Skip to comments.First Time to Conceal Carry: Tips and Tricks from Those who Have Been There
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 states 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 dont 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.
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 dont 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 yearsthe 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 Its 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.
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 isnt 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 drivers 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?
What ever happened to ankle holsters?
LOL, maybe the next story should be concealed carry while wearing a suit. (Shoulder holster isn’t always the best choice). That’s when I prefer the PPK in the inside pocket of the jacket, usually with a check wallet behind it just so the shape doesn’t stand out.
Ruger LCP .380
Mag Finger Ext
Hogue Rubber Grip Handall Jr.
Lasermax Centerfire system
DeSantis M44 Super Fly Pocket Holster
They don’t sell too many fruit boots any more. You need something to keep them high enough on your leg so that they don’t show when your cuffs ride up when you sit down.
Well, I must be the odd one out, I wasn’t nervous at all the first time I left the house, course I had been carrying a gun most of my life.
Or is that just wrong?
“If you have been carrying for a long time, what do you suggest for newbies?”
1. If you are going to be sitting a lot, a small of the back location is going to suck unless its a small frame gun.
2. If you can afford it, a small frame gun for summer and a larger one for winter would be good.
3. Something I think Massad Ayoob said: “Use the largest handgun you can shoot accurately.”
4. A remark made by Bat Masterson to the effect that if a problem requires more than six shots to solve, then its time for a rifle or shotgun.
I’ve carried a few years now. Never had to shoot anybody, hope I never do.
Because that's what's going to happen anyway.
I’d suggest that the writer of the CTD “first-timers blog” either get more informed about laws and legalities or stop trying to pass off bad advice. State laws, not federal, are the first place to gain understanding of where it is legal to carry. Some of the places cited do fall under federal law (post office, federal court house) but polling places are under state law control and those will vary. The closing sentence in the opening paragraph is really too broad brush to be helpful.
Once a person decides to ccw, they start a costly trek. Before you know it, you’ve got several holsters for different ocassions and wear. Then there’s buying your wardrobe with ccw in mind.
But the biggie is weapon choice. You start looking for the perfect ccw piece and often you’ll go thru several before you settle on one or two.
I started out looking for a 600 Nitro pocket pistol with 30 round capacity, pefect aim and no kick. Needless to say, I had to compromise. My .38 Airweight snubbie is a joy to carry, but only holds 5 rounds. My Kahr PM9 is lighter, smaller and holds 6+1 capacity.
Then there’s winter and summer carry. I have 14 handguns, but I’ve settled on a Glock G26 subcompact that holds 10+1 9mm. It’s a little bigger than my Kahr or Airweight, but I’ll compromise for the additional rounds. In the winter I carry my Colt Series 80.
I’m still looking for something I can carry when in my speedo at the beach.
Good point, comments are allowed on their articles and from my experience there, they are very well received.
Wish I had read this post years ago. I have two large boxes...
Bellies and back pain due to getting older.
I saw a guy unintentionally go into a forward roll, nicely done btw, as he went into a draw from his 'ankle holster.'
My carry permit was issued in 1791. It says nothing about printing, courthouses, bars, or even limiting it to handguns.
No, the time is not right to put that to the test in front of U-LEOs.
(That’s UNconstitutional-Law Enforcement Ossifers. Reader, are you a U-LEO? Will you at least privately agree to stop enforcing Unconstitutional laws, taking it upon yourself to ignore a citizen’s firearm whenever possible? It will take courage.)
For all you "one shot, one kill, dead aim perfect shooters", I'm a jarhead...there is no such thing. A greater supply of ammo in a firefight wins the day.
Deal with it! Concealing just your gun (eff' you...it is a gun - not a side arm, hand gun, etc...it's a damned gun) is pretty much fruitless without extra ammo against a meth and/or crack head.
The second pix has a crossdraw holster - and I’m supposed to think this is an informed article?
As Larry the Cable Guy would say: that's funny right there.
Kel-tec .380 w/hollow points.
Don’t even know it’s in my pocket.
Made in FL, guar for life.
I would agree. It ends up an expensive proposition. But that’s just how it is. No one gun is the right one for every day and every situation. No one holster is right for every clothing option. I have had a CC permit for over thirty years. But five or so years ago I made a decision to actually carry every day. All the time, wherever it was legal to carry. I’ve been through dozens on holsters and several different guns.
