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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I think I have at least arrived. At the point, that is, when I'm ready to start carrying.

In a way I feel a little silly sometimes. Why has it taken me so long to get to this point? Isn't a handgun "just another tool" in my belt? I carry keys, a wallet, a phone, sometimes a pocket knife. I've had jobs where I've carried other tools with me- screwdrivers, pliers, knives, etc. So, what's the big deal?

Well, it is a big deal. I will be carrying a loaded gun. A gun that I pray I will never have to use. A gun that no one should see, or even know that I am carrying. A gun that, should I use it in the wrong way, or under the wrong circumstances, could change my life for good in really bad ways. A gun that can kill other people. A gun that I could shoot myself with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Let's start with that last part. The gun could shoot me. Actually, I mean I could shoot myself with my own gun. For me that has been a huge stumbling block in the way of me carrying. A carry gun really needs to be carried with a round chambered. That scares me. The result is that, for now at least, I have decided that many of the very best candidates for concealed carry are disqualified.

At least here at the start, I don't think in trust myself with a "hot" semi-auto pistol in a holster. Which is too bad. My Glock 23 is extremely reliable, I shoot it well, it's a good size for a guy my size to carry, and to conceal. I would totally trust it. I just don't quite trust me yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Next, there's the undeniable fact that I really LIKE guns. So... why is that a problem? Well, I don't just love to shoot guns. I also just like the guns themselves. I like holding them, dry firing them, cleaning them. I like looking at them, and just having them around. Which goes completely against the idea of concealed carry. How am I going to carry a gun around every day that no one is supposed to see if I like it?

Well, the answer is that it's gonna have to be a gun that I can think of as a "tool." Not necessarily a gun that I don't like- that would really be the wrong thing- but still, it has to be one that I'm not tempted to take out of its holster and look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So, where does that leave me? If I'm going to carry, it needs to be a gun that's as close to 100% reliable as possible. It needs to be a caliber that's effective for self defense, and it needs to be a gun that I can shoot possibly well with at normal self defense distances. A gun that I like- but not too much, and again, one that's not going to shoot my foot off when I try to holster it.

I'm thinking that to start with the gun that best fits me where I am now is a Ruger LCR. To be honest, I wish my answer would be a Smith & Wesson J frame. It's not, though, for a couple of reasons. First, and by far most important, is the trigger. A 642 Airweight has a terrible trigger. The LCR's trigger is in another league.

Second, I like the way J frames look. Aside from the icky double action trigger, to my eye, they are really cool little guns. Exactly what I don't want. The Ruger, to me at least, is definitely not much of a looker.
 

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Once you make the decision to carry and actually start doing it regularly, you be surprised how natural it becomes. After a certain point you'll realize you now feel uncomfortable when NOT carrying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So, I think that's my starting point. Biggest drawback? Only five rounds, and not easy to reload quickly. Still, five rounds of .38 spl +P can be very effective. An LCR is a gun I will be able to shoot effectively with at typical self-defense ranges. No safety to fumble with. Not going to fire unless I pull the trigger like I mean it. Easy to carry and conceal.

Would it be nicer to have a Glock 19 at my side with 16 rounds in the gun and 30 more in mag pouches on my belt? Yes, that would be nice. But at what cost? Maybe it's irrational, but even at t the range, a semi-auto pistol with a round chambered is something to treat with extreme caution. I don't care how many passive safeties Glock puts in their guns. If you pull the trigger it goes bang. And I know how easy it is to get it to go bang.

Who knows. A year from now, perhaps I will have a Glock or even a Shield in my belt. For now, I think the revolver is the one to start out with.
 

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Once you make the decision to carry and actually start doing it regularly, you be surprised how natural it becomes. After a certain point you'll realize you now feel uncomfortable when NOT carrying.
+1 on this. I was where you are at 5 years ago. Now I carry everywhere.
Having said that, I do think you need to be completely comfortable with what you are carrying. Personally I will not carry a Glock. Many people do and that's good. It's just not for me. I carry a DAO revolver (LCR 357) and will soon have an LCP to carry. Both have longer, heavier triggers. Both are ready to fire. The longer trigger pull is what I want. I also will someday get a CZ75BD with a decocker. Again, that longer trigger pull is what I want. YMMV.
If one in the pipe makes you nervous, go ahead and carry without one chambered just to get used to the feeling of carrying. I can assure you that it takes getting used to having a hunk of steel and plastic hanging on your body.
A good wide, thick belt is a must AND you should expect right off the bat to spend another hunk of money on trying different holsters out. Most of us have a drawer full! Remember, you need to dress around the gun. Loose clothes, untucked shirts, and cover garments. .......get used to them! I've tried just about every carry method possible and have decided on OWB at 4 o'clock strong side. Now I just need to find the right cant holster.
You'll be fine. Focus on safety first and everything else will follow and you'll gain confidence every time you carry. Good luck!
 

