This past weekend, I drove down to see my father and spent some time with him. He recently moved from Tampa Florida to Missouri and needed to take a new concealed carry course to apply for his Missouri permit. I decided to tag along and see what some of the students were shooting and how the average shooter does in a training course. Honestly, I was surprised by the lack of training most had and started talking to some of the students. During my time at the course, I noticed three trends throughout the students and often times it matches what happens in the real world. Let’s dive into some of the most common issues with concealed carriers.
Concealed Carry @ TFB:
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Probably the number one issue I see when going into these concealed carry classes is the lack of training and knowledge. Typically, getting your concealed carry permit is the first step in the learning process when it comes to carrying a firearm. I get the fact everyone needs to start somewhere, but it’s really important to be the best possible version of yourself when carrying a firearm. Getting your carry permit is just the first step when deciding to carry a firearm on a daily basis.
Even after shooting for years, I still enjoy heading to an intro pistol class to work on my fundamentals and working out some of my bad habits that develop over time. There are a number of great trainers out there like Dan Brokos from Lead Faucet Tactical or the FieldCraft Survival pistol courses. If you want to work on more advanced classes, all of the trainers I mentioned earlier have advanced courses as well as Centrifuge Training’s offerings. It’s important to be thrown into a situation that will push your limits, done in a contained supervised space.
These instructors will all be supportive without berating you for making a mistake. It’s important to look at training as a marathon, not a sprint. You need to build your skills slowly but surely over time to build confidence in your abilities. The students in just a few concealed carry courses I saw, had little to no training and could barely make hits on a silhouette target at 7 yards. One day in a basic handgun course and that will greatly up your skills as well as your knowledge.
So training is extremely important when looking at being a proficient conceal carrier every day. The second biggest issue I will see with concealed carriers is the firearm they pick as well as how they conceal it. Traveling around the country and shooting with various people, I’ve seen a number of guys try to carry a Glock 34 with a red dot and weapon light in an appendix holster. He was adamant there was no issue with that except he clearly was printing under his shirt everywhere we went. After a few hours, I finally took a picture of him to show just how bad his concealment really was. When looking at firearm choices, you need to take into account how concealable it is.
Having the same setup with a Glock 19 would have been a much better fit than his larger tricked-out Glock 34. Other times I have seen individuals carry a handgun in an outside the waistband holster and simply pull their t-shirt over the whole thing and call it “concealed.” THIS IS NOT OK! If you want to do this kind of behavior, you might as well bring full attention to yourself and just open carry. The most important thing of carrying a concealed firearm is to remain anonymous. Be as discreet and passive as humanly possible and have the proper holster that lets you conceal your handgun easily on a daily basis.
Lack of Options
Probably the next biggest issue I typically see concealed carriers struggle with is the lack of options. This one is probably the hardest to fix because not everyone has the financial freedom to pick up multiple options to fit the climate or local weather. Most of the large companies out there will have model variants that are similar to each other even though their sizes may vary. SIG has multiple options in their P320 and P365 line of handguns. Glock also does with the Glock 43X and Glock 19 models where you can have the same controls while switching the overall size of your carry handgun.
Having a concealable firearm that you can consistently make hits with is a huge advantage in a self-defense situation. In today’s market, there are a ton of different options for whatever size hands you have and options to create your perfect carry gun. If you live somewhere that has drastic changes in weather depending on the season, it’s even more important to have a carry gun that can serve you in hot humid temperatures as well as the fridge cold months. I will typically carry a P365 through the hot summer months and then switch to a larger P320 in the colder months. This may not work for everyone, but it’s a system that works for me so I encourage everyone to find their own system to be flexible when carrying a firearm.
Navigating the gun community and learning how to properly conceal a firearm can be tough especially if you’re brand new. Whether you’re brand new or experienced, it’s always a good thing to keep learning and trying to be a better shooter than you were the day before. Whether that’s improving your skills through training or improving your gear over time, it’s important to make an effort to constantly better yourself when carrying a concealed firearm. What are some mistakes you guys have seen by concealed carriers? Leave them in the comments below so we can all talk about them and help each other out. If you have questions about carrying concealed or just firearm questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.