How long to get comfortable?
This is a discussion on How long to get comfortable? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'll be picking up my CPL in about a week, and I've been preparing for CC using a lot of what I've read about here ...
July 15th, 2009 01:08 PM
How long to get comfortable?
I'll be picking up my CPL in about a week, and I've been preparing for CC using a lot of what I've read about here (thanks, everyone).
I've been wearing an extra large overshirt for a few months now, so people who know me are used to seeing that.
I've been carrying my S&W 3913 around the house in a paddle holster (so I can adjust the position differently when I'm walking/standing versus sitting). I'm not concerned about "showing"; I can bend, squat, climb stairs, etc. without any part of the rig showing at all. The belt I'm wearing is an extra heavy/thick one that will still go thru the pant loops (well, for most of my pants, anyway).
But, I find that after a few hours of carrying, my hips/kidneys are very sore; I've had many kidney stone attacks over the years, and I'm guessing the area around my kidneys are more sensitive than normal. I can't really loosen the belt without the weight of the gun dragging on my pants uncomfortably.
How long did it take to physically get used to carrying for most people (as opposed to psychologically getting used to it, and not thinking that "everyone knows I'm carrying")? I've read many posts that say that after a while, "I forget I'm carrying"...does that mean physically, as well as psychologically?
July 15th, 2009 01:43 PM
I'm certain everyone's experience is a little different, but IIRC, it probably took me about a week? It is somewhat like wearing a ring for the first time--it feels odd for a while, then suddenly it feels odd not to have it. You'll get accustomed to it pretty soon, I suspect.
P.S. I've had kidney stone attacks too; I find that carrying doesn't cause an issue with regard to that one way or the other. YMMV, but I hope not.
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July 15th, 2009 01:47 PM
It might just be me, but I never forget I have my gun on me. In fact, my SA usually jumps while carrying. As for your comfort. That could be a few things, gun weight, type holster, positioning, your belt. This is why a lot of CC have a box/drawer of holsters, belts and other things we have tried to find the right fit.
Sorry I couldn't be more help, I'm sure some of the other members will be able to give you some more help.
Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
July 15th, 2009 01:58 PM
It's quite possible the discomfort is being caused by your carry rig. You might try switching to a IWB carry rig, or a belt holster. It might also being caused by your pistol grips. When I first started carrying my pistol had hard rubber checkered grips that caused irritation as they rubbed against my skin. I switched out my grips for non-checkered wooden grips and the problem disappeared.
July 15th, 2009 02:05 PM
It's not supposed to hurt, you may want to try a different style holster or carry position.
July 15th, 2009 02:09 PM
There will always be a physical difference between when you are carrying and when you are not. No matter what type of rig you have on you will always be able to tell the difference. As for comfort it took a lot of holsters and carrying positions until I found what worked best for me.
July 15th, 2009 02:12 PM
The feeling of the billboard sized sign pointing to the "man with the gun" subsides over a period of time. Like anything, could be driving, or whatever, the newbies still have some fears and doubts. Have had a permit since Nov. '08, but after just a couple months of really carrying, I almost forget the thing is even there. It varies with everyone, some get used to it almost immediately while others, it takes time. However, the more you carry, the more you get used to it.
Last edited by JoJoGunn; July 15th, 2009 at 02:14 PM.
Reason: change wording
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July 15th, 2009 02:13 PM
It sounds as if you have put a lot of thought into your carrying method. Congratulations.
There's an old saying; "Firearms carry should be comforting, not necessarily comfortable." If anyone "forgets" they are carrying, they do not have the proper mind set for the awesome responsibility we take upon ourselves when we decide to carry.
With your kidney history, perhaps you may need to explore different methods. Because of a neck injury suffered in a car wreck, 20+ years ago, I can not use shoulder holsters. The weight on my neck and shoulders aggravates the old injury.
Everyone I know who has been carrying for any length of time, cops and non-cops, ALL have a box filled with "perfect" holsters, stuck away in the attic somewhere. It takes a bit of experimentation to come up with what is right for you. After 40+ years of carry, I still experiment.
If it is within your means, perhaps you can shop for a lighter weight pistol or revolver, but not give up anything in power. Most gun makers now days make light weight, polymer, alloy or titanium frames.
My current preference is a kydex (Fobus & Blade Tech) paddle or belt slide holsters on my right hip at 3:00. But thats just me. Your mileage may vary.
