Printing happens when your gun becomes apparent to others through your outfit. If you have a concealed carry weapon, printing is not a good thing.

What is the method to avoid printing concealed carry? There are five rules you need to bear in mind:

  • Carry Position
  • Clothing
  • Cant
  • Compact
  • Comfort

This article will discuss the tips in detail. We also explain the reasons why you should try to avoid printing as much as possible.

Let's read on to discover!

Table Of Contents

5C In Avoiding Printing Concealed Carry 

When it comes to avoiding printing concealed carry, the 5C rule is the top list that is worth trying. While these five concealed carry tips can't cover all the issues related to printing, they will handle the majority of your worries.

Carry Position

Carry position is where you place the firearm on your body. Most of the time, people opt for the IWB (inside the waistband) or AIWB (appendix inside the waistband) positions.

While different carry options exist, such as the ankle, shoulder, or pocket, printing is most noticeable within those two positions.

Carrying appendix type is not only inconvenient, but it also seems to print more owing to your love handles. 

Then how to prevent printing CCW? Try holding slightly below your hip in the 4-o'clock option if you're having trouble with this position. Then check it out and see if it fits you.

If you're slimmer and have no love handles, you will find out carrying behind your hip may cause more printing. In this case, you should consider appendix carry.

Appendix carry offers several advantages over hip carry. The handgun can nearly fade while running if you have a broad chest and are in excellent condition.

Consider appendix carry if you’re slim

Everyone's physical condition is unique. If you're having difficulty carrying a method, try another one. Ensure you have practiced drawing from the posture you prefer. 


Your CCW (concealed carry weapon) experience is significantly contingent on the clothes you're wearing. So many individuals want to carry in the winter since it is simpler to hide a gun beneath layers of cloth.

The outfit appears to be the most challenging of the five suggestions since it may need you to get more clothing or modify your style a little bit.

This feature does not imply that you have to purchase new clothing. However, it should be something to bear in mind when buying new shirts or a pair of jeans in the future.

Tight-fitting clothes are the first thing to avoid. The thin pants and spandex top won't be suitable for concealment. Instead, your jeans may require one or two inches larger to fit the firearm. The same applies to your shirts.

Large shits can reduce the printing

For pants, many people increase their waist pant size by roughly one size to accommodate a gun. Another solution is to replace trousers with some waistline flex. These choices are common in concealed carry pants.

For shirts, layers appear to be your best companion. On sweltering days, this option is nearly difficult. However, when necessary, a sweatshirt or flannel shirt may do wonderfully for concealing your weapon.


Cant is the tilt or angle at which your gun sits.

Choosing a holster with the correct cant is critical regarding how to avoid printing CCW. Many holsters meant for appendix carry may lack the appropriate cant for wearing behind your hip, and vice versa.

You will find it helpful when getting the pistol tucked up further if you modify the cant on your holster a little. It not only improves concealment but also allows for a far faster draw.

Your cant depends on your physique, your carry stance, and what works best for you. As a result, you may have to search for a holster with either an adjustable cant or one that is genuinely suitable for your carry position. 

Most behind-the-hip holsters feature FBI cant, which works for that posture. Meanwhile, some appendix carry holsters don't.

You should choose the holster with adjustable cant


It is preferable to carry your favorite firearm. However, if you're encountering trouble with the prints and want to stop it, consider changing it to a more compact gun.

The variety of compact or subcompact firearms available is remarkable. The firearms are getting smaller, but their power is improving.

A practical approach to learning about the new carry weapons is to ask your friends for advice. Or, you can rent a firearm and test if it fits.


Since you may carry your gun all day, focus on the comfort aspect too. 

Mental comfort

Mental comfort is a popular reason why people quit carrying their weapons. Once you start daily carry, you must keep asking yourself if people around you notice it or if your firearm is still there. As a result, you may continuously look down to check. 

With practice and time, the discomfort fades away. You may, however, speed things up. You may chat to other concealed carriers, attend some training sessions, and remember that there are thousands of concealed carriers like you out there.

