When I first started my journey into concealed carry, I got a lot of things wrong. I was visiting with Grant, our Chief Instructor here, and together we believe we have made about every mistake you can make when it comes to concealed carry, besides a negligent discharge where we accidentally shot ourselves. That has NOT happened. Anyways, we put together a list of tips, tricks, and life hacks to help get you started and to keep you on the concealed carry straight and narrow path.
1. Invest In Yourself
The first thing is to invest in yourself. The newest coolest gun is great to have. If you’re like me you drool over the features and new designs. I’m immediately filled with envy and I start trying to justify a new $500-600 purchase. But here is the thing, if you are not practicing and training, that gun is less and less effective by the day. Instead of rushing out and buying the newest gun, take that money and buy a membership at your local gun range and go practice as often as you can. Instead of buying the new gun, find a local trainer and pay for a course to help you be more proficient with your gun. Let’s agree right now to stop spending as much money on guns and dump more of that into training, and practice sessions. Invest in yourself because the gun itself won’t save your life, you will.
2. Get A Good Belt
Probably one of the most boring items to buy for your concealed carry journey is a good belt. When I first started carrying a gun every day I had a department store belt and I had a Glock 23 riding on it. My cheap fashionable belt didn’t hold up to the weight of the 23 and the whole belt developed a sag in it. My pants constantly were falling down and I had such a bad printing problem I gave up on carrying a gun for a while. Don’t let that be you! Right now I either carry with a Bigfoot Gunbelt, which still looks fashionable, or an Uncle Mike’s Reinforced Instructor Belt. I highly recommend both, considering you can buy both for under $100 it’s an amazing value that will make your concealed carry life so much more enjoyable.
3. Don’t Buy Cheap Junk
Okay, this point can be pretty much used for any facet of life that’s important. The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to a lot of situations in life, concealed carry included. You need to have a quality gun, belt, holster, and ammunition. Don’t buy a cheap as dirt gun, if you can avoid it. Don’t go buy full metal jacket rounds for self-defense every day carry and don’t buy some made overseas cheap knockoff holster. If you don’t spend at least $50 on a holster I’d be skeptical of it. Keep in mind that when you're carrying a loaded gun that holster is one of the biggest proponents of what’s keeping you safe. It needs to be durable with a good lock that protects the trigger.
4. Riding In The Car With Comfort
Okay, this is a life hack and it’s really only going to be usable for those of us out there who carry their gun in the appendix position. If you ride in the car a lot, maybe you're someone with a long commute to work, It won’t take long before your gun poking you in the gut becomes annoying. Don’t worry there is an easy solution. I learned this life hack from watching John Lovell over at The Warrior Poet Society YouTube Channel. When you're riding in the car with your appendix carry an easy thing to do for comfort is to tuck your shirt behind your gun and holster. Put your T-shirt as a barrier between your EDC and you. For an extra step, it’s a good idea to tuck your seatbelt behind it too. Altogether this does a couple of things. It makes your draw from sitting in the car much faster, because your garment and seatbelt are out of the way. Secondly, if you get in an accident while driving that seatbelt could cinch up on you, which would normally jam your gun into your pelvic area. OUCH! Well, now that won’t happen. Lastly of course it’s going to be more comfortable to drive around this way.
5. Be Committed
If you're new to concealed carry this one is so important, if I’m honest with you it took me a while of trying new things to find the method I was most pleased with when it comes to concealed carry. I carried a gun at multiple positions, I went through holsters until I finally settled on the Oath Holster from Tulster. Just keep at it, stay committed. You don’t get to pick when disaster strikes, we never know when our last day on earth could be. If you commit to carrying every day there is a very slim chance of you needing to ever pull your gun, but in that small percentage of chance, you could save your life, the lives of your family, or the lives of others. So practice safety, be legal, get concealed carry insurance to protect you after an altercation, and stick with it every single day.