I'll probably be the odd man out here, but I like knowing my gun is on me.
This is a discussion on First time CCW tips? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just started carrying concealed (everywhere) today, although I've had CCW permits in 3 states for 18 yrs. It just feels so strange. I'm constantly ...
I just started carrying concealed (everywhere) today, although I've had CCW permits in 3 states for 18 yrs. It just feels so strange. I'm constantly conscious of it there. Probably just carrying it everywhere and getting used to it will fix that. I feel naked w/o my knife and will prob feel the same in a coupla weeks. Any tips on how to shake the strange feeling? I'm sure everyone has gone thru it. The three states I've had it were merely a handgun permit that allowed CCW, I just never did it. In NH, I got the CCW just in case I was bringing my handgun to the range and it was hidden from view-kind of a CYA thing.
I'll probably be the odd man out here, but I like knowing my gun is on me.
"The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper
"Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."
I understand the feeling. Like everybody is looking at you and they just know you are carrying. My advice. First make sure you do all the right things in order to sucessfully carry. What are the right things? Good holster, good gun belt, and making whatever clothing/garment concessions that may be necessary, e.g. larger waist size for your trousers if you carry inside the waist, outer cover garment that extends well below the gun if you carry outside the belt, stuff like that - mostly common sense.
When you have done the right things then carry all the time - not just on occasion. Soon, it will become second nature to you and the uncomfortable feeling will go away. In short, do the right thing and give it some time.
ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR VISION AND HEARING
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Here's what I did.
I invested in a gun that I felt confident I could carry, use, and conceal and just carried it for about 2 months. 642 in a Mika's pocket holster.
It took no time at all before I began to experiment with the carry of larger guns in different positions, and I now honestly feel really weird without it. I'm sans gun at work, and it makes me feel strange.
Just keep on doing it. You'll always be aware, but no more so that of your cell phone on your other hip.
Tip 1. Its fine , quit fondeling the dammed thing in your belt ( common new mistake is to brush/pat/resituate the firearm, this only draws attention to it )
Tip 2. Ease into the seated position , Dont just plop down to hear that resounding CLUNK.
Tip 3. Most folks are in condition white and wont even notice if you ignore tips 1 and 2 oO( but if one notices it will be sara brady and dianne feinstines illegitamate love creature who will loudly vaporlock in the middle of whateaver public venue you are inn drawing lots of unwanted attention from the rest of the herd of sheeple ) LOL
RR: great advice -- and you hit it just right with tip 3!
My wife and I were sitting in a private club about a year ago, where virtually every member knows me and is aware that I always have guns. Key thing is "virtually" -- my wife is talking to some lady about how I'd lost some weight... and my wife grabs the edge of my jacket and turns it back to apparently show her that I was thin. This also showed the lady my 1911. She screams "GUN" and backs up. Another guy glanced over and asked me how I liked the grips on it (VZ Grips), which kind of defused the whole thing.
Had this happened anywhere besides a private club, no doubt the police would have been on the way.
Again, great points. Don't play with it, don't let it clunk into chairs (and door frames), and do not let anybody see it. EVER!
LOL Agreed! Some more tips:Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs
Avoid reaching up high in public with the same side hand on which rests the gun to avoid the "public flash" Likewise, watch the arms of chairs when you sit in public so they don't catch the cover garment.
Avoid wearing a yaqui slide holster for the same reason....the chair arm may neatly push the barrel up and out of the holster and when it hits the ground with a loud thunk it will be quite embarrassing.
Carry a spare mag in a belt mag holder. If you put it in the pocket of your cover garment (like the ever present uniform -- the photographer's vest) it may swing out and smack someone "upside" of the head when you leave the theatre for popcorn. Happened to me once.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
If you're carrying IWB just consider that having a chunk of steel shoved into your waistband is NOT a normal act. I started wearing my iwb and gun around the house right after I filed my CCW paperwork. At first it was uncomfortable - and bordering on painful! It took about a week or so of constant wear just to get use to that feeling. By the time my permit came in a month later it felt completely normal. Now like others have said, I feel plain NEKKID without it.
