How To Carry A Gun Without A Holster?

A Comprehensive Guide

A holster is the most common way to carry a gun. They are quick, easy-to-use, and they work well for firearms that are the same size. However, holsters do not work well for guns that vary in width and thickness or for printing — when a gun is visible through clothing. A holster also does not work well for carrying multiple firearms.

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In this blog post, we will discuss the answer to the question, “how to carry a gun without a holster?”.

Why Carry a Gun Without a Holster?

The first reason to carry a gun without a holster is that it allows you to conceal your weapon better. It does not print through clothing, and the entire firearm can be concealed by wearing baggier clothes or layers of garments. Printing happens when objects are visible under tight-fitting clothes. People usually see guns as items used for crime, so they may report that to the police when they see a bulge or outline. Printing is usually more noticeable with small guns like pistols than larger firearms like rifles and shotguns. Another advantage to carrying without a holster is comfortability.


Holsters are not comfortable because they rub against your skin in places where you have sweat glands, like your inner arms. Most gun owners wear their holsters on the waistband, but there are also shoulder and ankle holster options for those who want to carry in an even more concealed way. The final reason is that carrying without a holster allows you to draw quickly if needed because it does not have any retention straps or anything else restricting its movement. Thus, other options are available to people who want a quick and easy way to carry their guns.

Ways to Carry a Gun Without a Holster

There are several different ways people can choose to carry their handguns without using any type of holster. 

Pocket Carry

The first method is to carry the firearm in a pocket. This works best with small, highly flat guns, but it’s not easy to draw the weapon quickly. It also needs a pocket large enough for the weapon, and you need deep pockets so that other items do not get in the way of drawing it. Otherwise, you end up with a firearm that is lost behind other things or one that does not come out at all because your hand cannot reach into the pocket to grip it properly before pulling.


People who like this method usually wear baggy pants and shirts to conceal their weapons without printing quickly. Pocket carry is usually used to avoid drawing attention; many people use it because they are uncomfortable with the idea of anyone knowing that they have a firearm on them. This method also does not work well in areas with metal detectors, like courthouses and airports. 

Pocket Carry

Ankle Carry

The following method is ankle carry. It’s designed to be carried in a boot or around the ankle and works best with small guns like pistols. However, it can also work for medium-sized handguns like some revolvers and .380s if they are small enough to fit in your pants pocket. Ankle carry is easy to conceal and can be reached quickly, but it’s not as comfortable as other ways of carrying. The draw is the same as pocket carry, except you have to move your pant leg up slightly higher. You can also use a holster that is designed for ankle carry to make it more comfortable.

Ankle Carry

Conceal Carry Clothing

Another way to conceal your weapon without a holster is by wearing specific clothing that makes it easier and more comfortable. Conceal Carry Clothing works best with smaller firearms like pistols and revolvers. It uses clothing specifically designed to hide prints, reduce discomfort when carrying a gun, or allow quick access in an emergency. For example, shirts with a deep pocket can allow you to access your firearm quickly if needed. Other items have Velcro panels, so they do not need buttons or zippers that could get in the way of drawing your gun. Conceal Carry Clothing works best for people who live in cold weather climates because it allows them to wear several layers and still be able to conceal their weapons without the straps digging into their skin.


Another option is undershirts made out of very stretchy material explicitly designed for this purpose. These shirts are cut higher on the sides than normal ones, allowing for better comfort when carrying a weapon underneath one shirt while wearing another over top of both garments at once. Those who want more protection against dirt and moisture while carrying can choose to wear an armored undershirt designed for this purpose. These clothes are not available everywhere, so you need to research if this is the best option for you. However, they are very effective when used correctly and allow people to carry a firearm without discomfort from straps digging in without using a holster.


Another way to carry using specific types of clothes is through bandoliers and similar items. These are long strips of fabric that sling over one shoulder so you can carry spare ammunition or a firearm without printing, discomfort from straps digging into your skin, or losing the weapon. Because it is not easy to grip correctly when pulling it out quickly. Bandolier-style clothing was every day with cowboys during old western movies and is still used today by people who want to carry more than one firearm without printing.


Bandoliers and similar garments come in many different styles: some have pockets on both shoulders so you can access either side of your body if needed. In contrast, others only have a pocket on the shoulder opposite where they cross over. Some include holsters or loops for spare magazines, while others do not.

These types of clothing are also not available everywhere and can be challenging to find. Still, they work well for people who know that their only option is to carry multiple weapons without printing or discomfort from straps digging into them during a crisis.

Safety Instructions To Carry A Gun Without A Holster

Carrying a gun without a holster is usually possible, but it may require some practice to get used to. Always follow all safety instructions and precautions when practicing with your firearm at home or in the field, so you do not accidentally shoot yourself by accident. To carry a gun without a holster, you need to be familiar with basic handgun safety. You also have to make sure your firearm will not fall out of the pocket or belt loop because it can cause injury if dropped onto someone’s foot. Ensure there is no way for the trigger guard to be pushed open and that the firearm is fully secure in the pocket or belt loop before you put it on.


Off-body carry is the most popular way to carry a gun without a holster. There are many different options for people who want to use off-body carry. With off-body carry, you can use a purse, briefcase, or bag to hold your gun without printing.

Off-body carry takes just as long as using a holster because you need to access your gun quickly if required. Of course, the longer it takes you to get your gun out of its hiding spot, the could lead to accidents or other problems during an emergency.

No, it is not safe to carry a gun in your waistband. If you get into an altercation and the firearm falls out of its holster or becomes exposed during physical contact, then this can lead to accidents such as shooting yourself while trying to pull the weapon from where it’s tucked away.


With the proper clothing and safety precautions, you can carry a gun without a holster in various situations. Off-body carry is one of the most popular ways to do this because it does not need any additional equipment or modifications to your outfit. You never know when you might need to have a gun with you, so it’s essential for people who want to carry a firearm without printing to learn how.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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