Holster T-shirt comparison test: 5.11 Tactical vs. Tru Spec 24/7

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Dukeboy01, Jul 13, 2015.

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  1. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    A couple of weeks ago after receiving my annual uniform and equipment allotment of $500 for the new fiscal year, I decided to order a couple of T- shirts with integrated holster pouches. I'd never had one before, but figured that there might be some times when the primary goal of how one chooses to carry their firearm is deep concealment. I'm talking about times when it is imperative not to get "made" while carrying mostly for social reasons.

    I decided to create this thread to document my experiences carrying in the two shirts I bought in case others are interested. I'll update the thread with new posts as I try out each shirt in different situations and with different firearms.

    The two shirts I bought are the 5.11 Tactical Holster Shirt and the Tru Spec 24/7 Concealed Carry Holster Shirt. Our uniform allowance is through Galls, so that's where I got them. The prices I paid through Galls were $62.99 for the 5.11 shirt and $44.96 for the Tru Spec. Amazon has them both slightly cheaper:

    http://www.amazon.com/TRU-SPEC-Conc...s=tru+spec+24+7+concealed+carry+holster+shirt


    http://www.amazon.com/5-11-Tactical...4&sr=8-1&keywords=5.11+tactical+holster+shirt


    Both of them are compression shirts, which I don't usually wear and which will take some getting used to.
     
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  2. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    I'm working my off- duty gig tonight for four hours, so I decided to wear the Tru Spec shirt tonight under my uniform shirt. I'm usually don't wear my vest when I'm working my off- duty gig. Not the best habit, but obviously a holster shirt wouldn't work if your were wearing Kevlar over it. I suppose one could wear a t- shirt, then a vest, and then stretch the holster shirt over the vest, but I'm not doing that in July in Kentucky.

    I decided to try to carry a Glock 26 on my first outing in one of the shirts, figuring that i would see how it worked with what is really a medium sized gun. The pockets on the Tru Spec shirt appear to be large enough to carry a Glock 19 and possibly a Glock 17 or equivalent, but I was concerned about how much they would sag.

    The Tru Spec shirt's pockets are completely open, unlike the 5.11 shirt whose pockets are secured closed with Velcro. I put the Glock 26 in a Desantis Nemisis pocket holster before sliding it into the left pocket for a right- handed crossdraw. I personally never carry any of my guns without a holster that completely covers the trigger and absolutely would not feel comfortable just sliding a gun in one of these pockets without a holster. I did load the Glock 26 with a 15- round G19 magazine equipped with a grip sleeve to make it fit flush with the G26 for a little extra size and weight.

    My first impression is that a compression shirt will take some getting used to, particularly during the summer in Kentucky. It's not the heat; it's the humidity and I feel a bit uncomfortable already the minute I step outside of my house to walk to my car.

    The gun rides pretty tight, but I am constantly aware of it. My uniform shirt, which is cut large enough to accommodate the vest that I'm not wearing, hides it's bulk pretty well. An athletic- cut dress shirt would not hide it very well at all. Loose shirts will be the rule, I think.

    The muzzle of the G26 is also resting on the top of my duty belt when I sit down,which causes the gun to ride up. It's particularly noticeable when I'm seated in my car, not so much when I'm seated at a desk as I am right now.

    Overall, I'm not uncomfortable, but I am aware of the bulk of the G26 in the shirt pocket. It's concealed pretty well. I don't think anyone would notice it unless they were familiar with holster shirts and knew to look for it, but a smaller gun would be much less pronounced.

    I'm not concerned about weapon retention for the same reason. I'll try to find some time to practice drawing and firing out of concealment with these shirts, but let's face it: you will never be able to get a gun out from one of these shirts as fast as you will from any number of other concealed carry methods. The focus is deep concealment and carrying either a back- up weapon or somewhere you definitely don't want to be "made."
     

  3. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

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    Great write up. Looking forward to hearing more. I'm always interested in better ways for those times you need deep concealment.
     
  4. DubfromGA

    DubfromGA

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    Thanks for the rundown on the shirts.


    Looking forward to seeing the future reports.
     
  5. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    I'm working my off- duty gig again tonight at the hospital for 8 hours, so I wore the 5.11 shirt under my uniform with the same G26 set up I carried on Monday. I decided to carry the G26 again for consistency even though I had just about decided that it was going to be too large after wearing it in the Tru- Spec shirt.

    The 511 shirt seems to fit my body type better. The holster pockets are cut further back, so the gun is riding further back around my torso and up under my arm pit. This conceals it better, although, as with the Tru- Spec, a person who knows what to look for might spot it. I think the pockets are a little smaller than those on the Tru- Spec, but that's actually better. By the time I got home on Monday I noticed that my gun had shifted in the Tru- Spec pockets so that the grip wasn't quite vertical. It was canted slightly to the rear, which would have probably slowed down a draw from an already slow method of carry even further. So far the gun seems to be staying in place better in the 5.11's slightly smaller pockets.

    The 5.11's pockets are also held closed by Velcro, unlike the Tru- Spec pockets, which are open. I had been working about an hour when I was called to assist the civilian security officers working the front lobby with a disorderly drunk who was refusing to leave the hospital. Long story short, I ended up having to ground him when he resisted cuffing. The G26 stayed in place throughout the physical activity. I'm not saying that it wouldn't have also stayed in place in the Tru- Spec shirt as well, but I didn't have to exert myself in any way on Monday so I don't know what would have happened. The 5.11 definitely held up and held my G26 secure during the use of force tonight. The Velcro will, of course, slow down a draw more than out of the tru- Spec.

