Taking the class and obtaining a concealed carry permit may be the first step in personal protection, a new career in law enforcement, or exercising the right to take your pistol wherever you go, but it shouldn’t be the last. These concealed carry tips from 1791 Gunleather will help you prevent awkward situations in public, maintain safety at all times, and make you a more confident carrier overall.

Get Comfortable With Concealed Carry at Home.

You may be eager to hit the streets with your concealed weapon now that you have the ability to do so. However, you’ll soon realize there are many subtle nuances to a confident carry that you only learn through practice. It’s best if you proactively conduct this practice in private, so you’re not fumbling with your weapon in public. First, work on your basic movements – standing, sitting, bending, reaching, and turning. Find out when and how the gun moves with you.

Practice getting in and out of the car. Practice drawing from concealment and determine which carrying position feels most natural. Try on different clothing to see what works best. One of the most common rookie mistakes is to touch or adjust the concealed weapon in a public place. If you notice the weapon shifting, get to a restroom to make the adjustment without calling attention to yourself. Practicing at home will allow you to be more comfortable and assured.

Next, take it to the range. The range is the perfect place to graduate once you’ve perfected the art of concealed carry practice at home. There’s no shame in taking baby steps. It’s better than being that FBI Agent who lost his concealed weapon back-flipping at the bar and accidentally shot someone. At the range, you want to move up from dry firing to live-firing.

Bring Your Permit & Know the Law.

If you’re a civilian, you will still face some restrictions as to where you can or can’t go with your concealed firearm. For most people, with the exception of law enforcement and military representatives, “no-go” zones include:

  • Municipal, county, state, or federally owned structures.
  • Meetings conducted by elected or appointed officials.
  • Detention facilities where individuals are detained, processed, or house-arrested.
  • Elementary or secondary schools.
  • Professional and amateur sporting events, theatres, and concerts.

Always bring your permit with you just in case, but keep it in a separate pocket from the one that carries your firearm.

Don’t End Up with A Drawer Full of Concealed Carry Holsters.

One hard lesson learned is that all concealed carry holsters are NOT created equal. Concealed Nation put it this way: “Choosing a firearm and accompanying holster can be an intimidating task, and you’re sure to end up with a drawer full of holsters until you find the one that’s right for you.” They add: “So many people decide to leave their firearms at home because they don’t like the way their holster feels.” Check out the leather concealed carry holsters from 1791 Gunleather first and foremost. We believe nothing beats the look, comfort, and smell of heavy native steerhide fresh from the package. Our products are designed for all-day carrying and easy access, but attach securely to a quality leather gun belt, so you won’t have to worry about your weapon tumbling out or inadvertently brandishing.

Only Pull Your Weapon If You’re Prepared to Shoot.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of concealed carry is determining when and how you’ll exercise your rights. Just because you can carry a weapon doesn’t mean you are obligated to use it. If you witness a crime being committed, you could draw your weapon to save the day. If the assailant has threatened to injure or kill innocent parties, you may feel the use of your weapon is worth the risk. Yet, you could also create a shootout situation that makes the situation much worse, depending on where you are or what’s happening. There is no point in bluffing with a concealed weapon. When faced with a deadly threat, only pull the weapon if you’re prepared to pull the trigger. You must make the decision that you will shoot and potentially kill an assailant to prevent yourself or others from harm. You must also know that pulling your weapon and engaging assailants could result in hand-to-hand combat. In one analysis of self-protection videos by a former Intel Officer in the Marine Corps, over a third of the scenarios involved physical contact during the gunfight. In the majority of cases, there were two assailants. You might shoot an assailant several times and still have to fight, so understand that your life may depend upon your gun retention skills.

Maximize Your Carrying Capacity.

Keep your magazine filled to capacity and bring a few extra rounds with you if you’re carrying for self-protection. The best stats we have suggest it takes an average of 2-3 handgun rounds to the vital area to incapacitate an assailant. Under duress, it’s not uncommon to drop down to 50% accuracy compared to shooting on the range – and that’s being generous. Imagine you’re carrying a six-round capacity pistol. You chamber a round and don’t bother topping it off. Upon being attacked, you fire three rounds into the perpetrator. Now you have zero room for error. Then another attacker jumps out. Not everyone can or will carry a large high-capacity pistol, but for most small handguns, with the right concealed carry holster, the extra ammo won’t cost you any comfort or concealability – just a fraction of a second in loading time.

Contact 1791 Gunleather with any questions you may have about concealed carry holsters. We’re happy to help!