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Top 5 Most Common Concealed Carry Mistakes You Can Make

Top 5 Concealed Carry Mistakes

Top 5 Concealed Carry Mistakes

As I frequent various shooting forums, I marvel at the number of new shooters who are struggling to come to grips with common, everyday concealed carry. While the desire is there, a number seem to be suffering from issues with either comfort, concealability, or confidence. With that being said, here are my own personal top 5 concealed carry mistakes that I’ve seen others make:

Our Top 5 Concealed Carry Mistakes

#1 – Choosing A Weapon That Is Too Large

Proper weapon selection for concealed carry is paramount. Aim (no pun intended) for a pistol that is small enough to conceal, but large enough to deal with most self-defense problems.

I once had a customer walk into the gun store where I was at the time. He was trying to find the “perfect” CCW holster for a Sig Sauer P226. As he talked about some possible choices, the customer kept coming back to the fact that he “needed” a high capacity weapon for CCW. While I was standing there I was thinking, I would agree that the P226 would be a great home defense weapon, it’s not the greatest choice for CCW as it’s a big gun.

#2 – Choosing The Wrong Caliber

A number of people equate smaller guns to smaller caliber, but that simply isn’t the case anymore. A number of manufacturers are making very compact pistols in 9mm, .40, and even in .45 ACP.

Debates over the “best” caliber for CCW will rage on forever. Pick a caliber that has enough power to make you trust the weapon and that you are proficient shooting. If you are comfortable with a .380, then so be it. There are situations where my only choice is a pocket .380. While it’s not my first choice for a CCW caliber, it beats nothing at all.

Need help with choosing the best concealed carry gun? Try reading how to make your first gun purchase and how to choose the best home defense gun.

#3 – Accessibility

After pistol selection, it’s imperative to choose a carrying method that is quickly accessible. If the situation ever arises where you’ll have to draw your weapon, it will probably happen very quickly and require a very rapid response. For this reason, my all-time favorite concealed carry methods are still either belt carry or “inside the waistband” (IWB) carry.

Whatever you choose, make sure you can get to it quickly.

You need to practice at the range; drawing from that position and being accurate with your shots.

Read also: Are You Prepared For A Real World Scenario?

#4 – Proficiency

Here’s one of the biggest areas where I think most CCW holders miss the boat.

Simply purchasing a handgun, a holster, and then carrying it concealed; doesn’t make you prepared.

It’s imperative to spend some time getting acquainted with the mechanics of the handgun, actually shooting the handgun, and drawing from the holster during live fire. Now, I’m not saying that you have to attend every shooting class in your area, but you should spend some time becoming proficient with your chosen firearm, especially dealing with malfunctions. 

And finally…. the last of the top 5 concealed carry mistakes:

#5 – Wardrobe Problems

Carrying concealed means just that: carrying the weapon in a manner where it can’t be seen. For most people, no matter what holster choice or carrying style they opt for, this will mean some changes in your wardrobe. It might mean slightly larger or longer T-shirts, buying jeans one size up to make room for the IWB holster, buying cargo pants with deep pockets for front pocket carry and more.

The list goes on, but there typically is a change required in this area. This becomes especially problematic when combined with mistake #1. Now, does this mean you have to buy an entirely new wardrobe? The answer is usually no, but you might have to start making a few changes in some of your clothing purchases based on the concealed carry methods you choose.

People that aren’t willing to make these changes are typically the ones that will experience problems with printing and exposure.

I’m not standing on my soapbox for this issue as I used to be the biggest culprit. When I first started carrying concealed, I absolutely refused to change my wardrobe or dress any differently. After having to explain to my relatives and close friends why I was carrying a pistol after it had been inadvertently seen, I decided that a change was in order.

Remember that Inland Training’s Defensive Firearms Class or some coaching sessions will definitely give you a boost in the proficiency and confidence department.

USCCA’s Top 10 Concealed Carry Mistakes, Don’ts, and Blunders