Concealed Carry Considerations--June 2017 June 08, 2017 14:17
Considerations For Concealed/Everyday Carry
The Reality of Concealed Carry
Carrying your firearm is your responsibility. As lessons continued to be learned—and relearned—by soft politicians as well as citizens, a few things are readily apparent. One, evil people will continue to hurt others. Two, gun control does not prevent violent crime, and actually encourages mass killings by psycho/sociopaths. Given these parameters, when the time comes to defend yourself or your family, you will need to be armed without exception, at all times. Nobody is clairvoyant, and since none of us has the gift of prophecy, we do not know when we will need our pistols. What we do know is that when you need a gun, you will reap what you sow. Those of you that sow preparedness such as a martial attitude, skill at arms, (marksmanship) and have a purpose in your heart will do well. Those of you that choose to take days off, gaff off your duty, and bury your head will not.
The Tools of Concealed Carry
Your mental framework is vital to concealed carry. Is your mind prepared for violence? Is your practice—both dry and live—recent, relevant, and realistic? Have you drawn your pistol from the holster in the last 12 hours? If you had to stop and think about any of those points, start to rethink your mental preparation. Once you have that, then proceed to what follows.
You will need a good belt if you wear normal clothing. The belt needs to be sturdy, rigid, and durable. High-quality nylon or leather is a must. I recommend Ares Gear HERE. I have worn my Aegis belt every day for years and it still feels brand new. The buckle is flat, easy to tighten, and the material is so stiff it cannot be bent. Regarding leather, Milt Sparks is high quality, and durable. They are a custom shop so be prepared to wait a while.
You will need a good holster. At this point people usually ask if I prefer leather or kydex. It does not matter. A good holster is a good holster. Whatever you find the most comfortable is what you will carry. I have worn both leather and kydex holsters and both give great retention, comfort, and ease of carry. A drawback to leather is that is tends to “sweat” in hot months, especially inside the waistband. Your pistol will have beads of sweat on the exterior. Carry either appendix or at your side, either inside or outside the waistband. Some people can carry appendix just fine, while others express discomfort. Your body and lifestyle will dictate that. You should be able to hold your pistol upside down in the holster, give it a hardy shake, and the gun should stay put. If it does not, you will need to tighten your retention screw and secure it with blue loctite if there is one, or get a better fitting holster if there is no adjustment option. I recommend High Country Holsters, Bladetech, and Dale Fricke.
If you need deep concealment, go with SmartCarry. This holster is 100% concealed under you pants. This holster works great for nurses, business professionals, and any other occupation that requires special or dress clothing. For women, the Can-Can holster HERE is a wonderful choice and can be used across a wide variety of clothing considerations such as skirts or dress slacks.
A quality handgun is obvious. This is not the piece of equipment you want to try and save money purchasing because the guy at the gun store who is trying to sell his middle-eastern companies and their attempts at modern firearms. I like my pistols to have the same trigger manipulation each time. I also do not like safeties on my pistols. That is what the holster is for. I recommend Glock pistols in 9mm. A G19 or G26 is a fine choice for just about anyone. A G17 is a good choice as well, but can be difficult for some people to conceal. I also recommend Smith and Wesson M&P pistols in 9mm. The full size or the compact work great, and come with a sturdy set of sights. The Sig 320 is another quality option. You will notice that each one of these pistols holds double-digit round counts. You will also notice each has the same trigger manipulation each time.
Sometimes people will ask about revolvers. Any gun is better than no gun, but in 2017 if you choose to carry a revolver as your primary option you are severely limiting yourself. Revolvers carry less ammunition, are harder to reload, and have a much longer as well as heavier trigger than modern semi-automatic pistols. Sights are little, not ideal for one-handed manipulations, and not readily replaceable. At best a revolver offers six rounds. This may seem fine against a single attacker. Against multiple attackers this is not a good thing. People tend to forget that once semi-automatic pistols became available, military and law enforcement ditched their wheel guns. The myth of revolver reliability being much greater than semi-autos is just that, a myth. A watch mechanism is not infallible from malfunction, and that is essentially what a double-action revolver is. Couple that with the precise alignment of six different chambers and you start to see the point. Additionally, once a revolver locks up, it is unusable. And I have seen them do so, many times.
