Concealed Carry Corner: Guns For Different Body Types

    When picking out a handgun for carrying concealed, it can be difficult to pick the perfect model. Whether it’s capacity, ascetics or how it feels in your hand. One thing people often don’t think about is the type of firearm that will best fit their body type. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gone over the different methods to carry a concealed handgun, but sometimes you’re limited because of physical restrictions. Whether that’s a slim slender build or being a big guy, various body types will ultimately be a big factor in what handgun you can carry comfortably. Let’s dive into the various choices there are when it comes to guns for different body types.

    Determining A Gun For Your Body Type

    Determining what size gun you can carry on your body is one of the first steps to picking out a new handgun for carrying concealed. Smaller framed slim body types will carry a different handgun most times than someone who’s 6ft and a big guy. Typically, if you’re a larger framed man, it will be much easier to conceal a larger handgun than someone who is shorter and weighs next to nothing. I was talking to a buddy at the range this weekend and he jokingly said that with his body type he can carry a Desert Eagle like its a compact handgun for someone smaller.

    Certain people will have a much easier time carrying a larger handgun concealed than others. When someone is a slimmer build, the handgun frame will print easier than in case of someone who has a larger frame. In certain situations like carrying strong side, a slimmer body type will typically have less space to let the pistol frame contour to the body. This leads to the butt of the handgun to print more which ultimately makes it tougher to carry something like a full-size handgun. Slimmer builds will have a much easier time with appendix carrying over a larger framed guy because there’s less to push on the holster which will make it much easier to carry a firearm appendix for an extended period of time.

    Choices for Women

    Although this may be a real surprise to some of you, but women are built very differently from men. Carrying inside the waistband can sometimes be a challenge for women. An example of this would be my buddy’s wife Marcee. Now Marcee is an average height woman who has a thin waist and a wider set of hips. Carrying methods like strong side carry can be tough or near impossible with certain women who have wider hips.

    Marcee explained to me it’s very difficult to carry even a subcompact or micro style handgun on her strong side and as a result, she prefers appendix carrying. On my way home from dinner with my friend and his wife, I realized that without knowing Marcee, I would have said to carry strong side inside the waistband. Gun people do this all the time, they will take what works best for them and then try to get other people to replicate it. Marcee is a great example of taking your body type into account to create the perfect system for her lifestyle and body.

    Great Choices To Certain Body Types

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten roughly 14-16 different questions asking what some good options are for various body types so I will give a quick rundown for each body type. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that these are generalizations and a good baseline for people to start looking at various handguns based on their body type.

    Skinny and Slim Body Types

    The slimmer guys out there can carry larger handguns on their bodies in certain positions but as a whole, it’s rather difficult to carry a large firearm in a standard 3-4 o’clock position. Out of all the smaller guys I have met, the vast majority have started carrying inside an appendix style holster. Now don’t think if you are a skinny built guy you have to carry just appendix style. It’s definitely possible to carry in a number of different positions. People with smaller builds do really well carrying a micro or subcompact or even a compact size handgun. Carrying anything from a SIG Sauer P365 to a larger handgun like a Glock 19 is a great option for smaller builds.

    The biggest advantage for slender carriers is how quickly they typically can draw their firearm in a given situation. When someone has a slender build, there’s the potential for them to have roughly half a second faster draw times than someone like me who’s a bit bigger of a guy. I had three smaller built guys and three larger framed guys draw 10 times while being timed. On average, the slimmer guys were about .5 seconds faster than a bigger guy who would draw the same way.

    Larger or Taller Body Types

    Larger built guys have the advantage to carry just about anything given their height and weight. I have a few different buddies who are 6’4 and 270+lbs which allows them to carry anything from a traditional Glock 19 to an H&K Mark 23 or Desert Eagle give the right holster and clothing. Having the ability to carry a larger firearm comfortably can make a huge difference and really opens up your options for carry guns.

    Like I said earlier, bigger guys are usually slower drawing a handgun from concealment. This was the case during my experiment but with time and lots of practice, the gap can be significantly decreased to the point where it’s the same if not quicker than the majority of concealed carriers. Building a solid foundation of muscle memory for drawing a concealed handgun will help with draw speed and becoming proficient under stress.

    Overall Thoughts

    This article isn’t about what the best body type for concealed carry is but rather how to approach carrying based on your own body type. No matter what your body type is, there will always be a handgun that suits your lifestyle best. There will always be people who will tell you what’s best regardless of your body type and it’s a good place to start. It’s important to try out different options to find the style that works best for you. Once you find your preferred carry style, it’ll be easier to pick up new accessories and carry guns down the road.

    A perfect carry method for one person will be completely different from another person’s. A great example of this is the differences between my preferred carry and my friend’s wife Marcee’s way of carrying. Everyone has different preferences and that’s totally fine as long as it works for your own lifestyle. Let me know what you think in the comments below about your body type and what preferences you have for a comfortable carry set up. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!

    TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.