Concealed Carry

10 Lessons Taught by the Concealed Carry Gun

Brown handled Citadel in a medium brown DM Bullard IWB

Decades ago, I began learning the ins and outs of concealed carry. I worked at a sporting goods store in California that mainly focused on firearms for some of Hollywood’s most elite. I did not have to carry, however, I did not see a reason to turn down the opportunity. The first thing I learned was that it was not as fun or cool as I had imagined. Soon after, many lessons followed.

Later, I landed a personal protection position. The work wasn’t bad, but required a black tie, tuxedo and a new set of challenges compared to my previous experiences. I had a chance to rub shoulders with several of Hollywood’s most elite and most vocal gun control advocates. The experience provided invaluable lessons—plus a few good meals and the best views at all of the major award shows.

During these experiences, working closely with law enforcement and personal observations, the gun has taught me quite a bit I believe the novice and perhaps the experienced concealed carrier could benefit.

    1. The gun is not nearly as noticeable as you think, so quit fidgeting with it!
      I have had Hollywood’s most anti-gun and law enforcement alike ask whether I was carrying—both were looking and trying to see a sign. To the Hollywood types, I had the opportunity to admit or deny as I saw fit. For the law enforcement types, especially those working on the same detail, I readily fessed up. Whether or not I was carrying was not the lesson. The fact that I could carry a Sig 228 inside of a tight tuxedo and they had to ask was illuminating. Professional eyes were checking and could not tell. Ensure you have a quality holster and cover garment, and you’ll be fine. In the case of a tuxedo, a quality shoulder holster did wonders to hide the telltale hip bulge they were looking for.
    1. The average Joe is much less aware and why wouldn’t they be?
      Unless you are telegraphing or have a hard print (outline of your gun is visible), your CCW should be undetectable. In the case where you are slightly printing, it is easy enough for the average person’s subconscious to write it off as a cell phone under your shirt. Your main concern is bending or reaching. These are situations where your gun or holster may peek out and give you away. It can also land you in hot water with the law for brandishing.
    2. Trust me; Hollywood is only anti-gun when it is to their benefit.
      I had the unfortunate luck to draw the proverbial short straw a few times and assigned a loud mouthed, diehard gun control type. A few had their own security details. Of those who did, all were armed. We often used handheld metal detectors, so they admitted to it immediately and were barred entry. Most stars, however, simply jumped in their cars and drove off just like anyone else when they were finished. Some thanked us for the escort; others never looked back. Never did we have a request for an unarmed escort.
    3. A quality holster is only as good as the belt it rides.
      Ideally, you will carry every day. Unfortunately, some jobs make this impossible. With that understanding, you should carry as often as possible. For appendix carry, that means a quality belt. Cheaper belts will wear out prematurely and may fail to offer adequate purchase for in-the-waistband (IWB) holsters. You do not want to be caught in a situation that forces you to draw your weapon only to find the holster came with it. Outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters have many of the same requirements and require a tight fit. A quality leather belt works great, and Blackhawk’s CQB Riggers Belt provides a secure foundation with a custom Velcro fit.
    1. It seems everyone who carries ends up with a “Hell drawer” full of models that did not work out as planned.
      I am not an exception to this rule and have more than one drawer. If you are worried about printing, one of my favorite OWBs is the DeSantis Speed Scabbard. I use it with a SIG Sauer P250 sub compact. It is one of the most comfortable rigs I have ever had the pleasure to wear. I have enjoyed years of service from a Galco Jackass rig carrying my SIG Sauer 228—it was my go to when wearing a tuxedo as well as many other occasions.For warmer weather with limited clothing as a cover, I have also had good luck with the Versacarry for my Diamondback DB9. While discussing warm weather, a pair of shorts may limit your carry options. However, pair them with a button up shirt over 5.11’s Tactical Holster Shirt and no one will be the wiser. Be careful though; large-framed firearms, if not properly seated, may slip out when you bend over. I have successfully carried a full-sized 1911 in 5.11 shirt on numerous occasions, but I had to work with it first. Remember, safety first. Make sure you spend plenty of time practicing with any carry method before heading out in public.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a holster.

      • Access – How quickly can you access your weapon in an emergency? You do not have to be a quick draw by any means, but you do need quick access.
      • Location – where will you be carrying your CCW? Appendix, shoulder, ankle or something more modern such as Looper’s ‘Marilyn’ holster.
      • Trigger – whichever holster(s) you choose, protecting the trigger is essential. The last thing you need or want is an accidental discharge in your pocket.

