Five mistakes new concealed carriers often make
Everyone is new when they start carrying a concealed firearm. What separates the competent carriers from the incompetent ones is by solving these five mistakes – which we are all prone to make at some point. If you find any of these statements apply to you, just know every other person out there is faced with them, too.
What can you do to improve your ability to defend the lives of yourself and others?
Choosing A Gun For Its Look Rather Than Your Needs
There are a lot of very cool guns out there on the market. Who doesn't want to tote a full size 1911 in a holster around everyday or a single-action Ruger Vaquero? But it's not even this mistake that really ties up first time concealed carriers – it's underestimating their daily needs.
A firearm should fit comfortably in the individual shooter's hand. It doesn't need to fit well in anyone else's. If that's a micro .380 Auto, then it is. Conversely, if a Glock 43 doesn't fit right in the hand, consider a Glock 26 or similar.
There are a number of factors involved in choosing the right firearm:
• Your daily schedule – what firearm fits in best for you for Everyday Carry (EDC)?
• Comfort level – If you don't feel safe practicing with the firearm, don't use it.
• Concealability – Does it fit well in an inside the waistband holster?
• Magazine Capacity - How many rounds does it hold?
All of these need to sync up before a new concealed carrier will really be able to buy in to carrying daily. Until that time, they're an occasional carrier who's uncomfortable (for any number of reasons) with carrying everywhere.
Wrong Concealment Method
There are a lot of bad products out there that claim to help you carry concealed – but actually make it harder. There are even “holsters” which tout streamlined concealability but are actually dangerous to use – namely ones that have no trigger guard or place any object in the barrel.
Choose a concealment method that's reliable and works well with your everyday situations. Consider checking out an iwb holster that fastens well into the waistline and doesn't cause unneeded stress.
Defense Plan Is The Gun
Survival is part strategy, part opportunity, and some amount of pure luck. At no point in time does having a firearm substitute any part of those three components. So if your survival plan is simply to use your concealed carry firearm in the event of an attack on your person, family, or property – you may want to reconsider.
A defense plan always begins with situational awareness.
• Where are your nearest exits?
• How can you get you and your family out of harm's way fastest?
Answering those questions with the use of a firearm for assistance IS a smart move. Relying on that firearm to do the hard thinking for you, however, is not.
Not Practicing With Your Daily Concealed Carry Firearms
This is a hard mistake to make. If the pistol or revolver you carry in your inside the waistband holster isn't the firearm you practice with – it's not doing you as much good as you may think. If you find yourself detesting or loathing the feel and function of your everyday carry – change to one that you're comfortable with.
If you put in the time, trust, and attention a good concealed carry firearm deserves – it'll work for you splendidly when the time comes.
A Little Bit Of Training Is Enough
When are you trained enough?
The correct answer is never. No one is 100% on training. We're always striving to improve our deficiencies and maintain our proficiency. So that means it's a lifelong process and for carrying a concealed firearm – that process should never stop. You can never be fast enough, accurate enough, and skilled enough. Because if you get into that mentality, your complacency can come back to haunt you.
If you impress yourself at the range, increase the difficulty. If paper targets are something you scoff at, try a moving target range. Try more tactical simulations in a training environment. Take additional classes. And finally, if you've mastered all there is to master – instruct others. And in doing so, you will continue to learn by watching others less experienced than you do it differently.
Take a look at some more common concealed carry mishaps to help in your training with what not to do. Learning from your own mistakes is ok, learning from others' mistakes is great. Especially when it comes to firearms.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.