There are several methods of concealed carry of a firearm the new shooter needs to understand. The best method is one that works for the individual and balances concealment, comfort and accessibility of the firearm.
Carrying a firearm into public for the first time can make you nervous. You may feel that someone knows you have a gun. These feelings are normal but you will soon get use to it.
If you have a concealed carry license or if you are living in a Constitutional Carry state, it is perfectly legal for you to have your firearm with you. In fact, you should carry it with you everywhere you can.
The first decision you will need to make is the type of firearm to carry. Once you have settled on a certain weapon you need to find a holster that works for the type of method you choose.
A good holster is an important investment
Do not make the mistake of buying a cheap holster for your firearm. A holster should be seen as an important investment in your personal protection.
The holster should be comfortable and secure your firearm properly. A proper holster will completely cover the trigger guard of your gun to prevent something accidentally hitting the trigger.
There are holsters available for virtually every type of pistol ever made and for every imaginable carry position. Custom holster makers can make virtually anything you want and customize it to fit your personality as well.
Methods of concealed carry are influenced by the clothes you wear
Your choices in clothing will affect the method of carrying your gun. Concealed carry means that your gun is hidden from sight, giving you the element of surprise in a self defense situation.
Clothing becomes part of your concealed carry technique by helping keep your gun hidden. Tight cloths will cause your gun to print more than you may like and wearing cloths that are bulky may not be the best choice for you either.
Shirts that have patterns can help hide the printing of a weapon more than a solid color shirt. The pattern in many shirts break up the outline of the gun very well.
You will also need a good belt to support your holster and firearm. Don’t use a cloth because it will be too flexible to keep your gun stable. The belt should be stiff and close to the same size as the belt loops of your holster.
Most popular method of concealed carry
The most common way to carry a gun is around your waste band. This position keeps the gun the closest to your hands and gives quick access for most situations.
Concealed carry is about having the tools you need to protect yourself with you at all times. You must also be able to get to them in a self defense situation.
Methods of concealed carry commonly used include outside the waste band and inside the waste band. Each of these two methods have advantages and disadvantages.
Carrying a gun Outside the Waste Band (OWB)
The biggest advantage of carrying outside the waste band is its the most comfortable way to carry your firearm. It is the most common method for open carry as well. It is possible to concealed carry your firearm in an outside the waste band holster by using proper clothing and the right holster.
Choose a holster that keeps your gun close to your body and that protects your body from any pinching or rubbing from the stippling or sharp corners of the gun. Pancake style, or saddle style, holsters work best for this method of carry.
It is a good idea to avoid wearing solid color shirts when you concealed carry outside your waste band. A solid color shirt will more easily reveal the outline of your gun. Wearing shirts that have a pattern on them usually works much better. Also, don’t wear shirts that are tight because your gun will stick out like a sore thumb.
The majority of time I carry my gun outside the waste band with my shirt covering it. However there are times when this is not an option for one reason or another.
A disadvantage of outside the waste band carry is you must have a long shirt or jacket to keep your gun covered. Obviously, wearing a jacket or coat in warmer weather is not an option. Some occasions may require you to dress in a way that makes it difficult also.
Carrying a gun inside the waste band (IWB)
Carrying your gun inside the waste band gives you the ability to deeply conceal your weapon. Some IWB holsters will allow you to tuck in your shirt for those more formal occasions.
It is very important to have a comfortable holster that offers some type of padding to keep your gun from making contact with your skin. The gun will be in much tighter contact with your body and any sharp edges will dig into you.
If the holster you use is soft and doesn’t retain its form when the gun is drawn, remove the holster from your waste and put the gun in it before placing it on your body. Soft holsters collapse and there is a risk of fabric hitting the trigger if you try to holster your gun.
A belly band holster is one option for people who may wear clothing that doesn’t allow you to wear a belt. People in the medical field who wear scrubs can easily use a belly band holster since they are self supporting and don’t require a belt.
We all remember those 70’s and 80’s television shows that feature cops wearing shoulder holsters. A good shoulder holster can be a great option for concealed carry.
You will need to wear a jacket or other type of shirt to cover your shoulder holster. In my opinion, a shoulder holster needs to have two magazine pouches on the opposite side as the gun. The added weight of the magazine pouches will give the holster a better balance by offsetting the weight of the gun. The more balanced it is the more comfortable it will be.
Great care must be taken when drawing from a shoulder holster. Improper draw can result in pointing a loaded weapon towards innocent people. If you have a negligent discharge an innocent person could be injured or killed.
When you draw from a shoulder holster the gun should be immediately pointed down as until you get it into the direction of your target. Bring it up onto target and fire your shot if necessary.
Carrying a gun in your pocket
Carrying a gun in your pocket can be one of the more dangerous methods of concealed carry. It is very important to use a pocket holster that completely covers the trigger guard. Place the gun in the holster before placing both of them in your pocket.
Never carry a gun with a round in the chamber in your pocket unless it is in some type of holster. There is a high possibility of having a negligent discharge if something gets against the trigger.
Ankle carry is another method and is a popular way to carry a back up gun. Holster selection is a very critical element for ankle carrying a gun. There is a fine line between a quality comfortable ankle holster and a medieval torture device.
It is very important to regularly clean a gun you regularly carry even if you don’t shoot it. More dirt and contaminants will find their way into your gun and this is especially true for ankle carry guns. You will kick up dust and other contaminants as you walk.
Concealed Carry Positions
The selection of the holster will be influenced by the position you decide to carry your gun. You must also consider the risks of a negligent discharge with your carry position.
If you appendix carry remember that you have a main artery that runs down your leg. Accidentally shooting yourself can result in you bleeding to death before help can arrive.
Special methods of concealed carry for women
Women are the fastest growing demographic of the concealed carry market and more companies are taking notice. There is an entire industry specializing in concealed carry training and accessories specifically for women.
Ladies have special methods of concealed carry they can use such as bra holsters, concealed carry girdles and others. You MUST keep control of your purse if you carry your gun in it.
If someone steals your purse with your gun in it, you aren’t only dealing with a criminal, you are dealing with an armed criminal.
Get some defensive shooting training
People do not rise to the occasion; they will default to their level of training. The various methods of concealed carry must include training. Proper training is important for you to be proficient with your firearm. Your gun and all of your gear is useless if you don’t know how to use it.
Regular training and practice is a very important part of the concealed carry lifestyle. You need to regularly practice the basics before moving on to advanced methods. It is important to be able to draw from a standard OWB holster before you try drawing from concealment.