Guns for Beginnners: Three Things Every Concealed Carrier Should Carry


Disclaimer: this post is aimed at people who have not yet committed to daily concealed carry. If you already carry a gun on a daily basis, please share this article with your newbie and daily carry-reluctant amigos. The more people who carry concealed, the safer we all will be, both in terms of active defense and “passive” deterrence. Not to mention the safety of our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. OK, so, the first thing you need for concealed carry is . . .

A Gun

It doesn’t matter what type of gun you carry, what caliber cartridge it contains or the design and composition of the bullets. What matters is that you carry a gun. The majority of Americans with concealed carry permits don’t. They’re afraid of being “discovered.” Outed. Forced to explain their decision to carry a gun to people who can’t, don’t or won’t understand. Hence their hyper-sensitivity to “printing” (their gun making a visible impression against concealment clothing).

There’s no easy way to overcome concealed carry paranoia and peer pressure. One step in the right direction: carry a list of reasons why you want to carry a gun. No one has the right to take my life; my family needs me; I love my family; all that’s required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing…whatever floats your ballistic boat. Read the list out loud before you holster your gun.

By the same token, it helps to imagine violent assaults as you’re going through your day. Imagining that you’re taking evasive or attacking action while disarmed. This mental exercise trains your brain to consider non-firearms solutions to life-threatening situations (always the best case scenario) and reminds you just how useful a gun can be if and when push comes to shove.

The carry process itself is another reason armed Americans don’t carry a firearm on a daily basis. They know they have to be aware of right-to-carry restrictions and either avoid “gun free zones” or disarm. That’s not much fun. Removing a gun from your holster in a parking lot and stashing it in the glove box, for example, is an awkward, not-to-say furtive endeavor that invites curious stares and the possibility of theft.

Coping with concealed carry’s legal inconveniences eventually becomes habitual. But that doesn’t happen for most folks because carrying a concealed gun is physically uncomfortable. Depending on what, where and how you carry, daily carry can be a literal pain in the ass. Or the hip. In fact, overcoming physical discomfort is the key to making concealed carry a daily event. That’s why you need . . .

A Comfortable Holster

Gun guru Clint Smith famously pronounced that carrying a gun should be comforting, not comfortable. Yeah, no. If carrying a gun is physically annoying or painful, your average armed American won’t do it on a daily basis. Say what you will about A Nation of Wimps, choosing a comfortable carry system (gun and holster) is the single most important factor for daily concealed carry.

The general rule of thumb on concealed carry: carry the largest gun you can. Given the farrago of firearms on the market and the huge selection of holster styles (inside-the-waistband, outside-the-waistband, appendix carry, ankle carry, boot carry, small-of-the-back, etc.) you could spend a fortune trying to find the perfect comfortable combination. Or, as most people do, buy the wrong gun and holster and give up.

That’s why I advise reluctant concealed carriers to start by pocket-carrying a small revolver (e.g., a Ruger LCR) or a semi-automatic pistol (e.g. a SIG SAUER P238) inside a simple sleeve holster. I know all the arguments against “mouse guns;” I’ve made them myself. But we’re talking about training wheels; a painless-to-wear starter gun and holster that the owner doesn’t need to throw away if and when they “graduate” to a different carry system with a larger gun.

Women who wear tight jeans (with nominal pockets) or tight dresses have to find other comfortable concealed carry solutions, such as small semi-automatic pistol (e.g., the Kahr CM9) in an inside-the-waistband holster positioned in the small of their back, or an undergarment holster. But the point remains: buy a carry system. Don’t buy a gun and then try to find a way to carry it.

Go to a gun store where you can try out a carry system, even if you have to drive hours to get there. Safety check the gun and holster it. Walk, sit, jog a bit, practice extraction. Road test your daily carry rig and you’ll be a hundred times more likely to use it on a daily basis.

A Cell Phone

There is no defensive gun use situation where you don’t need a phone. You need your phone to report a potential threat to the police – hopefully avoiding having to use your gun in the first place. You need your phone to report a defensive gun use – hopefully avoiding arrest and prosecution.

Always call the police after any defensive gun use. If you show your gun and the bad guy or guys take off, call the police. If you don’t, the bad guy or guys may call the police, ID you and accuse you of being the aggressor threatening their lives.

