open 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

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

Gee Whiz – Secret Service Says No Guns at Republican Convention

RncsealHere is a real shocker.  As we guessed in our comment on our previous post about a petition to allow firearm carry at the Republican National Convention, the Secret Service does not want a bunch of random armed people around the event.  They are apparently still expecting a fair turnout of loons, as Cleveland shells out a $1.5M brokerage fee to AON Risk Services for a $10M “protest insurance” policy for the event.

The Secret Service says only authorized law enforcement will be allowed to carry firearms at the Republican Party nominating convention, ignoring an online petition calling for convention attendees to also be permitted to carry them.

The petition, started anonymously last week on Change.org, has attracted the signatures of over 50,000 people who said they want the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, which is hosting the convention, to reverse its ban on weapons.

The Secret Service, which is responsible for security at the July event, said in a statement that only “authorized law enforcement partners…may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” the statement added.

The three remaining Republican U.S. presidential candidates have each advocated allowing people to openly carry firearms. Both Texas Senator Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump have criticized so-called gun-free zones, especially schools, saying those policies make the sites less safe.

Many of those sharing the petition on Twitter are less interested in the issue for reasons of defending 2nd Amendment rights to firearms than pushing the Republican Party on its adherence to the issue.

Firearms were also banned at the previous Republican convention, which was held in Tampa in 2012.

There are already concerns that this year’s convention will be testier than usual, especially if no Republican presidential candidate has emerged as the party’s nominee.

Petition to Allow Firearm Carry at GOP Convention Gaining Traction

Petition for Republican Convention: Let Them Carry Guns

Chris Hannas
VOA News
March 27, 2016

GunLinkCCWThe three remaining Republican U.S. presidential candidates have each advocated allowing people to openly carry firearms, and an online petition is challenging them to stand behind those policies and call for firearms to be allowed at the party’s nominating convention in July.

Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena is hosting the convention, but has a policy banning any weapons from the facility. It is allowed to do so under law in the state of Ohio, where people can otherwise openly carry guns.

Both Texas Senator Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump have criticized so-called gun-free zones, especially schools, saying those policies make the sites less safe.

Trump said in December he would abolish gun-free zones on his first day in office, while Cruz told supporters in December the zones only create places where an attacker knows people will be unarmed. Ohio Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich last year eliminated gun-free zones at the state’s National Guard facilities.

[Nearly 45,000] people have signed the Change.org petition that says the candidates should call on the Cleveland arena to suspend its no-gun policy, for the National Rifle Association to condemn it, and for Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus to be ready to relocate the entire convention if guns are not allowed.   Continue reading

Bigfoot Gun Belt Goes Beyond Just Holding Up Your Trousers

Why You Need a Good Gun Belt, and Why Your Current Belt Probably Isn’t It

SHOT_6455One of the most important pieces of your CCW loadout might not be what some would expect.  Finding a firearm that is reliable, accurate, easy to carry, and easy to use under stress is paramount.  The number two spot on this list is often contested between a good holster and a good belt, the importance of which is difficult to understate.  Speaking with someone who carries a firearm regularly, whether for work or for general self defense, will confirm that one of the most important pieces of your CCW loadout is a good belt.

A CCW holster has a lot of responsibilities, including being comfortable, effectively concealing the firearm, keeping the firearm in the right position and angle where you put it, and keeping the firearm securely holstered unless and until you intentionally draw it.  But what keeps that holster where you put it and allows it to do its job?  As important as the holster may be, the belt from which you hang it is just as vital.  The important thing to realize is that the belt and the holster work together to comprise the overall carry system that you use.

Like many people who carry, Team GunLink has amassed a box-o-holsters through the trial and error process of finding the couple of holsters that work well and see regular use.  No matter how good those holsters are, without a good belt, they will have issues.  As such, CCW-ers may find themselves either going through a similar trial and error process with their belt or just dealing with those issues – which can lead to giving up on carrying a gun.  I personally went from using a standard web belt to a Dickies work belt, which I used for ages, using “fashion belts” for dressier work and toying with the idea of springing for a spendy double-thick gun belt before finally finding Bigfoot Gun Belts.   Continue reading

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