xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' June 2014 ~ The Prepared Guy

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Every Day Carry

Do you have a concealed carry permit for a firearm?  If so, how often do you carry?  Why do you carry? How do you carry your handgun?  Where do you carry it?  Do you carry it loaded, with a round in the chamber?  If you don't, why not?  What kind of training do you have?  How often do you go to the range?  What kind of a handgun do you carry and why?

If you hold a CCW permit it is important for you to know your own answers to these questions.

I got my CCW permit nearly 15 years ago.  At that time I only carried my firearm occasionally.  Actually, very infrequently would be more a more correct statement.  I have been carrying my firearm with me everyday for only about the last four of those years.  For only the last few of those years I had decided to carry with the chamber loaded.  For me it has been an evolving and learning process.  I've decided to share with you to what I have learned and what my experiences have been with the hope that it may help you shorten your learning curve and help you better make your decisions.

Here is a link to a guy that I have learned a lot from.  I trust and respect his opinions and follow many of his training methods.  There are many other great instructors out there that I learn from also.  Hopefully you'll take the time to expand your knowledge and understanding.





During all this time I purchased and carried several different weapons including revolvers, pocket pistols and full size handguns.  I have settled on and been carrying the same firearm for nearly 4 years.  It's not a full size semi-auto pistol or revolver and it's not a pocket pistol.

The reason pocket pistols are made is because they are lighter, slimmer and much smaller than a standard 'full-size' semi-auto which makes them easier to conceal.  Being able to stick them in a pocket holster or IWB holster with minimal discomfort and intrusion is a definite benefit, especially to accommodate your particular wardrobe.  But does this benefit outweigh its disadvantages?  To retrieve a pistol from a holster in your pocket can be slow and awkward.  For me, no matter how small the pistol is, it's too heavy and uncomfortable for it to stay in my pocket all day long.  Reaching into a pocket to grab a pistol and place your hand properly on the grip and extract it without having to re-situate your hand on the grip after it is out of your pocket can be tricky and slow, unless you have petite hands.  If your wardrobe isn't oriented toward pocket carry your hand could get stuck in the cookie jar.  Pocket pistols carried in an IWB holster can also be difficult to grip because they are just plain small.  A good pancake or 'crossbreed' type holster could eliminate this problem.  Many if not most pocket pistols are double action only.  This action is just like a revolver without an exposed hammer.  Pull the trigger which pulls the hammer back and drops it in one motion.  This trigger pull can be long and somewhat heavy which makes accurate shots difficult.  Pocket pistols are small, which makes them more difficult to manipulate, less comfortable in the hand and less fun to shoot.  The small size makes them less accurate and harder to be accurate with even at close range.  They are meant for very close distances only.  As always there are a few exceptions but in my opinion they are all a compromise to a full size pistol.  The felt recoil of a pocket pistol can be more than that of a full size pistol because of their lightweight frame and small size.  Pocket pistols also are generally smaller and less effective calibers because they have to be so to make them small.  As you can tell, i'm not a fan of the 'pocket pistol'.  That being said, they do have a purpose and a place.  Just not as many as I believe most people assume.  Don't assume that you have to compromise.    

Carrying a firearm in a purse or other bag is always an option if you don't have the options to carry it on your person.  It is always better to have a firearm with you than not.  However, do remember that whatever bag you carry your weapon in will need to stay with you at all times when you are away from your home.  Don't leave it sitting by the side of your desk when you are not there with it.  Also, consider how much additional time it takes for you to draw your pistol from a bag.  It will always be much faster to draw and fire from a holster on your waist especially in a stressful or close quarters situation.

Personally, I always make sure that my wardrobe permits that I carry the most effective way possible.  There are many ways to carry and many different weapons that can be carried in many different ways.  You'll need to experiment and put the thought in to determine which method is best for you.  You will also need several different kinds of holsters to accommodate your various wardrobes and activities.  Like me, you will or already have purchase several different holsters that didn't work just right.  Your choice of holster(s) is almost as important as your choice of firearm.

I tried carrying in the small of my back for a while but I did a lot of driving which made it quite uncomfortable.  Then I read several articles about how people were severely injured in car crashes because of where they carried their pistol.  Ouch!  I'd have to take it out when I sat down in the car which is not very convenient.  I'd also have to be discrete and careful about handling my weapon inside my car.  You may consider mounting a 2nd holster in your vehicle which can be a more effective way to draw then trying to extract it from an IWB holster while you are buckled in.

Just a quick word on revolvers; they are great!  Just aim and pull the trigger.  Simple and reliable but maybe a little bulky depending upon which one you choose.  There are many designed for CC and holsters that work extremely well for this purpose.  The downside is that they have lower capacity and can be slower to reload unless you are very well practiced.  A revolver may be a great choice for someone new to firearms and carrying concealed because of the simplicity.

So, for me, no pocket pistols and revolvers don't have the capacity or versatility of a full size handgun.  A 'full-size' semi-auto handgun will always be the most accurate, most comfortable and most fun to shoot, have the most capacity and are available in most any caliber.  The problem is that they are usually a little to large to conceal adequately.  My conclusion is the sub-compact.  Not every manufacture makes one but most do.  The sub-compact is a full size version of a semi-automatic but with a shortened grip and barrel which makes it easier to conceal.  The shortened barrel doesn't make it easier to conceal but it does cut down on it's weight.  The sub-compact is definitely heavier and bulkier than a pocket pistol but carried the right way, with the right holster in the right place/position makes it perfectly concealable.  The sub-compact is just as fun to shoot, as accurate and has as much capacity as a full size pistol.  Most sub-compacts come with a short magazine because of the shorter grip to keep it easy to conceal as well as a full size magazine with an extension to match the size of a full size grip size and capacity.  Carrying a sub-compact is almost as good as carrying a full size.  In my opinion there are no compromises.  If you carry a pocket pistol you are compromising comfort, capacity, accuracy, etc.

In my opinion the best place to carry is on your strong side hip in a inside the waist band (IWB) holster such as the Galco King Tuck.  This position allows for very fast extraction and presentation from a concealed holster.  This holster allows me to tuck in a shirt so that I can have my firearm with me while wearing a suit.  Although open carry is legal in most states I feel that it is better to be covert than overt.  Be prepared at all times and nobody has to know or question your reasons for carrying or get scared and cause a scene because they don't get it.

Which comes to the question of why.  Why do you carry a concealed weapon?  Your answer may be because it is better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.  Because it's my God given right to choose for myself.  That's good enough for me.  However, when it comes down to drawing and using that weapon I believe that you'll need to have a better reason why.  For me it's a lifelong string of events and reasons that I won't go into here.  It's about responsibility and duty as well as freedom.  Hopefully you have figured out your reasons why already.  If someone asks that question what are you going to say?  Hopefully you don't feel like you have to say anything but it may be a good opportunity to teach them something important so be prepared to do so.        

The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More