If you are forced to deploy your handgun, you’ll be under stress. Training and practice are paramount, and you’ll benefit from a holster that provides a secure, solid grip easily.

    1. You are not alone.
      It seems, once you start carrying you instinctively find other likeminded and security-conscious people who carry. There is safety in numbers, however, you can learn a lot from others. Trade information about holster models, calibers and most importantly, the mistakes you have made in the past. The life saved from the lessons learned could be yours.
    2. Personal awareness–just as you are conscious about your CCW, you can increase your awareness by trying to spot others who carry.
      It is a great way to pass the time and likely very rare that you will actually notice someone else’s CCW. This is important for two reasons. Just as your CCW should not be noticeable, not being able to detect someone else’s CCW should be your impetus for always remaining alert. Second, if you do suspect someone is carrying, do not approach him or her with the intention of striking up a conversation about it. Have some common sense.Likewise, just because your are carrying concealed, do not approach law enforcement to “let them know.” Approaching cops to tell them you have a CCW is going to end badly. You may be legal, you may also feel like you just had a very uncomfortable “rubber glove” exam in public by the time they are finished. Mind your business and let law enforcement do theirs.
    3. Carrying is not as fun or cool as you thought.
      In fact, guns are heavy, uncomfortable and a general pain to conceal. GLOCKS are great! I love my GLOCK 22s, however, a magazine stuffed with 15 180-grain cartridges gets heavy quick. I am not whining, simply making an observation. I have witnessed far too many people leaving their guns at home, because they were “too heavy.” You can only defend yourself and loved ones with the gun you have with you. I have seldom heard of the gunfight where a participant had time to go home and get their gun. Most concealed carriers will also carry a spare magazine or two. Choose your CCW gun carefully. You do not want to be under gunned in an emergency; don’t pick a hand cannon that you’ll end up leaving home after the first outing.
  1. John Wayne was an actor. Carrying a handgun does not make you a hero.
    In fact, quite the opposite may be true. Much to the dismay of the gun control crowd, carrying makes you less likely to be involved in an altercation. While the other actor may not know you have a sidearm, you do. That knowledge makes you less likely to get in a screaming match or to allow a confrontation to escalate. Remember, the facts all lined up with Zimmerman’s account of the event and though eventually acquitted, he still spent more than several nights in jail.
  2. I am sure there are plenty of lessons you could add to round out this list, so let’s hear from you. Share the tenth lesson in the comment section for everyone’s benefit.


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Comments (60)

  1. Another tip is- be aware of what you wear so that you and your CCW are both comfortable. I have had a few occasions where what I wore wasn’t comfortable for CCW. Think ahead so you don’t expose yourself or become uncomfortable wearing what your trying to hide,

    1. That’s where owning a ccw weapon the works in a pocket holster (as part of your armory) is great for the times that the cloths you wear are not meant for anything other than a simple pocket weapon. I use a Kahr CM40 or the Ruger LC9s for that situation. With an extra mag in the opposite pocket.

  2. Fred, I like the way you think. You hit the nail right on the head. When I trained my wife I would not let her fire any weapon until she could disassemble and re assemble each weapon and name each part of every weapon. Then we moved on to safety of each weapon then holding each weapon and function operation, over and over till she was comfortable It took six weeks. The seventh week I set up targets and she was never the same. Every week for months till she got so good with handguns she put me to shame. Now she has a lifetime permit .

  3. Bill your question came through to the comments, just repeat what you did then.

    Always Great to here other peoples thoughts!

  4. I have some information I’d like to share but do not know how to initiate a conversation on the Log.

    Can someone help?


  5. #10 have an attorney BEFORE your ccw permit. you have a lot more to lose than you realize. you don’t want to be looking for an attorney after the incident

  6. I too have several holsters for many of my handguns but I’m not inclined to call any of them a failure. All of them work well for the mode of carry for which they were purchased. Example: I carry my Colt Combat Commander four different ways a) pancake small of the back under suit/jacket b) IWB with a crossbreed in appendix carry c) Bianchi leather speed rig for competition and d) a pure plastic Sherpa level 3 retention rig for at the range (in real life _tactical_ scenarios.) Four holsters for one piece and ALL are successful in my book; each does its single job well.

    NONE get consigned to the graveyard of failed equipment. Know what you need/want the holster to do and some of the mechanics of the fitment for that particular holster and where it can savage your body. My single point of failure comes on the plastic retention holster, not its fault, mine… There is no protection between the rear sight/hammer and my tender flesh. No problem, glue on a nice piece of leather extending from the holster to the area where my body is being savaged. THE HOLSTER WORKS PERFECTLY FINE RIGHT NOW.

    The one semi success I’ve had is with an uncle mike’s soft nylon rig. It carries the revolver perfectly, it allows for a fine draw stroke; however, reholstering is a challenge. It is an inexpensive rig and I can say that I got full value for what I spent. Reholstering is NOT the first requirement I demand of a holster. Indeed, a more deliberate attempt to store your firearm would seem proper given that more evil could be lurking nearby. ADDENDUM: Just have any guns secured by the time the authorities arrive. If you cannot reholster, place the handgun on the ground and cover it with your foot to prevent tampering and, if possible, secure the criminal’s weapon so that it does not leave the scene. TELL THE OFFICER WHERE YOUR GUN IS IMMEDIATELY! STRESS THAT YOU WERE THE INTENDED VICTIM! TELL THE OFFICER WHERE THE PERPETRATOR’S WEAPON IS IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER! SHUT UP AND ASK TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL AND FOR AN ATTORNEY! ALL OTHER COMMUNICATION IS THROUGH YOUR LAWYER! sorry for yelling but that stuff is often overlooked during the preparation phases of CCW and can land you in jail… I will only say “officer, I am eager to cooperate but I’m going into shock right now and the hospital needs to come first; then, my attorney will issue my statement.” Being absolutely quiet, for me, will be the biggest challenge. Now I shall take my own advice and shut up. My attorney says for me to say “Good night.”

  7. I will add that the need for a conceal carry is not limited to a need to defend against crime.

    “Excuse me, Mr. Pitbull. Will you please stop mauling my 8-year old long enough for me to dial 9-1-1 and wait 8-24 minutes for them to arrive to dispatch you? And Will you agree not to bite me if I try to interfere with you tearing up my child?”

    It doesn’t have to be a criminal that bring out the need for a firearm. It may be something as simple as someone’s vicious dog or a feral animal that requires the use of a firearm to deal with.

    1. I had occasion to shoot a pit bull attacking my wife and dog in my yard while living aboard a US Marine base. That was an interesting experience. Thankfully due to my rank I was allowed to keep my weapons in my residence instead of the armory. It was a testament to the toughness of the pit breed as it took two near point blank shots from my .357 revolver with Cyclades to stop the attack and thankful the damage to my wife was no more than stitches. It was almost a $1,000 bill at the vet for my Doberman who like the pit, wouldn’t quit (1984). She had a torn up front leg and right shoulder where the pit tried to get at her neck. I thought the pit was down after the first shot but he got back up after I stooped over to attend to my wife and came after me. The first shot was in the chest rather than the head as I was trying to avoid my dog but the second was into the front of his skull at he came at me. So glad I didn’t miss, I didn’t have time to really use the sights, just a straight thrust point and fire technique. One of my other pistols with less velocity might have been a better choice but the S&W was the handiest at that moment. The MPs didn’t give me any grief and I wasn’t charged with anything. Of course in that neighborhood, panic by anyone wasn’t likely.

  8. Thanks for sharing. I’d also mention that just because your handgun isn’t being drawn and fired doesn’t mean it isn’t being used, so don’t forget to clean it regularly. The last thing you want to find out when you need it is that it isn’t functioning properly because routine maintenance was overlooked.

  9. You are right about drawers full of holsters that didn’t work as well as planned. Finally had some custom hybrids made. Small of back carry, leather back with kydex molded front. Fits great, super concealment and the leather facing me is high up enough to prevent it from poking me in the ribs…..

  10. Galco makes a fine holster, but DeSantis is a as good and less expensive. Bagmaster for warmer weather. My carry is a SIG P220 in .45 ACP, a SIG P229 in .357 SIG or an AMC [or AMT?] in .40 S&W in the Bagmaster.
    The .357 SIG is a great round for daylight. In low light-night, the .45 ACP is a real “knock ’em down, keep ’em down” round.

  11. Erm, your first mistake was relaying upon *personal* carry, vs operational carry.
    I always removed my weapon in the car an placing it into a specific holster on the very safety harness I relied upon in traffic accident conditions.
    On my person remained secondary weapons, but I always considered first my being incapable of response for team reactions.

  12. With due respect, it does.
    The acquitted did entirely refuse to follow nearly *every* instruction of the 911 operator, then ended up getting his ass kicked until he shot the young man to death.
    Frankly, he failed to adhere to both common sense and police instruction, as he entirely failed to see a singular threat to the life or potentially bodily harm to anyone.

    In short, he failed to abide by his Emergency operator *and* failed to adhere to common sense. That resulted him getting his ass kicked *and* him resulting in shooting to death a US citizen for a really bad reason, that of him being an asshole.
    But, being an asshole isn’t a crime, which is a somewhat good thing, as we’d be entirely without a government at all.

  13. i carry a gov.1911 45ACP OWB on my strong side. One day I was a victim of an attempted carjacking and I too was unable to access my firearm. I remedied this situation by carrying a small handgun holstered backwards on my left. I now carry my EDC as well as a Kel-Tec PF-9 w/4+1 and keep a spare mag in my veh. My PF-9 adds less than 13 ounces and helps me feel balanced. I do have to be more self conscious as I have forgotten about my PF-9 due to the light weight. Stay safe and aware of your surroundings.

  14. I work as a barber and normally wear a long tailed dress shirt untucked. I have carried a Taurus PT 145 MILLENNIUM PRO in a cross draw holster for over a year and half. have customers, especially kids, that know I carry ask all the time if I have my gun on. Even though they know were it is they can’t see any printing. The reason for the cross draw rig is easy access. I spend about half my time seated waiting for customers or in a car traveling. I keep the front of the hostler pulled all the way to the back edge of my front belt loop which is the idle spot concealment and access.

  15. I have a friend who is a Secret Service agent, formerly on the Presidential Detail. At a family social gathering as we talked about our handguns, he admitted that he was not aware of my IWB weapon.

  16. 10. When you are carrying, leave your middle finger at home! This fits in with number nine above. Only a fool will feel more powerful or macho when carrying. Carrying a handgun is an awesome responsibility and with that should come a lot of self evaluation and reflection. As said above, once you pull the trigger your life has just changed forever! You can’t save the world so don’t try to be a hero. If you can back down and back out, do it! The last thing which is very important, don’t tell anyone you carry. Once told it’s like a bullet which once fired can never be taken back. Invariably people who don’t carry will tell other that you do. They think it’s cool so they tell.
    Nuff said,

    1. Yes, this is the most important point! A friend of mine has noticed that I have cut down drastically on my “road rage”. He noticed that I don’t scream, yell, or give the finger anymore. That is when he put two-and-two together and realized that since I started carrying, I am not confrontational anymore. Last thing I need is to anger the wrong person, have the situation escalate, be forced to use my weapon, and then be blamed for starting the incident in the first place! There is truth to the adage, “An armed society is a polite society”.

  17. I carry a Glock 23 in a Galco King Tuk IWB that I wear strong-side behind my right hip. A shirt tail covers it really pretty well, as long as I am conscious about bending over forward.

    The only thing I REALLY don’t like is that I can’t really draw while driving, especially while also wearing a winter coat. The shoulder belt really gets in the way. I suspect that’s why car-jackers are so brazen; they know most people can’t get to their gun, even if they have one.

    Now I’m considering a shoulder rig for times when I can wear it.

  18. if at all possible carry the smallest caliber round pistol that is comfotable to carry ,with 4he largest +p load the gun can handle and don’t advertise that you are carring.

  19. I carry ‘constantly,’ even at home my Glock 29 in a Crossbreed Supertuck. Surprised this article failed to mention that product. Most comfortable rig for almost any sized pistol for all day carry! I do not work for the outfit. When considering this rig, I questioned by its appearance how “concealed” anything looking that large could be. Provides ‘fast,’ with practice, presentation of your defensive arm.

  20. No matter what the carry, four items are critically important:
    1) A comfortable, concealable holster.
    2) Knowledge of the weapon: all aspects of how it shots from safe handling to firing at various distances(2ft – 20 yds.). Obtainable at most ranges.
    3) The RIGHT type of practice: Standing still shooting a circle target is not adequate CCW training. Look for IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) type of practice at your local range. One does not need to join to participate. The practice is priceless and more in line with what a cc may encounter. Much different than typical range shooting.
    4) Always be aware of your surroundings and go the extra effort to AVOID trouble if possible.

  21. This may have already been mentioned, but redundancy is probably par for the course (with firearms and cc). #1, there is no replacement for some good old common sense. #2, don’t ever put yourself in a situation or behave in a manner with your cc that you wouldn’t without your cc. In many cases a cc can be a sobering burden. However, it may save your and your loved one’s lives one day. It’s a cross to bear, not a decision that should be taken lightly. Know your state’s laws and any state’s laws that you may plan to visit. As soon as you think you know the ins-and-outs, study some more. It amazes me how frequently these laws change.

  22. I too have found that EXTENSIVE TRAINING can allow a person who chooses to carry more than one firearm to do so instinctively knowing which piece is in hand. Saying it differently, if you _aren’t_ willing to PRACTICE, stick to one weapon you KNOW. My wife KNOWS both my gun and hers, well. I know her Glock 27 and my Colt Combat Commander. The thought of putting our lives on the line with an unknown handgun is foreign to our way of thinking. Practice, practice, and practice some more. LOTS OF DRYFIRE AND DRILLS! When you are very good, do it in the dark.

  23. I carry a S&W Sigma, 15 rounds every day. I have a shirt tuckable IWB learher holster from Ross Leather. I am a retired commercial pilot and carried it on occasion. Even with my dress shirt tucked in and no jacket, my boss could not tell if I was armed . Still, my wife has to ask.

  24. After carrying for over 25 years, one of the best recommendations I can make is this: find a GOOD attorney. I did my research beforehand, and found one of the best gun-rights attorneys in the Kansas City area. Later that year, I had to use my firearm in my yard to kill an attacking pitbull, then fend off the owner and two of his friends till the cops arrived. The police were actually pretty level headed and asked first for the weapon. I had cleared the weapon when I saw them pulling up. They calmed everyone down and had me sign a receipt for the firearm. To make a long story short, the prosecutor, when she found out who my attorney was, dismissed the weapons charge and we walked out of court, across the street and got my firearm. Sucks to spend a grand, but he made ALL THE DIFFERENCE…my .02

  25. carrying a gun is a lifestyle choice. If you do carry a gun do yourself a huge favor and pay the money to go to a professional gun range and get professional training. Take more than just one class and I would encourage all of you to take a refresher course at least once every two years. For your safety the safety of your family and to make sure that you can fire three shots and place all three rounds inside the bad guys chest

  26. the only time that I had to pull my gun and draw and shoot was when a stray dog was trying to attack my wife and her guide dog. This dog had a reputation and had the law called on it several times of course it was out in the country. The third time I decided not to call the law but decided to shoot the dog in self defense of my wife. You would have thought that I had killed a newborn baby no strike that abortion doctors aren’t treated that badly. However when the cops came the first one took my conceal carry card and stuck it in his pocket and ran off with it the second one wanted to see my concealed carry card and I said it’s in his pocket they argued with me and I said look I know what I did and I saw what he did with it the cop denied it until he put his hand in the pocket and found it the cops adrenaline was pumping I kept my hands on the steering wheel the entire time when I got out of the car to talk to him they gave me the usual well you should have called the law. I said if you check your records in the past 30 days the law was called not once but twice and nothing was done and the officers who responded and I gave their names told me to go ahead and get the front sight on the animal and shoot which is what I did. Another thing is when the adrenaline is pumping you get tunnel vision and you get auditory exclusion

  27. My only concern with this article is that the author listed a number of different configured and caliber weapons that he carries concealed increasing the chance that an error in function happen due to forgetting which weapon he’s reaching for at a time of great stress. I limit my concealed carries to two, an automatic and a revolver which I handle often so I’m as familiar with them as I am with a body part.

    1. not with the proper training, once you receive and ingrain that training into your system which is your mind and your body, you can carry different weapons for different occasions, or at least I can.

    2. True enough, with sufficient training, one would instinctively know which weapon one has in one’s hand, as all feel different, balance differently and weigh differently.

      My preferred carry weapon is a stock M1911, with a clipdraw on it. My secondary is a snub .38, with a good holster (I don’t have that drawer full, I either gave the unwanted ones away or threw them out).

      I found your best advice in the bottom illustration, frankly, I’d have made it the first bit of advice.
      “Situational awareness is your first line of defense, not your sidearm.”

  28. Time change, and handguns and holsters have most definitely changed with them. Throughout the 70’s and most of the 80’s I almost always wore a sport coat or suit and carried a Browning Hi-Power in a shoulder holster. Changed jobs in the early 90’s and let my CC permit lapse because I worked largely from home, and, on the occasion I did go out, the casual clothing I wore was not compatible with the Browning, which I finally sold. By 2008 it became clear the country was headed in a bad direction, and being armed again could have its advantages. Like most of the commenters here, I experimented with different weapons and holsters. I was just about to purchase a Sig P238 a few years ago when Sig introduced the P938. Nylon pocket holster in just about any pants (except tight jeans), and problem solved. It’s comfortable any time of the year regardless of clothing and in virtually any situation, including while driving.

  29. I agree with all 10. I served 20 years in the Army (Airborne) and firmly believe in “forewarned, forearmed.” I too have several handguns (7) an AR-15, a Marlin lever .308 w/ 3X9 scope and a 12-gauge shotgun. My wife has a Sig .380 and an S&W “snub” 5-shot hammerless .357. I have an M&P .40 in my vehicle at all times and carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II .45 w/ Crimson Trace. ( I occasionally carry a Kimber Pro Crimson Carry .45 in a Galco OWB w/ thumb break.
    We both have our Illinois CCW, along w/ Florida, Utah and Pa. I have found the Wright Brothers “Predator” OWB holster to be the most comfortable I have ever worn. It fits snugly and leaves no “print under my sweats, outerwear shirts or jackets. I too have a drawer full of holsters!!! P.S. Situational Awareness is the Prime Directive!!!

  30. I agree with nearly all the above. Most people are primarily thinking about themselves and how they look, not about you. I trained at Gunsite in 77 and 78, and have 35+ years with the 1911 format, which I originally bought b/c it was and is the only gun 100% owner-serviceable. I rely on Galco paddle holsters, though they are high ride, and use real low profile gunbelts. If I were starting over, from zero, I would repeat the Gunsite training and use Glock format pistols, though I do not feel they are for beginners. I too have a drawerful of holsters, which I divide into two groups: Armed and ready, and Armed and not ready. IMPO all shoulder holsters fall in the Armed and not ready category, but don’t get me wrong, I own a Jackass shoulder rig for many many years and still use it. I had to modify the over-the-shoulder holster carry with a really old fashioned shoulder strap to support an Officer Model with single-port comp (still heavy), and a lighter strap to support reload mags. Then it was good for continuous duty. Like author, I did some exec protection work in the past. In all those 35+ years, no one has ever commented or challenged me about concealed carry. I finally added a G36 to my gear and often carry that either in a SOB (as backup) or in a MIC holster in shorts, appx carry. Likewise, in 3yrs no person has ever noticed the pistol in the MIC, including my wife, and I wear it everywhere in summer heat. That holster also not for beginners. Now that I am older, I added a small canister of CS spray, which I carry in an Aker paddle reload mag pouch (sacrifice one reload mag). I think that is an OK decision, avoiding shooting if possible. What saves your life? Good training. Good top quality equipment is a close second.

  31. Personally I detest guns…
    But not why one might think.
    I carried guns every day for 26 years.
    Duty weapons, concealed weapons 12 gauge etc etc.
    I’ve been shot at, Bulls eyes on my back, involved in multi-million dollars drug seizures
    I also did 1st Life Felony cases.
    Needless to say I’ve lived most of my life dealing with threats, danger, and being in harms way.
    I’m now 66 years old, still have fingers, toes and all body parts I was born with.
    Never wore a vest either because I found them to be totally uncomfortable especially in the heat of Miami in the summer.
    I also developed a “fatalistic attitude” along the way.
    In other words “if your # is up, then it’s up”.
    I could wear a vest and get taken out with a head shot or get a leg shot, take out the artery and bleed out before I could be saved.
    If I were afraid of dying, then get out of the job.
    I’ve also learned “never be outgunned” or more aptly put, “never take a knife to a gunfight”.
    I have guns now…
    9MM, 40CAL, 12GAUGE & AR15…

