1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Newbie to Concealed Carry

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jsunn1976, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Jsunn1976

    Jsunn1976 Member

    Hello All,

    I am pretty new here from Colorado. Been shooting for years but recently got my CCW permit.

    I wanted to get everyone impression about how they felt carrying for the first time.

    I haven't carried yet, I am still looking for the right holster, that being said, how did carrying make you feel, were you nervous, did you make any mistakes I can try to avoid myself?

    I am a fairly "skinny guy" and am having a hard time with inside the waist band, any other suggestions?

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  2. Number one thing to avoid:
    Constantly adjusting the damn gun, holster, and cover garment while you're out and about.
  3. Vonderek

    Vonderek Well-Known Member

    Tell us what gun you are carrying and what IWB holsters you have tried. Being skinny doesn't rule out IWB carry. You should buy pants and belts a little bigger than normal if you carry IWB. Wear loose shirts either dark in color or with a print to help break up the outline of the gun. Make sure the shirt is long enough so that if you have to bend over to tie your shoe the gun isn't exposed.
  4. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    With the right sized gun (for me it's a glock 19) the Crossbreed Super-Tuck, Horsehide is just great. Great retention, very very comfortable very flat against the body. With a decent square-tailed shirt or a sport coat the thing dissapears. The problem with IWB is the whole shirt untucked look which is totally not me...but it works very well. I have a Carhartt square-tailed work shirt in XLT (I am 6'7") and the gun dissapears under there.

    The most disconcerting thing about starting to CC a Glock is holstering the thing. One needs to be carefull not to have the shirt-tail anywhere near the trigger guard when you click it down into the kydex. For models with a safety this will be more comfortable. I am careful and I sort of stick my hip out funny-like so if the darn thing does go off, at least it won't shoot my butt off or hit me in the calf or heel even if it blows a hole in my pants from the inside out :eek: I have been doing this everyday for a year now and my butt and my pants are still in one piece.

    Ditto the comment about getting it holstered and leave it alone. I go to gun shows, gun shops, and down at the range and I just leave it concealed. Get a good stiff belt so that you can rely on more than tightness to hold the thing in place. When I stand up, I just straighten out the shirt tail on both sides like just about anybody would. Try not to do like you see the cops doing when then get up, grabbing the gun and getting it situated on the hip. They are carrying a lot more gear and their gun is open so it doesn't matter. You need to find a way that it will ride there all day or at least with a very minimum amount of hiking up the pants etc.
  5. gpr

    gpr Well-Known Member

    i do a little gun [380] in the front pocket, you forget that's it's even there.....gary
  6. Jsunn1976

    Jsunn1976 Member

    Thanks for the inputs...

    I am carrying a CZ 2075 Rami, The holster I have is the http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPG3.asp?ProductID=1223&GunID=50
    for the Glock 26.

    It seems when I use the inside the waist band it causes my pants to fit really wierd.

    Thanks for your input!

    Were there any consequence when you were first carrying.

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  7. danoam

    danoam Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for the gun and holster that you will be carrying, but when I started carrying, I was carrying a Ruger P95 (big) in a Crossbreed Supertuck. I am a skinny guy and was able to conceal just fine. I have a Supertuck for my M&P9C that conceals perfectly, while the same gun in a Galco Summer Comfort, while a very comfortable and secure holster. Doesn't conceal as well as I'd like once the weather gets warmer and cover garments come off.

    Go ahead and try different holsters and see what works for you.
  8. AWorthyOpponent

    AWorthyOpponent Well-Known Member

    I remember when I first got mine. I had the feeling that I was doing something wrong at first. I felt like everyone could tell it was there and that the cops were going to come and tackle me. It took about a month before I realized that no one could tell it was there. My own friends who knew I had a concealed firearm couldn't tell if I had it or not.

