Getting a Concealed Carry Permit, seeking advice.


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Newtoccw
August 21, 2011, 10:43 PM
Short and simple... I am in the process of getting my permit and I am asking for practical advice on holsters, carrying, and anything else you think a new concealed carrier would benefit from.

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Madcap_Magician
August 21, 2011, 11:59 PM
You're just going to have to read around the various boards and experiment yourself. I started out on the forums new to CCW, and no matter how much I read or what advice I got, I still ended up going through multiple guns, multiple holsters, and a lot of different ammo choices.

It's such an individual thing that what works for one person will probably not work perfectly for the next.

smalls
August 22, 2011, 12:15 AM
Step one is becoming friends with people who have lots of different guns in lots of different calibers. Shoot them all til you find one you like :).
I, too, joined the site brand new to carrying. There is a boat load of good info here, just gotta read it all.
My tip, though- however you decide to carry, buy a half decent holster. I started off with a garbage eBay one, and it was horrible. You don't have to spend a fortune, but remember you wear it all day, and it holds something pretty important.

chhodge69
August 22, 2011, 12:40 AM
I'm going to disagree with the previous poster sort of.

I agree with trying out many guns. find a range where you can rent some and prepare to spend some money feeding at least a half dozen different guns.

There is no way to know, starting out, exactly what will work for you so I wouldn't drop much money on a holster at first. I experimented with blackhawk, uncle mikes and ebay cheapo crap until I found how and where "I" like to carry then went and bought a decent leather one to do the job better. You're going to fill up a drawer with holsters - don't spend more than you did on your gun.

But most importantly - GET SOME TRAINING! That ccw class is just enough to keep the sheriff from getting sued for giving you the permit. If you can't afford a class then dive into these forums and Google. I found a ton of good info at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/index.php

Bigkrackers
August 22, 2011, 01:11 AM
I didn't have friends who had a lot of guns so I started out like most of us do; I bought a huge gun that was impractical to cc with and a crap load of cheap holsters of every design. :)

I would have been nice if someone would have pulled me aside and told me to focus.

For cc it's all about your comfort not what someone thinks will work for you. Its good to get advice but if you want to do it right and not waste a lot of time and money you need to figure out what feels good in your hands. This means picking up and holding a lot of guns. It could be as simple as going to one store and trying out a bunch of guns. (if you want to make friends with a LGS don't hog up his/her time if they're busy. Wait till it's slow)

If you're not new too handguns then you should have an idea of the caliber you want in a cc gun. If you haven't made up your mind yet I would suggest not paying any attention to suggestions on which one to choose. Go rent two, three or four of the popular handgun rounds in the few of the models you liked from fondling at your LGS and pick the round you are comfortable shooting.

The best advice to take concerning cc is this; whatever you find to shoot get a good holster and a gun belt. (unless you decide to pocket carry. Then just get a good holster) I can't stress this enough. Spending the money up front on a good gun belt and a good holster will save you enough money over the next 5 years you can buy a couple more guns.

And most of all, have fun on the journey.

Bigkrackers
August 22, 2011, 01:29 AM
I will respectfully disagree with chhodge69 in the buying of a bunch of cheap holsters. For cc there are two "practical" methods of carry. Most will chose either OWB or IWB. Setting aside pocket carry, ankle is not for the novice, SOB and shoulder carry are impractical for normal ccw.

For OWB you'll carry the gun from the 2 o'clock to the 5 o'clock position, strong side. Any good quality holster can adjust to fit those positions. Same with IWB. Cross draw is not very practical and unless you will be in a vehicle most of the day or have some physical issue where cross draw makes sense there is no need to start your cc lifestyle from that position.

So, a large majority of non pocket ccw is going to be from strong side IWB or OWB from 2-5 o'clock. That's two holster types.

IWB offers the best concealment and if you can slide your hand flat inside your waste band then you shouldn't have to buy a new wardrobe. OWB is a bit more comfortable and there is no possibility of needing new pants but doesn't offer an advantage in conceal-ability.

