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Posts tagged How to carry a gun

Lessons Learned After A Year of Carrying A Gun

A little over a year ago, I joined the ranks of the armed citizenry and began concealed carrying a gun everyday.  If you have read my 1st blog post (My Journey To Concealed Carry) then you already know about my somewhat irregular path to carrying.

 

If you are still on the fence about concealed carry, this post may help you.

There are 3 main things that I learned from carrying daily for a year:

  1. People really can not tell when you are carrying a gun. (When you are properly concealing)
  2. It is not as uncomfortable as I thought it might have been.  (Holster, belt, and pants contribute to this)
  3. Non Permissive Environments (NPEs) are stupid. (The reason is probably not what you think)

People Really Can Not Tell When You Are Carrying

This is one of the ones that new carriers worry about the most………….printing.

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Does my gun make me look fat?

Printing is something that the gun community has zeroed in on as something the be conscious of.  But after a year with a firearm strapped to me everyday,  I have found it to be somewhat ridiculous.  In order for you to be spotted printing, someone has to be staring directly at you (for a considerable amount of time) and at the exact spot your firearm is in for them to notice.  Of course if you are wearing a shirt that is 2 sizes too small for you, you wont just be printing, you will have a complete outline of of your firearm showing.

Even if you have a slight bulge, the average person is not going to be staring you down trying to figure out if you are carrying or not.

 It Is Not As Uncomfortable As I Thought

I initially thought that concealed carry would be somewhat uncomfortable and that I would have to get used to that in order to feel comforted by the fact that I had a gun on me.    This was mostly due to what you hear others say about CCW.  But the fact is, that with today’s modern firearms and wide selection of holsters, you can be extremely comfortable while carrying.  Almost to the point where you could forget at times that you are!  I have even fallen asleep while wearing my gun with a Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (You can read my review of it here).

NPEs Are Stupid!

It is already bad enough that there is actually a list of places where you cannot carry your weapon.  Most people will bring up the fact that these places are targets for criminals because they know that no one there will be armed.  And while this is a valid point, my gripe with most NPEs is that they DO NOT ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING TO ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS ARMED!!!

As I law abiding citizen, I like to abide by the law.  Even if that sometimes means I am walking into a place that could potentially make me a victim (I try not to frequent places like this often).  It really irks me that, after I go through all the trouble of disarming myself and ensuring that no one can easily access my firearm while I am away,

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

XDs 4.0 inside of a Gun Vault Nano Vault 300 (NV 300)

there is no one actually checking to make sure that everyone is disarmed.  Even when going to an event where they check women’s purses, which is a joke.  They do such a poor job at it that you could practically bring in a fully assembled AR-15!

I just don’t get it.  With no metal detectors or pat downs, how in the world do they expect there to be no weapons of any kind?

Photo credit: http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-firearms-or-weapons-sign-download.html

Photo credit: http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-firearms-or-weapons-sign-download.html

They really can not expect any one, criminal or law abiding, to just obey this sign can they?

Conclusion

While there are only 3 things listed here, these are the things that truly stood out to me in my reflections of the past year.  If you have a specific question, feel free to ask.

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– Peace

 

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Appendix Carry & Why I Prefer It

Appendix carry is not new, but in the last few years or so there seems to be a lot of rave about it.  Like every other topic or debate in gun culture, there are people that love it and there are those that hate it.  Me personally,  I absolutely love appendix carry and it is my preferred method for 2 main reasons:

  1. Ease of Concealment
  2. Tactics

***I purposely left out comfort because it is subjective and dependent on different variables from person to person.***

Before I dive into these, let me preface this by saying that: as of this time, I have only carried appendix and strong side (3 o’clock position).  I will update this post or revisit this discussion as I test more holsters and methods of carry.

Ease of Concealment

Concealed carry is all about concealment at all times.  This includes reaching up for something on a top shelf at Walmart.  When you wear shirts that are your proper size, they tend to be short; which makes reaching up for something without your gun becoming exposed nearly impossible without holding down your shirt.  This is why OWB doesn’t work for fashion conscious concealed carriers and certainly a problem if your state has statutes against exposing your concealed handgun.   By the very nature of this reaching action, you will likely be facing something that will obstruct the view of your torso; therefore, even if your shirt rises above your gun, no one is likely to see it unless they are staring.

This brings up an interesting thought.  Part of carrying a concealed firearm is thinking on a level that most people don’t think psychologically.  For example, we know that it is not polite to stare at another persons crotch.  Using this information alone, appendix carry is the best place to carry undetected because even if you are printing a little bit, no one will be looking long enough or hard enough at you to wonder what that slight bulge or imprint is on your torso.

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Tactics

While I am not an expert on being tactical or “tacticool”, I do believe I have studied and tried enough things to present some solid points on this topic.  Tactics are a huge part of CCW and even if you do not consider yourself to be tactical, you more than likely are because of the way you think in regards to self-defense and protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Ask yourself these questions.  How can you quickly and effectively draw your gun:

  • While seated?
  • If you are pushed down onto your back?
  • If your strong side hand is incapacitated?

It should not take you long to realize that, just in these 3 examples, any other method of carry (lets stick to the common methods of hip carry for the purposes of this topic) is inferior to appendix carry.  Dont just take my word for it; unload your concealed carry gun, holster it, and go see how quickly and effectively you can draw in these scenarios.  Yes I know that training can teach you how to do this, but even with training you will still be slower and you would have to practice those techniques as much if not more than your normal draw practice to make sure you stay fluid.

