Here are some frequently asked questions about SmartCarry® concealed carry holsters
Click here to read the instruction sheet that comes with each SmartCarry® Invisible Holster
Q: How does SmartCarry® adjust for different size hip circumferences?
A: SmartCarry® uses heavy duty elastic on either side to secure the hook and loop strapping to the holster. This elastic adjusts for all hip circumferences within the range of the strapping length. Up to five different strapping lengths are provided for all size hips, from the smallest to the largest. If we have to construct a custom strapping length for your size, it only adds $1.00 to the cost for a custom A strapping length (up to 58" hip circumference), $1.50 for a custom B (up to 62" hip circumference) or $2.00 + depending on the inches above 62". You can find more info on the prices of strapping length here. This is why your hip circumference is so important when placing your order!
Q: How do I put on SmartCarry®?
A: You put on all of the clothing that you will tuck into your lower outer garment, such as underwear, t-shirt and shirt. Then put SmartCarry® on over the top of all these garments in the front, but under your shirt tail in the rear only. This will prevent the strapping from showing above your belt line in the rear, as the holster never moves down, but the strapping always rides up in the rear. Important! Remember to put SmartCarry® on around the top of your hip bones, where they protrude at your sides. DO NOT put SmartCarry® on around or close to your waist, it simply won't work right! It must be worn low on your body! Then pull the elastic tight (note: the tighter you stretch the elastic, the more comfortable SmartCarry® will be) and let the hook and loop touch. Put on your trousers, shorts, slacks or skirt, place your non-gun hand in your waistband and put your thumb in the firearm pocket. Take the firearm with your gun hand and slide the barrel or slide behind the thumb of your non-gun hand. This guides the firearm directly into the holster. Repeat this procedure for placing a back up magazine or speed loader (note: a customer has informed us that he can get 3 Speer speed strips in the backup reload pocket of his medium SmartCarry® holster). The instructions that come with the holster has some other wearing tips included.
Q: Do I have to buy larger clothing to wear SmartCarry®?
A: No, not unless you only wear skin-tight clothing. Normal dress wear works fine and pleats on trousers help to conceal the bulge made by the grip of the handgun. Levies and dungarees also work fine, as do Dockers®, shorts and skirts.
Q: What about the bulge that the grip makes? Doesn't that give away the fact that I'm carrying a gun?
A: No, and here's why. First, the bulge, even with a firearm that has a double-stacked magazine, is not that noticeable when you're approached or viewed from the front. And you, and you alone, have the worst possible view of the bulge - above, and looking down! That's a view no one else has. The bulge could be caused by something in your pocket or even a medical device. At a gun show in West Palm Beach, Florida a lady saw the holster we display on a mannequin on our tables and started asking questions. She told us she is diabetic and is required to wear a small insulin container around her waist and the straps provided by the medical supplier were very uncomfortable. She took our demo holster in the ladies room and tried it on. As a result, she purchased a medium SmartCarry® holster to carry her insulin supply and informed us she was going to use the extra space in the back-up magazine/speed-loader pocket for cash and other items. It often happens that a customer who purchased a SmartCarry® concealed carry holster from us will stop by the table to chat, and I've been unable to tell they were carrying!
One of our customers has sent us a very good tip for completely hiding the bulge. Here's what he said in his e-mail:
I bought your medium sized SmartCarry for my Glock 27 and 30 about six weeks ago. Just as advertised, I can conceal and not worry about how I'm dressed, no need for un-tucked shirts, etc. It eliminated my indecision about how to carry but not dress in a manner that I didn't prefer.
I have a hot tip: to virtually eliminate any print through for blue jean use (without the need for extreme bagginess), I used iron patches on the inside of my pants. You can't even tell if I ask you to inspect for a gun.
Thanks for a great product."
You can go here to read his e-mail.
Another reason no one ever picks up on that bulge is because your crotch area is the one place on your body no one wants to be caught staring at! People will simply not examine that area of your body!
