CCW

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

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Effort Gains Steam in Congress

Earlier this year, we shared details of NRA-backed concealed carry reciprocity legislation pending in Congress. The momentum behind those bills continues to build, with each attracting dozens of co-sponsors.

ConcealedCarrySen. John Cornyn’s Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act now boasts 37 co-sponsors. And 194 of his House colleagues have signed onto Rep. Richard Hudson’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

Concealed carry reciprocity legislation recognizes that Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms doesn’t end at their states’ borders. While most states already recognize this and have provisions allowing for reciprocity for concealed carry permits from other jurisdiction, a minority of antigun states have made a point of arresting out-of-state residents who carry or transport otherwise lawfully owned firearms in their jurisdictions.

This sort of “zero tolerance” enforcement has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with punishing people who believe in the Second Amendment. There is nothing legitimate about a state using its police powers to suppress the constitutional rights of fellow Americans.

That’s why your NRA has for years supported legislation to ensure that people who are federally eligible to possess firearms and who have state-sanctioned ability to carry concealed don’t lose their eligibility to do so simply because they cross state lines. This legislation would ensure that states would have to treat lawful concealed carriers from other states the same as lawful in-state concealed carriers. States would maintain their prerogatives over their own licensing regimes and the rules of behavior that govern concealed carry within their borders.  Continue reading

Micro-Handguns of SHOT Show 2017

Pocket-Sized Fire Power Makes it Easy to Always Have a Gun

Cowboy_DerringerDiminutive handguns are nothing new; Henry Deringer’s eponymous Philadelphia model was produced and sold from 1852 and tiny, eminently concealable firearms have been popular for at least as long.  Nihil novi sub sole; at SHOT Show 2017 a number of manufacturers showcased the continuation (and expansion) of this corner of the firearms market.

Bond Arms, the largest modern manufacturer of derringers, is probably the closest living cousin of the early models.  For just over 20 years, Bond Arms has been creating small(ish) non-repeating break-open handguns with caliber-swapable double barrels (available in everything from .22LR rimfire to .45 centerfire to .410 shotshells) reminiscent of early pocket guns like the ones that might be found in a frontier gambler’s vest pocket.  More recently, Bond added a more modern touch to their pocket gun lineup when they acquired Boberg Arms’s design for a semi-auto bullpup pistol that strips rounds rearward from the nose-down magazine before chambering them.  Although they are small and classified as derringers, neither Bond offering could realistically be called “tiny” or classified as a “micro gun,” much less a “mouse gun” when chambered in such heavy rounds as .45LC or .410.

A staple of the tiny-gun market is the lineup from well-known North American Arms (NAA) – founded in 1972 as Rocky Mountain Arm – probably best known for the mini-revolvers that they have been selling since 1990, when they acquired the design from Freedom Arms.  Available only in .22 rimfire chamberings, NAA mini revolvers are spur-triggered single action only revolvers with several models small enough that a pair of them could fit into the space occupied by a deck of cards.  Now sold in a variety of configurations (including ones that fold into their own grip, and ones that are carried in a belt buckle), if you’ve ever walked into a gun store and saw a revolver-shaped speck in the bottom of the case, chances are that it was an NAA.  In 1997, NAA entered the semi-auto market with their Guardian series to compete with Seecamp’s tiny offerings, although they don’t enjoy the same widespread recognition as the wheelguns do.

What’s New?

Now that we know some of the established players in the micro-gun game, let’s take a look at some of the new arrivals which were showcased at SHOT Show 2017.    Continue reading

Alien Gear Rolls Out New Cloak Mod OWB Paddle Holster

SHOT_6458The GunLink team has been enjoying Alien Gear’s holsters since we bought our first one shortly after they went on sale and have been wearing them almost exclusively as our primary holsters.  Colder winter months, however, as well as different kinds of dress and situations occasionally alter my carry methods from my favorite old Cloak Tuck 1.0 IWB to an OWB holster.  While I don’t prefer it in a lot of situations, especially in the hot shorts-and-tshirt months, I do like the convenience and ease of access (and not having to wear over-sized pants) afforded by OWB carry.  That is why I was excited to see the latest new product coming out of the Alien Gear workshop at January’s SHOT Show:  a new modular OWB paddle holster.

This cool, versatile holster has now moved from vaporware to CCW-wear with the official roll-out of the new holster.  I look forward to getting one to try out for myself.  The official announcement of the new model is below.   Continue reading

Concealed Carry Options For Women

Women have myriad problems when considering a holster for concealed carry. It can be difficult enough to find a product that conceals in everyday clothing, but it can be even more difficult to find something that can be concealed in dress clothes or athletic clothes.

Given that women are among the fastest growing group of shooters, it is no surprise that many enterprising women have already come up with a number of innovative solutions to the CCW issue. While many traditional holster companies do create holsters that they market to female shooters, they are typically for standard IWB or OWB, which can be challenging for women since our clothes are typically more form fitting and our hips are shaped differently than men’s.   Continue reading

Concealed Carry Purses Provide Off-Body Carry Options

WomensShootingAlliance_037When women shop for accessories, we shop for looks as well as function and fit. A common problem with many IWB and OWB holsters for women is that our tops are typically more form fitting than men’s shirts and women’s jeans tend to ride around the hips rather than the waist. This can make it difficult to effectively conceal a pistol on the waist. A common solution, since many women already carry a purse, is to opt for off-body carry and make the purse their “holster”.

There are a number of companies on the market that make purses designed specifically for concealed carry. Features can include a specific pouch or pocket in the purse (or outside the purse) for carrying the weapon. This pocket can be accessible from inside or outside (sometimes both) the main pocket of a purse. Some companies include locking zippers and some even include a cable-lined strap for reinforcement (and to prevent theft).   Continue reading

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