In the past, there’s been a fair bit of debate whenever I started talking about PDW-style firearms. While I have carried a PDW-style firearm in the past and they are one of my favorite weapon types to shoot, I don’t typically carry them daily. Over the last month, however, I have gotten a number of questions about how to carry PDW-style weapons and if there’s anything that can make it easier. At the end of the day, they are usually fairly large and require a plan once you decide to carry them. Let’s take a closer look at some tips for PDW carry that will make your life easier.
Preparation is Key
One of the biggest issues I see when people decide to carry a PDW is the fact they don’t prepare ahead of time. Shoving a small to medium-sized PDW into your backpack with other items and calling it good isn’t the best way to do things. Having specific magazines for bag carry that are shorter along with different grips for easy retrieval is a huge benefit. Having a firearm that is specifically designed to be snag-free will help you pull the firearm out of a bag much easier.
The SIG Rattler for example has a curved pistol grip so it’s less prone to snagging as you pull it out of a bag. Carrying a firearm with a 20-round magazine instead of a full-size standard 30-round magazine will help keep the firearm less bulky. It’s important to have your PDW as streamlined as possible. The simpler a bag gun is, the easier it’ll be to draw from a bag in a dangerous situation.
Have Realistic Expectations
Now I will be the first to admit how fun PDWs are to customize and set up for your specific needs. Creating a personal defense weapon that’s perfect for you can be a truly fun experience. The issue is sometimes people want to either carry firearms that are way too large for their bag or they want to use the PDW as their primary self-defense weapon. Drawing your concealed handgun will almost always be faster than pulling a PDW from your bag. You should focus on your pistol as your primary with a PDW as a secondary resource.
There’s really no need to carry a PDW around for daily use but I know plenty of people who do it. The most I carry smaller firearms for self-defense is when I’m on the road traveling away from my home. Traveling in your vehicle makes carrying something like a PDW in your backpack significantly easier. You don’t have to lug around all the extra weight while having a little more firepower at your disposal if something happens while you’re away from home. There’s a big difference between having options while traveling and role-playing as Jason Bourne so make sure you have a realistic goal for why you’re carrying a PDW.
Train With What You Have
For some, it can be difficult to buy specific bags and gear for carrying concealed. Sometimes budget just doesn’t allow for extra purchases and that’s ok. Having a specific bag built for carrying concealed will make life much easier In the long run though. Certain bags like the Viktos backpacks and Vertx bags have a number of options for customization and layouts to include soft armor and quick access pockets.
It won’t be as fast as drawing for your holster, but having a good carry backpack will speed the process of drawing your firearm. The biggest thing when carrying and using a bag to carry something larger is to practice with what you have. In a stressful situation, it’s important to know how to draw if you’re in a really bad situation. There are a number of factors why I wouldn’t draw because you could easily be identified as a threat. Regardless if you choose to carry a PDW, don’t expect yourself to “rise” to the occasion.
A situation like that will be chaotic and overwhelming to most, so it’s important to train so you have some baseline experience drawing and protecting yourself. It’s never a bad idea to change things for PDWs like carrying with a mag inserted with an empty chamber since the trigger isn’t protected with a holster like other firearms. Bouncing around in a bag can do all kinds of strange things and can switch safeties off fairly easily. I typically never advocate empty chamber carry but for PDWs, it’s honestly not a bad idea.
Carrying a PDW is one of those hot-button issues in the gun community. I understand some are against it completely and that’s ok, but there are a number of people who want to understand it and learn more which is why it’s important to talk about it. Whatever gun and configuration you decide to go with, it’s important to train and know how to deploy your PDW so you’re not doing it for the first time when it counts. I know the comments will be all over the place, but let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearm-related questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!