    The G26 also isn't riding as low as it does in the Tru- Spec. I had complained on Monday that the muzzle of the G26 was actually resting on top of my duty belt when seated. In the 5.11 shirt, the muzzle is still about an inch to an inch and a half above my belt when seated. It's more comfortable, although I am still aware of it the way I was in the other shirt.

    Those are my impressions from tonight. I'll probably try carrying my G42 in each shirt while working this detail to see how a smaller gun feels compared to the G26.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  6. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster G17 carrier since 1989 Millennium Member

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    It seems to me that these T-shirt holsters are for polymer-framed guns. The 45-ounce M1911A1s wouldn't work here.
     
  7. redbaron007

    redbaron007 Some Dude Lifetime Member

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    I have a couple of the 5.11s.....I like them best out of all the pocket t-shirts I've worn.
     
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  8. Decutor

    Decutor

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    I've been thinking about trying one of these for running, and I've got a couple of questions.

    If you were wearing a t-shirt over the holster shirt, do you think you'd be able to lift it and draw the weapon or would it be something only to be used with for example, a zip up jacket?

    Also, does the weapon bounce a lot, or do you think it would if you started sprinting?
     
  9. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster G17 carrier since 1989 Millennium Member

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    Well, maybe this T-shirt will work with M1911s.
     
  10. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    1. I think if the top T-shirt was loose enough, you could. I would want it to be pretty loose, like maybe one size up from what you normally wear. I've only been wearing them with my uniform shirt (which has a zipper under a faux- button flap) and a button- up dress shirt.

    2. I plan to try running in one for the first time tomorrow morning, so we'll see how it goes.
     
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  11. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    Quick update: I've worn both shirts with my G42. I wore the 5.11 shirt with my uniform last week. It worked a lot better in terms of both overall comfort and concealment compared to my G26.

    I wore the Tru- Spec today under a button down shirt. I was less impressed. The Tru- Spec's pockets are bigger and deeper than the pockets on the 5.11. By the end of the work day, my G42 had rotated about 90 degrees in the pocket, so that the butt was straight up and down and the barrel was pointed outwards. You're left with the contradiction that you need a bigger gun to fill the pocket and prevent rotation, which will then make it more likely that you'll "print." The 5.11's smaller pockets were still big enough to handle the G26, but still tight enough to keep the G42 in place as well.

    I'm going to try jogging in the Tru- Spec shirt tomorrow morning.
     
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  12. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    I went jogging this morning with my G42 in the Tru- Spec. My gun rotated 90 degrees in the pocket within the first quarter mile and settled in the bottom. On the other hand, it was then deep enough that I wasn't worried about it bouncing out of the open pocket. It stayed secure through the whole run.
     
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  13. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster G17 carrier since 1989 Millennium Member

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    I was wondering . . . . do you carry your G42 Cond I?
     
  14. flyover

    flyover

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    I wear the 5.11 in colder weather and have found I conceal a Glock 21 but is way to heavy. For me a Glock 30 or 36 works better. Generally the 30 gets carried the most with 2 Glock 21 mags in the offside pocket to offset the weight of the 30. I wear a snap closure style shirt over it.

    Oh, by the way, beware of hugs with this carry.
     
  15. coreymcl

    coreymcl

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    Can you address the fit of the 5.11? Since it's 80% polyester / 20% spandex and the fact I'm using it to carry my gun I want it fitting tight. Is that your thought as well? For my body it look like I'm right in between 2 sized. So your feedback would be appreciated.
     
  16. flyover

    flyover

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    As for me, I guess I can say I fall in between sizes also. I have a 2XL that lets the gun move around to much, call it a bit bouncy but it is a comfortable fit. As for the XL, it is a tight fit but the gun does not move around on me. I have a bit of a belly so the bottom tries to roll up but by tucking it inside my pants it isn't to much of a problem. Overall, I will take the tight fit and no movement over a comfortable fit and movement.
     
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  17. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    I bought both shirts in 2XL, which is what I normally wear. They both fit pretty tight, but not uncomfortably so. I feel like the 5.11 holds guns in place better, but I think it's more because it's pockets are slightly smaller and secured closed with velcro as opposed to the larger, open pockets on the Tru- Spec. In terms of the gun being held tight against my body by the material, both perform that part of the task just fine. It's the extra volume in the Tru- Spec's pocket that still allows the gun to rotate. I haven't tried to carry a full- size gun in either shirt. I think a G17 or equivalent would fit in the Tru- Spec's pockets, but not the 5.11. The problem is that it would then be more likely to print than a smaller gun. Both shirts are cut longer than normal, so I haven't had any problems with them rolling up after I tuck them in. The Tru- Spec is a bit longer.

    For comparison purposes, I'm 5'11" and 245lbs. I wear a 40" inch waist in pants and a 50" Long in sports coats and suit jackets.
     
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  18. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

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    Yes, but it's inside a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster first, then the t- shirt pocket. I wouldn't recommend carrying a gun in either of these shirts without the gun being secured in a holster that covers the trigger guard as well. I imagine that some people might try carrying a gun loose in one of these since they are being referred to as "holster shirts," but I consider this a form of enhanced pocket carry.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  19. PattonWasRight

    PattonWasRight

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    Nice write up, I'm sure this will help many decide on these. I'll add that the "compression" loosens up a bit over time, and while a G26 is pushing it a bit for weight & comfort there, especially with a holster, I found that my Ruger LCP comfy to carry in this manner. I use without a holster, but the LCP I have a trigger-only cover with a string that I loop through the velcro band and that's worked 100% on draw.
     
  20. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

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    Great job on the write-up. It's very informative and well thought out. I had been considering one of these shirts and your post will help me to make an informed decision.

    Thank you.