    Things to avoid...touching it. Wear it around the house to find the most comfortable position. Once you do that, go out with it and leave it be. Practice drawing from a completely concealed spot. You should know where it is as a second nature.
  9. AWorthyOpponent

    AWorthyOpponent Well-Known Member

    When you go to a restaurant, if you sit in a booth, sit down slowly. The butt of your gun smacking the wooden booth back is fairly loud and causes people to look. Of course, 99.9% of people wont expect that it was a gun, rather that you sat down and may have hurt yourself.
  10. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    Holster is key. Try some on if possible.

    Another thing is fairly obvious. Considering you said you were small framed, I wouldn't try to carry a a full size glock, 1911 etc when wearing shorts and an A-shirt. It may be possible with the perfect holster and carrying position, but I find it hard to conceal a full size except in winter months. I change firearms according to dress.

    Lately because of warm weather I have been using a Galco IWB at a "5:00" position with a G26. My other option is a J frame in the same type of IWB but at 1:00. You have to try different things to see what fits.
  11. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Well-Known Member

    I think the hardest part about carrying a firearm for the first time is:

    1) Figuring out where to carry that best suits your body shape/build

    2) Getting comfortable carrying a round in the chamber with no safety.

    3) Knowing how to move with a firearm on your person.

    4) NOT telling all your friends/family that you carry. I personally don't think any one needs to know but yourself.

    5) Knowing how to tell if your gun is going to expose itself without using your hands to feel/touch. You don't need to feel/touch your weapon every minute.

    There are a lot of people who get new garments for their "carry system." I did not, I figured out what would work with what I had. I was not going to go out and buy a new wardrobe to carry my daily carry weapon. While some people have the extra money to buy 7 pairs of new jeans/pants, with a mix of shorts -- good for them I didn't. Also, some people like to buy 5 or more pairs of 5.11 brand tactical pants, at a rate of 70+/- dollars per pair, that is just too expensive. ( I did buy a holster & gun belt for my system )

    I am a short fatty, at 5'7" 170 lbs, I wear fitted clothing. Everyone can see I have a gut, I look better with fitted cloths -- I wear Large American Apparel T's, they are a skinnier cut T and to be honest aren't very long. My usual daily wear are: Jeans with T or Shorts with T. I do have blazers/sport coats with dress slacks, I usually go to my LCP for this setup.

    I carry a SR9C in the 5:00 - 6:00 position, using a Crossbreed Supertuck Holster with Crossbreed belt. My wife says when I move around a lot she can see that there is something there but if she had no idea I carried she wouldn't know what it was.

    I often do NOT wear any type of jacket, just jeans/shorts and a T.

    There are some situations that I have to be careful, if for some reason I need to bend over to get something off a low shelf in a grocery store, I don't bend over -- 99% of the time the firearm will not be exposed, but it will print. There are some states out there that printing is a big NO-NO. So I have learned to drop to one knee to get something from a low shelf.

    Also, if I am going to sit down to have lunch at a restaurant, or sit down in general, I grab the sides of my pants, and make sure they are a little higher than they should be, then I pull down my shirt as well; so when I go to sit down, the firearm doesn't have a chance to expose it self. When I go to sit up I do the same thing in reverse, make sure my shirt is down then when I stand up and make sure my pants are high up -- a few steps later my pants re position themselves to a perfect height again.

    There are a lot of people who seem to spend every moment of their life trying to tell if someone is carrying, most of these people are other CCW permit/license holders and feel that if they can spot someone they believe to have a weapon, every bad guy can as well. They are the ones that ridicule those of us that do carry for not being tactical enough. Now I am not saying all of them are mall ninjas, but some hold that mightier than thou sentiment.

    Also, making sure you know how to draw your firearm well: clearing the holster, pointing your gun forward to the target, coming up with your pistol to align the sites, pressing the trigger, ready position, scanning for targets, aim, press, then re holstering your pistol in the same manner that you draw is a big thing. You need to practice your draw, also re holstering your weapon is just as important as drawing your weapon. A lot of people get sloppy when they re-holster-- this is not a good habit to get into, you want to re-holster in the exact reverse of the way you draw

    If you don't already have a good gun belt I would suggest getting one, I thought I had a good thick leather belt, then when I received my gun belt... lets just say its a world of difference.

