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CCW Art1

By Smitty of ONE

I am a regular guy with a family, mortgage and dog living in suburban Kansas City, Missouri. I have limited experience shooting at the local range with my sons, nothing more. This is my short experience with the decision, process and outcome of obtaining my CCW license . . .

The Idea

The idea to obtain a CCW came in the aftermath of some horrible tragedy in America, I don’t recall the actual event, but it got me thinking about protecting my family as well as myself. I never wanted to just be another victim if it ever occured to me, I wanted to be part of the solution. Perhaps a hero. As naive as this sounds it was the thought of doing nothing versus doing something that made up my mind.

I was also worried about the possibility of stricter CCW laws in conjunction with talks of curtails on gun laws.  While I did already own a .22LR. a 17 HMR as well as a GLOCK 22, I wanted something to possibly conceal. Oddly, I told myself as well as my wife that I just wanted to take the class and get permitted in the event that the opportunity would disappear in the future. I wanted to be grandfathered in. I told myself I would never actually carry, maybe just keep it in the car.

The Purchase

As a newbie in the world of CCW, and a self-believed internet surfing wizard, I put my research hat on and dove into the vast expanse of CCW ownership across the various sites. I was unprepared for the sheer amount of opinions on various calibers, loads, barrel lengths, twist, coriolis effects etc. It was an uphill battle to be sure. Apparently I knew nothing.

After a few days I knew I wanted a 9mm due to my experience with the size and perceived inadequacy with my GLOCK .40 caliber shooting skills. I also wanted something very small, thin and light.

Regardless of my days of research, it all went out the window during a visit to my local gun shop. My top two choices were out of stock and during this period there was zero hope of seeing them in stock anytime soon. I was shown a few handguns that fit my requirements, but none on my list. Yet I instantly fell in love with one of them, a Kel-Tec PF9. I never heard of it, I knew nothing about it, but I fell in love with it. It was small, it was a single stack, it was light, it was a 9mm, it fit me like a glove, I loved its appearance. It was mine 9 minutes later.

CCW Class – The Range

After a month or so of range time, countless cleanings and caressing, and my lithe weapon needing to burn a hole in my newly aquired ankle holster, I finally found a CCW class open. Two months out. The class was offered by a local police officer as well as his equally qualified wife and brother via a Groupon for $115 for two. How could I not jump on this? A friend and I signed up immediately. Heck it was cheaper for two than a standard class for one.

The class began with range time at 6am on a Saturday. One of the few cool things about living in Missouri is that in the chill of February we can use a range inside one of our numerous limestone caves.  As a result freezing fingers, dripping noses and bulky jackets need not apply.

The only requirements for our target aspect of our class was to be able to shoot a standard target at 7 yards using both a semi-auto and a revolver. My friend Jeff and I took our places in our respective stations along with the other eight or so sharpshooters.

I took out my now potentially crime fighting PF9 and plinked away at my target. Three magazines later I eagerly awaited praise from one of the onlooking officers. After all, my target had a 3-inch group exactly where a gun wielding perp would have a heart. Apparently others needed assistance other than us, so Jeff and I plinked on with a revolver. I picked up my friend’s seemingly 20 lb. Taurus judge and proceeded to decapitate my target with some 20-plus rounds.

Again looking for praise from our LEO trainers, I began to see the true situation. While my friend’s and my shots were dead on, others were struggling to even hit the target. Some were unsure even how to use the weapon they brought. The officers were to busy preventing some of the group from shooting the rest of us due to pure negligence and inexperience, then actually checking for results. Both the officers had their duty vests on.

We just decided to throw some more lead 7 yards down range, then backed off to let others finish. Twenty minutes later everybody eventually hit something. We never actually got a confirmed visual or verbal on our results, but apparently everybody passed. This scared us a bit. This was our first taste of what to expect with the class.