I will not go as far as to say that drawing from appendix carry is faster than other methods of carry because I believe that to be subjective and dependent on the individual and how much time they have put into training and practicing.  But I will say that no matter what the situation, carrying appendix makes the most sense because of the “right there” access it provides you to your gun at all times.

Conclusion

There are other reasons that I could have listed, but when you think about them, they lead you back to these two methods one way or the other.  And they are reason enough for me to carry appendix 90% of the time.

If you would like to see some convincing photos, head over to the Lookbook or check out the Instagram feed.

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– Peace

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620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster Review

Even though I prefer IWB carry, I cannot deny the pleasure of carrying OWB with a nice kydex holster.  And the 620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster is just that.  Let me preface this review by stating that my only prior experience with Outside-the-Waistband holsters was the XDs Gear Paddle Holster that comes with the Springfield Armory XDs Series pistols.

Retention

As with every holster that I have purchased or received, the first thing I did after unpacking this holster was UNLOAD my firearm and check the fitment and retention.  The first thing that really stood out to me was that there was this sensationally loud “click” sound when inserting the gun into this holster that I had to recreate several times before further examining this holster.

My first thoughts were, “My XDs Gear holster never sounded like this”. (I soon after dug out the hex key that came with the XDs Gear holster and tightened the retention)

Along side the positive “click” when holstering, unholstering is smooth and requires a minimal amount of force but it is enough to make sure drawing is a deliberate action.  If you have to take off running while carrying with this holster, your gun will not flop out and hit the ground.

Comfort

I do believe that most will agree that, Outside-the-Waistband carry is probably the most comfortable method of on-body carry; even with the super comfortable Inside-the-Waistband holsters available today.  Even while driving, this holster was comfortable.  But because of tactics I usually remove the pistol from the holster before buckling up when carrying OWB.

Concealment

The 620 Concealment Kydex OWB Holster lives up to its “concealment” title.  Even on the first day of carrying this holster I immediately noticed the difference between it and my XDs Gear Paddle Holster.  It’s slim design allows the gun to sit very close to the body, which really aids in concealment when wearing shirts that fit.  Even with this there are still some shirts that will cause printing.  But as I stated in the IWB vs OWB Carry article, it is minimal and a person would have to be look very closely to truly notice.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a Kydex OWB Holster for your Everyday Carry (EDC) or to add to your collection, at this price it is hard to beat this holster from 620 Concealment.  Check them out and please let them know who sent you.

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– Peace

IWB vs OWB Carry

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) and Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) are certainly the two most common ways to carry a handgun, but the debate on which is better will go on for years to come.  Personally I prefer IWB but there are times when I opt for OWB.  If you are new to concealed carry and still trying to decide which method of carry you want to use, I hope to provide you with a resource to help your decision.

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Carry

For concealed carry, IWB carry is the easiest way to conceal a handgun.  This is because the slide of the gun is down inside the pants and the only thing left to cover is the grip, which is as easy as throwing on a t-shirt.  Also, inside-the-waistband carry is extremely comfortable, contrary to older beliefs, especially with the current trends of “conceal carry handguns” and the wide range of holsters available.

Printing with IWB carry is relatively minimal compared to OWB depending on the handgun and clothing style.  I am consistently able to wear very fitting clothing without printing.

Appendix carry makes concealment even easier because the average person, man or woman, is not going to be staring into another persons crotch. (Unless they are a flat-out pervert)

Tactically, inside-the-waistband carry gives you better control and access to the firearm at all times, even while driving. (which I do a lot of.)

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Carry

When a lot of people hear OWB carry they usually think Open Carry, which is not always the case.  Carrying concealed with an outside-the-wiastband holster is very doable, it just requires a little more attention to detail than carrying inside-the-waistband.  Even though, IWB can be extremely comfortable, there is no denying that OWB is much more comfortable because you do not have the cold, hard handgun slide down your pants rubbing against you.

If you are gravely concerned about printing or you gun being seen, I would not recommend OWB carry for you.  This is because it is very likely that throughout the course of your day, someone will see your gun via printing

or because your shirt has raised up enough to reveal the bottom of the slide, or completely exposing your handgun.  As you can see in the above photos, OWB carry with properly fitting clothing makes me look bulky round the waist and if someone looks hard enough, they will likely see the outline of my pistol.  (Adding a jacket to this outfit, would probably get rid of the awkward wideness around the hips)

One major disadvantage to outside-the-waistband carry is driving.  Once you strap on the seatbelt, your access to your firearm is greatly hindered not only by the seatbelt itself, but also your cover garment.  This tactical disadvantage is at the top of my list for why I do not carry this way on a daily basis.  When I do carry this way; however, I often remove the firearm from the holster and wedge it in-between my seat and the center console area.

(I do plan on getting a Grassburr Mountable Holster for this purpose)

Which one is better?

I would not go on record saying one method is better than the other, but I will say that if you are new to concealed carry and are fashion conscious, IWB carry is the way to go because of the ease of concealment and minimal printing even with extremely fitted clothing.  If you can afford it, I would recommend purchasing a holster for both carry methods because there are pros and cons to both and there are times when one method is clearly more desirable and/or appropriate than the other.

No matter which you chose, ALWAYS carry and look dapper while doing it!

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– Peace

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