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Although it can seem intimidating and overwhelming, these helpful tips and tricks will make concealed carry a snap!

 

Between all the handgun options, determining the best way to carry, finding the time (and money) to take concealed carry permit (CCP) courses and the sheer anxiety of becoming a full-time concealed carrier takes, it can easily become overwhelming to the newcomer.

But I'm here to tell you, we've come a long way, ladies! There has never been a better time to embrace your right to bear arms and join the leagues of responsibly armed Americans who quietly carry concealed each and every day throughout the United States.

The surge in women's interest in firearms began increasing in the 1980s when women began entering previously male-dominated professions like law enforcement and corporate America. As women became more independent, taking control of their careers, finances, and living arrangements, home defense, and personal protection became an increasing concern.

Now, nearly 40 years later, the market is saturated with products geared toward women - and we're not just talking about a pink camo Cerakote, either.
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been supporting gun ranges' efforts to bring in more female shooters for years and the industry has served up a massive influx of accessories and resources geared specifically toward women. While these moves are tremendous to see, with so many options available to them, it has left some women paralyzed, unable to effectively deduce exactly what they need to be successful.

Here are a few basic tips to become proficient gun owners and everyday concealed carriers:

Your Handgun Needs to Fit Your Hand and Your Method of Carry

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, "Which handgun should I buy?" but I can tell you my answer is always the same: whichever gun one fits you best.

Think of your handgun like a great pair of shoes; you don't need to fit into a killer pair of pumps, they need to fit you or you'll end up clomping around like a drunk moose on an ice rink. (I speak from experience here)

With so many great choices out there; Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Walther PPQ SC, Sig Sauer P365, Ruger LC9s, Glock 19, your biggest problem is going to be narrowing down which one to choose. Grip is key, so I highly recommend actually shooting a gun before you buy it. If you can't, you at least need to hold it and handle it to make sure it fits your hand and feels good in your grip.

Don't overthink it; the gun that you hold comfortably and shoot effectively is exactly the right choice for you.

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Concealed Carrying Made Easy

Head to our website and easily shop all firearms to see every holster option we can handcraft for you. Some of our top sellers with female gun owners are the Designer Series Belly Band Package with Bedside Backup, the MiniTuck IWB Holster, the Purse Defender and the new Reckoning Holster which can be used strong side, appendix and cross draw.

Secure your inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB) holster with a sturdy gun belt. Our Executive and Ladies' Reversible Belts will ensure your holster will stay snug on your hip, no matter what you find yourself doing.

When relaxing at home, continue carrying as you move around the house or securely store your modular holster in a Tactical Walls end table or shelf unit to ensure you'll have safe access to your firearm if and when you may need it.

Heading to bed? Simply detach your Pac Mat from your Belly Band and place it on the Bedside Backup and sleep easy knowing your gun is within reach overnight.

On The Go

You can't always take your gun with you. If you're out and about and need to go into a gun-free zone, make sure you're not making it easy for criminals to get their hands on your firearm.

The Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe is a great option for every gun owner and our Pac Mat Holster fits snugly inside. Plus, it's an affordable option of securing your firearm - MidSouth Shooters frequently has them on sale for $158.99, reg. $197.96.
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Make Sure You're Ready for Range Time

As Pat Rodgers once warned me, "Shooting is a perishable skill." The best way to be proficient and gain confidence is to hit the range frequently. A great way to do this is to keep a range bag at the ready.

Having a good range bag is key. I like the Arsenal Handgun Range Backpack from Allen. It equally distributes the weight of its contents across its two beefy straps, provides plenty of room for all my gear and guns, looks great, and is a solid option.

For more intense range sessions, I tote my Brownells Range Bag packed with everything I might need like a tourniquet, my UpLULA mag loader, Chapstick, ponytail holders, a Sharpie, lens wipes, Hoppe's 9, band-aids, Tylenol, extra ammo, hand wipes, eye and ear pro, and a pen and paper. If you can carry it, this range bag can handle it!

Speaking of Eyes and Ears...

Please protect them each and every time you shoot! The industry is filled with everything from blinged-out cans to prescription aviator glasses, so there's no excuse to not have eye and ear pro.

A great option I recently discovered are Super Leight Women's Foam Earplugs from Howard Leight. They're designed for smaller ear canals so they're super comfortable, reusable and they come with a great little carrying case. At 14 pairs for as low as $3.97 at Rural King, what's not to love?
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If you're looking for a pair of muffs, definitely look for products with a 28 to 31 NRR. While some shooters like passive muffs (best for indoor shooting), I prefer electric cans (especially for sport shooting) but that's simply a matter of personal preference.

From Radians Women's Shooting Glasses to my personal favorite, Oakley SI Ballistic M-Frame 2.0 Shooting Glasses, it all depends on what you're looking for and sometimes more importantly, what you can afford. The bottom line is - as long as they meet the American National Standards Institute standard (more on that here), you're good to go.

On Target

Range time is fun but you know what can make it even funner?! Action Target's game series paper targets! Challenge yourself and your range mates with carnival games, arcade games, baseball, croquet, and more! Share your scores and smiling faces online with #actiontarget to encourage others to get out and get on target.
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Heading outdoors? Triumph Systems' Pop Packs make for great summer fun! They come in a variety of shapes and colors and are great for practicing 'call-out' drills.

With so many fun ways to keep yourself sharp, the only thing keeping you away from the range is yourself. Start a shooting club with your friends, make it a date night or girls' night out, join a local range and lean in. No matter how you do it, take the necessary steps to ensure your personal success by making range time a priority, and on your calendar.

Self-Defense and Practice Ammunition

Not all bullets are created equal. You'll need to purchase practice ammo as well as ammunition specifically designed for self-defense.

A great option for practice ammunition is Wolf Ammo. It's cheap and I've never had a problem getting my hands on them or running them through my guns.

As for self-defense bullets, two great options are Hornady Critical Defense and Sig Sauer Elite Performance. It's important to choose the right ammunition because regardless of the caliber or brand of weapon you carry, the bullet alone is responsible for stopping an attacker.

Ongoing Training

Many women start out eager to buy a gun and intend to begin carrying immediately. Unfortunately, that’s rarely how it works in real life. It’s okay to take your time, especially if it means being comfortable and proficient with your Everyday Carry (EDC).
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Keeping up with training will help boost your concealed carry confidence level and make you a more effective concealed carrier.  Fortunately, between the expanding number of female gun owners and women in executive positions in the firearm industry, national groups like The Well Armed Woman, A Girl and A Gun, the Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword are able to help connect and empower women and other emerging groups of new gun owners. These organizations continue to provide guidance and training to ensure women become efficient, effective concealed carriers.

Take a Deep Breath

This is a lot of information to digest but if you take it step by step, you'll get there. Just remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. Gun ownership, for both men and women, is the first step into the fray so don't stop now, you're well on your way! You've passed your background check, now get cracking on ensuring you're the most responsible concealed carrier you can be.

SOUND OFF!

Is there anything else you think new gun owners should know or have to start out? What advice would you give them if training courses and gun ranges are not available to them?

Please share your advice in the comments below, I'm sure they'll appreciate your input!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

women, female gun owners, Smart Girl's Guide, Smart Woman's Guide, CCW, FBI Pistol Qualification Drill, CrossBreed Holsters, Daniel Defense, Brownells, Smith & Wesson, Hornady, Aimpoint, 5 11 Tactical, FBI Qualification Drill, Pact Shot Timer, best IWB, best OWB, best concealed carry, hybrid holster, iwb holster, owb holster, gun belt, leather gun belt, nylon gun belt, Jenn Jacques, firearms training, FBI, qualification drill

Jenn Jacques is a fierce 2A  defender, concealed carry advocate, fishing enthusiast, avid hiker, hunter, and an all-around great gal with a gun. As a former Private Detective, Jenn put those skills to good use, fighting for gun rights in her home state of Wisconsin before becoming the first female editor of a 2A/Gun News site and moving on to become a publication writer, popular multi-media guest, and respected news expert.

Jacques has completed hundreds of hours of firearms training including USCCA's Street Encounters and Low Light/No Light Training, she is a graduate of the Gunsite Academy, and was named a S.A.F.E. Summer Local Champion of Firearm Safety by NSSF's Project ChildSafe.

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A staple in the firearms industry since 2009, Jenn is proud of her professional accomplishments and to be raising her three children with her husband John who is also an avid hunter, 2A supporter, and an amazing father.

You can find her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or shooting at any number of gun ranges across this great country.

 

 

 

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