5 Life-Saving Rules Every Concealed Carrier Must Abide By


There’s one reason, and one reason alone, why we carry concealed weapons: to protect our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

When you take the step to carry a weapon on your person, you’re doing a huge service to yourself and those around you, assuming you know how to handle it responsibly that is.

Having said that, there are a few crucial rules every concealed carrier should be familiar with as they carry their weapon day-to-day.


Off the Grid News has more:

Carrying a concealed weapon is a major decision one must make, and ultimately you as an adult are solely in charge of defending your life. It can be an intimidating venture, but I have a few tips I’ve discovered after carrying a weapon for the last five years.

1. Wear your rig everywhere
Wearing a gun in a concealed fashion for the first time is quite uncomfortable. First off, holsters are often like boots: They have to be broken in. Not only does the holster have to be broken in, but you have to be broken into carrying a gun. If you are a new concealed carrier, or waiting for your permit, or scheduling a class, go ahead and start looking for holsters and guns. When you decide on one holster or another, just start wearing it. The more you carry, the more comfortable you’ll be with a gun.

You’ll also learn how to comfortably conceal your weapon. This means you can test your belt’s mettle, making sure it is supportive and comfortable. You’ll learn that if you use an inside-the-waistband holster, you’ll have to up your size of pants. You’ll also learn how to adjust a shoulder holster, and you’ll see if carrying your weapon is viable with your everyday attire.

2. Try a variety of holsters
When it comes to purchasing a holster, be prepared to purchase several holsters. You may read rave reviews about one holster or another, but find they simply don’t work for you. I love Alien Gear Holsters, but you may not. Be prepared to try some holsters out, and to start your own small collection. As a side note, stay away from cheap nylon holsters, and if your holster costs the same as a box of ammo, you’re doing it wrong.

Most people are going to face situations in their life where their normal method of dress will change. I wear a shirt and tie to my day job, and typically jeans and a T-shirt when I’m off work. These sets of clothing have different restrictions and challenges for carrying a weapon. I own a Sneaky Pete for carrying at work, and a simple Stealth operator compact holster from Phalanx Defense systems. I keep an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck for deep concealment in casual clothes. These three holsters give me options for nearly every clothing I choose to wear.

3. Know your weapon and holster inside and out

This is a big one. If you use multiple holsters like I do, then you want to train with all of them. Each of my holsters is similar enough to make cross training easy but different enough to make it necessary. If you choose to use different holsters and one has a retention device and the other does not, then you’ll have to practice for that. You’ll have to train how to draw the weapon not only with your strong hand but with your weak hand, with your back on the ground, and so forth.

Knowing your weapon is another major factor. For example, I typically carry a Walther PPS in 9mm. The Walther PPS has a different magazine release than most weapons, and I have to train to use it. If I carried a weapon with a safety, I’d train to disable that safety on every draw during practice. You need to practice mag changes with both hands, disabling the safety with both hands, and be able to use the weapon with one hand competently.

4. Practice with your everyday carry ammo
Most practice you do will be with standard full metal jacket ammunition; it’s cheap, effective and commonly available. No doubt, training with FMJs is valuable and will be the majority of training you’ll do. You do need to occasionally shoot your defensive ammunition. When you first purchase a gun and choose your defensive ammo you should buy two boxes — one for carry, and one for practice. Make sure your weapon can reliably feed in the weapon. Some defensive ammo may have a tweaked overall length, which may affect reliability. Some defensive ammo has a polymer tip to it, and this may affect reliability with your weapon.

Outside of reliability testing, you should shoot your defensive ammo just to remember how it handles. For example, I use Speer Gold Dot 124 grain that is +P. That +P adds some more power to the round and some more recoil. I want to make sure I am capable of handling this recoil and to expect it. Also, if you constantly rechamber defensive ammo after practice over and over, you may push the bullet into the case, reducing the overall length.

5. Be willing to fight
The last tip is a mental block some people may have to climb over. As a CCW instructor, I have heard it from a few people that they never want to shoot anyone, and hope the gun will simply scare the attacker off. This is a dangerous mindset, and if you aren’t willing to pull the trigger, you shouldn’t be carrying the weapon. If you pull your weapon and can’t pull the trigger, you may lose it to your attacker and suffer some serious consequences.

You need to be prepared to fight, to truly take hold of your responsibility to defend yourself, and, if necessary, shoot your attacker. Carrying a gun without the willingness to use it makes the weapon useless.

Do you agree with these rules? Maybe you have a few rules of your own you’d like to add.

Tell us in the comments.



  1. Thanks for the great article. I carry a Ruger 380 in the back waistband of my shorts or pants. It is always comfortable except whe sitting up straight in a wooden chair. My 38 is always at home where I can grab it in a second, hiding in plain site. I love all your information, thank you again.

