3 Things to Do When You Can’t Carry

More and more often, as I do what “adults” do—I go into places where carrying a firearm is not permitted. I can’t carry in places like the courthouse, the doctor’s office (one in particular that had a metal detector), the hospital, etc.

You know the places I’m talking about. And there are even some of us that aren’t allowed to take our concealed carry weapons to work, either.

Well, alright—so I don’t have my pistol. Regardless of the place or establishment that doesn’t permit you to carry, there are a few things that you can do. One of the best things you can do is to use an IWB Holster or a Gear Holster.

1. If you can’t carry: stay alert

Yeah. Okay. But hear me out. This is the most important thing that you can do because this influences many of your other decisions, options, and choices. Seriously—situational awareness is one of the greatest tools in your concealed carry arsenal because it can help you avoid situations that otherwise could put you in jeopardy. Which, in this case, avoid potentially dangerous situations should be at the top of your list.

2. If you can’t carry: use words

Sometimes, things happen—maybe you bumped into the wrong guy at the hospital. Apologize. Or even get someone else’s attention. Your voice is just as much a self-defense tool as your CCW (which you had to leave in the car).

3. If you can’t carry: find other means

Pull a fire alarm. Now, in all possible scenarios, you should try everything and anything else to get yourself out of a dangerous situation if you can’t carry (if I’m not mistaken, you can be fined for pulling a fire alarm if there’s no fire…) before resorting to evacuating an entire building. There’s also furniture you can throw (if someone’s attacking you).

Now if you get the chance to prepare, I suggest learning how to defend yourself by other means as well regardless of whether you are a man or woman. Learn a martial art, some kickboxing, or even some basic hand-to-hand defense.

Hopefully, as you go about your business, you won’t need either your pistol or anything else. But it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

If you happen to have your handgun on hand, be sure that it’s concealed and ready for you to use it in our dependable Kydex holsters that are affordable and modular for all uses.

Has this been something you’ve had to consider? Often, or not at all?

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

2 Ways to Prevent Negligent Discharges

2 Ways to Prevent Negligent Discharges

Unfortunately, there are still instances happening of accidental discharges—even in 2018. Which is why all of us need to continue to preach gun safety. But I have two ways to help prevent negligent discharges, or at least make it (hopefully) less likely.

1. Prevent negligent discharges by getting rid of that old holster that’s falling apart.

Seriously. If you carry your CCW every day, imagine what your pants go through—sweat, heat, cold, dust, dirt, grime, lint, rain, mud, dog hair. The more you carry, the more your holster (and even your gun, too) is exposed to all manners of things, especially depending on your profession. When your holster starts to fall apart, the less secure your pistol is. It might even start to ride up if you’re carrying an IWB (if you know what I’m talking about, then you definitely need to retire yours).

Now, this includes your “expensive” holsters. Look—they are not going to last forever. They’re durable, sure, but not indestructible. After years and years, it’s going to wear out. If the material (especially that of fabric and some leather holsters) starts to bend and dip into the trigger well, then it’s time to get another one.

2. Prevent negligent discharges by investing in quality.

Yes, I already said that quality holsters can wear out, but when that time comes is entirely dependent on frequency of use, amount of abuse and wear, holster material, and even sometimes where you live (exposure to weather, like rain). But quality means that your higher dollar purchase is going to stretch over a longer period, especially if those concealed carry holsters modular and durable for a lifetime supply of use.

A lower quality holster that “kind-of” or “almost” fits your pistol isn’t going to cut it, and it’s definitely not safe. Good retention in a holster is key to safety because that means the gun isn’t going anywhere until it is unholstered. God forbid that cheap, $15 holster’s plastic clip break while you’re out or your IWB kydex holster and gun both slide out (and off) and fall to the ground.

Other than practicing the gun safety rules, do you think these two tips can help prevent accidental discharges?

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

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

Top 5 Things to Not Do as a Concealed Carrier

Being a concealed carrier is a responsibility and requires that when we do that we conduct ourselves differently than we otherwise would. We talked about situational awareness where the focus is to remain aware, but here I want to emphasize that there are things we shouldn’t do while using concealed carry holsters.

Don’t be a concealed carrier and…

1. Take Prescription Drugs that Impair Judgment or Motor Skills.

That same prescription will tell you to not drive or operate heavy machinery. So, you definitely shouldn’t be concealed carrying. It’s difficult to say where prescriptions create impairments   Honestly if you can’t safely operate your vehicle, then you shouldn’t be carrying a pistol.

2. Suffer Insomnia.

If you’ve ever stayed up for 48 hours (as an adult) then you know that the lack of sleep can cause irritability, slow motor skills, drowsiness (of course), paranoia, altered judgment and a manner of other things. If you have a lack of judgment, you shouldn’t be carrying concealed.

3. Drink.

I mean this one is beat into the dirt, but it’s definitely on this list. It’s the law. But like I’ve already said, anything that impairs with your judgment should be mixed with carrying a concealed handgun. It’s a trade-off; if you want to drink, don’t be a concealed carrier. If you’re carrying, don’t drink. There’s the risk. But you shouldn’t risk your life or the life of others by drinking and assessing a situation incorrectly.

4. Dabble with Drugs.

Schedule I drugs are what I’m talking about—meth, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc. I understand that marijuana is starting to move out of that circle at the state level, but it affects motor skills, reaction times, and in some people judgment. It’s on the form when you purchase a firearm. If you have a legitimate medical need to use marijuana, be mindful. If you need to defend yourself, the effects of marijuana are notorious for making its users docile.

5. Deal with Severe Emotional Distress.

There was a point in my life where my head was not in the right place—I was grieving the loss of my step-father, dealing with the end of a bad personal relationship, the end of my junior year of my undergraduate, and etc.

At the time I hadn’t got my concealed carry license yet, but I received it towards the end of dealing with that stress. I didn’t carry my concealed carry weapon (CCW) until I had received some counsel and dealt with my problems. We all go through periods of our lives like that. However, don’t add the responsibility of carrying a firearm under those physical and emotional stress. Take the time to get yourself better.

I know there are many that I have missed, so please feel free to jot them down in the comments for me or create a discussion about the ones I have included above.

