Poised for protection! Taurus PT740 SLIM clears pocket when danger threatens, and can be discreetly concealed even when the jacket comes off. Sean Utley Photo
I’m the guy who said long ago, “Friends don’t let friends carry mouse-guns,” and got tagged with that as a “signature phrase” as surely as my old friend and colleague Clint Smith got tagged with his famous statement, “You use your handgun to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have left behind.”
That said, sometimes a small gun is all you can carry. Those of us who advise carrying a full-size combat handgun all the time tend to be fortunate enough to have jobs and dress codes that allow us to “dress around the gun.” Yes, I generally do have a full-size pistol under my un-tucked shirt (one size larger than I’d wear sans the gun), or under my “Yuppie vest,” or sport coat.
However, there are times when that’s not true. On Court Days, I might wear a full-size pistol under a blazer with tie, or one of my suits that was tailored to cover a full-size 1911 pistol. But if I’m wearing a fitted suit that wasn’t cut with big pistols in mind, don’t be surprised if the gun I put in the lock-box before I head for the courtroom is a compact pistol like my Nighthawk T3 or Colt CCO .45s with shortened butts, or a “baby” Glock. I’ll even confess to the occasional day where that gun was a snub-nosed .38, such as the Colt Detective Special or a J-frame Smith & Wesson.
I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one to practice this. Long before, circa 1960, Col. Jeff Cooper wrote that his repertoire of carry pistols included a full-size, all-steel Colt Government Model .45 auto for duty carry, a lightweight Colt Commander with barrel and slide three-quarters of an inch shorter and an aluminum that took three-quarters of a pound off the weight, but kept a full-length grip frame and full magazine capacity when concealment was important in casual clothing, and a 2-inch barrel J-frame Smith & Wesson .38 for wear with a business suit.