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July 15th, 2009 02:17 PM
With my Pure Kustom IWB holster I have I totally forget I have it on,.. For hours and hours.,. Last night I worked in my garage (getting up and down off the creeper) and never once thought about carrying until I took it off before I showered,. That is the way it should be.. Only time I think about it, is when I think about it for reasons other then comfort.. :-)
July 15th, 2009 03:28 PM
It isn't the kidneys...I've had thousands of stones, several kidney operations, and finally one removed, and I have carried against my kidney for years.
Step #1. Get a holster box. (make sure it's the large size)
Step #2. Start your holster search.
Step #3. Ignore advice, it's like asking someone what kind of shoes you should buy.
Step #4. Go to 'Related Links' above...find 'Holsters & Acces.'...shop.
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July 15th, 2009 03:36 PM
The first thing I would recommend is not changing guns. I carry a S&W 3913 also and have found it to be the perfect size and weight. I doubt you will find a lighter, more compact , hammerless 9mm.
Some things you can do; if you have factory grips, replace them with Hogue rubber grips. They are made of a soft, enjoyable to grip rubber.
I too would recommend a IWB holster. You will find that this type of holster distributes the guns weight better than a paddle holster and conceals better too.
Allow me to recommend the Com III by HBE leatherworks. Eric builds high quality holsters and is quick to get it to you. Mine took about 3 weeks.
You didn't say exactly where you wear your holster, but as it is a paddle, I would guess the hip. I would suggest the 3:30-4:30 position. You will find that the gun rides closer and more parallel to your back, you won't have the grip jabbing your side.
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Edge of Darkness
July 15th, 2009 03:43 PM
It all depends on the person.......if you are the type that worries about lots of things....it may take awhile....you probably will be thinking everyone is looking at me.....that know I am carrying.........they don't know because they are sheep
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
July 15th, 2009 04:02 PM
I for one have had a hard time finding the right set up myself. I got a pocket holster and I like that a lot but have found I can not wear it in my back pocket long time when I drive. It gets pretty uncomfortable. I use a concealment purse a lot when I don't have it on me. Winter time is much better for me to wear it on my hip. It's just easier to conceal with jackets in the winter for me.
I am now getting ready to order a smart carry. I have heard so much good reports and very very few negatives.
Good luck and keep your sa up.
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July 15th, 2009 04:14 PM
Well, as usual, lots of good info here!
Don't worry, I'm not going to change guns! I'm a S&W guy...I have an original Model 59 that I purchased back in the 70's and still use as a range gun & home defense gun, a 3904 that I purchased mostly for my wife but that I also use, and the 3913 that I got recently specifically for CCW. As you mentioned, the 3913 is one of the smallest, lightest 9mm and it also has a tremendous reputation for reliability and accuracy. I'll check out the Com III; thanks for the suggestion.
Replacing the grips...I don't THINK that's the problem, but I'm willing to try it; the Hogue grips are relatively inexpensive. In fact, I've made several sets of custom grips for my M59, I could probably do the same for the 3913 as well.
Funny suggestion, but I'm trying to stay AWAY from the "box'o'holsters" that I keep reading about, especially since good holsters seem to go for $50 - $150 each! As a matter of fact, since I've read so often about that "box'o'holsters" that everyone seems to have, why don't we start a new thread on this forum...named something like "Holster Exchange", where users could post all the holsters they have that they no longer use, and newbies like me could make an offer...
Yup, my current paddle holster seems most comfortable (least uncomfortable, really) around the 3:30/4:00 position. The paddle seems to match the shape of my hip best there.
JoJoGunn & Reborn:
You might want to re-read my original post; I specifically mentioned that I was NOT worried about the "everyone is looking at me" syndrome!
I'm also going to check out the "T-shirt holsters":
#234 DeepConcealment Shoulder Holsters
Deep Conceal, The Best Little Holster you will Never See
If they work without allowing the gun to "flop around" when you move, that might be a better option for me.
July 15th, 2009 04:17 PM
If you have to change the cant on your adjustable holster, you're not wearing it right. I hate paddle holsters to begin with, and I suspect you've got one of those terrible adjustable Fobus units that stick out 2". Get a good IWB and belt, then trying wearing ahead of your kidneys. Once you find that special holster (and I've never heard ONE bad thing about Sparks VM2), you will find nirvana.
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