CCW Tips: How, When and Why

36

When I lived on the high mountain with bears, wolves, cougars, along with an occasional rabid skunk, my Springfield Armory Range Officer 1911 was strapped on in the morning and removed at night. After moving to a place where the only concern was stepping on a diamondback, I saw no reason to carry. One day as I unloaded boxes, a dog burst in and grabbed my cat. While “only” a cat, she is my cat raised from tiny, and I didn’t see why she should have to be ripped to pieces in my own damn garage. The big dog had her in a death grip. No pistol at my side, I delivered a kick that missed the ‘nads, doing nothing to discourage the attack.

The big knife I carry as PH in Africa should a client be in the claws of a leopard was on-hand. I drove the blade for the ribs but hit the shoulder bone for a shallow wound. The dog let go and the cat disappeared, I thought to run off and die somewhere. If a canine can show “proud” he did. I patted his head as he stood by me on the porch. After all, he was doing only “what came natural.” Turned out the cat took refuge in the garage and a $500 vet bill later, she was okay.

He who fails to learn by experience is doomed to repeat his mistakes. I was only going to the hardware store. Did I need to carry? Of course not, I told myself. As I walked out, I saw a woman blocked from entry to her car. Domestic dispute? Good way to get shot interceding. Many law officers are. I stood staring. The woman’s face read panic. I locked eyes on the man, telepathing a message, “Get the hell away from her.” He finally did. I got a wave of thanks as the woman got into her car and sped off. What if the guy had approached me with venom?

I’m allowed carry open or concealed. I was ready when another dog, not a foo-foo with a pink ribbon, but a brute with red eyes, foaming mouth, and mange, started toward me. My Mossberg was handy. Shoot the dog? Did I mention I was pumping gas at the time? The convenience store welcomed good citizens armed. Not a problem. Still, I did not relish firing a shot. A cell call later, animal control was on the spot, the dog rounded up. “He is rabid,” the catcher said. “Too bad you didn’t have a gun.” I nodded.

How To Carry

To carry is not the question. How to carry is. A few points to consider are will you be using a pistol or revolver? Size and shape? Manner of concealment? Ease of access? Will lifting a shirttail or pantleg deliver the gun into battery in time to save the day? Will a man-purse, cell phone carrier, or pouch be perfect for the circumstances? What about a gun under your buttoned coat? Will a t-shirt conceal? And overriding any method is security. We who carry are responsible at all times. If you opt for the man-purse, cell phone carrier or sling-pouch option — never put one down to be picked up.

EDC — Every Day Carry — determines you do your personal best.

There are many designs and the “soft” ones seem to be most comfortable.
You should try several to find one fitting well for you.

Glove Box

A nephew and his wife were carjacked two weeks before this writing. A car bumped. Girard stopped and got out, normal enough. The next thing he knew, four thugs were around the car, two by his door, two by his wife’s. Luckily, they only wanted valuables, which were surrendered, and off they went. The trouble is, some car-jackings end up with dead or severely beaten people. “Get out of the car!” Sure. Here’s a present for you.

Options

Under the seat is essentially the same as a glove box. It’s legal where I live, maybe not where you live. But being “off-body” it can be slow and the gun can be just out of reach when you need it most.

Concealed in the Open

Three concealed-in-the open carries are: man purse, cell phone belt carrier, and over-the-shoulder sling-pouch, such as the AmeriBag. None is quick draw, but each offers secret carry and with practice good action.

Waistband

Outside the waistband (OWB), inside (IWB), and small-of-the-back (SOB) require little clothing overhang and offer fast access. I don't recommend the SOB position. If you fall on your back you risk severe injury in spite of the fact you see it on TV constantly. It’s TV, don’t forget that.

An outer shirt easily conceals even a big sidearm in an OWB holster of good quality.

Various “sticky” holsters can also do double duty as pocket rigs. This one is hiding a
Mossberg MC1S 9mm inside. They stay in place on their own with no belt loops, etc.

Sticky Holster

It does just that — sticks where you put it and works great for a waistband. There’s a brand name called Sticky Holster, Blackhawk makes their own idea, and Mossberg’s MC1sc Comfort Cling Pocket Holster is nice too.

Another “sticky” holster is, oddly enough, made by Sticky. Use it in your pocket or behind the belt.

Most of the “generic” fit pocket “sticky” type holsters can fit several different small guns.

Here’s another version by Clinger. If you carry everyday, you’ll soon like the minimalist
way this sort of holster can carry your smallish personal protection gun.

Ankle Holster

Aker’s 157 Comfort Ankle Holster is a good example of the breed for revolvers or pistols. Total concealment is assured with snake-fast access for the practiced shooter. Normally considered backup but can be a mainline hideout. The Wilderness Tactical makes the “Renegade” soft ankle rig and can’t be beat.

Ankle holsters allow you to never violate rule one of a gunfight: Have a gun. They
are tough to draw from and need practice and thinking to use. This is an Aker.

A “formed” to your fit OWB holster conceals well yet allows fast access.
This one is leather but you can think Kydex too, as well as plenty of
other styles, designs and materials.

Formed to Body Contour

This category is designed for comfort. Buchemier’s Concealer CW-53 TX Tactical Measure is an example of the type, not only contoured to fit, but with change-of-angle screws for personal choice. Also, easy-off belt loop. Good quality pays off so don’t scrimp in you your holster. Common thought is 20- to 25-percent of the cost of the gun. If you paid $500 for your handgun, spending $100 for a good holster makes perfect sense.

I asked a state trooper friend what he thought about the “…ordinary citizen going armed.” His answer was simple and to the point. He said, “I think a person should have the same rights as the criminal.” I realized there was an underpinning to his statement going beyond his answer. But it struck home with me.

Subscribe To American Handgunner