[Note: state your name and location, a brief description of yourself, the location of the incident (if you’ve left the scene) and the general nature of the event (e.g., “there’s been a shooting”). You don’t have to stay on the phone to answer the emergency operator’s questions. Anything you say – and how you say it – can be used against you in a court of law. When the police arrive, promise a full statement and invoke your right to silence.]

If you don’t have a phone – it may have become lost or damaged during a DGU – ask to use someone else’s. It’s critical that you make the call, rather than a bystander. This helps establish your innocence.

There’s plenty of other stuff a daily concealed carrier can schlep: spare ammo, a defensive knife, a utility knife, a flashlight, a spare gun, spare ammo for the spare gun, pepper spray, etc. But the three items above are the gateway to daily concealed carry. With these three items you can keep calm and carry on. Every. Single. Day.


  1. avatar MattG says:

    For those curious about the Kahr in the picture, it’s wearing Talon Grips. I’ve got them on my CM9 and they’re excellent, totally worth your $20.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Another option is the Hogue HandAll or HandAll Jr. It is a grip sleeve that just slides on.

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        Slide on grip sleeves are a bad idea. No one should have one on a gun intended for serious social purposes. Why? Because there is significant potential that the sleeve isn’t going to stay where you put it, it could very easily slip up over the magazine release and either inadvertently drop the magazine, or make it impossible to release the magazine.

        If you absolutely must have more grip either use something like the talon grips, which have adhesive to prevent them from moving, or stiple the frame.

  2. avatar Rimfire says:

    Great tips to have for all new carriers as well as those considering it….Thanks!

  3. avatar jake from detroit says:

    This is a great article. We get so in depth with the details, that if someone were to google and find this site, beginner articles are so important. So many potential allies, on the street and at the ballot box, can be potentially lost due to our behavior on our websites and in person.

    I would like to add that although I have a great appreciation for your ability to cull the list down to three, a flashlight is nearly *indispensable* when one is carrying a firearm. From it’s ability to deter criminal action to its usefulness in identifying targets prior to the trigger pull, I seriously implore every CCW’er to carry a flashlight.

    I’m very fond of the non-threatening nature of them as well. Even when I’m in court and I have to leave the gun, knife, and even the cell phone behind in a lock box in the car, I can get my surefire past security. The blinding ability and strike bezel could save your life in a CQC situation.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      I second this notion. Flashlights are indispensable. I also recommend a heavy metal pen (doesn’t have to be a tactical pen). I use my pen more than any item in my EDC, and it fills the gaps in gun/knife/Mace free zones.

    2. avatar I1uluz says:

      A friend of mine owns a bar, showed me his flashlight with a strobe one day, said it was the best thing to break up a fight. Being dumb and I asked how does it do that. Without warning he had it shining in my eyes, it was late evening, so not dark yet, at close range all I could think of was shutting my eyes. He laughed.

      Said at night dealing with upset drunks it works great, their minds go blank, they can’t see and most the time forget what they were upset about. Problem solved without even touching them.

  4. avatar DrewN says:

    The first 2 I agree with wholeheartedly. But, I hate cell phones with every fiber of my being and I will never,ever carry another one.

    1. avatar RCA_Cajun says:

      I see where you’re coming from, but even a charged unactivated old school flip phone can make an emergency call. It might come in handy in a pinch.

      I keep old unactivated phones in my range bag and light backpack just for the camera, shot timer and gps functions.

    2. avatar IdahoPete says:

      You ALWAYS want to be the first to call 911 and report your act of self-defense with a firearm. First caller is the victim, as far as the justice system is concerned. Think of the cell phone as part of your self-defense preps, and if you don’t like a contract get a cheap $20/quarter anonymous Tracfone at WalMart.

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        It’s not the contract, I do own a phone. Which sits in my desk at work 24/7, because they bought it. I just hate phones. I never would carry a pager either, and didn’t even have a landline for 20 years. You need me for something? Call the bar, leave a message with the bartender. I’ll get it sooner rather than later.

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Unfortunately this is true. There is a guy in Michigan who is currently serving time in prison right now because he didn’t call the police. It was the other guy’s word against his, and events spiraled downhill. 🙁

  5. avatar JJ48 says:

    In addition to the cell phone, might I recommend a business card with the phone number of a lawyer you can contact? You don’t need to necessarily keep them on retainer, or anything, but should you need legal help, knowing whom you can call can be important.

