So you've decided to carry a gun? feedback from personal experience.


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Big Boy
March 14, 2012, 12:45 AM
I’m going to warn you now, this post is long as <removed>. I did my best to avoid abbreviations which may be a headache for some of you, but thinking of the new shooter I didn’t want to over load them with forum abbreviations. This write up is pretty much purely about picking a gun, finding a comfortable, working set up, and carrying it.


So, you’ve decided to carry a gun. …What took so long?! Whatever the reason it was you bought a gun, deciding to carry it is the second step. After that, there’s a lot of time spent getting comfortable in your own skin. Comments from family, girlfriends, friends can be a deterrent. What kind of gun you carry, what caliber, what holster, all things to figure out. It can all become over whelming pretty quickly, and honestly there’s not any real good way to figure out what is going to work for you other than just carrying and getting the experience. I’ve been carrying for four years now, and I’d say I’m just now getting my setups exactly where I need for me. Now that’s the most important thing. My setup is perfect for ME. Not for you. The only way to figure out how and where and what you are going to carry is to find what works for you.

Now, if you have decided to start carrying a gun, it is most likely because you see the need for one. You can see the threats that are out there, you can see the reality of possibly having to defend yourself or your family one day. It’s a scary thought if you really take it in and ponder on it. Unfortunately lots of families in America have experienced these types of occurrences. Robberies, rapes, beatings, murders. It’s not a comfortable feeling, but imagine someone pulling you into the alley you were walking past, beating you, stabbing you, taking your money, leaving you for dead. What if you had a girlfriend? A wife? Could you protect them? These thoughts are sobering. Now I want you to think about just last week when you had to run to the gas station around 7-9pm for some random reason and really didn’t feel like holstering up. You were wearing sweats, didn’t want to change, didn’t want to have to put on your IWB holster and all of that, it’s honestly just a pain. That night, is when these things happened. You had prepared so much, you had gone to the range once a month, you practiced drawing, shooting, you were ready for anything. …But you didn’t have your gun.

If you were wise enough to realize that there are real threats out there to you and your family, and that you may at some point need to defend yourself, please also be wise enough that you will NEVER be prepared for it. If you can know when or where a crime against you was going to happen there would be an extremely simple solution, don’t go there. Unfortunately we can’t see into the future, so that means CARRY ALL OF THE TIME. You’ve already made the decision to have a gun on you, so do it. Do it always. Not sometimes, all of the time. It is a logical fallacy to realize you need a gun, and then to only carry it sometimes, or only when it’s comfortable for you to do so. Would you buy car insurance that only covers accidents every other day? Hell no! and that’s just your car! …This is your life. Guns won’t always be comfortable to carry. We can get some of them pretty damn close to perfect, but it won’t always be convenient. Suck it up. Don’t be an idiot. Take the five extra seconds to arm yourself, it may just save your life… This is where making your set up work for you is most important. Make it as comfortable and convenient as it can be, and carry it all of the time.

This is a …well …uhh …poem? That I have found in my internet travels. I don’t know who wrote it, but I think it pretty well speaks to exactly what I’m saying.

Better than nothing:
“When I got my permit to carry concealed, I worried about how little practice I had, and wondered if I should even be carrying a gun.

I don’t have much confidence in my ability to draw quickly, but if I wait until I’m flawless, I’ll never have my gun with me.
I may still be practicing on how sights work, but if I wait until I can consistently drill two rounds through the same hole, I’ll never have my gun with me.

I may not ever be tacti-cool enough to keep moving while reloading and firing but if I wait to carry until I am, I’ll never have my gun with me.
I may not be as aware of my surroundings as I should be, but if I wait until I’m free of other distractions, I’ll never have my gun with me.

I may never have the time to train to reach any of the above goals, much less all of them, but if I wait until I do, I’ll never have my gun with me.
Some say having a gun makes you a target. Some say having a gun serves as a deterrent. If I waited until that debate was settled (including my internal one), I’d never have my gun with me.

And don’t even get me started on the caliber wars.
Some of us come late to the realization that the only ones we can count on to keep us safe are ourselves. So we open our eyes, and we travel that road – all with different starting places, and going at difference paces. But as long as I’m making progress, however slow, I’ll keep plodding along. Because no matter how much I have to learn, or how much I need to Improve, I’ll keep carrying my gun. Because something is better than nothing.”



