Concealed Carry can be a lot like other sports you are involved in. Many require practice, good equipment and usually require some form of safety. Sometimes people make mistakes in equipment purchases and have a hard time getting the right fit for them and their lifestyle. Concealed Carry is not a hobby. You are carrying a deadly weapon capable of taking someone’s life. Mistakes can be deadly. So good equipment, practice, and great safety habits are a must.
Let’s look and see how Johnny handles the equipment dilemma. Johnny starts out with a full-size handgun. He shoots it good enough to hit the target, but man that .45 ammo is sure expensive and after wearing the gun for a while he decides its not for him. Having that big heavy handgun on his waist and trying to conceal it is just too much of a hassle, so over time he tends not to wear it as much and he eventually chooses to only wear it when he thinks he might need it or leave it at home. Johnny decides he will only wear a Concealed Carry handgun when he goes to certain parts of town or when he is going somewhere where there is more risk. So on many occasions, he leaves his handgun in his car under the front seat where he can retrieve it fast if he needs it.
Then Johnny gets this great idea. He likes having the Concealed Carry handgun for protection but maybe a pocket gun would fit his situation better. So he goes to the local gun shop and trades the full-size gun for a pocket gun. He runs to the range and shoots it a few times and it kind of hurts his hand when he shoots it but he “mans up” and shoots it anyway. It seems to be harder to hit the target unlike the old gun but heck it’s easy to concealed carry and I’m most likely never going to need it anyway right? I will probably just have to point it at somebody to stop an attack. He sticks the little shooter in his pocket without a holster and he carries it most of the time. When he practices, which is rare he shoots a few shots at close range cause it hurts his hand and at 21 feet he can hit the target some of the time. Maybe he could get a laser for it and that will help him shoot the gun better.
Johnny thinks he is a safe gun handler, heck he attended the concealed carry class at the hotel and he even bought one of the CDs they had for sale. He got his permit with no problem, and he has a hunter safety card. He has everything he needs to be safe right?
Let’s look at the facts.
Concealed Carry Is Not A Hobby
First, when choosing a handgun for concealed carry the gun has to fit your hand. You will not shoot a gun well if your full hand does not fit on the grip. All fingers including the pinky should be on the grip. Many of the top guns on the market are what the industry calls compact weapons. Generally speaking, there are three size weapons in the concealed carry arena. Full size, Compact, and Sub-compact. Gun stores confuse these so forget what they are called and look at how they fit. Many of what we call the compact guns are the perfect size for concealed carry situations. Guns in this category would be like the Glock 43x or the Walther PPS M2. Many of the guns in this category are what we call single-stack handguns. You can check them out at many good gun stores and you can see why these guns are popular. Many of these guns also fire the popular 9mm Luger round and this happens to be the least expensive round to shoot and is the most readily available round in the world. The FBI the Military and many police forces are now using this round. The ballistics are great and the cost is less and it is readily available. That makes it great to shoot and to practice with.
Speaking of practice let talk about practicing with your handgun. You should practice at least once a month and your practice should be structured so you are measuring how you are doing. There are some great drills for practice that I can pass along to anyone who would like to get started. Timing yourself eventually is a must and learning to shoot more accurately and faster is always the goal. But first, you must hit the target with accuracy speed comes later. Proper draw from the holster and putting shots on target is a practiced skill. Without practice, that skill will diminish over time. Johnny doesn’t practice much because the gun does not fit his hand and it is not enjoyable to shoot. Guns with short barrels also have more recoil and are harder to control. Shooting these guns will sometimes make people flinch. Johhny needs a proper pocket holster and if this is his chosen method of carry he has to practice with it. Adding a laser to a gun you can’t shoot won’t solve the problem. You have to be able to control your gun and put shots on target before a laser is even a thought.
Along with practice comes education. Johnny got a start on his education but he really has not learned the things he really needs to know to Carry a Concealed Handgun safely and proficiently. He still needs to seek out a competent instructor and get some real education. Every Instructor has his own style and his own experiences to draw from. Find one that you can get some training from and soak up their knowledge like a sponge. Remember almost anyone can get an Instructor Certification in one discipline. That does not mean they have the experience or the skill to get you where you are going. Only 1% of all instructors are even certified to teach draw from the holster. One of the more important skills and possibly one of the most dangerous. Carrying a concealed handgun is not a hobby or a part-time job. Its a commitment to being able to protect yourself and your family when you need it. Johnny decides he will wear his handgun only when he goes to a certain part of town or when he is likely to need it. This is an education issue. Johnny needs to learn these issues from a competent instructor.
Safety is paramount. Johnny has a few safety problems that we can discuss. Carrying a handgun under the seat of your car is a great way to get yourself in a situation that’s big trouble. Not having the gun with you when you need it is an education problem. Leaving a handgun in your car under the seat not locked in a secure container is a bad idea. It is possible in some places for you to be charged with a crime for allowing that gun to get into the hands of a prohibited possessor or a child. Also putting the little shooter in your pocket without a proper holster is a definite safety problem. A proper holster is a necessary piece of safety equipment for carrying or transporting any handgun.
Concealed Carry Is Not A Hobby. It’s a serious endeavor. Get the equipment, training, and education you need to do it right.
Some additional information that may be helpful: