Posts Tagged ‘conceal carry’

4_womens-safety

* June 2014 Update: I still this question every so often, so I figured a repost of last year’s post was in order. Enjoy and please share.

This question was put before me multiple times Friday. As the only lady on staff, full-time, at Autrey’s, I get a lot of questions from men about the right gun for their wife/girlfriend/mom/etc… “How to get my wife to carry ?”was a new question for me. The best I could tell them was to have their wife explore websites dedicated to women and self-defense; such as The Well Armed Woman, Mothers Arms or Cornered Cat. As I am able to easily open carry nearly everyday, the question made me curious. What are the reasons women do not carry as often as the men would like? As most of us do today, I took to the internet to find my answers. I explored the previously mentioned websites, forums on carrying and various articles. I concluded that woman do not carry for a number of reasons.

1. Inconvenience

2. Discomfort

3. Insecurity with the firearm

4. False security in the environment

5. Perceived inability to take a life

(If you know of other reasons, please let me know in the comments below.)

Inconvenience

From what I’ve read, this seems to be the main reason women do not carry more. With women’s fashion being what it is, it is a challenge to daily wear a gun. Women have to get creative in order to wear a gun daily. It is difficult but not impossible to dress fashionably and carry. Take a look at TheWellArmedWoman  and TheCorneredCat  for some good tips in overcoming this obstacle.

Discomfort

Highly related to the earlier issue, many women find daily carry uncomfortable.  Clint Smith said, “Carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be a comfort.” This is true, however, I do believe it is possible to find ways to carry that is comfortable. Many manufacturers have developed carry options designed specifically for women’s bodies. TheWellArmedWoman is one website that sells many of these carry options and has video reviews of a number of them.

A woman may also dislike the gun she has. For example many women will buy, or have bought for them, subcompact .380’s due to their minute size and concealability. However, as most have then discovered, they are not easy nor fun to shoot. This discourages many new shooters from practicing with their firearm. Not practicing with their firearm will lead to feeling insecure about their competency with the gun.

Insecurity with the Firearm

Frequently, a woman will not carry a gun because she is not confident she can handle it if the need arises. This is a legitimate concern that we should not take lightly. A great solution to these concerns is to take advantage of one of many gun courses available. If you prefer a local class we offer Ladies Only Classes at our store or there are national organizations that offer training courses throughout the country. The NRA Women’s Programs and Babes with Bullets are two examples. Another possible solution is to find a gun that works better for you. Go to a range that has a large selection of rental guns and try as many as you can. With time and experience you will find a gun that works for you.

False Security in the Environment

Perhaps many women who don’t carry are unaware of the crime in their area or they may naïvely believe crime will never impact them personally. Historically, many of us have grown up in relative safety and security. Society has changed. We no longer live in such a safe and secure world. I will not go into the data and statistics here, since they are readily available on the web. Women are frequently picked as easy targets and guns are the great equalizer.

Perceived Inability to Take a Life

To carry a gun means you must be willing to take a life to save your life or the life of a loved one. We women must overcome any false compassion we may have toward the person threatening us and defend ourselves and our loved ones. I say false, because he/she surrendered any right to compassion when he/she decided to endanger me or my loved ones. Many women do not see themselves as capable of taking a life but I do believe more women would pull the trigger than they give themselves credit for. Massad Ayoob wrote a great article on this topic. My favorite quote is: “The lioness is often more formidable than the lion. No instinct is stronger than that of mother protecting child. There is nothing unfeminine about strength and empowerment.” I would recommend exploring his other articles on that site, especially Armed and Female and Against a Rapist.

While there are definite obstacles women must overcome to daily carry a firearm, I believe with the right equipment, training, support and encouragement women can daily protect themselves, their children and other loved ones.

~Ruth

Some other valuable online resources are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogGBPVk5GQk

http://www.armedinheels.com/concealed-carry-females-tips-considerations-pg-10.html?CDpath=3

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/ccm-columns/features/concealed-carry-for-the-petite-woman/

http://packingpretty.com/tag/womens-concealed-carry/

http://www.corneredcat.com/article/for-the-men/how-to-make-your-wife-hate-guns/

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564531

 

By Ruth Goodman

umpire safe

I am declaring it official. The gun-buying panic is over. The mad rush to arms following the Sandy Hook tragedy (and the politicians’ attempts to exploit it) has finally come to an end. In case you were out of the country or otherwise occupied during the last two years, let me bring you up to speed. The gun industry was already experiencing high activity thanks to the reelection of our current president when tragedy struck in Newtown, Connecticut. Immediately following the reports of a school shooting AR’s began flying off the shelves.

While this picture is not of our store (we did not think to take pictures of our empty racks and shelves), it is remarkably similar to what happened to us.

While this picture is not of our store (we did not think to take pictures of our empty racks and shelves), it is remarkably similar to what happened to us.

Most of our inventory of Modern Sporting Rifles was gone within a week, all of it was gone within a few weeks. (On our busiest day, we went from a regular staff of 5 to 9 and still had customers lined up to the door.) Once all the AR’s were gone, attention turned to handguns. Self-defense purposed handguns became impossible to keep in stock. The rapid rise in handgun purchasing led to ammo shortages in nearly all the popular calibers. For most calibers, the supply quickly caught up with demand and the shortage ceased to be a problem many months, if not a year, ago. The notable exception to that is .22 ammo. In our store, the .22 ammo shortage began around the same time the rest of the calibers were catching up with demand and has continued on from that time. The most bizarre thing to many of us in the industry, is how long it has taken .22 ammo to catch up. A full year later and we still have a very limited supply of .22 and impose strict limits on how many boxes a customer can purchase. 

However, as we entered Spring we noted a marked slow-down in our store. As we talk with others from around the country, we are hearing of the return of the normal “summer slow season.” Gun stores and industry reps for national companies are reporting an industry-wide slow-down of purchases and firearms activity (with the exception of states that recently enacted increasingly infringing gun laws). I believe this slow season feels much slower to many, because it stands in stark contrast to the record making sales of the last two years. We have been so busy for so long, that record busy became the new normal. Stores increased staffing and ordered more product, producers ramped up production, etc… 

out of breath

Now that pre-chaos norms have reinstated themselves, this is the perfect opportunity for us all to rest and catch our breath. It’s a chance to look up from the daily activities and see the bigger picture. How many of the recent gun-buyers were first time buyers that now need training, supplies, and support? How can we as an industry meet those needs? Women are steadily increasing their presence in the firearms world. What can we do to encourage and support that growth? Have the local demographics changed in the last two years? Should a store focus more on building their online presence or on their brick-and-mortar functionality? There are countless questions we, as an industry, can ask ourselves at this time. Now is the chance for each of us to really sit down and evaluate ourselves as a store, an industry member, a service provider, and a member of the community. 

Let us all make the most of this time and catch our breath. 

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Here lately, I have found myself repeatedly asked for recommendations on a “good purse gun.” If, after much encouragement she still won’t consider on-body carry, I whole-heartedly urge her to go with a revolver. Why? Because at some point in the not too distant past I read an article about semiautomatics jamming when shot through a purse. The article I read, which I could not rediscover tonight, indicated the fabrics of the purse entered into the slide and caused the firearm to not only jam but get stuck in the purse. Effectively this converted a 15 round 9mm to a 1 or 2 shot brick in your purse.

ruger-lcp-stove-pipe-jam

As I went back and researched this topic further, I realized the previous issue must be a worst case scenario and the most frequent malfunction with semiautomatics was actually the stove-pipe (a round not fully ejected) caused by the confined space in the purse. On a good day, a stove-pipe can be cleared very easily. On a bad day, with training, a stove-pipe can still be cleared, but it will use precious time. Of course, both problems are resolved if you simply pull the gun out of the purse before firing. However, that counts on you having ample warning and time enough to draw your gun. Time is a luxury we are not always afforded.

While not much has been written about this topic, to me, this factor is critical in deciding which gun to purchase. I would love to see more tests done. As shown in the videos below, if the purse is large enough, the semi-automatic may not jam at all. However, I would need to see some very definitive data before I would ever feel comfortable recommending a semiautomatic as a purse gun.

Desantis-Purse

How about you? Have you ever shot a gun through a purse or some other similar material? What happened?

*Disclaimer: I am not recommending or advocating for any of the products displayed in the pictures. My use of pictures is simply to illustrate a point.

Resources:

Here are the only videos I could find of people actually shooting through purses.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Concealed-Chic/585789701443556

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkbVRGrc5M

And the only article I could find about it:

http://www.aware.org/resources/legal-articles/8-content/197-purse-carry-do-you-what-how-by-lyn-bates

Other resources worth your read/watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ramg2QaQE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeTRTpkMH0M

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-721266.html

http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/women-and-guns/concealed-carry/the-concealed-carry-purse

http://www.corneredcat.com/?s=purse

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With this most recent Arctic Blast of frigid cold (at least by Georgia standards) I find myself facing new challenges. How do you conceal carry in winter? A heavy coat can obstruct a draw from the waistline and carrying in the coat pocket is great until you walk inside a warm building and need to take the coat off. I’m almost always cold and thus bundled up. All that bundling makes it quite difficult to access my carry gun at a leisurely pace, let alone in a hurry. As so many of us do today, I turned to the internet for answers. I discovered a well-informed and well-written article that addresses these issues and many others that I had not even thought of. While I found many other articles that addressed some of the issues, I found none addressed the winter carrying challenge as thoroughly and honestly as the US Concealed Carry article by John Perez. If your daily routine includes putting on a warm coat, I highly recommend you read his article.

Stay safe and think warm thoughts.

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Concealed-Carry-in-Waistband

So you’ve looked at the statistics. You’ve read the testimonies of survivors. You’ve dug up your state laws. You may have hinted around or just bluntly asked your church leadership. You may or may not have included your spouse in on your decision. I trust you also turned to the Bible and sought God for His direction and counsel. (Since it’s His house, that would seem the respectful thing to do.) Finally, after all that soul-searching, you’ve decided. If you decided not to carry in church, then nothing really changes for you. Aside from a new mental awareness of your situation, your habits are unchanged. However, if you decided to carry, then there are practical concerns you need to take into consideration. While concealment can be difficult enough with daily carry, there are specific challenges that are unique to church attendance. 

Concealment Challenges at Church
  1. hug-in-churchHugs: Some churches have huggers, others do not. Personally, I love hugs. I think they are a wonderful thing. However, hugs are also one of the best ways to unobtrusively frisk someone. And while I have a hard time imagining Grandma Betty is trying to frisk anyone, the results can be the same. She feels your firearm and says, loudly, “what’s this?” Suddenly, you’re made. Now you’ve got to talk your way out of it. I personally pass it off as a “personal health device.” However, this whole awkward situation can generally be avoid by keeping your arms low and close to your body, causing the other person to reach up and around your arms to hug you, thus shielding your firearm under your arms. *This technique does not necessarily work if you are carrying somewhere other than where your arms will shield.
  2. Attire: Depending on the church you go to, clothes conducive to conceal carrying may or may not blend in. Suits are great for hiding firearms, however skinny jeans and T-shirts are not (and yes, I have been in a church where the common dress for 12 to 30 year olds, of both genders, was skinny jeans and T-shirts). Of course, you can always be fearless and dress whichever way you like but suddenly dressing in a suit when you’ve worn jeans for years may get a few raised eyebrows. An additional challenge for women are the flimsiness of dressy clothes. We women, often find it far more difficult to carry in dressy clothes than our everyday clothes, unless our holster is independent of our clothing.
  3. worshipHand raising: If you go to a hand raising church, make sure you raise your hands in front of the mirror before you go off in that cute little outfit. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been surprised by how high my shirt will raise just by lifting my arms. And you do not want to inadvertently show off your new S&W 642 while you worship Jesus. You never know who’s eyes are open… You may just hear, “Mommy, look!!! Ms. Smith’s got a gun!!”
  4. Bowing: As a minimum, bowing will cause a small-of-back, behind-the-hip, or possibly even on-the-hip carry gun to print. Depending on how far you lean over, the cover garment may also completely slip off of the gun. Additionally, an appendix-carried weapon will be rather distracting and discomforting at that point. A carry method somewhere off the waist would probably be the more preferred method if bowing is a regular occurrence for you.
  5. praying_man_at_altarKneeling: Depending on the position, kneeling is great way to reveal ankle and/or back holsters. If you expect to over, the cover garment may completely slip off of the gun. An appendix-carried weapon will also be rather distracting at that point. A carry method somewhere off the waist would probably be the more preferred method if bowing is a regular occurrence for you.  
  6. Prostrating: Laying on the ground on your stomach will not be very comfortable if you are carrying anywhere on your front,  your cover garments will probably print badly if you carry on your back, and an ankle carry could easily be revealed. Pocket or shoulder carry may be the only options available to address this situation.
  7. Blues_Brothers_2000_14884_MediumDancing: My or my, how do you get a hard, heavy, metal object to bounce, jump and move with your body instead of away and to the floor? Pocket carry may work. A holster designed for joggers would probably go a long way to keeping the gun on your person instead of on your toes. A good shoulder holster would keep the firearm in place, but I imagine it wouldn’t feel too good to have that banging into your ribs. I have never tried dancing while carrying so I can’t say for sure, but I’m thinking a belly band would probably be the only way to go.
  8. Falling out/Slain in the Spirit: There are a couple of concerns with this one: 1. The firearm being in a painful place once it is between you and the floor. 2. it needs to be so deeply concealed that nobody will see it even when you are not conscious enough to keep your cover garments aligned. Bodies can end up in some very unusual positions and the last thing on their mind at that moment is keeping covered. 3. the ushers/catchers getting caught up in it as the lower you to the ground. A belly band with the firearm in the appendix carry position might be the best answer for this one.
  9. religious-revival-meeting-TULSACatching: If you are an usher and part of your job includes catching people, then I would recommend against a large gun carried in an appendix or shoulder holster. The back of a person’s head does not make a very spiritual sound when it connects with the butt of a gun (or worse, the hammer). You could probably get away with it if you carried on your hip or just behind, but remember the remainder of the congregation is typically behind the prayer line. They may all get a real good look at your Colt 1911 if you are not careful.
  10. abdresbisonnistrekkerut_file_81742__t2Leading the Service: If you are going to be front and center for any duration of time, and you want to keep it a secret that you are carrying, may I recommend pocket carry, the flash-bang holster, or a holster shirt… something for deep-concealment? Because every eye will be on you at some point and humans, being humans, their attention will be looking for something to wander off on. An intriguing bulge on your hip will be just the thing their attention was looking for. I can hear it now… “Hmm, lets forget about this true and powerful Word I need to hear and lets focus in on this lump under his coat. Has he gained weight? Nope. The lump is only on one side. Hmmm. Cell phone? Nah, he never has his cell phone on…”
What are your challenges?

in_church    OR0

Depending on the church you go to, none or all of the above may apply to you. There may be some other challenge you struggle with at your church. I developed this list based on my past experiences in my churches. Some of the churches I’ve attended would have been quite easy to carry in. Hardly more difficult than daily carry. Others would have been extremely difficult to adequately conceal carry in (if I had not been too young to own a firearm at the time). I’d love to hear feedback from everybody on this topic. What have you found that works? What doesn’t work well? Any other situations you can think of?

Thanks for Reading.

stuck-in-a-rut

Ever get stuck in a rut? Do you ever do the same thing over and over, simply because that is how you have always done it? Not good. What’s worse than being in a rut? Being in a rut and not knowing it. I didn’t realize until I read this article last night that I was in a carry rut. I always carry my gun in the same place without consideration of which type of gun I am carrying and if my chosen placement is the best concealment for that particular firearm. As my first daily carry firearm was an XD-40, I quickly determined the best place on my body to conceal a firearm was inside the waistband, behind the hip. Fast forward multiple years, I am 40 lbs less and I recently added a J frame revolver to my short list of possible carry guns. Out of habit, I stuck the revolver behind my back.

face palm

A thinking person would have realized a reevaluation of carry positions was in order. A thinking person would have recognized the size and form difference between an XD-9 subcompact comfortably carried behind the hip and a S&W 442 theoretically capable of being carried in more locations. A reevaluation was absolutely imperative upon finding the revolver was not secure or stable behind the hip. Unfortunately, I did not behave as a thinking person and I simply relegated the revolver to a back-up position in my work bag. I neglected to even attempt problem solving. I was in a deep, deep rut and did not even realize it.

Wake UP!

The smack-upside-the-head came as I read Active Response Training’s blog. Carrying the revolver in front of the hip (appendix carry inside the waistband or AIWB) solves most of my problems (minus holster issues) and others I had not thought about. The AIWB method has several advantages over my preferred behind the hip carry.

