Incorporating a firearm into your daily routine for personal protection won’t necessarily be cheap. Look at it as an investment in your safety and the safety of your family. In this blog I will be talking about tips and tactics about choosing the right holster for your lifestyle. What is important to realize is that carrying a firearm for a defensive purpose is great responsibility. You have your life and the lives of others strapped to your person. It can be intimidating, are people watching me? Can they see my firearm? Are they scared? As you gain more experience and get comfortable with the process, this will become a nonissue for you. That’s why secondly to training with your firearm, your concealed carry setup comes next.
The first part of the equation is the mindset. You have to be able to ask yourself the question, could you take someones life in defense of yourself or another? If you can’t answer that with an emphatic “YES.” You might want to understand the issues that could arise if you were put in a situation where you might need a firearm and you “PAUSE.” That one second of pause could cause things to go very badly for you. The next part is the handgun. Budgets will determine the quality that you buy. If you can budget up to $700, you could get a high quality handgun, a holster, belt, and ammo. The handgun I would chose would be the one that fits my lifestyle best. I’m very fortunate as an instructor I have “tools” that do different tasks. In the summertime I would go with a smaller framed handgun like the Glock 43 or 48. I am a big fan of Glock because of their reliability, ammo capacity, and safety features. There are a few other handguns that I do recommend like the Smith & Wesson M/P line, Sig Sauer P365, and a few other Glock models.
A stiff belt is critical. The belt will help retain your firearm, keep it where you need it, and keep your holster attached if you were need to draw. The belt will help keep your pants up while keeping your firearm close to your body. This will help keep you discreetly protected in non permissive environments, AKA “Gun Free Zones!” Gun Free Zones are criminal opportunity zones. Much like the mythical unicorn, they will never save your life. A firearm in a Gun Free Zone will save your life. Please follow all local, state, and Federal laws. Just realize the newest stat I have from Dr. John Lott is that 94% of all mass killings happen in a Gun Free Zone. GFZ are the following local businesses Target, Regal Cinema, the mall, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings, and other places. Carry a gun into these locations, do it discreetly, realize that these are the areas that you can be most vulnerable. Criminals prefer no armed resistance.
There are so many holster companies online, some are very quality, others are quite gimmicky and potentially dangerous for the user. It’s very common for holster manufacturers to target women because there is a lack of good holster designs specifically for woman. Every body type is different. Women’s shape, height, and chest size makes “a one size fits all” option not always easy to find the perfect holster. You might need a holster for different tasks. I normally recommend a IWB (Inside Waist Band) holster for concealed carry use and a OWB (Outside Waist Band) for range work. People can use a OWB and open carry in the state of Oregon, it is legal depending on the municipality, check your local ordinances. I support the right to carry, I just never OC. I do not want anyone knowing that I am armed, it’s nobody’s business. I never recommend a Flashing type holster or a Bustier type holster for women. The design is poor and downright dangerous. I really like a kydex type holster, there are literally hundreds of Manufacturers. I really like Procraft Tactical, locally or Phlster holsters if you are going to shop online. Both companies build high quality gun specific holsters. Most people will carry either appendix, which the gun is concealed in front of you. Its highly effective but, depending on your lifestyle, it may not be the most comfortable. I carry at between the 3 and 4 o’clock position either IWB or OWB depending on what I am doing for the day. I always dress around my gun. I love the fall and winter, cooler weather allows me to carry a bigger gun. A bigger gun equals more bullets, more bullets is always a good thing. In summer I will carry a Glock 48 and in the winter I will carry a Glock 19 or 17. Typically the more comfortable the holster, the more likely you will wear it when in public. There are yoga pants available for women, I recommend checking out Alexo Athletica for activewear carry options. Never forget to carry an extra magazine or two. Depending on the size of your gun is how large the magazine is. Your level of training, environment, and potential threat will dictate how much ammo you should carry. I would rather have too much than not enough.
Another option for concealed carry is off body. While it is never my first choice it is a viable option. There are many concealed carry purses available and man bags (Murses). I recommend if you are going to go with and CC purse, you buy one with a locking zipper, especially if you have kids in your home. There have been parents shot by their own children because their kid had access to their gun. This is unacceptable and preventable. Check out the Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation for firearm safety training for children. The off body choice I recommend for men is Vertyx, they make high quality carry bags. I have 6 different ones, many are equipped with ballistic panels. These panels are a great option to protect your vitals in a defensive situation. All are TSA approved and go with me when I travel. In my bag I typically have extra magazines, a blade, flashlight, a medical kit and other essentials. This kit is designed to get me home or get me to a bigger gun depending on the threat. It is part of being a prepared citizen, the cops will not always be there. It is your responsibility to defend yourself and your family. Until next time, stay safe!!