Concealed Carry Tips For The Complete And Utter Newbie
Completely new to guns and women's concealed carry? That's okay. Everyone starts at square one at some point.
And there's a lot you need to learn to do it right. It's one thing to just own a gun, but it's something else entirely to start carrying one every day. Just keeping one at home is rather simple, but taking it with you everywhere adds layers of complexity.
It is NOT as simple as just putting your gun in your purse and heading out the door. People who do that wind up in the news...and for all the worst reasons, and that's not what you want.
But there's good news.
With a bit of knowledge, you can get off to a solid start. To tell you everything you need to know and do would practically fill a book, so we're going to stick to the greatest hits. Take these 6 quick tips for concealed carry for women, and you'll be off to a great start.
The First Step In Concealed Carry For Women? Get Some Training
Whether it's for concealed carry for women or men, the first thing you really should do is get some training, especially if you are completely new to guns.
If you literally have no experience with guns at all, start with basic safety and handling, such as NRA Basic courses and other beginner gun safety courses. Then get some practical training.
Training courses for concealed carry or for defensive shooting are more in-depth, and teach more than just simple accuracy and safety. That's where you learn practical shooting at self-defense distances, drawing from the holster and other practical shooting skills.
You should also get some training in the legal aspects of self-defense, and understand the philosophy of self-defense laws as well as what they are, the letter and the spirit. You arm yourself to protect yourself from criminals, not to become one.
Get some education on safe handling, how to shoot, and how to shoot in self-defense...as well as the law regarding armed self-defense.
There's No Good Concealed Carry Gun For Women, But There's A Good One For You
There is no such thing as a good concealed carry gun for women. There's no such thing as a good concealed carry gun for any group of people.
There is, however, a good gun for you.
Make sure you pick a handgun that suits you. That fits your hand. That you can safely and efficiently operate. That fits in with you and your lifestyle. And that you can shoot well.
That snubbie revolver seems compact and simple, but tiny sights on short barrels and double-action triggers don't make good marksmanship easy. The same is true for tiny .380 pistols.
Large service pistols have less recoil, but often have complicated controls or don't fit smaller hands very well.
Striker-fired pistols are easy to learn, but have minimal safety features so great care is required to handle and carry them. Traditional service pistols have complex controls that require a lot of practice to learn.
Point being, learn what kind of gun suits you best, and what makes and models are going to get you that...and that's the gun you buy and carry.
Try Before You Buy With A Carry Gun
Perhaps this seems implied, but you need to try a carry gun BEFORE you buy it.
A gun's attributes on paper are all well and good, but you aren't going to know whether or not a gun is a good fit for you until you get hands on with it...and get some rounds downrange.
Pay attention to the fit in the hand. Does it feel good to hold? Feels like you can move it and point it easily? Can you easily reach and manipulate the controls?
Notice the sights. Do your eyes pick them up easily? Can you easily align them on the target?
Can you live with the recoil impulse? Or does it snap or shove you too hard for your liking?
How easy is it for you to get the rounds to go where you want them to go? Does it seem like you can easily place shots or like you have to work really hard to get close to the target?
The best thing to do is find a range that rents guns. Try a few out, especially a model you're interested in. If you find that gun you were thinking of getting, and you find it's probably not a good fit for you...it's time to look elsewhere. Or you might find it's perfect.
Get hands on with a gun BEFORE you buy one, and see if it's a good fit for you.
Get Some Safe Storage
Once you've acquired a gun and some ammunition, one of the first things you also need to pick up is some method of safe storage. It's important in and of itself, but doubly important if you have little ones at home.
An actual safe is great, but even a simple lockbox - available at most hardware stores or department stores for around $30 - is at least something.
Guns left loaded and unsecured can be accessed easily by tiny curious hands. A gun left loaded and unsecured in a vehicle can easily be stolen. Therefore, have a means of locking your gun up.
Make Sure You Have A Good Concealed Carry Holster
There are plenty of women's concealed carry holsters out there...but not all are worth carrying with. Make sure you get one that is.
What are you looking for?
A good women's concealed carry holster, just as one for men, should be made for the gun you're going to carry. There should be durable material that protects the trigger guard, such as a hard polymer.
The holster should retain the pistol securely while carrying it. It should also allow for a smooth draw, and easy reinsertion of the pistol, and at that, repeatedly. You should be able to pull the gun out and put it back in with minimal complication and over and over again.
The holster should also be comfortable to carry, as you will find reasons not to carry it if it isn't.
A good concealed carry holster is rather easily concealed. A little bit of dressing around the holster is to be expected, but if you have to go to great lengths to do so...then you need to try something else.
And if you get a more traditional belt holster, either an IWB or OWB holster that's worn on the waistband...you need to get an actual gun belt.
Train With Your Gun And Your Gear
Once you have all the pieces in place - you have your gun, your gear, and you've gotten some training to get your feet under you - then it's time to start training.
Practice is how you get to Carnegie hall, and that's also how you build the muscle memory needed to use your gun under stress.
It is also in practice and training that you find out where you need to improve in your shooting skills so you can keep working at it. You'll also find out if your holster, belt or other concealed carry gear doesn't work as well as you need it to.
Shooting is a perishable skill. If you don't do much or any of it, you'll lose any gains you realized anywhere else. You don't need to live at the range, you don't need to be a gun nun, but you do need to practice consistently. Try to get out at least two or three times per month.
If there's any hard and fast rules about gun fights, the shooter who is more accurate and efficient usually comes out on top. How do you get there? With practice. So make sure you're practicing.