3 Amateur Concealed Carry Habits That Need Breaking

Stop touching your gun. It is there.

The Gun Check

I’ll give away a couple of my secrets. I like strong-side carry. I tend to carry on my right hip. When I do, I almost never forget my gun is there. In the summer, though, when I’m rocking a pocket holster, I get paranoid that my gun may fall out of my pocket.

With that paranoia eating at me, I tend to touch my pocket. It is a simple gesture, and mostly hidden, but I call it the gun-check. Anyone paying attention will know I’m checking something.

Get a good holster and learn how to trust it.

There are better ways to conceal.

The Over-dressed

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn a long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt in the middle of summer. Pocket carry works well enough, but sometimes I know I’m going somewhere dangerous and I want a bigger gun. To hide it, I over-compensate. Then I sweat like a fool.

It is better to tailor your wardrobe to meet your concealed-carry needs. Plaids are great at breaking up the shape of a gun underneath. Bowling shirts, short-sleeved button-ups meant to be worn un-tucked… there are options.

Every time you shop for clothes, think about concealed carry.

Carry a spare mag.

The One-and-Done

My father carried an old Iver Johnson in the 60s. He only ever had five shots, and I would suspect he felt like that was plenty. I prefer a polymer pistol with more than 5 rounds. Even so, I carry a spare magazine.

I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that 95% or more of the Americans who carry concealed do not carry a spare magazine. I didn’t when I started carrying. Then I trained obsessively and saw first hand how magazines fail.

Check out magazine holsters and pocket options. It is easy, and doesn’t have to be a burden.


David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife's tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.

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