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Conceal Carry

A Girl and Her Gun: Conceal Carry

Friday, November 4, 2011

Conceal Carry

Thanks to this man giving me a shout out to his friends, I have had a crazy amount of people visit my blog over the past few days.

Both Say Uncle and Gun Nuts linked to my 7 Days Of Conceal Carry post.  Due to the enormous amount of people that have clicked over to ready those post, I thought I should explain what happened to day 6 & 7.

If you are one of the people who came to see the 7 days of conceal carry then you realize there isn't a day 6 or 7 and that is because I realized my wardrobe doesn't change all that much.  In the summer I wear shorts, a light t-shirt, the occasional skirt and in the fall/winter, I wear jeans a t-shirt and usually a jacket of some kind.

Days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 pretty much covered that, but in the past 8 months I have learned a few things about carrying concealed, so in lieu of me showing you yet another outfit with me hiding a gun, I thought I would share a little of what I have learned.

First, contrary to all the heck I went through trying to find clothes that would cover my gun, in the end, I wear the same exact clothes I wore before I ever bought a gun.  The same shirts, the same pants and rarely do I wear a cover garment, unless I am wearing a skin tight spaghetti strap shirt, my regular t-shirt or dress shirt covers fine, even my Glock 27.

The disclaimer to that is, my Glock is not a full size handgun.  It is a subcompact, but on my small frame it is still a big piece to conceal.

What I did learn was that my holster was crucial to concealment.  I know obvious, but it wasn't to me.  I have a drawer full of holsters that are worthless.  They may be great holsters, but for me they just didn't work, at all.

I wear a Crossbreed holster everyday.  Regardless of the gun I am wearing, I have a Crossbreed holster for it, unless I am wearing a dress or skirt, then I am wearing my holster from Chick Holsters.

The Crossbreed holster I bought, I bought because some guy at Dick's Sporting Goods told me too.

There is a long wait period between order and delivery, so in the meantime I bought pretty much ever other kind of holster within a 60 mile radius of me.

When I was ordering my Crossbreed, I went to the web site not understanding a single thing of what I was doing.  I read all the options and had no clue what any of it meant, so I bought the basic model, as is.  If you have one or go to their site you will there are a variety of options to chose from.  This was lost on me.

When my holster finally arrived, I did nothing to it.  I put it on and tried to work around whatever issues it presented me, like riding up to high.  I did not understand cant and I didn't understand how to adjust the holster to meet my needs.

I took this brand new holster to my 2 day Conceal Carry class and quickly learned tht I should have taken the time to figure out more about my holster and I should have ordered the combat cut.



This is my husband's holster.  The top part of the hostler was a nightmare for me because as I practiced drawing the gun from the holster, my thumb rubbed against it and after 2 days, I had no skin left on it.  A little blood is fine, but it was annoying.

The good news is that after a while your skin toughens up and the pain really isn't an issue, but time is.

No matter how much I practiced drawing from my holster, I felt like I was losing time and was just not as efficient as I could be, so eventually, I did this...
I cut the top portion off with an exact-o knife.  This was a huge improvement for me if for no other reason than I felt like I was more effective in my draw and as we all know, the mind is the first thing that must work.

The next thing I did was play around with the ride of the holster.  I moved the clips in every possible place, tried it on and kept doing that until I felt a good fit.

Again, this may seem obvious to most people who have been around guns for a while, but for me everything was so foreign and I was afraid to do anything, even move the bolts on my holster. 

As is a constant theme of my blog, fear is the enemy.  Caution and preperation are very wise, but fear simple holds you back.

With something as simple and harmless as a holster, my fear cost me a lot of time, stress, energy and money.

The other thing I learned was that the more comfortable I became with carrying a gun and the less conscious I was, the less I felt a need to cover it up.

Of course, with conceal carry the entire point is to cover it up, but when I first started carrying, I didn't want any print at all.  Even if it just showed a bump and one could not tell it was a gun, I knew, everyone knew it was a gun.  They didn't.

As I became more comfortable, the less I needed to do.  It just became a part of me and my everyday outfits.

Now when people ask me about conceal carry, my advice to them is do not worry so much about the right clothes, but the right gun

The focus should be on a gun. Finding one that you will carry and shoot.

Some great advice on that can be found here.

Of course, part of buying a gun is going to take inconsideration your lifestyle, body type etc, but I think that  one can work around most of those issues with relatively minor adjustments to their wardrobe.

Now, if you are 5 feet, 98 lbs and you want to carry a full size 1911, you may have more of a challenge then simply finding a good holster.

For me the gun is first and foremost, then I would spend time really investigating and investing in a good quality holster and then play(with the holster not the gun).

Grab an outfit that represents your style, empty you gun, clear it, check it and recheck it to be sure it is empty, remove all ammo from the room(advice I got from a newsletter by The Cornered Cat  )  and then try your holster on in every single way it will allow you.

Adjust all the position in every combination and try it on with your clothes in your closet. See how it works with the wardrobe you currently have.

You may find like me, that what you have will already works perfect and you just might save yourself hundreds of dollars in useless cover garments that only serve to make you look like you are constantly heading out on a Safari.

10 Comments:

At November 4, 2011 at 7:21 AM , Blogger DebraB said...

You give great practical advise, Thanks!
As someone who struggles with being petite (less than 100lbs) carrying is an issue for me. I have a snub 38 that I would like to carry but seems like the printing is an issue no matter what, still searching for the right position and holster but your info is invaluable. Thanks again!

 
At November 4, 2011 at 7:47 AM , Blogger Newbius said...

Dennis is indeed a wonderful guy. His holsters are very nice, too.

I have to second the advice on finding the right holster and then *fitting it* to yourself. I also use a Crossbreed Supertuck for my full-sized XDm-45, and the gun disappears under even a fitted T-shirt (I will grant you that I am 6' & 215lb, but still...).

I have added you to my blogroll. Keep up the awesome work here.

Pax,

Newbius

 
At November 4, 2011 at 3:26 PM , Blogger Old NFO said...

Excellent post thanks!

 
At November 4, 2011 at 6:05 PM , Blogger Missy~ said...

Great post! I ordered a CrossBreed for a M&P but it didn't fit me. It was a full size gun and my body type wasn't right for it. I LOVE that they gave me a 2 week trial and I ended up sending it back and having it refitted for a G27, which I tried a little bit in the M&P holster, it (the holster) was just a little too big but it did give me the idea that I *could* carry it! Right now my everyday carry is a S&W Bodyguard 38 in an IWB holster but I'm kinda wanting to carry a semi-auto a little bit too!
Missy~
www.sassyshooters.com

 
At November 4, 2011 at 10:38 PM , Blogger poniegirl004 said...

Great thoughts on the trials and tribulations of holster fit. I have two EDCs both 9mm, the smaller KelTec I am carrying in a IWB small of back holster. It practically disappears and since I live in TX in is easy to carry when it is 120 degrees. I can also pretty easily carry this pistol in the appendix position - although when I do that I don't carry a round in the chamber - just for added safety.
My other EDC is a SA XD9 I love this gun! But it is heavier and is slightly more challenging for me to carry. I have decided that because of my body type (almost petite in height, wide hips) I really can't carry the XD behind my hip. It just shows to much. I also am frequently lifting kids in and out of car seats, swings, shopping buggies, ect... so there is a lot of movement of my clothes. I decided I am going with a deep concealment type shoulder holster. I normally wear a t-shirt with a camp type shirt over it just about anywhere I go so this holster should fit right in with my normal atire. Can't wait to share how this holster works out!

 
At November 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

We got our Crossbreeds in about two weeks, so the turn around time is much faster now. It took us a few tries with the cant to decide what was comfortable. Hubby was wearing his XDM 3.8 9mm and I was wearing my LC9. His gun is HUGE compared to mine, and you could definitely tell he was carrying, especially if he stood with his arms crossed, which is is "stance" when waiting in line. He was disappointed with it at first, but then we made some adjustments and his is great. In fact, we went to the store last night and I didn't even know he was wearing it! I don't wear mine yet, because I want to take our concealed carry class and the defensive shooting class we signed up for before I really start carrying every day. I want just a few more safety checks and mental checks before I start carrying every day. We're also looking at the Remora's. After That Texas Lady went kickboxing in hers, I am pretty confident it will work for me and my pants that won't work for the Crossbreed. And finally, the Flashbang when they come out with the one for the LC9. I know we'll end up with a bag of holsters after it's all said and done, and I am okay with that.

 
At November 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Andrea, Hi! I missed you!

Thank you guys for sharing your experiences. Excellent!!

 
At November 5, 2011 at 3:24 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Debra, there is always one of your little bitty gals out there to ruin my theory:). Let us know when you find one that works. I am sure that will be very helpful to other women.

 
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