    this assortment of weapons should be enough… Until I can figure out how to conceal an Abrams M1 under my coat I’ll make due with my selection.
    If none of what I have works and I finally “bite the bullet, buy the farm, etc… Then so be it.
    We all have to go at some point in time.
    My goal now is less to survive the gunfight and more of taking as many of SOB’s with me before I go down.
    The good die young, so I guess I’ll be around a bit longer God willing and He ain’t saying “when”….
    If I haven’t gone down by now, then evidently God ain’t ready for me yet.
    Perhaps a bit jaded in my point of view, but it sure has worked well for me the past 45 years, and I see no reason to change now.
    I’ve got 6 guns, 4000 rounds of ammo.
    I’m guessing I can do some damage if the situation dictates.
    Otherwise live and let live…

  32. I like number nine. Wearing a handgun doesn’t make you a hero but it does make you a lethal weapon. As far as research goes experience is the best teacher because every one is different. One may want a light small weapon, as for me the bigger the better because it makes me feel better and more confident in my defense. My wife carries the judge and I carry a .45 highpoint very heavy but very bad ass.

  33. I carry a full-sized H&K USP.45 Tactical & 2 spare mags., in Crossbreed IWB. It doesn’t even print under a t-shirt. But, I’m a big guy.

  34. My LC9s is one of my favorite concealed carrys it is light easy to carry in so many ways , iwb, pocket holster, on the hip too…

  35. You don’t need a large, powerful, and heavy gun for concealed carry. After months of research on the subject, I selected the Ruger LC-9 which weighs just one pound. This 9mm has a seven round magazine and with one in the chamber has plenty of firepower. With a Galco IWB holster in an appendix carry you have comfort and quick access. I wear a second magazine in a belt holder from Cabelas. This set up is so comfortable that I usually wear it even at home. You never know when you will need your gun.

  36. At one time, prior to them being bought by Galco, I had a shoulder rig for my S&W 2″ Chief and also a .380 Walther PPKS. Excellent holsters.

    Presently I have several OSB & IWB holsters for my Kahr PM9, which also fit a .45 Colt New Agent. My favorite holster is a Mitch Rosen IWB Clipper, or CLP, a beautifully crafted holster. I highly recommend any M Rosen gear which has a style suitable for your use.

    I also own a Galco shoulder holster for my Colt. My only complaint with the Galco is that the shoulder straps could be a lot wider where they cross the top of the wearer’s shoulder. The Colt, with two spare mags on the opposite side, begins to become a PITA after 6-8 hours.

    When in jeans, I mainly carry an IWB covered by an untucked T-shirt and a spare mag in my left rear pocket, shells pointing down so my butt doesn’t decide to strip rounds when sitting.

    Being a tad cheap, I just can’t wrap my head around spending $50-$90 for a CCW fanny-pack, I picked up a fanny-pack, ballistic nylon, camera case at TJ Max for $10. It has the large pocket which fits my Kahr easily, the 3″ Colt .45 snugly, a zipper section for a spare mag and another zipper section for small items, ID or a few bucks.

    The main pocket has two zipper tabs and can be quickly opened from either side. Best of all, it doesn’t look like any of the pistol fanny-packs on the market. It has a small emblem on the side like the Swiss Army products have.

    I use the fanny-pack when wearing a bathing suit or shorts with a T-shirt., also on my motorcycle when bulk clothing would restrict easy access.

  37. Excellent and timely article. I learned a long time ago that carrying concealed is basically a pain in the butt although definitely necessary to my way of thinking.
    As mentioned , I too have a dumpster full of holsters and belts that I’m constantly adding to because I’m constantly adding to my guns. I suppose I’d like to carry my 1911’s, but I’m a runt-and they look like they’re carrying ME. I’ve settled in with carrying either a S&W Shield in 9mm, or a S&W .380 Bodyguard with a laser. I use DeSantis holsters in both IWB or OWB styles. When I travel, I prefer to have my SIG 226 attached to a magnet under the dash, and a Taurus 738 in a sleeve in my front Levi pocket. When I go to sleep-I have my Judge attached to a magnet on the side of my bedframe. Holsters and carrying devices are crucial accessories that need to be chosen correctly and tested out for effectiveness. I’m in the process of trying out various shoulder holsters now, and have pretty much narrowed it down to Galco and DeSantis. Both have always proven to be great products for me, so its simply a matter of deciding which “feels better” to me.