    You will figure out what works best for you, you just have to try things, everything.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  12. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Well-Known Member

    Skinny guy, huh? I have no rear end to speak of so we may have similar problems.

    Here's the number one thing I have discovered for ccw: What works for one person will be awful for the next person because we're all different and "comfort" is subjective.

    Number two: A cheap belt makes the world's greatest holster appear to be junk.

    What works best for me is a wilderness style web belt with any of my favorite carry holsters...a raven phantom knock off, a crossbreed knock off and a very simple kydex holster that is meant for appendix carry. I have some really, really nice custom leather gunbelts and a kydex reinforced instructor belt...all of which rarely leave the closet as I prefer my non-reinforced wilderness style belt. I can run an entire IDPA match and never once tug at my belt. I've even seen guys recommending me certain leather belts when they notice my cheapo 5.11...but then they walk off tugging their pants up. :) So if you find a combo that works and you're happy, just run with it.
  13. Timothy_90

    Timothy_90 Member

    I haven't been carrying that long, I got my permit last summer and got my first carry gun for Christmas. I can't say I really felt anxious but it did make me more alert. It also changed the way that I interact with people, not that I was hot headed before but I naturally have a pretty dry, sarcastic sense of humor and I'm not shy about speaking my mind. Now I'm nicer to people, I smile more, and I make a greater effort to make people feel at ease.
  14. aeriedad

    aeriedad Well-Known Member

    Hi, Jason. I see you're not so new to the forum, but haven't posted much. Anyway, welcome to the discussion.

    You've gotten some pretty good advice already, especially regarding the need for a good belt and holster, so I'll not spend many words on that. I think you can make IWB work for you with the right equipment and a little practice.

    The thing that prompted me to post here though is the couple of recommendations to practice your draw stroke from concealment. While that's good advice, it should be accompanied by a warning to do this with an UNLOADED gun for a while. Double check it. Then check it again. Once you've acquired some skill at drawing smoothly, and if your range allows it, you may want to practice drawing and firing. But unless you intend to fire, always always always practice drawing with a doubly checked UNLOADED weapon.

    One more thing I will add to another recommendation someone already gave: Wear your belt, holster and gun around the house for a day or two so you can make adjustments before "going live." You might do this with the gun unloaded for a day, then loaded for a day. Whatever seems reasonable to you, just be safe.

    Nobody knows you're carrying. Don't think too much about it and pretty soon it will seem as normal as tying your shoes.
  15. essayons21

    essayons21 Well-Known Member

    Some things I learned in the first few years of CCW.

    1. When picking a carry location and holster, don't sacrifice comfort and accessibility for absolute concealment. People are generally oblivious and will not notice your gun even if it is poorly concealed. I found this first hand when I open carried for a few summers. I still use the first holster I bought (galco skyops) because it is useful when concealing in tighter fitting dress clothes, but I usually use a Crossbreed because it is by far the most comfortable holster I have tried, even if it does print the butt of my 1911 a little bit.

    2. Buy your pants a size larger, or at the very least make sure you have your gun and holster with you when trying on pants.

    3. Don't skimp on the belt. A good stiff belt that correctly fits your holster is just as important as the holster itself. Don't be surprised to pay $60 or more for a good gunbelt.