    1. avatar RCA_Cajun says:

      A technique I’ve practiced is to take some clear scotch tape and place it on an unmarked part of the CHP card then write the laywer name and number with a fine tip sharpie, then put another piece of clear tape over it. Mine has held up well for 3 years so far.

      Also, I have a lawyer number saved in my phone.

    2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Yes! I have firearms attorneys/phone numbers in my home state (MI) and the state I most travel to (IN) on hand in case I need them. Highly recommended before time. And correct, you don’t need one on retainer. They are required to track your money and periodically review your case file if you do, so just keep their names and numbers on hand.

  6. avatar Jim says:

    Great advice re the phone. My Attorney (a former DA) told me the guy that reports the altercation first rarely if ever actually gets charged with an offense.

  7. avatar Art out West says:

    It is a good idea to carry pepper spray and a folding knife as well as a handgun. I’ll often carry the pepper spray for situations where lethal force may not be justified, or necessary (like aggressive dogs, or belligerent drunks). I’m still primarily a “pocket carry” guy (.38, .380, or 9mm) and these other items also go in my pockets. Each “tool/weapon” gets it’s own pocket.

  8. avatar John says:

    Also pants and a belt.

    TLDR: Get a slightly larger pair of pants and a gunbelt. (The gun belt is just a little bit stiffer than a normal belt.) These two things along with a good holster like a Crossbreed Supertuck and a smallish gun will go a very long way in making the gun feel like it isn’t there at all.


    I wear:
    t-shirts and jeans or khakis every day
    I live where it gets very hot in the summer.
    My pants are 1 size too large.

    I use and carry:
    1.Cross breed Gunbelt(They look like normal belts and I wear them even when I can’t carry)
    2.Crossbreed Supertuck. They’ve got four holes on either side for the hooks that go on your belt. I set it on the top one to sink the holster as low as possible which makes it more comfortable and easier to conceal.( though it slows the draw a bit.)
    3.HK P2000sk. I find anything larger than this starts to get in the way. I have smaller guns like the Glock 42 but they disappear on me exactly the same way this one does so I take this gun instead.

    Obvious things that aren’t always obvious.
    1. Rough grips like the HK45 or the P30 and Stippled grips like an aggressively customized Glock will make you very uncomfortable if you are only wearing a t-shirt. The bottom of the grip can extend past the holster and rub. You can wear an undershirt or use tape to fix this. Personally I like gaffers tape for this. I prefer to carry something that I don’t have to tape though.
    2. I sit all day for my job. I love suppressors. If I sit quickly without paying attention and I’m wearing a gun with a threaded barrel and I sit in just right placing the holster above the arm rest and my butt over the seat the barrel will act like a punch and tear a hole in my pants. Don’t use a threaded barrel on a carry gun if you’re not careful.

    1. avatar Nick says:

      Actually, probably best to say don’t carry a gun with a threaded barrel, PERIOD. Why? Use it and some lowlife prosecutor may use it against you in court. In some states carrying a pistol with a threaded barrel is illegal. It’s not necessary to have a threaded barrel on a carry piece. Best advice is to switch back to the factory barrel for carrying or designate an unthreaded pistol as your EDC.

      1. avatar John says:

        Maybe I should be worried from a legal standpoint but I’m not. I own suppressors and I shoot a lot if some prosecutor has a problem with the threaded barrel I’ve got well… I’ll fight that battle when I come to it.

        From a practical standpoint. I’ll gladly swap back to an threaded barrel every time. I’m tired of replacing pants.

    2. avatar MeRp says:

      I agree with you… but that is the biggest impediment to me carrying every day. Having to wear a belt (especially an extra stiff one) and pants every day is such a terribly uncomfortable proposition that I generally just forget the whole idea and leave the gun at home.

    3. avatar Doug says:

      Does anyone make a suitable dressy belt? I.e., a belt you might wear with good khakis and dress shirt, if you aren’t, let’s say, headed for a square dance, monster truck event or rodeo? 🙂

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Yes. I require such belts and I wear gun belts by RG Leather. He can make very dressy, single-stitched belts, double-stitched casual belts, or stamped leather if you’re the cowboy type.

  9. avatar Nick says:

    Actually, in many states, a knife is forbidden to be carried (Yep, I’m allowed to carry around a loaded gun, but God forbid I have a knife). This is the case in WV. Open or concealed carry only applies to handguns. Get caught with a concealed knife, and you forfeit your license and spend some time before a judge.

    1. avatar John says:

      You might be in the clear with a Leatherman or Swiss Army knife in WV.

