The world is full of professional gun writers, good advice, bad advice, and thoughts conveyed by the clueless. How do you sift through everything and decide what you want? What advice do you keep, and what do you toss?
There are so many things to look at. Each individual has different speed, mobility, and flexibility. What works for one may not work for another. In recent times, the climate of the gun community, and the world in general have changed. The days of open carrying monster handguns, ready to take on the world are quickly fading. As is the general response mentality. As a recent article I read stated, it has gone from "Looking for trouble and finding it.... to Avoiding trouble, but ready and willing to overwhelm it." This speaks volumes for not only where our focus is, but where the pitfalls of concealed carry lie.
As the population and density of urban areas grow, the need for concealment and stealth increase exponentially. If you are forced into a violent situation, Rocket Ralph is not generally who we are going to become. While snap rolls, sprinting, and ninja like fire evasion are great in theory, they often fall far outside the realm of practical. Where you stand, and draw, is likely where the story, or exchange, starts, unravels, and ends. So while evasion is a great skill set to practice, decisive and instinctive reaction and implementation rely on handling, access, and marksmanship.
As each have a favorite caliber, there are many choices that I believe to be far more critical. Peripheral points, such as targeting, sight picture, and follow up should be the first place to start. Another great focus is off hand targeting and control.
I have three I carry consistently due to size, accuracy, and reliability. Two are Glocks, a 21 and a 19, and a Desert Eagle .45. These would be my first choices due to familiarity, commonality, and my performance with each. Not everyone has the same taste or grip angle preference, or even budget. So forth comes the first suggestion.
Train with what you carry.
While we can always improve shooting, your every day carry should be one that you are intimately familiar with. Find what you want, fit, or can afford. And train with it. And train with it. And train with it. There are so many different drills and exercise that can help you, that shooting in a group or with friends become highly advantageous. Regardless of what you are shooting, being around different shooting styles gives you many eyes and ideas. Be careful though. Much like other things, who you surround yourself with becomes your database of knowledge. If you see errors or habits and are around them, they may soon become yours as well. Find buddies whose skills, tactics, and abilities exceed yours. Surround yourself with greatness, and it will come to you.
Carry something comfortable.
There is no sense starting of with something that feels foreign in your hands. If your busy trying to overcome the oddity of what you are holding, your focusing isn't on where you are aiming. So handle as many as you can. Glocks. XDs. Ruger. CZs. Sig Sauer. Smith and Wesson. HK. FN. There are so many, and each brings a different feel, different amount of slide height, different trigger pull, different firing system. Find something that feels comfortable and relaxed, before you even pull the trigger. Then shoot it a little. Chances are you'll go through many before that wow moment comes to you, and this one just feels right. Then you can start shooting.
Caliber, manufacturer, projectile.....all these have slowly fallen aside due to technology. You can find a 9mm that will more than do what you need, as well as a .45 that will stop anything. So focus on feel, fit and accuracy.
Never leave home with a feeling of safety, and confidence. Never carry without the focus of accuracy, not just what you are aiming at, but what you are not aiming at. Make sure you have the confidence, comfort, and knowledge to do what you need to when the time comes. The world has become an angry and hateful place. Evil awaits at so many turns. You may not want to enter the fight, but sometimes you may not have a choice. And I would much rather talk to you about it after, than wonder if I could've helped.
If there ever is a need, know we are here for you.
As a member of the firearm community, and industry, I hope my insights and experience can inspire thought and stimulate conversation or debate. While there is almost never one definitive answer for everyone, I'd like to help some avoid common missteps and pitfalls.
Watch our Facebook Page for class schedulings.