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First Time to Conceal Carry: Tips and Tricks from Those who Have Been There
Cheaper than Dirt Shooters Log ^

Posted on 05/13/2012 7:17:57 PM PDT by mnehring

You have decided to carry a concealed handgun and you might be nervous about the first time you decide to walk out the door with your gun strapped to your waist. Being nervous is completely normal. Almost every single person I talked to about his or her first time to carry was nervous and self-conscious. Before you step out, make sure you know exactly what your state’s laws are regarding where you can and cannot carry, how you carry, and if you will need a license or permit to carry. Federal law does not allow you to carry a gun into federal buildings such as post offices, courthouses, polling stations, law enforcement offices, and jails or prisons. This is a universal law and federal law restricts you from carrying your gun into these places. So don’t take it! Also, pay close attention to the laws regarding establishments that sell alcohol. It is illegal in most states to carry a gun into a place that sells only alcohol or more alcohol than food.

With his shirt down, you will not be able to see a thing.

With his shirt down, you will not be able to see a thing.

Before heading out, you will want to make sure that your clothing choice is comfortable, allows you to access your firearm quickly, and conceals it properly. In Texas, it is illegal to have a gun showing; not even an imprint of a gun is legal. An imprint occurs when you can see the outline of the gun underneath your clothing. Make sure your clothes cover it properly and completely. A wardrobe malfunction can get you into trouble.

You might think that everyone is staring at you and that everyone knows you are carrying a gun. It is normal to feel this way, but don’t worry. No one knows! They are all too preoccupied doing their own thing to worry about what you are doing.

To help ease some of the tension you may be feeling, I have asked many concealed carry veterans for tips and tricks to make your first time to carry more comfortable.

Plenty of people told me that smaller guns in pocket holsters are what they prefer. One concealed carry old-timer says, “One thing I learned carrying a gun over the years—the longer I carried a gun, the smaller it became.” Another agrees, “I conceal carry every single day and carry my small .32 in my front pocket without any added “gun junk.”

Along those same lines, I heard quite a bit of “It’s better to have something than nothing.” If your gun is too big and cumbersome to carry, you are less likely to carry it. Therefore, it is fine to carry the smallest caliber you feel comfortable using for self-defense.

Another important factor is how comfortable your holster is. Here is my journey in finding the perfect holster. Believe me, if you are not comfortable in your holster, you will not be carrying it, “the best holster is the one you forget at times you have a gun on.”

Make sure your gun does not imprint.

Make sure your gun does not imprint.

In Texas, concealed means concealed. You want to make sure you keep your gun covered. This requires the right holster and the right clothing. One concealed carry veteran says, “Make sure your weapon isn’t visible.” Many who have pared down their carry weapons from large frame to small frame say they did so because it just became too hot to wear jackets to cover the large guns like a full-sized 1911. For example, one person who carries says, “I carried a J-frame .38 Airweight. This is still one of my favorite guns to carry, but not too much fun to shoot. I could throw it into a front pocket in a decent holster and no longer had to have extra clothing to cover the firearm.”

A retired police officer who carries says, “Keep your driver’s license and your permit in the exact same location.” Do not leave the permit at home!

If you have been carrying for a long time, what do you suggest for newbies?

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Reference
KEYWORDS: banglist; concealedcarry; guns
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To: JAKraig

Sig Sauer 250C 9mm HP 11+1 DAO, inside the belt front or in the pocket.

41 posted on 05/13/2012 8:59:30 PM PDT by Dubh_Ghlase (Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.)
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To: umgud

I have the same Glock 9mm. What holster do you prefer? I’m still working that issue out for myself.

42 posted on 05/13/2012 9:09:32 PM PDT by MNGal
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To: ExGeeEye

LOL note my new tagline, as of last night.


43 posted on 05/13/2012 9:16:04 PM PDT by SirLurkedalot (My carry permit was issued in 1791.)
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To: mnehring

“Does carrying mean you always have to look like a slob?
What ever happened to ankle holsters?”