You may or may not agree with the ones I’ve included for those who are a concealed carrier, but I just want to remind everyone that concealed carrying under the influence of certain things is not a good idea.

As a CCL holder and a law-abiding citizen to it is important to be alert and your mind and body unhindered for your own safety and others.

Which “Conceal Carry and Don’t…” really gets your mind thinking and why?

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

5 Pains Concealed Carriers Experience

5 Pains Concealed Carriers Experience

For concealed carriers, you may already be all-too-familiar with the aches and pains that come with carrying your gun every day. Which, if you carry every day, Excellent! Proud of you! Now, the pains we feel—some are minor—some are just annoying.

1. Car Rides with a Gun in the Holster

Don’t get me wrong. Most of the time, if I’m in the car, I don’t have to drive for very long distances, so wearing my Browning Hi-power in my IWB holster, or my S&W .38 Special isn’t really a big deal. However, I drove to one of my favorite (I say “local,” but it’s about an hour’s drive from home) rifle ranges, with my 15-round capacity 9mm in the holster. Let me tell you, that drive was uncomfortable.

I like to carry my Hi-Power just behind my right hip, which in the car is right next to the driver’s seatbelt lock and release. So, the drive to the range left me stiff until I could work it out; the drive home was worse because I was tired.

Later that night, I had an annoying back-ache and had to take some pain reliever to be able to sleep.

2. Brief Panic from the Right Gun in the Right Holster

I myself have only experienced this while carrying my S&W .38 Special. What I’m talking about here is the momentary “Did I remember to put on my gun?” panic because I had forgotten I put my gun on. After an inconspicuous and quick pat, I discovered I was, in fact, carrying. This can often happen with your IWB holster .

3. Bathroom Stops Stalled by “Gun Free” Sign

Have you ever really needed to stop for a bathroom break and pulled into a random gas station only to realize they have a “gun-free” sign posted on their door? It’s frustrating for concealed carriers, and I know several people who just blow right by the sign because they “just can’t wait” the 2 minutes it would be put their gun in their glove box or center console.

I personally try to avoid establishments that have signs posted unless it’s absolutely unavoidable; then I reluctantly leave my pistol in my locked vehicle.

4. Overeating while Carrying

There have been plenty of times that I’ve eaten way too much food and needed to put my belt on a looser notch. When I’m a concealed carrier, that feeling of “stuffed” creeps up on me much faster because the pistol adds about an inch and a half or more to my waistline (and I’m sure to any concealed carrier’s waistline).

There were many times that my step-father and I would rush home so that he could get his gun into the safe and his belt off.

5. Someone Accidentally Hits your Gun

The whole point of concealed carry holsters is for your pistol to be concealed. But if you’re anything like me, you have people who accidentally finds out by hugging you, putting their arm around you, or playfully trying to jab at your ribs. It can lead to shocking faces or awkward moments.

One of my suggestions for concealed carriers is to wiggle your eyebrows at them and move on with a smile. There’s no admission, and the subject doesn’t have to be pressed.

Do you have any other pains (whether merely annoying or physical) you think I missed?

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 Ultimate List of Concealed Carry Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Concealed Carry: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are always questions that I field when talking with people in my community. Here’s a gigantic list to send to all your friends who always have a question about concealed carry with links and some of my personal favorites.

Note: CCL = Concealed Carry License and CCW = Concealed Carry Weapon

Q1. Do you need to carry your permit on you at all times?

A1. Yes. You should also carry your driver’s license, too, just to be safe in any legal situation. You went through the trouble of getting a CCL, why wouldn’t you carry it?

Q2. How much is it to get your concealed carry license?

A2. It depends on where you live, who you ask, who’s your instructor, etc. I paid approximately $400 for all of my training, the classes, and sending in my paperwork. This doesn’t include my firearm or accessories.

Although somewhat outdated, this website has a great table on comparing license costs state-by-state.

Q3. Is it worth it to get a concealed carry license if your state does not require it?

A3. Look, I get it. You don’t want to spend the money or send in your paperwork to the government—all the black helicopters and stuff.

Listen, having the license means you went through training and another person, other than your dad, believe you are competent with your concealed carry weapon. In other words, it’s a bit less shady than just keeping a gun in your waistband.

Q4. Do you have to have your weapon on you at all times?

A4. No. Do you have to have your driver’s license if you’re not driving? It’s still good to have with you anyway (put it in your glove-box if you have to go into an establishment that doesn’t permit CCWs).

Q5. Do you have to have a CCL to have a firearm in your home?

A5. Everyone should have, minimum, a handgun in the house for home protection.

Q6. I’m wearing my CCW at the grocery store, what if someone sees my weapon?

A6. We at Clinger Holsters recommend you check out this article from the San Diego County Gun Owners that overviews the legal and social aspect of displaying a concealed firearm.

Q7. Should I defend someone with my CCW?

A7. That’s a question you need to determine for yourself. Keep updated on your state’s laws. Here’s a good website to get you started: handgunlaw.us. It’s updated regularly. Check out the NRA’s website, too.

Q8. Okay, I have my CCL, now what?

A8. Carry your CCW? I mean, why is this a question? Follow your state’s laws; carry concealed; protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s what. Also, remember to go to the range regularly.

Q9. Should I draw my CCW?

A9. This question is too broad. Check this post I wrote a few weeks ago.  I’m not a lawyer. But yours will tell you that you shouldn’t draw your weapon unless you intend to use it. You should have tried every possible means of de-escalation before resorting to deadly force. Period.

Q10. What gun is best for concealed carry?

A10. Alright. This isn’t a fair question. This is like asking me if you should eat bananas for breakfast. Look, you need to carry the gun that you are most comfortable and familiar with and fits your physique. I can’t tell you what gun is best for you—only you can.

I have small hands, so a double-stack .45mm 1911 isn’t going to fit me, but if you have big mitts, then it might. It’s all about what best suits your needs. Here’s our gigantic list of 50 of the Best Concealed Carry Weapons to help you decide!

Q11. How often should I change my concealed carry ammunition?

A11. I get this question, often. Check out this article if you want to know the logic behind my answer. In short, you should change your ammo every 4-6 months depending on the weather your CCW is subjected to.

This is not an exhaustive list, but this should answer all the immediate Concealed carry and gun holster questions. My typical answer is, check out your states’ laws if you need to know legal information.

Was there a question I missed that needs to make it to this list? Let me know in the comments!

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

Verbal Defense and De-escalation: 3 Methods

Verbal Defense and De-escalation

We have talked, some, about situational preparedness in another post. Now, I want to explain a little about some of the things you should try first before even drawing your weapon: verbal defense and de-escalation.

Lawyers and law enforcement will tell you: do not draw your weapon unless you mean to use it.

In other words, deadly force should be your last resort.

Here, I want to talk about De-escalation—particularly focusing on using your voice in self-defense.  Being able to clearly communicate to a stranger you may encounter can easily de-escalate a situation before anything bad happens—and can help in the aftermath if something happens.

Verbal Defense and De-escalation: Three Methods

When we think about how we talk to a potential threat, there are two things we want to achieve.

We want to articulate the behavior we demand from the threat. Second, We want any witnesses to understand that we are the good-guy (and to get a witness’s attention)

Remember: we don’t know situations or people (they are strangers after all) thoroughly.

If someone approaches you, and you get that creeping feeling up your legs, you need to pay attention to your surrounding immediately. Is this person alone? Who is behind you, or behind them? Keep your eyes open and remember the following.

  1. Don’t be insulting or challenge them. Calling a stranger a “low-life” isn’t good manners anyway. Simply say something like “stay away from me.” Saying, “you wouldn’t dare” and the like would be considered a challenge.
  2. Keep your words clear and simple. Use a calm but firm tone stating, “you can stop right there,” using your body language to show them you are serious but pose no threat.
  3. If the threat escalates the situation, then you should use matching force; such as using a solid “get back!” if they press closer.

The reason to use these simple, clear phrases is to avoid phrases that sound criminal. Remember: you want to be clear to witnesses and to the threat, that you are the good guy/girl. Plus, which would you rather witnesses tell the police (if the situation escalates where you must use lethal force) that you said, “get back” or “don’t move?”

Just keep these in mind and remember that your voice is one of your first tools in de-escalation.

Before this post, did you ever consider your voice a self-defense tool?

If you are a concealed carrier and want to be even more safe and secure after learning these methods, check out our durable Kydex holsters here that will ensure that you are ready for any situation.

What to Do When Pulled Over as a Concealed Carrier

What to Do When Pulled Over as a Concealed Carrier?

I realize that getting pulled over can stress just about anyone out. But for a concealed carrier, it can be even more stressful because there’s a gun in the vehicle.

In fact, being stressed or acting nervous when you are pulled over as a concealed carrier can put the officer on higher alert. When an officer approaches a vehicle, they have already begun their own situational awareness.

They too are trying to determine whether or not the person they are encountering means to do them harm or not.

When you are pulled over as a concealed carrier: Be Up-Front

Before the officer even gets to your window when you are pulled over as a concealed carrier, have it rolled down with your license, your CCL, and vehicle registration in hand.

When they ask for your items, the first thing out of your mouth should be that you are a licensed concealed carrier and that your gun is in the vehicle with you.

Note: your hands should be where the officer can see them. Then, the officer should let you know how to proceed you. If you haven’t committed a crime, and you’re not on drugs, or have been drinking, then you have nothing to worry about.

Maybe the officer will simply say something like: “Keep it holstered and we’re good.”

The reason to inform the officer so that they have the knowledge and the choice to decide how to proceed. This also communicates to them that you value both your safety and theirs. Depending on the state you live in, you should be as clear and concise as possible about the usage of any concealed carry holster. You are strangers—it’s unlikely you trust one another.

Also, it’s so much better to inform the officer than for your weapon to fall out of the glove box as you reach for your vehicle’s registration. If you’re straight with them from the start, things will go smoothly. (If you were speeding, you still might get the ticket, however).

The easiest way to avoid getting a ticket (and perhaps pulled over at all) is to maintain your own situational awareness and follow the law.

How did your last blue-light stop go with your gun in the car?

conceal carry your weapon in parking lots

4 Situations You Need Concealed Carry Practice

4 Situations in Which Carrying a Gun can Protect you and Why you need Practice?

When we practice to conceal carry it is important to not just simply point our weapons downrange, aim, and fire. We also need to prepare for events, encounters, and situations where we might encounter a situation where we will need to use our weapon. At Clinger Holsters, we have thought of four situations in which we think our audience needs the most concealed carry practice.

Of all the news coverage I’ve seen, recently, these encounters have happened at restaurants or at the gun owner’s home or property.

This means that we need to do our scenario-based training and practice concealed carry during common situations.

1. Conceal Carry when you are at work

Even if you are employed somewhere that will not allow you to carry your weapon, you still need to have concealed carry practice and a plan for how you intend to address an active shooter or threat.

You should map out a rough floor plan of your workplace including obstacles you might encounter on your way to safety. Surviving this type of threat isn’t engaging the shooter—it’s getting somewhere safe.

2. Conceal Carry when you are in parking lots

This is one of the places where we all need to exercise our levels of awareness. In places like these, it can be difficult to determine who’s a threat. One tactic I can share with you here is to keep your dominant hand empty (especially if you’re carrying your concealed carry weapon so you have the easiest and quickest access to your pistol).

We all see a victim drop their keys trying to get into their vehicle; practice opening your hard with your opposite hand—leaving your strong side free. Only open the door you’re using to enter your vehicle, placing your bags (if you can) in the passenger seat.

3. Conceal carry from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m to protect against home invasion

This is when we let our guard down. Regardless of whether you live by yourself or with your family, this scenario can be practiced without live fire or gun use.

Have concealed carry practice getting yourself (and your family) to safety. If you have children, this is a great opportunity to teach them what to do—teach them how to assess a situation and determine if it is safe to come out of hiding—to run to a neighbor’s house and call the police, etc.

Take this opportunity, if you’re married, to work with your spouse to determine how you can work together to protect each other and get through this situation, together. (I’m tired of watching the woman just stand in the corner and do nothing in movies and television! You both should work together.)

