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Open vs Concealed Carry

Written by Frank Semeraro

Welcome fellow gun owners.   I would like to cover the Pros and Cons of Open Cary Vs Concealed Carry.

When making a decision to carry a firearm the first thing you must decide is weather you will Open Carry or Conceal Carry.     This is a decision you need to make for yourself, what works for one person may not work for another.   You need to do what makes you comfortable.    The first thing you need to do is make sure you understand the firearms laws of your state.    If your state does not allow open carry, that decision will be made for you.     For comparison purposes, let’s assume your state allows you to open carry.

When carrying a firearm you must also know which states have reciprocity with your state and know the gun laws of the states you will be carrying in.    The size of the firearm you are carrying can also determine if you should open or conceal carry.   You may also need to purchase multiple holsters depending on the firearm you carry.   For example, I carry a full size 1911 with a 5 inch barrel which is a very difficult firearm to conceal and carrying that gun inside the waistband with a kydex holster is like walking around with a 2×4 in your pants all day.     For inside the waistband I recommend either leather or a Remora inside the waistband holster for comfort.

OPEN CARRY – Sometimes, how you carry is determined by where you are carrying.    If you are carrying in the woods while hunting or hiking you may need easy access to your firearm to defend yourself against dangerous animals.    Keep in mind that even though you may have the right to open carry, there may still be places that do not allow carrying a firearm.    Also keep in mind that when you open carry, in some places it may raise a few eyebrows and make people uncomfortable.    There is also the possibility that the bad guys see you carrying and it makes you a threat.    I personally like easy access to my firearm and open carry most of the time.    If I am in a crowded area I may just pull my shirt over the firearm to conceal it but technically, it is still considered open carry.


  • The major benefit of open carry is easy access to your firearm in case of an emergency.
  • Attacks may be less likely to occur since would-be criminals know you’re armed and can also serve as a potential deterrent for people to commit crimes around you.
  • It may be much more comfortable to carry your firearm.


  • Draws attention
  • May make people uncomfortable or be intimidating to others
  • May make you a target or considered a threat and makes it easier for someone to take your firearm.

CONCEALED CARRY – Compared to open carry, concealed carry can sometimes be a real hassle and may also determine what you will need to wear in order to totally conceal your firearm.    In the cooler weather it may be very easy to conceal your firearm allowing you to carry a larger firearm but in the warmer weather it will be harder to conceal especially if you are carrying a large firearm.   If you are carrying inside the waistband the grips on your firearm may also make you uncomfortable.    Rubber grips may stick to your clothing or your skin when you sweat and G10 grips may scrape your skin.     I recommend wood grips for concealed carry. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that some states require you to obtain a permit to conceal carry.  This is a good thing since it requires the gun owner to at least complete some form of firearm safety.   As mentioned earlier, the size of your firearm and the holster you use is much more important for comfort and to keep your firearm concealed.


  • It makes it harder for someone to take your forearm away.
  • Does not make you a target or make people uncomfortable
  • Provides you with the ability to defend yourself if necessary and be discrete if it is not needed.


  • May make it more difficult to determine what type of clothing to wear.
  • Can be uncomfortable depending on your firearm or holster.
  • Depending on how you are carrying it may either print and display your firearm or be difficult to access it quickly.

How should You Carry

How and where you carry is totally up to you.  You need to do what make you most comfortable.    If you carry every day like I do, you may carry a different firearm and wear a different holster depending on where you will be carrying or what activities you will be doing that day.    I personally prefer to open carry using an outside the waistband holster.    I try to wear an over-sized shirt so that I can just pull the shirt over the firearm if I feel the need to cover it up.