7 Things to Keep in Your Gun Range Bag

7 Things to Keep in Your Gun Range Bag

Have you ever trekked to the gun range only to discover you forgot something you wish you had brought? Yeah. Me too. Well, here’s a list of things to permanently keep in your gun range bag so that doesn’t happen. (Some are pretty obvious, but just think of this as a reminder.)

1. Eye and Ear Protection

Like I said, yeah obviously. But you guys, I’ve had my eye protection break—lenses fall out, or some idiot (me) accidentally steps on them. Keep a spare in your bag in case something happens. At the range, safety is paramount for both eyes and ears. But also…

2. First Aid Kit

We’re all about preparedness and safety. A basic kit is important to have for things like insect bites, splinters, and the beginners who might accidentally get slide bites. It’s a good idea to have a first aid kit in your car at all times anyway, so another kit in your gun range bag isn’t a big deal.

3. Ammunition and Spare Magazines

Of course! You’re going to need ammunition, but you should take all you’re going to shoot. Trigger time is what’s going to help you in the long run, so it’s good to put as many through your pistol is possible. You should be practicing reloading, too, so having your extra magazines is paramount. In fact, if you’re looking to have some ammo out of your bag, you can check out our affordable Mag Pouch here.

4. Targets

This is probably the only thing that I regularly forget when heading to the range. In my gun range bag, I now keep balloons because they’re cheap, compact, light, and help me in my tactical drills with my kydex holster (shooting until the “threat” is gone, the popped balloon signaling this accomplishment). But you should grab your paper targets too; even if you have to fold them.

5. Staple gun (and/or Clothes Pins), Staples, Marker, Measuring Tape

Depending on where you do your shooting, you’ll need a way to hang your targets. Some ranges have vertically mounted pieces of plywood, some have stakes and chicken wire (like the range I haunt). So, either a staple gun (don’t forget staples, y’all) or clothespins can hold your targets up. You need the marker (particularly a black and permanent one) to circle previous shots for easy acquisition. The measuring tape doesn’t have to be big and bulky, just long enough to measure shot groups.

6. Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance Kit

This is just in case you run into a malfunction and need to get your pistol back into operational order. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting valuable range time.

7. Firearms & Holsters

Well yeah, we’re not talking about archery here, so you won’t need a bow. But if you have more than one concealed carry pistol (and you should check our post about this) then you need to practice with both. And you also need to practice unholstering and reholstering as well. Don’t bring your whole collection, just bring what you intend to practice with because holsters can take up quite a lot of space. We recommend having at least one adjustable and modular holster with you at all times. Checkout our concealed carry holster. Finally, if you’re only bringing a few pistols, and can separately and safely store them, go ahead and pack them in your bag as well.

Are there any other items I forgot to add to this list?

Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: hr.staton@yahoo.com

The Best Concealed Carry Self-Defense Ammunition

The Best Concealed Carry Self-Defense Ammunition

I know that many of you rush to the nearest store when it has a sale on ammo. In fact, I have done it myself. There’s not ever been a time when I’ve heard anyone say, “I have too many bullets.” I’m sure some of the vets out there who’ve been in firefights have actually wished they could say that. But in a concealed carry holsters, its important what concealed carry ammunition you put in your magazine.

When it comes to defense, I want a projectile that is going to expand—to create as big a hole as possible, increasing the chances of stopping a threat. For this, I’m willing to shell out a little more money, and I won’t have to buy more than a box to fill my magazines.

Surplus ammo—specifically full metal jacket—at a decent price is great for the range, however.

Which comes to my first point:

Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) Ammo is Best Left for the Range

Bulk ammunition is prime for range time. But I’m talking about full metal jacketed (FMJ) ammo. It makes nice, clean holes in the paper; eradicates balloons; all without breaking the bank. But the same can be said about tissue.

The thing about using the full metal jacket in your concealed carry pistol is that it’s going to penetrate and pass through the body. If no vital points are hit (i.e. the heart), an assailant could still proceed in his assault for a few minutes. That’s no good.

Instead, Have these Defense Ammunitions

Instead of FMJ, I primarily use a critical defense hollow points, or center point expanding cartridges for concealed carry ammunition. Defense ammo usually comes with a few extra grains (for you beginners, that means the cartridge has a little more powder which gives the load a little extra velocity). Upon contact the projectile mushrooms and penetrates deeply, making a larger wound; as it passes through tissue, it slows down.

I want every shot to count if I must resort to using my pistol. The larger the wound, the faster a predator is disabled.

My only suggestion is to do a bit of trial on defense rounds to discover for yourself what different defense ammunition does versus others. There is are different ways to do this, either by breaking out the ham steak, a watermelon, ballistic jell—whatever. But you’re going to want to use something that’s going to allow you to see how the projectile passes through something similar to tissue.

After you’ve carried your defense ammo for a while, there will be a time for you to change it out. I wrote another post about how often you should change your concealed carry ammunition; it goes into the depth that your ammo has been through whatever your pistol has—and will therefore need to be changed out. The cartridges are not “bad,” but you should change them and use the previously carried bullets at the range.

What defense ammunition do you use in your concealed carry pistol?

Speaking of concealed carry ammunition, if you have a magazine that needs a comfortable and secure hold, check out our affordable Mag Pouch here.

Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: hr.staton@yahoo.com

The Utility of a Second Concealed Carry Weapon

The Utility of a Second Concealed Carry Weapon

I’m always writing about how I carry seasonally, well… that’s one of the few reasons why it’s useful to have at least a second concealed carry weapon. Now, I don’t know many people who say, “I DON’T NEED ANOTHER GUN” but here are a few reasons to consider it:

1. Variety

We’ve all heard the saying: “Variety is the spice of life!” Well, that’s true. It’s nice to have options, and humans experience a great many things from diversity. As shooters, it can make you a more adaptable marksman. But this necessitates the need for practice even more. Once you have another pistol, you definitely need to get yourself to the range more often. It’ll also change up your range time, as well.

I’m not saying that you should bug-out and buy… 30 pistols (I’m also not ragging on those of you who collect). What I’m saying is that in contrast, too many pistols can create a sticky situation where you don’t go to the range. In fact, my step-father was guilty of this too often—although in his defense, he also was an instructor, so he was going to the range more than me.

But he also stressed the importance of having a basic collection for personal and home defense. I have also adopted his collection list: 2 concealed carry pistols, a shotgun, and a rifle. Versatility without overwhelming. If you need recommendations, I suggest getting a barrel gun as your second CCW and a rifle that chambers the same ammunition or both pistols in the same caliber. Whatever works for you.

2. Potential Evidence

In the event that you must use your pistol in self-defense, it will become evident. Now, I’m not in law enforcement, but I do understand that often pieces of evidence can betide up by court hearings, appeals, or even eventually destroyed.

If your only concealed carry pistol is admitted into evidence, you will be unarmed, and may potentially never get it back. You do not need to be left defenseless; having another CCW Pistol & Gun Holster will prevent that from happening.

3. Potential Ruin

Recently there have been many fires in my community. Now, I don’t honestly know if a pistol could survive a house fire (especially if it isn’t kept in a safe or another fire-proof case). Honestly, if you guys have any ideas or experience with this, I’d be interested to read what you have to say.

And it’s unfortunate to consider, but if someone lifts your pistol, you’ll also be defenseless. (Let’s all hope this isn’t a case we need to plan to prevent—hopefully, your CCWs are on your person so this has no potential as a case.)

Regardless, the point here is to keep you armed regardless of what happens.

Do you think there is another reason that necessitates a second CCW?

If you just received your second CCW and are looking for a durable and modular holster, check out our Kydex holsters here.

Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: hr.staton@yahoo.com

4 Things to Know When You Conceal Carry a Revolver

How to Conceal Carry a Revolver?

As someone who carries a revolver 6-8 months out the year, I’ve learned quite a few things on how to conceal carry a revolver. For me, a .38 special S&W snub-nose is my summer carry (which I’ve talked about several times); technically I carry it during nicer weather because it’s easier to conceal carry a revolver. But that’s not the point here.

The point I want to make is that it’s much different than carrying, for example, a Glock 19. If you’re not a shooter who typically carries one, here are some things to keep in mind if you decide you want to add it to your repertoire.

1. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Slow Reloads

I just want to get this one out of the way. It’s beat into the dirt and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t already know this. Compared to an approximate reload time of 2.5 seconds for bottom-fed semi-autos, 4-6 seconds can feel like an eternity.

So, if you’re thinking of choosing a revolver for your CCW, you’re going to have to practice reloading.

USA Carry has a few articles posted about using speed strips, but I personally use speed loaders. I know they’re bulky, but they’re much faster for me. But here’s my plug to remind you all to practice, practice, practice! (Many recommend a cheap way to practice by either drying firing or using spent casings.)

2. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Rounded Frames

Many of you have differing opinions, but I’m always asked by my fellow concealed carriers “Hannah, am I printing?” Revolvers just have a frame that’s easy to conceal.

I’m not saying they print less than a semi-auto, just that the rounded frame leans toward concealment. Longer barrels make for sluggish drawing, but I don’t think any of you are concealed carrying a Peacemaker. Leave me a comment if you do!

3. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Great Back-up

I can harp on the fashion industry that has completely obliterated the presence of pockets in women’s clothing, but that’s for another time.  But for shooters that have deep pockets (pun not intended), a snub-nosed revolver can make a good pocket gun.

Fun fact: our CEO likes to carry a snub-nose occasionally as his pocket gun. I know there is a rise in compact 9mms as pocket guns, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about preference.

The .38 special I carry served once as my step-grandfather’s ankle gun. Also, revolvers can share ammunition with some rifles (which if you’re like me, is handy for going hunting or camping).

4. Conceal Carry a Revolver: Reliability

This stemmed from law enforcement. WAY back, ammunition was, more or less, not as “reliable” as it is now. Modern handguns, ammunition, and magazines have done away with this. However, I don’t know about you, but shooting that questionable .38 S&W Longs you found in the back of your bug-out bunker seems a little less terrifying with a revolver.

I’m not suggesting you should shoot it, I’m just saying to not put it in your rifle.

Now, I don’t advocate for poor gun maintenance, but revolvers, especially one’s with full steel frames can take much more neglect without suffering malfunctions. Again, I don’t recommend it. Also, just a note about safety: Even revolvers should be carried in a holster for the sake of securing the weapon.

With the invention of modern handguns, revolvers are now essentially having to fight for a role in the CC community. From experience, I’ve really enjoyed having a revolver as a self-defense weapon.

What do you think, could revolvers become obsolete, or do you think they possess qualities that will keep them popular?

As a personal note, I really love carrying this handgun. It is truly a pleasure to shoot and fits my hands almost perfectly. I have always had trouble with the feather-weight models because they feel like, unfortunately, toys. There’s just something about shooting a solid pistol that is unlike anything else.

Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: hr.staton@yahoo.com

IWB Hinge Holster for Glock 36

How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster in 3 Steps

There are easily thousands of different holsters to choose from when it comes to concealed carry. So how in the world do you decide on your next concealed carry holster? Well here are a few strategies to help you:

1. When choosing a concealed carry holster, decide how you want to carry.

Or rather, what’s the best fit for you—which unfortunately means you might have to try out a holster that ends up not suiting you. That’s okay! For a while, I carried a Kydex holster that had a wide belt clip but put the grip of my pistol about 1.5 inches away from my body.

It made concealed carry during the summer a nightmare but was perfect for winter carry. Finally, I found an IWB holster for summer carry that I can wear with my shorts.

There are a few ways to concealed carry, IWB (in-the-waistband), Shoulder carry, pocket carry, and many, many more. The best thing is to try a style (and practice drawing safely) and test to see if one style is more comfortable (for everyday carry, drawing, and having a minimal print).

Once you find a style that suits you, you’ll be able to narrow down your search.

2. When choosing a concealed carry holster, pick between manufacturers.

It’s likely that you’ll run into different styles of the same type of holsters—made of different materials, with different modifications (removable or adjustable belt clips), &, etc.

You can look online for different reviews or comparisons and sometimes a person at the counter of your sporting goods store could give you some insight.

The best way to decide between them is to determine what features you need in your holster. Maybe it’s important that your holster is supremely customizable with different ride heights and cant angles? Maybe you need it to be versatile (i.e. a holster for IWB as well as pocket carry)?

Your holster should fit your needs as close as possible so it will be much safer and more secure and therefore you will enjoy carrying (which means you’re more likely to carry every day) and you will have the confidence to do so. Make sure you choose a durable and low-print concealed carry holster that will give you a lifetime of supply.

3. Lastly, expect trial and error.

In the end, you’re not really going to truly know you have the right holster until you put your gun in it and carry.

It doesn’t matter how many reviews you read or how many people you talk to—you’re only going to know when you’ve had the holster working (or not) for you.

Some holsters may be better for different seasons or for a different outfit (i.e. wearing jeans and a belt vs. wearing a suit vs. wearing your winter clothes). It’s all going to depend on what you need at the time for you and your weapon.

What is your favorite concealed carry holster of all time and why? Have you tried our great kydex holsters out yet?

big gun in holster

[Video] Small, Medium, & Big Gun in Concealment Holster

Check out a Small, Medium, & Big Handgun in a Concealment Holster

We show off what a Sig P229, Springfield Armory Mod.2 9mm SubCompact, & Walther PPS M2 look like in a No Print Wonder Holster, a great concealment holster for your needs.

Search all the gun or pistol holsters, we support. We have the best kydex holsters including the following gun models:

Glock 21 Holsters

Glock 43 Holster

Glock 23 Holster

Glock 45 Holster

Glock 19x Holster

Kydex Holsters for Concealed Carry

How to Draw from an Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holster

When drawing a firearm from a durable and concealed IWB holster, there are a few things we all need to know.

The first thing you should do before you even reach for your firearm:

Step #1. Analyze the situation

Ask yourself, “Does this conflict require the brandishing of a firearm”? If no, deescalate the situation as calmly and quickly as possible.

If yes….

Step #2. Get your shirt out of the way!

Using your weak hand, yank your shirt up high enough to not hinder the speed or accuracy of your draw.

Whether tucked or untucked, a shirt being snagged on your weapon, as you draw, means it is getting in the way. You can’t afford to lose precious seconds when you need to draw your pistol in a self-defense situation.

Step #3. Grip it firmly!

Now that your shirt is out of the way, take a firm grasp of the pistol grip. Ensure that the way that you are gripping your weapon, is your intended firing grip.

You should not have to readjust your grip once the weapon is drawn.

Step #4. Bring it in tight!

As you draw from an IWB holster, be sure that your muzzle does not cross your body. Create the shortest arc possible from holster to ready position.

As you are drawing, if it has a manual safety, place it into the FIRE position.

Bring the firearm in tight and close to your body, pointed downwards at the low-ready position. DO NOT place your finger on the trigger yet! This is intended to prevent any unwanted discharge, a negligent discharge could harm an innocent bystander.

Practice using your preferred stance

There are three main shooting stances when you draw from an inside waistband holster: Isosceles vs Weaver vs Chapman. Figure out which one works best for you and stick with it. When are ready to shoot, you’ll push your pistol out away from your body to finish out your stance.

If you need a visual, we at Clinger Holsters love this article by PoliceOne that teaches you each of the three stances.

If you must fire your weapon, shoot center of mass quickly until the threat is stopped.

checkout the cz p01 holster for this.

Practice re-holstering your weapon

After the threat is confidently stopped, assess the environment as a whole.

Are there any more threats close by? Some criminals bring accomplices with them. Ensure there isn’t another armed bad guy nearby before you reholster your weapon.

Place the weapon back in the safe position, if you carry that way. Re-holster your weapon with the smallest arc possible (DO NOT LET THE MUZZLE CROSS YOUR BODY). Ensure that you have a firm, steady grip on your weapon, keeping finger off the trigger.

Again, using your weak hand, lift your shirt.

Re-holster slowly and carefully. When you re-holster, watch your gun go into the IWB holster until it is fully seated. Luckily, you might have a pocket holster that clings securely to your side to keep you a peace of mind.

Practice makes perfect

Be sure to practice drawing and re-holstering your weapon from an IWB holster so you’re ready if you ever need to be. Having muscle memory is the only way to draw your firearm quickly and efficiently under stress. It takes a ton of practice to develop muscle memory.

We all pray that we will never need to draw our weapon for self-defense.