Rule #1 Always carry your gun
Rule #2 Outright refuse to be a victim.
On that note, I think you should all watch this video. It’s from the 90’s about a man named Lance Thomas. It will give you a little insight to being prepared, to doing what you need to do, and refusing to leave your life up to someone else’s mercy.
http://youtu.be/pkWgp2abM2w


Ok, now that I’ve yelled at all of you for long enough, we’ll get into some of my experience in carrying guns, and hopefully I can shed some helpful insight through my own experiences, and I’ll do my best to leave the rest of this a little more organized with BOLD talking points and Bold Italicized for sub points.

Types of Carry:
There are really only two types of carry. Concealed Carry, and Open Carry. We won’t get into these very deep.

- Open Carry: Carrying a holstered gun that is readably visible by the public. i.e., how a cop carries. If you intend to Open Carry you need to KNOW THE LAWS. It is not legal everywhere. For the most part it is regulated by the city, not the state. So even staying within one state, the laws and legalities can and will be different from city to city. If you want to know more about OC in MISSOURI ONLY you can PM me. Otherwise please visit the forums at www.opencarry.org. There is a sub-forum there for each state, and very helpful people who will help you learn the laws.

Concealed Carry: Carrying a firearm that is hidden from view. Almost every state in the US will allow you to carry concealed, you just have to have a permit to do so. There are one or two states that don’t let you carry no matter what, and a few that let you carry without a permit. Check your local laws. The majority of this post will be about concealed carry.
Here in Missouri we can pretty much carry wherever we want. But hey, we’re smart people here, and my daddy is stronger than your daddy. :-P Virtually every “no carry” place like churches, bars, parks, carrying when drunk, places with no gun signs, are technically suggested no carry zones. Missouri law says right after all of these things says “None of these shall be a criminal offense” I’m not saying all of these situations are an intelligent place to carry. …But I can tell you I carry everywhere & at all times. Now I’m not saying you might not need a lawyer for the pickle you’re in, but I can tell ya, the cost of a lawyer thumping the judge on the head and telling him “there is no law against it” is worth preventing the cost of my life. DON’T TAKE THIS AS PERSONAL ADVICE. ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN MISSOURI. You need to personally research the carry laws of your state. Also obviously federal laws still apply like no federal buildings or court houses.

What gun to buy?:
Well. That’s a loaded question. Ha! *rimshot* I made a pun. And I didn’t even mean to.
There is no one answer to this question. Because it is ALL based in your preference. Use these rough categories to figure out what you want, and then see how those type of guns fit your hand.

Size:
This completely depends on your intended use for this firearm. Obviously I’m not going to pocket carry a desert eagle.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/gold-desert-eagle8.jpg

Guns range from long slide, full size, compact, sub compact, mouse guns, it’s literally endless. I guarantee you, there is a gun size out there for every intended purpose you could need. Obviously my tiny 9mm Kel-Tec PF-9 is not intended to be a target shooter or a range hog. Every gun has it’s purpose, so don’t have animosity against one just because it didn’t fit you’re intended purpose.
Now personally, this is why I have several. You will hear lots of people saying “you should only have one carry gun and one alone, so that you know the mechanics of it.” Realistically, that’s never going to happen. There are so many different carry situations people encounter in every day life. You don’t have one outfit do you? You have running shoes don’t you? And dress shoes? Flip flops? Mowing shoes? …you get the point. The reason you need multiple guns, is because one particular gun will not always be the most comfortable in every situation. This goes back to always carrying. If your gun isn’t comfortable, you probably won’t wear it.
I do agree with the “knowing the mechanics of your carry gun by keeping it the same” concept in one way. None of my guns have safeties. Now that’s not me saying safeties are bad, that’s me saying I’ve never trained with one, and I don’t want to start now. I don’t want to pull a 1911 one day, and think it’s my Glock, wondering why the trigger isn’t making it go bang. If the moment comes for a defensive use of a handgun I’m not going to be able to tell you which one I’m carrying, I’m just going to pull it, point it and the bad guy, and press the trigger till he stops being so bad. If you’ve trained with a safety, great, you’ll automatically flip it off without even thinking about it. I haven’t, so I don’t want them on my guns.
Going back to size, I have three main guns that rotate in my carry:

FN FNP-45: for night stand duty and Open Carry. Sometimes in the winter I’ll Conceal Carry it under a coat.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/2012-03-13_18-02-33_410-1.jpg


Glock 36: This is my main carry gun. Used mostly always for IWB Concealed Carry, Open Carry now and then.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/2011-12-25_18-55-37_338-1.jpg


