Beretta’s free e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders, has some useful tips to consider, in particular for gunowners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.
As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.” So far, so good.
Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF.
The topics covered are:
- Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively
- Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
- Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities
- Choose a Suitable Caliber
- Practicing Basic Skills
- Try Your Hand at Point Shooting
- Training to Clear Your Weapon
- Stage Your Weapon
- Closing to Engage a Threat
And Beretta offers some additional information which may be of value to our customers who are considering making the move to concealed carry:
- 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
- 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
- 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
- 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
- The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
- The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
- The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
- 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
- Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
- On average, one shot in four strikes someone.
Here are three of the ten tips in more detail:
Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
Once you’ve chosen a holster and a gun, you have to hide them both. The trick is keeping the gun both concealed and accessible. The main give-away is the gun’s outline being visible through clothing (printing). Some tips on choosing the right clothing to carry concealed:
- Wear pants that have enough room in the pocket or in the waist band to comfortably carry the gun.
- Shirt tails provide good coverage. Wear shirts that are meant to be worn untucked, and make sure your shirt extends past your waistband.
- If you will be wearing shorts and T-shirts, you will have to consider carrying a small gun. A slim gun in an IWB holster should easily be covered by a shirt.
- In fall and winter, heavy clothing will allow the concealment of even full sized handguns.
- Suit jackets and coats make concealment easy.
Choose a Suitable Caliber
Here the rules are easy to understand. Larger rounds require larger guns, and typically do more damage. Small-framed handguns with short grips can be difficult to grasp. But larger guns are harder to conceal. Again, there is a balance that must be considered.
- The .25 ACP is a tiny round that is fired from tiny guns. While easily concealed, the .25 ACP is not known for its stopping power.
- The .32 ACP is moderately larger, and can be a perfectly effective round (though most consider a .32 to be a backup for a larger gun).
- The .380 ACP is a very popular choice. The .380’s recoil is manageable, which allows for more accurate repeat shots. And many ammunition manufacturers make excellent .380 defensive rounds.
- The 9mm is very popular, and close to the upper limit for lightweight concealed carry.
- The .40 S&W is slightly larger, still. It is a popular choice for many law enforcement agencies.
- The .45 ACP is a venerable handgun round, and offers excellent stopping power, though it is a bit slower than the 9mm.
- The 10mm is seen by many as the upper limit of practicality. It is a .40-caliber bullet backed by more powder.
Many feel like the debate over caliber misses the mark. Practice, skill, and accuracy will do more for your success than a big bullet. Look for a gun that’s easily concealed in a caliber you can confidently handle and work on your shot placement.
Training to Clear Your Weapon of a Malfunction
What can go wrong will go wrong, and that applies to handguns as well. Sometimes primers don’t ignite the powder. Or the bullet will fire, but the gun won’t extract the spent brass. Or the next round won’t feed quite right. Anytime this happens, you have to fix the problem. Try a tap-rack. Pull the slide back with your non-dominant hand, hard, and let it go again, like you would if you were chambering a round. Sometimes a little shake will free a loose piece of brass. When the slide falls, it usually picks up the next round, or may push a stuck round into place.
This is easily practiced. Snap-caps and/or dummy rounds will allow you to simulate these problems without live rounds in the gun. See how easy (or hard) jams are to clear, and how quickly you can do it. Keep practicing these drills until the tap-rack becomes second nature.
In the worst case scenarios, you will need to lock the slide back and drop the magazine in order to clear the issue. Practice this, too. Your life may depend on your ability to understand the problem and fix it quickly.
When you decided to begin daily carry, what was the biggest obstacle for you personally to overcome? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below: