For most people, beginning their day is a routine. It’s a set schedule of activities that includes showering, eating, and dressing for the day. When incorporating concealed carry into your daily plan, your routine can be a little more difficult and problematic. There are many factors to consider when having to include your chosen daily carry firearm in your day. We can look at these factors in order of preparing for the day.
First of all and often enough most important is which firearm to choose to carry. If you’re anything like me, you have several firearms to choose from when deciding which to carry for the day. For me, deciding what to carry depends on my mood and what my daily activities will consist of. Will I be doing a lot of driving? If that’s the case, perhaps I’ll want to carry my firearm which I already have a holster set up beneath the steering wheel for a more comfortable ride. Another question you may want to ask yourself is will you be entering any gun free zones during your day, forcing you to un-holster and secure your firearm in the vehicle. If that’s the case, perhaps you may favor a holster and clothing that will allow you easier access to your firearm while inside your vehicle to secure it. Whatever the case may be, choosing what firearm to carry that day is only the first of many choices to make.
Secondly, once you’ve decided on what firearm you’ll be carrying, would be what to wear for the day. Again, this often depends on what your day will consist of. Dressing around your chosen firearm can be difficult at times. There are certain things you want to take care to avoid, as well as insuring you’ll be comfortable while carrying.
If you’re dressing casual, you want to be sure your shirt effectively covers your concealed firearm. This includes when bending or stretching. It’s not a bad idea to test the concealing quality of your shirt in a mirror. Check to make sure when you stretch out or lean over, the shirt doesn’t ride up to the point it exposes any part of your firearm or holster. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a store and noticed someone carrying simply by them bending over and flashing their firearm. The same thought should be considered if you wear a magazine holster on your opposite hip.
Another well-known factor of concealed carry to consider when deciding on an outfit is printing. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, printing is what occurs when loose, thin clothing is pulled or pressed against your firearm creating a defined outline. This can created an unwanted effect, as well as cause some unwanted attention. Printing can be avoided with the right clothing. Most importantly, by making sure your holster is secure in your pants and high on your hip so as not to slip down during movement and press out against your shirt. Also, darker colored shirts made of thicker material can prevent printing the most effectively. It’s not completely avoidable all the time, but wearing the proper clothing can help in lessening the chances of printing.
If you’re dressing more formal, say a suit and tie; other carry options may be considered. If you’re planning on keeping your jacket on throughout the day, perhaps a shoulder holster would be the best option. However if the chance exists you’ll be shedding that jacket at some point, an IWB holster with your dress shirt tucked over your firearm may be better suited for the situation. Most IWB holsters are capable of accommodating a shirt being tucked in over them to completely conceal your firearm. Granted that set up does put clothing between you and your firearm, ultimately hindering your ability to effectively and quickly draw; but sometimes remaining concealed trumps a faster draw. An ankle holster is always a viable option, however are mostly reserved to contain a back-up firearm due to the limitations of size and weight.
Whatever your attire may consist of that day, once decided upon it’s never a bad idea to check yourself in a mirror once again before leaving for the day. Check your firearm over before holstering. If you prefer a round in the chamber, give a quick safety check to verify it’s loaded with the safety engaged if applicable. Make sure your firearm is secure and stable in the holster. Be sure it’s not showing from various angles and positions. Once you’re satisfied with the results, it’s time to go about your day.
One aspect of the day I still tend to troubleshoot often is the entering and exiting of my vehicle while carrying. For some, depending on the size and type of firearm they choose to carry, this is an easy and effortless task. For others it can be troublesome. Getting in and out of your vehicle without snagging your firearm on something can take practice. Finding the proper sitting position to keep your firearm from digging into the seat can also be problematic. Figuring out how to do this without difficulty and hassle is important when out in public. The last thing you want is to be forced to adjust your holster or firearm in the middle of a crowded parking lot.
It takes practice, working out these beginning issues and kinks of daily carry life. There’s nothing wrong with practice, figuring out what attire and methods of moving in and out of your vehicle work best for you. You may go through countless methods of carry before you discover what works. The most important aspect is safety. Always remember to be safe and vigilant while carrying. Know your firearm. Know your equipment. Practice with what you carry and what you wear while carrying.