Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

Evolving As A Concealed Carrier.

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Trunk Monkey, Nov 15, 2020.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Colorado
    This thread is a combination of a thread Kleanbore started called My Handgun History and a comment Old Dog made in the I'm Comfortable With My... thread. A list of random handguns I've carried is only part of the story. It's meaningless without the "why" of how I (we) got from point A to wherever we are now.

    My main point is going to be that I started out not even knowing what I didn't know and I didn't even know that I didn't know it until I got some training.

    The first handgun I ever bought was a S&W Model 915. Before I bought it I had no idea that such a thing as a Third Generation S&W even existed. I literally thought I was going to walk into the gun shop and choose between a 1911, an M9 and some kind of revolver.

    I had no concept of concealed carry and certainly no concept of a holster. (I'm thinking of the movie "Lethal Weapon" where Danny Glover carried his S&W revolver in a Galco Summer Comfort IWB holster cross draw hanging off the OUTSIDE of his belt and Riggs didn't use any holster at all. Same with Beverly Hills Cop). When I thought I might need a gun I carried it in my jacket pocket in condition 3 because that's what the army taught me.

    When I got around to buying a holster I bought something called an Ambi Holster. It was maybe a step above an Uncle Mike's but it wasn't anything like a quality holster. I never carried a reload because I didn't even know that was a thing.

    In 1998 right before I got married I got rid of all my guns. The only gun we had was a .22 caliber NEF revolver that lived in a box in the garage.

    In 2007 my wife was involved in a road rage incident that scared the Hell out of her. She decided she wanted a gun and her permit. I agreed so she signed us up for a "Donuts and Coffee" class in someone's basement. I don't remember learning anything in the class but the instructor gave everyone a CD/Rom with all of the course materials and every statute in the Colorado Revised Code that had to do with concealed carry, guns in general and self defense.

    I do remember that the guy had a bunch of photos by Oleg Volk hanging on his walls and I'm pretty sure that's what lead me here.

    I lurked for a long time and I still didn't know enough to know good advice from bad but I did pick up on the necessity for good quality equipment.

    When I started carrying the only belt I even owned was my BDU belt (that skinny little nylon belt the Army issued). When I became a security guard I used the "Law Pro" belt my company issued, until I went to tighten it up one day and it literally split in two.

    Then I went out and bought a Tony Lama belt that I thought would be good because my local gun shop sold them (they also sold Uncle Mike's holsters).

    At some point I heard of Wilderness Tactical and I bought one. There are other belts as good or better but they work and they are an approved uniform substitute for my employer's cheap Chinese issue belt. So, that's what I use.

    I spent a lot of money on cheap nylon holsters before I talked my wife in letting me lay out 60 bucks for a Galco holster. Again, there are several options as good or better than Galco but Galco works and I know to just buy a Galco CM whenever I buy a new gun, which I haven't done since 2018 or so. That was kind of the story of my life until I got some training. I got by on cheap equipment until I got tired of replacing it and bought adequate equipment.

    In 2012 I joined my church's security team. The reason that's relevant is it was my first opportunity to attend real training taught by a professional instructor.

    The first lesson I learned was how much I didn't know. I actually remember thinking that all my internet gun knowledge (mostly from THR) was going to put me waaay ahead of the curve.... until I failed my first qualification because I freaked out and started point shooting. I passed on the second time because I slowed down and aimed.

    I also learned a lot about what did and didn't work with my equipment from that training. The first class I attended I kept trying to shove my Multitool into the magazine well of my 6906. After that I separated my magazines from my Multitool.

    In one class the instructor had us practice "Tactical Reloads" and I found out what a pain it was to try to reinsert a magazine in a carrier with the damn flaps in the way. Now I carry my magazines in a horizontal carrier with no covers.

    Say what you want about rotating guns, I consistently scored higher on my qualifications and performed better in class when I carried the same gun and since I was carrying the same model at work my scores were higher there too.

    When I became an armed guard my employer's training consisted of the NRA Basic Handgun Safety Course and a day on how to handcuff people. No instruction on WHY I would be handcuffing anyone or the legal ramifications of handcuffing someone. Just the mechanics of how handcuffs worked (I decided then and there that God Himself would have to direct me to handcuff someone before those handcuffs came out of my pocket).

