Welcome back! This is continuation of my previous blog post talking about the Glock 43 vs. Glock 48. Here, I’ll focus in on the experience of concealed carrying the Glock 43 and Glock 48.
First, let’s chat about the holster I’m using to test out the differences in concealment between the two firearms: the ANR Design Master Blaster with claw – I have this same holster for both the Glock 43 and Glock 48. I go into the details of this holster in this post if you want more info on the holster itself. This is an appendix holster, and I carry appendix 99.9% of the time. I have not attempted to conceal the G48 in any other positions, so this post will focus on appendix carry only.
Carrying the Glock 43
With my Glock 43 in the Master Blaster, I usually shift the setup closer to the 1:00 position (this is my “sweet spot”). Sometimes I move things around a bit depending on what I’m wearing, but I do keep it between my hip bones (on the hip bone is wildly uncomfortable) and this means I don’t have a ton of room to work with. For me this setup conceals well and I find it pretty comfortable, even for all-day wear. I have had this holster for a few years so I am very accustomed to how it feels, conceals, etc.
Carrying the Glock 48
Not gonna lie, I was VERY surprised when the Glock 48 was even more comfortable than what I was accustomed to with the G43. It did not take long to get used to carrying with a larger gun, that’s for sure! Since the grip on the G48 is a bit longer than the G43, I make sure to keep it in a position that does not allow the grip to extend beyond my body (this would make it difficult to conceal). I found that not only was the G48 more comfortable to carry, but it concealed pretty darn well, too!
Let’s talk about the bulge. For the ladies, having a bulge in our pants is definitely something we take into considerations when carrying, especially in the appendix position. Unlike guys, it’s not normal for us ladies to have a bulge in this area—not only can it give away our concealment, but it can also impact our confidence when carrying.
With the G43 being so small, there is not much of a bulge below the belt, which is definitely a plus to carrying a subcompact pistol. With the G48, I was surprised that the larger firearm did not result in a more noticeable bulge in my pants. But how??
To explain this magical phenomenon of a larger firearm being more comfortable and easier to conceal, we have to talk about pelvic contact. Awkward term, I know, but it will soon make sense. Pelvic contact refers to the portion of the holster that is in contact with your pelvis, particularly below the belt. If you’re looking at your holster, this would be the portion of the holster that is below the belt clips.
With the G43 being so small, there is not a lot of holster below the belt, so not a lot of pelvic contact. What can happen with very little pelvic contact is the holster can start to tip forward with the belt as the fulcrum, so the very bottom of the holster angles in toward your body and the grip of your gun extends away from your body.
As you can imagine, this isn’t very comfortable and does not do us any favors in terms of concealment. With the grip of the gun tilting away from your body, printing is more prevalent and it becomes much more difficult to achieve optimum concealment. In addition, the bottom of the holster can annoyingly dig into your body. There are things we can do to minimize this tipping effect (sturdy belt, concealment wing/claw, wedges, etc.), but much to my surprise, the best thing for me is to actually go with a larger firearm and/or a larger holster.
Additional pelvic contact can help us out in both comfort and concealment. With more pelvic contact below the belt, the holster is not able to tip forward as it does with little pelvic contact. This minimizes the discomfort that we can experience as a result of the tipping and it keeps the entire setup close to your body, making concealment easier. In addition, the bulge situation isn’t as prevalent because the entire setup is held so close to the body.
The difference is subtle here, since the claw on the holster is able to do it’s job very well with a sturdy belt, but if you look closely you can see that the G43 grip is slightly tipping away from my body, whereas the G48 is tucked in nice and close. You can also see that there is not much of bulge with the G48, even though it’s a bigger gun and bigger holster. Since the whole set up is tucked in closer to the body, it all blends in much more seamlessly.
Here’s another view of the difference in concealment between the two guns. I’ve pulled the shirt taut so that we can really see what’s going on here. The G43 actually protrudes more than the G48, even though the G43 is a smaller gun! Crazy right?
I was totally blown away by how much easier it is to conceal a larger firearm! Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to pick the smallest gun for conceal carry, and don’t let size deter you 😉