My first 96 hours of continuous carry...


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PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 05:17 PM
Well, after finally finding holsters and a carry methos that appealed to me, I have been carrying on a regular basis for the past 4 days. It has been so much easier than I ever would have thought. I have experienced no real discomfort, no really issues of concealability, and no issues of becoming overly agressive while armed (like we are always told we will be by the antis).

As I sit here and type I have my Walther .380acp PPK on my right hip at the 2 o'clock position (I wear at 4 o'clock when buldge is not an issue) in a Don Hume belt slide holster ($22) and I am very comfortable. I am in a jeans and a t-shirt with a fleece light weight sleeveless jacket vest over it to conceal the holster. I also have IWB for the times I cannot wear a jacket which feels just slightly less comfortable. I find myself even forgetting it is there (not sure if that is good or bad...I will have to work on always be conscious of it being there).

It was hard for me to get into the idea of carrying regularly for many reasons (some of them preconceived notions about what it meant about me and what people would think if they knew) but now that I have biten the bullet (so to speak) and I am doing it I wonder why I took so long.

It is a different feeling than I would have expected. In some ways I always was afraid it might make me more willing to take chances because I felt I had an edge but in reality it just made me feel safe but made me think even more about how to avoid trouble and made me feel more calm. Kind of a "I hope I never need it and I will do everything I can to make sure I do not need it but I am glad it is there" feeling.

Moral of the story...if you want to carry but have not done so for various reason such as "it is too much hassle", "holsters are too expensive", "it will look bad", or others...just do it and see for yourself how little it really takes to pull it off.

PS: I did learn that belt size is very important. i recently lost 30 lbs and my belts cannot be tightened enough to hold a holster stable. I had to go buy new belts.

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Rev. DeadCorpse
October 11, 2006, 05:31 PM
One of the guys I work with swears by horsehide leather belts. Very tough leather with almost no stretch. Kramer Leather (http://www.kramerleather.com/productDetail.cfm?productID=34&categoryID=2)

Pricey. But apparently worth it.

MountainBear
October 11, 2006, 08:08 PM
I have not set an unarmed foot in Portland in 5 years, and if I can help it, never will again. Good idea getting your CCW and using it.

God I miss Oregon, even Portland is starting to sound good...

MountainBear
October 11, 2006, 08:12 PM
Sorry, on the belt topic also...

If you get over the mountain to Bend one of these days, go into Lost Creek Armory and talk to Ed Stebbins about his belts and holsters. These are the best quality I've seen. They make Don Hume (which makes decent leather goods) belts look plain cheap and inadequate.

Price was around $125 (even for my big damn waist), but they should last a damn long time.

carterbeauford
October 11, 2006, 08:17 PM
Good to hear, you'll never look back.

Been considering one of those Hume holsters for my PT145, the price is apparently right.

Linda
October 11, 2006, 08:42 PM
I find myself even forgetting it is there (not sure if that is good or bad...I will have to work on always be conscious of it being there).


No, that's a good thing that you are not constantly conscious/obsessing that it is there. It should be as natural as putting your wrist watch on in the morning or your shoes. You know they're there but you no longer are "conscious" they are there. Should the need arise that you need to be conscious that you have your firearm on your hip, it will come back to you instantaniously. It's all about your mental and physical comfort level of carrying! And always carry in condition yellow.

Welcome to the concealed carry ranks by the way!:D

gezzer
October 11, 2006, 09:48 PM
In 4-5 years you will only notice when you are NOT carrying. You will feel naked.

ZeSpectre
October 11, 2006, 11:45 PM
Thanks for posting, it's good input.

Congrats on loosing the 30lbs. I'm 10 lbs down the trail to my goal of dropping 40 lbs that I picked up after surgery so wish me luck!

BrainOnSigs
October 12, 2006, 08:57 AM
and no issues of becoming overly agressive while armed
I am much more tolerant since I started CCing 4 years ago. This is as it should be.

As I sit here and type I have my Walther .380acp PPK on my right hip at the 2 o'clock position (I wear at 4 o'clock when buldge is not an issue)
OUCH! How do you sit down with the gun a 2 o'clock? The darn thing would be jabbing me in my thigh. You are carrying a relatively small gun. Why would you worry about a bulge at 4 o' clock? I carried at Sig P229 for 3 years OWB and IWB in Florida in shorts and a tee shirt. It is usually right at 3 o'clock. You imagine more of a bulge that it really is. The sheeple haven't a clue.

I did learn that belt size is very important. i recently lost 30 lbs and my belts cannot be tightened enough to hold a holster stable. I had to go buy new belts.
As people have already mention, your whole carry platfrom starts with the belt. I have several belts that I like (Mitch Rosen, Milt Sparks, Rafter S Gunleather, The Beltman). I prefer the 1.5" width. Once you have a strong belt and good holster you carry with more comfort and confidence.

It was hard for me to get into the idea of carrying regularly for many reasons (some of them preconceived notions about what it meant about me and what people would think if they knew) but now that I have biten the bullet (so to speak) and I am doing it I wonder why I took so long.

