Share your person evolution as a person who carries concealed.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    Pacific Northwest
    Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I know my own personal evolution has been a big one. It has had it's ups and downs along the way and I have made a lot of mistakes. I touched on this in another thread but thought it might be nice to have a thread where members can share their own personal path they took to get where they are now as far as carrying a concealed weapon. This is not to discuss the reasons why we carry...but just to discuss the mechanics of it. I think it could be a big encouragement to those trying to carry for the first time today.

    I had been around guns my whole life and even had a few throughout most of it. I ended up selling most of my guns after I came back from the gulf in the 90's and had just one gun for years. A few years back I finally reached a stage in my life where I could afford a few nice guns.

    When I first decided to start carrying daily I tried to carry too much gun. I tried carrying my Kimber Pro-carry II. I found it very uncomfortable and felt that it interfered with my daily routine way too much.

    I then tried it with a Ruger SP101 and had the same problems. It was so heavy and I just did not have the right gear for it so I almost gave up again.

    Eventually I started carrying my S&W m637 and I spent a little money and got a good Galco OWB leather holster for it. It was so much easier and more successful than my earlier attempts.

    Then I moved up to semi-autos. At first it was my PPK but soon I was finding that with the proper holster and cover garment I could carry guns as large as my Sig P229.

    Recently I have become comfortable enough with the operation of my semi-autos that I am okay with carrying my 1911's cocked and locked. That added to the fact that I have just discovered the convenience of IWB carry and buying a couple good belts has made carrying a lot easier for me.

    To think I almost gave up on it so many times. As I look back now I am amazed at how comfortable I am with carrying now and how easy it truly is with the right experience and equipment.

    What is your story?
  2. SavageGerbil

    Salem, OR
    Active Member

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    Well, I haven't quite had the familiarity problems you've talked about in your posts, been shooting guns since I could lift them up, carrying chambered, basic operation, etc never caused me any concern.

    However, the reality of carrying full time has required a LOT of trading toys around, trying to find the balance of pro's and con's, I'm going back to semi-auto where I started in the first place, revolver cylinder has been leaving a sore-spot on my hip from driving all the time with it. I think the biggest change since I've started carrying happened in the first week when I figured out I wasn't exactly trying to hide a gorilla in my waistband and concealment was pretty easy.

    Now, keeping the girlfriend from grabbing me in public in ways that uncover it, still a work in progress but its less frequent.
  3. MarkSBG

    Beaverton Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I first started carrying a SW 3913, which is a great single stack 9mm. I bought a OWB leather holster at a show, but it was not stiff enough and there was more flex in it that I liked. I later purchased a Blade tech kydex OWB and used that for a while. Whenever I was carrying I found an excuse to wear a jacket to conceal. I was too self concious to carry with just a t-shirt.

    I later bought a surplus G19 and found that I liked the DAO trigger much more than a tradition double action. I carried that for in a IWB kydex holster and found that even though it was thicker that the 3913, I could reasonably conceal it with a t-shirt.

    I have to admit, that I have been known to carry with a "fanny pack". Not a real solid fashion statement, but I have always been more interested in function than form.

    I later bought a G26 to go with the G19 and used the same holster to carry them. I would alternate the which one depending on what I would be wearing and what I was doing. By this time I was sold on IWB.
  4. BillM

    Amity OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    5" 1911 to Ruger security six to J frame Smith to Kel-Tec P32. With
    maybe a Glock or Mdl 19 Smith in the mix. The little Kel-Tec is 100%
    reliable and just disappears in a pocket holster---but I've been thinking of
    going back up to a mini 9 carried IWB. Haven't decided on what yet,
    but seems like a perfect reason to hit every gun shop and gunshow
    within a hundred miles.:)
  5. Blackfeather7


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    Started with a Ruger SP101 which was too heavy as Penguin stated. However I wish I still had it around. Moved to a Glock 27 for several years but was always nervous about getting a bad case of Glock Leg. Now it's a S&W 642 airweight w/CT grip. It is so light I sometimes forget it's in my pocket. Does anybody make a semi-auto out of the same materials they make these?
  6. thelendog


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    1st: 4" S&W 19 in an uncle mike's shoulder rig
    2nd - 5th: Glock 21, 19, Ruger sp101, ParaOrdance P12, in some kind of crappy clip IWB "universal" holster.

    Then I decided to use good holsters & belts and have gone with Kramer for 15 years or so.

    These days I carry a glock 19, 20, or Kimber Custom Tac II.

    Even packed an HK SP89 in a shoulder rig a few times back in the day, just for giggles . . . :wow:
  7. ORBrit


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    Not much of an evolution for me.
    Started carrying a Glock 19 OWB in a Galco Matrix 7x with Speer gold Dot 124 Gr +P

    Been the same for 5 years.
  8. eriknemily

    Tillamook County (Cheese!)

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    Good thread Playboy. I started out carrying a Ruger SR9 in an MTAC IWB holster in the spring of this year. Decided the ruger was a little to big for my comfort because the grip is a bit long. Now I carry a Smith M&P 40 compact with night sights. The gun is extremely comfortable in the holster and I often times have to 'check' to make sure I'm actually wearing it. Never would have thought that you could forget you're carrying but I have.
  9. PeakResources

    Portland (past) Colorado (now)

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    Started with a Ruger P89 almost 20 years ago in a crappy IWB holster. Moved to a S&W Sigma after that in a crappy IWB holster. Then Kimber Pro Carry II cocked & locked in a Tucker Gunleather Answer. Currently a HK45 in a Crossbreed IWB holster.

    Lessons learned:
    - Get a good holster! While some of the crappy uncle mike's stuff I used was reasonably priced, in retrospect, it wasn't worth the loss of comfort.
    - I can carry a full size pistol with little effort, and no worries about concealment. Further, comfort is pretty good with a good holster. I sometimes sit on the couch for hours with the HK strapped to me because it's not that uncomfortable to wear.
    - A good strong gun belt really helps keep things in place and comfortable. Some of my belts weren't long enough to go with the extra notch needed for IWB carry, so I got some new ones. For $20/belt, I got nice stiff single-layer gun belts locally sized to me. Not that expensive, and makes things much more comfortable.
  10. crosse

    Active Member

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    first gun I CCW'd was a glock 23. Didn't even have a holster for it. Wore baggy carpenter jeans, kepted it w/o one in the tube, and slid it into my pocket for a few days. Felt so weird carrying a gun as a 21 year old I decided that I wasn't ready. Went gunless for a year, then started shooting a lot with my glock 37 with .22lr kit and 45gap. Got me comfortable enough to carry a glock 30 almost daily. Switched to a HK USP-C after hearing about AD of glocks being reholstered by stray draw strings on jackets or random stuff.

    a slew of other guns followed trying to find the right gun. weight was always an issue and still is today. All of my carry guns are some kind of polymer or alloy. I have some competition/range/drill guns that are all steel, but rarely actually carry them. I got over the AD glock concern when I realized that if I ever pulled my gun out, the way it would be leaving my hands is being laid flat on the ground when the cops have fully taken over the scene.

    lessons...the way to get comfortable with carry is get a GREAT set of leather (there's a bit of pride when I put on a high quality belt and holster), make the gun an extension of your own body, find that balance between reality and actual threat. range officer on the glock 21 "Yup great gun. 13+1 45 ACP. If you need more, you need to rethink your lifestyle"
  11. RangerEric

    Southern Oregon, United States
    Active Member

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    I started out three years ago with a Taurus PT111 in a floppy Uncle Mike's IWB holster with a plastic clip and velcro thumb break strap and a spare mag in my pocket, because that's what the guy at Sportsman's told me I should buy and how I should carry it. Darn near dumped the thing out of my waistband enough times that I upgraded to a slightly less crummy Uncle Mikes that stayed in place better, but was uncomfortable as heck. Additionally, in my infinite wisdom, I started carrying after putting about two mags through the thing, and eventually learned 6 months later then when I got a little more into my shooting my thumb would occasionally pop my mag release.

