Gun handling 101: How to successfully achieve off-body carry
03/26/2020 / By Arsenio Toledo / Comments
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Gun handling 101: How to successfully achieve off-body carry

Off-body carry is a popular way of carrying a concealed firearm. Simply put, it means carrying your firearm in a pouch or in your bag, as opposed to keeping it in a holster strapped onto your hip. Off-body carry options include backpacks, purses, satchels and briefcases. Some even consider carrying their pistol in the glove compartment of their vehicle as off-body carry.

There are many persuasive arguments on both sides as to why you should or shouldn’t do off-body carry. Here are some of those pros and cons. (h/t to

Advantages and disadvantages of off-body carry

The main drawback against carrying your firearm off-body is speed and complexity. You will always need to take more steps before you can draw your firearm. You have to open up your luggage, access the gun past zippers, straps or flaps in your bag, acquire a grip on your gun and then draw it. Compare that with doing on-body carry, where all you have to do is clear away the concealing garment, grip your firearm and then draw. With enough practice, this process can be simplified and can be quick enough to respond to any danger. However, it will never be as quick as simply carrying your firearm on-body.

Another disadvantage is that attackers may want to target your luggage. Briefcases, purses and backpacks can be whisked away quickly by thieves and muggers. If the criminal gets complete control over your luggage, then you’ve basically handed them a gun, along with everything else in your pack. (Related: Armed citizen in OKC stops mass shooting with a concealed weapon, proving once again that armed citizens HALT violence.)

However, there are several advantages to off-body carrying as well. For starters, having a firearm strapped to your hip may draw unwanted attention. On the other hand, nobody thinks twice about the businessman carrying a briefcase, the woman carrying a purse or the person on the train with a backpack. Off-body carry affords you a degree of anonymity that on-body carry can’t.

If you’re a physically active person who likes going on regular jogs and hikes, you won’t have to go without protection if you do off-body carry. Carrying a small backpack with you on your morning run means you will never have to leave home unprotected.

Furthermore, off-body carry affords you a wider range of gun options. Because you aren’t limited to what you can carry in your gun belt, you can bring along some addition ammunition, gun cleaning supplies or even a larger caliber firearm if you’re interested.

Understand your personal needs, and choose whether off-body carry is what’s best for you.

Luggage for your firearm

If you do decide to carry your concealed firearm, you shouldn’t just grab any bag in your closet. Here are some things to consider about which luggage you choose:

  • Your gun must have a holster – Your firearm will need a holster or another device that covers the trigger while in your bag. Otherwise, you may accidentally fire off your gun while carrying it.
  • Your gun must be in a separate compartment – Whatever luggage you use to keep your firearm, you need to make sure it won’t interact with anything else in your bag. Otherwise, an item might work its way into the trigger and discharge your gun for you.
  • Your luggage can be a liability – During an attack, your bag can be a target of the attack itself. You must train for a scenario where you defend yourself from an attacker who’s trying to take your luggage.

If you’re considering off-body carry, then you need a good firearm to go with it. To learn about which pistols are great for self-defense, read up on articles over at

Sources include:

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