Develop a habit to check your surroundings and see if you could identify them. It might distract your attention away from your own weapon. 

Physical comfort

Ensure that you've got the right concealed carry gear for better physical comfort. The following are the items you may need to carry comfortably and efficiently:

  • A carry gun

This factor depends on your preference. The ultimate rule is to choose the one with the most extraordinary capacity to make you feel comfortable. The rule doesn't imply any specific gun. You only need to buy guns from famous manufacturers to ensure the quality.

  • A carry belt
How to reduce printing concealed carry? An actual belt for CCW may make you enjoy carrying. 
A decent gun belt can hold your holster and weapon in the exact position you want them. The gun belt is the backbone of your carry equipment, just as any good structure begins with a firm foundation. 
A high-quality gun belt makes your concealed carry best practices and training time more successful. It also provides you with a rock-solid place of carrying all through the duration of the belt's lifetime.

The right gun belt helps you during your training and practice

  • A holster
Many people believe that the usefulness of holsters is all about providing a safe place to store the firearm. Yet, you can gain much more benefits from the tool than you may think. 
A holster ensures complete concealment and ease of use. You will find yourself more comfortable while utilizing a holster too.
Holsters are available in a variety of comfort ratings. The more comfort you need, the more you may pay.
Check the price of more holsters here.

What Is Printing?

"Printing" refers to a situation when the shape of a hidden firearm is visible underneath your clothes. The more accurate term is "imprinting" because the gun's imprint is apparent on your shirt.

The shape of your weapon become visible underneath your shirt

This term, however, is ambiguous.

Some people do believe a simple bulge at an inconvenient position is a sign of printing. Others argue that the firearm's structure must be well-defined for printing. Still, others will claim that a sweat trace in the form of a pistol indicates printing.

Because printing doesn't have a clear definition, this ambiguity can serve you in favor or against you. Sadly, it will almost work against you.

Printing is not illegal to be exposed by accident. However, based on the reaction of the police and the public in some regions, it might be hazardous.

CCW Problems Caused By Printing 

Some problems are resulting from CCW printing. 

Legal concerns

Many jurisdictions have regulations requiring the gun to be fully covered and that no partial visibility is acceptable. However, unintentional concealment caused by physical movements is also not legally prohibited.

Many states that offer concealed permits to carry weapons also allow open carry, though it isn't always the case. California, for example, is a "may issue" zone that prohibits concealed carry of guns. As a result, openly exhibiting your CCW might result in legal issues.

You may become a target

The good people may wonder why you're carrying. Meanwhile, the bad ones will perceive you as a risk. It turns out to be a lose-lose scenario.

The unwanted attention is especially true concerning concealed carry. Consider the situation of a terrible man who is going to commit an offense.

Robbery, mass shootings, and hostage situations are all examples of possible crimes. Even the most naïve of criminals would first try to eliminate the most obvious danger to guarantee that they remain unhindered.

You may become a target with printing concealed carry

No more tactical benefit

Printing destroys the strategic advantage of concealed carry and effectively ruins its purpose. With the appendix carry printing, you alert everyone in your proximity that you possess a firearm. As a result, there are problems with public anxiety and becoming a target.

Any attacker will be on the watch if you print while carrying the concealed weapon. If you reach for your gun, the scenario is unlikely to turn out as you expect.

A concealed weapon, on the other hand, provides you a clear advantage. Lawbreakers are much less likely to be afraid of, alert, or plan for something they are unaware of. 

Public hysteria

Another reason why printing while keeping CCW is a terrible idea is the public hysteria.

Many members of the CCW community are eager to bring out examples of guns being used for self-defense. Unfortunately, a considerable percentage of the world's population rejects these statements as unusual. 

Ironically, they also refuse to recognize that tragedies like those described make up just a tiny percentage of all gun crimes.


Above are some tips about how to avoid printing concealed carry. The rules of thumb are the carry position, clothing, cant, compact, and comfort. Once these factors meet your need, you have no more worries about the printing. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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