Advantages:
  1. summer-conceal-shortsConcealment: Shirts, especially for women, tend to be looser in the front than the sides or back. This provides a perfect place to hide a gun. Many blog writers and forum participants claim they are able to conceal medium to large sized firearms in this position. For me personally, I saw today that my revolver printed very little under a tight T-shirt, and what little it did print, I was able to disguise by putting on a belt. The belt buckle added just enough texture and shape to the area that the butt was no longer noticeable. The revolver printed horribly when carried behind the hip.
  2. Drawstroke: In the same way that IPSC and USPSA competitors position their gun in front of the hip to gain a faster draw, so AIWB carriers gain a slight advantage in draw time. Draws from in front of the hip generally test faster than draws from the side or behind the hip.
  3. Accessibility: By being in front of my body, the firearm is much more accessible to my non-dominant hand in case my dominant hand or arm is injured. Reaching around and behind my body to draw with my left hand is a very challenging maneuver I hope to never have to perform in a hurry. Carrying in front makes it drastically easier. It may also be easier to access if I am grappling with an opponent.
  4. gun-grab-coverFirearm Retention: It is much easier to protect the firearm in a crowded environment with it in front of you than on your side. It is the same reason ladies pull their purses in front of them when they get on a crowded bus. It is easier to control an object in front of you (with both hands if necessary) than on your side with only one hand. Our strength tends to be focused more towards the centers of our bodies than our sides. Have you ever noticed how we pull a jar in to our centers when we struggle to open the lid? The gun on your side or behind you is in a weaker position should you have to protect it. Only one hand will be able to reach it and the strength you will be able to apply to keep the gun in the holster is less than what you could apply to a gun in front of you. (Of course, you will likely only have one hand on the AIWB gun too. The second hand will probably be doing something to your opponent.) It is also much easier to maintain awareness in a crowded environment of anyone making a motion towards your gun if the gun is in front of you (for the simple fact that your eyes are also in front of you).
  5. Encourages good posture: On a personal note, I also found it encourages good posture. As I am rather short-waisted I quickly found bad posture resulted in the butt of the gun digging into or getting under my ribs.
Disadvantages:
  1. D0UgkMuzzle Direction: This is the number one concern for most people. As the firearm sits in the holster, the gun is typically pointed either at the groin or the femoral artery. Most men have a visceral reaction to the very idea of having a loaded gun pointed in that direction, but the femoral artery is actually the worst option. You will likely bleed out if that is shot. Either way, messing up is a very, very bad thing if you carry AIWB. For this reason, careful holstering is absolutely imperative! Many of the links below share techniques and tips you can use to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction while holstering.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    It works great for some people.

  2. May or may not work well for overweight people. Many people on the forums reported that appendix carry was not comfortable for those with “large bellies.” But each person is different and what does not work for some may work for you.
  3. May or may not be comfortable while sitting: While I have not had much chance to investigate this personally, I read many conflicting reports of how comfortable sitting is while appendix carrying. Some say flat-out it is uncomfortable, others say it is fine if you get a good holster that is specifically designed for AIWB.
  4. Unconcealed reach for the gun: Again there were conflicting reports. Some blogs argue that it is easier to cover up a draw from AIWB than from the hip by using a magazine or a bag to cover your hand motions. The movement of drawing from an AIWB holster may be minimized to the forearm and hand. However, the full arm is engaged in a draw from the hip or behind the hip, thus revealing to the opponent that an item is being drawn. However, a person may also pretend they are reaching for a wallet in their back pocket when in reality they are going for their gun. That subterfuge would hardly work for AIWB. So each has their pros and cons.

Overall, AIWB is the preferred method of carry for many well-renowned instructors, has been around for decades, is used by thugs worldwide, competitors have used it successfully in the past, and is the most comfortable position I’ve tried yet. While there is a lot more for me to research and really dig into, before I begin daily carrying this way, mentally getting out of the “behind the hip” rut and exploring possibilities is exciting and refreshing. Please share in the comments below your thoughts, experiences, and beliefs regarding AIWB carry. This is a whole new world to me and I would love to hear from those of you who have adventured forth into this brave new world.

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As a side note, many years ago I developed the habit of keeping the gun in the holster as I put the holster on or take it off. I always figured everything was safer that way… no chance of a negligent discharge if the trigger was always covered. Basically, the only time my guns are ever out of a holster is at the range or dry-firing. Seeing as how holstering is one of the major concerns with appendix carry, it seems like that would be a recommended manner of putting your gun on for the day; yet only one of the sites I went to mentioned it as a possibility. Anybody know of a potential safety hazard I am not aware of when I do this? Thanks!

ava_appendix_carry_1

http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/appendix-carry-thousands-of-thugs-cant-be-wrong

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/ccm-columns/features/learning-to-love-appendix-carry/

http://www.calccw.com/Forums/holsters-carry-methods/13521-benefits-appendix-carry.html

http://theprepperproject.com/top-5-reasons-i-carry-in-the-appendix-position/

http://www.corneredcat.com/article/holsters/holster-safety-the-four-rules/

http://www.corneredcat.com/article/holsters/straight-talk-about-curves/

http://www.warriortalknews.com/2010/05/appendix-carry-comfortable-concealable-and-quickest.html

http://pistol-training.com/archives/7768

http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?120-AIWB-%28Appendix-Carry%29&p=87911&viewfull=1#post87911

http://pistol-training.com/archives/7234

http://www.handgunworld.com/episode-63-continued-appendix-carry-benefits-fanny-pack-and-purse-carry/

http://churchsecuritymember.com/appendix-carry-church-security-safety-gun/

http://monderno.com/monderno/getting-started-with-appendix-carry/