Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Concealed Carry Tips For New Carriers, Reminder For Experienced

I was in Wal-mart the other day and I saw a new concealed carrier in front of me in the check out. He kept doing all the wrong things and finally I said discreetly, “New to concealed carry?” He looked at me and said “It’s that obvious? Am I printing?” I said “No but you are screaming ‘I’m carrying a gun!’”
Maybe you’ve seen this before yourself. Here are some common “tells” when someone is carrying a gun.

Fooling around with the gun.
This is something that is so obvious for those of us who do carry. It would also be obvious to law enforcement too.
I understand. It’s something new and you’re not used to it. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. You are carrying an extra pound or two and it may even be pulling at your clothes. One thing I would suggest is to practice carrying at home. Carry as you would in public. This way you find out if that new holster really is what you’d thought it would be. You also will find out if you need to make wardrobe changes too. Sometimes your gun just moves. Be careful how you do this adjustment. Step into a bathroom if you can. Usually I make any adjustments before I get out of the car.
There is also a tendency to touch the gun to make sure it’s there. Fight this temptation! If you really need to adjust make sure it’s discreet. Everyone adjusts clothing after getting out of the car. This is a good time to make sure your still concealed.
Get a good holster and belt. I know that a lot of money can be spent on these two items. Carrying concealed is a commitment and a responsibility. If you are careful, do your research, and look for sales you can find your gear for a reasonable price. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and part with your hard earned cash. I have a drawer full of holsters at home. I find other uses for them if they won’t work for carry. I used some for transporting the gun to and from the range if I’m not carrying it. I’ve modified some of them to conceal a gun in another location in my house. Some holsters I use but switch off depending on which gun I’m carrying. Find a good comfortable holster that will work for you and practice with it. But remember, the idea is that no one knows you have a gun. Don’t mess it up by broadcasting it to everyone.

Knowing and practicing firearms safety.
Frankly there is no excuse for this. Being a gun owner is a responsible endeavor. You should be serious about it and learn and know the rules of safe gun handling. Besides handing storing you weapon safely is another consideration.
Keeping your guns out of the wrong hands is your responsibility. This means away from children or anyone who cannot handle it mentally. It also means away from criminals. Locking up your guns properly is sometimes a law depending on what state you are in. There are many quick access vaults out there and safes to be able to handle your needs. Like good gear, your weapon security are dollars well spent. Safety rules are just that, rules. If you break them you put yourself and me (others) at risk. I don’t like that. It bugs me.
The rules are:
1-All guns are loaded. Cleared or not, they are loaded.
2-Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. “Cover” means point.
3-Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Guns don’t shoot without a willing finger.
4-Be sure of your target and beyond.
These are not difficult to learn. You should be able to memorize them and know that number 3 is keeping your finger off the trigger. Be strict with yourself in following these rules.
It is a sign of an inexperienced and untrained person when these rules are broken.

Not carrying a round in the chamber.
This is just showing ignorance about guns. You can just about play hockey with a loaded gun. Unless there is a problem with it, it won’t go off until the trigger is pulled. That doesn’t mean you can break any of the safety rules, it just means you can carry a round in the chamber.
If you have to charge the weapon to shoot you will never shoot. Either in the heat of the moment you will forget to chamber a round, or you won’t have time. Ever watch a movie of TV show and the guy has been chased or is chasing someone and halfway through he finally charges the weapon? Is he stupid? Well no, the public is generally stupid about Hollywood and they learn their weapons knowledge from them. An experienced combat veteran will tell you that if you walk around without a round in the chamber and a safety on, you will probably die. If you’re strictly adhere to the above safety rules you will never have a negligent discharge. There are no accidents. Someone will try and tell you that accidents happen. I don’t agree. What I will agree on is that most people don’t practice. If you say that most gun owner do not train and then you say to carry empty chamber, I think you’re giving them a disaster scenario. If you train with a slide rack then an empty chamber is fine. I don’t like it, but if it works for you… There are some guns that would require you to carry empty chamber. Guns made before 1970 would be dangerous to carry with a round in the chamber. Know you gun and train appropriately. If you’re uncomfortable with a round in the chamber you had better train and train often to rack the slide as you draw.

Little or no practice.
Again, carrying a gun is a responsibility. You are expected to be safe with the gun. So you buy a good holster and belt and take training classes. Then you very rarely go to the range? You are problem waiting to happen. You are going to shoot AT someone and hit someone or something else. A handgun is one of the most difficult small arms to master. But without practice you might as well close your eyes and hope. Hope is not a strategy. Put together a training program. Just as you should have a fitness program you should have a self-defense program. It will not just come back to you when you need it. Shooting is a perishable skill. If you don’t practice you are not being responsible. Don’t carry a gun if you can’t find the time. It’s like a dull knife. You are under the delusion that if you have it with you it will work. But a dull knife is dangerous. Just as carrying a gun without practicing what you’ve learned is dangerous. You don’t have to be a gun guy/girl to practice. Just as you don’t have to be an athlete to exercise.

Checking your ammunition
Every make and brand of ammo is a little different. I’ve seen some guns that would not cycle certain kinds of ammo. I’ve even seen a gun that would not shoot a specific box of ammo but would shoot a different box of the same ammo! Most guns aren’t that picky and some are not picky at all. Shouldn’t you be sure? Take a few from each box and shoot them. It will give you a chance to feel exactly what your defensive shots will feel like and test you gun in the process. This is where practice will benefit your defense. Nothing wrong with practicing with ball ammo and carrying hollow points. This is how I rotate my carry ammo. I shoot it up. This way I know what it’s like to shoot 147 grain over 115 grain, and I always have fresh ammo to carry.

This article was written with the new carrier in mind. Make sure if you are an “old” carrier, you are not guilty of these small tips. It’s always good to review. Make sure at whatever level you are, that you carry responsibly.

Carry on
Semper Paratus