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Top 5 CCW Positions for Practicality & Comfort

Top 5 CCW Positions for Practicality & Comfort

on 4th Oct 2021

By Danielle Mcleod

Now that you have your conceal carry license, you need to consider which position is most comfortable for you to carry day to day. You want to choose one position that is both practical and works with your body type and movement in order to train and learn muscle memory for a seamless draw.

I myself have a smaller frame and so my best advice is to find exactly what is best for you only after you spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with a variety of positions. You may also want to consider more than one position to carry and train with based on your attire. Women in particular need to know which positions are best based on their clothing for easy gun access and comfort that doesn't show. Even though concealed carry purses are popular, they do not provide quick and fast access in most scenarios.

Take a look at the 5 most popular positions to carry in to determine which is best for your needs, and don’t lose patience in your practice.

Tips for Choosing a Holster

First off, any holster you choose needs to be one that is made of a material that is comfortable up against your skin, all while holding your firearm securely and within easy reach. There are a large array of inside the waistband holsters (IWB) for you to choose from that provide canting and protection from chafing, room for gun modifications, and even your bullet types in extra mags. Be sure to look specifically at measurements for your own body, and make sure to get a holster that is designed for your gun type if it is a hard case style. 

Top 5 CCW Positions to Carry In

Even though more and more states are joining in on Constitutional Carry Laws which allow you to open carry without a license, many people still prefer a concealed choice as to not draw attention to themselves. This also allows them to take full advantage of their rights as US citizens. 

If you still prefer keeping your firearm out of sight, take a look at these popular ways to carry:

Appendix Carry

Appendix carry is probably one of, if not the most popular way to carry. This is where you carry at the front of your waist, approximately over your appendix for an easy, natural draw with your dominant shooting hand. This is actually my preference as the gun sits inside the hip bone for women and works with my natural body shape when I’m sitting for a more comfortable feel. It is easy to draw from, and fits well under a wide variety of form fitting shirt styles. Men also like this option due to how easy it is to draw.


  • Easy access from just about any position
  • Comfortable, more body conscious fit with loose clothing


  • Will imprint with tighter clothing
  • Is located close to groin, femoral artery 

Strong Side Hip

The strong side hip location provides the most competition to the appendix carry and offers an easy to reach and draw location as well. It is more popular with men since women often have a body shape that can accentuate the gun, making it easy to imprint on clothing. But it is a very comfortable position for anyone who carries their weight to the front, and the position is incredibly easy to draw from.


  • Easy and quick to draw
  • Comfortable in any position


  • Obvious place to carry
  • Imprints easily 

Pocket Carry

Pocket carry is popular with so-called pocket pistols, or small micro-compacts and revolvers that easily fit into a holster in your pocket. It is generally very discreet, especially for men, and does not imprint easily due to the holster. Unfortunately, it is not always a great choice for women since our pant pockets are usually only for style and do not provide any kind of functional depth. One thing you have to take care of is getting a good holster that does not provide bulk and allows you to easily access your weapon.


  • Discreet and easy to carry
  • Great for more form fitting clothing and tucked in shirts


  • Can only be used with small handguns
  • The wrong holster can leave you fumbling to draw

Cross-Draw Appendix Carry

Cross draw appendix carry is another choice many CCW holders prefer. This is a great choice for both men and women and sits more towards your 12 o’clock without creating an uncomfortable sitting scenario. This also removes the concerns of the traditional appendix carry and allows you to point your barrel away from your own body while holstered. Plus, it doesn't imprint as easily as other options and may only cause issues with the most snug of shirt fits.


  • Easy access from just about any position
  • Comfortable, more body conscious fit with loose clothing


  • Requires cross body draw
  • Will imprint with tighter clothing

Holster Carry

Holster carry, or a holster-like carry using form fitting clothing with built in holsters, is popular with both men and women and provides a very discrete area to carry your weapon: under your arm. I’ll admit it takes some time to get used to, and unless you wear a sports jacket of some type day after day, it probably isn’t the best choice for consistency. But since so many professionals may wear that attire, this is most likely the most comfortable choice. It stays out of your way, and yet is always available to draw, no matter what position you are in. You also can carry extra magazines on the other side.


  • Discrete and stays out of the way
  • Easy to draw from any position


  • May require a jacket or coat for full discretion
  • Overall weight may be uncomfortable through the day

Other Carry Suggestions

Other ways to carry include on your ankle to the inside of your leg, the small of your back, or even in a purse or bag if your clothing will not allow on person carry. These are great options for women as they work with a woman's body well for concealment. The small of the back in particular is a great location when you are in a standing position, especially if you are smaller framed as it will tuck into your lumbar area. It just isn’t too comfortable for sitting against the back of a chair.