    We also got a half day on OC spray which was good training in and of itself but again no instruction on what constituted legal use of OC spray. I only ever pulled it out once, when some old wino threatened me with an axe.

    Because of my prior REAL training I knew enough to go look for information on how I should set up my duty belt (company issue I had to use what they gave me). I found an article on Police One(?) that said you should set up your belt with left hand things and right hand things. (Your gun, your OC and handcuffs are right hand things so you put them where you can get them all with your right hand (or in the case of the handcuffs NO hands because I had no intention of using them on ANYONE) Your radio, flashlight, reloads, cellphone, notebook and such were all Lefthand things and they go on the belt (or your pockets) accordingly.)

    NOTHING goes on your back in case you get knocked down. I still carry my equipment split into Left and Right hand things even when I'm not at work and I'm not wearing a bat belt.

    So in closing it was a long time and a lot of training and a lot of experience (and screwups like the time I was walking around a substation and one of my reloads came out of the carrier and bounced off my foot before landing in a mud puddle) before I learned to carry my equipment one way, in one place and to buy good quality equipment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    The Last Outlaw, Ramone, murf and 8 others like this.
  2. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Excellent post, TM.

    We all start out that way.
     
    Darkhorse likes this.
  3. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    NC
    When I started out concealed carrying, I had a file of correspondence with Col Askins plus several extended phone conversations. Also correspondence with Jeff Cooper, we had a common bound of USMC service. Today there is much more information but the quality of the information is only as good as the source.
     
  4. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    2,927
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    Well while thats an interesting read your story certainly wasn't mine.

    I started off with the mindset that super ultimate concealability was the most important thing. Not what caliber, whether or not I could actually shoot it or get to it, and training wasn't even in the dictionary.

    Now I carry something of adequate capability that I practice/train with regularly and is comfortably and easily accessible.
     
    Darkhorse likes this.
  5. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Colorado
    I started carrying a gun (sometimes) in 1996. I took my first real training class in 2012. Sixteen YEARS later
     
    ms6852 likes this.
  6. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,342
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Evolution is a good thing. Great post by the way. We all have been there due to finances or ignorance , in my case both. I remembered when I first started carrying was after I broke my shoulder and tore some muscles, I realized that I was no longer the invincible warrior I had fantasized in my mind,....I got old. I carried a 1911 for more than 3 decades as it was a platform I knew well in the military, but even than the training I had was minimal as I was a combat medic. I carried 2 extra magazines one on my left pocket and the other on the right pocket just incase I got wounded in either shoulder or arm I could access an extra magazine if the time came to. As time went buy I did buy the good quality belts and holsters.
     
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Me too.
     
  8. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Within that broad category are things that we start out thinking that we know that turn out to be wrong.

    Among them:
    • One shot in the chest will take 'em down (as it does in screen fiction)
    • We'll have time to react deliberately and slowly (we do at the range, and in screen fiction, things are staged slowly so the audience won't miss anything)
    • There'll likely be one of them (except in training, we shoot at one target at the range)
    • We'll see him timely, more or less in front of us (we face the target at the square range, and in screen fiction, the good guy is rarely ambushed)
    I'm sure folks can add to that list.

    There are two more that are probably subconscious: having the gun makes us safe, and that guy won''t really shoot me.

    I started out practicing at 7 yards, concentrating on keeping group size down. I had no idea how rapidly I would have to learn to shoot in training classes.

    Reacting quickly to a threat from any direction required the development of new skills.

    During my evolution as a concealed carrier, I found that firearms and holsters that I had selected did not really serve my purpose very well, and they were replaced.

    And then there's the rest of the book. Concealed carry isn't all about drawing and shooting. One needs to learn to do other things, too:
    • Detect, identify, and react instantly to persons who want to attack us
    • Avoid traps and ambushes
    • Avoid, de-escalate, evade, and escape

    Just a few thoughts....

     
    scaatylobo, Darkhorse and Old Dog like this.
  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Colorado
    We'll be able to out draw 3 assailants and drop them all without them getting a shot off. Even if we start with our hands full and take the time to ask them if they're going to pull those pistols or whistle "Dixie".​
     
    The Last Outlaw, murf and Old Dog like this.
  10. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Another thing in the evolution: As shooters (new or experienced), when we go to the range we are planning to shoot; we know where the target is, we stand facing it or at an angle, and we decide when we want to shoot. That target is stationary. Time is abundant. We note our group sizes on the target. We shoot at our own speed.

