Concealed carry is a simple and effective method of keeping your firearm on your person for self-defense. If you’re planning to start conceal carrying for the first time, here are a few things you should do beforehand.
1. Decide Where You’re Going to Carry
Whether you’re using blackhawk holsters on your belt or keeping your firearm strapped to your ankle, where you choose to keep it on your body makes all the difference. It should be somewhere that’s comfortable, low print, and easily accessible in the event of a self-defense situation.
Appendix carry (on the front of your belt, with the holster either inside or outside your waistband) gives you easy access and plenty of coverage from your shirt but can be uncomfortable. Holstering on your ankle offers low-print concealment from your pant legs, but may not be as readily accessible.
Experiment with several methods and see which feels right for you. Also, remember to keep good barrel etiquette in mind when deciding where to holster.
2. Clean Your Gun
You should lightly clean your gun any time after you shoot it and deep clean several times throughout the year. Even if you only carry your gun and don’t shoot it, make sure to oil your gun at least every week or couple of weeks.
This is especially important if you’re not intimately familiar with the firearm you’ll be carrying. Take the time to break your gun down piece by piece before you ever carry it; this will give you a clear look at each component and help you understand the part it plays in the process of firing a bullet.
Practice loading and emptying your magazine. It’s important to fully understand each segment of your firearm, and a little basic maintenance goes a long way.
3. Ready Your Paperwork
Every state has different laws and regulations for carrying a firearm in any way, which you should be well versed in before you conceal carry. Make sure you know if you need a license or permit, and whether or not you need to keep it on you when carrying in public. In the event that you need to store it in your car before entering a gun-free zone (such as a school), be aware if there are any different laws for keeping your firearm in a vehicle. The more you know before you go out, the more accurately you can follow the law.
No matter how you do it, conceal carrying can be a great self-defense method as long as you know what you’re doing. Safety should be number one in any carrying situation.