This article is aimed at those just getting into handguns or buying their first concealed carry handgun. Choices are not something we are short of when it comes to concealed carry handguns. Most people buy a gun they like and then figure out how they are going to carry it. This often leads to them buying 3 or 4 different holsters and then realizing the gun isn’t the right gun for them to carry.
The first two questions to ask are where are you going to carry and how do you dress in those places? Often times people say that they will change their style of dress to accommodate their gun and that’s great, for the people that will follow through. For most of us, this means changing our personal style and spending a ton of time and money to completely redo our wardrobe. It’s much easier said than done.
Be realistic with yourself about where and when you will carry. Remember the main purpose of having a CCW is to have a gun with you whenever possible to defend yourself. What methods of carry will you feel comfortable employing throughout your daily life and the four seasons of the year?
Once you’ve narrowed down the methods look at the upsides and downsides for each type of carry. Consider the amount of time you can spend carrying each one and then see which method allows you to carry the firearm you are most capable with. This is the exact opposite of the method most people do when buying a gun. They often choose a gun and then try to figure out how to carry it.
Look at the popularity of the Glock 19 which is arguably the most popular handgun in the United States. What makes the Glock 19 so popular is that it is small enough for most people to conceal IWB while large enough to hold 15rd of ammunition and large enough to shoot well. It is ultimately the largest most shootable gun most people can comfortably carry. If you are not going to carry IWB with an untucked garment then you need to look for the Glock 19 of your carry method. For you that my be a Glock 42, Smith and Wesson Shield, Springfield XD Mod 2 3inch, Ruger LCP, FNS9c, Smith and Wesson J frame or many others.
We are all shaped differently, dress differently, and have different movements throughout our everyday life. Someone sitting working in an office all day is going to have a different dress code and body movements than a carpenter or tradesman. The same can be true for a doctor vs a salesperson.
In review, first look at your method of carry. Then, consider your holster options and once you’ve determined a holster or holsters in play then start looking at your firearm options. There are companies that make Glock 17 ankle holsters (won’t work for anyone but a giant) so just because it’s available doesn’t make it a good choice. Once you’ve purchased all your gear, dry fire daily and get to the range as often as time and money allows.
Order of choices to consider
- Method of carry
- Holster selection
- Size of gun
- Gun selection