Kel-Tec PF-9: This is for Pocket Carry or Deep Concealment. I use it with a pocket holster for the times I’m running to the gas station and don’ want to holster up. Throw it into your pants pocket, or a jacket pocket and you’re good to go. This would also be the gun I use when needing to be absolutely sure no one knows I have a gun. It’s the smallest, so it’s the easiest to conceal.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/KeltecPF9.jpg


Type of Action: Holy hell…are we really still on gun choice? …this is going to be long.
SA: Single Action. In a revolver, this means you would have to pull the hammer back every time you wanted to shoot. You would have to pull it back to cock it, and then when you pull the trigger the trigger performs one action, releasing the hammer. In a Semi-Auto this will mean that as soon as a round is chambered the gun will always be cocked. Almost always this will also mean that the gun has a manual safety. This is where the term “cocked & locked” comes from. You carry the gun with the hammer back, and the safety on. The trigger pull on a SA is smooth and light because it only has to do one job, release the hammer, so it can fall and set the round off.
DA / DAO : Double Action, or Double Action Only. This means when you pull the trigger you are doing two things. You are cocking the hammer, and you are letting the hammer fall, all through the same trigger pull. This will result in a longer, heavier trigger pull. Because as you start to pull the trigger the hammer will start to move to the rear, and through the pull of the trigger eventually the hammer will go to full cock, and then instantly fall, setting the round off. This type of action can be found in full size semi-autos. However, typically it is going to be found in mouse guns, or revolvers My Kel-Tec PF9 has a bobbed hammer and is DOA
DA/SA: This means that the gun is both Double Action, and Single Action. “HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?” Is the first thought I had when I was younger and asked a military friend of mine what type action his M9 was. Ok. So, imagine this, you just put a magazine in the gun, you racked the slide to chamber a round, and the hammer is cocked back. Most every DA/SA firearm will have a decocker on the side of the frame. It may look like a safety to you, and some of them are manual safeties and decockers, but anyhow, yeah it’s a decocker. What does this do? It decocks the firearm. When you press the lever down it will let the hammer fall to a “half cock” position. This brings the hammer down to a safe “pseudo decocked” position. Pseudo because it’s not technically all of the way uncocked. The hammer stops just before hitting the firing pin and stays there.
So, after having chambered a round and decocked the hammer, your first round will be Double Action. The first round you squeeze off will have the long and heavy trigger pull. After the round goes off and the slide comes back to eject the round, the slide cocks the hammer, therefore making all subsequent shots single action. The trigger will have a shorter pull, and be much lighter. This acts almost as a safety, because the first round has a longer heavier trigger pull. My FNP-45 is DA/SA
Striker Fired: This is how any firearm without a hammer operates, no matter whether the hammer is shrouded, bobbed, hidden, or whatever else. If your gun doesn’t have a hammer it’s striker fired. When you rack the slide it moves the firing pin back away from the cartridge about 85%. When you pull the trigger it brings the pin back the rest of the way, and then lets it fly forward, setting off the round. Types of striker fired guns are Glocks, XD’s, M&P’s and lots of others. My Glock 36 is striker fired

Caliber:
I’m going to be honest with you on this one… Do your own research on ballistics. First thing you have to do is make sure you can shoot the caliber comfortably. Effect of target is 10X more important than the hole made in target. If you can’t hit it, who gives a crap how big of a hole the round “would have made”. Personally I didn’t like .40 S&W. Found it very snappy and not to my liking. But don’t let the bigger calibers scare you, I hate .40, But I love .45 ACP. Every handgun I own except for one is .45 ACP.
This is a personal choice, and why I said to research the ballistics on your own. I have made a personal choice not to carry anything smaller than 9mm or .38 special +P. Now that’s personal, because I can fit a tiny 9mm in my pocket and in my hands. If you can’t, .380 or even .22 mag may be an option you need to explore. I wouldn’t carry them personally because I prefer either a bigger caliber or something with more velocity. However, if that’s what works best for you, then carry it! Any gun is better than no gun.

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Big Boy
March 14, 2012, 12:46 AM
Holsters
This again comes into comfort of carry. Find the holster that is the most comfortable to you, so that you can always carry your gun. There are a lot of different types, and they all have their own purposes and functions. There are paddle holsters, belt holsters, IWB, pocket, shoulder, ankle, crossdraw… and a million other options. Not to mention almost all of those can be found in either leather, kydex, or nylon, just to complicate things. Main point, it needs to fit the gun, and it needs to fit you. I’ll give some input to holsters I use, keep in mind, they may not be the perfect holster for you, but they are for me.