CCW Class – The Classroom

A good 30 – 40 folks eventually rolled into a nice classroom promptly at 8am. We were given a ‘test’ exam that had all the questions and multiple choice answers for each relevant point. We were instructed to check off the correct answer when it was covered in class. After each question was addressed in order during the class we were basically given the answer.

The information and the syllabus were excellent. The PowerPoints, were spaced out with videos, and actual demonstrations. The questions were asked and answered, the time flew by. Having a LEO and, as mentioned, assistants helped to vary the material.

The scope of the attendees was an eye opener to us. ‘Regular Joes’ like us, rigid military and paramilitary boys, mom, and grandmas.

At the end of the class we believed we were ready for the test, a little unsure, but ready.  This was, after all, a big responsibility to be placed upon us after completion. We hoped to have a high score for when we eventually went into the local sheriff’s office. We were all instructed to take out the multiple choice sheet that we filled out during the class. We then went over each question and made sure we had the correct answer. Once done, we scored ourselves and were instructed to sign, date and hand it in.

Again this was an eye-opener. Where was the big test? Was this it?

We apparently passed.

First Carry

To this day I remember the first week or so of carrying my pistol. I did not have that cowboy feeling of expecting to save the world from evil doers or have a heightened sense of courage. Rather I felt a bit scared and paranoid. Perhaps I thought it would go off on its own, or a soccer mom would see me printing. I could never even get up the courage to carry one round in the chamber.

CCW Art3

Daily Carry

Over a year later I now carry daily without even thinking about it. I generally use an ankle holster or in the small of my back with the attached side clip on my PF9. I feel naked in the way that you feel if you left the house without your cell phone if its not on me.

CCW Art2

I am always courteous of the local carry laws and respect local business rights to post no gun signs, although I now find myself avoiding these establishments. My wife and family are now comfortable with me carrying to the point that they ask occasionally if I am under ‘unique’ situations. It’s just become a way of life.


I now understand a lot more about the responsibilities of a CCW as well as proper weapon ownership in general. I do not regret my choice in my weapon selection although I may have chosen differently if I could, knowing what I know now. I did have issues with my PF9, but they were resolved quickly and professionally.

I do not look poorly upon my CCW class or the instructors. I was a bit disappointed that it was not taken as strongly as I had expected. They showed me the path, I took it from there. I look upon myself as a better educated and responsible gun owner and now encourage other like-minded individuals to pursue this path as well.

I now have another carry weapon in my arsenal, I have upgraded grips, obtained additional magazines and watch on pins and needles as some guy on YouTube evaluates the best load for my short barrel 9mm. But I am not much better off in a hairy situation than I was prior to carrying. It still comes down to common sense in a preservation scenario in my opinion. I will never be that cowboy.

To this day I still do not feel comfortable carrying a weapon with one in the chamber. Perhaps in another year, perhaps not. Like my choice to carry, it is a decision of mine and mine alone.

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  1. Nice article.

    I’d say if you are carrying your handgun without anything blocking/covering the trigger and trigger guard, carrying without one in the chamber is a good idea.

    By the way, if you are looking for some really superb training in how to use your handgun in a fight, come on over to Asymmetric Solutions USA in Farmington, MO. Awesome place and fantastic instructors.

    • Yup, the “mossad draw”, just got to train to pull and rack in one swift fluid motion. I do this, and have successfully done it proper and exactly how I trained to do it in two real world sudden stress scenarios.

  2. I love my PF9. If I were using the clip to carry it inside my waistband, I would carry with the chamber empty. If you want to carry with one in the chamber, invest in a good holster, even a pocket holster. I just got a Sneaky Pete holster/box/pouch thingy and it works great. Nobody even notices. If they do, I’ll tell them I’m carrying an I-Pad mini.

    • That looks like a DA. If so, I’d carry it loaded. I have a Sneaky Pete, too, for my LCP. If I am ever asked, my prepared answer is that it’s my tool kit. I hate to lie, see?