Since I don’t do caliber debates, carry whatever you want, but understand that the bigger the round, the more difficult it is to shoot, and more expensive. If you want to save yourself the time, as well as the hearsay anecdotes and bravado of the .40+ club, read the FBI’s rationale for their duty ammunition choice.
Speaking of ammunition, this is another area in which you will want to carry the most effective, reliable, and performance-oriented equipment possible. Federal offers a great round in the HST series. Speer Gold Dot is another great choice. Both of these rounds have extensive, professional testing results in both the laboratory as well as actual shootings. Both of these brands and rounds meet well within the FBI requirements for duty ammunition. You will also need a spare magazine. I carry a minimum of two spares. This is not because I am afraid of running out of ammunition. I carry a spare magazine because a large cause of stoppages in a handgun is magazine related. You will need a magazine holder to put the magazine in place. Your reload needs to be in the same spot every time. Simply putting the magazine in your pocket is a recipe for disaster. Not only will it move around, but it will also collect lint, dirt, and other particles that make it less reliable.
A white light separate from your pistol is another essential piece of equipment. You should learn and apply a few techniques for using the flashlight in your support hand. As a Marine and as a police officer, I had both a weapon-mounted light and an independent flashlight on duty. I used the flashlight countless times. The weapon-mounted light was rarely used. When I point my hand-held flashlight at people, I can see their hands and their identity, and it’s not considered deadly force outside of California. I carry and have carried Surefire, Elzetta, and Streamlight.
This is often the most neglected part of everyday carry. Medical equipment is essential. In fact, I have used medical equipment to help others in non-shooting situations. At a minimum, carry a tourniquet. These can easily fit in a pocket. The CAT HERE or Softt HERE are the best. These brands have been proven over the decades to save lives, and continue to do so up to this very day. Other newer tourniquets that have come to market are much too thin to stop arterial bleeding effectively. Other medical equipment to consider is a pressure bandage such as an Israeli bandage HERE, and gauze from Quick Clot HERE for your pocket trauma kit.
Keeping your pistol and equipment ready is mandatory. Make sure all screws on your holster and mag holder are tight and held in place with blue Loctite. Make sure your pistol is securely held in place in your holster. Constant use will cause it to loosen every now and then. Keep your pistol rust-free, and keep it clean and lubricated. Depending on your location, climate, and usage, you will need to clean and lubricate your pistol a few times a month. I used to work with a guy a few years ago. When we went to the range to practice, his trigger mechanism would not move. It was frozen in place, unusable. His pistol was so filthy that the internals of the pistol literally stopped moving. This was on a Glock. He said he could not remember when the last time he cleaned it was. He did not do dry practice, weapons maintenance, or live fire unless commanded to do so. This is a recipe for disaster. If he would have needed his gun, it would have been useless.
On pistols, I recommend either Wilson’s Gun Lube HERE or Slip 2000 EWL HERE. Lube your pistol on the areas instructed per the manufacturer. You should change your carry ammo a minimum of once a year, with twice a year preferred. It is only your life. Keep in mind that your ammo in your gun and your spare magazine is exposed to sweat, heat, and constantly changing humidity from outside conditions to inside conditions. It will deteriorate.
A quality mentality along with quality equipment goes a long way to concealed carry. Carrying your gun on your body during waking hours is what will save lives, both inside and outside the home. Regular dry practice, along with live-fire verification of your dry practice pays dividends. The armed citizen needs to keep his skills sharp, his draw deliberate, and his equipment ready for action. Take all the guess work out of the equation by buying quality the first time. Then practice with it on a frequent basis. The lessons passed on in this article are from years of experience, along with learning from the mistakes of others. Your life is important to your family. Their lives are important to you. Treat it as such.