GET A GUN BELT
Yep. They can easily cost over $100. Suck it up and get one! This will change everything for you. No matter how you carry, the belt is incredibly important. It’s what supports the gun. Things like sagging, digging in, chaffing, all easily solved simply by getting a gun belt. I happen to use a crossbreed gun belt, mostly just because I ordered it with my very first holster I ordered from crossbreed, but also, because they have a lifetime warranty on their products. A gun belt will change everything when it comes to comfort and keeping the gun/holster put. A gun belt is much thicker than your standard belt, and while still keeping a normal appearance, greatly aid in the carry of a weapon.

Crossbreed SuperTuck:
THE MOST COMFORTABLE IWB HOLSTER I’VE EVER TRIED! Um, yeah, It’s pretty great. I don’t know much of what to tell you other than, it’s hella comfortable. Sitting, Standing, whatever, it’s awesome and I don’t even realize the gun is there. And neither does anyone else! Because it conceals beautifully. It really tucks the gun into your body and leaves nothing visible. Position of carry, just with IWB carry alone is huge. Moving the holster even inches around your “body clock” can change the comfort levels immensely. Personally I carry my G36 IWB about 4:30. I also put the supertuck to full forward cant. Not because I like cants, but because it hides the pistol best. This brings the butt of the gun forward and tucked into your body so that it does not print through your shirt, even when bending over.
And for any of you business people, it is a tuckable holster. Meaning you can tuck your shirt in, but still keep the gun concealed. Your shirt would go in front of the gun, behind the clips. They also have “V” clips available. They are Velcro and hook over your pants instead of over your belt. Then the back of your belt is lined with Velcro coming into contact with and securing the hooks. This not only allows a tucked in shirt, but the ability to make the clips disappear off your belt. No one would ever know what you had under your shirt.
I happened to choose horse hide on my supertuck (cow hide is black horse is tan). The only real reason I did this was because it was said that horse hide did a better job at resisting sweat penetration. Also, just as a side note, after having handled a cow hide one, I just prefer the feel of the cowhide.
Another choice with the crossbreed supertuck is whether or not to get the “Combat Cut”. Basically is just removes as much leather as possible away from the grip of the gun, so that you can get a good purchase of the gun with every draw. I didn’t have the combat cut on the first supertuck I got for my PPS. The second one I got for my G36 I opted for the combat cut. Trust me, it’s worth the $7. Without the combat cut it was still a great holster, but some of the leather did get in the way, and I found myself re-adjusting the handgun every time once I got it on target. The combat cut allows you to get a good grip from the second you put your hand on the gun, and follow it all of the way through to the target.
Without combat cut:

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/2011-12-04_21-22-03_969.jpg



With combat cut:

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/2012-01-18_22-02-58_304.jpg



Paddle Holsters:
These are hip holsters. They just have a paddle that goes over your belt and into your pants rather than being hooked to your belt. I prefer paddle holsters for anything that is out of waste band carry. I really like the BlackHawk Serpa holsters. They have something called active retention. Active retention is basically going one level past the retention a holster would normally have from just fit and friction. It has a lever the must be depressed for the gun to come out of the holster. This lever is in just the perfect position that you press it with your index finger and as you come out of the holster your finger automatically indexes against the slide. It’s really a great holster.
However I am considering scrapping it out of my carry rotation for only one reason. The same reason I don’t use safeties on my guns. They don’t make a Serpa for my FNP-45, my kel-tec is pocket carried, and my Glock is generally in a IWB holster. So that means every once in a while when I OWB carry my Glock I have to think to myself “Oh push the button on the holster this time”. Something I probably wouldn’t remember in a defensive situation. If you train with it, it’s muscle memory and you would have no problem hitting the lever. However, 90% my holsters just require grabbing the gun and pulling, I doubt I will remember to hit the lever on the Serpa.


Pocket Holsters:
First off, if you’re gonna carry a gun in your pocket. Use a damn holster! A holsters most important objective – covering the trigger.
Kel-Tec PF-9 in pocket holster:


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/PF9_PocketHolster.jpg


Pocket holsters are great for four certain things, ease, convenience, deep concealment, and comfort. It takes two seconds to throw the gun into your pants or jacket pocket. This is perfect for those quick grocery store/gas station trips. They also work perfectly when you need to make sure no one knows you have a gun. Maybe a workplace, family gathering, whatever, who knows, concealed means concealed, and dang if a small gun in a pocket holster doesn’t conceal well.

