Sometimes it is hard to step back and remember why you started carrying a gun. For some it was out of necessity, others because of fear and some started carrying just because they could. Whatever the reason, I have certain pistols that I like for concealed carry. So, I will share them here, along with tips and other accessories I have learned over the years.
Concealed Carry Pistols, Tips, Training, and Accessories
It is a very different world we live in now, and there is no point in beating a dead horse here on why you should be carrying a gun every day. So, we are just going to skip all of that.
Let’s face it, if you’re not sold on protecting yourself at this point, you’re probably not reading this magazine anyway. I want to take some time to tell you how and what I carry. Likewise, I will share a few lessons I have learned from my experiences carrying.
How it began
My journey carrying a gun started as kind of a combination of necessity and fear. This wild ride started when I was about 24 years old. I was a typical 24-year-old in the fact I walked around every day completely unaware of danger and evil—I was invincible. I owned a bread delivery business with territory in Detroit, Michigan.
This wasn’t in the tourist area of downtown. Yes, Detroit does have a few decent areas downtown. But my route was in what most would refer to as the ghetto. Most of the stores I dealt with had armed security, barricades in front of the store to keep people from stealing carts, and homeless people sleeping in dumpsters in the alley.
I had experienced my share of odd events over the years working down there. As a result, I learned a lot about how to survive in those areas. But I still always felt I could just fight my way out of any situation if I needed to. Not to mention, I had that “it will never happen to me” mentality.
A Change in Perspective
Well, that all changed in the blink of an eye the first time I was held up at gunpoint in the back of my own box truck. While I was staring down the barrel of a beat-up revolver, I could remember thinking how stupid I was. How did I allow this to happen to me?
I also remember thinking I have a long day ahead if I soil my pants right now. So, I must keep it together a little. Well, luckily, I got out of there unharmed, though my pockets were a bit lighter and my pride was shaken.
The guy took off, and I remember sitting in the truck trying to understand what exactly just happened. All I could think about was how helpless I was, and I literally had no way to protect myself. It was at that moment I started researching guns and what I needed to be able to carry one.
One thing I knew immediately was I would need training. I had never touched a gun before because I just didn’t grow up with them. My dad didn’t really like guns much, and I just never knew anything about them.
I started talking to friends who had guns. My friends would take me out shooting. I noticed immediately that every one of them would teach me something else. But often the lessons would be similar to something my other friend showed me, using a totally different method.
I needed to ensure I knew what I was doing because a weapon is only good if you can use it. I purchased my first pistol and took as many classes as I could to learn about the gun and how to carry it properly. Firearms started becoming a lifestyle, and I knew soon after that I wanted to work with guns and teach others.
The first gun I purchased when I started all of this was the Kahr PM9. At the time, it was one of the smallest 9mm pistols I could find, and I shot it very well. I carried the Kahr for almost six years, nearly every single day.
I had a hell of a time finding the gun because every gun shop I went into wanted to sell me a Glock instead. But I wanted the Kahr. That PM9 has been with me for more than 15 years now. I have taught probably 100 people to shoot with it.
The pistol has had more than 15k rounds put through it, and saved my life at least two times. I still have it in my truck as a backup gun today. I carried in a Crossbreed hybrid holster nearly every day and still have that original holster.
I picked this gun up from another bread guy I used to run into on one of my routes. He had purchased it brand new and hated it because it was so small. I loved the idea of the tiny pocket pistol to use as a backup to my Kahr. Or, for when I just needed to have something very deeply concealed.
The second I took the gun to the range after I purchased it, I knew what the guy meant by hating to shoot it. The LCP will beat you up for sure. However, it is tiny, lightweight, and one of the easiest guns I own to conceal.
I wear cowboy boots often and have found a simple IWB holster will clip to the top of my boot. I can carry the LCP up against my ankle attached to the top of my boot, making for a simple draw. However, the gun remains extremely concealed if you wear long pants.
Sig Sauer P938
As my Kahr got older, I felt it should probably be retired. So, I picked up my Sig Sauer P938 from a local gun and knife show. I have always loved 1911s, and the Sig had very similar features. But it’s a tiny package that felt much like my PM9 when carried on my strong-side hip.
I also stuck with what I knew and got the same Crossbreed Holster for the Sig. This gun has seen many rounds and some custom Cerakote work along the way. It remains my go-to carry gun in the summer months.
I think everyone has probably carried or thought about carrying a Glock along the way. I mean they have kind of become the Kleenex of tissues at this point. Every other word in most rap songs talks about them.
I started this journey being told I needed a Glock, which really made me not want one. My G19 is really not a Glock at all. It is a custom build from a local shop, Continuous Precision. They make triggers, sights, mag buttons, and base pads, and do slide milling on Glocks.
I was doing an article and needed some milling done, so I ended up buying a gun they built called the TAC19. It is a Glockish 19 built on a Nomad Defense frame. This gun was the first red-dot pistol I had ever carried. It is a bit bulky and a little heavier than I was used to. But in the winter, it conceals nicely under a jacket in my TacRig Holster system.
The TAC19 sits perfectly on my hip and stays out of sight under a sweatshirt or jacket. I love the higher capacity and have really enjoyed carrying an optic once I trained enough with a dot to understand it.
FN 509 Midsize
I got the 509 from FN for an article I did on the gun when it came out. I fell in love with it and purchased it. Later, I completely customized it. Only because I’ve evolved into a custom gun nut and love what can be done by some of these shops. Even though the FN is about the same size as a Glock 19, I have found that it conceals much better for some reason, even when using the same type of Kydex holster.
I regularly rotate three of these carry guns. However, sometimes I add a few others in the mix if I am testing something new for a review. The LCP sits in my safe and only comes out when I have to dress up or need a pocket backup. Similarly, the PM9 has a cozy little spot in my truck in a console safe as a backup.
I regularly shoot all my carry guns, though, to be sure they are ready to rock if I need them to. Although I have attempted to carry appendix, it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I really wish it did because I love the idea of it. Maybe my body isn’t designed properly for that or something. So, I stick to what is comfortable – my strong side hip with a slight cant forward to make it a little easier to conceal.
One thing I found is that a good belt is a must. It has to be rigid enough to grab the clip on your holster and also be able to support the added weight of a fully loaded firearm. I have become a big fan of a good leather belt or the EDC Belt from NEXBelt. NEXBelt has no holes and uses a ratcheting system so you can easily adjust the tension if you decide to eat that entire left side of the menu at lunch.
I also feel naked if I don’t have a good knife in my pocket. I prefer an out-the-front style knife or spring assist folder for easy deployment. Unfortunately, I have had to pull my gun on another human two times since I have been carrying concealed. Knock on wood, I have not had to fire a shot.
I vowed to never be caught unable to fight back again after I stared down the barrel of that revolver. Likewise, I plan to keep evolving in my carry journey and never be caught unarmed again.
This article was originally published in the Personal Defense World February/March 2022 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.