If you'd like to see exactly how it looks from a right, left side and front view when carrying a full-size 1911, click on this link and take a look at some pictures of Charlie standing in his front yard while carrying in SmartCarry®. There is also a picture of him drawing, so you can get an idea of the size of his 48 ounce, 5" barrel carry firearm. Also, we just added some new photos of Charlie with his pants up and down, so you can see exactly where and how SmartCarry® is worn. These new photos also show how your shirt tail should be over the strapping in the rear only, if you tuck your shirt in, like Charlie always does.
Q: What about moving around when I'm wearing it? Or how about driving for long periods of time?
A: Because SmartCarry® is worn in the best location on the human body to carry a concealed firearm, there is absolutely NO RESTRICTIONS to your body movements. When you bend over to sit down, the barrel or slide tucks in between your thighs and sensitive body parts are actually protected by the bulk of the firearm. You'll never be "pinched" by the firearm in SmartCarry®! And because it's worn in the front and on the centerline of your body, SmartCarry® never throws you off-balance, like rigs on your side will do. If you'd like to read the comments of one of our customers who gave a class on Tae-Bo (cardio kickboxing) while carrying his firearm in his SmartCarry®, just click here.
Sitting down is probably the most comfortable position you can assume when wearing SmartCarry®. This is because your weight and that of the firearm are supported by the whatever you're sitting on. And, most people of average build can draw very fast when sitting down, even when wearing a seat belt. The instruction sheet that comes with each holster tells you how to draw when seated. I know from experience that a 997 mile drive, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Knoxville, TN is a snap when wearing SmartCarry®.
If there are any movement restrictions when carrying in SmartCarry®, I haven't found them yet. And I carry my M1911A-1 10 to 14 hours a day, plus I worked on aircraft, in avionics, which means a lot of crawling around under instrument panels. Of course, you can't pass through a metal detector with a firearm, without the detector going off, but that's something none of us would ever do!
Q: How fast can I get my gun if I need it in an emergency?
A: With a little practice, using an unloaded firearm (always be safe - never forget the NRA rules of firearm safety!), you'll be able to retrieve your firearm in less time than you can imagine. My record time from a standing position to an aimed shot (sights aligned on the target) is 1.7 seconds. In fact, SmartCarry® is probably the fastest draw personal protection holster you can obtain, and it is designed so that it will not snag on the back of cylinders of revolvers or any forward-facing projections on semi-automatics and stop, or slow down, your draw. Our construction method is so unique (and really very simple) that we have a U.S. Utility Patent on the design and construction of SmartCarry®.
Another safety feature of SmartCarry® is that you can't get to the trigger until the firearm is out of the holster. And it won't come out of the holster unless you draw it! In fact, you can stand on your head with your feet against a wall and shake your hips and the firearm won't come out. I know, because I've done it! The reason is simple: your belt and outer garment hold it securely in place until drawn.
Q: How do I re-holster my firearm?
A: Re-holstering your firearm is really very simple, and you can re-holster it almost as fast as you can draw it, if you follow this procedure: put your weak hand thumb inside the waist band of your clothing with your index fingers on the outside and over the belt or waist area of your trousers, slacks, shorts or skirt. Locate the firearm pocket of the holster with your weak hand thumb and put the tip of your thumb inside the firearm pocket. Now use your weak hand to pull your clothing away from your body, while sucking in your tummy. The tip of your weak hand thumb will open up the firearm pocket of your SmartCarry® concealed carry holster. The first few times you do this, slide your weak hand toward the center of your body, w/ your thumb inside the firearm pocket, and your thumb will contact the seam that separates the firearm pocket from the tactical reload pocket. This verifies that your thumb is indeed inside the firearm pocket, and not behind the holster, where there is no seam. With your firearm in your strong hand, place the barrel or slide on and behind your thumb and this will guide the firearm directly into the firearm pocket of the holster. After a few practice tries, you'll discover you can re-holster almost as fast as you can draw your firearm!
Q: If I wear a full-length dress, it has no waistband. How do I draw my gun?
A: In a life-threatening situation, you simply lift your skirt - in fact, that might gain you some more time! : )
Q: What do I do when the holster gets dirty? Can I wash it?
