Mexican Carry: What Is It And Should You Be Using It?

You may have heard the term “Mexican Carry”. What is it and should you be using it?

Mexican Carry is the term used to describe carrying a pistol inside your waistband without a holster. This kind of carry is typically done on the front of the body, where an appendix carry holster would go.

Mexican Carry

How did Mexican carry get started?

Mexican carry is a special way of carrying guns that has a long history in Mexican culture. Back in the old days, Mexican cowboys called vaqueros used to carry their handguns in holsters. These cowboys were very independent and liked doing things their own way.

But when some bad governments started appearing in Mexico and took away people’s rights to own guns, the vaqueros had to be clever. They started hiding their pistols in their waistbands under their vests so that nobody would see them. They didn’t want anyone to know they had a gun.

They didn’t use modern holsters because those would show that they were carrying a gun. It was easier for them to quickly throw the gun to the side if they didn’t have a holster attached to them.

Sometimes, the vaqueros even tied a string to their handguns. This way, they could hide the gun deeper in their pants, but still be able to get it when they needed it.

That’s why it’s called “Mexican Carry” because the vaqueros from Mexico came up with this way of carrying guns to keep them hidden and safe.

Is Mexican Carry Safe?

The short answer to this is no, it’s not safe. At least not with modern weapons. It does not provide the protections nearly any other style of carrying a pistol does. If you were in a pinch and needed a way to quickly conceal a gun, sure, Mexican would probably work without issue.

Daily carrying a firearm this way is a different story. Back in the days of the Vaqueros, they were using single-action revolvers. Today, most people concealed carrying will have double-action handguns with much lighter triggers.

One of the biggest risks that come with Mexican Carry is the exposed trigger with no guard to prevent it from being accidentally pulled. Having a safety on your gun can help, but many modern-day handguns do not have safeties.

Even guns that do have safeties also have the possibility of the safety being switched off without anything guarding it.

Another risk is how secured (or lack thereof) the gun is. Inside your waistband, unattached to anything specifically, allows the gun to move and shift as you do. This can either lead to an accidental discharge, or the possibility of the gun sliding deeper into your pants, or even worse, falling out onto the floor.

Should you use Mexican Carry?

Although it’s understandable why people used to carry guns this way, there are several reasons why this style of carrying guns is not very common anymore, especially in America. One reason is that in the United States, citizens are legally allowed to own guns, and in most states, they can even get a special license to carry them hidden.

You don’t have to worry about being caught with a holster (at least not yet…). There are many safer ways to carry guns hidden that have lots of advantages over Mexican Style Carry. Concealed carry holsters come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, materials, and styles. You can find a concealed carry holster that suits your needs.

Besides, there are holsters available that look similar to Mexican-style carry but still provide some protection.

If you must Mexican carry, I highly advise that you do not carry with a round in the chamber. This limits nearly all the risks that would otherwise be associated with this carrying style.

Best Alternatives to Mexican Carry

Option 1: Minimalist Holsters

Q-Series Stealth Gun Holsters - Minimalist Concealed Carry Holster for Pistols

In recent years, a company by the name of Q-Series began developing a Minimalist inside the waistband “holster” for concealed carry.

This type of holster is known as a minimalist holster because it’s basically just a trigger guard attached to a belt clip. It resembles the traditional Mexican style carry while securely holding the gun to your body and preventing accidental firing of the trigger.

Unlike Kydex holsters, this particular holster is made of injection molded polymer, which is a type of strong plastic. The advantage of using this material is that it doesn’t change shape or get deformed over time, unlike Kydex holsters which might have that issue.

Option 2: 3D Printed trigger guard/belt clip

If you are in the mood for an even more simplified carry style that closely resembles Mexican carry while still providing some protection, check out the 3D-printed trigger guard/belt clip.

This is something you can make from home if you have a 3D printer with a free file download. If you do not have a 3D printer, you should, since there are now a lot of gun accessories that can be made with them.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole of 3D printing gun parts and accessories, I recommend the Ender 3 Printer that we’ve found the best price on here.

In addition, here is a list of our top 25 different accessories that can be made on a basic 3d printer.

This clip snaps around the trigger and holds it in place to prevent an accidental discharge. It had a clip on the back to clip to a 2” belt or just your pants. It’s so small you wouldn’t be able to tell your gun was even in a “holster”.

If you like the idea of a 3D printed holster, but don’t want to do it yourself, there is a company called Essential Holsters that sells what they call a “naked holster”. It is basically a slightly refined version of the 3D print above, and costs around $28. You can find those 3D printed clip holsters here.

Option 3: Clip Style Holster

This option is the closest to Mexican carry. Made from a variety of manufacturers, these metal clips can be mounted on the side of the most popular handgun models to easily and discreetly clip your gun to your belt.

Glock Clip Gun Holster Pocket Draw Frame Plate Accessories Clips Parts Belt Clip

This will add the safety of securing your firearm from dropping or sliding out but it lacks any trigger guard. Some models of this clip come with an added, but separate, trigger guard that can be placed over the trigger.

In my opinion, this completely ruins the accessibility of your concealed weapon if you have to first draw the gun, then pull a trigger guard off of the trigger, before being able to actually shoot.

If you are wanting a true Mexican style carry with a slight bit of added protection, this is what you want. This clip comes in at only $19 and can be found here.

Is Mexican Style Carry Legal?

Indeed, Mexican-style concealed carry is legally permissible in all 50 states where carrying a concealed firearm is allowed by law. However, it is important to note that while it may be legal, it is generally not recommended due to the safety concerns associated with carrying a firearm in the waistband without the use of a holster.

The absence of a holster in Mexican-style carry raises potential risks, particularly in terms of accidental drops or unintended discharges. Holsters are specifically designed to securely hold firearms, providing a reliable method of retention and safeguarding against unintentional handling or trigger manipulation. Without a holster, the firearm is more susceptible to being dropped or discharged inadvertently, which can lead to serious consequences and injuries.

It is crucial to prioritize safety when carrying firearms, and utilizing a proper holster is a key aspect of responsible concealed carry. Holsters offer not only secure retention but also a barrier between the firearm and the body, preventing accidental contact with triggers and reducing the risk of unintentional discharges. Therefore, while Mexican-style concealed carry may be technically legal, it is highly advisable to opt for a reliable holster as a safer and more responsible choice when carrying a concealed firearm.


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Matthew Osborn

Matt is an entrepreneur who has created and successfully exited multiple companies and brands. Now, he dedicates his time to Legionary, where he produces content on guns, family, and freedom.

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