First time carrying advice/recommendations thread

This is a discussion on First time carrying advice/recommendations thread within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; There was just posted today a thread about how long till you feel comfortable first carrying your concealed weapon. My question piggybacks on that one. ...

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Thread: First time carrying advice/recommendations thread

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    First time carrying advice/recommendations thread

    There was just posted today a thread about how long till you feel comfortable first carrying your concealed weapon. My question piggybacks on that one.

    I won't be carrying for like 4 months, until I get my permit, but am wondering what are things people did that I should do and shouldn't do.

    I am sure this will help me out alot and also everyone else who is just starting out carrying.

    My apologies if this has been posted already.

    Just looking for some do's and don't's for people newly carrying.

    Thanks all.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Get a quality holster/belt, And then put your sidearm in it and wear it at home whenever possible. Sitting on the couch, going to the bathroom, picking stuff up (bend at the knees not the waist) are all things that will prepare you for the real deal. And if you've already gotten the kinks worked out of your rig, your first trip to Wally World will be that much more comfortable.

  4. #3
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    Well - first off and assuming you are ''geared up'' already - spend time each day carrying concealed about the house. Many will stress as I do the importance of good gear too - a quality holster and belt to suit the gun - and decide what carry mode you think will best suit your lifestyle.

    (Aahh see blueyedevil has already said much same and agree yes - practice also knees bent pick ups to minimize exposure. Add to that getting used to a slight tuck in of elbow on strong side as a means to prevent windy weather garment lift.)

    If no gun or gear yet then do a LOT of reading here on holsters and carry options for guns.

    Preliminary house carry will generally iron out most of the wrinkles such that you can get used to the bulk and weight and - with mirror help - check for good concealment.

    It also perhaps goes without saying - when you get your carry piece or if already got it - be totally familiar with its manual of arms - it must be second nature to you re operation. Extend that and make sure you keep practice up front as important. You do not want to be carrying your first time with an unfamiliar piece etc.

    You will find IMO if you get used to it before time - that when finally doing it ''for real'' you will be way less self conscious and less likely to be wanting to always adjust.

    I do remind again tho - if you have time spend some of it doing searches here - there is a wealth of excellent info on suggestions for carry pieces and rigs.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Oh - one more addition for completeness' sake - safety!!!! That is included in your manual of arms practice but do not ever allow sloppy safety to creep in. Should you forget any rules and just remember one - IMO make sure you NEVER violate rule #2 - ''Never point your gun at anything you do not wish to destroy''.

    I am sure you are hopefully hot on safety but make no apologies for adding a reminder!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #4
    Member Array GlockinItUp's Avatar
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    +1 for carry around the house. I would carry in the 100+ days it took for my CHL to come, around the house, washing dishes, etc. Mainly so I could get used to the weight, and find which position (3:00, 4:00, etc.) was most comfortable. Also read read read, and ask as many questions as you can on sites such as these. Thousands of people were once in your postition, and you can definitely benefit from there expertise. Also when you carry around the house before your permit comes, makes sure it's unloaded but cocked, so that you can test the reliabilty of your holster, and its interaction with the trigger of your glock 19 (great gun and my first gun by the way).

    Happy shooting!
    Gun control is hitting what you aim at...

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Zundfolge's Avatar
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    Most important advice I can give anyone new to CCW is...

    RELAX!

    I know it feels like the entire world is staring at your wasteline with a spotlight and magnifying glass, but they aren't ... many people who open carry do so without being noticed so don't worry.

    Oh and stop touching it.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zundfolge
    Most important advice I can give anyone new to CCW is...

    RELAX!

    I know it feels like the entire world is staring at your wasteline with a spotlight and magnifying glass, but they aren't ... many people who open carry do so without being noticed so don't worry.

    Oh and stop touching it.
    Ditto that. You're going to be paranoid that someone can tell you are carrying. Fact is unless you've got a big neon arrow pointing at yor carry gun, they likely wont notice.

    I would do the carry round the house, but don't tell your family you're doing it. That way, if they don't notice you can be pretty sure that the sheep wont notice either. It will also get you into good practices regarding sitting, reaching, picking up things etc.

    And most important, don't keep touching it!!!

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Zundfolge's Avatar
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    I used to know this guy who shoplifted compulsively ... he could seriously NOT walk into a store without stealing something or he'd have a massive anxiety attack.

    He used to steal things like big screen TVs and washing machines from stores in the middle of the day...walk right past security (often they would hold the door for him).

    He said; "...just walk in and grab what you want like there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be and walk out like you paid for it...the INSTANT you act like a thief you'll get caught."


    Now admitadly this guy was a nut job, but the attitude part is what I'm trying to focus on.

    Remeber that you are not doing anything wrong or unnatural so don't act like you are.



    As for equipment, get a good fitted leather holster (or Kydex if you must) and I recommend the dual clip/loop type (like a MiltSparks VM2 ... I carry with an HBE Leatherworks DC Special).

    With a good fitted and supportive holtster you can CCW a full size 1911 or Glock 17 with comfort and concealablity (but a small gun like my Kahr does even better).

  9. #8
    Member Array Bags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zundfolge
    Most important advice I can give anyone new to CCW is...

    RELAX!

    I know it feels like the entire world is staring at your wasteline with a spotlight and magnifying glass, but they aren't ... many people who open carry do so without being noticed so don't worry.

    Oh and stop touching it.

    EXACTLY!!!

    everyone has said quality things. Pick a belt and choose how you want to carry and pick a holster.

    Then you can carry in your home while you wait.

    It helps, trust me.

    And when you go to the range, carry once inside the range and draw from the carry postion.

    Sloppy practice makes mistakes, perfect practice makes perfect.

  10. #9
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    +1 Bags!