A: SmartCarry® is machine washable and washing instructions come with each holster. The only thing you want to avoid is putting it in a dryer because high heat will eventually destroy the elastic, just as it does with the elastic in your socks and underwear. Air drying is best, but if you're in a hurry you can dry it in a dryer on very low heat. As a point of interest, I carry in mine every day, weekends included, and the holster doesn't really require washing more than once a year, at most. It simply doesn't get dirty and the area where it's located is probably the cleanest area of your body. Your under garments keeps perspiration away from SmartCarry® and your outer garment keeps dirt away from it.
Q: Where are SmartCarry® holsters made?
A: SmartCarry® "Invisible Holsters"™ are made in two locations, Ft. Lauderdale, FL by Sally, a professional seamstress who has been making SmartCarry® "Invisible Holsters"™ since we started our business over 13 years ago, and by Jo Ann, a professional seamstress located in Madeira Beach, FL. Our business had grown and we needed additional space, so we selected a location that was more centrally located to the gun shows we do all over the state of Florida. Soon after moving our business to Largo, FL we had to locate another seamstress to handle the additional workload and to ensure that our delivery times would not increase. We were fortunate in locating Jo Ann, and we went through two other seamstresses before we found her. You can see her making SmartCarry®'s by clicking here.
Q: What if I have two or more different size handguns and I want to be able to carry them all? Do I have to buy a holster for each one?
A: If you only want to purchase one holster, then you must buy the one for the largest handgun you're going to carry. The instructions tell you how to carry a smaller handgun in a larger holster, that works, but not the other way! It's really pretty simple, just put a safety pin (or two) through the holster about a 1/4" below the muzzle or some cotton cloth as a pad in the bottom of the holster (the pins work better, as they don't tend to pack over time and only take seconds to put in or take out, plus they won't harm the holster) so that the trigger guard and everything forward of it is in the firearm pocket and everything aft of the trigger guard is out of the firearm pocket. If fact, you also do this so your back-up magazine sticks out of the magazine pocket about 1/4" for fast retrieval. The instructions sheet mentions this. However, if you have one firearm that you know you'll be carrying most of the time, it's always better to purchase the holster size designed for that specific firearm.
Q: I'm a man and I have to use a urinal to relieve myself. Does the gun block my access to the fly in my underwear?
A: It can, but the solution is very simple - just take your index finger and thumb and move the barrel/slide over to your left (right, if you're left handed) and access the fly in your shorts with your other fingers. Once your fingers enter the fly in your shorts, release the firearm and the side of your hand will keep it out of the way. Or, you can grasp the barrel/slide with your weak hand, through your lower outer garment, and move and hold it to your left/right while opening your fly with your other hand. Simply remove your private parts and relieve yourself like you do when not carrying a firearm. You can also do this with one hand, as some men like to hold onto the urinal plumbing for some reason unknown to me! The instructions suggest you practice this a few times in the privacy of your bathroom at home, using an unloaded firearm. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do this just as easily as you do when not carrying. It only takes about four to six "practice" runs to get it down to perfection! Click here to read a post made by a customer on this subject.
If you have to sit down to relieve yourself, it's very simple. When you lower/lift your outer garment, simply slide SmartCarry® up several inches and let it remain around your lower chest until you're finished. Then slide it back down, lift or lower your outer garment and go about your business. In other words, you'll never have to remove either SmartCarry® or your firearm until you return home or need the firearm for self protection!
Q: I work outdoors and sweat heavily. Won't perspiration reach my gun and cause it to rust?
A: Not since 1992 it won't! We made a major improvement to the moisture barrier we install on the rear of our holsters - that portion of the holster that faces your body. When diaper cloth is used as the rear panel, like some of our competitors use, it does what diaper cloth was designed to do - absorb fluids, to keep a baby's bottom dry. It will absorb perspiration as fast as you produce it, and it will reach your firearm, plus diaper cloth retains moisture and stays wet for long periods of time. Instead of diaper cloth, we use a cotton muslin on the holster rear, that portion which faces your body, so the holster feels just like any other piece of clothing. And behind the muslin, inside the holster, we've added a 100% water proof barrier made of Cushmax®, a light weight cloth material bonded to a film which allows air to pass through, so the holster can still "breath" and the comfort is unchanged, but is 100% waterproof. This is the major improvement we've been hinting about for months!