      “(3) “Knife” means an instrument, intended to be used or readily adaptable to be used as a weapon, consisting of a sharp-edged or sharp-pointed blade, usually made of steel, attached to a handle which is capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. The term “knife” shall include, but not be limited to, any dagger, dirk, poniard or stiletto, with a blade over three and one-half inches in length, any switchblade knife or gravity knife and any other instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. A pocket knife with a blade three and one-half inches or less in length, a hunting or fishing knife carried for hunting, fishing, sports or other recreational uses, or a knife designed for use as a tool or household implement shall not be included within the term “knife” as defined herein unless such knife is knowingly used or intended to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death.”

      (9) “Deadly weapon” means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. The term “deadly weapon” shall include, but not be limited to, the instruments defined in subdivisions (1) through (8), inclusive, of this section or other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person. For the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, in addition to the definition of “knife” set forth in subdivision (3) of this section, the term “deadly weapon” also includes any instrument included within the definition of “knife” with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length. Additionally, for the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, the term “deadly weapon” includes explosive, chemical, biological and radiological materials. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term “deadly weapon” does not include any item or material owned by the school or county board, intended for curricular use, and used by the student at the time of the alleged offense solely for curricular purposes.

      (a) Any person who carries a concealed deadly weapon, without a state license or other lawful authorization established under the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than five years and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.

      1. avatar RenegadeDave says:

        Tough getting a blade out from those in a hurry though…

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Wow WV knife law is clear as mud. It effectively outlaws concealed carry of any implement that can cut, stab, or tear. I wonder if having a clearly visible pocket clip is still considered ‘concealed’?

      At least it allows open carry of pretty much any knife, so it’s perfectly fine to hang a 6″ fixed blade from your belt.

    3. avatar Retired LEO says:

      Unless you are being a total tool or you get a cop that had a fight with the wife the odds of being bothered are low.
      SC and local knife laws are worse and only know of 3 charged in last 20 years, all due to bringing a knife out at a fight. 4th brought a knife to a gunfight. I know of more charged with carrying over 2oz can of OC spray. You can always carry a electricians knife or a Buck 110 with an easy open holster still have them on E-bay.

      1. avatar Dennis says:

        SC has pretty much wiped it’s knife laws as of a few (4-6 years) ago. Unfortunately Charleston and possibly Columbia still have some restrictions on length. SC knife law basically states that offensive use of any weapon is illegal. Defensive use, see Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground.

    4. avatar int19h says:

      Even worse is that many states that do have sensible knife laws don’t have pre-emption for them, so big cities tend to come with their own brand of crazy. For example, in WA, the only thing that’s illegal are switchblades; but in Seattle, it’s illegal to carry any fixed blade knife, and any folding knife with a blade longer than 3.5 inches. And because this is all in municipal ordinances, you basically have to do a lot of research to fully understand where you can carry what in your area.

  10. avatar Another Robert says:

    I might say you should also carry your license, where required–but I guess that goes without saying?

    1. avatar John H from Sugar Land says:

      +1. Surprised it took this long for someone to bring it up. I don’t go anywhere without my rig (Ruger LCP) and CCL.

  11. avatar brainman says:

    Uh, hello?!?
    You forgot the most important thing!
    The concealed carry badge!

    1. avatar twency says:

      And the sash. Definitely need the sash.

  12. avatar J O E says:

    How about an extra mag? The way the world is going nowadays, who knows what combatants you might have to fight through at, say, the mall?

    1. avatar RenegadeDave says:

      Eh keep it simple first and get them carrying a gun first. They will realize a mag is a generally good idea on their own soon after.

  13. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    Get over printing. Don’t even be soft and reassuring about it. As long as you’re not committed to a lifestyle of racer back muscle tees odds are you can get away with at minimum a full size compact if not a full size 5″ gun. Carry whatever you want that is reasonable for you and your daily activities. A full sized GI 1911,G17, or any other service weapon is concealable for a lot of folks.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I have been stressing this since I started posting here. I have carried a full sized pistol under a coat tie without printing or inadvertently exposing it. Most people are too oblivious to notice anyway. A couple a years ago I somehow got my dogs leash wrapped around the grip of my gun and it got dumped on the grass along a crowded path in the park. There I was picking up a gun out in plain sight and as far I could tell nobody noticed.

