Beginner's Guide to Concealed Carry

Beginners Guide to Concealed Carry

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Concealed carrying a gun is intimidating, it feels like you have an entire army tank strapped to your first.  I promise it gets easier and it will even feel like part of your body with the right holster, position, and practice. 

First of all let's talk about the lingo. 

  • Concealed carry- Carrying your gun secretly, no one can see it, no one knows it's there, so it's concealed.
  • Holster- Carrier for a gun.
  • IWB- Inside the waistband; holstering your gun inside your pants
  • OWB- Outside the waistband; holstering your gun outside your pants
  • Appendix- Position of carrying our firearm in the front of your waistband, near the belt buckle
  • 3 O'Clock-  Position of carrying slightly behind the side of the hip, if you're waist was a clock with 12:00 in the buckle of the belt then the right handed shooter would have their gun in the 3:00 position
  • Kidney- Position of carrying offset from the center of your back, near your kidney position.
  • Small of the back- Position of carrying directly in the center of your back.
  • Printing- When the outline of the firearm is exposed through your clothes or concealment.
  • Brandishing- Is showing your weapon in a threatening or angry manner.

The main point in concealed carry, after being ready to defend yourself, is to definitely conceal your firearm.  There are tons of ways to conceal your firearm without buying a brand new wardrobe.  It can be as easy as tucking your shirt in slightly on the opposite side for appendix carry or wearing a stylish cardigan or vest for all the other concealed carry positions.  It is important to avoid printing and to check for printing in a full size mirror from all angles and with arms up and arms down.  You should be confident enough in your concealment to not need to check throughout the day.  Confidence will come the more you carry.  

Let's talk about holsters and carry methods.

(This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to conceal carry, but they are the ones I have tried and also the most common)

After years of trying out different concealed carry positions and holsters I have landed at my very favorite way to carry, in the appendix position with my kydex holster or with my belly band corset holster by Can Can Concealment. (use code: ARMEDINSTYLE for 10% off at Can Can Concealment)  Check out my Instagram for examples of ways I like to carry and how I style my clothes to conceal my firearm.  Other carry methods can be purse carry, which I did for years and is how I started out my concealed carry journey.  I highly recommend carrying in a purse that is designed for carrying a gun and be sure the trigger is protected so there is no way your firearm could get snagged on anything in your purse and have an accidental discharge.  Check out Cameleon Bags for concealed carry purses.  After I became uncomfortable with purse carry due to having children and worrying that maybe they could get into my purse when I'm not looking I decided to try IWB carry so I could have more awareness and control of my firearm.  I started experimenting with different holsters and the different carry positions.  The holster and position I use the most now is my appendix kydex holster in the appendix position, like I already said.  Different occasions and outfits call for different carry methods and it's important to practice concealed carry at home first to build up your confidence and comfort carrying before taking it in the public.  

Last topic for beginners is ammo selection.

Going to the gun store and looking at the ammo isle can be intimidating, it still is even for me.  There are so many brands, grains, ballistics, etc. to consider.  For a concealed carry weapon choose ammo that is made for self defense.  They are designed to stop upon impact and to not penetrate through the intended target to avoid injuring anyone beyond the threat.  Hollow point bullets of the correct caliber for your gun are the most common self defense ammo designed to stop the threat if you ever needed to defend your life using your firearm. 

Common newbie mistakes you should avoid while concealed carrying:

  • touching your firearm
  • looking at your firearm
  • telling people you have a firearm on you
  • showing anyone your firearm
  • assuming you know everything about guns (there is always more to learn)
  • not training or practicing at the shooting range
  • being too afraid to start your journey

The goal is to keep your firearm concealed and no one should know you have it unless the situation arises where your life is threatened.

Always carry safely, follow the rules of firearms safety, and always learn more while  training as much as you can.  Let's talk in the comments!

Much love and ammo,



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