Remember to communicate with each other (and your kids) clearly.

4. Conceal carry when you are roadside

There are flat tires, overheated engines, running out of gas, needing to relieve yourself—etc. Roadside emergencies are the second scenarios are when practicing your situational awareness is key.

Sure, you’re more likely going to encounter someone willing to help you, but you will be in a position where you will not be able to easily get to help.

Now, some of these situations require more planning and the aid of a firearms instructor, and I encourage you to seek out their opinions and help. They will be able to help you through many different scenarios within all these situations.

Are there any other situations, you think, we should improve our concealed carry practice?

Do you have a dependable and durable holster for your concealed carry weapon? If you want to improve your conceal carry security while also having a minimal print in your clothes, check out our OWB holsters here.

Travel Awareness & the “Gray Man” Concept

Travel Awareness & the “Gray Man” Concept

When I did my concealed carry holster training one of the key things I was taught and cautioned was this: people live in three levels of awareness and you should be a gray man.

3 Colors of Situational Awareness

1) Green – this is a level where a person is not concerned with anything other than themselves; paying attention to nothing unless it is directly shoved in their faces. “Skipping through the daisies” people.

They believe nothing bad will ever happen to them—especially if they are a good person. They are totally unprepared to face human violence—which dirtbags exploit. Maybe they take minor security for their homes and themselves. Maybe not.

2) Yellow – these are the kind of people who observe the world around them. They carry a pocket knife, keep first-aid kits in their vehicles, get concealed carry licenses and carry their CCW; pay attention to strangers in their neighborhoods; try their best to remember faces—paying attention to details in people and places.

They prepare—not expecting bad things to happen, but aware of the fact that the world is not all rainbows and butterflies.

3) Red – these people are what you might consider paranoid (and maybe they have a good reason). They write down the license plates of suspicious, reoccurring, vehicles in their neighborhoods.

These are the people you want to go find if the zombie apocalypse happens because they’re definitely ready for anything.

These gun and firearms holsters should definitely help.

Now, I’m not saying that any of these phases are “better” than the others or one is right or wrong. This is the U.S. A. Live your life the way you want—you have that right.

But if you have a CCL, you need to be living in Yellow, at least. Especially where you live and when you travel. Which is essentially saying, all the time.

The main reason to remain in Yellow when you’re home is because that is where you feel the most comfortable and more likely to let your guard down. And this is also where your family is.

Living in Yellow is a good level of situational awareness—which needs to apply to everyday, whether you are working, shopping, working-out, or traveling. It’s not overboard, but it’s also not being oblivious. It’s the balance of being aware and observant and still being able to enjoy living your life without feeling paranoid.

Traveling in the Gray

However, when you’re travelling, there’s another concept to keep in practice: the Gray Man concept. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it just basically a concept of blending in and not drawing attention to yourself. Of course, this is much more important especially if you carry—you want to have the element of surprise if you encounter a bad guy.

Further, this concept does not just apply with the way we dress, but also our behavior—don’t start fights, get in loud arguments, be disrespectful; keep a low profile.

Like I said, in your home town, you don’t necessarily need keep conscious of blending in because you probably already do!

You are also more likely to know the particular dangers, and to know the people around you. But, applying the gray man concept when you’re traveling is particularly important.

Dirtbags and predators look for the people in their towns with cameras slung around their necks, dazzled by the sights and sounds—in other words, they know how to pick out tourists from the locals.

Be conscious of who is around you—walk with the locals if you are in a big city, not down the dark alley. If you’re lost, don’t panic and act like you’re lost.

Follow the locals around the next corner, they likely will take you close to somewhere you want to go or a place where you can safely ask for direction. The gray man concept means don’t ask a suspicious person for directions; ask a hotel concierge instead.

And keep your map-reading time (even if it’s google-maps on your phone) for when you know who and what is around you. Before you leave the hotel, ask the concierge which subway or bus to take, or for establishments that are within safe, walking distances.

If you do a lot of traveling you probably already know to not display your wealth. But this is just a reminder to be a gray man. Wearing your $5k Rolex or an expensive necklace is just stupid—it makes you a target.

Also, just like wearing a “I <3 NY” shirt in New York City screams tourist, so does wearing a camera (or having your phone out, taking pictures/selfies of everything and everywhere) or binoculars around your neck.

Be conscious of the way the locals move, where they walk, how long they stay to drink their coffee at the café, the things they’re carrying. Do they have their headphones on? Are they wearing big sun hats or fedoras? Are they wearing backpacks? Carrying brief cases? How large or small are their handbags? These are the things, especially if you are in a place where you are carrying your CCW.

One final thing to keep in mind while you’re traveling is: what are the concealed carry laws in that area? I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it is vital. Can you carry in that state? Are there other restrictions you haven’t encountered or don’t have while at home?

It is important to remain informed about laws in your home state, but if you are traveling into another (or even overseas), there are more laws, restrictions, maybe even additional training and licenses.

Find out what they are well before your departure date so that you can adequately prepare. If you are unsure of the laws, the best thing to do is to seek legal counsel; this person will likely be able to provide you with more specific information that you can’t find on the internet (or explain things in case you get confused).

The whole point here is to keep you from becoming a target. Your situational awareness should be switched to Yellow. Especially when travelling, you want to have the lowest profile you can get.

What are some other travel awareness tips that you think I should add to this?

Are you traveling and are looking for a great concealed carry with a low-profile and small footprint? Our affordable choices of Kydex holsters are the perfect travel companion.

teach your daughter how to shoot

How to Teach Your Daughter to Shoot: 5 Steps

How to Teach Your Daughter to Shoot: 5 Steps

Do you teach your daughter many lessons? Many of you are parents—and some of you have daughters. My step-father once told me about the birth of his only child, my stepsister, that when the doctor placed her in his arms the day she was born, he looked up to the sky—horrified: “A girl?” expecting a boy, but held a pink blanket and snuggling child, “God… this means responsibility!”

I’m sure if you have a daughter you feel the same—having a daughter is more of a “responsibility” than having a son. Albeit funny, in all seriousness, there are some things you should understand (if you don’t already) about what your daughter is going to face in this world.

She is never going to have the same encounters as sons—never. And that’s just how the world is right now. So what do we do? Teach your daughter responsibility, teach them to shoot, and give them a gun.

5. To be frank, it’s scary out there

About 80% of women encounter harassment before they turn 18. In fact, I recently read a blog about how a 20-year-old woman, in response, started taking selfies with her cat callers on the street, and well, go read it yourself. Here’s Buzzfeed’s link.

This is still happening. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), college-aged/younger women are at a higher risk than any other demographic to be assaulted, especially sexual violence.

This is number 5 because it’s beat into the dirt. However, it is relevant.

4. The goal is to teach your daughter to become independent

I’m waiting for the, “But she doesn’t need a gun to be independent” statements. Hear me out though: You may give her pepper spray (and she might be more comfortable carrying that around with her every day), but what about when she moves into her first apartment, alone? What about when she wants to go camping by herself (I’m not just talking about the two-legged predators). It is important for her to feel safe. (But especially at home.) Teaching her how to shoot should incorporate situational awareness, too—which if she is off doing her thing, she will be confident thus becoming a much more difficult target.

3. Teaching her to shoot gives her a sense of responsibility for herself

Why do we send our daughters to karate? For the same reason, I’ve previously touched on personal defense. And it also teaches her discipline, responsibility, coordination, and confidence. I think it is essential that your daughter gets a concealed carry license. This is where our gun holsters can come in handy

2. It is a sport she might be more interested in and it might be a stress reliever

When I was growing up, I hated sports. But I loved to shoot. It’s interesting to note that some of the top shooters in the world are women. This can give you the opportunity to spend time together doing something you both enjoy. If you both take the time, she will become a better and more responsible shooter as well.

Additionally, an hour at the range can turn around a bad day. After an hour at the range, you both will be more relaxed and focused. “Group therapy” right?

1. Teach your daughter so she can become empowered

Knowledge is power. The more you know how to protect yourself, the more empowered you are. Empowered, confident people are not soft targets. We believe that female empowerment should be one of the first priorities when raising your daughter and when you teach your daughter valuable life skills.

What was the first gun you decided to have your daughter shoot, and why?

Best Gun Malfunction Practice Drills

Going to the range or running a tactical course is one thing (that we all don’t get enough of), but another thing we all could use is incorporating gun malfunction practice. In the real world, if we have to draw our weapon in self-defense, you might encounter a malfunction.

We prepare for the worst, so we need to prepare for errors which won’t occur in the controlled environment of a range.

One of the best ways to add gun malfunction drills to your training is to do them at home during dry fire practice.

You can use spent brass, or dummy rounds and run tap/rack/bang drills with mag swaps. Start slow, getting each action as fluid and controlled as possible; gradually picking up speed. As with the range, you want to do this dry fire routine until it’s reflexive.

After you feel comfortable, grab a friend to run drills with. Dry fire like normal but at random intervals have your friend yell “FAILURE” or whatever will specify which malfunction, then run the corresponding drill. Mix it up with other drills, and switch back and forth.

During this practice, you may also consider taking it to the range.

One of the options is to have your friend load magazines for you (of course, without letting you know where the dummy rounds will be). Shoot downrange, when you encounter a misfire, run your drill—fixing the error. Before mixing it up, such as adding a backup sidearm or a tactical knife, practice just dealing with malfunctions.

Then, when you’re comfortable with live rounds with few malfunctions, add in those tactical moves you’re dying to incorporate. One of our experts recently practiced this with our Taurus G2c holster.

Consider making it a competition, either at the range with live rounds or with dry firing, (with rules and stuff, maybe even a prize!) for you and your friend—friendly competition can sometimes convince us to work harder.

Gun malfunction practice can allow us to avoid a “freeze” moment when presented with a threat.

Take, for example, you are firing downrange (or perhaps in a self-defense situation) and hear (one of the most terrifying sounds) click, rather than a bang.

Instead of having to look at your firearm, (if you have done the practice) your muscle memory will immediately fix the malfunction, and your weapon will return to working order, avoiding potential bodily harm, or a broken rhythm in practice.

Any suggestions about adding gun malfunction practice and drills into your practicing regimen? If you want to read more, we suggest reading this article for visual explanations on the main causes of gun malfunctions.

using your CCW when someone is trying to steal

When to Use Your CCW in Defense of Others

First, let me remind you guys that I am not a lawyer and these are strictly my personal opinions based on my own morals, training, and interpretation of the law while using my own concealed carry holsters (CCW).

This is not intended to be a legal opinion, nor legal advice for you and your CCW, but for general educational purposes.

For further information, I suggest seeking legal counsel from an attorney in your particular state about applicable CCW laws.

You have the responsibility and the right to protect your loved ones and yourself from death or great bodily harm. Now, we’re not talking about your family or yourself—this is the defense of a complete stranger. So, what about strangers? Do you have the obligation to help others in violent encounters?

Most have heard of the “Good Samaritan” rule or law (GSL). Depending on your state, that “legal duty” to help a stranger varies. Usually, there is No Legal Duty. So, check with your state’s laws. Personally, this troubles me, but understand that I must also be concerned with my personal protection (legally) in uncertain situations involving strangers.

There is no requirement by law that (without a specific relationship) someone should be prosecuted for not putting their lives in danger to help another person. Therefore, you need to understand that there are certain conditions that must exist. Again, check your states’ laws.

Take Florida’s for example, there is generally “a duty to help or rescue” only where:

  1. The helper created a dangerous situation
  2. There is a special relationship between the helper and the person needing help (ie. Teacher and student; parent and child) OR
  3. The helper began providing help to the person in need and as a result, others who might have helped have retreated allowing the helper to perform aid/rescue, among other circumstances

Florida and some other states have GSL or acts which provide immunity from civil and/or criminal liabilities for those who voluntarily provide help to others. However, again—check the laws because GSLs do have exceptions.

There are also “Reasonableness Standards” which get hairy; these are laws that allow people to use force to protect others they “reasonably” believe to be in imminent danger. But, what is “reasonable” for one, is not for another.” And it just gets more and more complex.

So OK, what now? I haven’t answered the question. What do you do?

Well first, you want to avoid a dangerous situation if at all possible.

In a situation where you are suddenly thrust into a dangerous situation with your CCW, keep these things in mind:

  • Remember the 3-3-3 Rule of self-defense. You have three seconds or less to respond, at a close encounter distance of fewer than three yards, and usually, three shots max are fired and it is over (if you choose to use deadly force).
  • Do not endanger in your own safety any more than necessary to control the unknown situation
  • Don’t make assumptions; who you perceive to be the “dirtbag” may not necessarily be a dirtbag (because you will not have all the information).
  • ONLY use as much force as necessary.
  • Deescalate the situation keeping in mind that drawing your weapon could increase the risk to the person in distress, others in the area, and yourself.
  • Accept that deadly force using a CCW is the LAST resort only to save your life or others.

Because every situation is different, you are going to have to think ahead of time about what to do when.

For example, if you are presented with a situation where you hear a shot, turn a corner and see a man you perceive to be a dirtbag standing over a middle-class 30-year-old with a gun— what then?

REMEMBER: you do not have all the information and you only see one weapon.

If this were me, I would draw my weapon—not aiming at either person—and loudly ask what is going on and if the man who appears to be in distress is in need of help.

Every encounter is specific and subjective. Plan ahead—determine in advance what you would do by knowing key concepts and considerations. Keep your gun holsters secure AND check the laws.

Stay informed.

How Often Should You Change Your Carry Ammo?

How often do you change your carry ammo? Most people probably don’t change out their CCW loads enough. But one thing you should keep in mind is that primers and powder are susceptible to extreme heat, cold, and moisture.

The ammo you keep in your gun safe in the box is hardly under the same conditions the loads in your weapon encounter during day to day carry.

In cool, dry storage, primer shelf life is indefinite. Heat and moisture are what can ruin them. The day to day carry your CCW ammo experiences is unlikely always going to be cool and dry.

Carrying during the summer, your gun is going to come in contact with sweat and oil (which, by the way, have probably soaked into your holsters too). That means the same for the ammunition in your weapon.

Also, during the summer, you may want to visit establishments or events that do not allow concealed carry, which means (if you’re like me) you’ll probably leave your pistol in your car.

Now, we’ve all seen the coverage about leaving animals in hot vehicles—it truly gets hot in your car during the summer months.

But high heat (and not to mention sudden fluctuations of temps from inside at 70 degrees; to a hot vehicle of 90+) can cause problems for primers and powder, thus causing unreliable ammunition.

If you carry during hunting season, you’re likely to sit in your deer stand in the cold (maybe even the snow, depending on where you live, or where you hunt).

Or, you might even encounter having to expose you (and your CCW) to water—crossing a creek or stream, or maybe even falling in accidentally. Smokeless powder and primers that come in contact with moisture are not reliable.

So all that to say: Replace and change your carry ammo every six months or less.

The best thing to do is to take your weapon to the range and discharge the “old” loads. Now the ammo isn’t old; it just needs to be replaced with ammunition that hasn’t been in your weapon all summer (or winter).

There are two benefits to this: 1) fresh, reliable ammunition and 2) trigger time. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to pass those two up.

When was the last time you switched out your self-defense loads?

In addition to regularly checking up on your ammo, you should also consider keeping a spare mag with you at all times. Read more about this in our blog post here.

5 Reasons Gun Culture is Not a Fad

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to gun culture in the United States. Gun culture help keep us, the citizens of the U.S., safe.

Here are a few reasons you may want to keep this gun culture alive:

1. An armed population is a heavy discouragement to mainland invasion.

I don’t know about you, but it would be insane of any leader to send their soldiers to invade any country with an armed public. It reminds me of (either fact or legend, you can determine that yourself) the Swiss Ambassador’s reply to the German Ambassador’s question in early 1900:

Q: If we invade Switzerland with twice as many troops as its population, what then?
A: We will shoot twice and go home.

2. Familiarity breeds… Normalcy

People are not afraid of things that they find normal. Alcohol and tobacco can be deadly, but the majority of people are not afraid of either of them. It is the children, teenagers, etc. that you hear the terrible stories of accidental shootings and typically it is because they are not raised around guns.

Coming from a family where firearms are normal (not just pistols, but all manner of long arms as well), gun safety has been drilled into me. Even the people I know, who grew up around guns, but not shooting them still know proper gun safety. This is where the utility of concealed carry holsters comes in.

3. Hunters contribute to the economy and the environment.

In the North West United States alone there are over 1 million licenses, permits, and tags sold to hunters. Which totals to over 25 million dollars; that money is circulated back toward habitat improvement and ensuring the survival of wildlife.

This is not to mention the amount of money from ammunition, gear, and sometimes firearm sales that puts money into the economy. Of course, we all know that hunting also helps improve the wildlife population.

4. Creates a proud heritage and a sense of community.

Many of the hunters from the previous point, take their children, spouses, brothers, sisters, friends, hunting with them. In my family, there have been shotguns, rifles, and pistols passed down from grandfather to his grandsons; hunting cabins passed from one generation to the next.

It connects us all together—bringing us closer as a family and as a community that “passes the torch” from one generation to the next. It also encourages family and friends to get together outside, rather than indoors.

5. Creates responsibility and accountability.

In some schools, there is even a Clay Target League—this gives teenagers the opportunity to hone their skills and work together as a team. However, this gives them an opportunity to learn about accountability to themselves and learning how to be a safe marksman.

This inevitably leads to a safer, more informed adult likely to carry those traits with them and even incorporating gun culture into their life.

Who is the first person you want to include in your personal gun culture?

Note: The view portrayed in the post are the sole opinion of the author and does not portray in any way the views of  Clingers Holsters. Clinger Holsters is a brand that has one of the best kydex holsters made in USA with a mission to make concealed carry easy and comfortable.

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?

Concealed Carry vs Open Carry – 3 Things to Consider

Open carrying a pistol does not mean you are asking for trouble. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of between a concealed carry vs open carry if you decide to carry openly and use one of the many gun holsters available on the market.

