When it comes to self-defense in today’s increasingly unstable world, a key element in being well-equipped is knowing how to properly use a firearm. And if you plan to carry a firearm on your person, especially concealed, then there are some additional things you need to know in order to do so safely and practically.
If you’re already a gun owner, then you likely already know that spending quality time at the range is critical for achieving familiarity, comfortability, and accuracy with these powerful weapons. But casually pulling your firearms out of their cases at the range and putting them back when you’re done is a whole lot different than knowing how to draw a holstered or concealed firearm from your body in a hot second.
While the classes required for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) are supposed to teach firearms owners the ins and outs of how to do it right, they don’t always reveal the extent to which carrying concealed firearms changes a person’s lifestyle.
As explained by Andy Grossman, writing for Personal Defense World, carrying a concealed firearm typically entails more than just buying a fancy holster or belt and strapping it underneath your clothing. At least for Grossman, he also had to change his wardrobe and entire lifestyle.
“I learned that none of my cool fabric belts could support the weight of a gun on my hip or hold onto a holster. So, I needed to replace them with some nice, sturdy leather belts,” Grossman writes.
“I also discovered that all the jeans that fit me so well would need to be replaced with jeans that were at least two sizes bigger in the waist to be able to fit the holster inside my waistband. My funny themed shirts also had to be replaced with shirts a size larger than normal.”
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One of Grossman’s biggest mistakes was buying many different holsters before finally finding the ones that worked best for him: CrossBreed’s leather and Kydex hybrid holsters. For him, using either of these on the inside waistband of his pants works best, though he says he “fell for just about every marketing gimmick imaginable” before finally learning this.
He also discovered that pretty much all of his form-fitting clothes no longer accommodated his new concealed carry lifestyle, and that he had to purchase new, baggier clothing in order to actually conceal his firearm.
Too many firearms owners, Grossman contends, fail to recognize the importance of keeping their firearms concealed when they’re out and about, which is a grave mistake. It’s important to familiarize yourself with new holsters, new clothing, and most importantly how these all interact with your body movements as you do routine things like grocery shop, pump gas, get in and out of your vehicle, and so on.
“Carrying a gun is a huge responsibility – one that will change your life,” Grossman warns.
“You must take the time to learn your local laws and understand how those laws affect you. Really studying the laws will also serve as a reminder that your gun is not the solution to every problem you encounter.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that just because you have a gun on your person does not mean that you have to use it.
“If you’re at the gas station while it’s being robbed at gunpoint, you don’t have to act. Use your judgment,” Grossman explains. “Remember that you’re not a police officer, and you don’t have to be a hero.”
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Sources for this article include: