29 January 2014

CCW Stages

I remember when I got my concealed carry permit.  I think that carrying comes in stages.

Stage 1:  You carry a gun that's far too large and heavy in a holster that doesn't hold or hide it well.  Mostly because you already owned it.  No spare ammo.

Stage 2:  You carry a much smaller gun that's easy to conceal, but it's in a cartridge that's underpowered and ineffective.  No spare ammo.

Stage 3:  You recognize that you have to dress differently to hide the gun more effectively.

Stage 4:  You realize, now that you're dressing the part, that you can carry a more effective gun.

Stage 5:  You purchase and discard a few guns and finally grok "holster box".  Now you know what works for you personally as far as method and size of gun.

Stage 6:  Reading the constantly repeated, "Two is One.  One is None," begins a cycle of worry.  You finally start carrying a reload.

Stage 7:  The worry extends past reloading and you start carrying a second gun as well.

Stage 8:  You start carrying reloads for your backup gun too.

Stage 9:  Your backup gun is upgraded to one of the discarded primary guns; except this time carried in an appropriate holster.

Stage 10:  You stop carrying your primary because the backup is good enough and you're dressing in layers in the summer.


  1. Familiar to me is that cycle. P94 in a shoulder holster, then added mags, then P228 IWB with extra mags, then Gen 3 22 and 27 IWB and ankle with extra mags, then .45 Defender OWB with an extra mag, then .45 XDs in the pocket with extra mag, now either 938 with extra mag or 638 with speed strip in the pocket.

    A lot of it had to do with getting fatter and some of it had to do with figuring it out.

  2. I think I'm somewhere between stages 1 and 4. Glock 17 is a bit hefty, but Wisconsin has between 7 and 9 months of winter, so dressing effectively for carry is pretty easy (almost hard NOT to do). Still need to carry my spare magazine, my IWB holster that I'm too out of shape from surgery to use has one built right in, but I don't have an OWB to go with my Glock Brand Glock Holster, because everywhere I can find them they cost double the holster itself and that seems kind of stupid. On my way towards a Holster Box already

  3. Still in Stage 1, myself, but my Taurus is at least fairly easy to carry.

  4. Heh! I nailed a lot of those. Of course given that I was unable to conceal for many years because of the stupid Mass towns I was living in I skipped a few.

    Never got the box of holster from buying bad ones, The box came from friends and people wanting blog reviews on holsters that weren't my cup of tea.

    Also I learned before I had my carry permit to pick a holster that fit my wardrobe. Hence the shoulder rig.

    Also I won't lie the PM45 with two 7-round mags as backup aren't much worse than my 1911 with two 8 rounders, so yeah that gun gets carried a lot...still I kinda like the shoulder rig better for most applications.

  5. Someday I'll be an advanced CCW toter and hit Stage 10!


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