Sending in my concealed carry application this week

tutter ball

New member
So it looks like I'll have around three months from now to prepare to carry concealed. What advice would you experienced carriers have for me as far as drills & training to do to be a responsible carrier?

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Practice practice practice. Get familiar with all the CCLaws in your state. Read advice from forums and articles on conceal carry.
Start purchasing pants that are a little larger and shirts that are a little longer than you normally wear if you are going to carry in your waist band. I like utility pants/cargo shorts myself. Can't emphasize practice enough; use silhouette targets, not bulls eyes - you're not shooting for scores, and silhouettes de-sensitize you a little to the idea that you may have to shoot at a fellow human some day. If you can get into a tactical pistol class, do it. Practice drawing and shooting, not just static shooting from the line; if you can find a range that will allow you to shoot from behind cover and while moving, even better. Become an expert in the carry laws of your state. Find the holsters (yes, plural) that fit you and meet your goals the best. If you haven't already found the gun you want to carry, do it now. I run into too many people in my job (I sell firearms) who come into the store to look around, but "I'm not going to buy anything until I actually get my license." Instead, be able to hit the ground running - buy it now and use the next three months to familiarize yourself with it.

That's just for starters.
If you already own your carry gun, carry at home and get used to it. Makes the transition to public carry easy.
Already have the gun & get range time at least every two weeks. Have one holster at the moment but plan on trying more out. Already have been wearing it around the house & just got a number for a LE officer here in town that has an outdoor range who teaches tactical shooting ....will be contacting him soon. Thank you all who have given me advice. I realize the heavy responsibility this entails & do not take this lightly. Any other technical or gear related advice would be appreciated. Oh. Have a keltec pf9 at the moment. Think I may go glock 19 here a cpl months down the road. I'm a lefty so seems like a good choice for me. Any thoughts ?

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Not sure about the G19 for a southpaw, but I do like that gun for concealed carry or as an all-purpose handgun, for that matter. Try to watch someone shoot one at the range to see how the brass ejects. Besides the tactical course, do some dry fire practice. Draw aim shoot. You can do that in the house. Put all your ammo away in another room. Maybe a package of snap caps (dummy rounds) for dry fire. Dry fire will help you feel the trigger break and know how it is going to shoot. Most ranges don't allow draw and shoot, but if yours does, that would be excellent.
There is a laser target trainer made by LaserLyte. It uses a laser target and a laser that looks like a round but pops a laser burst when the trigger hits it. After a few shots, you can get your hits displayed. The whole rig is a not cheap (the target is $120 at; the laser "round" is $85, or there is an all purpose laser that you put into the end of the barrel for $80), but you can use it in lieu of some of your range trips, and then it pays for itself. My wife used it for practice a couple days before her CHL renewal class, and it provided enough brushing up that she aced the shooting test.
Find a nice big box. Put it on a high closet shelf. This will be for your discarded holsters. If you're like many of us, you'll just keep buying holsters, looking for the one that is perfect, but continuing to buy the runners-ups.
The other thing you could do is to start shopping around for concealed carry insurance or prepaid legal. Since you are using a Keltec, I assume you're not a multi-millionaire. Can you afford $100,000 or more to defend yourself in the event you have to rightly use your gun in self defense? If not, then insurance or prepaid legal is worth it. You'll need three months, maybe more, to find the right one. Check them all out. I looked up one whose address was a mailbox store in a strip shopping center. NRA has a program. Many others. I consider this as important as car insurance.

I can tell you after carrying for two decades that there are many things experience teaches one. One is, choose a caliber you are comfortable shooting, at night, without ear protection. The Clint Eastwood .44 magnum crowd is well-defended, but are also deaf and blind after the first shot in reduced light.

Second, Clint Smith of Gunsite Ranch was correct when he said, "Wearing a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable." You have to wear your gun EVERY day for at least a month before it will start to be comfortable. I agree with poster above that said wear it around the house all day, every day while waiting fr your permit.

Third, there is NO such thing as a good, cheap holster. No one that has watched their gun skitter across bathroom stalls when they were sitting down to business ever bought a cheap holster again! a cheap holster could mean the end of your CCW permit. if at ANY time the gun is seen and/or you lose control of it (bathroom mistake above) a civilian can call the police and you have to go before a review board, possibly to have your CCW permit revoked. Your license and your life is not worth it! buy reputable holsters from DeSantis, Crossbreed, Don Hume,Link Removedor the like. If you want Kydex, make sure the holster maker has credentials, such as working for state and government agencies, like Link Removed. it seems that everyone able to fire up a heat gun now thinks they are holster makers because of Kydex, and it just isn't true. Also, a holster is only as good as the belt it's on - a $250 holster on a $10 Wal-Mart belt is worthless. you MUST have a reinforced pistol belt to hold any quality holster. Trust me, you will see a difference.

Fourth and final, practice your draw and your trigger control on shoot/no shoot targets. Not every initial threat turns out to be something you need to engage, so it's important to also know when not to shoot. practice with all your clothes on and clearing jackets, gun covers or long shirts from your holster and getting it into battery - it's a lot different in life than in your head.
Thank you for all the advice every one. I've been hitting the range regularly. Have had issues with failure to extract but I believe the issue is with limpwristing so I'll be remedying that well before I start carrying. If I find it is a mechanical issue I'll upgrade my handgun.
I have a couple holsters at the moment. An iwb from the holster store and a kydex owb from angry swede tactical solutions. Really liking the kydex though keeping it concealed may be a touch trickier. I do like the profile though. As long as it is covered it seems to stick out from my hip less than the iwb. Going to do a little more shopping for a kydex iwb. Have a nice sturdy belt from vagabond stitching company. Going to look into a leather gun belt as well.

Been carrying around the house nearly every day & working on drawing from concealment. I'm going to do this until it is absolutely second nature.

Looking forward to some tactical training fairly soon. Have a line on a range outside of my town that has some great instruction from what I hear.

Thanks again everyone.
Be safe.

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