It is a different feeling than I would have expected. In some ways I always was afraid it might make me more willing to take chances because I felt I had an edge but in reality it just made me feel safe but made me think even more about how to avoid trouble and made me feel more calm. Kind of a "I hope I never need it and I will do everything I can to make sure I do not need it but I am glad it is there" feeling.

Sounds like you have the correct mindset now. I suggest you take a few defensive shooting courses. Good instruction, plenty of presentation from the holster and lots of non-stationary shooting. All good stuff. As far as your quote that I placed in bold....I like the analogy of CCing to a seatbelt. You put the seatbelt on not because you plan on getting in an accident....you put it on in case of an accident.

PlayboyPenguin
October 12, 2006, 01:13 PM
ZeSpectre,
Congrats on the good start. Good luck to you.

OUCH! How do you sit down with the gun a 2 o'clock? The darn thing would be jabbing me in my thigh. You are carrying a relatively small gun. Why would you worry about a bulge at 4 o' clock?

Suprisingly, in the 2 o'clock position it does not poke or gouge at all. It rides right alondside my body. The 4 o'clock is preferable but it makes too much of a buldgeif just wearing a cotton shirt and at that position the barrel can become exposed when you bend over. At 2 o'clock there is not real buldge at all and it does not come exposed when bending over. believe me, I bought and returned alot of holsters and tried alot of positions before deciding on the ones I use now. :)

ilbob
October 12, 2006, 01:26 PM
My first 96 hours of continuous carry...

You are sleeping with your gun?

Eleven Mike
October 12, 2006, 01:46 PM
I have experienced no real discomfort, no really issues of concealability, and no issues of becoming overly agressive while armed (like we are always told we will be by the antis). Yeah, but you're always overly aggressive anyway, according to some people around here. :neener:

BrainOnSigs
October 12, 2006, 02:15 PM
Suprisingly, in the 2 o'clock position it does not poke or gouge at all. It rides right alondside my body.

Hmm...12 o'clock is your fly...1 o'clock would be close to the inside of your thigh....2 o'clock would be closer to the middle of your thigh.....and 3 o'clock would be on your hip bone or outside of your thigh. I know everyone's body is a little different but a true 2 o'clock, when seated, would have my thigh trying to rip my holster off of the belt. Maybe I'm splitting hairs.

I have worn some pretty large handguns under a tee shirt and there isn't a bulge if the shirt is slightly loose. I will admit that OWB does stick out more that IWB.

While I love my Mitch Rosen OWB rigs. I have totally gone IWB with Milt Sparks VMII's. I own 4 now. I have a whole box of "trial and error" holsters.
I do like the fact that if I bend over the bottom of the rig doesn't get exposed as it sometimes does with OWB.

Congrats on making the decision to carry at all times. :D

PlayboyPenguin
October 12, 2006, 02:42 PM
Hmm...12 o'clock is your fly...1 o'clock would be close to the inside of your thigh....2 o'clock would be closer to the middle of your thigh.....and 3 o'clock would be on your hip bone or outside of your thigh. I know everyone's body is a little different but a true 2 o'clock, when seated, would have my thigh trying to rip my holster off of the bel

A picture is worth a 1000 words...here are about 3000 words for you. :)

As you can see the end of the barrel stops right before my thight. the the gun were longer it would poke me but, as it is, it rests just shy of putting pressure on my leg.

Granted this is not my prferred position but the one that works best for warm wather carry for me. I am not too worried about ND in the holster so it is not a big factor.

This is with my old belt that is a bit too large now. As you can see I am now on the last holes. My new belts have not arrived yet.

Juna
October 12, 2006, 02:52 PM
So I've been thinking about CCW for a while, but my concern was that I'd have to buy bigger jeans to carry IWB. I love my CZ 75, and for now I'd carry that. Eventually I want to get a smaller CCW pistol, but funds are the limiting factor.

Anybody IWB carry a full sized pistol w/o having to buy bigger pants? Is it possible? I live in MI, so cold weather is most of the year, and I can wear a coat probably 9 months/year.

falling leaves
October 12, 2006, 03:05 PM
Juna
Anybody IWB carry a full sized pistol w/o having to buy bigger pants? Is it possible?

No and yes - I personally have bigger pants. You can do it with ones that fit (as long as they aren't too tight) - but it sure ain't comfortable. A little extra room makes a big difference for me in comfort. Look for sales, or even hit up Good Will for a $2 pair of jeans to give it a try. Then you can decide if it is worth it to you.

BrainOnSigs
October 12, 2006, 04:06 PM
A picture is worth a 1000 words...here are about 3000 words for you.

As you can see the end of the barrel stops right before my thight. the the gun were longer it would poke me but, as it is, it rests just shy of putting pressure on my leg.

Granted this is not my prferred position but the one that works best for warm wather carry for me.

Hey if it works and you are comfortable....that's all that matters!

Thanks for sharing.

BrainOnSigs
October 12, 2006, 04:10 PM
Anybody IWB carry a full sized pistol w/o having to buy bigger pants? Is it possible?

