By Nicholas Alexander
All of us know the common phrase to ask when trying to process new information, who, what, when, where, why and how. I have always subconsciously applied this to firearms, but only recently began to understand why it is so important to do. First let me start with my background, I grew up in a farming community and was introduced to firearms at a very young age. I did not buy my first handgun until I was 21 and at that time I was only considering concealed carry. Today I am 26 years old, a firearms instructor and a strong advocate of carrying a firearm all the time . . .
I am going to break this article up into three sections, Open carry, Conceal carry, and deep concealment. In each part I will subtly address the what when where why and how of that carry position.
PART 1 Open Carry: I grew up hunting hiking and fishing in the woods with my father, I remember before many trips he would pull out his old .44 cap and ball revolver, load up 5 cylinders, pack it away in its holster and at the end of a trip he would calmly “try” to fire those rounds before leaving the woods. I say “try” because I have never seen that gun fire 1 single round EVER. But it was the carrying of the gun that always stuck with me.
Any time I am in the woods I open carry a Taurus 1911 .45 ACP full size. Because in the event of possible large mammal aggression, I want my draw stroke to be smooth and fast. I don’t want my clothing to be a hindrance. I carry a 1911 because I am comfortable with the weapon and it is a large enough caliber in my book to stop a threat. During the summer months I use a Galco High Rise holster and during winter months I use a “tacticool” thigh rig. Practice with any carry position is critical. I always practice draw strokes with my holsters using an empty firearm, especially when switching from the galco to the thigh rig.
PART 2 Conceal Carry: You know that 1911 I just talked about? That was my first handgun. I remember how nervous I was the first time I conceal carried that gun. Yes I was that guy, the inexperienced greenhorn, who thought he owned the world.
Needless to say, through experience and training I have learned a full size 1911, although a handgun, is one that is heavy and difficult to conceal. When I am traveling long distance, or working around my house, I now carry a SIG SAUER P220 Carry with night sights. The P220 Carry is smaller and lighter, but still gives me the .45 ACP round I love. The night sights are a great addition to my concealment gun, and work great even in low light. Once again, I carry in a Galco High Rise. It worked for my 1911 and it works even better for my P220.
PART 3 Deep Concealment: How many of you have ever gone to a nice restaurant with your family? How many of you have gone to a crowded mall? Most likely we have all been in those places, people running about, standing in close quarters while in the checkout line. Waitresses bumping your table hurrying to serve meals. These places are not where you want to lean over and have that soccer mom with 3 kids see your 1911 print through your T shirt (trust me). After just such an experience, I trotted off to my local gun store to make a very serious change in my choice of weapons.
When I am planning…belay that. When my beautiful wife is planning a day of shopping, kids screaming and eating out, I choose to carry a Taurus 9mm Slim. Yes my beloved .45 sits in the safe while I trot off into the halls of capitalism with a 9mm on my hip.
I carry my Taurus Slim inside the waistband in a leather holster from The Holster Store. I use this method of deep concealment only in crowded places to avoid the possibility of shopper panic. The 9mm still gives me a major caliber to use in the event I need to let lead fly, but is small enough I can conceal it under a long T-shirt with no issues.
I believe that if you carry everywhere and all the time like I do, you won’t just have one gun. It is very likely you will need different platforms the way I do. These are some of my experiences, and these are methods that work for me. Stay safe and carry a gun.