You can spend $60 to $160 on a good leather holster for either of those two types depending on the make and model of gun that you use. Better than spending $20 to $30 on 5 or 6 junk holsters each then forking over the money for a good one. Besides, I would hazard a guess that most people's cc junk bolsters are attempts at unusual carry positions or were uncomfortable and didn't hold the gun well because they were cheap junk.

All that said, if you do go the route of junk holster collecting, at least see the Beltman for a good gun belt. A good belt can often make up a little bit where a cheap holster lacks.

Ridgerunner665
August 22, 2011, 02:03 AM
Speaking from my own experience,
I've been carrying nearly 17 years...and my "preference" has changed many times over the years.

At first...I wanted high capacity (9mm), then I wanted power (40), then I wanted nostalgia (1911...45acp)...these days I want small, powerful, easily cared for, lightweight, and easily replaced....to me that means Glock 36.

As others have said...its a VERY "individual" thing, but most eventually get around to small, light, and low maintenance...

Holsters...I have and will again pay $150 for a holster, because if its not comfy a person tends to not wear it! And the pistol is no help to you if you don't have it on you...I'm not saying some of the less expensive holsters aren't comfy, but I haven't found one yet that is comfy enough to wear 12 hours a day.

Inside the waistband conceals best and many are quite comfy too. Outside the waistband (on the belt), with these you have to be picky...some are very good, some are very bad (with very few in between). I currently carry my lil Glock in a Mitch Rosin 5JR holster...a quite small belt holster. Keep this question in mind when choosing a pistol.... "Can I get a GOOD holster for it?"

Belt...this is arguably more important than the holster...don't skimp here either, get a "gun belt", not a $5 Walmart belt...there is a difference. A gun belt will hold the weapon more securely, be more comfy, allow for a smoother draw and reholster...and be more comfy. (yes, I know I mentioned that twice)

Calibers...There are many arguments over this so I won't get into it very much...I like 45acp.

Last but not least...get some training...and practice, practice, practice...

The Riflemans Creed...it can be applied to CCW pistols also...learn the weapon, master it, take care of it...and it will serve you well.

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace!

Newtoccw
August 22, 2011, 03:08 AM
Wow! Lots of good advice! Thanks! As far as guns... I have decided on a SA XD .45 to be carried IWB, and a Ruger LCP .380 for occasions when the .45 won't be easily concealed. I am also considering a s&w .357 to be kept in the truck so I have something more simple & reliable.

As far as training... I took a general firearms safety class, the ccw class, and have an ex-special forces buddy who is going to give me some advanced training 1 on 1 with my guns.

Am I missing anything?

Thanks for your time everybody!

230therapy
August 22, 2011, 04:07 AM
The number one skill you need to learn is awareness and the pre-assault queues.

You should look into the legal aspects of a shooting. Learn the process.

You should learn how to handle the police and witnesses. This is exceptionally important since you can talk yourself into prison time even though you were 100% in the right. Watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Find a good attorney who understands self-defense and is pro-rights. Get his or her card and put the number on speed dial.

Find a boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband who is pro-gun and will carry. This will save you grief in the future. Getting that new Fulton Armory Peerless grade M1A will be much easier. What would you rather hear: "Let's go to Knobcreek and shoot machine guns for the day" or "Let's go see the next Jennifer Anniston chick flick."

Sometimes the answer is not the gun. Know when to use your hands or knife. Your training should include the following topics:


Close in fighting with knife, hand, and gun

How to fight when in contact with the criminal

Force on force training

Point shooting for fast movement


If you go revolver, be prepared for additional difficulty in running the gun. "Running the gun" refers to operating the weapon at speed. This includes shooting techniques, reloading and other manipulations, unjamming the weapon, and carry/shooting positions. There is a reason semi-autos are used by the majority of folks: they're easier to shoot! Learning to properly shoot revolvers will make you a better shooter.

Learn tactics.

Finally, understand that you can do everything 100% right and still lose either the fight or the court battle...or both.

Tallinar
August 22, 2011, 02:00 PM
Advice: it's not always a bad idea to start with an inexpensive holster, like an Uncle Mike's. Like another has said, getting one of these can at least help you figure out WHERE on your body you'd like to carry. You'll want to know how well you'll be able to sit/stand; how your love handles will interfere (if you're like me); how well you'll be trying to draw from various positions.