  3. Unless you’re Israeli, please carry with a round in the chamber.

    If you’re taking responsibility for your family’s safety, carry with a round in the chamber.

    Everyone goes through the phase at first. Skip it, and carry with a round in the chamber.

    Get rid of the POS clip and get a decent (read: more than 20.00) holster. Get it out of the small of your back. Dumbasses carry there. Never seen a pro carry SOB.

    • Harshly stated, but true.

      The problem carrying in the small of your back is that if you ever fall flat on your back you can do horrible damage to your spine. It’s also very hard to draw safely and quickly carrying that way.

      Dump the clip, get a good concealed carry holster, and carry with the firearm ready to use.

      • And ankle carry is pretty weak too. A good ankle holster is hard to find, and invariably not as good as a similarly priced holster of another variety.

        • Galco makes some good ankle rigs, but most people cheap out and don’t purchase the calf stap. I would say pony up the money and get a calf strap, it’s worth it.

          Ankle rigs make sense as backup carry or for people that sit all day, driver, desk jockey, etc. Everything else the ankle rig falls very short of par.

      • Check out the MIC holster. Can carry deep concealed safely without the bulk of a holster. Covers the trigger and safely attaches to gun belt.

    • Steve, I rarely carry in the small of my back, only sometimes in the summer. 99% of the time it in an ankle holster, as you can’t see in the the poor pic of my legs.

      I actually like the clip as it makes the holster carry that much more secure without using any other restraint.

      • Good to know.

        Find out what ammo your local PD carries, and carry the equivalent. In Indy, it’s Federal HST. PD’s (usually) extensively test their duty ammo to find what works best. But, yeah, there’s the low bid thing, too 🙂

        Ankle carry is good for a BUG, but a primary gun should be within easy reach.

        Everyone evolves in their carry doctrine. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way, hopefully from training and not when the ballon goes up.

        • First even though there has been a large switch back to 9mm in the last few years, still many departments carry .40 S&W. The performance of one lines round in .40 S&W may be adequate, while it might not be so in 9mm.

          Also when you start talking about micro pistols like the PF9 they change the performance of the ammo you are selecting. For example the 124gr Gold Dot is considered a good load based on FBI testing using a duty sized pistol, but in a micro pistol a recent test, by Shooting the Bull, showed that it didn’t form very well.

        • Maybe not the best advise. LE carry full size firearms. What they use may not be best for a subcompact pistol.

    • It would be easier if you dispensed with the chip on your shoulder, Monseur McCain.

      Who are you to decide that this mans choice of weapon is a “POS”?What right do you have to decree his carry position and chamber empty status is inappropriate? Who has anointed you or anyone else to be the Czar of Concealed Carry?

      Smitty of ONE took a brave step in embraching CCW, and another one in sharing his perspective via this well written article. What I don’t recall him writing is asking for so-called “expert” input.

      • ST, you took a shot without a proper sight picture.

        Let me list the elements of your total fail:

        (1) Did not say a word about his choice of firearms.
        (2) Agreed with his decision not to carry chambered, given his use of the handgun with a clip only.
        (3) I complimented him on his article.

        Next time, at least read a comment before you try to trash it.

        And one more thing, I think you meant to use the word “Monsieur.”


    • I highly disagree. I’ve trained to do the mossad draw, and it works. I’ve used it successfully twice in two real world sudden violent scenarios. They key is training. If carrying in good holster I agree, roll on red, but its not possible for me to carry what I want to carry, where I carry it, with a holster. So I badguy it, and mossad it, and its works just as well.

  4. Well put, I went the same kind off class and felt like it was nothing to pass. I didn’t stop there, since then I have taken safety, tactical and defensive in hand gun, carbine and shotgun. It has made me a better more rounded person. I do put one in the pipe and no safety to fool with. I think the only time I will need it is to protect someone that maybe defenseless, well maybe more than that. Always remember to avoid pulling, but once pulled act quickly.

