Concealed Carry Society Carry Guide

Ultimate Guide To Concealed Carry

Both new gun owners and experienced gun owners alike have struggled with how to begin the concealed carry process. This concealed carry guide is a brief rundown, or checklist, to get you started successfully.

Before we begin it is important you know about the four rules of firearm safety. These are rules everyone should know before handling a firearm. If you are new to firearms be sure to read up on these rules and always follow them.

Below is a checklist of 5 steps to making your concealed carry experience as easy and simple as possible. Follow each of these steps completely and you will join the tens of millions of Americans who conceal carry on a daily basis.

Each step has a link to an important page on our website that covers that topic. Here is a overview of those pages:

1. Choose a Concealed Carry Gun and Ammo

Choose a Concealed Carry Handgun and Ammo

Read Best Concealed Carry Guns

Read Best Self Defense Ammo

Choosing your carry gun is a task that will be dependent on the individual. Each person is different, and, depending on their needs, their carry set up will be different as well.

While deciding on your options, I encourage you to try out some of your choices at local gun ranges. You can rent guns at certain ranges, or even bring a friend to try out their carry guns.

What To Look For In a Carry Gun

When it comes to picking the ideal concealed carry gun, consider it as an art of balancing three critical factors – type, size, and caliber. The type of gun must align with your comfort and usage requirements. The size should cater to easy concealment but also manage recoil efficiently.

Lastly, the ammo caliber is crucial, keeping in mind both the stopping power and your practical needs. Finding the right mix of these three parameters will guide you towards a concealed carry choice that offers peace of mind.

Handgun Types

Your two main choices of handgun for concealed carry are going to be semi-automatics and revolvers.

Semi-automatics offer a larger ammo capacity and faster reloading, but require more maintenance.

Revolvers, on the other hand, are renowned for their reliability and straightforward operation, making them a favorite among some. The downside to revolvers is that they generally only hold 6 rounds.

Remember, comfort and personal preference play key roles in your choice.

Handgun Sizes

When exploring concealed carry guns, size plays a starring role. Full-size handguns provide stability but might be tough to conceal. Compact models strike a balance between size and performance, while sub-compact guns are the easiest to conceal but require mastering recoil control. The ideal choice marries comfort, concealment, and capability in harmony.

Self Defense Ammo

Choosing the right self-defense ammo is crucial. Quality self-defense ammo offers reliable expansion, deep penetration, and sufficient stopping power. Remember, while your concealed carry gun matters, the ammo you choose can make all the difference when a critical situation arises.

It is extremely important to make sure and practice with your carry ammo. You want to make sure that it runs through your firearm reliably before you decide to use it daily.

Our Recommended Guns and Ammo

While there are a vast amount of options of firearms to carry, this is our short list to get you started. If you are comfortable carrying a larger handgun daily, then by all means do so. The three options listed below are not only our top picks, but they are three of the most purchased firearms in the United States.

Top Recommended Carry Guns

  • Sig Sauer P365 & P365 XL & P365 Macro
  • Smith & Wesson Shield Plus
  • Glock 43X

Top Recommended Self Defense Ammo

  • Federal HST
  • Hornady Critical Defense
  • Speer Gold Dot

Any quality brand self defense ammo can work, but like we mentioned above, be sure to test it out. You can check out our article listed above to see our recommendations.

2. Choose a Concealed Carry Holster

IWB vs OWB For Concealed Carry

Read Best Concealed Carry Holsters

A quality holster goes a long way in helping you carry safe as well as comfortable. The more comfortable the holster is, the more likely you are to carry. Follow the below guidelines to help you find the right holster for your needs.

What To Look For In A Carry Holster

Your holster goes a long way in helping you to carry safe and effectively. Using the list of options below, you can narrow down your holster choice. Don’t just settle for the cheapest holster, shop for quality.

Holster Materials

From robust Kydex to classic leather, or a blend of both in a hybrid style, the material of your concealed carry holster matters. Kydex offers durability, leather provides comfort and a timeless look, while hybrids balance the best of both worlds. Choose the material that suits your lifestyle and comfort.

Covered Trigger Guard

This one is simple…just make sure your holster completely covers your trigger guard. You also want to make sure the material that covers the trigger guard is firm and durable.

Some leather holsters can wear down over time and cause this area to become flimsy. If this is the case be sure to replace that holster.

Accommodate Accessories

Be sure that the holster you choose allows for any accessories you have on your carry gun. If you are going to carry with a light, optic, or any other extra features, your holster needs to be able to accommodate.

Decide Your Carry Position

Some holsters will work in multiple carry positions. However, some are made for a specific carry position, like appendix carry. Be sure you either know how you plan to carry, or purchase one that is versatile.

Off Body Carry

Off body carry (purse, backpacks, bags) is generally not recommended. However, if you are going to use off body carry be sure that the firearm is easily accessible as fast as possible.

An important thing to remember about off body carry is that you need to be in possession of your firearm. It is all too easy to forget and set your bag/purse down and walk away.

Our Recommended Holsters

These are our picks for the best holster companies on the market. Feel free to click the links and browse through the holster options that are available to find your best fit. Some of these companies have given our readers a discount code that saves you money at checkout.

Tulster Holsters: Save 15% with Code: CCS15

We The People Holsters: Save 15% with Code: CCS15

CrossBreed Holsters: Save 15% with Code: CCS15

3. Choose a Concealed Carry Belt

Choose A Concealed Carry Belt

Read Best Concealed Carry Belts

A good belt made for carrying a firearm is often skipped by people new to concealed carry. This is a huge mistake, and one I made when I started carrying. Nothing adds to comfort like a well made carry belt.

What To Look For In A Concealed Carry Belt

When searching for the perfect concealed carry belt, focus on three golden features – it should be ridged for stability, durable to withstand daily wear, and adjustable for utmost comfort. A well-selected belt complements your holster and ensures your carry system is secure and comfortable. It’s the bedrock of a smart concealed carry setup.

Types of Belts

There are essentially two types of concealed carry belts on the market…leather and nylon. Both work great, it is up to you to decide which one meets your needs. The reason I tend to wear nylon is that is the belt that more often comes with more adjustability. I love that feature. However, if I am going somewhere and need to dress up a bit, I might wear my leather carry belt.

Adjustability of Belts

I LOVE my KORE Essentials nylon gun belt. Being able to slide the belt loose at any moment is a godsend for my comfort. KORE also offers leather belts with this feature as well, so if you want adjustability and leather…you can have both.

With the other common type of belt, adjustments are made by placing the pin through the standard holes. While this works fine, you just lose the ability to adjust on the fly.

Our Recommended Belts

These are our picks for the best options for concealed carry gun belts. If one of these three are not for you, be sure to check out our article listed below and see a few others we have reviewed.

CrossBreed Gun Belts: Save 15% with Code: CCS15

KORE Essentials: Available at Tulster Holsters

Relentless Tactical: Available on Amazon

4. Choose Your Insurance & Other Needs

Other Concealed Carry Needs

Read Concealed Carry Insurance Compared

While accessories are endless when it comes to firearms, below are a few that you should definitely look into purchasing. Each of these things can be purchased to meet almost any budget.

Concealed Carry Insurance

If you are not going to drive without insurance, you probably should not conceal carry without it either. There are many options, but we break down all the costs and coverage of the top companies. We share with you our top choice, as well as our top budget option.

Cleaning Kit

If you are training and practicing like you should, a cleaning kit will be needed. While you can get some pretty elaborate kits, a basic kit is just fine.

Bedside Gun Safe

This can be optional depending on your circumstances. However, if you have small children it is highly recommended. You just want to make sure you choose one that allows fast, easy access while still maintaining security. Vaultek makes some great options, while they tend to cost a little more, they have all the top features you may want in a small safe.

5. Get Training

Firearm Training

Training is a must for all gun owners. You want to be as effective as possible, and the only way to do that is with quality training. If you are unsure on where to get training, a great place to check out is your local gun stores or ranges and ask them for recommendations in the area.

Online Training

Online training is a great addition to in person training, however it is not a substitute. For quality online training check out YouTube but make sure you are learning from a qualified instructor. Some companies also offer online training as well, but like YouTube, verify their credentials.

In Person Training

In person training is key to learning how to shoot, carry, and perform under pressure. Be sure you choose a quality organization or individual as you want to make sure the training you are getting is legit.

Concealed Carry Permit or Constitutional Carry

No matter if you are carrying with a permit or under constitutional carry, make sure you know your state and local laws. Each state is different and it is up to you to know the law.

You can find many classes that cover these, however they do change often. Know where to find your local laws.

Know The Law

It is also important to know the federal, state, and local laws. There are thousands and thousands of gun laws across the United States. While it is near impossible to memorize all of them, there is a way to be informed. Visit USCCA’s Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws to learn more.

Concealed Carry Tips

Achieving mastery in concealed carry involves more than just having the right equipment; it’s about integrating essential habits into your daily life. These principles are not just theoretical—they’re practical actions I’ve personally found to make a significant difference in carrying confidently and safely.

These tips will ensure you’re prepared, comfortable, and effective in your concealed carry approach, blending seamlessly into your lifestyle while enhancing your readiness and peace of mind.

  • Carry Daily: It is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it
  • De-escalate: Always try to de-escalate a situation or remove yourself if possible.
  • Don’t Fiddle: This is tempting at first, but the desire to adjust will go away with time. Just get comfortable carry gear and it will help.
  • Practice: While training is super important, be sure to have some fun and just go practice often.
  • Situational Awareness: Learn and practice this skill, it goes hand in hand with concealed carry.
  • Learn First Aid: The truth is, you will probably need first aid more than your firearm. This skill comes in handy in many circumstances.
  • No Brandishing: Always keep your firearm holstered in public unless it is needed for self defense. Your buddy can wait to see it when you are in private.
  • Dress Appropriately: Your clothing plays a crucial role in how effectively you can conceal your firearm. Opt for attire that naturally complements your carry method, ensuring your firearm remains hidden while still easily accessible.

Conclusion

Concealed carry is a serious responsibility that requires consistent practice, knowledge, and discretion. From understanding laws and self-defense principles to selecting the right firearm, holster, and belt…every decision matters.

To learn more about concealed carry just browse around our website or use the search function. We have a large amount of posts that cover everything related to concealed carry. But most importantly be sure to get some training and practice as much as possible.

Carry Safe, Carry Smart, and Carry Daily!

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Concealed Carry Insurance Compared
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