Many people all over the Arkansas have concealed carry permits(check our video if you need a license for concealed carry), and carry a firearm for self-defense and the protection of their families and loved ones. When it comes to your effectiveness and ability to defend yourself in a threatening situation, there are a lot of changing factors, however, there are two that you can control to improve your chances of survival.
First, the tools you have to defend yourself with, and how proficient you are at using those tools is an important part. Though personal defense training and situational awareness are very important, having the right tools can also make a lot of difference. At 141 Shooting Range it is our job to teach you the tactically sound plan, you have to practice the plan, but ultimately you also have to have the right equipment to execute the plan.
So, let’s talk about how you can choose the right equipment for concealed carry.
Now, let’s establish that the perfect concealed carry setup does not exist, there are always some advantages and some drawbacks, however, the goal is to make sure the advantages and disadvantages complement your carrying and shooting style.
In any concealed carry setup, there are four essential components
- The handgun
- The holster
- The concealed carry belt
- The magazine holster
So, let’s talk about how to choose each one.
1. The Handgun:
When it comes to choosing a pistol for self-defense, there are many factors that you need to consider. The first and most important one is reliability. You need to be confident that every time you pull the trigger the pistol will shoot. Luckily most popular pistols are quite reliable these days.
Secondly, you need to consider concealability, caliber, and capacity. Now, here, you usually have to make a compromise, with a full size or midsize pistol, like a 19ll, Beretta M9, or Glock 17, you will get high capacity and an effective caliber, but the concealability is compromised, whereas if you go for a compact or subcompact pistol, you get lower capacity, and sometimes smaller calibers as well, but these pistols are very concealable.
Still, over the past few years, since the release of the Sig p365, and the whole range of concealable Micro 9s that followed, you can get a concealable compact pistol, with a decent capacity of 10 or 12 rounds as well. The Smith & Wesson M$P Shield 2, Springfield hellcat, Glock 43, and 48 are really good options for high-capacity subcompact pistols chambered in 9mm, which is a very capable self-defense caliber.
Still, you can also find many compact and mid-sized pistols in slightly larger calibers like 40 S&W and 45 ACP, but since the bullet is bigger, fewer of them fit inside a compact frame.
Comfort And Controllability
The third thing to consider is comfort and controllability. The larger the frame of the pistol, the more area you have to grip, and the more comfortable the pistol is to shoot, whereas, compact and subcompact pistols usually have smaller grips for concealability, however, they are also more comfortable to carry, because of the lower weight and smaller size. Lastly, you should consider the price of the pistol as well.
So, to sum it up, you should choose the smallest pistol with the highest capacity and a decent caliber that you can comfortably shoot. And once you have chosen a pistol, make sure to do some handgun training as well.
2. The Holster:
Is It Comfortable?
Now that you have a pistol you need to choose a holster for it. When you are choosing a holster, you need to look for something that is comfortable, because you are probably going to carry your concealed carry pistol for a long time. Moreover, the holster should hold the pistol in a position where it is easy to draw.
The first decision to make is OWB or IWB. OWB (outside the waistband) holsters are more comfortable, but not concealable at all. Still, if you always wear a jacket or coat, you could use one. The more practical option is an IWB (Inside the waistband) holster, which is made for concealability.
Choose The Material
Next, you should choose the material of the holster, the common options are leather or Kydex. Leather holsters are comfortable, but they can’t offer the retention, and rigidity that a custom-made Kydex holster provides. Moreover, leather holsters can get a little loose over time, whereas Kydex holsters are more durable and can last a very long time.
Moreover, there are many very comfortable Kydex holsters available in the market as well, which have Nylon, or in some cases even leather backings. These holsters are the best as they are very comfortable, adjustable, and effective as well, however, they can be a little expensive.
Though most people carry on the waist, there are also some other options. For instance, you can get an ankle holster or thigh band. They are quite concealable and have their advantages, but are usually suitable for very small subcompact pistols, like a Glock 26, Ruger LCP, or perhaps a snub-nosed revolver.
3. Concealed Carry Belt:
Concealed Carry Classes Arkansas – How To Pick The Right Weapon?
Getting a good CCW gun belt is essential because it is the platform on which your entire EDC is built. Many people make the mistake of using normal belts to mount their holsters on, which is a mistake.
Normal belts don’t have the stiffness and rigidity required in gun belts. They can support the weight of your pistol and can start to sag, which compromises concealability, can make draws more difficult, and be very uncomfortable as well.
You should look for a CCW belt that is rigid so that it can support your pistol’s weight. There are many options in the market, you can go for a thick leather CCW belt, which is more inconspicuous, or a Nylon belt with a metal core.
Adjustability is also very important in a gun belt, because, throughout the day, with small changes in your body as you eat and go about your day can change the way the belt and holster fit you. So for comfort, and effective concealability, an adjustable belt is really important. Ratchet belts are the best option since they allow you to make very small adjustments, whereas normal belts might be too tight in one hole, and too loose in the other.
There are several brands like Kore Essentials, and Nexbelt, that make really good CCW gun belts.
4. Magazine Holsters:
This is a piece of equipment that is neglected by many. Many people opt to carry an extra magazine in their pocket, which could work but isn’t the most efficient option. A magazine holster allows you to always be in one position, where you can grab it easily, and do a quick reload if you need to. Some holsters have Magazine slots with them, however, if they don’t, make sure to get one.
Final Thoughts And Tips:
Keep in mind that no matter how perfect your CCW equipment is, it won’t be effective if you don’t train with it. So, make sure to take some courses with it and learn how to defend yourself in different scenarios. Moreover, if you carry a concealed weapon, make sure to always have your concealed carry license on you as well, so that you don’t have any trouble with law enforcement if you are pulled over. At 141 Shooting Range we offer many classes to teach you about how to get the right tools, check our full lists of Concealed Carry Classes.We offer many classes from concealed carry, marksmanship, shooting around barricades, active shooter, cpr, and many more classes in the Jonesboro and Paragould areas!
If you are in the local area in Arkansas of the following cities: Jonesboro, Paragould, Searcy, Trumann, Walnut Ridge, Batesville, Blytheville or anywhere close contact us to see when a class is being held. If you do not live close we travel to train groups and businesses in: Little Rock, Arkansas Memphis, Tennessee Poplar Bluff, Missouri And everywhere in-between.