    • Considering various possible scenarios, I pretty much consider drawandfire a single word and a single decision.

  5. I carry with one chambered, it doesn’t make sense to me not to. With that said it took me a few months before I carried with one chambered. I think the most important point you made is to be true to yourself, I think a poet may have actually covered that one before….seriously though I live in ny and had similar thoughts an experiences at my ccw/unrestricted class. It focused on a lot of nonsense, they had a table of guns and the guy held them all up and told us why he and his wife liked each one, he carried a .22 short semi, nothing wrong with that i guess, but not the guy I imagined teaching me. An armored car driver next to me couldn’t hit poster board at 50 feet, literally not once. Another guy couldn’t load his .22 revolver that I guess had been passed down to him (was he really going to carry a .22 single action revolver?) He didn’t understand what the loading door was or that the cylinder didn’t swing out . I kind of expected more “gun guys” (or gals) and kess confusion abiut the basics. Also they won’t answer any legal questions, they would read a law but not offer any clarity on any of it due to liability . I’ve learned far more from training with competent ccw people, cop friends, hunters and so on. A few nra instructors and one retired FBI agent and his friend a retired atf agent. It certainly didn’t come from the official sources .

    • After seeing the complaints about “lousy classes” here, I must point out that the scaredy cats in state legislators made double certain that certain things absolutely had to be done, the classes answered with the kind of process described here. The instructor who told me that, BTW, was a TX state cop. He also said if he did not do it just right he was guilty of a felony. I’m saying the classes are not poorly taught, they are taught precisely as intended by your legislature.

  6. Because this will soon devolve into a comment section littered with poor “carry with a loaded chamber” advice , I’ll just say this- what works for you may not necessarily work for Smitty of ONEs needs. This is a diverse country, after all.

    Next, science tells us statistically most self defense encounters end once the intended victim draws their weapon. Unlike episodes of CSI, most bad guys have better things to do then get shot.Which means in most defensive gun use incidents, the guns loaded status is irrelevant. Real life seldom requires a 33 round magazine or dynamic reloading of the threat disruption instrument to survive a self defense encounter.

    Next-Smitty, I’ll offer an apology for the posts certain to come at your revelation of carrying chamber empty. Don’t feel pressured or forced to alter your method of carry just because some keyboard jockey thousands of miles away watched too many Tactical Response online videos. Your decision to carry and your preparedness so far is more then many folks who’ve survived actual gunfights against bad guys. I thank you do offering your perspective here.

    • I agree. I mossad draw, and im not afraid of any of these wannabe punks in here who think they know what they’re talking about. I carry without a holster, because in allot of situation in my life I cant, and given the types of guns I want to carry. So I badguy it. So I carry mossad style. I train to pull and rack in one swift fluid motion. Works for me. People want to cry about it? they probably have no clue what they’re talking about.

      • If you numbnuts would take a breath before you pass out from hyperventilating in horror from real or imagined criticism, try treading.

        I and others have said that they WOULD carry unchambered IF we carried our handguns without a holster that protects/guards the trigger and trigger guard.

        If you want to carry unchambered with it in a good carry holster, that’s your choice, in my opinion, a poor choice, but just unbunch those knickers guys. You are embarrassing yourselves.

        • I have noticed Paul that you throw around some choice ad-hominems when you don’t get unquestioning adulation for what you post. Haven’t you posted about people being “jackasses” when they do their own ad-hominems? Do as I say and not as I do?

          Hmmm; “Numbnuts” possibly because of “bunched up Knickers”?

      • Continental Army, what are you carrying that you can’t use a holster?

        Can you draw and rack with one hand?

        • Believe it or not there once was a semi-auto .45 available with a holster that had a heavy leather piece designed so the gun could be racked with one hand while riding a horse. Some guy named John Browning came up with it.

