Carrying a concealed gun every day requires a particular set of gear.
Concealed carry is different from just owning a gun. It’s like the difference between owning a car that sits covered up in your garage except to drive it on nice days versus the car you drive to work and back, school and back, shopping and back, and everywhere else you go every day. The needs are different for both of those cars.
Your home defense gun and the guns you keep in the safe are the tarped car in the garage. Your concealed carry gun is the one you drive all the time. They serve two very different purposes.
To conceal carry every day, there are several pieces of gear you need to acquire. All these are essential to successfully go about your daily life while being ready for that moment you need to protect yourself or your loved ones, should it ever happen.
Good wardrobe choices
If you’re going to conceal carry, you’ll need clothes that cover your gun. While that may seem like a no-brainer, rummage through your drawers and closet to see what you have that can hide a gun. Chances are, you’ll need to make some wardrobe changes.
Hoodies, jackets, sweaters, and untucked shirts make excellent cover garments. Do you have enough for all four seasons? Concealing in the winter is easier because you can layer up. But what about summer? Check your supply of tees and hot weather shirts that can cover a gun.
Okay, shameless plug here since we are a holster company, but whether you buy ours or someone else’s, carry your gun in a good holster all the time. Don’t be all gangsta and shove the gun into your waistband without a holster. Not only is the gun likely to fall down your pants leg and land on the floor, but the trigger is exposed and could get pulled accidentally — no bueno in either case.
Whatever holster you choose should be comfortable and hold the gun correctly. Three criteria for what constitutes a good holster include:
- It holds the gun securely.
- It completely covers the trigger and trigger guard.
- You can reholster one-handed.
Good gun belt
Guns are heavy. Not ten pounds heavy, but two to three pounds heavy, weighing enough to pull down and wear out department store belts. Cheap belts will tend to fall apart under the weight of a gun in a holster. Instead, grab either a strong nylon belt, if you’re okay with a tactical look, or for dressy or more public occasions where you want to blend in — it is concealed carry, after all — choose a leather belt specifically designed for concealed carry.
These belts tend to either have extra layers of leather or other strong materials such as Kydex or steel sown into the middle for additional support.
Good defensive ammo
Not all ammunition is created equal or serves the same purpose. Ball ammo, for example, has a round nose and a simple design, making it ideal for shooting at paper or steel targets for practice or fun. It is not good for self-defense, however, because it tends to over-penetrate, endangering the lives of those behind the bad guy, people you don’t want to shoot.
Defensive ammo, on the other hand, is specially designed to stop inside the target and do the maximum damage to the bad guy to end the threat faster. As a result, it is less likely to over-penetrate and does a better job of lowering the threat’s blood pressure, which is the goal of poking holes in the bad guy. Defensive ammo can be either a hollow point or a fluted design, both of which work well. These rounds are more expensive than ball ammo, but they are the right rounds to carry in your gun when out in public.
Concealable gun with plenty of ammo, including a spare magazine
Ah, yes, the gun. What gun should you carry? Unfortunately, there is no one-gun-fits-all solution, so you must pick the best gun that fits your needs. However, a few considerations can help you narrow down the selection faster.
- The gun must be concealable. How concealable a gun is depends on how you carry it and what sort of cover garment you wear. You can carry a bigger gun with the right clothing choices.
- It must be one you can easily shoot — not too big, not too small. Smaller guns tend to be harder to shoot because they are “snappy,” meaning there is insufficient mass to help absorb recoil, making them uncomfortable and hard to control.
- It needs to hold as many rounds as possible. Today’s small guns hold more rounds than ever, so finding a higher-capacity pistol is easier than in years past.
Concealed carry is all about balance and compromise: capacity vs. size. Pick a gun you can conceal, you are comfortable shooting (so you’ll practice), and holds plenty of rounds.
Finally, always carry a spare magazine just in case you run out of bullets in your first one or your gun malfunctions, and you have to swap the magazine to fix it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Workman is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. As an NRA-certified instructor, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as possible. “Real-life shootouts don’t happen at a box range.”
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2022.
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