American Rifleman | 6 Concealed-Carry Tips You Need to Know

If you want to carry a firearm, you have to adopt a way of life. This can include where you go, what you do, how you dress, and how you see other people and situations. It starts with awareness and vigilance. The world can be a dangerous place, and you may have to face that danger at some point to protect yourself or your loved ones. That’s why we wear.

While you don’t need to be paranoid about this, you do need to stay on a relaxed alert state that we at Gunsite Academy refer to as a Yellow Condition when you are out and about. The first principle of personal defense (from my mentor, Col. Jeff Cooper) is vigilance.

You can only stop an attack if you see it coming. So stay vigilant and position yourself to take advantage of potential cover and obfuscation. You should watch the entrances and know where the exits are, even if that means running through the kitchen and going out the back.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

Don’t do stupid things to stupid people. When carrying a firearm, avoidance is your best defense, and staying away from potentially dangerous people and situations is your best bet. The best gunfight is the one you don’t participate in.

Dress for success. Carrying concealed means your weapon must remain hidden. Dressing to cover it may require some changes in your wardrobe or wearing method. Learn not to touch the pistol and adopt a stance that will prevent it from “pushing”.– –be visible through your clothes– –while you attend to your daily chores. If you are wearing a belt holster, use a sturdy belt and pull it tight to prevent the belt from sagging and flapping the gun around. No need to pull up your pants, a potential giveaway to wear.

You will likely buy many holsters and multiple guns. When I advise people about guns and equipment, I want me to tell them which gun and holster to buy. The fact is, no matter what you start with, there is a very good chance that you will end up buying more holsters, gear, and weapons on this journey.

Most of us have boxes full of holsters and more than a few guns, so welcome to the party. And while you’re at it, don’t buy cheap equipment. You’ll regret it later and just spend more to get what you should have gotten. Your life can depend on it.

Carry extra ammo and carry two guns. While any fight you are likely to get into will likely be wound up with the ammunition in the gun, there are always exceptions. Mr. Murphy can straighten his ugly head at the least-expected times. What if you pull your pistol and the magazine falls out? What if more bad guys show up? The fastest reload is a different weapon. When carrying a small pistol, reloading or malfunctioning is difficult at best and may be impossible under the stress of a fight.

Exercise with your carry gun and ammunition. You should shoot down your carrying ammunition and replace it with fresh ammunition from time to time. Make it a training exercise. Every time you switch ammo, be sure to fire at least a box or two to make sure they will work in your pistol and to know where the ammo is hitting in relation to your targets. Yes, it’s expensive, but you’re worth it.

Wear all the time, with no mistakes. Once you have committed to carrying your pistol, you must do so all day. There are many excuses not to wear, but the worst part is that nothing will happen. Think of it this way: if you knew you were going to have an argument going out, would you leave the house? The purpose of defensive pistols is to face unexpected life threatening events. We carry them because we can’t always pack a rifle or have an armed escort of SEALs to look after us.

Whether you’re new to concealed carry or an old hand, these tips will help you stay safe, and that’s the idea, isn’t it? To be safe and not cause trouble? Don’t be one of those who say, “I can’t believe this is happening. I wish I had a gun. “

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