If you carry a backup gun or concealed carry weapon, it is vital that you be prepared to use it. For many, the idea of being prepared means having willingness to fire on an attacker or being able to hit 10 rings time after time. But what you should be asking yourself is whether or not you are capable of drawing on and hitting a target with your carry rig under realistic settings.
I recently attended a training session designed for plainclothes officers or officers who routinely carry off duty. Although specifically designed for law enforcement professionals, the course addressed many issues anyone who carries a concealed firearm must consider. If you have not thought about what was covered, as highlighted below, then I would argue you are not prepared to use your concealed firearm.
- What are you carrying? There is much debate and several schools of thought concerning the best firearms for concealed carry. When you strip away the personal preferences and caliber debates, it comes down to having a firearm that is reliable, functions well and which you are capable of shooting accurately. It also means that one single model may not meet all your needs, meaning you may want to consider having a selection of firearms to match different seasons, modes of dress and concealment options.
- How are you carrying it? Not every firearm can be carried inside the waistband, in an ankle holster or even a purse. If you plan on carrying every day, you will need to select a carry method which allows both comfort and easy access but have additional holsters available for those days when you need to wear shorts vs. a business suit or a t-shirt rather than a bulky hoodie. You need to be flexible.
- Where is your additional ammunition? Most backup weapons have a very limited round capacity and it is important to carry additional ammunition – the same as you would if carrying a duty weapon – but have you considered how you will carry these extra magazines or speed loaders?
- Do you know your limits and that of your firearms? Many people who carry concealed weapons are enthusiastic shooters and spend a good deal of time on the range, but are they shooting the gun they will be carrying? If so, are they shooting drills which simulate the conditions under which a CCW may actually be used? You may be capable of emptying magazine after magazine into the 9 ring or better from 25 yards, but can you do the same thing at 7 yards when drawing from an ankle rig while moving off center?
If you are not prepared to use a firearm, you should not be carrying one. But, truly being prepared means more than convincing yourself you are willing to shoot an aggressor if the need arises; it means proving you have the ability to do so.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.