But now what?
If you've purchased your concealed carry pistol and obtained your CCDW License, you may be wondering..."Okay, what do I do next"? Well, we are here to offer some tips that we wish we would've known when we started conceal carrying.
1. Find a great holster.
Finding the perfect holster that fits your body type and carry preference is so incredibly important. Choose whether you want to carry inside the waistband or outside the waistband. Then from here, try on a variety of holsters if your local gun store will allow it. See what feels the most comfortable and fits you the best.
And do not skimp on the price tag. Don't make the mistake of spending $10 on a holster, when you're sticking a $400+ gun in it. The cheaper price tags can be appealing while holster shopping, but believe me...Buy once, cry once applies here. When you're wearing your holster 8+ hours a day, you won't regret paying a bit more.
2. Dress around your gun, to properly conceal it.
I am a big advocate for concealing your firearm. I won't go into all of the reasons why I believe this is best...So I will just say this. If I were playing poker I wouldn't be flashing my cards around for the other players to see. So with that said...
Dress around your gun. If i'm out in town I am almost always wearing blue jeans, a thick gun belt to securely hold my holster up, some sort of undershirt to keep the gun off of my skin and an over-shirt or jacket to conceal my firearm. People would never know that i'm conceal carrying because I don't dress like a mall-ninja and i'm not flashing my gun about.
3. Carry Self Defense Ammo, not range ammo.
Now, let's jump back to your gun and gear for a minute. Select a quality self defense round that is street-proven and is compliant with FBI protocols.
Self defense ammunition, rather known as "hollow points" is designed to expand on impact. This expansion ensures that the ammunition stops INSIDE the threat, instead of passing through it. Range ammo, or "ball ammo" however does not do the same. Range ammo will introduce the risk of over penetration - Which could harm innocent bystanders that lie beyond the threat at hand. So, save yourself the risk and court case for negligence and carry a quality self defense round.
4. Practice with a box or two of your self defense ammo.
This does not get mentioned a lot. But it's important to practice with the ammo that you're carrying. Yes, it's expensive - However, it's important to know that the ammo you're staking your life on will perform well in your gun.
So the next time you're at the range, run 50 rounds of range ammo through your gun to get it dirty. Then shoot a box or two of your preferred self defense ammo through it. This will give you an idea of your ammunition's reliability and performance.
5. Carry a spare magazine.
I view a spare magazine like I do a spare tire. It's an insurance policy if you need a backup.
Sure, statistics show that the average fire fight ends with less rounds fired than most revolvers would even hold. But you never know when more ammunition could come in handy. It's unfortunate in today's world - But with terror attacks and violence, it's a smart idea to carry enough ammo to finish on top if you find yourself involved in a gun fight.
6. Have the right attitude about carrying a gun.
We've already hit on this topic in another post. But if you are carrying a deadly weapon, don't get cocky about it. You are not a vigilante and you're not the law. Keep your cool, don't hunt out danger and pray you never have to use your weapon.
But on the same token - You need to be mentally prepared to defend yourself and loved ones if deadly force is the only option.
7. Be discreet.
It's tempting to reach around and make sure your gun is secure. Or to readjust it if it gets uncomfortable. But refrain from doing this in public. As long as you've purchased a good holster, your gun will be secure...trust us. And if it gets uncomfortable or shifts around to an uncomfortable position, find a restroom stall and readjust it where no one will notice.
8. Practice situational awareness.
Being aware of your surroundings will increase your odds of safety drastically. No, you don't need to have a swiveling head to the point where you appear paranoid. But don't be oblivious to your surroundings either. Being situationally aware will help you to identify threats in advance, hopefully allowing you to avoid them altogether.
We'd love to hear from you! If you've conceal carried for awhile and have some tips for our readers, please drop us a comment below!