min read

Powerful CCW Lessons for Concealed Carriers

effective concealed carry habits

The root of any highly effective concealed carrier's degree of success will inevitably stem from developing some basic rules. Here's some suggestions based upon experience and observation.

5. Situational Awareness

It's not just your environment – it's who you're around and your own physical/mental limitations. Dangerous situations rarely wait for perfect conditions. That's why concealed carriers always stay aware of their surroundings and have to master situation awareness.

  1. Be cognizant of possible escape routes, places to take cover and/or concealment if necessary.
  2. Choose wisely who you bring along for the ride.
    Friends or relatives that continually put you in a tough position or call attention to your weapon are probably people to avoid.
  3. Avoid places and activities that can lead to bad situations.

The first step to avoiding a trap is knowing it's there. Certain places tend to breed situations involving people and poor decisions. While many states prohibit carrying inside an alcohol serving establishment – even one drink is a drink too far. And if friends and acquaintances don't know you're carrying, they may be apt to offer you a drink.

Another example is running around in the park. Whether it's playing frisbee with friends or just a friendly game of softball with coworkers, these are all prone to creating “spotting” or “printing” situations.

4. Federal, State, County and Municipal Gun Laws

concealed carry tips

Not all states allow municipalities and counties to add conditions greater than Federal and State requirements. Missouri used to let municipalities dictate when and how concealed carriers could operate. Now it's at the state level. But there are still states out there that do regulate by the county or municipality. Especially when traveling, try to stay on top of who's calling the shots and what those conditions are.

Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent of a crime. Learn the law of the land.

3. Always Practice the Four Principles of Gun Safety

good concealed carry habits

There is never a situation where violating any of the four principle gun safety rules is okay. These rules are there for a reason – they work. They keep people safe and they keep you safe. So if you find your shoulder holster is flagging the guy behind you in line at the grocery store – you're doing something wrong.

And if you do have to draw your weapon, applying all four safety rules will help save the lives of those around you and perhaps even yourself.

2. Predictability – How It Helps

concealed carry holster position

You know exactly how your pistol is positioned in your concealed holster. You know why you know? Because you practice religiously with your holster being in that exact same position. Predictability, on your part, can help save your life.

Instead of struggling to get a grip on your pistol at an odd new experimental cant, you're focused instead on putting tight, controlled shots downrange at a bad guy. That's the sort of predictability you want.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

concealed carry shooting practice

Nothing is possible without practice. We all come up with excuses to avoid the range. Maybe it's the fluctuating cost of ammunition or just a busy schedule. If you're a concealed carrier, the excuses you tell yourself that keep you from practicing will be the same excuses you'll be giving when things go wrong in a real life situation – if you're able to say anything at all.

Train how you want to respond to an actual hostile situation. That's a tenet of being a good concealed carrier and it's the factor that keeps good people alive and assists bad guys out the door.

Are there any specific habits you've formed since becoming a concealed carrier?
Tell us about it in the comments section below.

James England

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.