First, when you are deciding between a concealed carry vs open carry, I want to ask a silly, but perhaps obvious question: in a bank robbery who is the first person either shot or assaulted (and disarmed)? The security guard who likely has a pistol or a taser.

This may be a silly question because most concealed carry holders are not likely to be at a bank during a robbery. Regardless, we should train if a situation arises that we need to protect ourselves.

The security guard is seen by a bad guy as a threat because he or she is openly a representative of protection. Unfortunately, that makes them automatically a target for a bad guy—which means if you carry your pistol openly, you are too. But again, I am not saying that you are asking for trouble.

Second, if you decide to open carry, you need to be aware that you need additional training. For what? Well, if you ask a police officer, they will tell you—for protecting your firearm. If a bad guy can see that you have a gun, they will likely try to disarm you, which means you need to train to keep that from happening.

Your open carry holster will help with that, but if you have to keep a bad guy from unholstering your gun, there’s likely going to be some pain involved.

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to train yourself to combat that as well.

Third, another thing you need to be aware of when you are deciding between concealed carry vs. open carry is you are going to have to field questions by law enforcement and even civilians about why you are carrying. “Because I want to” is probably not going to cut it. Think critically why you are choosing to open carry.

So, what about concealed carry?

Well first of all, if you’re wearing the right clothes to conceal your weapon, no one is going to know that you are armed. This means if you’re sitting at your favorite diner, and a bad guy comes in, they’re not immediately going to try to disarm you.

You will have the opportunity to evaluate a situation and determine if the bad guy has threatening intentions.

In contrast, some bad guys might be discouraged if they walk into the same diner and see that a person is openly carrying. But it also could enrage them. This is a tradeoff when deciding between concealed carry vs. open carry.

Personally, I don’t want the bad guys to know that I have a weapon. But if they threaten me or mine, I will defend myself.

Also, no one is going to feel threatened by me—law enforcement, civilians, etc.—if I am concealed carrying. Again, because no one will know that I am.

I understand that there are times when it might be more convenient to open carry—and according to the law, that is your right just as it is my right to concealed carry.

One thing that I’m going to suggest is for everyone—regardless of which opinion they have—to keep themselves updated on the law.

A good place to start is www.handgunlaw.us, which provides several different links, maps, &etc. which you can follow and verify (as suggested on the site) yourself. I also strongly suggest verifying the information you find.

Why do you open carry/conceal carry?

Do you have an affinity for one over the other? If you are looking for your next concealed carry holster, we recommend checking out our durable and modular cushion concealed carry holsters here.

3 Ways to Empower Your Lady to Concealed Carry

The majority of people who have a concealed carry license are men; I get that. But, more and more women are getting interested in firearms and self-defense.

It’s normal to want your lady, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, etc. to learn to protect themselves; especially if you’ve had your license for 10 years and have been familiar with firearms your whole life. “But she’s scared of guns!”

Well, first you need to realize: that’s okay! Maybe she hasn’t been taught about guns at all and has enough respect for an object that can potentially be used to kill someone to know not to fool around.

It’s an opportunity for you to show her something new and it’s nothing to be afraid of, but just respect.

Now, how in the world do you convince her (whoever your her is) to get familiar with firearms and eventually get a concealed carry license?

#1. Take her to the range

I don’t mean you and 4 of your guy friends and her. Just the two of you. I recommend going to a beginner or novice class together.

First off, she might be much more comfortable learning without a bunch of expert shooters around (plus there are fewer distractions). Don’t make her do anything, try anything, etc. unless she wants to.

Put her in some hearing protection and plink for a little bit. Get her used to it. Ask if she wants to try it out herself. Allow her to learn more about the safety behind shooting guns and the mechanics of the gun.

After you get her used to the idea, she tries it out, and likes it, make it a regular date. Take her shooting by herself, then maybe a group thing and have your friends bring their hers. Maybe even make it a competition.

We at Clinger Holsters love this article on concealed carry tips for women out of Personal Defense World. Feel free to check it out to read more about how gun culture and society plays a large role in a woman’s choice to own a gun.

#2. Tell her why

Sit her down and tell her all the reasons why you want her to get her concealed carry license. You want her to be independent, to protect herself and her (maybe yours too) family, to be your “back up.”

One of the largest compliments (and most meaningful praise) that I ever received from my late step-father (who was a retired police officer and a concealed carry instructor) was that he was proud to have me as his “back up” because of my skill, my self-responsibility, and discipline to my firearm, and my dedication to becoming a better, safer marksman.

My step-father wanted me to get my CCL because he knew that he wasn’t going to always be there to protect me, my mother, and my sisters.

#3. Buy her pistol & concealed carry gear

Get her all set up to be able to go to the range, practice, and (after she gets her license) concealed carry. We highly recommend getting her one of the concealed carry holsters that is adjustable and modular for different body positions! Now she can’t make the excuse that she doesn’t have the stuff she needs to get her license or carry.

Let her take her gear to the range, test it out, and answer all her questions as many times as she asks. You had confidence in her will help her have confidence in herself.

Understand, none of these are foolproof. Every woman (as you probably already know) is different. They all feel differently about firearms and that’s fine.

But I will tell you, don’t push your her.

Give her the opportunity, the support, and let her make the decision. I’m sure she’ll thank you, regardless of if any of these convinces her to (at least) get more familiar with firearms or not. If you’re looking for more tips and articles on empowering women to concealed carry, check out this website.

If you could, how often would you take your her to the range?

10 Ways to Improve Your Shooting

#1. Improve your shooting with routine practice

Are you looking to improve your shooting? Well, how many times have you been to the range this month? Or in the last three months? I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to the range since February and I need to go soon. So, I’m guilty.

We all get busy, but we need to make time to improve our speed and accuracy.

It also doesn’t hurt to practice regularly. The one or two times at the range trying to get your license isn’t going to cut it.

#2. Use your sights

Your pistol likely has sights on it, and if it doesn’t you should get some. So use them. I have had many people tell me that using the sights makes you slow. But, again, if you go to the range and practice drawing, aiming down the sights and firing, I promise you will get faster and gradually more accurate.