      • “Wanna be punks?” Kind of harsh NCA. Especially when the accepted norm for carrying a modern weapon is in a holster with a round in the chamber. Usually the one called a “punk” is what POTG calls some one that carries a weapon without a holster, (think Gang-banger.) If you get in a surprise fight before you can draw the weapon and your on your back with a guy on top doing ground and pound; running or jumping over fences; falling down some stairs; it would be very easy to lose the gun in the process.

        Kind of hard to draw, rack and fire a weapon if you only have one hand available. There are many scenarios where your other hand may be injured or unavailable to rack around; (some one on top doing ground and pound.)

        Some things to think about.

  7. Sounds just like the class I took in Florida. Working for law firms, I was not satisfied with the education on the slew of new laws that now applied to me. Turns out we have a local guru on the subject who publishes a book on the subject. I consider it mandatory reading for anyone that has a CWP in the state. Keeps them, the right and myself safer, if you know the laws.

    I was the same about the round in chamber, after a few holsters and different guns, it changed. in time you will feel comfortable with it. It is normal.

  8. ST said it best. Carry the way you feel comfortable with. When I first joined the Military they had us carry 1911A1’s in condition 4 (unloaded with the magazine in a pouch and not in the gun) When we finally switched to the M9 Beretta’s they had us carry in condition 1 (magazine in and a round chambered with the safety on). The beretta was said to be safer to carry condition1 than the 1911 was and that was the reason they stuck with. Either way I knew how to load and handle my weapon and I could get it to condition1 and fire in a very few movements without looking at what my hands were doing. Lots of dry fire practice and real range time. Depending on the weapon I decide to carry I would carry either condition 1 or 3 (magazine in but none in the chamber) as I feel comfortable with. The best thing is to practice with it in your preferred carry so that you can make it fire automatically without thought or hesitation.(muscle memory)

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. A CCW class is just a way to get your CCW. It is not a firearm training class, as Smitty round out. It merely is the way to get you minimally qualified to carry and hopefully not shoot yourself or somebody else.

    The “prize” for taking the class is getting your concealed carry license.

    Fortunately, for Smitty and me, it is not terribly difficult to get a CCW license.

  10. Go ahead and put one in the chamber. It’ll pay off if you ever have to pull it out and use it. Just keep the safety on (if your gun has one) and use a good holster, and you should be in good shape.

  11. 1. I’ve always carried with one in the chamber; that’s one of the reasons I am still alive.
    2. Carrying in the small of my back is one of the reasons I suffer from low back pain after my car was rear-ended while doing so.
    3. Whatever yo choose to carry and however you choose to carry it depends on how much time and effort you dedicate to practicing.

  12. From what I read, I enjoyed the personal experience article. We have to remember that that everyone’s experience is different classroom wise and range wise. I learned my tricks from rangers when I deployed. They also taught me to rack a round in even if it was my own firearm. The justification was, “You don’t want your first trigger squeeze to be a click. Never know if you have a faulty seating, faulty round, or you forgot to rack one after cleaning.” But I was also taught to treat any weapon I touch as an extension of my body. So, a quote from my sexual psycology professor,”In order to be good at is son, you have to be comfortable with it. So shit son, do what makes you happy and what feels right. The rest will come naturally. So grope away.” Damn I miss that class. Back to topic. If you’re comfortable not carrying a round in the tube, practice the way you “play”.

  13. Thanks for the great article Smitty. Well written and interesting. Anyone submitting content for the jackels and hyenas here to critize I appreciate. Good job.

  14. I had a butt pack mounted in my LBE in 1997 when I went backwards over a short cliff and fell about three feet while wearing NODs. I landed on my back and fractured L4, L5 and S1 vertebrae.When I had fully learned to walk again 18 months later the Army medically retired me.

    I strongly urge everyone to not ever have something hardcarried over your lower spinal cord.

