5 mistakes great concealed carriers never make

If You’re Doing Concealed Carry Right, Here Are 5 Mistakes You Should Never Be Making


By Michael Jenkins via USA Carry

When I read online discussions about concealed carry, I’m both impressed by the depth of knowledge of the hive mind and by some glaring omissions in the discussion. The gaps tend to fit a broader pattern I’ve noticed, and with which regular readers—if there are such things—will be familiar. As a community, we tend to lose sight of the forest as we focus on our favorite trees. We seek to win converts to our favorite make/model/caliber/etc, rather than develop solutions that work for other individuals. When I’m not careful I’m as guilty as anyone; the hypothetical regular reader has probably noted some of my personal favorites. So in today’s discussion of concealed carry, we’re going to take a different track and talk about universal mistakes to avoid with your CCW. This list is nowhere near complete; I’m just trying to hit some of the more egregious or easy to make errors.

Neglecting Your Equipment

This to me is the big one, and again I’m guilty as charged. It’s easy to forget to clean your CCW, but even easier to forget to rotate ammo or magazines. As these are equally necessary for a functioning weapon, it’s a potentially deadly mistake. Also: when was the last time your holster/rig/belt got some TLC? All equipment has maintenance needs, so make sure you see to yours. And toward that end . . .

  • Forgetting About Your Holster. Your holster, or other carry system, is a critical component in your concealed carry life. You need a holster that will retain the weapon, keep it concealed, help mitigate printing and be comfortable enough to wear regularly. This latter point is often overlooked, but it affects more than your physical comfort.
  • Adjusting Your Behavior. Have a holster you can trust and wear comfortably so you don’t check your weapon, even subconsciously. Those small touches and arm motions are noticeable, and there are more eyes out there than you think. Select a carry system that allows for seasonally appropriate clothings—a trench-coat in the middle of summer is sure to raise some eyebrows. Make sure your carry system doesn’t affect your stride, another tell-tale giveaway. Constantly messing with your carry system is a bad thing; learn not to do it.
  • Showing Off Your Weapon. I really shouldn’t have to say this, but it comes up in surprising ways. Drawing your CCW to show to a good friend in a parking lot is still a risk, as you don’t know who else is watching. You can do it inadvertently as well, with improper clothing. And while nothing may happen immediately, people do talk. You don’t need word getting around about your concealed carry habits.
  • Forgetting the Basic Rules of Gun Safety. You know them, you love them—but do you live them? Exposure can breed complacency, and carrying a handgun every day can flip a mental switch that turns it into “just another thing.” You’re responsible for your firearm, and any rounds fired either intentionally or negligently. Review your carry habits, your daily routine, and your carry system to make sure you’re following the guidelines.

I’ll make a final suggestion, which I think is important: when exercising your right to carry concealed, keep a good attitude. Be more polite, more courteous, more generous than the average person. We’re all ambassadors for the 2nd Amendment community, so make sure to portray us in a positive light.

As I mention above, there are a lot of other potential errors and points of discussion. I would ask that in the feedback you stay within the guidelines I’ve laid out here: general mistakes instead of nitpicking equipment or caliber. I do want to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch.

And, as always: stay safe out there.

Categories: Beginners Guide, General
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Mike Howard

    Solid advice….no macho shit ….be polite and courteous ….merry Christmas all!

  • Bill Kelly

    I’ve never found a holster that would allow me to carry concealed comfortably in public. I have arthritis in my right shoulder, so behind the back is not feasible. I can carry in a cargo pocket, but the gun tends to move quite a bit. I’d like to try an ankle holster someday, but all of the experts say that ankle holsters are too inconvenient. To be honest, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d be better off just getting an ankle holster and just not trying to out-draw anyone. I’m probably better off just trying to adopt tactics that give me a little more time.

    • Rick van Wagner II

      They make a inside the pocket holster! It slips in ur front pocket and clip in place! I think they only make them for compacks and small revolvers!

    • Patriot Lover

      I carry on my right hip. I’m pretty happy with my Professional holster from I did have to make a small modification to the twist lock with a soldering iron, so it was not so difficult to draw.

    • SometimesFrustrated

      Some folks bash Appendix carry, but if your are willing to take time and practice, practice, practice – it is comfortable for many. AND the good part is the draw stroke does not require significant shoulder movement and can be executed largely with the elbow and wrist. Note though, Appendix Carry is not for casual or occasional use – you must always ensure your gun handling is safe with the finger well outside the trigger guard.

      Additionally for those that use it Appendix is the fasted draw. As soon as the gun clears the holster and the barrel is rotated parallel to the ground you are naturally pointed at the threat.

    • IdahoGrandpa

      Tip for cargo pants carry: turn your pants inside out and then SEW a ‘holster’ into your front pants pocket (you carry all the time, right?). Don’t forget to put a little cant in the ‘holster’ so the butt of the pistol presents itself prominently. Pants need to be the heavier work pant type, I like the Wrangler Riggs. Works for my LC9 Pro but may not work with larger pistols..

  • ranchlv1

    I would also stress that CHL holders need to go to range often, also don’t carry part time. Full time builds confidence

  • Sheila

    Great advice and I would add that if you ever feel the need to draw your weapon, be completely prepared to use it in the conditions you are in… and the conditions might involve people within the line of fire who are innocently in a home, vehicle, or public space that is directly where you may miss and hit them when exercising your right to defend yourself. Please always keep in mind that what may be completely legal to defend yourself may actually hurt someone else in an unanticipated act of collateral damage. BE RESPONSIBLE.