Two other things I’ll give to the pocket holster, one of them being back up. In the winter we’re all normally bundled up. Getting to a IWB piece could be difficult. I have normally always had a small pocket piece in my coat to alleviate this issue. Second thing is that the gun, being in your pocket, is easily touched without seeming out of place. For example, if I am in condition orange, or feeling any sort of threat, but not quite sure yet if it truly is one, you can easily have your hand in your pocket and gripped around your gun, ready for anything, while still seeming extremely docile. This could be an advantage in certain situations, and could keep certain situations from escalating.

There are a thousand other options out there for carry, you just have to research them and find what works best for you, so that you will ALWAYS CARRY (catching onto the theme yet?). Hell, there’s even a holster to fit between your boobs and work with your man bra: http://youtu.be/h8r6CY5UZyw


Well I’ve got a gun, holster (and gun belt). …What else do I need?
Well, if you don’t carry a knife albeit large or small then you’re missing an essential tool of life that I’ve had since I was an eight year old boy, but I guess that’s for a different thread.


CARRY AN EXTRA MAGAZINE!
Why should I carry an extra mag? …Well, I mean, extra rounds are nice aren’t they?? But the main reason is magazine failure. If your mag gives you the middle finger, and you don’t have another one, have fun… Now you could call the potential of your primary magazine failing a rare and unlikely occurrence, but we could also say that about you ever needing a gun at all couldn’t we? BE PREPARED.
By the way, IT DOES HAPPEN: http://youtu.be/39DoxvD5pik
Also, think you don’t need those extra rounds? Consider how fast those 6+1 rounds would have flown through your ccw if you where in Lance Thomas’s case.


How to carry your extra magazine:

My favorite method for carrying an extra mag is pocket carry. Even when I’m not pocket carrying my gun, I pocket carry the mag. I even pocket carry my mag in a DeSantis mag pouch when carrying IWB or OWB. Honestly the only time I every carry my extra mag in any other way is when Open Carrying my FNP-45. I have a OWB mag pouch for my extra FNP mag.

There are a lot of methods. While pocket carry it my favorite for magazines, they do make IWB mag pouches, or even OWB pouches that can easily be covered by a shirt.

What kind of ammo do I stock my mags with? I promise I’m almost done yapping!
This kind of goes back to earlier in the caliber talking point where I told you to do your own research. Look on youtube for reviews of different carry ammo in your caliber. Decent reviews of ammo mean an open range where you can either use ballistic gels or milk jugs with filled media for expansion tests. I don’t have anywhere around here I can do that, so I have to rely on youtuber’s before I buy my defensive ammo.

Bullet Grain & Powder Charge damnit why do I have to go into such detail… I thought I was almost done!
Every caliber will have an average weight. The easiest way to determine the average grain weight of a caliber is to just look at the weight of your run of the mill Full Metal Jacket cartridges. Honestly I always just go with the average weight when looking at defensive ammo. If you go with something light it is going to have a higher velocity and penetration rate, and can also can sometimes cause jacket separation. If you go with something heavy you are going to lose velocity (of you don’t use +P) and your point of impact will be lower than your point of aim because the bullet ways more (again unless you use +P).
+P is a higher pressure round resulting in more velocity. I’ve tried it, even in my full size FNP, I’m not a fan of it, so sue me. Yet again, if you can’t hit your target due to recoil than the extra velocity doesn’t matter. The one thing I will say about +P, if your gun doesn’t somewhere in the manual say that it is rated for +P DON’T USE IT! Unless you want this to happen…


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/7889d1205106870-glock-kaboom-glock03.jpg


Personally Preferred Defensive Ammos:
Now honestly, I like high end things, or uncommon things. If there were a company who made some crazy fancy soft drink called cok’e with an apostrophe I’d probably buy it, Just because it’s different.
Sarcasm aside, higher end products are normally “high end” because they have more attention to detail. That being said, I don’t carry Remington golden sabers, or Winchester PDX, or any other large scale manufactured ammo. I use their FMJ ammo, but not their defensive ammo. I’ll be honest and say I’ve never used it. So take my judgment with a grain of salt, but, I prefer a premium cartridge when it comes to my life.
The two I use are mainly Speer Gold Dot, and then also, some Hornady Critical Defense.
Hornady’s idea, having a polymer plug in the hollow cavity of the round to prevent plugging from the target’s clothing is an interesting idea. And with a lot of rounds you can see why it is a necessary thing. There are plenty of name brand JHP’s out there that plug when fired through denim and to not reliably expand. Unfortunately I’m not sure plugging the hole before it’s ever even fired was the solution. Now, I have, and probably will again at some point trust my life to Horandy’s critical defense. However, after extensive research I see Speer edging it out. Mainly with reliable expansion, and jacket separation.
Even though critical defense’s mantra is reliable expansion, they don’t quite seem to have it down yet. On top of that, the Gold Dot, being a bonded bullet, doesn’t seem to be as prone to jacket separation issues as the Critical Defense is.
The three rounds in the middle of this pic are an example of jacket separation with the Critical Defense rounds:


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/Keltec3.jpg


Also you can see a very big difference in the bullets designs. You can see on the Hornady round that the expanding petals are pretty much just the copper jacket. No lead. This lets them easily deform, and doesn’t hold its expanded shape, making the round overall, not that much larger than when originally fired. Example:


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/hornady-9mm-115-354x200.jpg


Speers’ bonded bullet actually has the lead and the jacket expanding into petals. Making for a more uniform expansion, and almost double the circumference of the original round. Example:
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a58/CB-AARON/0910-7-Speer-Gold-Dot-115.jpg
Long story short (yeah I know it’s too late for that) I carry Speer Gold Dot in every one of my .45’s and in my one 9mm.


Situational Awarness Last talking point!
Situational awareness is your most important, and most potent weapon. A gun is your last ditch effort. If you can get out of there, GTFO. A CCW piece is for DEFENSE. If you must, defend yourself, if you can, run.
Keep your head on a swivel. Watch people’s hands, watch their behaviors, do they seem nervous/jittery? When you pump gas you face your car, what’s behind you? Pay attention to your surroundings. Over time it will become easier to do. Just put yourself in a defensive mindset and you will start to realize when you’re vulnerable, and to pay more attention. You’ll find yourself watching reflections to see the people behind you. Why? Because we’re all paranoid? Nope. I do it as I’m walking without even thinking about it. I’m a “bubble” person anyhow. I’m going to notice when people are close and I’m going to watch them, because they are invading my personal space.

Just today on my way home I stopped at a gas station to grab a six pack. After having taken about three steps from my car I saw a guy wearing sun glasses flip up his hood as he was reaching to open the door and go in. I immediately turned around, got back in my car and left. It was a warm, 70’s-80’s day, clear and sunny, no reason to have a hood up. Luckily I’ve seen nothing on the news today about a robbery at that station, but does flipping your hood up while walking into the store seem normal to you? These are things to watch for. Situational awareness. And like I’ve said, was I going to just go in there any how because “oh I have a gun, I’ll be fine”. No. My easiest option was to get the <removed> out. So I did.

Keep your head up, Keep your eyes moving, and carry your gun ALWAYS. Take your time and find what is comfortable to you not only to shoot, but to carry. A gun you can shoot well, but always stays at home at the night stand does you no good. I hope all of this rambling has helped someone out there in their journey to master CCW. Sorry I took so much of your time :-P

SleazyRider
March 14, 2012, 06:05 AM
Just today on my way home I stopped at a gas station to grab a six pack. After having taken about three steps from my car I saw a guy wearing sun glasses flip up his hood as he was reaching to open the door and go in.
Perhaps he was concealing a bad haircut?

pockets
March 14, 2012, 08:09 AM
It was a warm, 70’s-80’s day, clear and sunny, no reason to have a hood up.
You do understand that a hoodie can be a 'fashion', right? Some folks wear the hood up even indoors.
This is no more menacing than a backwards ball cap.

.

Driftertank
March 14, 2012, 12:24 PM
Remember that other tenet of concealed carry:

"He who chooses to arm himself, also consigns himself to a lifetime of courtesy and de-escalation."

When you have the capability to end a human life, you don't get to have an ego. If someone tries to goad you into a confrontation, you have a duty to walk away, if that option exists.

Because if you reach the point where you feel it necessary to draw, you should do it as a last resort, and with the intent to use it if the situation doesn't immediately defuse.

heeler
March 14, 2012, 12:38 PM
The little clerk at the corner store disagrees with that statement pockets.
He even has a sign in English and Spanish that reads 'no hoodies,ski masks,or helmets allowed in".
Hoodies around here generally means criminal minded thug.

NavyLCDR
March 14, 2012, 12:55 PM
Here in Missouri we can carry wherever the <removed> we want. But hey, we’re smart people here, and my daddy is stronger than your daddy. Virtually every “no carry” place like churches, bars, parks, carrying when drunk, places with no gun signs, are technically suggested no carry zones. Missouri law says right after all of these things “None of these shall be a criminal offense”

Respectfully, a few of those places is a criminal act to merely carry a gun in:

Federal Courthouse
Federal Facilities
Post Office and post office property - even storing the gun in your car
Portions of airports entering into and inside the secured screening areas
And without a Missouri issued license or permit, within 1000' of the premises of a school in Missouri.

