So you’re thinking about Concealed Carry… Part II

Or, why does it have to be pink!?  That was directed to the ladies but it has an overtone applicable to both men and women.

You can scan websites that cater to female shooters. Invariably, you’ll see something in pink. The assumption is that colorful accoutrements attack women. If you believe that, you must be a democrat to swallow such drivel.  What escapes these vendors is that when selecting weapons and accessories for concealed carry, the primary feature is…concealability.  You do not want colors or textures that attracts the eye.

For concealed carry, black is good.

Why? Because subdued colors and finishes are less visible in case a gust of wind blows your outer garment momentarily revealing your weapon. Or, if you are a women with a weapon in your purse, that weapon won’t be obvious then you open the purse to extract your wallet or whatever.  The point is to enhance and maintain concealability.

Some states have prohibitions against “branding.” Branding is allowing your weapon to be perceptible, such as the outline of the weapon, even though it is concealed.  Missouri, fortunately, has no such prohibition.

Case in point about branding.  I was at a local Wally World and met a friend. I knew he had a concealed carry permit. We have a number of discussion about the subject, weapons, holsters, and a number of other items.  He carried a 9mm pistol in the small of his back—under a polo shirt in this case.  It was warm outside and he had just entered.  His shirt stuck to his back—and to his pistol.  It was perfectly outlined. There was no question whether he was carrying. He was. It was obvious to all.  I told him he was branding and he pulled his shirt away from his back. Issue resolved.

In some states he could have been ticketed for branding. Some states could have also charged him with “intimidation” for displaying a weapon.  Like I said, we’re fortunate that Missouri has no such prohibitions.

Pistols come in a number of colors and finishes.  There are Pros and Cons for all.  Many prefer stainless steel because stainless steel is resistant to corrosion from sweat. In summer when you are carrying in a holster covered by a shirt or outer cover, your pistol is often nestled next to your skin. Sweat is a real enemy to continued operation of your weapon.  A corroded weapon may not work when you need it.  It’s like having a flat and discovering your spare is flat as well.  You can walk away from the flat. You may be carried away if your pistol jams or fails to fire if you need it.


The picture above is similar to one of my carry pistols. It has a stainless steel finish and a 3.5″ barrel. The edges have been rounded to enhance comfort and concealability. It is also shiny and heavy.  After a full day, my belt is digging into my hip, my pants are sagging and I have to constantly hitch up my belt. The shininess does make it more visible in low-light conditions. Visibility is not our friend. 

On the other hand, it is a .45acp and a very effective weapon.  I owned and used .45s for a long time. It is my favorite caliber and easier to handle than many others.  It just fits me.

That “fitting” is very important. If your pistol doesn’t feel comfortable, you are less likely to practice with it and then lose proficiency.  Being comfortable with your weapon can be the difference in surviving an encounter or…not.

Black anodized stainless steel is another option. I have two pistols with this finish, one a revolver, one an autoloader.  This finish has all the benefits of stainless steel and is also black and thus enhancing concealability.

The image above is a Smith&Wesson 9mm.  It is small and specifically designed for concealability.  The slide is black anodized stainless steel. The frame is polymer…plastic as it’s commonly described. Physically, it is the same size as my .45 above but, due to the polymer frame, much lighter.

Unlike my .45, there is no safety with this Smith&Wesson.  Or, more correctly, the safety is keeping your finger off the trigger. Consequently, do not carry this pistol without using a holster.

However, if you ladies insist on a pistol with a fashion statement, here is a finish you make consider.

Yes, that is a pink pistol. There are pink rifles as well. I would remind you that the purpose of a concealable pistol is for it to be…subdued and less visible.

There are many weapons available on the used market that are blued.  Bluing was intended to be more rust and corrosion resistant than earlier finishes.  And, to a point, there are.  But such finishes must be cleaned after every use. Even fingerprints had mar the finish and lead to rust.  That said, I like them and one of my favorite carry pistols has the original blue finish.  I wipe it down after every use with a Breakfree wipe and then another wipe down with Remington gun oil. I found this rare pistol at a gun show and jumped on it.

This  pistol was designed for concealed carry. It has a rounded butt, a 2 1/2″ barrel and a bobbed hammer to prevent snagging. It’s also a .357mag if I need some extra penetration. Usually, I just load this with 158gr, lead semi-wad cutter hollow-points in .38Spl +P. Older 38s were a bit under powered. Modern loads, the +P, have improved the performance of 38s to make them comparable with modern 9mm cartridges.  A good .38Spl is still a good concealed carry weapon and can be much cheaper than buying a new pistol. It you are on a budget, it is something to consider. Blued pistols are still good alternatives for a concealable weapon.

Tomorrow’s post will discuss holsters and accessories.