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Packing Heat Comfortably

Updated on December 29, 2012

Your Body, Listen To It

Are you thinking of legally carrying a gun on your person? If so here are a few tips that will make it safer, easier and more comfortable for you to exercise your Second Amendment rights. First off, don't believe all of the advertised hype about the largest and most powerful hand cannons that many of the firearm manufacturers are telling you to buy. The big blasters are usually very fun to shoot for a couple of hours at the gun range or the back forty. But, carrying one on your person, even in a sturdy holster, can get to be a real drag very quickly, especially when your pants start heading south due to that big iron on your hip. Having your back go out of kilter due to the weight of your now not so fun hand cannon is nothing to ignore, as that can be a real pain too.

Yes, it's mostly true that full size handguns such as the all metal 1911 or any of the full size Glock polymer frame pistols are proven bad guy stoppers, but so are many of the smaller, easier to carry and much lighter in weight pocket handguns. By the way, pocket size guns are so much easier to conceal than the big boys, as the little guys do hide in one's pocket quite well.

Some say carrying a full size handgun is not even an issue, especially if one can open carry legally. It all depends on your state laws that address open carry of firearms. My take on open carry is it's just dandy at the gun shop or at the hunting shack with the like minded. Otherwise, open carrying your gun proudly for all to see, is at the least, advertising that you're a Second Amendment public advocate and at the worst, you love painful police interaction as a quick and brutal police take down to the pavement is on your agenda. This not at all rare open carry nightmare usually starts after the police department gets a "Man With A Gun" report phoned in by a freaked out mom with kids. Your could have been avoided tackle will usually come from behind, with zero warning, a few minutes after the mother just happens to spy your big Roscoe swinging on your hip. while you're casually strolling along.

Concealed Means Concealed In Florida

Pocket Guns & Pocket Holsters

Pocket carry is one of the best methods to carry a small handgun. With pocket carry your gun is concealed and it can be drawn from a front or back pants pocket very quickly. However, one should do some gun drawing practice drills.(Note: your gun should always be unloaded for the practice drills) with the gun in your pocket inside an appropriate pocket holster. Also for safety, when returning a gun to a pocket holster be sure to take the pocket holster out of your pocket first and then and only then, re-holster your gun and then put your holstered gun back into your pocket. This is the only really safe way to re-holster a gun carried in a pocket holster. Re-holstering out of the pocket can prevent a negligent discharge which can and often does cause severe injuries up to and including death. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL and if you practice draw, do as instructed and again only practice with an unloaded gun which you need to check and double check at least two times to make damned sure your gun is unloaded before doing the practice drills.

Some very good pocket handguns for self defense are of course the tried and well proven snubnose revolvers that have been around since before WWII. They are still being used by many police departments today as concealed backup guns. The newer pocket guns are the polymer frame small semi-automatic pistols such as the Ruger LCP, the Taurus TCP and a multitude of others chambered for the .380acp cartridge. Slightly larger are the even newer to the market pocket 9mm pistols such as the Ruger LC9 and the Beretta Nano. These small and light weight polymer pistols provide the extra stopping power of the 9mm cartidge over the .380acp. The downside is most of these small 9mm pistols may be too big to fit into most pockets.

Ruger LCP (Light Carry Pistol)

Actually Learn To Shoot Your Pocket Gun

Now that you have all your ducks lined up to safely and comfortably carry your gun, it's time to learn how to shoot it competently. Most of us will never become bullseye shooters, especially when the gun we are packing is a very small handgun with minimalist sights. All of these small handguns are capable of accuracy out to 50 yards and more. But, these little guns are not designed as target guns, they are actually designed for up close, bad breath distance personal defense. This means it's best to practice live fire exercises at short distances of approximately 5 feet and longer distance shooting practice to around 20 to 25 feet. Take your pocket gun to the gun range or your own back 40 to practice drawing it from the pocket holster in your pocket, while always keeping your finger out of the trigger guard and off of the trigger until on target. You must learn to quickly aim your small gun at a standard size white paper plate at these distances and keep trying to get 5 hits anywhere on the paper plate in 5 to several seconds. When you can do that consistantly, you will be well on your way to becoming a citizen who is proficient in real world self defense with a handgun. It's good to remember to never stop the regular live fire range time. Practice at least monthly as these learned skills deteriorate very quickly without regular upkeep.

Live Fire Exercise with the Ruger LCP

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