These are Federal laws and Missouri law cannot make an action legal that is prohibited in Federal law.

Afelt.tech
March 14, 2012, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the write up! Also, in my area, Hoodies are usually not allowed in corner stores. Heck, we even have a local bar and grill that wont let certain colored clothing through the door.

exdetsgt
March 14, 2012, 01:01 PM
Hoodies may be a fashion statement, much like other articles of apparel that have migrated up from the 'hood and gang-banger styles and into the middle class. So be it. It is what it is and, like many transient styles will perhaps someday fade away.

As a functional garment they're great in cold weather, but if you've ever worn one they definitely interfere with your peripheral vision. Not good.

Unlike the backwards ball cap, hoodies make it difficult to ID suspects. And at night you can't tell if the guy is black, brown, white, or green for that matter.

Written by a former law enforcement officer that likes to see who he's dealing with.

Big Boy
March 14, 2012, 01:01 PM
Correct, I did say "virtually" everywhere.

exdetsgt
March 14, 2012, 03:16 PM
Aaron, I might add that I think your OP is very well written and the photographs enhance the text perfectly. Was that a Glock that blew apart from +P loads? I couldn't really tell from the photo, but it's an astonishing image regardless.

In response to the article, I never really thought about carrying a gun. I had just gotten out of the Navy, a punk 21 year old kid, and I went to work for the local sheriff's department, night work, so I could go to college during the day. I was of course trained in weaponry, shotgun, rifle, handgun, and it was only then that the enormous responsibility of daily carry began to sink in. By the time I got out of law enforcement I was used to carrying concealed (I had become a detective) and to the responsibility it entailed. Now I edc still, either a Model 36, a Kahr CM9, or a Glock 19, depending mostly on whim, the weather, and/or where I'm thinking about going.

Big Boy
March 14, 2012, 04:16 PM
To be honest the blown up glock was just an image pulled from the net. Thankfully I've never had one blow on me so I had no personal pictures to post. Glocks are rated for +P, however it probably was a hot hand loaded round that blew up the gun. I was looking for a pic of a small sub compact like my kel-tec, those generally are not rated for +P and could cause catastrophic failure .

I put that info in there because a lot of times newbies think that more bang is better. When I got my first shotgun around 18 I bought 3" magnum shells because I figured, more bang was better. I was wrong lol.

JohnBT
March 14, 2012, 05:49 PM
"Hoodies may be a fashion statement"

May? No question about it, they are and have been. Around here they have been for 20 years or more among the artsy college students and dropouts and assorted folk. I wore one in 1965 in suburban D.C. until I got tired of it. Middle class all the way. Fads come and go.

Do some thugs wear them? Sure, but I think they got the idea from the artsy kids way back when.

Heck, there's one clerk at the 7-11 a block from my house who wears her hood up 6 shifts out of 7. Says it keeps the cold air from blowing down her back (although I think it's because it messes up her time-consuming hairdo.)

John

Alec
March 14, 2012, 05:53 PM
As a functional garment they're great in cold weather, but if you've ever worn one they definitely interfere with your peripheral vision. Not good.

That's what the drawstrings are for. You'll look like a dork, but you did say "functional garment"...

JohnBT
March 14, 2012, 05:53 PM
Heck, look up the history of the hoodie, I did. It was invented by Champion Sportswear for workers in cold warehouses. Then came the Rocky films in the 1970s.

"its ubiquitous presence in the immensely influential Rocky films of the 1970's.

By the 1990's the hoodie had gained a strong foothold both in trendy sub-culture such as among the surfers and skaters of California and the mainstream fashion world, with brands such as Armani and Ralph Lauren using it as the basis for many of their collections"

So yeah, blame the thug culture for the stupid things. :cuss:

JimBoIHN
March 14, 2012, 07:05 PM
I have been carrying two of the two shot pepper guns, range 13 feet, mv 90 mph. I actually feel about as safe as with a firearm because I would not HESITATE to use them.

The Sarge
March 14, 2012, 07:19 PM
I started "carrying a handgun when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Had it in my back pocket of my britches. Lil .32 my Dad had given me. Carried it loaded everywhere. Started driving into town when I was 14.
Didn't have crossbreed supertucks or nothing like that:) Just a gun I was good with. Nothing much has changed since then :) Except I now carry mainly a 9MM Mak or a Glock .45....still usually found in my back pocket or a IWB.