  2. I think this is a good article for those just starting, and for those that have not practiced. Then it’s time to train, train, train. Practice is what you do by yourself (or with friends), but training is with a professional that really knows what he is doing.

  3. #1 rule to CCW is if you pull your gun you pull the trigger. It’s not a scare toy and can be taken away from you and used to kill your dumb ass for pulling it and not pulling the trigger and they may use your weapon to hurt others and then you should be held responsible.

  4. Love the website, love the info. Why would you show a dangerous draw picture on your article of the concealed carry guy with his finger on his trigger ready to shoot himself in the ASS? Your site is better than this. Someone do some editting!!!

    • You have NO idea how hard it is to find stock photos (that you have to pay for none the less!) where the models aren’t breaking a safety rule.

      Maybe I’ll keep having the web guys post them just to keep you guys on your toes 😛

    • Give Caleb a break. It is a double action revolver. Could be 8-12 pounds of pressure to pull the trigger. Cocked and ready is a different story. My S & W Mod 28 .357 is a case in point. Once the hammer is cocked, it is almost able to fire by thinking about it too hard, it is that touchy. It was once owned by a FL Highway Patrolman. I have had it since 1969.

  5. Great points every CCW carrier needs to know and remember. As a long time permit holder, everyday carry becomes automatic. Comfort or discomfort should not be an issue with good gear. The most important point made in my mind was that the use of a defensive weapon must be well thought out long before it is used. Shoot/don’t shoot should be drilled into your mind and be consistent with local and state laws. I’m also good with the idea that when it is a choice of life and death, it should never be me.

  6. I live in an open carry state &, in my area quite a few people exercise their right to do this, however, people need to remember that the moment you enter your car, you once again need that CC permit to transport the gun from public place to public place & then home (at least in my state that is the law). Also, as a female, I’d saw that most women are NOT ready to “break in” a new holster so kudos on you for those tips. But by far the most important tip was #5. My rule is that I don’t draw unless I’m going to shoot and I do shoot every time I draw–of course, training is part of that mindset. People, especially women, often have the idea that the sight of a gun will change a “bad guy’s” mind. It won’t but a hunk of hot steel in his/her center of mass will! I’ve already made this decision & IMHO all people who CC must also. Last thing, women often have to use a different technique to chamber semi-automatics because we often don’t have the forearm/bicep strength to pull it off in the same way men do. But if taught to use the dominant shoulder to move the slide while holding the weapon’s slide steady in the non-dominant hand, I’ve found this often works better to help women become comfortable with the action. (No I don’t teach but have had the benefit of learning lots about how gun handling is different for men and women). Of course, then female students must learn to work the mechanism & shoot with the non-dominant hand but a good place to start helping women self-empower with guns is to give them alternate tools to physically assist their use of the weapon as well as SIGNIFICANT training to overcome our cultural indoctrination toward passivity & being polite no matter what the cost. Every woman will have to find the place in her heart, soul & gut where she (re)embraces the inborn instinct of all human beings to survive! That can be hard to teach but often you can get there by having students who are also mothers to find it in themselves to do for their children what they might not be willing to do for themselves. Most mothers are mama bears deep down and if you can find the mama bear you can train her to shoot! Sorry for the length but these are the critical factors that, as a woman and therefore coming from a different perspective, I wanted to add. Great article, BTW. Succinct & to the point.

  7. Caleb, thank-you for the return comment. Not wanting to be “that guy”. Just drives me crazy to have incorrect pics where people are looking to experts on how to handle firearms. I was Army trained as a combat medic in the early 70’s with the Colt 45 as my combat issue weapon. Current daily carry is a Glock 43 in a Galco Ankle Holster, wife carries a Sig in her car. ALWAYS teaching proper SAFETY. We all cannot do enough to stress proper SAFETY techniqus to every single member of the new carry community. Your site is a constant go to and always evaluated and discussed. Thank-you. Kirk

  8. I am currently wearing my holster with a full size rubber (fake) semi-auto at work in an Alien Gear made for my 9mm Mod 2 5Inch Tactical, waiting for my permit mid July. It will also completely disappear in an Elite Belly Band wearing track pants and tee shirt at 3:O’Clock on my right hip. Go figure!!! Yes, when you pass, wear your holster(s) and a comperable “BLUE” Gun while you await your freedom. If you trust those about you, ask them to notify you if it prints, you need to adjust some. In TRACK PANTS (No Gun Belt, Just Belly Band) AND A BLACKHAWKS TEE, YOU CAN’T SEE AN 8.3″ 9mm 5″ Tactical XD at 3 WITH 16 ROUNDS AND TWO MAGS IN MY BACKSIDE! Comfy as it gets, but yes, you need to wear it and get ready for your day of freedom…and train…DO NOT take this lightly. Your holster and gun must be as instinctive as putting on your “drawers” after waking up. Tug and adjust as the day goes on, you tell the bad guy who carries! I will be ready when the day comes. Thanks for Sage advise!


  9. My ONLY issue with pull and shoot is entirely the wrong issue. If someone is threatening my family or me, I have zero problem with the threat. The old joke; strapping on weapons and ammunition, “what are you so afraid of?” “Nothing.” But I am afraid of something, the law system. Not the justice system, mind you. There is little justice when lawyers are involved. It is Johnny law that I fear more than any gang banger. And I do not intend to offend any of you law enforcement officers but I have been hurt before; shot, stabbed, beaten. Pain goes away and we train to stop the threat. But my main fear involves the persecution by law enforcement. I don’t trust any of them.

    So… I might be willing to draw and try to scare a raging gang banger or “religious pilgrim” (can’t say Islamic terrorists) because”brandishing” may carry a shorter prison sentence for me than the law suits brought by the shooter’s family or the antigun lobby.

    Just my two cents. Drawing and NOT shooting has less to do with being willing to take the life of someone threatening my life and everything to do with not wanting to go to jail for defending myself and my family. Welcome to Illinois and a democratic controlled state.

  10. New comment after rereading this article. One rule is: always wear your rig. I understand the idea behind”it’s too hot, I’m too tired, my gun is too heavy”. Always. Get a different gun or rig if you won’t wear the one you have. I discovered that I love my Beretta 92 but I don’t like carrying it most days. Instead of giving up, I’ve found different guns and systems. I’ve started training with and carrying a full-size revolver lately.

    New question. How does this apply to the truly oppressed almost comprehensive no gun zone? It is now legal to carry in Illinois, and almost everywhere you go is a no gun zone. Convenient for fascist law makers. They were forced to pass a carry law but they’ve managed to still make it illegal to carry. Congratulations on keeping your power base secure and pacifying stupid liberals.

    Question is; how does everyone deal with no gun zones? Still carry every day, everywhere? It’s called concealed for a reason. Or, if you plan on dropping off sports forms at the junior high, then to the library, then mail something at the post office, which as government offices all qualify as no gun zones, you just leave it locked up at home?

    All I’m doing is keeping my family safe and exercising my God given, Constitutionally protected rights BUT, I’m a felon. In fact, my town has made the entire downtown area a felony zone. The elementary school, high school and village park are all within walking distance, next to the library, post office, fire department and police station. It is a felony to have a gun within a quarter mile of any school or public park and illegal to carry in any government office.

    Your opinions?

  11. KT,
    I bought Alien Gear IWB for all three of my guns in both left and right because I am ambidextrious. The day I passed CC, I put a full size rubber gun in it and wore it all day every day. Never heard a peep from anyone. Now I carry real. I have an Elite Belly Band for summer wear and an XD 5″ tactical disappears in track pants and a loose tee on my right hip. KT, I hear you! I am not one to break the law. I parked my truck on the street because my range bag was in it when I mailed something at the Post Office (no safe harbor/transport in vehicle). I now carry, 9mm. XD Mod 2 in both 4 & 5 inch or an XDS in 4 inch, 8&9 round mags. Always two spare mags. It becomes more apparent daily that the world we live in isn’t the one we grew up in. My carry ammo is off the list and I alternate Lehigh maximum expansion after the first 3 +P rounds. One spare identical loaded mag, and one with Buffalo Bore 147 Hard Cast +P should I need to shoot through cover. We need to gather up and sue for Constitutional Carry. Should a parent, having passed carry, FBI and local checks need to leave the weapon in the car when dropping his child off at school? Really? Are you a threat? To whom? Bars, Night Clubs, Restaurants, Schools…If the employees are not armed to protect us, we’ll have to carry to protect ourselves. That’s where this all has to change. Gun free zones are shooting galleries for criminals and terrorists. Know your gun, your ammo, and practice practice practice. My local bank in the far west Chicago burbs was robbed for the second time in two years. Near Lemont IL, we just had a fatal shooting and car jacking at a gas station. Holy CRAP! BE PREPARED my friends. I am fast adopting that “warrior” mentality. My house has an alarm system. I am less concerned about actual home defense than I am about defending myself against public shootings. I can empty a 16 round mag inside the numbers in 7 seconds at 15 yards. Doesn’t do me much good if I need the gun and can’t carry it. Stuff HAS to CHANGE. WE the people MUST force the issue. We are not safe, in our own realm. Off the soapbox now…

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