    I agree, if you already have your gun and holster (or as soon as you get your rig) you can start wearing it around the house to get comfortable with the feel and break it in a little.

    That might also take a little of the edge off while waiting!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array WJP9's Avatar
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    I would say this:

    It is an honor and a privilage. You are among a group of individuals whom choose to carry concealed and, for the most part, discreetly. I would keep your CCW a secret minus family and trusted friends. Congrats in advance and safe carrying.
    -Bill

    "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

  12. #11
    Member Array Freedz's Avatar
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    +1 for this entire thread. Everyone has covered what I'd say - quite well at that.

  13. #12
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your insight and advice.

    I have spent alot of the night researching holsters and belts to buy so I can start wearing around the house to get the feel for it and also to break in my holster and belt.

    Thanks again.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I have posted threads dealing with this subject on Packing.org before it went down the tubes like it has. Several of us who had been on that site for a long time and have been carrying for many years (about 14 years) would post to the thread and give new carriers tips. So, I will post the text here now. I hope some of this helps you.

    . This post will be some suggestions from me (I have been carrying now for approx. 14 or 15 years) and hopefully some of the other senior packers out there will post to the thread also with their own suggestions and advice.

    As always, carrying a concealed handgun is a huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. Learn and know your states laws that govern ccw so you won't make a minor mistake that could become a major problem.

    Stay alert. I have found that while walking across a parking lot at the mall or a department store (at night or during the day) I can keep a better level of awareness of my surroundings by actually counting the people that are also walking to or from the store / mall. I make it a point to make eye contact with people in my daily travels. This has the effect of letting the ones who may be up to no good know that I have seen them. I know they are there, I know what they look like. I have seen people who looked to me like they were sizing me up for one reason or another actually look away and shift their direction of travel after I made eye contact with them.

    Be aware of what you do with your hands. I have seen guys I know are carrying in Wal-Mart and Target. I know they are carrying because I watched them subconsciously touch their gun, or I caught a glimpse of the gun when they raised their outer cover garment while reaching for their wallet. I watched one fellow get out of his car then pull his pants up by placing his hand on the bottom of his OWB holster and what I assume was his spare mag(s) on the opposite side of his belt, through his cover garment, and pull his whole belt/holster/mags rig up in the same manner I have seen LEO's do with their duty rig. To me, that was a dead give away. Maybe he was an off duty LEO, maybe not. Either way, I knew he had a gun on and if any half way street smart bad guy saw it, they would too. Don't give yourself away, surprise is your biggest asset.

    Avoid using the urinal at a public restroom. Standing there at the urinal puts you in a perfect position for a disarming attempt. If the bad guy saw you do something that gave away the fact that you were carrying, he might just follow you to the restroom and wait 20 or 30 seconds and then come in after you. If you are at the urinal, you are trapped, most times on 3 sides. Standing there, you are the perfect mark to be disarmed.

    Carry a cell phone with you. These things can be a pain because everyone can get in contact with you but, it also means you can contact the police, EMT, who ever needs contacting when things go south. Also, think about keeping it on vibrate only. If for some reason you are hiding from a bad guy or a group of them, this is when you phone will ring the loudest. Murphy is still alive and well.

    Carry a flashlight. I carry a small high output white L.E.D. light with me at all times. It is made by Coast Cuttlery and itís the Tachtorch model. So what if it is day time hours? Ever been in a big store or mall and the power went out? A tunnel with no power? An underground parking garage? Who of us knows every day exactly where we are going to be called on to go in our daily lives? It might save your life.

    Don't feel bad if you realize in the next few months that the gun you bought for your first ccw is way to large or heavy for comfortable daily carry. Most of us went through the same thing. My first ccw was a full size Taurus PT-92. I still have it. I look at it now and I wonder how the heck I ever carried that big, heavy thing every day. It's huge. What was I thinking? Who knows but I now carry a MUCH smaller gun.

    Don't get into arguments over stupid things with morons. No road rage. No arguments over a parking space or other trivial matter. It is your duty to not escalate any situation. Remember, in any confrontation between you any anyone else, there is at least one gun present, yours. Don't get into a fist fight while armed. This increases the chance your gun will be knocked out of its holster and into the hands of your possible murderer. If you get knocked out you are now susceptible to having your gun taken away from you and used on you or someone else. Walk away from idiots who want to fight.
    As a side note to the no fighting, don't hang out with people who like to fight or cause trouble. They will drag you into their fights and you may be held legally responsible and loose your ccw rights or worse. Not only that but if they know you carry, it might actually embolden the fools to mouth off to larger fools because they will figure you have their back since you have a gun. Donít hang out with people you wouldnít feel comfortable having watch your children.

    Avoid large crowds with drunks or rowdy people. This kind of goes along with the above advice. Mobs and crowds often make collectively bad decisions and you can be dragged along into the stupidity. Don't let that happen to you.

    Lastly (this is long enough I think...sorry) Don't save your money to buy your dream gun and then carry it in a $14.99 nylon holster. Would you spend $40,000 on a car and then put $20.00 Wal-Mart tires on it? Buy a good quality holster such as a Don Hume, Galco, FIST, CompTac, or others. If you must buy an inexpensive holster, I would suggest Fobus . They seem to be pretty good and they average $25.00 per holster. They are better than a cheap nylon holster anyway. Comptac makes some very good holsters.

    Hopefully some other senior packers here will post their own wisdom and we can make this a nice list of good to know information and advice.

    Oh yeah, welcome to the CCW world all you new packers. You have taken your first steps in claiming your own lives.
    ,=====o00o _
    //___l__,\____\,__
    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]
    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

  15. #14
    Ex Member Array Maveri9720's Avatar
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    PT-111,

    Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your experienced insight and knowledge.

    It might save my life one day. Thank you.

  16. #15
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    +1 PT-111
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

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