    When we first cary concealed, we have the gun wit h us, but we may have little understanding of how using it, should the need arise, would differ from our experience at the range. And the differences are critical.

    We are not "going shooting". We are not planning to shoot. We do not expect to shoot.

    We have no target in mind. There isn't one--yet

    If we sense, see, or hear something, consider what it may be, and decide what to do--very quickly. We will not choose the time. That "something' may start out somewhere behind us. By the time it is a "target", it will be moving--very fast. We cannot shoot at our own speed. We may have to shoot more rapidly than we have ever imagined. We do not care about group size--just hitting.

    No one will have asked the people in the vicinity to kindly step behind the firing line. No one will have built us a backstop. We have to act accordingly.

    We have to beware the accomplice.

    This epiphany was driven home to me in a couple of days in an I. C. E. PDN training session.

    I recommend it.

    BTW, I have never walked past the corner of a building on my way to the car in quite the same way again after that.
     
    theotherwaldo and Old Dog like this.
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Another idea I discarded very early was my original intention to carry only when I "thought I might need it".
     
    murf, Olon and Old Dog like this.
  12. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,360
    Location:
    Northern CA (the good part)
    Interesting thread, TM.

    I started carrying with a stiff galco ccw belt (I still have it) and a Kirkpatrick iwb with a Sig P226. It was a decent setup

    My Dad gets a lot of the credit for leading me in the right direction when it came to gear.

    I also did a lot of reading here on THR a few months before getting my permit.

    It was competitive shooting that taught me how to really shoot and about gear and gear placement. Studying to improve my skills for the games gave me a starting point and my own experiences adjusted from there.

    For instance, I carry appendix in kydex holsters now.
    And while I started with that ole 226, I bought a 239 for weight size reasons.
    And now I'm back to a 226 (a lighter one than my first).

    My opinions on carrying reloads came from discussions on THR.

    My opinions on fighting (avoid if you can, come prepared if you can't) came from my Dad.

    I will say that my success in instructing is due in parts: my Dad, competition shooting, other instructors, and, no doubt, THR.
     
  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Going back to Good O'l Boy's story:

    Yes, I too bought my first handgun for concealed cary on the basis of concealability. I found that I could not use it effectively in the training drills.

    A friend bought a small .380 with a fitted, hard pocket holster. Hard to draw, not effective in the drills due to sights and trigger, it didn't last long.

    Some people here have suggested derringers or tiny single action rim fire revolvers. Fine for concealed carry--carry--as long as they are never needed in a real emergency.

    There are handguns that we like to shoot at the range and on the ranch that we really should not fool ourselves into considering as good choices on the street.

    All kinds of ideas have been posted. People become emotional about them--"carry what you want".

    That's a good idea, if what one wants is based on informed judgment. I carry what I want.

    About the only pistols I do not recall as having been suggested are the old Springfield Model 1842 .54 Cal single shot percussion muzzle loader without sights, pepperbox guns, pin-fire revolvers, percussion derringers, and dueling pistols.

    Knowing which guns to reserve for fun, for CAS, for belt carry in the wild , and for taking game, and which are better for keeping us alive on the street, should the need arise, requires two things: Realism, and the knowledge that comes in the course of what TM has called "evolution as a concealed carrier".

    And as Corporal_Agarn said, a lot of that can be had right here on THR.
     
    Old Dog likes this.
  14. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2020
    Messages:
    1,310
    Glock Full size 17 or sub compact 19 for OWB normal carry.
    Kahr K9 or CW9 for IWB for backup...Or as an "only gun" on a very hot hot summer day when clothing is minimal and i want to minimize the "printing" if the day calls for it. The Glock 19 goes IWB on occasion.

    The important thing is training, training and more training and not rolling hot with something not proven.

    You may ask why I didnt go with the Glock single stack (43 i believe) to replace the Kahrs....the short answer is Kahr single stacks came out many years before, and its what was available as the best option at the time. Have so much training in with Kahrs, there is no reason to switch.

    I wish magazine bottom plates on the Kahrs were more durable. Ive broken a few dropping them on hard pavement, and they blow out when loaded back up to capacity Glock base plates are much more durable.. if youre not letting your magazines drop to the concrete, youre not training properly.

