160 – Off-Body Carry. Should you? Shouldn’t you? It depends.


Today, the topic of discussion is what is often referred to as “off body carry”. Off-body typically refers to a concealed carry method where the weapon is located somewhere other than a traditional on-person location, e.g. in a purse or backpack instead of in a holster at the waist or on the ankle.  Today’s discussion will address the following topics relating to :

  • 0:50: What is off-body carry?
  • 1:40: the negativity associated with OBC
  • 2:20: Varg’s views on OBC
  • 4:00: Why OBC isn’t for everyone
  • 8:35: Why lifestyle matters
  • 8:48: risks associated with open carry
  • 9:15: having a dedicated kit
  • 10:24: the slow-draw argument
  • 11:00: Daniel’s bag preference
  • 15:00: Varg’s bag preference
  • 19:50: How much room to allow for medical
  • 21:15: Daniel’s real example of using his medical kit
  • 22:50: OBC training

Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw

Co-Host: Varg Freeborn

Producer and Transcriptionist: Leah Ramsden



What to Consider When Carrying Off-Body

Defining it:

0:50 DS asks, What is off-body carry?

VF replies, “I would say it’s carrying a weapon in any fashion that is not attached to your body or the clothing on your body: a backpack, a purse…it’s not attached to you.” “I was one of those people who were largely 100% against it, I would say. And I actually still am not supportive of most people doing it based on a few important criteria that we are going to talk about today…I changed my own views and softened them up a bit when I started to see the utility of it. And also, the techniques and creating better equipment to do the off-body carry with – all these things improved over time. It actually became more viable through more developed technique and better carry gear, [so] that also played a part in changing my own personal views about it.”

4:00 DS asks, Why do you think off-body isn’t for everybody? VF replies,

“Carrying a weapon is a consciousness exercise. It has to be conscious of that weapon at all times and for most people, they just haven’t cultivated that level of awareness or dedicated attention towards one thing all day. You have to have one slice of attention always aware. I don’t think most people have developed that. I have started to off-body carry a lot more. Sometimes I’ll be [have] both -a smaller handgun on me and a much larger high capacity handgun so I’ll have both going on.”  

Gun inside purse

You have to be fully conscious and aware and understand that this is now a part of you. It can’t be something that you come home and just set down -VF

The Importance Of Lifestyle  

VF says, “If you have a life where you would put a gun in a bag and then get up and start your day in your car for 8 hours because you can’t have it in your workplace, OR you’re going to several places during the day and you can’t carry the bag in with you; Then off-body carry doesn’t make as much sense because the majority of the time you are without that gun that’s exposed. [AKA car-carry]”

“The reason that I was so against OBC was primarily because of purse carry and all the accidents and child shootings that were happening because kids would dig into mom’s purse, find a gun and blast themselves or their bro or sis in their face and You got kids dying because people are unconsciously carrying a weapon off-body. And that, I am against.”  

“The reason that I think it’s nice to have a dedicated kit for carrying a weapon, is because if you carry a purse every day, throwing a gun in it is not going to change the utility of the purse for all the other things that you use it for. All the things you do with that purse every single day, it’s not likely you’re going to stop doing those things just because you threw a gun in it…So [a dedicated kit], will help with that type of awareness building and understanding how to build new strict habits.”

Bag Selection For Off-Body Carry

Daniel’s choice:

army green Viktos sling bag for open carry

The little sling bag from Viktos, it’s small, but it’s just the right size for carrying a large sized handgun, but it also has a very nice pouch for medical that can be used for potentially multiple casualties… I really like how its sized because when I had bigger [bags] in the past, I just keep filling them up with more stuff and next thing you know that bag weighs 20 pounds.” -DS

 What about Medical Gear?

“I try to stay pretty trim on it. I don’t want to carry a whole bunch of stuff. I want to make sure what I’m carrying has a purpose for me that fits between what I’m likely to encounter and what I can fit in my bag comfortably and reach a compromise there. Because I don’t like to take up tons of room with a bunch of heavy gear… and never use it. If you need it someday you might regret not having it. You have to draw the line somewhere and We all draw the line in different places…I’m a little lighter on the medical gear and maybe a little heavier on other things.” -VF  


Final Thoughts?

Make sure your lifestyle supports it, make sure that you are with the gun more than you are separated from it, and make sure a piece of your attention is always dedicated to that gun. -Varg Freeborn  

Be real about your question when you look at yourself: Do I have the discipline to do this? Especially if you have small children around you or people who may access [your firearm] …you have to keep it ON you. -Daniel Shaw  


See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369

More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/.

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Next up: Home Defense / Create the Advantage 

  • George Heidke Sr

    I always found body carry to be uncomfortable, although I did use a a shoulder rig for a number of years.
    I carry in a sling bag that is easily accessable, I have a few in different styles & been doing this for years. Your disadvantage to this method is that if you find yourself in a precarious position………You need to carefully choose your moment when your adversary is momentarily distracted…….I do not find this method a hindrance, as I can retrieve my weapon just as fast. Methinks its personal preferance.

  • Christian too

    “Carrying a weapon is a consciousness exercise”
    Great discussion. I agree that it has to be a lifestyle. I hate hearing about a kid that found mom’s gun in a purse, locked and loaded, and with an easy safety. That is why I am partial to “chamber as you draw”. Most people say terrible things about the psychological fortitude of me and my whole family when I suggest such absurdity. But, I’d rather be a milisecond slower than to risk a kids life. My choice, and how I train.

    Mr Shaw, keep the education coming!

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