    4. The gun in your pocket is worth more that the gun on your nightstand. When I first started carrying, it was a Commander sized 1911 or a subcompact XD40 IWB. If I couldn't conceal either of those I didn't carry. Especially during the hot summers I found myself sans gun many times. Picked up a Kel-tec p3at and have rarely been unarmed since. Yes it is a dinky cartridge and yes it is a belly gun at best, but its better than nothing. It is tempting to go for as big of a gun in as big of a cartridge that you think you can conceal, but it will get heavy and cumbersome quickly. With all of the new very small easy to conceal pocket pistols in .380, 9mm, and even .40 there are many more practical options available.
  16. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    First thing to avoid, as has been said, is constant adjusting or readjusting of holster(s) and or clothing. Buy a well made custom holster and belt, and all the difference in the world will be felt right away. Second, for me, due to a boo-boo on my part is, make sure your pistol is covered by your clothing. I have up close and personal experience with this and it's not a very good feeling. I forgot to cover up after getting out of the truck one day when going in to a field office and got quite a few very uncomfortable stares in my direction.

    The holsters I currently use for my CZ 83 is a dual purpose IWB/OWB made by HBE with reinforcement at the mouth for one handed slide manipulation and the holster I use for my Ruger SR9 is also custom made from Jeffrey Custom Leather. It too also has major mouth opening reinforcement for one handed slide manipulation. I'll include links to both below and both of these guys are Great to work with.

    Wearing loose fitting, busy print, untucked shirts work the best for me so far. Or heavy, almost canvas like work shirts work well also. I'm also a tall skinny guy, so finding just the right clothing can be difficult at times. Particularly when having to dress for meetings and still wanting access to my weapon.

    But, about the biggest thing I've noticed about concealed carry is that unless something is blatantly out of place, most people will never notice anything at all.


  17. theautobahn

    theautobahn Well-Known Member

    You skinny guys don't know how good you have it. My fat rolls push the butt of any pistol out, making everything twice as difficult to conceal. Of course the very simple option (and least expensive option would be to lose weight, but you know how that goes.

    And ditto to pretty much what everyone else has said: find the right holster, a GOOD BELT is key, wear it around the house for a bit. If you can, find some locals with the same carry guns. A buddy and I have been swapping holsters back and forth for our Glock 19's.

    But to answer your original question, I became more aware than I was before. Every situation that you're in will now involve a gun - yours. No more honking at someone who cuts you off, etc.
  18. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Well-Known Member

    Let me also add that a belt need not be stiff to work. Wilderness style belts are flimsy by nature and work great. The paramedics' and first responders' batman-like tdu utility belts have held up their pants for years despite having more weight and being super flimsy. :) I run a non reinforced version even when shooting competitions (glock 34 + a few spare mags) and it works fine without being super-tight and I never have to pull at my pants or belt. I have an instructor belt (wilderness style with kydex reinforcement sewn in) and I honestly never carry enough gear to need it,
  19. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    Lots of good advice already!

    I am relatively new to concealed carry as well, and am also pretty skinny. You didn't mention the gun(s) you are considering for carry, but I'd recommend something SLIM and also with a short grip. The grip is often underestimated as a factor, but I noticed that it tends to stick out the back if I bend forward.

    Also, everyone will have an opinion on this, but the way I started was go with the tiniest gun possible first, to get in the habit of carrying everyday, and work my way back up. So I started with an LCP, that I could comfortably carry anytime, anywhere. And at first I was STILL nervous that people would see it! :) Then I realized, most people are oblivious, and in the colder months I knew I could carry more, so recently added a Kahr CW9 to the collection. If you are limited to one gun, it may as well be something you can take anywhere, no matter what. I even take my LCP jogging, I was nervous at first that it would jostle loose with all that bouncing around, but it never does!

    I also agree with the other posters...at first it is a bit nerve-racking to carry a pistol with one in the pipe, but eventually you just get used to it. I trust that if I do my part, the gun will not go off on its own. Minimizing "administrative handling" helps. I carefully put the pistol in the holster and leave it there.
  20. Jsunn1976

    Jsunn1976 Member

    This thread has some great learning points.

    Thanks to everyone who has commented. I have learned a lot already.

    I will keep looking for a good holster and belt.

    I will also carry around the house before going live. I will have to get used to wearing my shirt untucked, not really my style either, but maybe I'll just have to start wearing a sports coat or blazer more often.

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

Share This Page