Now I’m down to two different guns, and four different holsters. Gun one is a Sig P220 .45 carried in a Jackass shoulder rig, for those times when I can... When I can wear a jacket or heavy shirt over it. Gun two is a Kimber RCP .45 in either a pocket, a small-of-the-back IWB holster, or a leather satchel on a shoulder strap.
A gun stuffed in the front of your pants is a great population control item for your family!
Soon he’ll have a real ‘short arm’ to show for the shoet arm inspection. :o)
First time I carried I wondered how on earth I had gone all those years without.
Sorry to piggyback your thread, but I’m thinking about a CC. I have a Makarov 9mm which I love. Is this a good CC gun?
For normal carry, I like my fanny pack holster w a quick release tab. Takes me less than a second to draw.
For serious carry, I use a shoulder rig.
Never been nervous when carrying. If you are, you shouldn’t...
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.
Although the 9mm is a bit anemic compared to the 45ACP, with the new “Powerball” ammo from Corbon it is better than the standard 45ACP 230 grain FMJ. However, the 45ACP with Powerball ammo will ruin your whole day. It is bad stuff. I myself have opted for the 9mm Browning due to 13+1 verses 7+1 for the 1911. Both are great weapons and will do the job.
Well, I guess we could bring back the nerdy fanny packs.
LOL, spot on, and I resemble that remark.
My wife does the fanny pack thing for when she is out running or walking the dog.
Nothing screams “I’M CARRYING! I’M CARRYING!” like a fanny pack, at least around here.
An evasive move, obviously. "I meant to do that!"
I have enough ammo to shoot maybe a thousand perps even with a lot of practice rounds (if I’m somewhat accurate). What I’m asking is this a gun which will have a low enough profile to qualify as a CC.
Pray every day before you go out that you do not have to use it, as that is only the beginning of the journey for you.
When you get home every day that you didn’t have to use it, thank God you didn’t have to.
If you get home after a day you had to use it, thank God you’re still alive.
Unless you’re wearing bell bottoms many weapons will not be invisible down there.
CellPal allows you to carry without the slob look. http://www.concealedcomfort.com/
The heel of the belt clip is far enough back on the gun that only a very little bit of the gun can be seen above the belt. This allows you to wear any shirt without having to leave the shirt tail out. Thats right, the shirt tail is tucked in!
After I tuck it in I pull it up just a little like would happen anyway after a little movement, the shirt blouses over the exposed gun. If you have to have you hands up high you might pull a little extra shirt tail out.
The gun is great. You can carry chambered because it is double action only and has a substantial trigger pull, I think about 8 pounds. You have to get used to that, I have shot a lot of ammo through the gun, a light pull gun now seems strange. Carrying chambered gives you 8 shots. I agree with Bat Masterson. If you want to go to war I won't be doing it with my little PF9 but in an emergency like George Zimmerman faced the 8 shot 9mm is plenty.
When I carry I carry a little hotter shot than when I practice. I also carry hollow point. Pain is what stops an assailant unless you are lucky enough to get a head shot. I don't think you should ever aim for the head until you have made two torso shots.
Torso shots with a non-hollow point will go right through a person and they might not even know they are dying for a couple of minutes, worse yet the bullet may go on to hit someone else.
A hollow point is less likely to kill with one shot but it will cause a much larger wound which translates into pain. Pain quickly stops the assailant not blood loss, even though blood loss will eventually stop the assailant he may be 50 yards away when he stops.
If you carry light you will always carry.
Can a 9mm do any damage? Ask Travon Martin what one shot will do, of course he won't answer, but then again his silence says a lot.
Sig Sauer 250C 9mm HP 11+1 DAO, inside the belt front or in the pocket.
I have the same Glock 9mm. What holster do you prefer? I’m still working that issue out for myself.
LOL note my new tagline, as of last night.
FEDGOV can E-A-D.
“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.
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)
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).
The Ruger LCP fits/slips into my shirt pocket. There’s never a reason to leave it at home.
My ghetto carry is a Glock 30 in a Bianci #5 with the LCP for backup.
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