      The market for pocket pistols took off because there are a lot people who want to carry but not have a lot bother. A Glock 26, XD/m or similar sized compacts are very easy to carry and not much more of burden than a pocket pistol.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      I carry a full size semi-auto pistol every day. One time I carried openly at an upscale indoor “farmers market”. I was in there for well over an hour with at least 200 other people inside. Not a single person noticed. If the public does not notice an openly carried handgun, they certainly are not going to notice the outline of a handgun printing against a shirt or pants pocket.

      Of particular interest, when I got to my car, a panhandler approached. He saw my handgun the instant my side was visible to him … and promptly excused himself from the vicinity.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      By the way I have only had two people realize that I was carrying concealed. One person was an off-duty police officer who saw it when I reached up to help with something at his home and my shirt rode up. The other was a business associate who picked out the silhouette through a sweatshirt that was actually concealing my handgun quite nicely. Other than those two people, no one else ever notices.

    4. avatar Sian says:

      Yup, people are oblivious condition-white sheep.

      For the most part your 1911 could be printing like a mofo out the side of your Extra Smedium™ T-shirt and 99% of the people out there won’t notice, and half the remaining 1% won’t care.

      The mouseguns are for your NPEs, like a workplace that bans weapons, where you can’t afford to be made and the same people see you all the time.

      1. avatar Red in Texas says:

        Maybe they aren’t oblivious, but just don’t give a shit that someone is carrying a gun. Just because a few hundred MDA twits take to the street, doesn’t mean the majority feels this way.

      2. avatar John says:

        I think this also depends on where you are. Where I live now(NV). I don’t care. I could care less If I show let alone print frankly unless I’m in a casino or something. In this state that’s legal and people are used to it here but concealed carry is polite carry. It’s like sneezing. You do it into a handkerchief if you can.

        I used to live in California. Of all of my friends I know of a single one with a gun. When they come visit me I get shocked and horrified looks then extreme curiosity if they realize… if I tell them I’m carrying.

        Carrying in California… you don’t want to print. Not in LA. It’s like sneezing on someone and everyone knows you have Ebola.

    5. avatar MarkPA says:

      I agree that most people can forget about printing.
      The possibility of printing never occurred to me; however, I can imagine others would feel differently. A suggestion; home carry. We are especially vulnerable when we are home unless our houses are well fortified. So, get used to your gun by carrying it at home concealed. However long it takes – days – weeks – months – eventually, you will become perfectly comfortable with carrying your gun. When that happens, I suspect your fear of printing will go away as well.
      My choice is to pocket carry a .380 Colt PocketLite. It is small enough and light enough that I am accustomed to it. I also have a SIG P938 that is just a little bigger and a little heavier; enough so that I’m not quite as comfortable carrying it. Find your size and weight tolerance and be happy. For someone small, that might be only a .32; if that’s it, better a .32 than nothing. The Bad-Guy isn’t going to try to measure your muzzle diameter.

  14. avatar James69 says:

    Good point on comfort. I’ve always said if it’s not comfortable you will not carry it. Same goes for lace in(belt slide) out or in holsters.

    A small weapon (mouse gun) while NOT ideal is better than none. I’d love to carry my RIA .45 everywhere I go but it’s not pracital, hence my charter arms undercover or NAA .22 mag mini.(5 shot) or eeeek my davis .32 auto derrenger. Keep in mind, man sized target 3-5 feet. DEFENSIVE carry not engauging targets at 25 yards. No, I won’t “save the mall” but I will save me and mine.

    The best defencsive weapon is the one you have WITH YOU when you need it.

    Becides I can’t hit anything firing two guns whilst diving thru the air then rolling into a crouched shooting position. 🙂
    (time to watch “HOT FUZZ” again)

  15. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

    Bingo on the first two paragraphs,RF. I tell new CHL holders that the most important thing to have on their carry piece is POCKET FUZZ!!

    1. avatar James69 says:

      +1 Always amazes me how “dust bunnies” get into the barrel.

      1. avatar John says:

        Haha I think that’s probably a reliable indicator that you should get some range time in with your EDC.

  16. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    “Hence their hyper-sensitivity to “printing” (their gun making a visible impression against concealment clothing).”

    They may not be hyper-sensitive. In some jurisdictions the police will harass you for printing.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Name one.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I second the recommendations to carry a flashlight as well.