Once you have a feel for these things, you may be better placed to drop the cash for a quality holster.

Guillermo
August 22, 2011, 02:03 PM
I wish someone would have told me what a gigantic difference a good belt makes.

My life changed when I got a reinforced 5.11 trainer belt.

IBEWBULL
August 25, 2011, 03:21 AM
Just something to think on is if you buy a used holster it may have dirt grit etc. embedded in it. Even the modern plastic stuff. Also they do stretch and loosen up.
The great deal in a used holster may not be so sweet when it spoils the finish of one of your prized pieces of art.
The holster in question is some sort of plastic made by Fobus. I didn't expect this sort of a problem in a non leather product. Good thing it was a stainless revolver. OH it came with the deal and it will be going soon.
Bottom line is don't cheap out when you are carrying a $600 gun respect it enough to spend $60 - $120 on something good. I love the Milt Sparks and have ideas on a Simply Rugged for an Sp 101 Ruger .357
My first holster was a Safariland speed scabbard, then an Askins Avenger for my 1911. I gave both to my oldest son for his Charles Daily .45, I don't have a full size 1911 now.
Well best of luck. I have attempted to put good links on facebook for just what you asked about. Take a look if you wish.

basicblur
August 25, 2011, 06:38 AM
I am asking for practical advice...
The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry (http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Digest-Book-Concealed-Carry/dp/0896896110/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314264852&sr=8-1)-you could do worse-not a bad reference source.
You can read samples at the link above.

JTQ
August 25, 2011, 08:17 AM
Newtoccw wrote,
I have decided on a SA XD .45 to be carried IWB
That is one large concealed carry gun.

Get a good gun belt is an excellent recommendation.

One of the best sources of holster information I've found is the High Noon holster site FAQ section. Whether or not you buy from them, and they have lots of great products and options, they have a lot of excellent information that should help you in your search.
http://www.highnoonholsters.com/_Questions/_questions.html

One thing that has helped me is getting a Raven Concealment Phantom holster. With one holster and different attachments you can wear it Inside the Waist Band (IWB) or Outside the Waist Band (OWB). I can try different ride heights, cants, and IWB or OWB and determine what carry positions work for me.
http://www.ravenconcealmentsystems.com/

Not quite as versatile, but in leather and it should ship faster is the Simply Rugged "Cuda". You can wear this OWB, IWB, and cross draw. They are fairly inexpensive and have a good reputation.
http://www.simplyrugged.com/

Otis2
August 26, 2011, 08:54 PM
+1 to the recommendation for The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry. Anything by Masaad Ayoob should be studied in great depth. Please keep in mind that your mindset can be just as important, if not more important, than any choice of handgun, holster, belt or ammo. Podcasts can also be a good source of information (if not careful, misinformation/disinformation, also!) Gun Rights Radio Network has a wide selection of podcasts from which to choose. They cover many different topics from many different perspectives. I've really enjoyed Bob Mayne on HandgunWorld Show. Like you, I am relatively new to Concealed Carry and Bob puts things into a nice, practical perspective that I can grasp and embrace. Shoot straight and be safe!

230therapy
August 26, 2011, 09:16 PM
Advice: it's not always a bad idea to start with an inexpensive holster, like an Uncle Mike's. Like another has said, getting one of these can at least help you figure out WHERE on your body you'd like to carry. You'll want to know how well you'll be able to sit/stand; how your love handles will interfere (if you're like me); how well you'll be trying to draw from various positions.

Once you have a feel for these things, you may be better placed to drop the cash for a quality holster.

I have to disagree. Buy a good holster from Milt Sparks or equivalent. You won't accumulate a bunch of terrible holsters...which will add up to the cost of the good one.

Furthermore, attend training and borrow gear. You don't know how to run a gun yet and you have not figured out which features work well for you (and those features which impede running the gun).

You may want to attend a course and rent gear from the instructor. Their stuff is generally squared away.

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