I always wear an untucked cover shirt now, regardless of whether I'm carrying (almost always am though). Heavy cotton button down so it covers any weapon I'd choose to carry - unless I'm wearing a longer jacket that I know I won't be taking off. When I have to drive anywhere the first thing I do when getting out of the truck is check to make sure my shirt tail is still covering my gun (I do this while standing between the truck seat and the open door so nobody can see), after that I don't generally worry about it.
Other than that, just be aware that bending over at waist almost always prints. I crouch whenever I need to so printing isn't an issue ... it's easier on the back anyway.
Give it some time and you'll get over that feeling.
Shucks - all been said! Not surprising tho - as we all have ''been there - done that" LOL!
Certainly, resist that feeling for constant ''adjustment'' and ''checking''. If your cover garments are good then no problems. And yeah - bending, reaching, all need a tad more thought. The ''newness'' will pass and then it will be the opposite - if no gun on board you will feel strange (or plumb nekkid!).
One other thing - I invariably carry with any garment/garments open at front - so worth considering action if windy. First - if there is something in carry side front pocket (bit of weight) it helps keep that side down (I add NAA BUG to do that!) - second, if windy then practice the ''elbow into the side'' approach - I find that you can be unnoticed just adding a small restraint pressure across piece with elbow - it stops shirt/jacket blowing aside - it also reassures you piece is still there!
Another simple ploy - walk if you want with thumb in pocket or even hand in pocket of pants - all helps keep cover without being obvious.
And yeah - the likelehood of being made by sheep is about zero - tho one of us could soon spot you if you do too much ''adjusting'' LOL
Good luck with it - carry all times you can - in a month or two you'll wonder why it ever felt awkward
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.
Fantastic advice so far. I knew I'd get some good tips, but wasn't ready for this. Thank you so far! I have it on right now. I tried the "high reach" thing home and the holster doesn't show at all, which is a good thing. It's an Uncle Mike's belt slide, btw. I've picked up =ahem= a couple of lbs lately and the pants aren't as baggy as they used to be, but that'll change in a few months.
Fiancee is away for a couple days, so it's a good time to wear it around the house and everywhere else, too.
Keep 'em coming!
Don't ya just hate it when your belt shrinks? A good gun belt is the best investment you can make. The stability it adds to weight of a heavy weapon really has to be experienced to be believed. BTW, what'cha carrying?
A Taurus 669 357 Mag w/a 4" bbl. I also have an HK USP full size 45 auto, but it strikes me as being bulkier than the revolver and I like the fact that with the Taurus, there's no safety, so it's one less thing to worry about right now..
Time will help as was said many times.
IWB does take some geting used to. i dind't hafta go to the extent of getting a 1" bigger pants size. not sure if i ware them a bit loose or if maybe where it sits is soft. oh well it werks for me.
second, on the good belt and holster. the first time i picked up my micro-compact it felt heavy. now that its back from S.A. and have gotten some time in with it, it feels and carries fine.
carry often/always and it'll pass easy.
"...and quit foolin' with it!" (my biggest problem)
This is mine. That is yours.
Lets keep it that way.
I thought of a couple more additions -- maclean3 is so right, get a great belt. Thick and heavy. It will make all the difference.
Practice hugging with your arms down low, so the other person has to hug you up high. Sounds odd, but when you run into Aunt whoever around Christmas, something to think about.
And, the "playing with it" thing... you have to think about not doing that. Example from my dumb life: for years, I carried a Ruger Super Blackhawk when I worked on a ranch. I'd stand around all the time with my right hand resting on the end of the grip. About 18 months (?) ago when MO got CCW, I was sitting at a table with my wife and she pointed out that I was stupidly resting my hand on the grip of my 1911. Duh.