    I was in the basement of a hardware store when electricity for that area failed. It was pitch black down there. I was also walking to a room in a hotel hallway when electricity failed. That hallway was pitch black as well. (Neither location ever bothered to install or maintain emergency lighting for just such a reason.) In both cases a violent attacker would have been able to attack with confidence and I would have had no idea where to shoot. And I haven’t even mentioned the safety hazard of stumbling around in the dark — especially with stairs in the vicinity.

    Ever since those events I try to carry a small flashlight everywhere I go. And they can be amazingly small light-weight. Mine has a plastic shell, an efficient LED bulb, and uses two AA batteries. It isn’t much larger than a spare magazine.

    1. avatar jake from detroit says:

      not to mention how frequently DGU’s happen in low-light situations. I feel as though i find a use for my flashlight on a weekly if not daily basis. A streamlight microstream (1 AAA) works better than nothing (i have one on my keychain as a backup), and a stylus pro is actually a really nice light for many different uses. Neither of these are particularly “tactical” for those who wish to avoid a lot of suspicion.

      Personally, I don’t leave home without the E2D Defender ultra. as I mentioned above, flashlights make effective hold out weapons for when I’m in the courthouse, and it’s the only “carry” implement that goes with me to Britain as they don’t even allow locking folders over there. The G2X series with a light clip/ring from Raven concealment are also relatively affordable, and extremely well made (they are from surefire after all).

      On days when I know I’m going to be out late at night, I carry an attached x300 ultra, but that’s way beyond the scope of this article. I’m simply stating that some source, any source, or many sources of bright white light is always your friend.

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Absolutely zero reason not to have a good light on you, especially when torches like this exist.

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      Cellphone = flashlight, good enough to get out of a hallway. There are free “flashlight apps” for your iPhone, for example, which use the flash for the camera as a workable solution.

    4. avatar Anon in CT says:

      It’s a good idea – but most modern smartphones can do a pretty decent imitation of a flshlight. Maybe it’s not tactical, but it will get you out of a dark stairwell in a power outage.

  18. avatar IdahoPete says:

    I would also add membership in the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (, which has a network of affiliated attorneys in most states, and will pay an immediate retainer to have an attorney represent you as soon as you call. And I would suggest insurance through the NRA or other sources to cover your legal expenses in the event you have to defend yourself with a firearm or other lethal force.

  19. avatar Accur81 says:

    Good initial carry advice. I’m trying to get my wife to carry, but she only has a Sig 227. She needs a Shield or a Glock 43 (still waiting on the 9mm single stack). She currently carries a M2X-UT flashlight and a Taser C2 on nightly walks.

    1. avatar James69 says:

      Let her pick her OWN carry gun. I had this same thing come up. I had never been “pretty gun shopping” till I finely just turned her loose. Guess what, it’s around 24/7 now. She picked it, she shoots it, and she carries it. It’s a (*barf*) .38 revolver(+p .38 hp) but she loves it, understands how it works and that’s what it is all about.

  20. avatar James69 says:

    ah, jeeze Hey Batman! leave the utility belt at home…………..

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Here is a point of encouragement for new carriers who are concerned that other people will see the bulge of their handgun on their waist through a shirt. People carry all sorts of things on their waist/belt — cell phones, pagers, multi-tools, folding knives, insulin pumps, etc. Most people who see a small bulge on your waist will assume that it is a cell phone or something else like I listed above.

    1. avatar John says:


      If you bought a good holster your gun isn’t going to fall out when you run so don’t hold onto it. If you got a good belt and you put it on right you won’t need to keep sliding it up so don’t.

  22. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    Good article as I await the 9th circuit’s decision on whether they’ll do an En Banc re-hearing of Peruta.

  23. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    In addition to those three things, there are three other things I would recommend that you should have with you when you carry:

    1. Patience
    2. Common Sense
    3. Situational Awareness

    Don’t get upset with jerk drivers around you; exercise patience and don’t road-rage. Don’t start or escalate stupid arguments. Don’t unnecessarily put yourself in situations more likely to necessitate self-defense.

    And stop worrying about printing. The vast majority of people won’t notice, and of the ones that do, the vast majority of those won’t have any clue that it’s a firearm. The ones that do know it’s a firearm are almost certainly fellow carriers.

  24. avatar Tominator says:

    “The general rule of thumb on concealed carry: carry the largest CALIBER gun you can.”

    There fixed….

