Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry Basics Part 2: Holster Options

You Have Your Pistol – Now How Do You Carry It?

This is the second installment in the Concealed Carry Basics series. In Part 1, we addressed the factors involved in choosing the right firearm for you to carry. As we mentioned there, people have been carrying firearms for protection since there have been firearms. The practice can be as simple as literally carrying it (like, in your hands) or tucking it into your waistband. However, the first method will likely (at best) lead to a chat with Officer Friendly after he gets a MWaG (man with a gun) call while the second might lead to such pleasantries as a surprise vasectomy. Therefore we strongly recommend not using either method for your EDC.

Many, if not most, folks who endeavor to carry a firearm tend to go through a number of holsters before they find the one that works best for them (or, worse, end up using a bad holster). Thus they end up having to try to sell their used holsters or having the proverbial box o’ holsters tucked away into the back of their closets. Good holsters can be somewhat pricey and a box of pricey holsters can add up pretty quickly to real money.

We’re here to help with some basics on what kind of holsters are available and some considerations to keep in mind when choosing yours. As with the choosing a firearm part, This article is not a primer on what specific holster is best or which one you should get – instead, we hope to help you find one that works best for you and your situation.

If you are starting from scratch, head over to Firearms 101 for the basics on what firearms are, how they work, and commonly used acronyms.

So, you have the firearm you want to carry for protection… what next?

First off, you should definitely use a holster – no questions asked. Sure, some people do just drop a firearm into their pocket or purse or tuck it into their waistband like they just got out of jail and found it in an unlocked glovebox, but it’s a bad idea for several reasons addressed below.   Continue reading

Concealed Carry Basics Part 1: Choosing the Right Firearm

Finding the right pistol to carry

This is the first installment in the Concealed Carry Basics series. Carrying a firearm on your person is as simple as… well, as carrying a firearm on your person. It is not rocket science – people have been carrying firearms for protection since there have been firearms – but there are pieces of information that you pick up along the way that make the practice easier, safer, and more effective. With a couple combined decades of carry experience among us, the GunLink team hopes to share some of that information with you to help make the process easier.

This article is not a primer on what specific firearm is best or which one you should get. Rather, it lays out a number of considerations that you need to make when choosing the best firearm for you and your situation.

If you are starting from scratch, head over to Firearms 101 for the basics on what firearms are, how they work, and commonly used acronyms.

Technically, the first thing you need is the mindset – the decision to carry a firearm in the first place – but the first three parts of this series are focusing predominately on the gear, with mindset coming in Part 4. For now, let’s presume that you have decided that you want to carry a firearm for protection… what next?   Continue reading

Sticky Holsters Unveils New EDC Products for SHOT Show

20180117_181359838_iOSJust in time for SHOT Show, Sticky Holsters is unveiling a bevy of new products for Concealed Carry EDC.

We have been reviewing Sticky Holsters for years now, since we were first introduced to them by a GunLink Forum member.  Since then, we have tried out and reviewed a number of their products, including their standard holsters in a variety of sizes, as well as their Super Mag Pouch, and the custom ECR-compatible holster for Viridian’s C5L compact light and laser.

We have had great experiences with Sticky Holsters’ products over the years and are happy to have them come on board with us as a SHOT Show Coverage Partner this year. Operations Manager, Eric, sent us over some details about the latest products coming out of the Sticky Holsters shop and we’re excited to get the opportunity to see them first hand at SHOT Show next week.

Sticky’s new products aren’t necessarily directly pistol-holster related but, rather, geared more toward the EDC stuff that you might lug around if you are packing heat already, like spare mags, tourniquets, a knife, etc.

The first set of new products are their Mini Mag Sleeves and Pouches. As you saw in our review of the Super Mag Pouch (SMP), we generally used that product for double-stack pistol mags like those for the G19 and G17.  Using the SMP for single-stack mags, like those for the XDS45, was passable, but not ideal since they didn’t fill out the pouch enough and we worried about the possibility of the magazine sliding out at inopportune times.  Trying to use the SMP for tiny mags, like those for the .380 ACP Ruger LCP, was nigh impossible. This is what we wrote at the time:    Continue reading

The National Rifle Association Launches NRA Carry Guard

NRAcarryguardOn Monday, the National Rifle Association of America announced the launch of NRA Carry Guard, a program created to provide America’s most comprehensive insurance and legal coverage, as well as best-in-class training for those who carry a gun. NRA Carry Guard members can access many great benefits including legal assistance and the ability to select their own counsel, as well as immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, legal retainer fees, compensation while in court and more. NRA Carry Guard is the only membership program for self-defense insurance and training developed and supported by the National Rifle Association, representing the next evolution in freedom’s defense from the most powerful civil rights organization in American history.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve supported and defended the Constitution of the United States. I really do believe that an armed citizenry makes for a stronger country, a stronger society, a safer society,” says veteran U.S. Navy SEAL George Severence, who serves as NRA Carry Guard National Director. “The Second Amendment would look vastly different today without the NRA. With so many concealed carry permit holders out there, it would be my hope that all of them would become NRA members, because the only reason that they have that right to carry is because the NRA has been defending that right.”

