There is a lot to learn when it comes to concealed carry. And even the most experienced carriers will tell you there will always be a need to assess and reassess the most effective way to carry a concealed firearm. A firearm that cannot be accessed in a timely fashion is completely useless and an uncomfortable holster will often cause you to leave your firearm in your home. It will be helpful for you to keep the following factors in mind when considering the gun you will carry, the holster you will use, and the carrying position you will maintain when exercising your concealed carry rights.
Safety and Security
Many people new to concealed carry practices concern themselves first with the comfort and concealability of their gun and holster. However, safety and security should be your top priority. The firearm should fit snugly into the holster and should not hang too far away from your body. There should also be no way for the firearm to escape the holster if you do not choose to intentionally draw your gun.
You should make sure any holster you consider is a fit for your firearm and will encase the firearm without allowing too much movement. The trigger of your gun should be covered when your gun is in your holster.
Choose a carrying position that allows you to sit, stand, and kneel comfortably. This will prevent you from having to reposition your firearm or remain for extended periods of time in uncomfortable positions throughout the day. If you are not comfortable carrying your gun, it is unlikely it will travel with you every day.
Common locations for your gun include your hip, the front of your body, or the small of your back. Whether you choose one of these standard positions or opt for a location of your own, you should be sure you choose the position that provides you with comfort and a range of motion that is acceptable.
This is an extremely important factor to consider. Your comfortable position will mean nothing if your firearm is buried beneath multiple outer layers of clothing and you are unable to access it when needed. It is not difficult to test the accessibility of your carry equipment and positions. First, choose a set of clothing that is similar to the clothes you wear on a daily basis. Next, unload your firearm and position the firearm and holster as you would when you are carrying your concealed firearm away from the house. Now you can practice drawing the firearm to get an idea of how accessible it will be in a time of need. The best carry positions will allow you to access your firearm with either your left or right hand if it is needed.
If another person can see the print of your firearm each time you move, then your attempt at a concealed carry is not a very successful one. The challenge is the find a position that allows you to carry your firearm in a concealed fashion whether it is in the heat of the summer months or in the middle of the winter.
The correct garments will be necessary for you to conceal your firearm throughout the year. It will require a little more effort to conceal your firearm in the summer months than is necessary for the winter months when more outer level clothes are the norm. Many concealed firearm carriers have had success concealing their firearms in the summer months by wearing a breathable, light-weight short-sleeved shirt. You may want to choose a shirt whose design will distract away from any gun print that may be present.
Many concealed firearm carriers believe they can find a single style and carry position that can be used at all times. In all likelihood, this will not be the case. For example, a holster positioned inside the waist at the 3 o'clock position may be the perfect concealed carry strategy for you in the middle of the day when you may be on your feet a great deal of the time. However, a cross-draw rig may better fit your needs if you are driving or need to be seated for an extended period of time. You may be able to find a carry set-up you can use for the majority of activities in your life. But you should have a backup plan or two for when you must be a little flexible in your carrying strategy.