Concealed carry errors most women make.
Ok ladies, can you relate to these ten concealed carry mistakes? We’ve all been through at least one of these learning curves. Women, both new to the concealed lifestyle or a seasoned carrier, seem to have unique issues with concealed carry.
View this slideshow to see which concealed carry blunders made the list!
“I don’t practice because there are too many jocks at the range.”
Concerned about being intimidated or harassed by fellow range patrons? Worried you possess less-than sniper skills and suffer from performance anxiety? Dig a little deeper and you will find women’s only programs all around you. If your club doesn’t already have a women’s league, consider starting one. You will be amazed at the turn out! But don’t just stop there. Women Only programs are a wonderful facilitator and confidence building experience.
Consider this: gender and all its stereotypes vanish on the firing line. The only thing that matters is your willingness to learn, grow and be safe at all times. Sign up for a class that interests you regardless of who your classmates will be and turn your nervousness into fuel for success.
Tale of Two Wardrobes
What do you wear to the range? What do you wear every day? If you are practicing with the gun you carry to save your life, as you should be, there is no reason to train with different attire or different gear.
Unless you live in cargo pants, battle belts, and hiking boots then investing 100% of your practice time in that get-up isn’t going to translate to life off the range. While it may seem silly to show up in skinny jeans and heels, fully accessorized and step onto the line, it is worth all the curious looks and giggles. Go to the range with the purpose of test-driving your wardrobe and working out the kinks in your skill sets in the uniform of your daily life.
Under concealing is also known as printing, where the outline of the gun can be seen clearly through the impression it makes on your clothing. Unless you are willing to open carry (where legal of course) then concealment means concealment and rendering the gun virtually invisible to Joe Public.
Spandex alone just doesn’t work. For the sporty folks who live in yoga pants and still want to carry concealed, finding the right holster and gun combo is vital. A small gun carried in the right location and with a good concealment holster is better than no gun at all. A nonchalant attitude about printing is a dangerous one. Take the time to double check in the mirror before you leave the house to ensure your gun is properly concealed.
You are constantly adjusting the gun in its the holster, fingering the grip, favoring your gun side, and adjusting your cover garment. Though you may not be printing, your actions scream GUN to anyone who knows what to look for.
If being in public with your firearm makes you nervous, then consider taking a week to test-drive your concealed carry set up at home. Do all of your regular activities from working in the home office to doing yard work in order to become familiar and comfortable incorporating the gun into your daily life. Once you have the right set-up, you won’t be inclined to telegraph via your actions and draw further unwanted attention to yourself.
Ignorance is Not Bliss
The responsibility to know the local, state and federal laws as they pertain to concealed carry is yours and yours alone. Understanding your rights and restrictions is up to you so you don’t inadvertently end up in cuffs. Don’t let this dissuade you from carrying.
Go online and check out the .gov site for your state and spend an evening browsing it for information pertinent to your area. Look for primary source information on laws rather than reference keyboard warriors, as their opinions may not be accurate or reflect current legislation. If you are traveling to or through other states it is important to know what reciprocity may or may not apply. A little homework goes a long way to ensure you stay safe and comply with the law.
Getting Into Character
Most people call this mindset. It’s great to break the ice and giggle with the girls between practice sets but when you approach the bench to shoot, it’s game on.
Enjoy Ladies Night at the range but know your mind needs to switch gears the second it’s your turn to do work. Remind yourself that the reason you are practicing with your carry gun is because its purpose is to safe your life. A gun can only save your life if you are capable of putting it to use. Your gun is only as accurate as you are. Put your game face on, clear your head, and focus.
PMS: Preventative Maintenance Schedule
Far too few folks hit the range and invest in training beyond the minimum requirement to obtain their permit to carry. Shooting skills are perishable and require maintaining. It’s a wake up call when after a few months off you hit the range and have a poor performance. Don’t get discouraged. Get motivated.
Prevent the worst from happening by maintaining and growing your skills and attending a class at least once a year. Make the continued investment in your skills with a regular home dry-fire practice, hit the range at least once a month and seek out classes with reputable instructors specifically on the topic of concealed carry. Your life is worth the investment in money and time.
Related: The best caliber for concealed carry
Unfortunately, many women new to firearms are lead down a retail path of despair and discover after a little experience they were sold the wrong gun. Revolvers tend to be introduced as the best option, “Because revolvers don’t malfunction and semi autos are prone to jam.” Then there are the petite ladies whom are sold a caliber and gun that is best suited for a 6’ 5” 300 lb viking of a man. “You need this gun because it could stop a bear with one shot.”
Don’t allow yourself to be under or over sold based on your gender. While retailers are there to assist you in order to close a sale, few are there to educate or take the time to properly fit you with concealment in mind. Do some homework and ask other female shooters and instructors what their recommendations are and why. Go into the gun store as an informed consumer and have a list of questions you want answered before you buy.
Good Enough Gear
It would be a shame to realize your $1,000 gun is jammed up in your $35 holster during the fight to safe your life. Quality and functionality come with a price tag and are worth the investment.
A multi-day concealed carry course or a hand-to-hand combative class will open your eyes as to why rugged, well made, equipment in addition to a quality gun can impact your ability to survive. Quality gear also tends not to print as much and is worth the investment to best conceal your gun. Don’t skimp on your holster or your belt as these accessories are the foundation, which support the gun itself and facilitate proper deployment of the firearm.
In an effort to eliminate all traces of printing, you layer on the garments and successfully erase all visible traces of the gun. Or, you choose a concealment position on your body that is less than optimal in an effort not to print. Either way you have introduced obstacles that inhibit your ability to clear and draw your firearm. It shouldn’t be a six-step, fifteen-second process to access your gun. Time is life. The goal is to look good and have firepower at your fingertips should you need it.