    Why do i choose these weapons...Simplicity and reliability, Durability. Comfort, lots of holster options for comfort of carry, so the gun is most likely going to be on my person and available should it be needed.
     
    Ramone likes this.
  15. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,636
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    I was luckier than many in that I didn't have to spend much money to find out what worked . . . around age 18 I joined a shooting club and I was usually the youngest person (by close to 40 years) when it came to work days at the range. The older folk were kind enough to let me shoot their guns and borrow/keep their unused holsters. While I went through several options for 3 years trying to figure out what worked for me, when it came time to have to spend my money I knew exactly what belt, holster, and gun to buy.

    To be fair, even that changed . . . 20 years later I still own that belt and gun, but I did switch to appendix carry so the holster changed. I now try and pay that forward with new shooters so that they can figure out what they want without ending up with a box full of unused holsters.
     
    luzyfuerza and Hartkopf like this.
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    25,388
    Location:
    northern california
    We all have a journey and like most of shooting it is a progression as you gain experience and skill

    I was quite the James Bond fan and started with a Walther PP (couldn't find a PPK). Went to the other extreme when I entered LE buy going with a 1911 Commander in a Sparks Summer Special. We all shot Weaver then and thought we were "all that" and In-house training was actually pretty good in the early 80s. Getting outside training was the real turning point in both tactics and equipment selection. Officer Survival was the new "hot item" and we mostly went to carrying the SIG 226 in some version of the Nelson Professional holster.

    You have to take different training to realize that there is a difference between Shooting Schools and Fighting Schools. Each have their place. You have to be able to shoot well before you can really learn to fight with a gun. I was luck enough to find an instructor with proven techniques he had used and refined in actually situations (executive protection when the Red Army Faction and Baader-Meinhof were serious players)...didn't hurt that his co-instructor was a former SEAL

    My five take-aways from that instruction was
    1. always be ready
    2. nothing is ever as it seems
    3. there is no 180 degree muzzle limit
    4. you don't have to face your target to hit it
    5. reload whenever you can

    I now most often carry a SIG 320 because I can vary it's slide length and grip height while maintaining the same trigger and controls. I still carry OWB, usually in a kydex version of the old Alessi CQC/s. My secondary pistol is a Kahr CW9 because it is reliable and accurate out of proportion to its size...replaced my S&W 642
     
    Old Dog and Jeff White like this.
  17. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2020
    Messages:
    1,310
    My secondary pistol is a Kahr CW9 because it is reliable and accurate out of proportion to its size.

    I strongly agree with this
     
    Ramone likes this.
  18. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,280
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    OP, where do you carry your truck monkey? Everybody knows if he isn’t with you he doesn’t do you any good.

    Good post. Its amazing how sure of things people are when the only training they’ve had was hunter ed in 1987.

    -HB
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Excellent put.

    Excellent ways to look at it!
     
  20. Izzy77

    Izzy77 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Florida and South Africa
    Started my CC in VA at 21, took the course, gave my prints, made the oath to the clerk of courts.

    Carried a US made PPK, kirkpatrick leather holster IWB. went through 2 US made PPK's before I got a "good" one. ( Stainless slide was not heat treated started mushroomed out and rattled) , blued interarms PPK had 3 different malfunctions, the factory replacement for that worked great).

    Then much later ( early 2K) changed to a slightly used Khar MK9, Alessi holster ( that was a very nice holster). One mag was defective, the factory replaced it, other than that it worked great, was a bit heavier than my ppk, but "hey man it's 9mm" right?

    Norfolk Va can be downright scary sometimes, but having the ability to carry eases the mind and actually allowed me to open up and put some of those fears aside, conditioning from years of being told to fear certain people ...just knowing I could defend myself from the "bad guys", well that meant I could sit and chat with people on the street I had been told to fear.

    On the flip side no less than 5 attempts were made to rob our "new" house in Norfolk, 2 attempts in Va. Beach...one was a white guy in a suit! ( long story). Our "old" house in Norflok was robbed while were were away when I was a child... I remember the fine china ( that my dad brought back from Singapore while on ship duty on a tour of Vietnam) was all smashed, still don't know why they did that?

    Yes expect the unexpected, take the time to aim if you can, point shoot if you can not and are close to the intended target.

