Common Sense And Concealed Carry

IT seems that everything involved with the subject of combat shooting and going armed is now regarded as complex doctrine that must be validated and presented by “experts” only; the individual who wishes to master combat shooting and be ready for emergencies can figure nothing out for himself.

Here are the simple facts regarding the matter of concealed carry. You can use them as a guide and save yourself tons of money, or you can line the pockets of “instructors” who will be happy to initiate you into what they enjoy presenting as the “little known lore” normally restricted to the elite professionals.

You should familiarize yourself with a variety of revolvers and semiautomatics and select the one (or possibly two or more) that you can handle and feel most confident with, personally. Your selection of a handgun or handguns for your personal carry and use should be based upon the following criteria:
a) The weapon should be of the highest possible quality manufacture. If you live in the United States you are very fortunate here, because you can select from amongst the finest quality firearms available from every manufacturer on earth ––– or damn near every single one. Quality must be first class. You don’t look to save money when purchasing a firearm by compromising quality. Buy the best; because if you ever need that handgun you will need it very badly indeed, and the last thing that will matter to you is how much you “saved” on a bargain-basement firearm.
b) Unless you have the knowledge and experience, purchase a brand new weapon. Used weapons can be every bit as good as used ––– sometimes, depending upon who owned and used them, they can be superior to new weapons ––– but you need to have the ability to examine and to evaluate them. If you lack that expertise, buy brand new.
c) We personally urge that you select nothing less than a .38 Special or 9mm handgun. Carrying a .357, .40, or .45ACP is best if you can carry it comfortably concealed on your person. (We love the old Colt Commander Model .45 auto pistol. We carried one 24/7 years ago, and it was ––– in our personal experience ––– an absolutely fabulous constant-carry piece. When carrying that was not feasible, we carried a Smith and Wesson Model 60 Chiefs revolver in .38 Special in an ankle holster. Today, we would choose a Centennial revolver, which we feel is a better pointer.)

2. You must determine how the variety of available holsters fit you. Your physical structure (height, weight, hip width, etc.) will greatly affect which holsters feel comfortable and enable you to carry concealed, and which do not. Each of the following can be perfect under certain conditions for certain people. Check into it and utilize what you discover about your physique, mode of dress, etc. and how these factors affect any given concealed carry mode for you.

––– Small of the back holster (Excellent in certain situations. Obviously no good if you are sitting down)

––– Crossdraw holster (One of our favorites. Excellent sitting or standing)

––– Appendix carry holster (Comfortable for some)

––– High hip holster* (Probably the all-round fastest. Not at all good when seated in a vehicle)

––– Shoulder holster (Another of or favorites. Excellent sitting or standing. Permits either hand access. All but makes a weapon snatch impossible.)

––– Ankle holster (Not the best, but will do when no other option for concealed carry presents itself)

––– Inside the pocket holster (Very practical for many)

*Inside-the-pants carry mode is extremely popular, and rightly so. However, do not automatically assume that this will prove functional for yourself. It may not. Excellent outside the pants holsters will permit outstanding concealment, and if an inside-the-pants causes you discomfort, you will not want to wear it for ten or more hours steadily, and discomfort ––– with any holster ––– could easily give away the fact that you’re “carrying”.

Your selection of concealed carry modes MUST FIT YOU.
3. PRACTICE, practice, practice, practice, and practice more! Speedy access (“quick draw”) should be drilled into you so that, in a crisis, your weapon can be produced ––– accident free! ––– in the shortest possible time ––– ready to fire!

Most often quick draw is not required. But if you can accomplish quick draw then smooth and efficient access (which is always required when a firearm must be withdrawn from its holster) is easy and natural. Note that quick draw from an ankle holster (the late excellent holster-maker Chic Gaylord to the contrary notwithstanding) is not practically possible under combat conditions. Please do not point to some odd exception who practices for hours every day and who is a natural perfectly coordinated athlete and shooter. This type of individual cannot realistically serve as a model for the statistically average person (private citizen, law enforcement officer, soldier, etc.) who must accommodate less favorable hereditary and daily practice realities.

It is very doubtful that one handgun and one carry mode will suffice for anyone who must go armed constantly. The principles given apply to each and every firearm and carry mode, and to all who employ any!

We have not referenced firearms safety, proper handling, maintenance, basic combat (i.e. point) shooting, and how to use the handgun when distance, time, and light permit use-of-the-sights aimed firing. We merely wished to mention the salient facts about concealed carry so that those decent citizens who wish to go armed and can legally do so, but who cannot afford to pay through the nose for instruction in this simple subject, will get the scoop.


We understand that carrying a knife concealed is normally not covered by any permits that are issued for concealed firearms carry. Therefore we present the following for academic/informational purposes only. We do not recommend or endorse the carrying of a knife or of any weapon in any manner, illegally.

Fairbairn had a great idea in regard to knife carry. He had a holster sewn into his left hand pocket. He was right-handed. Thus his right hand was free to strike, and no one noticed him draw the razor sharp commando knife that was his own ––– and Eric Sykes’ ––– invention, with his left hand.

Whichever pocket you choose, we think that having the pocket modified so that a fighting knife can be held in a conveniently placed holster inside that pocket is a great idea.

Soldiers in battle dress often carry a knife on their web gear, but not concealed. There are shoulder holsters for knives, but we cannot recommend any personally. We have never carried any fighting knife concealed. We did carry a Buck Folding Hunter that was slightly modified with a nub welded on the blade for one hand opening. This was years before some excellent commercially available “flick type” folding knives became available.

As we have written elsewhere, we like the box cutter (“utility knife”) as a self-defense weapon. These, and lock blade folders ––– the only kind to carry for defense purposes ––– are very easy to conceal in normal pockets. We train students to employ folders that have not been already opened as yawara sticks to strike blows before taking the moment to open them.
The important thing with a knife that you carry concealed is that it be convenient, readily accessible, and comfortable for you. There really is no “official” or universally recommended carry mode for knives. In fact, where lawful, the carrying of a knife in a conventional belt scabbard can be fine. Again, you must determined what suits you best and what accommodates your unique requirements ––– dress wise, physique-wise, technique application wise.

Weaponry is an important aspect of modern, practical self-defense, as it has always been an important aspect of real world close combat.