Tipro
March 15, 2012, 09:49 AM
Thanks for spending the time to write all this. I'm just about to apply for my CCW and have been examining various holsters. I have a Kel Tec p11, and I can get that fancy belt clip which fastens directly onto the slide. I don't know if the pf9 has one, but would you recommend using that belt clip or no?

Claude Clay
March 15, 2012, 12:13 PM
the hoodie is also a act of rebellion by those who are fed up and protesting cameras everywhere they go. they feel that the hoodie messes with the man.

even Facebook's facial recognition gets past a hoodie.
ua think the govts equipment may be even better?

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 15, 2012, 12:36 PM
I wear a hoodie but rarely actually use the hood. It was my senior sweatshirt from High School.

Thanks for spending the time to write all this. I'm just about to apply for my CCW and have been examining various holsters. I have a Kel Tec p11, and I can get that fancy belt clip which fastens directly onto the slide. I don't know if the pf9 has one, but would you recommend using that belt clip or no?

I would recommend getting a holster that covers the trigger. That clip isn't that great of an idea. It just like carrying without a holster but the gun is secure in one spot.

Ringolevio
March 15, 2012, 01:43 PM
Driftertank:
Remember that other tenet of concealed carry:

"He who chooses to arm himself, also consigns himself to a lifetime of courtesy and de-escalation."

When you have the capability to end a human life, you don't get to have an ego. If someone tries to goad you into a confrontation, you have a duty to walk away, if that option exists.

Because if you reach the point where you feel it necessary to draw, you should do it as a last resort, and with the intent to use it if the situation doesn't immediately defuse.

These are very wise words indeed! Massad Ayoob covers this in "In the Gravest Extreme", but I think you've done it even more succinctly.

To Big Boy:
You put a lot of effort into this, and I'm sure it can be helpful.

But please, when you go back over it, in addition to correcting your occasional errors, PLEASE hit "paragraph" more frequently.

This will allow your points to sink in, and it will keep the reader's eyes from glazing over.

Try to write more like Hemingway (who was, for a time, a fellow Missourian, having been a sportswriter for the KC Star, whence came his short, punchy style) and less like Faulkner (whose sentences sometimes seemed to go on forever).

Joke:
Hemingway's answer to "Why did the chicken cross the road?":

"To die. Alone. In the rain."

highorder
March 15, 2012, 02:29 PM
Worth noting:

What’s +P? It is +Powder. Essentially it has more powder in it than your typical round of that caliber.

+P designates rounds loaded to a higher pressure.

That isn't necessarily the same as simply more powder.

denton
March 15, 2012, 03:05 PM
Enjoyed the read. Thanks for posting.

One of my friends opined that you'll typically end up with a shoe box full of holsters before you find one you like. I took a shortcut, and paid attention to what he had found and liked.

My solution:

Two firearms suitable for carry, a Taurus 41 Mag snubby which carries surprisingly well and a Sig P238 "miniature 1911" in 380 which carries extremely well.

Paddle holsters for each from Simply Rugged.

Double D (or is it Triple D??) sturdy belt, about $25 at a western wear store. Having a good belt is surprisingly important.

"Travel vest" to cover the firearm.

hermannr
March 15, 2012, 03:26 PM
Always remember, every state differs..make sure you know your state law. Examples would be: OC in WA is the same everywhere, that is, licensed or unlicensed OC, and with one exception, the rules are the same as licensed CC. Same in ID.

In OR, unlicensed OC you need to watch a few town laws (very few) but with a CHL you can OC or CC as desired, town laws do not count.

For me: 40+ years of experience OC (I rarely conceal) in these three states, just about nobody bothers you. Not even the bad guys.

Big Boy
March 15, 2012, 08:05 PM
Thanks for spending the time to write all this. I'm just about to apply for my CCW and have been examining various holsters. I have a Kel Tec p11, and I can get that fancy belt clip which fastens directly onto the slide. I don't know if the pf9 has one, but would you recommend using that belt clip or no?

I don't like the little clips at all. The trigger is completely exposed, covering the trigger is the most important part of a holster.

But please, when you go back over it, in addition to correcting your occasional errors, PLEASE hit "paragraph" more frequently.

I wrote it in Microsoft word and did have paragraphs, this is the format the forum changed it to when I posted. I suppose I could go in, edit and hit enter a lot.

sirsloop
March 16, 2012, 01:55 AM
Massad Ayoob, In the gravest extreme is a must read... annually. I've got my copy and its worth reading over and over.

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