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Common Concealed Carry Problems — And Solutions!

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When getting started in concealed carry, people often make mistakes and run into issues. Some problems are more common than others. These problems act as a barrier for successful concealed carry for some, which leads to leaving the firearm at home. However, with some trial and error — and a little guidance — you can be carrying like a pro in no time.

Being Uncomfortable

The main complaint I hear from new concealed carriers is about how uncomfortable it is to have a gun on you. From the firearm digging into your side and rubbing on your skin, to a boatload of sweat pooling on your hip, it’s no secret that carrying a gun has its drawbacks. Fortunately, this doesn’t always have to be the case. With a little trial and error, you can find a gun and holster combination that at least minimizes your discomfort, if not eliminate it altogether.

Pulling out a gun from the holster on belt, close-up.
A proper gun belt is essential for comfortable concealed carry.

Now I’m not going to lie, if you’re carrying anything other than perhaps a NAA Mini Revolver on you, you’re going to notice to some degree. But that doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable. A good gun belt helps distribute the weight of a loaded firearm and keeps everything from bouncing around. Additionally, a proper holster not only keeps the firearm secure, it can help prevent unnecessary rubbing and jabbing. If you’re still having issues, consider stepping down to a smaller sidearm. These are generally easier and more comfortable to carry. It may not be as capable, but the first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun on you when you need it.

Being Too Noticeable

Another common concealed carry problem is actually self-provoked. Many new gun owners beginning to carry end up touching the firearm too much and printing because of it. It can be daunting (at first) to wade into the public with an undisclosed firearm on your person. Many will seek to soothe this anxiety with a gentle pat or tug here and there to ensure the firearm and cover garment are in position. This draws more attention to the area and makes you much more noticeable. This can be exacerbated if you are physically uncomfortable carrying a firearm (for the reasons mentioned above).

Remind yourself that it is ok, and you are not breaking the law. As you gain experience, you will find most people are far too concerned with their own lives to even notice you, let alone your concealed firearm. If you have a good carry setup, you will likely never be discovered.

Concern With Loaded Chamber

Whether they’re carrying or not, new shooters are often worried about a loaded chamber anytime they are not at the range. This is somewhat understandable, given Hollywood’s depiction of firearms going off at the drop of a hat anytime someone gets bumped or knocked down. The truth is, modern firearms are manufactured with a number of safeties in place to prevent an accidental discharge. Most incorporate a firing pin block that prevents forward travel of the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. A proper holster will securely cover and protect the trigger. If you practice safe firearm handling and are not negligent, then you will likely never have an issue.

Jason Winnies OWB holster with Glock pistol inserted
If you’re concerned, try carrying your empty pistol in a holster to get a feel for things.

This is an especially common problem people have with striker-fired pistols such as Glocks. To ease your nerves, start by carrying around the house with the striker cocked and an empty chamber. At the end of the day, check to see if the trigger has been pulled. This will help build your confidence in the design and your firearm handling skills. After a couple times of realizing that it won’t go off on its own, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable.

Bad Carry Setup

As I mentioned earlier, a bad carry setup can make your concealed carry experience harder than it needs to be. Different body shapes and sizes work better with certain carry methods than others. Some may find success tucking the pistol inside the waistband, others may be more comfortable with a shoulder holster. I found that what once worked for me when I started had to adapt over time as my daily life changed.

Your firearm choice is also a factor. The rounded shape of a revolver is beneficial for some, while others may have trouble concealing the thicker cylinder. Some shooters have no trouble concealing a full-size pistol, whereas some can barely get by with a micro 9. Your comfort level and tolerance will depend on your individual preferences. Some people are more sensitive than others. You may demand a lightweight option that doesn’t print in the slightest. Others are fine with some extra weight and a slight outline.

Four semiautomatic handguns and one revolver
It may take some trial and error to pick your concealed carry gun.

Billboarding

The main benefit to carrying concealed is the element of surprise. That all goes out the window if everyone knows you’ve got a gun on you. New concealed carriers, especially young men, can sometimes have the habit of talking about their gun too much. “Nobody better try anything, or else.” “Can’t trust anybody, that’s why I’ve always got this on me.” These are just a couple of the phrases they will spew to anyone that will listen.

This trash talk is usually coupled with obvious clothing that screams 2nd Amendment. Now, it’s a free country and it is your right to promote your beliefs. However, 5-11 tactical cargo pants, a Glock t-shirt, “Don’t Tread On Me” hat, and Oakleys isn’t exactly inconspicuous. The problem comes when an attacker can tell that you have a gun on you first. You may as well open carry if legal in your state.

selective focus of man holding and fire shotgun in shooting range of gun shooting competition
Tactical clothing is great for training at the range, but can give you away on the street.

Final Thoughts

In the end, finding a solution that works for all your concealed carry problems will be through a lot of trial and error. There is no one-size-fits-all solution — or we’d all be using it! The important thing is to not give up. It takes some time, but as you gain experience you’ll begin to determine what works and what doesn’t work for you. And you’ll be all the safer for it.

What are some problems you encountered while carrying concealed? Do you have any additional solutions? Share your experiences in the Comment section.

Article by ALEX COLE

 

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