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First, get some good self-defense training. Your current state of angst indicates that you are not confidant or ready to carry a firearm.

Second, when you carry a firearm you must be completely UNoffendable.

Solid as a rock.
 

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First of all, I like how you're thinking. It is a big deal and if you don't have the proper mindset going in, you really shouldn't carry. I also think the LCR is a great choice for all the reasons you mention. I prefer the 357 version even though I carry it with 38+P.

I'm kinda with you on the semi too. I have over 2000 rounds at the range with my Glock 19 in the past year but I still haven't carried it even though I have all the gear for it. I'm getting there though.

Focus on safety first and everything else will follow and you'll gain confidence every time you carry.
And I'll +1 this. That has been my experience so far as well.
 

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Practice. Practice. Practice. At home practice draw and fire maneuvers. Over and over.
I have a revolver, if I had a semi I wouldn't carry with one chambered til I trusted myself
 

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Before I started to carry I had to convince myself that I was mentally ready and commited to all the decisions and reasons TO carry. From then on it was gun and ammo selection - to me they are really two different choices.

Like other mentioned I'm at the point where I feel naked w/o my carry. I live in a moderate size town and if my CCW shows it doesn't seem to bother people. In fact during the summer I open carry to Lowes, Home Depot, etc. I know people notice (it's a commander sized 1911) but the only comments I've had were positive. It's black in a black holster so it's not like I'm trying to draw attention to it and being a big guy it sort of 'blends' in. It is carried Stage 1. Yes I do keep a closer watch on my surroundings too.

When I worked in gun shop a couple would come in on Saturdays where he was all in control of buying her a gun for protection. Soon as I could I'd pull her aside and while looking her directly in the eye; "Are you sure, in your heart, that you'd pull the trigger?" If there was any doubt I'd work it so they wouldn't buy a gun.

So, OP, be SURE in your heart, be afraid, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
 

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I have carried a revolver for a number of years. I like the long, deliberate trigger pull, and I know its safe. I also have many DA autoloaders, although only one that I would consider carrying because of its relatively small size. I want a carry gun to be as simple, and safe, as possible. No one knows what is possible, unless they have been in a self defense situation. Will you get the safety off? Will you be able to feel that light trigger when you are trembling with fear, and adrenaline? Will you shoot yourself when drawing that striker pistol, that has no safety, and a short, light trigger? Will you shoot an innocent person with that striker pistol that has no safety, and a short, light trigger?

I recently traded into an SR9c. I love how easy it is to shoot fast and accurately. The striker fired trigger is a dream. I like that its small, but not too small to control easily. I fear carrying it, because I worry I wont sweep the safety off. I wont carry it with the safety off, even though I know many striker guns don't have a manual safety.

I dusted off my P345 tonight, and am surprised how small it actually is. With the 17 round magazine in the SR9c, the P345 is only slightly longer in the barrel, and all other dimensions are the same as the SR9c. I carried the P345 around today, in my Kangaroo Carry holster. Its the same way I carry a revolver. The P345 carries nicely that way, no weight on my waist, and easily controlled under my left arm. A long, deliberate first shot, and then a short, light trigger after that. I think that might just be my next carry pistol. I do like just dropping my handgun into a jacket pocket when going in a store for a quick purchase. The P345 is just at the edge of almost being too big for that.

I think you are putting the correct amount of thought into your decision to carry a concealed handgun. I have done the same over the years. A revolver is a safe choice. Practice with it until you are really good at fast, accurate, Double Action shots. If you haven't already purchased an LCR, take a look at the Taurus 617. There is nothing else like it available. I have carried one for a few months, I've shot it a lot at the range, and it has served me well. I still haven't made up my mind to change away from it, but I think my P345 is going to get the nod over the Taurus. Some range time with the P345 will help me decide.
 