    1. avatar James69 says:

      Should read “carry the largest caliber you can hit the target with”

      1. avatar Retired LEO says:

        One thing they should carry is knowledge of how to load the weapon. My wife took her CCW class with a guy who had purchased his used Bersa .380 morning of the class. He had never handled or shot a pistol before, instructor did the legals when lunchbreak came my teenager took him aside & gave a quick class on loading & function. No chance to cover tap rack drill but no stoppages when he shot. Took him 4 hours of range time before the rangemaster would let him on the line. He passed barely, got him in a training class next day. If you don’t know or are not comfortable with your weapon rent, borrow or scrounge one up you are happy with.

        1. avatar John says:

          My girlfriend and I just cringe when we hear this stuff. That’s probably the last class that guy will ever take and he’ll probably use that Bersa once a year to show his friends.

        2. avatar Retired LEO says:

          Got lucky with him got him in a basic class 16 hours mostly range, he traded the Bersa on a nice used cz75 compact at a pawn shop we visit frequently lotta great deals. He hits the range every 2 months. Turned out he was a CPA worked a deal with a range owner & after a few lessons in addition stayed with it. But if anyone other than my kid had tried to show him that day probably would have given up. Son started shooting @ 5 competitions @ 11 & had the patience that day since he can’t carry a pistol for 3 more years unless he joins up. He can shoot 3 gun matches, win trophies & high dollar weapons at matches. Better shot than half the Army but not legal to CCW unless he’s military. When you get a good shot comment from Jerry Miculek & Julie Sobanski they need to be able to case by case some things.

    2. avatar twency says:

      “carry the largest CALIBER gun you can”

      Umm, no. For some people more rounds in a more manageable caliber might be the better choice. A hit with a .38 beats five misses with a .50 AE.

      1. avatar CArd says:

        That’s what the phrase means. It doesn’t mean the largest you can conceal, it’s the largest you can accurately and comfortably shoot with.

  25. avatar Aaron says:

    Done, done, and done (where legal, but sometimes I go places or travel to locales where carry is not an option). Plus add a good assisted-opening pocket knife such as a Leek.

    If you read my article about pocket guns you will see some of my choices, although lately the Colt Mustang Pocketlite has become my favorite pocketgun again. Add to that article a Kahr CM9 and a Sig P938 which also sometimes make it into rotation

  26. avatar Hannibal says:

    I’m not sure it’s a great idea for new gunners to go with such a small gun. They look easy, but in reality it’s the larger guns that are easier to practice with and manipulate. I’m not saying to go with a full-size 1911 or anything like that, but I find that people have less trouble with compacts than sub-compacts when learning and the size difference isn’t that critical to concealment (at least for most men).

    1. avatar CArd says:

      I guess it’s just me carrying a full size 1911…

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        I carry either a 1911 or Five-seveN. I know several people who only carry 1911s.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        certainly not but it’s not what I would call the best class of gun for beginners to use and conceal for plenty of reasons including size and manual of arms (for which a compact striker-fired weapon with passive safeties would likely fit the bill best).

  27. avatar Bebop says:

    “The more ‘competent and well trained’ people who carry concealed, the safer we all will be, both in terms of active defense and “passive” deterrence.”

    There fixed that for you.

  28. avatar M9A1Man says:

    I’ve been a CCW holder for the last month. I carry EVERYWHERE, except where not allowed by law. As a new CCW holder I can say it does take a bit getting used to, and was a little paranoid my first time in public. The feeling of knowing your packing and can protect yourself if need be is awesome and I could never go without it again. My EDC is a SOG knife, my Shield 9 in an alien gear holster, and my cell phone. I never leave the house without those 3. Nice article. Good read

  29. avatar Willie wil says:

    It was a guy in the market today that was printing but I was happy to know it was another armed good guy in the market with me. I’m sure nobody else noticed.

  30. avatar oldgreyguy says:

    Old fat guy, LCP in ankle holster with 1 spare mag. and Laser sight.
    Not the best but complies with rule #1.

  31. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I can shoot full size pistols very well, but I have found I can draw and shoot a pocket .380 faster and more accurate than my compact and can carry extra mags a lot easier, so guess what goes with me 85% of the time.

  32. avatar Jeff says:

    Some of the advice is legal in nature. What are the author’s qualifications for giving such advice?

  33. good this is so super cool
    fresh and inspiring.
    love it
    thanks for sharing good

  34. avatar showbox apk says:

    That is the excellent mindset. Nonetheless is just not help to make every sense whatsoever preaching about that matter

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