I respect this and other viewpoints, however -
Ankle holsters, while offering good concealment IF the wearer wears low cut shoes (not much use with Dan Posts or Luccheses under 13 MWZ Wranglers). Also, there are places in central America in which you can get shot for suddenly bending over to tie a shoelace. THEN - ankle holsters are slow to get at.
I’d MUCH rather present not so much a “slob” apperence, but a more casual appearence in order to carry an EFFECTIVE weapon that I can deploy quickly.
In hot weather months, an untucked, long tailed shirt works. Shoulder holsters are inconvenient to put on and take off, but I’ve found them to be ideal for carrying a full size fighting gun. If I choose to trade the real fighting gun for concealment, the Ruger LCP .380 loaded with Buffalo Bore +Ps (a Gold Dot HP up the spout followed by a magazine full of their 100 grain hardcast flatpoints) in a front jeans pocket is OK, but still a compromise - one I make occasionally.

44 posted on 05/13/2012 9:21:10 PM PDT by Nathaniel (- A Man Without A Cross -)
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To: mnehring


45 posted on 05/13/2012 9:33:33 PM PDT by Victor (If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert." -David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister)
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To: Errant

My favorite?

Springfield XDm .45 bitone 4.5 inch on my right at 3:00 in my Crossbreed Supertuck.
Kahr CW45 on my left side.

Two great tastes that go great together.
(Vague Reese’s peanut butter cup reference)

46 posted on 05/13/2012 9:43:26 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: umgud

THe PM9 is my “slouch” gun for a quick run to the store, etc.Great accurate small gun. Any thing else, it’s a full size government in a homemade (read “custom” kydex holster that keeps it deep in the waistband. Being of a “few” extra pounds, I found that “snubby” autos tend to pop out a lot-even in good holsters, they rachet up and flop a bit too much for my tastes. the long government slides stay planted, at least for me, and despite needing glasses now, boy can I hit with that girl. Carry at home, mowing grass,etc, it’ll let you test stuff and get used to it. Always carry (if you can) the exact same way-when SHTF you will be reaching for that spot without thinking-hope it’s there! Ankle holsters generally suck, unless you are young and flexible-very slow draw. Good for a #2 weapon if you think you need one (Camden at night,etc). I’ve carried for 28 years now).

47 posted on 05/13/2012 9:47:33 PM PDT by Aut Pax Aut Bellum (Occupy this!!!)
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To: mnehring

The Ruger LCP fits/slips into my shirt pocket. There’s never a reason to leave it at home.

48 posted on 05/13/2012 9:49:41 PM PDT by Dogbert41 ("...The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God" Zech. 12:5)
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To: RandallFlagg
Dang, you travel in some seriously dangerous areas! :)

My ghetto carry is a Glock 30 in a Bianci #5 with the LCP for backup.

49 posted on 05/13/2012 10:02:39 PM PDT by Errant
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To: mnehring
A good CC gun for anyone is a gun they are comfortable with first and foremost. However, aren’t Makarov 9mm’s 9x18 versus 9x19 for standard Luger 9mm that is common here? Ammo will be harder to find although, from a quick search, it isn’t that expensive.
9x18 is simply that. The 380 is shorter, the 9mm (9x19) longer. Non-interchangable. Cor-bon and others make good ammo for them...
50 posted on 05/13/2012 10:05:53 PM PDT by Aut Pax Aut Bellum (Occupy this!!!)
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To: mnehring
You need a process and a place to practice reaching your concealed carry weapon, preferably a range with your weapon loaded.

When you need to use that weapon, that is not the time to figure out how the shirt/jacket/blouse or whatever is moved aside.

Don't shoot your leg or foot, or anything else you're not intending to shoot. That's extremely important.

What a country. Everyone needs to be armed. You wouldn't have had that need/fear in 1957. Ever ask yourself why that is?
51 posted on 05/13/2012 10:19:55 PM PDT by Jay Santos CP ("Idiocracy"... It's no longer just a movie.)
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To: fwdude
What ever happened to ankle holsters?

Those are for your backup gun.

52 posted on 05/14/2012 12:09:39 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: mnehring

“It is illegal in most states to carry a gun into a place that sells only alcohol or more alcohol than food.” You got that wrong.

