Navigating the world of carrying a concealed handgun can be tricky, to say the least. Whether it’s finding the right handgun, holster or other gear, it can be a process that takes time and experience to truly understand what works best for you. Most of my articles about carrying concealed consist of talking about reliable gear while having an adequate understanding of fundamentals. Throughout my journey in the concealed carry world, I have seen my fair share of awesome products along with a number of not-so-great products. There are a few different products that do more harm than good in the long run. Let’s take a look at the carry items to quit using when you conceal carry.
1. The Classic Concealed Carry Fishing Vest
The classic concealed carry vest is a classic staple of the old-school concealed carriers. I can’t tell you how many guys I have met over the years at the range who religiously wear their carry vest all the time. Back in the early 2000s, when carrying concealed was relatively new, it was a great way to conceal a medium to large handgun on your body. The concealed carry fishing vest was really a victim of its own success. So many people used them early on that it became the trademark look for someone concealing a firearm.
Even movies and now video games have picked up on this trend making the survivalist having one of these vests on when portraying the character. Burt from Tremors was a great example of culture picking up on these vests. They may have been a great solution a couple decades ago but they are played out now and will ultimately bring more attention to yourself over blending into the crowd. It’s important to be able to disappear into a crowd rather than someone seeing you’re carrying a firearm from a mile away. They were fantastic back in the day but it’s time to give up the concealed carrying vest guys.
2. Universal/Cloth Holsters
Over the years, there will occasionally be a case where someone accidentally shoots themselves while carrying a cloth holster. In 2016, there was a man who shot himself in his backside and the bullet ended up making a clean hole in his left cheek. This example is simply one of many out there where the universal or cloth holsters failed allowing the firearm to fire inside the holster.
I completely understand the appeal of universal holsters. If you go into any big box store and ask for help, most associates will point you to a universal holster saying it’ll fit your new firearm. It’s fairly standard for big box stores to push universal holsters since that’s what they have on hand but it’s always good to hold off and order a quality holster. Having a solid-built leather or Kydex holster will not only allow you to carry more comfortably but will also make you carry safer. Having a stiffer material like leather or Kydex will help keep its rigidity and just be a safer option than cloth holsters. They may be a cheaper alternative but in the end, it’s best to pass on cloth holsters.
3. Ball or Range Ammo
Finding the right type of ammo can be a bit of a process and semi expensive if you have to buy multiple boxes of self-defense ammunition. Over the years, I have met more than my fair share of individuals who don’t think self-defense ammunition is important and just think ball ammunition is fine. Now there are a few different studies out there which show 45 ACP ball rounds transfer the majority of their energy into a body, but other calibers, especially 9mm, won’t transfer their energy and will simply blow through the body.
This creates two issues, the first one is having rounds that will pass through your target and continue on after exiting the body. It creates an incredibly dangerous situation where a round may potentially hit an innocent bystander. The second issue is the fact you’re losing out on a massive amount of energy transfer. Without expansion, that bullet is basically just poking holes in the body instead of dumping all of its energy into your target. A bullet’s energy can either be your saving grace or your worst enemy depending on your round choice. I always recommend some type of self-defense ammunition just to get enough energy transfer in the body so you don’t have rounds sailing downrange into the unknown.
4. 2nd Amendment Proud Shirts
This is probably the most controversial choice on my list. I know there’s a fairly large majority of you who love to wear pro 2A shirts out in public to show your support to all things firearms and America. The problem I have with wearing gun-related apparel out in public is the fact it brings attention to yourself. I am someone who adamantly believes in blending and taking attention away from yourself rather than bringing more attention to the fact you may have a firearm on your person.
I can’t tell you how many gun-related shirts friends and family have bought me over the years as a gift and I just have no desire to wear them. The added attention is not worth the statement to me since I don’t want a single person to know I have a firearm out in public. I prefer a simple button up shirt or neutral colors personally, but I would encourage you guys to at least think about where you’re going and how you’re presenting yourself in public before taking a firearm in public with a certain type of shirt. In society, perception is reality and I prefer to fly under the radar rather than bring unwanted attention to myself. I know there will be a few who disagree with me and that’s ok, but it’s worth thinking about at least.
I know some of my choices may have some of you guys disagreeing with me and that’s perfectly ok. Honestly, I think these are important topics to discuss and really chew on when carrying a concealed firearm out in public. I am the type that wants high-quality gear while keeping the lowest profile possible. Some of you are different and that’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to leave your comments down below and tell me what else you think concealed carriers should stop using. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.