  15. Based on that picture alone drawing looks like it would be somewhat difficult?

    • Mr HorribleIdea,

      I kinda expected a response like this earlier, but you win the prize! In all honesty I can’t imagine a scenario that would put me in a situation that I would need to draw within milliseconds. I know these situations exist, you can find then on YouTube everywhere. But in my mind, this is rare. I may be wrong.

      As I am a family man, I am almost 100% of the time with a member of my family. As a result, the 1st thing I would most likely think of, is to get them and us out of any harms way. After this point a simple draw from an ankle holster would be the least of my worries.

      I plan on the Monty Python approach of “Run away, Run away!” as my first line of defense.

      A few weeks ago when that anti-sematic asshole shot up the Jewish center here in KC, I was about a mile away at a soccer game with my kids. When something like this happens so close to home, I feel better that I had anything in reach, even if I needed to lift up my jeans to reach for it.

  16. Guns Kill Period! I cannot believe in this day and age people are allowed to write about how they carry their concealed weapon. It is way beyond time we take a serious look at the second Amendment. Anyone who cannot see that the right to keep and bear arms is no longer needed to protect themselves from Government or other boogeymen is simply ignorant.

    • Words have killed more people than guns ever did. Go read the Amendments To The Constitution again. The order was not by accident.

    • Really? You claim that we don’t need to protect ourselves from government? You are aware that the last century was the bloodiest in human record, right? You are also aware that most of those deaths came at the hands of various governments around the world, right? So, I would say now more than ever people need to be able to protect themselves from their governments if need be.

  17. Hey Smitty thanks for the article. BTW opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one and they all stink. Do what you think is right for you and your family.

  18. My opinion, which is worth what you are paying for it.

    I home carry and everywhere it is legal (NC). We have grandchildren and horse around with them from time to time. They’ve noticed the holster and I tell them it’s my Iphone protector. They know we have guns, so do their parents, they are too young to shoot but have been trained about what to do if they come across a gun. They also know where not to go in the house (locked doors, locked cabinets, firearm locks).

    Semiautomatic, 9mm, no round in chamber, no safety, single stack so I carry an extra magazine. Rarely out after 9:00pm, which cuts down on some significant opportunities for trouble, but not all.

    I’m an old guy and sometimes don’t pay attention. Thus I do everything the same way all the time. I practice draw, rack and shoot.

    I also go to IDPA and USPSA on a regular basis, also shoot at an outdoors gun range where I can move around and set up moving targets.

    Can’t hit much if target is moving, I am moving or both. It’s not like the movies. I go through scenarios in my head, with grandchildren, with wife, with no one. If it starts, move away from loved ones, etc.

    My best recommendation is practice, practice, practice. Kind of like money, whatever you take in for a check, pay yourself first.

    This is really the best I can do.

  19. As for not carrying a round in the the chamber , Kel -Tec purposely has a hard heavy trigger pull to help that firearm from not going off until you squeeze that trigger through so it doesn’t really hurt to chamber load , unless you just don’t really feel safe doing that . I own a P-11 , it is now a very good weapon , I had to send it back for a good bit of work , but they got it right . I carry in the appendix position , I am a big guy and wear lose fitting pullover shirts , I don’t wear solid colors as they don’t help break up the outline of your firearm , the only place I don’t carry so far is in casinos , haven’t had to go into a court room since I was a deputy ,but if I ever do you can bet that my ccw firearm will be left in my vehicle as the judge does not like firearms in his courtroom , he is the type that only wants the deputies and himself armed . Just carry how and what makes you comfortable , that way you will do what you have to as second nature . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  20. What’s this about shooting in a cave? Can you expand on that bit?

    Sounds neat.

    • Mr. Brentondadams,

      Here is KC there are many, many, limestone caves that have been ‘mined?’. As a result the ‘mined’ areas are now useful for businesses. So the caves are the same temp and humidity all year round. There are miles and miles of these. Even universities and libraries. There is even a great paintball place in the caves.

      Check out: for just one example.

