How you choose your EDC (concealed)

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
What are your considerations and order when choosing a Concealed carry gun? I'm not necessarily asking for brand favorites just how you decide what you buy.
For summer time or deep conceal and also winter time or IWB or coat covered concealed.
include: weight, size, ammo capacity, concealability, grip comfort, safety switch yes or no, sights, accurate range, and how it would be carried(pocket, IWB, OWB, chest rig or shirt, pocketbook(for the females)
 

lancetkenyon

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
3,033
Location
Arizona
For me, it depends what I am wearing as to what I carry.

Shorts/t-shirt, or going out to a nice dinner, I carry my Kimber Tactical Ultra .45ACP 7+1 in a Galco Combat Master OWB. Tucks very tight to the body, small frame/grip/3" barrel. This is also my open carry set up when I dress up (boots and jeans and button up is about as "dressed up" as I get).

Everyday carry for work/play/casual, customized G19 w. Holosun 507C 15+1 in a Kydex belt holster under a t-shirt. A little more noticeable, but really only to others who carry concealed. Most people never see it. Tucked around a little more of a kidney carry. Still in a belt OWB holster.

Out in the desert, shooting, or scouting, I carry a customized G19X w. TLR-8G and Holosun 507C in a Kydex OWB holster. This is my nightstand pistol too. A little tougher to conceal the G17 sized frame w. mag extensions.

I put on my G19 every day, even when staying at home. Never know. I pray to God I never need it.
 

FrogFire7

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
306
Location
Pennsylvania
Those are basically all considerations. Lol.

I've been through at least 5 carry guns that I can think of, from revolvers to various pistols. And am going to buy another "soon".

Carried various ways.

I started out with a 9mm, then a 45, then a 357, then 380, and a "compact" double stack 9mm, eventually I'm going to go back to a 9mm (99% sure it will be a sig365)

I've decided power factor isn't as big of a deal as I once considered it, personally. Although I do want more power then my 380, currently.

I've found that for ME, if it's big, bulky, heavy, uncomfortable... I won't carry it, at least regularly. Not concealed. If you are going to open carry in a paddle holster or similar, that's a different story. With my job, I can't legally carry anyhow, do my carry time is more limited than it use to be.

I've sold probably hundreds of handguns back when I use to have a weekend "fun job" at a local gun store. It all comes down to what YOU want. "Feel" in your hand being one of the most important factors. If you don't like it in the store, you probably never will. Get something that fits your hand. On that topic, MANY people can't stand not getting 3 fingers on the grip (on a super compact gun). Never bothered me, and many have additional length base plates for the magazing to extend this. Personally, I'd rather it be short, and thus more concealable. That's me, you do what makes you the most comfortable/happy.

Sights... I don't have a ton of preference here... the tritium night sights are pretty nice to have, but some people like fiber optics, or white dots, or no dots. I think I prefer no dots (unless tritium) since I sight off the top of the sight blade, but again, if it works for you, go for it. Most sig handguns come with tritium sights, just fyi.

Since my time in the gun shop, a lot of handguns come with red dot cuts on the slide. Red dots are fast, and easy. Holster options are probably a little less common, but again, a lot has changed since then so maybe I'm wrong. Plus, with a red dot you need to consider battery life. Maybe your sight is motion activated, maybe manually? Will that slow you down? Can you co-witness your blade sight in case of battery failure?

As far as safetys go, again total preference. A lot of first time concealed carry guys do NOT feel safe with a gun without a safety. Personally, I think without a safety is a lot faster, especially if you are just starting out. "Is my safety on, or off? Do I need to push it up, or down?" Etc. ANY holster you get should completely cover or capture the trigger, so really the only way the firearm could discharge is if you grab the trigger while presenting the weapon. Trust me, it has happened. This is the main reason (I've been told) that our PA state troopers have switched from glock (no safety) to sig. Maybe true, maybe not. But I do know of several that have shot their legs/feet while drawing from the holster. Practice practice practice with your gun unloaded, to start.

On that note, pretty much anything you get SHOULD be able to be dry fired. The old-timey notion of never dry firing is mostly outdated, for modern centerfire guns. Draw and dry fire is your friend.

Other than that, consider capacity, ease or reloading. Plus your "carry condition". I know people who have carried for years and STILL will not carry one in the chamber. For a variety of reasons. My thought is that if you are seriously carrying to protect/defend, you should be seriously ready to shoot. Just my thoughts... I know some feel better without a round in chamber around kids (access to weapon), etc, and I totally get it.

As far as where you carry on the body, try a few positions out. I find hip most comfortable vs appendix, but for small guns, ankle can be comfortable. You can vary magazing capacity or even guns depending on season/clothing. Pocket guns are super comfy, but have some obvious limitations. Also, some carry off body, such as a purse. This has some fairly obvious safety implications as well, but situational awareness helps some.

All considerations, but again. Handle a LOT of guns, and find what fits you the best. After that, get a good quality holster, practice drawing your gun safely, and finally spend a lot of time shooting it. Once you can draw safely, practice target acquisition and then speed.

Remember that situational awareness is your first line of defense.

Most of all, enjoy exercising your rights!!

Helping fit people with a defensive gun that would best suit them was one of my favorite thing about that job, and one of the thing I was most passionate about. Although a lot of people (I would guess majority of active gun guys) don't stop at just one gun, and eventually buy something else to try or fill another carry niche. I hope you find yours!

Best of luck :)
 
Last edited:

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
For me, it depends what I am wearing as to what I carry.

Shorts/t-shirt, or going out to a nice dinner, I carry my Kimber Tactical Ultra .45ACP 7+1 in a Galco Combat Master OWB. Tucks very tight to the body, small frame/grip/3" barrel. This is also my open carry set up when I dress up (boots and jeans and button up is about as "dressed up" as I get).

Everyday carry for work/play/casual, customized G19 w. Holosun 507C 15+1 in a Kydex belt holster under a t-shirt. A little more noticeable, but really only to others who carry concealed. Most people never see it. Tucked around a little more of a kidney carry. Still in a belt OWB holster.

Out in the desert, shooting, or scouting, I carry a customized G19X w. TLR-8G and Holosun 507C in a Kydex OWB holster. This is my nightstand pistol too. A little tougher to conceal the G17 sized frame w. mag extensions.

I put on my G19 every day, even when staying at home. Never know. I pray to God I never need it.
for you Caliber is close to the top of the list, frame size midsize or compact, concealability is middle, capacity is near the bottom of the list, grip comfort is middle of the list. For your everyday light concealment, plenty of ammo, longer accurate range (larger frame and sight)

Daily I carry an LCP with a laser in a pocket holster (even in swim trunks). Winter time or dressed up I carry a Taurus PT140PRO 15round mag, 3.5 in barrel in an IWB Kydex at 6:00 o'clock position or a pancake holster IWB at 8-9 Oclock position (I'm a lefty). On the farm I carry a Ruger SBH .44mag with a 10.5 in barrel in a western holster (I should've bought the bandolero with it)

I like the concealability of the LCP but hate the trigger, sights and lack of grip comfort.
 

brcfo_outdoors

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
172
Location
Left Coast
There is no real cut an dry solution, so much depends on personal preference and comfort. I would:

1.) Decide what caliber you want.

2.) Decide what size gun you want. I carry a P2000SK and like the grip length but wish it had a longer barrel. I used to carry a Glock 23 for work and it rode better on the waistline for me but didn't fit my hand. Something like Glock 19/23 size may be easier to handle than a mouse gun while still being concealable. Really stubby guns need different holsters as well otherwise they try to roll over your belt.

3.) Pick a brand you are comfortable and familiar with. If you like to run a full sized (insert brand here) for general shooting, check out their smaller offerings. Keeping similar functionality (DA/SA, safety, decocker, striker etc) between guns you use often is helpful for some but by no means a requirement. I would also look for more current/popular brands (i.e. Sig, Glock) because of point 4.

4.) Carry position and holster selection. The best holster offerings are typically going to be for the more common/current/popular brands. Take one of your other guns and try sticking it into your pants (unloaded of course) to find out what is comfortable to you. This is hugely subjective, and don't think you are wrong for not following the "popular" trend if it doesn't feel right (i.e. appendix carry). Also avoid hybrid holster that have a leather or synthetic backing on a kydex outer shell.

Hope this helps.
 

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
MINIMUM 380 ACP with 1 spare magazine
Use same platform for all.
Also a quickly deployed knife.
Assume you are shooting people not large bears.
ALWAYS run away if that's an option.
With my LCP I hold myself to apx. 7yd low risk shots. the Taurus 40 I would be comfortable with a 15yd shot with bystanders near (2-3ft) the intended target. all this depends on my adrenaline.

A friend swears by a laser. he calls it Lawyer repellant, he said hes only had to draw twice in his almost 80 years(both less than 10 years ago) and when they saw the gun and laser they changed their minds.
 

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
There is no real cut an dry solution, so much depends on personal preference and comfort. I would:

1.) Decide what caliber you want.

2.) Decide what size gun you want. I carry a P2000SK and like the grip length but wish it had a longer barrel. I used to carry a Glock 23 for work and it rode better on the waistline for me but didn't fit my hand. Something like Glock 19/23 size may be easier to handle than a mouse gun while still being concealable. Really stubby guns need different holsters as well otherwise they try to roll over your belt.