I do have several pairs of jeans that are one size up in size but I have been buying Levi 514s recently in my normal size. They are 99% cotton and 1% spandex. They stretch enough to comfortably put my Milt Sparks VMIIs inside the waist and be comfortable.

As a bonus my wife thinks my butt looks cute in them...... :D

jjohnson
October 12, 2006, 04:15 PM
Congratulations on carrying concealed and being able to not let it occupy your every thinking moment. If you can carry that way and not obsess over it, your head may just be screwed on straight. It's way easy to spot somebody who's carrying and self conscious about it. You shouldn't be any more aware of it than, say, your wallet or car keys. Don't forget to take it with you when you leave the house, don't leave it where it doesn't belong, but on the other hand, don't PLAY with it all the time. And on the same note, leave it where it belongs until it needs to be unholstered.:evil:

MountainBear
October 12, 2006, 08:21 PM
Good pictures playboy, I especially like the dolls (okay, action figure collectables :D) on the wall behind you...

Wish I could loose enough weight to need a new CCW belt, but if I did, I would loose so much good belt space to hang things on. Remember a waist is a terrible thing to mind...
Or is that backwards?

vesmcd
October 13, 2006, 02:03 AM
'Penguin, congratulations on losing the thirty pounds! It ain't easy, now keep it off. As for how you carry, man it looks uncomfortable, but if it works, it works. Definitely would cure 4 o'clock bulge and be easier on the car seat covers than SOB.

PlayboyPenguin
October 13, 2006, 03:39 AM
man it looks uncomfortable, but if it works, it works.
Suprisingly, it is extremely comfortable. Keep in mind it only really works with guns that have a smaller barrel (3"-4"). i would not even attempt to carry a full size 1911 thisway.

Srigs
October 13, 2006, 12:00 PM
I do something simular when carring a smaller barreled gun. It works as long as the gut is not to big! :)

Glockamolie
October 13, 2006, 12:04 PM
I wouldn't have any friends that laugh at me for collecting firearms. :confused:

Zundfolge
October 13, 2006, 12:06 PM
In 4-5 years you will only notice when you are NOT carrying. You will feel naked.
Here here!


It is a different feeling than I would have expected. In some ways I always was afraid it might make me more willing to take chances because I felt I had an edge but in reality it just made me feel safe but made me think even more about how to avoid trouble and made me feel more calm. Kind of a "I hope I never need it and I will do everything I can to make sure I do not need it but I am glad it is there" feeling.
Ah, now the Penguin understands Gun Zen. Welcome to the club. :D


I agree your carry method looks uncomfortable, but too each his own (I think boxers are the most uncomfortable thing on the planet too, but some people can't wear anytyhing else ... as it is with undies, so it is with CCW).

strambo
October 13, 2006, 01:41 PM
Look up "The Wilderness" brand "instructor" and "frequent flyer" belts. $30 and sturdy enough for CCW and professional range use, hence the "instructor" name.:D I have one in 1.75" width (the origional) now they make them in 1.5" widths. They are black (or tan, perhaps OD) nylon, so good for jeans, but not anything dressy. I also have a leather CCW belt, but it was $55 on sale.

strambo
October 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
I've been carrying since I went to college at UP in 1995. When I lived in an APT on Lombard in N. PDX, it was nice to have a little back up. My CCW instructor said you might feel kinda like James Bond for the 1st couple weeks, then it just becomes something you put on everyday.

I don't carry because I expect something bad to happen...I carry because I don't know what will happen.

Anna's Dad
October 13, 2006, 05:01 PM
Congrats! I've been carrying for about 8-9 months.

no issues of becoming overly agressive while armed (like we are always told we will be by the antis).

I had that tested not that long ago myself! This drunken bafoon in my neighborhood decided he didn't like the fact that I asked my daughter to stay away from his son. Started calling me and my wife every name in the book and actually shoving me, trying to provoke me to a fight. If he'd only known that I had a firearm in my pocket (maybe he thought I was happy to see him? ;) ) I'm betting he would have been a little more polite. Just told him I didn't want to fight him and walked away.

You shouldn't be any more aware of it than, say, your wallet or car keys

Every morning, I say to myself: "watch, wallet, keys, cell phone, handgun" just to make sure I didn't forget anything! :)

Pat Cannon
October 13, 2006, 05:21 PM
In 4-5 years you will only notice when you are NOT carrying. You will feel naked.Well, in my case that's taken under a year!

Dravur
October 13, 2006, 05:49 PM
I admit that I carry in IWB and I wear my normal pant size.... Instead of the pants stretching, the fat contracts enough to hold the gun well. Honestly, one of the best belt deals out there is the sharkskin belt from Rafter S. I bought one for my more than ample frame and they delivered a sturdy, fantastic belrt that looks good and wears like iron. I also have their IWB P7 holster and it rides comfy at 4 o'clock.

As others have said, get a good belt.... Dont scrimp on this at all. Then get a good holster... Dont scrimp, but maybe get a few different ones to try out and see how you like to carry.

I feel naked without my P7s though

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