“There is no other organization in the United States of America that can do what NRA has done with NRA Carry Guard,” says Dana Loesch, NRA National Spokesperson. “Without the NRA, there would be no right to carry a firearm at all in this country. The NRA and its 5 million members have led the movement for the past three decades to restore this freedom to its rightful place in America.”   Continue reading

National CCW Reciprocity Bill Introduced for 2017

VAnonresRecipAsk any concealed carry license holder who does any appreciable amount of travel and they can tell you that the United States can be a patchwork of state and local laws.  Can you have a loaded firearm in your car?  Are rifles and handguns treated differently?  Does a loaded magazine count as “loaded,” or must a round be chambered?  Do No Guns Allowed signs carry the force of law?  Can you carry in restaurants which serve alcohol?  Is your concealed carry permit even good in your destination state?

These issues might represent a lot to consider when traveling with firearms, but a new bill introduced in the House might solve at least one of them.

Yesterday marked the first day of the 115th Congress and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) kicked it off with a piece of pro-gun legislation in the form of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  HR38 would eliminate the confusing hodgepodge of laws across the nation by allowing individuals who legally carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise the same right in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry – a concept known as National Reciprocity.

NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, supported the bill, saying “the current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.

The official Congressional summary of HR38 is still pending as of this writing; however, Rep. Hudson has released this text of the bill, a one-pager summary, and a brief Q&A.

Hudson, a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights, has introduced similar legislation in the past, including last session’s HR986 during the 114th Congress.  Despite decent support from among his congressional peers, this bill failed to make it through the legislative process.  Now, with republican control of the House, Senate, and White House – along with at least one Supreme Court seat to be filled by the incoming President Trump – the new iteration of the national reciprocity bill has a chance at passing.  It is already off to a good start with a bi-partisan field of more than 60 co-sponsors.  Continue reading

Everybody Poops (even people who carry guns)

The Question Every CCW-er Has but is Afraid to Ask: What do You do with Your Pistol While Going Number Two?

GlockOnToilet_8238It is a frequent question that new concealed (and open) carriers often have.  However, it is rarely asked and, if when it is, it can sometimes involve a bit of gazing at one’s own feet or bashful sidelong glances during what can be an awkward conversation.  The fact remains, nonetheless, that going to the restroom is a natural human function and many are left wondering what to do with their carry gun when nature calls – particularly in a public restroom environment.  Luckily for you, Team GunLink is not afraid to have the awkward conversations that you don’t want to have and pass along that information.

Answering that call can pose a number of issues.  Depending on the style of carry, managing the firearm in the ol’ WC can range from easy to uncomfortable to dangerous.  It is naturally a vulnerable situation, particularly in public facilities which might allow the possibility of literally being caught with one’s pants down – so it ought to remain handy.  Some holsters, particularly OWB holsters, can allow the firearm to flop out, visible to any neighbors (especially if your neighbor is Larry Craig).  Others, especially pocket guns can jab you or otherwise point where you don’t want them to.  So, what do you do with your firearm while relieving yourself?

Well, first off, we can tell you what not to do:  leave your gun behind.  The possibility of doing so is, in part, why we do not like the idea of unholstering your carry piece.  The fact is that firearms do periodically get forgotten in the loo.

Now, once the rabid anti-gunners are settled down from their “this is exactly why just any geek off the street shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun” rant, we should point out that it is frequently the pros who leave guns behind.  The ones expected to be handy with the steel, if you know what I mean.  For example, this Washington police chief, this Florida sheriff’s deputy, this Massachusetts police officer, this Federal EPA agent, these two US Capitol police officers, and this Michigan school security guard – all left their guns behind.  So did this commercial airline pilot who, unlike most of us, is allowed to have his firearm inside sterile areas of the airport.  Of course, it can happen to non-pros too, like this church goer or this WalMart shopper.   Continue reading

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