a threatening situation one should not choose to be armed solely to compensate for a lack of physical fitness.
Additionally, gunfights are dynamic situations and place extreme stress on the body. Being prepared physically is important. If you are in a profession, such as law enforcement, security, or the military, the need to be fit is even more critical.
My biggest concealed carry struggle throughout the years has been how to carry or conceal carry a firearm when I exercise.
In addition to time spent in the gym, I love to run and I always run armed. Many running purists will criticize me for this but I’m a sheepdog and not a sheep. I have carried a gun every day for nearly 25 years as a law enforcement officer. In those years I have learned to recognize that trouble can find you anywhere, anytime. Recently, while out on a run in the more rural area where I live, on an improved recreational trail, I encountered a known, wanted rape suspect from a nearby state who had just given local police the slip by fleeing into the recreational area.
Over the years I have toyed with the idea of carrying a micro-sized handgun such as a North American Arms Revolver but I don’t want to depend on something so diminutive as a primary weapon. As a law enforcement officer, my best bet is to be armed with a weapon I have qualified with, and one, should I need to take action to protect myself or or third party, that is reliable and appropriate for the job.
Until recently, however, there have not been good options for carrying such a handgun. Fanny packs and uncomfortable belly bands have been about the only options.
Pistol Wear Pt One Holster for Armed Exercise
Last year while doing more research into efficient carry methods, I came across Pistol Wear (www.pistolwear.com). While not inexpensive, I figured if it did what it advertised it would do then the $45 was worth the cost. I placed my order and in a few days it arrived. It was immediately put to use.
Over the past several months I have used my my Pistol Wear with my S&W 340, and an extra speed strip, as well as a Glock 26 and 43 with an extra magazine. While I can tell a difference in the weight, there is no difference in performance or comfort. The gun is held securely and absolutely does not bounce or move while running making the extra weight nearly irrelevant. The waterproof panel in the pack keeps perspiration from getting inside and on the gun. It is an ingenious, yet simple, design and offers wide adjust-ability so after losing weight from all your exercise you can just resize it. Its soft construction does not chaff or irritate the skin in anyway. Access to my gun is easy and fast. Practice drawing is still important.
The Pistol Wear does not have to be used only for exercise. It also provides a great way to carry a concealed handgun when your wardrobe will not allow a more traditional holster design. It works equally well for men and women. It is perfect to wear with shorts and a t-shirt or even with tighter fitting clothing. It is also available in a couple of different sizes to accompany different sized handguns as well as a couple of different models for those who might want to wear their holster higher on the torso.
Crossbreed Holsters Bellyband for Armed Exercise
CrossBreed Holster's Belly Band was recently redesigned specifically for armed exercise.
CrossBreed Holsters said “[they were] proud to announce the second generation of the Modular Belly Band in conjunction with I.C.E. Firearm Training Services and Rob Pincus.”
“The redesigned CrossBreed Holsters Belly Band incorporates an additional length of elastic band that extends over the CrossBreed Modular Holster. This provides additional support for the holster and firearm. The additional length of band firmly secures smaller firearms while offering the necessary support for wider and heavier firearms.”
That makes the Crossbreed Holsters new and improved Bellyband Holster another excellent option . It too is comfortable, secure, and the protects the handgun from moisture.
Depending on what handgun you want to carry, there are a number of dedicated small waist pouches and arms bands with pockets big enough to carry a small handgun (Ruger LCP size or smaller), identification, and concealed carry permit. These might not provide a rapid access to your gun but give you an option to going unarmed. If so inclined, a NAA mini-revolver can be carried on a neck lanyard in a quick-release, Kydex holster.
If nothing else, think about having some means of protection while you are out running this spring. Carrying a firearms may not always be an option for armed exercise. Pepper-spray or an easy opening knife you can clip to the waist of your shorts provide you an alternative to a sharp words or evil stares, if someone decides to make you a victim. If nothing else, learn some basic self defense techniques. Most of all, have a plan and stay aware.
Remember, the first step in not becoming a victim, is deciding not to become a victim. Say YES to Armed Exercise.
About Doug Gilmer:
Doug Gilmer is a law enforcement and military veteran with over 25 years of experience and assignments operating throughout the United States and around the world in a variety of investigative, protective, tactical and direct action roles. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fly-fishing, hunting with a handgun, backcountry adventures, and volunteering with various outdoor themed wounded warrior events. He has been a frequent contributor to outdoor media for for several years with numerous articles and photos published in a number of media channels. He is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association as well as a former board member and executive officer.