Frequently it doesn’t hurt to cover errors we see in concealed carry. Some folks are new to concealed carry while others maybe haven’t had exposure to what good choices look like.
#1: Not carrying your gun.
Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training estimated that of the people he stopped in his law enforcement duties, only about 20% carried their guns. According to a pew poll cited by American Handgunner, he wasn’t far off. Their numbers show 26% of concealed carriers carrying most of or all of the time.
You have a license. You have a gun. I think I see a solution here…
#2 Using a crap holster
There have been several incidents of late where concealed carriers have had unintentional discharges due to the use of substandard holsters. Generally these are soft nylon with no rigid coverage of the trigger. They tend to be cheap and “universal” in fit. I prefer Kydex but leather can be a reasonable solution if it suits your tastes. Some of the more solid choices are
Echo Delta Charlie (still under Strongside Concealment)
Oh, and if you need you a retention holster, Safariland probably has what you need.
#3 Using A Garbage Belt
The first belt I bought was a Tony Lama ranger style western belt. It lasted six months before it broke. At that point, I wasn’t yet 21 but I got the idea that a gun belt was a better idea. Even then, I realized that carrying a gun was more demanding for a belt. I ended up with a similar style belt but made by Galco (long since no longer made). I used that belt for several years. As I recall it cost me about $60 vs the $30 for the Tony Lama. Whereas I still have that Galco belt and it served me well for carrying an HK USP40C and later a 1911.
Sure you can buy a cheap belt at Walmart. The problem is that most belts aren’t sturdy enough to carry a gun. Cheap belts tend to sag and allow guns to flop around in fairly short order if not immediately.
If a good belt costs say, six times as much but lasts twelve times as long, then what’s the actual better value? The $60 belt obviously.
#4 Not Getting Training
Greg Hamilton of Insights Training Center once pointed out that training wasn’t necessary to succeed in using a gun to defend your life. He’s right however, it sure tips the scales in your favor. Over the last couple years there have been several instances of people using their guns on shoplifters or vehicle thieves and end up in hot water. A good concealed carry class that covers the legal ins and outs of deadly force could go a long way towards preventing such incidents. Not only that, a good class can give you some material to work on and practice. Train to make your skills ingrained so that if you need those skills, you can spend your thoughts on how you’re going to employ them rather than on executing the skills themselves.
#5 Not Inspecting Carry Equipment
Sometime back there was an incident where a gentleman had a negligent discharge because his aged leather holster had developed a fold that tripped the trigger of his handgun. He had failed to identify that it was an issue despite the fact that the fold had formed quite some time ago. Examine your equipment for cracks, loose faster, folds, and anything else that could cause failures. If your carry equipment uses threaded fasteners, it doesn’t hurt to remove them, clean the threads, put a touch of loctite on the threads, and reassemble your equipment.
What about your gun? If it is a Glock, do you check to make sure your front sight is still tight? If running an aftermarket trigger, are all the roll pins still in their proper locations?
Gun cleaning can be entered here as well. Some will say they clean their gun after each range visit. Great, but if you carry your gun every day, but only go to the range once a year, that’s plenty of time to accumulate crud in your handgun and/or develop corrosion issues, etc. Others I know may shoot their gun weekly but only clean every month or two, if that. They do typically lube their defensive pistol more often
Check your light to make sure your batteries are still good. Also check that the switch is still in good working order. I’ve had tail caps fail on even the best lights. Shit happens.
Is your knife still sharp and does it open ready? Or has it been neglected to a point where it requires two hands to open? Is better suited to starting fires through friction rather than actually cutting anything? I’m not implying that we’re using the knife or self defense. Though if that is your thing, more power to you. I’m thinking more of the potential for injury from a dull tool.