web analytics
Categories
carry CCW commandments concealed Massad Ayoob open

Massad Ayoob’s 10 Commandments Of Concealed Carry

I saw a pretty good rundown of “laws” that people who carry should ingrain in their heads (even those who carry openly).  I’ll refrain from copying/pasting the article, but it is located here:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/14/massad-ayoobs-10-commandments-of-concealed-carry/

It is a good read…trust me.  Much of it is common sense, but it is solid advice.

Categories
AZ CA California CCW CO firearms moving NM NV OR VA

Nope, Not Moving to CA!

I’ve had a change of heart and cancelled my plans to move to CA.  Why?  After thinking on it for months, I’ve determined that I’d be a fool to move to a state that limits it’s citizen in the manner that CA does (and not just with guns, but with everything).  After submitting for my VA CCW, I had a license in hand eight days later.  In CA, depending on the county, the CCW permit process could take up to 1.5 years, with a year wait almost guaranteed.  The gun laws are generally very restrictive, even if you’re not carrying.  10-round mags.  A highly restrictive list of guns that can be sold to you via retail.  Lots of red tape even selling used guns from one CA citizen to another.  I’ve lived there before…I didn’t like it then, either, and I wasn’t even into guns then.  Some advice:  never ever try to ignore yourself when your conscious is giving you bad vibes about a decision you’re trying to make.  I already feel much better about myself, now that I’ve decided not to move to that state.

I told my wife that I’d be receptive to moving to a border state (NV, AZ, OR) or states that are relatively close to CA (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico).  She only wants CA, but that’s not going to happen.  She thinks someone influenced my decision.  No, I just woke up.

So, I’ve got 10 guns now, and the only reason I bought the majority of them was because they aren’t available via retail in CA.  That doesn’t bother me since they’re excellent guns.  It does mean that I probably won’t be getting any guns for awhile, but that’s fine too.

Categories
awareness backpack carry CCW concealed firearms holster situational

Everyone Wants To Think They’re the One-Stop Firearms Guy

Why is it that every gun forum has these guys that think that their methods of carrying (and their equipment) is the one and only methods?  These guys think that their answers are the absolute only way to address a situation.  They’re the one-stop guys…the guys that think that they’re asked first and the questioners have their answer and that’s the end of it.

Am I claiming I know better?  No, but a LOT of this isn’t one-shoe-fits-all, either.  And a LOT of it is common sense.  As well, there are soooo many variables with gun owners, their experience, and their equipment that it’s stupid to think that there’s only one answer.  These are the same people that will immediately call someone a sheep, but yet they’re giving these canned and wrong answers.

Where’s all this coming from?  There’s this guy on a forum that has two full-sized (or nearly so) handguns and he says they print too much with his summer shirts.  He wants to store his gun in a backpack when running and was asking for people who had experience with carrying in that manner.

The first forum responder asks if he’s talking about the legality or the practicality of carrying in a backpack.  He also shares his experience (he carries his in a dry bag when he’s boating or kayaking).  He also says that some carry methods aren’t optimal (carrying on a bike, for example) and that you have to do the best you can, and that “a little less reaction time has to be adjusted by more situational awareness.”  I agree.

Some others responded by stating to use backpacks that have CCW in mind, or even use a fanny pack or shirts that have robust built-in holstering.

One responder outright stated that using a backpack was a bad idea.  I responded to him by stating that there’s no absolute answer.  There are so many variables in assessing what’s best based on your individual needs that just because Owner A may use a certain holster doesn’t mean that holster will be acceptable for Owner B.  The original poster stated he wanted to carry his gun when he’s running with his dog.  His guns are difficult to conceal in his running gear, I assume.  One offered option was to downsize his guns (trade or sell his guns for smaller framed guns that are easier to conceal).  I also offered the option of maybe finding running gear that will better accomodate his handguns, or get some printed shirts that will hinder printing.  Telling the guy outright that carrying in a backpack was the worst answer was really awful…that’s what this responder did.  It started a debate between myself and the responder.  My argument was that you would need to give yourself more time to be situationally aware when carrying in this manner.  His argument was weird…he was like, “situational awareness has nothing to do with carrying”, which was the worst answer possible.  If you aren’t situationally aware and you’re also carrying, that’s dangerous, especially if you’re open-carrying.  He kept stating that it’s quicker to unholster a gun that’s being carried on your hip than it is to reach inside of a backpack.  He’s right, but no one was arguing that point.  Well, he was but no one else cared.  Several guys within the thread stated that you should always be situationally aware and if you are sufficiently aware, you could buy yourself time to get to the gun.  Another argument this person used was, “well, there was a guy in a van that pulled up next to this girl, he pointed a gun at her, demanded she get into the van, then he repeatedly raped her.”  He used this to argue his point of a holstered gun being better than a gun in a backpack.  I asked if she was carrying a gun and asked how that proved his point.  He never answered…just stated that I was being obtuse.

My point is, every gun owner that carries (whether concealed or not) should be performing mental risk assessments to determine how to best deal with potential problems based on the equipment they’re planning to use.  There are so many variables in assessing risk (gun, owner’s experience and training, owner’s holster, owner’s ammo, the potential defensive situation…), you can’t just say, “a bag isn’t going to cut it”. There’s no absolute answers. You deal with it the best you can. Even if you practice daily, real life situations aren’t scripted. You’ve to adjust as it happens.  Situational awareness is going to help with that.  His example of the girl being raped, for example…she could’ve done several things based on the risk involved.  She could’ve run, or yelled at the top of her lungs, or did both.  A gun wouldn’t have solved that and would’ve escalated the incident.  Running and yelling would probably have worked because those are defensive actions…potential rapists don’t typically shoot their potential victims if they yell or run.  People have been killed with holstered guns, as well.  Having a gun does not stop bad things from happening, but even if you’ve a gun, carrying in a manner that is basically looking for a confrontation with a bad guy is…bad.  If you see a bad guy coming toward you with a gun, are you going to just stand there and wait for him to get to you?  You should move, run, hide, or at least make enough distance between you and him so that you can get the gun from the backpack.  A backpacked gun is better than no gun in that situation.  One could argue that someone could steal the backpack.  Well, one could bumrush a person CCWing and take his holstered gun as well (remember the Walmart incident in Florida earlier this year?).  The gun by itself isn’t the weapon…your MIND is the weapon too.  Don’t let yourself be lulled by the fact that you’re carrying concealed.  If you’re printing and not aware of it and have the attitude that you’re safe, you’re now in a higher level of danger and you’re in a complacent state of mind, as a bad guy will more than likely see your printing gun and see you as an immediate threat.  I’m not even a LEO or have been through advanced or even basic defensive firearms courses and I know this.  What’s crazy is that it seems that everyone wants to be the internet expert on armed confrontation…they think they’re John Wick, I guess.

Is a backpack the best equipment to carry a gun?  NO!  But if it’s all you have, then you make the best of it, or get something that’s a bit better than a backpack (maybe a backpack that’s designed around CCW), or get a smaller handgun.  Work out what’s best for you and what you can cope with, risk-wise.

Categories
+P 2.0 Alien Gear Blackhawk CCW Cloak Tuck IWB JHP permit Pro Carry HD Remington SD Sportster

I Carried Concealed Today

I submitted for my concealed carry permit on 13 February 2015.  I received the permit on 21 February.  I’m now able to carry concealed.  Yes, that is probably a record timeframe of submittal and approval for the state of Virginia.

I carried for the first time today.  I carried the majority of the day.  I decided to carry my XD 9 Mod.2.  The holster I used was a Blackhawk nylon holster (non-ambidextrous with no mag holder).  I was actually looking locally for the Blackhawk ambidextrous holster with mag holder (product #40AM06BK, specifically)…I tried two Walmart stores but someone has been opening the packages, removing the holsters and switching them, because I’d bought two holsters and upon getting them home, I’d found that the holster in the package wasn’t what was advertised on the package’s labeling.  The first holster wasn’t even close to what I was looking for, as it was a large holster made of slick black nylon.  The second holster (what I’ve since discovered is a Blackhawk Sportster in size 8) wasn’t what I was looking for but was a small holster that was able to hold my two sub-compacts and three compacts (I’ve no idea if it’ll hold my SP2022, but I doubt it…that gun borders on being full-sized).

So, if you’re looking for a cheap (~$20) holster, this may fit the bill.  Most people do not like cheap holsters, but it fit my XD 9 perfectly and didn’t feel uncomfortable.  I kept the holster at my 4-o’clock strong side and wore a long thick plaid work shirt over it (my wife said I wasn’t printing).  I probably need a better (stronger) leather belt, but the one I was using is actually pretty thick…there was only a tad bit of sag.  I’ll look for a better belt tomorrow, as the local gun stores will be open and I’m off work.

What other guns will fit in this holster?  My Glock 19 fits perfectly and will slide in/out without issue, as will my XD.  My Grand Power P11 fits well, also (not as good as the XD, though).  My P320 fits great but the take-down lever hangs on the inside of the holster when trying to remove it.  I’m wondering if a bit of tape will fix the issue, but I also realize that I should be glad I can use this holster with the other 3 guns without issue.  I want to reiterate that this is probably one of the few holsters you’ll find that fits the Grand Power P11…there are NONE specifically made for the P11, so I searched for holsters that would support guns of similar size/dimensions.

I’ve also ordered two Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB holsters:  One for my 1911 commanders and one for my XD 9.  I also ordered an extra shell for the Sig SP2022.  When I was looking, I saw that they had a two-holster combo deal, which was a lot cheaper than I’d thought it would be to buy two.  UPDATE:  I’ve received the holsters and conducted a quick assessment here.

The above pictures highlight a potential issue:  The 1911 shown doesn’t have an ambi-safety like my RIA does.  The right side of the holster doesn’t look to be able to accomodate an ambi-safety.  I’m not sure if that means I’ll have to alter the holster.  :/  UPDATE – No, the ambi-safety doesn’t cause any fitment issues.

I also bought a Pro Carry HD from The Holster Store.  It’s supposed to be an IWB holster but I keep looking at it, wondering, how the hell is it supposed to mount to your belt?  I guess I’ll see when I get it tomorrow.  Another thing that grabbed my attention (but only just now and not when I’d ordered it) was this blurb buried within the description:

The Pro Carry HD can be worn both both strong side and cross draw. For carrying this item in the small of back inside the waistband, you will need to select the opposite shooting hand.

I plan to carry my gun at the 4-o’clock position with this holster, but this holster won’t give me the option of carrying in the small of the back IWB, which limits me.  If I’m understanding the maker correctly, if I want to carry IWB in the small of my back with this holster, I would need to buy a left-hand holster?  Thinking on it a bit, and if that’s indeed the case, that would be the more comfortable way to draw a weapon from behind your back…I might order another of these just to try it out.

The Pro Carry HD is also described as being bulky by customer comments on Amazon, although some customers are defending it by reminding gun owners that they should be buying pants with enough waist room to allow for such a holster.

So, tomorrow, I trek to find a nice gun belt (or even two, if they’re priced decently).  I’ve one gun store in mind (Trinue in Warrenton), and if the pricing is too high, maybe Guns and Ammo Warehouse.  UPDATE:  I ended up going to The Gun Shop, which didn’t have any belts, so they sent me to Virginia Arms, and I left with a black Galco 1.5″ gun belt. I also plan to go shooting either tomorrow or Tuesday morning.  I need to begin the break-in process of the Glock 19, my P320, and my GP P11.  I will probably carry the XD there so that I can fire off a box of SD rounds (Remington HTP +P 115-grain JHP) to see how well the XD responds to that ammo.

Categories
1911 carry CCW concealed Grand Power mag blocks magazines P11 SP2022 VA XD

Received my CCW Permit!

I submitted for my Virginia CCW on 20 February.  I received the permit in the mail on 28 February.  That’s eight (8) days turn-round!  Yes, I knew the VA process is simple in comparison to states such as California, but I’ve never heard of anyone getting their VA permit 8 days after submitting their application – don’t take that as a complaint, though…I’m VERY happy.

So, I’m now legal to carry concealed.  The studying of the laws and reading of others’ experiences has been ongoing and I’ll continue to do both until I become a CA resident.  My immediate tasks are to obtain several good in-waistband holsters.  This is difficult to do because I never considered which firearm I’d be carrying.  For now, I think I’ll carry my 1911s, but I also want to carry my XD subcompact, so I’ve ordered two IWB holsters for both the 1911s and the XD.  I also ordered an extra shell so that I can carry my SP2022.  Why did I pick these guns?  Because the 1911s have slide safeties, the XD has it’s grip safety, and the SP2022 has it’s DA/SA trigger (which I’m probably more acquainted with than the others’ safety mechanisms).  I’ll more than likely focus on carrying whichever is the least difficult to carry.  I’d rather have some type of safety on the guns I’ll be carrying, so that means I won’t be carrying the Glock 19 or the P320C (for now, at least).  You might not agree with the reasoning, but the choice is mine alone to make.

I ordered the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB.  I actually ordered two of them, as Alien Gear is having a two holster deal.  I ordered two holsters and an extra shell for $67.  It will be 4-6 weeks before I see those holsters, though.  If I can find something local at a LGS, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, Dick’s, or even Walmart, I’ll be lucky.

I also want to try to carry my other subcompact, the Grand Power P11, but I can’t find any holsters designed for it.  If I can find a decent generic holster that fits the P11 satisfactorily, I’ve the feeling that that particular gun would be ideal for me to carry.

Obtaining my VA CCW permit makes it more difficult to wrap my head around moving to CA.  We still remind ourselves that we can move to a state neighboring CA if we decided our liberties are being limited too much by CA.

I still have to order magazine blocks for the guns.  I’ll have to hack existing mag blocks for the GP P11, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.  If I find that they’re actually too difficult for me to hack, I’ll order 2-3 10-round mags from Eagle Imports.  My wife’s Ruger has one 10-round mag and one 12-round mag.  The 12-round mag has to go.  Her task is to find someone that’s willing to take it in exchange for their 10-round mag.  If it’s not gone by the time we’re ready to go to CA, I’ll either mail it to my parents or, worse case, throw it away…I’m not going to jail over a mag that my wife doesn’t want to get rid of.