#3. Improving your shooting stance

There are five different kinds of stances: the Weaver Stance, the Chapman Stance, the Power Isosceles Stance, the Power Point Stance, and the Strong-Hand Retention Stance. You need to pick at least one (if you haven’t already) and practice it.

Check out the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated article about these stances. If you’ve already got one in muscle memory it wouldn’t hurt to add another one, should the situation arise where it would be useful.

#4. Change the Size of Your Target

If you always go to the range to shoot at man-sized targets with no improvement, try changing the size of your target. Your local sporting goods stores and some supermarkets have varying targets. Challenge yourself.

One of my favorite, cheap, and effective targets are small to medium-sized balloons. Cleanup is a bit tedious, but you visually see your results.

#5. More practice

Pretend you’re shooting a 6-round revolver and you’re going to practice shooting balloons as previously suggested. Set yourself up 8 balloons. The goal is to shoot your targets until they’re gone. Some of you might only have to reload once, some more. That’s fine.

Remember: in a situation where you must draw your gun, shoot until the threat is gone. I find pink balloons to be the most threatening.

#6. Internalize a rhythm

One of my Marine Vet friends took me shooting and told me to think of a song with a steady, moderate beat. He said to breathe and pull the trigger steadily with the beat of the song. I found that Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust has a great bassline to practice my shooting too. Try it and tell me what you think.

#7. Take someone knowledgeable with you

We all have that one friend who’s former military. The important thing to remember, however, is that you need to be able to take criticism from this person. If you can, take them with you the next time you go to the range and ask them to help you out—maybe buy them a box of bullets to shoot with you while you’re there as payment.

Remember to listen to what they say; try their suggestions, be open to a new stance, or perhaps try a different pistol. If they tell you something you don’t agree with, try it their way and see if you improve.

#8. Get even more trigger time

That friend is also going to tell you that if you want to get better, you have to put in the time and put over three boxes of rounds through your pistol. Besides, who would pass up an excuse to go to the range?

#9. Try out a different gun…or holster.

Maybe one of the reasons your accuracy is lacking is because you’re not shooting a gun that fits you. This is also why I recommend taking someone who knows-their-stuff with you to the range to improve your shooting.

Let’s say you have small hands as I do. You’re not going to be able to grip a double-stack .45 as well as a double-stack 9mm (and if you can, you need to let me in on your secret). I also recommend checking out different gun holsters, especially those made with Kydex and are adjustable. You can also checkout these concealed carry holsters for your needs.

Adjustable retention holsters allow you to have different cant angles and ride heights – perfect adjustments for a novice shooter.

#10. Take lessons

We send our children to football practice and dance classes even after they have been playing or dancing for 5 years or more. There’s nothing wrong with getting more practice and investing your time to improve your shooting skills and refresh your knowledge.

Being under the direction of someone you’re paying to teach you to get better is different than asking that former military friend. Sometimes instructors will remind you of something that you’ve forgotten, or teach you something new to add to your self-practice.

Do you have any other suggestions, other than practice to add to this list?

Reasons to conceal carry

10 Important Reasons to Conceal Carry a Gun

There are many important reasons to conceal carry a gun, but here at Clinger Holsters, we have consulted our expert team of long-time shooters and compiled the top-10 most compelling reasons to conceal carry a gun and be secure during your daily lives. We also offer one the best concealed carry holster on the market. Here is why you should try this.

#1. It’s Your Civic Right Under the U.S. Constitution

Everyone has heard this one. “We have the right to arm bears!” No-ahem: bear arms. The second amendment protects your right to keep and bear arms as you conceal carry your gun for self-defense against zombies, vampires, and masked-men after your bananas.

#2. Deterrence

One of the reasons why the U.S. has never been invaded by another country is because it’s entire population has the right to protect themselves. Hunters alone make up a significant portion of the population, and then there are concealed carry license holders as well.

In other words: it is well known that the people in the U.S. carry or have guns. Criminals understand this as well and it is a discouraging thought when planning to commit a crime.

#3. The World is a Dangerous Place

Many of us don’t want to admit it, but no one should be worried about walking to their car alone at night, or asking a stranger for directions when they’re lost.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t what it used to be and although criminals are aware that a large portion of the population carries a weapon, that makes them much more determined when they have resolved to commit a crime.

#4. To Protect Your Family

Personally, this is the number one reason why conceal carrying a gun especially as a concealed carry; my family is my greatest and most treasured asset. Carrying a concealed firearm is one of the best ways that I can protect them from all the many unknown dangers in the world we live in.

#5. To Protect Me

I am a woman, first and foremost, without any other self-defense training other than firearms and concealed carry. However, regardless of gender all of us want to come home to our families at the end of the day. Carrying a gun is one of the ways to make that possible.

#6. To Protect Others

Most of us who conceal carry feel obligated to protect the people around us, including our friends, colleagues, and even sometimes strangers. Unfortunately, we may also want to protect ourselves from them as the next reason suggests:

#7. Vigilance

This goes beyond number 6. Just as we feel strongly about protecting our friends, family, and ourselves, we must remain aware. Carrying a firearm has always made me more attentive to my environment and situations around me, especially as my holster is secure with a no-print design. This heightened awareness helps me avoid danger.

#8. 186,873

That’s the number of outstanding warrants in the United States as of 2014 according to USA Carry. At any given moment, the stranger next to you at your favorite diner or a patron who walks into your store could be a wanted felon. You should carry a gun to protect yourself and others around you.

#9. Be a Better Boy Scout

Be prepared. We all have heard “it’s better to have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it.” Concealed carry is not a statement of “I’M LOOKING FOR TROUBLE!” but rather, “I am prepared.”

Whether that means to avoid the dark alley, subdue the thief stealing cash, or those bananas I mentioned earlier, from my store at gunpoint. Which leads to the final reason:

#10. 11 minutes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 11 minutes is the average police response time. Unfortunately, police officers know that they are minutes away no matter how awesome and dedicated they are and anyone who has dealt with a life or death situation will tell you that seconds matter.

If you find yourself in a situation where you must wait 11 minutes (maybe even more) for the police to arrive, having your firearm will make that wait seem shorter.

What did you think of this list? Is there another reason that you should conceal carry a gun?

 

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