      But there are so many more caves. I didn’t even know we would be shooting in a ‘small’ cave during my CCW class. They are just hidden around. I am probably speaking out my *ss on this, maybe somebody who has lived in KC longer than me can answer it better. But it is unique.

      • Actually they are salt domes that have been mined. There are a bunch of them in KC and many have been turned into warehouses.

  21. Nicely written. Be lucky you are in MO. I live in IL. My article would be twice as long and 2X more expensive!

    I work in Mo. Carry daily. Deep concealed and no time to disarm during my business. I’m illegal half the time.

    For daily carry I chose a BG. Manual safety. Carried a 640 for decades with a ‘pocket clip..never a prob.

    Know yourself. Know your gun. Nuff said….

      • Yes, I mean how dare he want to protect himself or others in a dire situation just because of some statute that someone passed…

  22. Good article. I couldn’t wait to get rid of my PF9. Big +1 to the Sneaky Pete idea. Carry in plain sight. I too live in Illinois. That’s my plan when I get concealed carry. I don’t have anything against thePF9 in particular except it made my hand bleed( even with the Houge grip I see you have). I knew I would never practice with it. I also plan on getting a Taurus Pt 111 or 140 ( or similar Ruger or S&W.). I owned both Taurus’ & they ran perfectly. I prefer a manual safety with one in the chamber. Whatever you’re comfortable with. Good luck.

    • Yeah I got the Houge grip for the same reason, but I did not get the PF9 for fun shooting. It is painful to shoot more than a few rounds due to the OEM grip. But I like the size and weight, it fits my needs.

      If I ever need to shoot it in anger, it will not matter.

      To each his own.

  23. I carry my Bersa with one in the chamber and safety on. I’d feel weird otherwise, even though it’s double action.

  24. When I was UC years ago, I often wore a sheepskin vest. The local leather shop was also the Chief of Police, and he modified that vest for me. It had a cigarette pocket inside the left breast. he removed that pocket, added a piece of stiff leather, then restitched it. The pistol was a slight bulge over my heart. I carried a small frame revolver there for five years.
    Every one of us is different. What works for one guy stinks for the next. For concealed, I prefer a revolver. My duty carry was always an auto. My collection contained roughly the same number of autos as revolvers.

  25. When you legally mandate classes they become something to pass, rather than a tool to explore a topic.

    When I started carrying what is essentially a single-action striker-fired pistol I carried unchambered for awhile… until I knew I could trust myself and holster.

  26. interesting to see how people have gotten to the “same” place. I sound like a sunday school teacher when i say it but: it doesn’t matter why or how we got here, it matters that we’re here now.

  27. I would follow up the training, etc. with a legal plan. A righteous shooting will probably still cost you big time in terms of legal fees,,etc. It’s nice to have a legal/insurance policy with a card in your wallet, knowing you can make one call if the SHTF.

  28. Do your lower back a favor and avoid putting a hard, hunk of mass between your spin and the ground if you fall down…

    One slip and fall with small of the back carry and you are at the hospital with a messed up back, maybe even a broken one.

  29. Thank you for your article. I have been looking into CCW myself. As a single woman and grandmother I feel the compelled to be in a position to protect myself and my grandchildren should the need arise. I have shooting experience so I am comfortable with a gun but the whole process of picking out a handgun and getting a license for CC is the hard part. Thank you for making me feel I am not alone. I now am looking forward to the process.

    • Granny: I suggest looking at Created by a woman whose advice is directed primarily at women. You might find some useful information,

  30. Obtained my CCW in Las Vegas, NV using both a revolver and a Springfield Armory XD45 4″ service model with 13rd magazine. Soon discovered Concealed Carry with an XD45 was an oxymoron. Now my EDC is a Kahr Arms P45. Got a good Blackhawk thumb break holster and carry OWB at 4 o’clock. In the process of designing and building a new kind of IWB holster with Kydex.

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