Look at the first picture. Are planning on castration?

Ankle holsters are for gymnasts

“If you have been carrying for a long time, what do you suggest for newbies?” Formal training!!!

Second picture. carry for the cross-draw and you are good as dead.

Man can move 21 feet in a second and a half.

“Cheaper Than Dirt” is a lie

53 posted on 05/14/2012 2:49:24 AM PDT by tiger-one
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To: piytar
For normal carry, I like my fanny pack holster w a quick release tab. Takes me less than a second to draw

Me too. I can carry my kindle and my iPhone and headphones. I have a Mustang I carried in my pocket, but with the new pack, I can carry my S&W 357...much more stopping power. I use a cross body strap to carry it ( not on the belt)... Very comfortable, more firepower and carries all my "survival toys" for a long shopping afternoon at the mall as my wife power shops! With the wire for the headphones coming from the pack, people think they are seeing an older gentleman just reading and listening to big band music. Nope, Rush podcasts on the iPhone, Ameritopia on the Kindle, and a loaded 357 S&W in case things turn "target rich". What you "see" isn't always what it is!

54 posted on 05/14/2012 6:39:02 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag (Still a contributing Republican? Why?)
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To: mnehring

“First time” carrying. Get a REVOLVER. Shoots all the time, every time. No hangups, needs little care. Carried one for 40 yrs, cleaned it every 4-5 yrs. fired it twice a yr. NEVER a problem. You need to be a “gun person” to carry an automatic, it needs tender, loving care.

55 posted on 05/14/2012 6:39:16 AM PDT by capt B
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To: mnehring

Writer is confusing “imprinting” with “printing”.

56 posted on 05/14/2012 7:11:00 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought (Fun for women ages 21 through 35)
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To: mnehring
Advice: Buy cheaper holsters until you find the way you like to carry, then buy a quality holster for that style. Such as buy a cheaper nylon holster then buy the fancy leather version later. Be prepared to have a box full of holsters (and purses for women) you thought would be great but weren't.

I have carried many handguns in a variety of ways and have settled on several configurations I like based on what I am doing and how I dress. For suits, I carry an Officer's 1911 in a shoulder holster but in a SOB holster if intending to take off the jacket. For hiking and hunting, a Smith & Wesson 329 (Scandium featherweight) 44 magnum in a cross draw, a Saharah rig if wearing a bulky jacket, and a fanny back if in shorts (We live in bear and mountain lion country). For flying, a shoulder holster and an Officer's 1911. For casual shorts and jeans, SOB Officer's 1911. For backups I often carry a smaller pistol in a pants or coat pocket, but always in the same pant pocket or jacket pocket for easy memory, things happen FAST when needing to draw. There is no time to remember where I put the pistol. For women, the same applies for holsters but they also get the option of a purse. There are lots of options in purses, I know, the wife has them all. :) For purses, buy them with cables in the straps to prevent cutting (Purse snatchers cut the straps and run away with the purse), and forget velcro closures as it can be a pain to get through when needing the gun. Good gun purses have great gun pockets that allow instant access while keeping the gun secure. Usually they have a simple mechanical clasp or spring closure with an internal holster to keep the gun hidden and secure from being dropped.

Also, a side topic about concealed carry.

Armed Citzens Legal Defense Network

We joined this network for $135 for the family as it provides $10,000 immediately to a lawyer so the lawyer can immediately engage in your defense if you ever have a shooting event. They also send out hours of DVDs from various experts on the subject of concealed carry and shooting. Click the link and check them out for yourself. We also maintain a lawyer on retainer for genral legal work but that costs $2,500 up front and a monthly maintenance fee, so that ACLDN $10,000 up front retainer can be real handy for many people.

57 posted on 05/14/2012 8:35:59 AM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called “gay” instead.)
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To: CodeToad
Armed Citzens Legal Defense Network

I keep their card next to my CCW permit.
58 posted on 05/14/2012 9:05:57 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: tiger-one
“Cheaper Than Dirt” is a lie

Cheaper Than Dirt is a website.

59 posted on 05/14/2012 9:24:05 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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