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Time and training are the biggest factors in my opinion. When I received my license last month and I put my pistol in my pocket to carry for the first time it was like it was second nature. It was like I had been doing it for a lifetime. But that was because I had a background in weapons and small arms instruction for twenty years in the military. The key is not to become complacent. Know your weapon. Know your situation. Awareness is very important. You can't put it on auto pilot.
 

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The LCR is a good choice for a first carry weapon. You have to work your way past the worry that you are printing or that people just somehow know you are carrying. Once I felt really comfortable carrying I was ready to switch to an XDS with one in the chamber.
 

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I agree with what others have said so far. I can't tell you how PO'd and outright nervous I was when I was not able to carry because of where I was working for a few months.

The big thing for me, though, is not being too comfortable, i.e., being so casual about carrying I forget to check the status of the weapon. "How in the world was that safety OFF?!"
 

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Good points above. My preferred carry gun is a commander 1911 in condition one. Might not be right for everyone, but what I have carried for over 20 years and what I train with.

The biggest leap for me was my training. When I thought training, I was thinking live fire at the range but where I needed to focus on most was the draw. Clearing the garment and being able to present the weapon quickly and safely.

Five minutes a day in the basement looking in to a mirror using an unloaded 1911 was where I started and then moving to drills like the 5x5 drill or similar drills at the range.
 

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A lot of positive points were already stated, and I'm going to hit two of them again:
1:Mind set, are you mentally (morally and ethically) ready to kill someone?
2:Training and practice.

I carried my Glock23 with no worries (trigger respect but not worried), when I started to carry my SR1911, that took time. Cocked and Locked was new for me so I carried in the house with no ammunition, to prove to myself I was ok with it, then I added blue bullets. After I was 100% comfortable I added live rounds. I go between my Glock23, SR1911, and LCR-357, depending on what I'm doing and wearing. And I practice as often as I can, I do many dry draws and dry fires. Again practice, practice.

Just my 2 cents
 

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"Are you sure, in your heart, that you'd pull the trigger?"
So, OP, be SURE in your heart, be afraid, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
Bingo!
For me, that was the one last question I had to answer before I ever started to carry. The right gun, ammo, holster, confidence in reliability of the gun, and enough practice questions had all been answered. That last one was the big one for me.
 

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why does a 70 yr. old carry a couple of concealed guns when he's out and about in a marginal neighborhood? I really don't remember my early childhood or carrying a teddy bear, I think though it must be the same sort of comfortable feeling. good luck, be safe.
 

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I have a friend that is in the same boat right now . He got his CHL same time I did last spring but has yet to carry . I never tried to push him or encourage him to do so . I told him don't carry until your ready cause if your not ready you'll do more harm than good given some circumstances and I don't want him accidentally shooting me ! I don't know how he passed the range test , he shook like a nervous cat . The only thing I suggested to him is when your ready then start wearing an unloaded gun around the home until he feels comfortable . If that is never then so be it .

Myself , God forbid I would ever have to shoot anyone and anyone in their right mind should feel exactly the same way . You don't physic yourself up by having in your mind that you could shoot someone . You be honest and tell yourself it's for your protection for you and your family and you would only use it in a life situation . You should not use it if your at a convienant store and someone steals a can of beer in front of you , you would let it go and tell the clerk . BUT if a person is in front of you and they have a gun or knife and is threatening you then given the chance you would . Evaluating the difference is a quick decision to make !

When you feel time is right then start carrying because you know it's for safety and no other reason unless your a LEO . A gun fight is over after the first 3 shots . Having the confidence to decide , draw , aim and shoot in split seconds is what you have to know how to do . Learning techniques of drawing and reholstering is extremely important so you wont shoot yourself . Look on youtube , there are multiple videos teaching just that and if you don't like training videos I suggest you hire a trainer to teach you how it's done so you will have no worries .

When a person get's their CHL learning does not stop . You must continue to practice and keep up on the laws for carrying any where you go . The ones that make the biggest mistakes are the ones that get their permit , strap on a gun and walk out with the attitude of "I have a gun , DON'T MESS WITH ME !!" Over confidence guarantees you to be a looser !
 
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