  38. Alien Gear has comfortable iwb holsters they look big but are comfortable and leave very little (if any) outlining…have sizes from micro to full size. Very reasonable cost, easy for all day wear.

    1. I have an Alien Gear iwb holster for my Glock 19. It also works for my Glock 26. I agree, it is a nice , comfortable holster. You can’t beat it for the price. I also have a Blade Tech for my 26. It also works quite well. It does have the loops though, and can sometimes be a pain to put on and take off. I’ve gotten to where I just slip the belt through the loops instead of undoing and snapping the loops closed .

  39. The “10 lessons” are easy to read and understand. However, the actual carrying of any firearm is more than you would think. The bulk and weight is trying most times. I have learned that, yeah, it’s cool to be armed and ready, but after a few times with a 2 lb. pistol strapped to your body is somewhat uncomfortable and if not carried correctly, very noticeable. Being an armed ‘bodyguard for a California vineyard owner who had contract problems with her employees, was adventurous and exciting. Firstly, the access is all important Secondly, the type of weapon is also very important. Thirdly, in my employ, it wasn’t necessary to ‘hide’ my SIG, but most circumstances, it will be. Why do you think they call it Concealed Carry? I was waiting in line to pay for a few items at the local groceery store. A woman stood a couple feet behind me when a child brushed against me exposing my sidearm. The woman screamed as though I was going to rob the clerk. I could understand her alarm, but she didn’t know me. It ended with me being called into the manager’s office and was told not to carry into his store again. ’nuff said.

  40. Scott; The two I use have a wide metal clip, and are easier to use than those which have loops and snaps; but there might not be any difference to someone else. Have a good’un. WILL

  41. @Scott:
    Years ago, I came across a BIANCHI thin, lightweight IWB scabbard
    w / o any retention strap made for R/H carry and fit my Gov’t. Mod.1911
    ..45. Carrying in SOB-IWB was a little awkward as it was “left-hand carry “in that mode. I removed the clip from the right side and replaced on the left and have been wearing it ever since with my AUTO ORDINANCE 10mm w / an after-market 40 S&W barrel as my “Back-up to a GLOCK 27 on “strong- side. R/H Kidney carry, and a spare mag in right rear pocket.. Somewhat unorthodox to some, but I’ve gotten used to it and if it will accommodate a full-size 1911, it should cover any other like-sized firearm. I later found a similar model w / a thumb-strap and keep it in the truck with the .45, as a spare.
    Check BIANCHI’s products and I’m sure you’ll find what you need. Good luck. WILL

  42. Having a firearm close, when it is not possible to carry on your body, is better than not having one at all. I don’t mean leaving it in your car, although that is sometimes necessary, for example if you drive to a local pub, in which firearms are prohibited by law.

    If I can’t carry on me, I have two “bags” that I use. One is a Maxpedition Fatboy that I use as a gym bag and have next to me, when working out. It has a zipper compartment for my handgun and separate compartments for my mini pad, smartphone, pens, flashlight, knife, workout log, glasses, change, and keys. I have a smaller Hedgren Urban Gear bag that will hold my firearm, minipad, phone, knife and pen, which I use when I am dressed in shorts and a polo shirt, for example.

  43. I don’t have a drawer, but a plastic storage bin filled with holsters and mag carriers. Only a couple are true “failures”, the rest are an assortment for all my different carry guns in different conditions or clothing. IWB, right hip, shoulder rigs, and a gun belt with an Uncle Mike’s #4 for my 8″ Dan Wesson .357 Magnum and two speed loaders. I’ll strap that rig on for open carry while in the woods.

  44. @Dave Dolbee
    Great Article Sir!
    Is there a holster that you could recommend similar to the SOB from Galco that is IWB vs OWB?
    I carry a USP 9c and like the SOB but would like the extra layer of concealment of an IWB.

    1. Scott,

      Thanks for the read. I do not currently see this particular Galco model on our site for your gun (, but you’ll want something like the Galco KingTuk. The fasteners are solid and the leather will last through years of regular use. However, most important to me – look at the picture. See where the leather comes up past the hammer? This is a critical feature in my book and will keep the gun from digging into your side when seated or wearing a seat belt. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

      I am to the point (and the age) where I simply do not want to wear an IWB holster that does not have that extra flap of leather. Good luck and stay safe!

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