    So, Lesson #1 learned there, actually shoot your gun -lots- before you carry it. Learn to shoot it well, and learn whether you're going to eject your mag when you really need it not ejected.

    Traded my Taurus for a used Glock 19, loved the gun, shot it great, dead reliable, fit my hand perfect. Carried that for a couple months in the same Uncle Mikes, but was still uncomfortable, almost made me not want to carry. Finally sprung for a Crossbreed Supertuck, Crossbreed belt and a kydex mag carrier, and learned

    Lesson #2 - buy a quality holster and belt to carry your piece around in! If inexpensive holsters work for you, more power to you, but I'd imagine there's lots of people out there struggling with comfort issues that could be resolved by sinking $100 into some quality gear.

    Carried my G19 in my Crossbreed for about a year, somewhere along the way acquired a Bianchi Carry-Lock that I love for comfort and use when concealment is slightly less of an issue. Last winter got my Kimber Tactical Pro II as an "engagement gun" from my fiance, and would interchange back and forth from my Glock to my Kimber depending on weather, clothing, mission of the day, alignment of the stars, or which one I'd seen in a movie more recently. I know, I know, you're not supposed to switch back and forth from Glocks to 1911's, different manual of arms, muscle memory, etc. I can acknowledge it probably is not the best thing in the world. But, I get bored with the same carry every day, practice extensively with both, and either feels and points naturally when I draw to the point that I feel I can safely transition between the two.

    Lesson #3 for me was - it really is ok to switch between gun platforms now and then as long as you're competent with whatever you're switching between.

    Recently, picked up a G27 on a whim, decided .40 really was the happy middle ground between .45 and 9mm and not the evil caliber of doom that will snap your wrist in half due to recoil while at the same time failing to stop a bunny due to not being a .45, as it's sometimes reported to be on the internet. Shortly thereafter, traded my G19 for a G22, as I felt the pair of .40's would be nice and my 9mm had fallen out of my carry rotation. Also somewhere in there, I picked up a Walther PPK, initially because I thought it was cool because it's 007's gun (which I still think!), but it turned out to be a great deep(er) concealment gun also in a Crossbreed IWB, for fancy dinners or family events where hugging may occur. So ultimately, I've ended up with 4 guns in my carry rotation, again depending on weather, dress, destinations, and movie-induced fancies. All of this leads me to -

    Lesson #4 - No one gun does it all.

    If all I had was my 1911, I'd end up leaving it at home sometimes because it wouldn't be the right gun for the job. If all I had was my PPK, I'd end up carrying less gun then I could be most of the time. Different tools for different jobs allows me to almost never need to go unarmed, and always carry the most gun that I can at the given time. (If all I had were my 1911 and my PPK, all I'd have are rusty guns right now, as ranted about in my thread about my safe. Lesson #5 is that Glocks apparently don't rust.)

    Thanks for readin'!
  12. PlayboyPenguin

    Pacific Northwest
    Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    What I think a lot of new carries will take away from this thread, besides all the good carry advice, is the knowledge that they are not alone in thinking "Wow, this is such a pain" when they first start to carry concealed. I think most of us went through that phase where it just did not seem like it would ever work. Now look at us. I carry every day at work and anywhere else I go. I am sitting here at work right now with my XD-40SC inside my waistband and I do not even feel that it is there. :)
  13. m1gunr


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    When I got out of the Army I realized that they were not going to let me keep my Tank and since I carried a 1911 as a primary personal weapon all that time it was only natural that I bought one after I got out. That Springfield has been my primary carry weapon all these years. The trick is finding the right holster that allows your body to forget the weapon is there. For example, one day a few years ago I was coming back from Spokane and had a "oh sh*t" moment. I had used a rest stop restroom and I was some miles away and did not feel my weapon on me. I reached back and the weapon and holster were securely on my hip. My overall suggestion; find a weapon that "fits" you then spend the money on a quality holster. My primary holster is a 10 year old OWB open-top Galco leather holster. Fits like a glove.

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