However, because predators exist in our society, having a firearm on your hip can be very comforting. We hope that you learned how to draw from an IWB holster in an effective manner. Stay safe.

6 Tips for Buying Your First Gun

Are you a novice shooter and are buying your first gun soon? Congratulations! You are in luck, as Clinger Holsters has compiled some considerations, tips, and tricks as you search for your perfect fit for your gun holsters.

Why do you need it?

Why do you need a handgun? Concealed carry or home defense?

If you’re buying your first gun for concealed carry, you want it to be smaller, lighter, and less obtrusive.

If you’re buying your first gun for home defense, you may want something larger and heavier.

So… before you start shopping, figure out what you will use it for.

Now that you know the gun’s primary function, let’s look at styles.

Buying Your First Gun Step #1. What type of handgun style do you want?

There are two types of handgun styles used for personal defense. You need to choose which one is best for you.

  • Semi-Automatic Pistol.
    • Semi-automatics are the most popular type of handgun in today’s market
    • Generally, a lighter, more consistent trigger pull than revolvers
    • Capable of holding up to 20 rounds of ammo
    • Fast reloads
    • Slimmer than revolvers
  • Revolver
    • Has a revolving cylinder can be easier for people who can’t easily rack a slide
    • Usually holds 5 or 6 rounds
    • Manual charging/cocking of the hammer
    • Double Action triggers are almost always used on self-defense weapons

Buying Your First Gun Step #2. Check your budget

I want you to read this next sentence very carefully. It could save your life and your wallet.

DON’T LET YOUR BUDGET BE THE DECIDING FACTOR WHEN PURCHASING A HANDGUN!

When purchasing a handgun, you must be methodical, precise, and cautious. Especially if you are looking to buy it used.
In the case of firearms – like some other things, cheap is not always the best thing.

If you purchase a firearm used and it has any kind of faults or issues, you are likely to invest more in the weapon, than you had if you would have bought new from the start.

Have an experienced gunsmith look over every part of the weapon any time you consider buying a used firearm.

Buying Your First Gun Step #3. Research handgun factors

Tip #1. Consider caliber size

There are a few popular calibers to choose from. The .45acp, 9mm, & 40S&W are the most popular for semi-autos. The .38 & .357 are most popular for revolvers. The size of the round, or caliber can determine how much recoil the gun will have and how effective the stopping power might be.

Tip #2. Think about recoil

A very common myth is that if I buy a small gun it will have less recoil- actually the case is quite the opposite. Since a smaller weapon is [smaller] it has less mass to absorb the recoil of the weapon.
So a large weapon with a smaller caliber (e.g. Beretta M9) has much less felt the recoil, whereas a small weapon with a larger caliber (e.g. Xds 45acp) has more aggressive recoil.

Tip #3. How much stopping power do you need?

Obviously, as caliber sizes go up- the effectiveness of the stopping power will increase. A .22 caliber round will not be as effective at stopping an assailant as a .44.

Tip #4. Compare firepowers

Full-size guns chambered in 9mm can hold as many as 18 rounds vs a similar gun chambered in 45acp which holds 10-12 rounds.

Usually, guns chambered in 45acp can’t hold as many rounds as a gun chambered in 9mm. Therefore, firepower should be considered as well.

Buying Your First Gun Step #4. Test out a few handguns

There are two very important things to remember when buying a handgun

Tip #5. How does it feel?

  • Is the gun comfortable in your hand?
  • Can you easily reach all the controls?
  • Does it point naturally?
  • Does it cup to your palm appropriately?

Tip #6. How does it shoot?

If at all possible try and test the gun.

  • Some gun shops have ranges.
  • Some ranges will let you rent and test the guns they have on hand.

So remember to evaluate the gun’s purpose before your purchase.

Also, remember this:
There is no perfect gun for all situations.

You will be better suited with at least 2-3 different gun sizes for different situations. Obviously, smaller guns are easier to conceal and bigger guns are easier to shoot. For some reason, if you don’t have to conceal it, the bigger gun will probably suit your needs better.

If you plan on concealing your new weapon, here is a breakdown of the best concealed carry guns on the market.

If you have any more questions about being a concealed carrier, check out our in-depth article here! and also checkout our Glock 23 holsters here