Being able to conceal carry a gun for the first time can give new guys mixed feelings. It’s definitely exciting to be able to legally carry and take personal safety into your own hands. There can also be a lot of anxiety and mistakes when learning how to carry a gun in public. One of the first things I learned is it’s not as simple as strapping a gun onto your hip and walking out the door. Now, most of you who are regular readers on The Firearm Blog will know how to conceal carry, but there’s always new people getting into firearms and it’s not always easy finding reliable information out there.
Some Basic Rules
So these aren’t an official list of rules but rather a list I personally live by daily. One of the biggest mistakes new concealed carriers make is giving in to the excitement and carrying a gun that’s not ready for concealed carry. This can be anything from no holster to carrying full metal jacket rounds instead of correct defensive ammo. It’s important to have a good concealment holster when carrying. It has to secure the gun and be discreet so there’s minimal or no printing. I recommend inside the waistband carry, but it can be uncomfortable for beginners. If it’s uncomfortable at first, keep working at it and your body will get used to it. If you want something easy, there’s always the pocket carry method. Pocket carrying is typically limited to subcompact or micro guns.
Ammunition is really important when conceal carrying. Running quality defense ammo in your gun is a pretty basic part of conceal carrying. It’s never a good idea to run range ammo as a substitute for defense ammo and having a “good enough” approach to it. With over-penetration being a fairly large risk, it’s always a good idea to think about being the safest and responsible person you can. There are a ton of different options on the market for self-defense ammo. I personally like Federal HST rounds or the SIG Sauer V-Crown rounds. Another great thing to do is test the carry ammo you decide on. Most firearms out there will feed self-defense ammo reliability but it’s always important to test whatever ammo before depending your life on it.
Getting Into The Mindset
One of the toughest things is being comfortable with a loaded firearm on your body in public. I remember the first month or so was tough getting comfortable having a loaded gun on my hip. The first few days I always felt like I was going to have an accidental discharge with my Glock in its holster. Needless to say, it never happened and I became comfortable after a while but these feelings do happen. Some people do Israeli style carrying or carrying without a round in the chamber. I’ve talked with someone who carried a revolver with two empty chambers in case he accidentally pulled the trigger in a situation. There will always be debates on whether Israeli carry is a good idea, but personally, I think it’s important to be confident and comfortable enough to carry a loaded firearm on your person.
Overall, it’s important to be ready both mentally and physically to carry a firearm in public. It’s definitely exciting once you’re able to but there are responsibilities that need to be taken seriously before starting. We aren’t perfect from the start and things will change whether it’s trying new holsters and styles but it’s always a good idea to start somewhere and try out different styles to see what fits your lifestyle best. I’d love to hear some stories from you carry veterans about your experiences starting out in the comments below. If you have any specific questions about concealed carry or guns in general, don’t be afraid to message me on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!