3.) Pick a brand you are comfortable and familiar with. If you like to run a full sized (insert brand here) for general shooting, check out their smaller offerings. Keeping similar functionality (DA/SA, safety, decocker, striker etc) between guns you use often is helpful for some but by no means a requirement. I would also look for more current/popular brands (i.e. Sig, Glock) because of point 4.

4.) Carry position and holster selection. The best holster offerings are typically going to be for the more common/current/popular brands. Take one of your other guns and try sticking it into your pants (unloaded of course) to find out what is comfortable to you. This is hugely subjective, and don't think you are wrong for not following the "popular" trend if it doesn't feel right (i.e. appendix carry). Also avoid hybrid holster that have a leather or synthetic backing on a kydex outer shell.

Hope this helps.
I like how you explained this. Why do you say stay away from hybrid holsters? I have a "custom made" kydex/leather IWB for my Taurus 40 and really like it, but have recently bought a leather, pancake/IWB holster that I like equally as much.
appendix carry is out of the question for me as I have a belly to reach over.
 

TexSavage

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
218
Location
Amarillo, Texas
Well I carried a .45 acp full size Kimber TLE II in a tucker Gun Leather IWB "The Answer". Best concealed holster I have ever worn, even with a full size 1911. I wore it year round for over 12 years. Now a Glock G30. I use a Tucker Deep Cover, which I don't recommend, it's just not as good as "The Answer". When weather, wardrobe and circumstances allow it I use an OWB I picked up at a gun show. It's a Kydex holster with heavy leather loops. Really beginning to like it. When I get some chips, I will order another "The Answer", as well as a chest rig to use while hunting and hiking. I'm not a small guy being Close to 6', broad shoulders and weighing around 1/8th of a ton. Yes, my weight does affect carry on occasion. I have learned over the past 25 years of conceal carry that there is no one holster that will do it all. Glad I don't wear suits or a tux, would need another type of holster I'm sure. You will need 2-3 or more to meet every situation you need to war one. This is my honest opinion. Oh yeah, shortened to IMHO.
 

falconew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
51
Location
china grove,NC
For me it’s round count, fits in my hand good. I can shoot it good. And reliable. So I actually built one myself. It’s a double stack full-size 1911 that’s been cut down to a 3 inch barrel.
 

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Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
Those are basically all considerations. Lol.

I've been through at least 5 carry guns that I can think of, from revolvers to various pistols. And am going to buy another "soon".

Carried various ways.

I started out with a 9mm, then a 45, then a 357, then 380, and a "compact" double stack 9mm, eventually I'm going to go back to a 9mm (99% sure it will be a sig365)

I've decided power factor isn't as big of a deal as I once considered it, personally. Although I do want more power then my 380, currently.

I've found that for ME, if it's big, bulky, heavy, uncomfortable... I won't carry it, at least regularly. Not concealed. If you are going to open carry in a paddle holster or similar, that's a different story. With my job, I can't legally carry anyhow, do my carry time is more limited than it use to be.

I've sold probably hundreds of handguns back when I use to have a weekend "fun job" at a local gun store. It all comes down to what YOU want. "Feel" in your hand being one of the most important factors. If you don't like it in the store, you probably never will. Get something that fits your hand. On that topic, MANY people can't stand not getting 3 fingers on the grip (on a super compact gun). Never bothered me, and many have additional length base plates for the magazing to extend this. Personally, I'd rather it be short, and thus more concealable. That's me, you do what makes you the most comfortable/happy.

Sights... I don't have a ton of preference here... the tritium night sights are pretty nice to have, but some people like fiber optics, or white dots, or no dots. I think I prefer no dots (unless tritium) since I sight off the top of the sight blade, but again, if it works for you, go for it. Most sig handguns come with tritium sights, just fyi.

Since my time in the gun shop, a lot of handguns come with red dot cuts on the slide. Red dots are fast, and easy. Holster options are probably a little less common, but again, a lot has changed since then so maybe I'm wrong. Plus, with a red dot you need to consider battery life. Maybe your sight is motion activated, maybe manually? Will that slow you down? Can you co-witness your blade sight in case of battery failure?

As far as safetys go, again total preference. A lot of first time concealed carry guys do NOT feel safe with a gun without a safety. Personally, I think without a safety is a lot faster, especially if you are just starting out. "Is my safety on, or off? Do I need to push it up, or down?" Etc. ANY holster you get should completely cover or capture the trigger, so really the only way the firearm could discharge is if you grab the trigger while presenting the weapon. Trust me, it has happened. This is the main reason (I've been told) that our PA state troopers have switched from glock (no safety) to sig. Maybe true, maybe not. But I do know of several that have shot their legs/feet while drawing from the holster. Practice practice practice with your gun unloaded, to start.

On that note, pretty much anything you get SHOULD be able to be dry fired. The old-timey notion of never dry firing is mostly outdated, for modern centerfire guns. Draw and dry fire is your friend.

Other than that, consider capacity, ease or reloading. Plus your "carry condition". I know people who have carried for years and STILL will not carry one in the chamber. For a variety of reasons. My thought is that if you are seriously carrying to protect/defend, you should be seriously ready to shoot. Just my thoughts... I know some feel better without a round in chamber around kids (access to weapon), etc, and I totally get it.

As far as where you carry on the body, try a few positions out. I find hip most comfortable vs appendix, but for small guns, ankle can be comfortable. You can vary magazing capacity or even guns depending on season/clothing. Pocket guns are super comfy, but have some obvious limitations. Also, some carry off body, such as a purse. This has some fairly obvious safety implications as well, but situational awareness helps some.

All considerations, but again. Handle a LOT of guns, and find what fits you the best. After that, get a good quality holster, practice drawing your gun safely, and finally spend a lot of time shooting it. Once you can draw safely, practice target acquisition and then speed.

Remember that situational awareness is your first line of defense.

Most of all, enjoy exercising your rights!!

Helping fit people with a defensive gun that would best suit them was one of my favorite thing about that job, and one of the thing I was most passionate about. Although a lot of people (I would guess majority of active gun guys) don't stop at just one gun, and eventually buy something else to try or fill another carry niche. I hope you find yours!

Best of luck :)
[/QUOTE

I was saving up to get my first concealed carry gun ( a S&W BodyGuard) when I got a great deal on a lightly used (4 rounds through it) LCP with a laser. then later got the Taurus.

I carry an LCP daily and a Taurus PT140Pro when my clothes permit. I always wanted an ankle holster when i was younger(before I actually carried) and I saw a friend with a small .380 (maybe Colt Mustang) in an ankle holster and I decided against it. I consider ankle holsters Off Body Carry. I have no issues with OBC for a woman with a pocketbook with a holster that keeps the gun upright and readily accessible.
 

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
Well I carried a .45 acp full size Kimber TLE II in a tucker Gun Leather IWB "The Answer". Best concealed holster I have ever worn, even with a full size 1911. I wore it year round for over 12 years. Now a Glock G30. I use a Tucker Deep Cover, which I don't recommend, it's just not as good as "The Answer". When weather, wardrobe and circumstances allow it I use an OWB I picked up at a gun show. It's a Kydex holster with heavy leather loops. Really beginning to like it. When I get some chips, I will order another "The Answer", as well as a chest rig to use while hunting and hiking. I'm not a small guy being Close to 6', broad shoulders and weighing around 1/8th of a ton. Yes, my weight does affect carry on occasion. I have learned over the past 25 years of conceal carry that there is no one holster that will do it all. Glad I don't wear suits or a tux, would need another type of holster I'm sure. You will need 2-3 or more to meet every situation you need to war one. This is my honest opinion. Oh yeah, shortened to IMHO.
I'm 6'1" 250lbs too, appendix carry is out of the question for me, SOB is doable i just hate my shirt coming up over it, i also carry at the 8 oclock position(lefty) with a IWB leather pancake holster. I just have to wear my pants higher, and belt tighter. I have to dress up(slacks and a tie) from time to time for work when i do i wear a coat and my IWB Pancake and tuck my shirt over the holster but the metal clips still show.
I was at a wedding with a bunch of friends, one guy was dancing and his shirt pulled up exposing his EDC and part of the room went silent when they saw it and I'm sure they got uncomfortable.
 

Its204fast

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina
For me it’s round count, fits in my hand good. I can shoot it good. And reliable. So I actually built one myself. It’s a double stack full-size 1911 that’s been cut down to a 3 inch barrel.
Love the little one. a friend has a Springfeild V10 thats about that size that is a dream to shoot but not safe for carry. he also has a V12 that is bigger but shoots better but it has about a 2lb trigger.
 

brcfo_outdoors

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
172
Location
Left Coast
I like how you explained this. Why do you say stay away from hybrid holsters? I have a "custom made" kydex/leather IWB for my Taurus 40 and really like it, but have recently bought a leather, pancake/IWB holster that I like equally as much.
appendix carry is out of the question for me as I have a belly to reach over.

Comfort wise they are popular but they suffer from retention and durability problems, especially as they age. The leather or synthetic backing tends to just sit on your skin and collect moisture, and they will come apart where the kydex and backing meet. Personally I would always opt for a full kydex holster, I know there are good quality leather holsters on the market but in my experience that too degrades over time.

I can't do appendix carry either just because it is so uncomfortable to me. I gave it a legitimate effort and could just not get on board with it.
 

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