Spring has finally arrived in Ohio, and the weather is changing for the better. I’ve gotten my first grass cutting in, and my family and I just got back from a getaway where we were able to walk around for the entire weekend in short sleeves. Yes, the seasonal change was all for the better, with the sole exception of carrying concealed handguns.
It’s so easy in fall, winter and early spring when you can wear jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts to cover just about any reasonably sized concealed carry handgun. Now that warm weather is here, however, I have to make some adjustments to continue carrying my concealed handgun on the waistband. OWB carry gives me the fastest access to my handgun with the highest level of comfort. It also allows me to have a better stance as I draw for either one- or two-handed defensive shooting. But I must modify my clothing to carry my off-duty gun in an OWB holster during warm months or in locales where it is warm year-round.
When I worked as an undercover liquor investigator and then an undercover narcotics detective, I carried in an IWB holster in the groin position (covered by a T-shirt during the summer months). My handgun stayed well-concealed and was less likely to be detected during a pat-down by a dealer or his associates. (The vast majority of dopers back then were not likely to search another guy’s groin area.) The groin position kept the gun undetected when I was seated on a bar stool. The problem with groin carry is that it is uncomfortable with larger handguns. It was tolerable as a carry position while making buys. But for long-term carry or going in on a raid, the OWB position was the way to go.
Nowadays, I find IWB holsters of any type uncomfortable for long-term carry regardless of the position or the type of gun. That’s just me getting old. While one can get away with wearing an off-the-rack T-shirt or golf shirt to cover an IWB holster, it doesn’t work out as well as it could. Those shirts were not designed for concealed carry.
Another issue is that some shirts that are meant to hide a handgun actually look like they were designed to hide a handgun. I have one such shirt from a fairly well-known company that hangs on me like a large flour sack and sees very little use unless I do not have any clean clothing.
The trick is to design a shirt that can conceal a handgun without looking like it is trying to hide something. One company that has accomplished this mission is a veteran-owned operation called Moya Tactical.
Owner James “Kimo” Moya was an exhibitor at the USCCA Expo this year. He was displaying a line of concealment T-shirts that feature new, patent-pending anti-print technology. At first, I walked by his booth without noticing. When I came back through the area, one of the co-instructors of my advanced revolver class called my attention to Moya’s products.
I went over and talked to James and realized that he wasn’t merely selling T-shirts with interesting logos. Each shirt features a low-profile pattern of slightly raised triangles arranged in fours to form a diamond shape on the inside of the shirt. These diamonds run from the bottom to the middle of each shirt. This clever pattern breaks up the pattern of the handgun carried underneath, thus vastly reducing or eliminating printing. I have not seen a system quite like this. The pattern is not noticeable from the outside unless you look for it.
James demonstrated that his shirts can be worn either untucked or tucked in over tuckable IWB holsters. He provided me with a sample of his 100-percent cotton Round Neck Concealed Carry T-Shirt in black to test. My sample shirt came emblazoned with the word “Kentucky” on the chest as well as his military X-style company logo. His logo features the letters “M” and “T” with a paladin-type horse-head symbol and a semi-automatic pistol.
This past weekend, I tested the effectiveness of the Moya Tactical design. It was the first weekend when it wasn’t pouring down rain or snow and was warm enough to wear a T-shirt all day long. The nice weather coincided with a weekend family trip to Nashville, Indiana.
I decided to put the Concealed Carry T-Shirt to a bit more stringent test than could be done by carrying with an IWB holster, so I wore my vintage Colt Cobra .38 revolver in an OWB holster. I put the gun on and let the T-shirt hang over the top. I checked in the mirror before we left and saw that the diamond pattern on the inside of the shirt effectively broke up the outline of the Cobra’s wood grips. I was already convinced.
The Moya Concealed Carry T-Shirt got an all-day test when we drove to Nashville, checked in to our hotel and went out to dinner. On the drive over, I stopped at a couple of gas stations. At the second stop, someone noticed my shirt. The gentleman who talked to me didn’t notice my revolver printing against the fabric. Rather, he noticed the word “Kentucky” on the front of it in white. He was a big college basketball fan, and my wife guffawed when I told her that he briefly talked sports with me. I politely pretended that I understood what he was talking about, thanked him and went on my way. Later that day, another guy at a drugstore was also a Kentucky fan and liked the shirt as well. He noticed nothing other than the word “Kentucky” on the front. I wore the Moya shirt and handgun for the rest of the day in public, at our hotel, at various gift shops and at dinner. No one gave me a second thought. I was sold.
Moya Tactical sells more than just T-shirts. They also apply their anti-print technology to V-neck T-shirts, pocket T-shirts, polo shirts and women’s tank tops and T-shirts.
What is amazing to me besides the effectiveness of the anti-print technology is the reasonable pricing. T-shirts are $30, polo shirts start at $35, and women’s tank tops and flowy T-shirts are $30. Different colors of each type are available.
I think Moya Tactical is really on to something for people who lawfully carry concealed handguns in summer months or year-round in warmer climates. I only wish their shirts were available 37 years ago.
More info at: www.moyatactical.com