We have tested a SmartCarry® with Cushmax® installed for months, and can report that it completely stops any moisture penetration through the holster rear panel. For more information on Cushmax®, click here.
If you perspire a lot, then the air inside your clothing will have a high humidity level of salty perspiration. So even though no perspiration will ever get through the Cushmax® moisture barrier, it's a very good idea to use SENTRY SOLUTIONS® Marine TUF-CLOTH as well. This prevents rust from salt water and was tested and is used by the Navy Seals, who swim under salt water with their firearms and metal knives. I can tell you, from personal experience, that a SENTRY SOLUTIONS® Marine TUF-CLOTH, when used on a daily basis, will last about 2 years. The mineral spirits, used as a carrier, will evaporate after about 30 to 40 days of daily use (provided you keep it in a zip-lock air tight bag, such as the one supplied with the TUF-CLOTH, and when you wear out the bag, and you will, just use any air tight zip lock freezer bag), and when the cloth becomes dry, simply add a teaspoon full of mineral spirits (paint thinner) to the cloth and it's good as new. See our Other Products page for more information on Marine TUF-CLOTH.
Q: Can I wear my SmartCarry® holster while riding a bicycle?
A: We've been asked this question by several customers and have decided to add this to our frequently asked questions page. The answer is yes, you can ride a bicycle (or motorcycle) while carrying a handgun in a SmartCarry® InvisibleTM holster with no discomfort caused by the holster or the gun inside it. In fact, we have a customer in West Palm Beach, FL who is a Police Officer and patrols his beat on a bicycle. He's worn out one SmartCarry® and is on his second holster now. If you ride a bicycle a lot while wearing your SmartCarry®, we suggest you add a piece of 2" wide duct tape (or have a piece of leather sewn in this location) to the bottom lower edge of the strong hand side of the holster to prevent wear caused by the excessive rubbing of your trousers against the outside of the holster as a result of pedalling the bicycle. And riding a motocycle is as easy as it is when you're not wearing the holster. Take a look at what one customer had to say after he wrecked his dirt bike while carrying his Glock 21 in a SmartCarry® holster, click here to read a much more recent comment from a SmartCarry® user who made a 500 mile trip on his motorcycle while carrying in a SmartCarry®, or click this link to see a SmartCarry® customer riding his unicycle
Q: If I buy one, then decide I don't like it, am I stuck with the holster?
A: Absolutely not - we offer a 60 day trial period on every SmartCarry® holster we sell. This allows you to give SmartCarry® the acid test - actually carry in SmartCarry® concealed carry holster and see for yourself how comfortable it is and what "deep concealment" really means! If you decide SmartCarry® doesn't work for you, just return it within 60 days of the purchase date for a refund of SmartCarry®'s purchase price, but not the S&H. We also provide the best service you'll find because we make an excellent product we're very proud of and stand behind it 100%.
We've even sold SmartCarry® concealed carry holsters to people confined to wheelchairs who are able to sucessfully use the holster.
Q: After wearing my SmartCarry® for several months, I notice some wear at the outside of the lower strong side of the holster. Is there any way I can stop the wear?
A: This wear is caused by the holster rubbing against your clothing, and yes, there is a way you can stop the wear and lengthen the life of your SmartCarry®. The fast and simple way is to put a piece of good quality 2" wide duct tape over the lower edge of the holster where the wear shows, with about 1/2" of the tape folded under and stuck to the back of the holster. Doesn't look good, but since only you or an intimate partner will ever see it, it really doesn't matter what it looks like, and the tape does the job of taking all the wear instead of the denim or duck cloth. Plus when the tape wears out you can replace it in minutes. For a real professional and permanent job, have a thin piece of leather sewn over the lower bottom of the holster, as some of our customers have done.
If you have any questions we've missed, or would like to suggest some, just click here to ask us by e-mail!