I'm gonna go out on a big limb here and assume that you carry a firearm for your personal defense on a daily or near daily basis. Am I right? Good. Me too!
Carrying a concealed firearm is a significant responsibility, and it's essential that we continuously strive to improve our self-defense skills. In this installment, I wanted to pass along 5 of the most common mistakes I see among concealed carry holders out there. If you're new, please consider these tips to help improve your weapons handling skills. If you've been at it a while, maybe you can use this information to help out someone else on their journey.
So let's get to it!
Mistake 1: Poor Holster Selection
One of the most common mistakes concealed carry holders make is choosing the wrong holster. Often, aesthetics and fashion are prioritized over function. A poor holster can hinder your ability to draw your firearm quickly and efficiently, which can be a matter of life or death in a self-defense situation.
Invest time and effort in selecting a holster that's tailored to your firearm, body type, and daily activities. Consider factors like retention, comfort, and accessibility. Holsters that offer proper retention while still allowing for a swift and secure draw are essential. Finding the right holster for you is kinda like buying a car. You gotta take it for a test drive to see how it handles. I have a closet full of old holsters that I bought and tried before I settled on a couple of brands that worked for me. Here's a few I've had great experiences with:
When it comes to outside the waistband holsters (OWB), I'm a big fan of Safariland. They rugged, well-constructed, and can a take just about any beating you can dish out on them in your training. I run these on my gun belt when I'm teaching or training myself. They've never let me down.
I also like Bravo Concealment Holsters. This is Texas-based company that focuses on producing a great product at affordable prices and caring for their customers. I like both their OWB and IWB holsters. They also have accessories and attachments available so that you can customize your rig like you want it. Click here to check them out.
Mistake 2: Inadequate Training
Many concealed carry holders acquire their permit and weapon but fail to invest in ongoing training and practice. Inadequate training can result in a lack of readiness and proficiency when it matters most.
Regular training and practice are essential. Consider enrolling in good tactical firearms courses from professional instructors. Make sure you're getting good reps in during dry-fire practice as well as spending time at the range. If you're looking for ways to spice up your dry-fire sessions, make sure you're subscribed to the Pearl Snap Tactical Podcast where we discuss the topic of dry-fire regularly. You're sure to find some tips on how to make your dry-fire sessions fun and productive without it getting stale.
Mistake 3: Neglecting Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is a critical aspect of self-defense. Focusing solely on your firearm can lead to neglecting your surroundings, making you vulnerable to potential threats.
Always stay vigilant and maintain awareness of your environment. Practice the habit of scanning for potential dangers, and be mindful of unusual behavior in your surroundings. The best way to avoid an attack is to see it before it's coming. Doing Situational Awareness the right way ultimately it comes down to understanding what situational awareness is, what it looks like, and how to do it. Again, we've talked about situational awareness at length on the podcast and have blogged about it as well. If you're looking for a concise training block that's packed with the critical information you need to develop this life-saving skill, sign up for our short online course. It's only $7, but it's sure to fit anyone's budget. Click here to check it out.
Mistake 4: Overconfidence
Overconfidence can be a grave error in self-defense. A firearm is not a magic talisman. Assuming that carrying a firearm automatically makes you invulnerable may lead to poor decision-making and unnecessary confrontations.
Don't mistake confidence for competence. Stay humble and aware of your limitations. Avoid unnecessary risks and prioritize de-escalation and avoidance tactics whenever possible. A firearm should be a last resort, not a first response. However, if you do have to utilize your firearm as a last resort, your weapons handling skills, accuracy, and mobility capabilities need to there before you need them. (See Mistake #2.)
Mistake 5: Not Understanding Your Legal Responsibilities
Ignorance of the legal aspects of self-defense can lead to serious consequences. Understanding use of force laws, state-specific self-defense regulations, and when it's appropriate to draw your weapon is crucial.
Study the laws pertaining to self-defense in your area. Consult with legal professionals who specialize in self-defense cases if needed. Knowing the legal boundaries of self-defense can help you avoid legal troubles after an incident. When it comes to learning the laws about self-defense, I'm a big fan of Andrew Branca from the Law of Self Defense Blog.
On his blog, you'll find tons of useful information on the laws regarding the use of self-defense that goes beyond just firearms. If you have questions like, "should these hands be considered lethal weapons," chances are he's covered it. Make sure you check him out!
As a responsible concealed carry holder, it's vital to be aware of these common mistakes and take steps to avoid them. Choosing the right holster, investing in training, maintaining situational awareness, staying humble, and understanding the legal aspects of self-defense are all crucial for your safety and the safety of those around you. By avoiding these errors, you can better prepare yourself to handle self-defense situations effectively and responsibly.
What are your thoughts about the 5 mistakes I've listed above? Anything to add? Drop it in the comments below.
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