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?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.