    I too was part of a "security team" ( at an orthodox Synagogue / Shul), was asked to join a group I did not know existed ( they kept the Security team very low profile) simply because they liked my slow accurate shooting at the range...but SHTF who knows how it would go in a crowded event?

    You hope the good people duck, and the bad people stand and take shots that miss, with nothing for cover but chairs, maybe the book cases on the sides of the room ( no pews in that place, come to think of it I was very exposed in the back where I prayed, maybe I should have sat with the big wooden Bima to my back for some cover)....you kind of expect that some people are going to get shot before you can react...if ( G-D forbid) someone just burst in the open doors...and you expect you could get shot...but you also have faith, else you would not be praying there :)

    I remember hearing about this as a kid ( see link below), not that I needed encouragement to carry a firearm, but this and documentary books containing graphic Nazi atrocities were more than enough to do that....

    https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/09/...sis-of-peace-turned-into-a-scene-of-savagery/
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  21. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Colorado
    I actually don't know where the idea came from but when my permit arrived in the mail I decided that I was going to carry whenever I left my home.

    Another change was that the more training and experience I got the less inclined I became to open carry.
     
  22. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,613
    Location:
    Colorado Front Range
    I am almost 45 and have been carrying a cartridge sidearm regularly and legally as possible since age 14. I earned a degree in mechanical engineering and served on Active Duty as an Army Officer in the Trans-9/11 era. I have worked over 18 years for the same company executing RDT&E on energetics, weapon systems, internal ballistics, terminal ballistics, protective personal equipment and protective construction. I got my first official CCW permit in 2004, about a year after Colorado started the shall issue program.

    My first sidearm was a DAO Enfield in .38 S&W back as a teenager. I have expanded greatly since then, and consider myself equally open to the benefits provided by both revolver and autoloader. I have been involved in several armed incidents where weapons were present, drawn, and ready to be used, but have only once personally discharged a weapon in civilian defense.

    My tenants on concealed carry are:

    - Never be unarmed, excluding legally “off-limits” areas.

    - Do not carry a weapon system (gun + holster) that puts the probability of having an AD/ND higher than needing the weapon in a defensive scenario. Looking at you strikers.

    - The “one gun” concept is impractical for people who participate in a wide variety of work, family, social and recreational environments, all with varying degrees of permissiveness and potential impacts of unmasking. Not everybody has the ability to always “dress around” the same weapon all the time. Living your life with a gun is better than not living your life due to needing the perfect gun all the time.

    - It is possible to negotiate a reasonable threat matrix, and arming accordingly, especially when four-legged predators enter the picture.

    - Ensure that you are proficient with any platform(s) you choose to carry, and it can be more than one. You don’t have to put hundreds of rounds downrange a month, but having cartridges left in the only box of ammo you ever bought for your EDC back in 2012 isn’t OK. Practice shooting at extended ranges (25 yd +) at a small subset of your training regimen, even with a pocket pistol.

    - Always carry a minimum of one reload, or a BUG, plus knife and 50+ lumen minimum flashlight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    Darkhorse likes this.
  23. Izzy77

    Izzy77 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Florida and South Africa
    I agree with most of what you say, especially practice...25 yard practice will really hone skills, and "mouse" guns need a work out too, if not more than larger frame weapons...

    I would not take out striker fired pistols from CC ( if that is what you meant), are they slightly inferior to DAO/ DA pistols, YES most do not have second strike function. Is Glock ( etc.) a tad dangerous? IMHO Yes, but if you are aware of the issue and train well with it, I would not hesitate to carry a light triggered striker fired pistol ( and I have in the past).

    The flip side to this is DA triggers that take 15-20 Lbs of force to work, like a the Polish P-64 and some franco-german PPK's.
     
    bdickens likes this.
  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,071
    Remember, toolset follows mindset and skillset in importance .

    And practice is not training.
     
  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    25,388
    Location:
    northern california
    That seems to be something that is often confused...especially by people who haven't received much training.

    Practice without training is simply ingraining the same bad habits you've developed. Those habits are much harder to break and more expensive to unlearn than learning the correct techniques to begin with.

    Shooting in competitions isn't training either. It is testing if your practice has been effective
     
    Corpral_Agarn and Kleanbore like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice