CCW Tech: Essential CCW Gear
Once you have made the decision to carry a concealed weapon, you will quickly realize that there are a whole host of issues that you must address, not least of which is selecting the proper gear. My advice is to buy quality gear. It lasts longer, is more comfortable, and generally does its job better than “bargain basement” equipment. Here are a few “must have” items to start with.
Normal belts are completely unsuitable for carrying a weapon because they are too thin to support the added weight of the weapon for long periods of time. Gun belts are generally thicker and made with stiffer materials. A quality gun belt keeps the weapon snug against your body and prevents sagging. Yes, you can “get by” with a regular belt, but you will need to keep it cinched up tight and you’ll be replacing them more often. You won’t truly appreciate the difference until you wear one, so just trust me and go get one. Quality leather craftsman produce belts that look just as good with your suit as they do with your jeans.
For more casual or outdoor wear, you may want to consider the military style “web belt”. These nylon belts may look flimsy, but they actually carry a weapon quite well.
For leather belts start your search with:
For nylon web belts try your local military surplus store, or:
You really do get what you pay for when it comes to holsters. I highly recommend that you buy a holster that is custom fit for the specific weapon you carry. Cheap holsters sag and shift on the belt, which means the weapon is more likely to print and not be exactly where you expect it when you need to draw. Custom holsters generally last longer, are more comfortable, and, more importantly, secure your weapon better than cheap mass produced holsters. Sure a Milt Sparks VM II costs a lot and has a six months wait time, but it is arguably one of the absolute best holsters on the market and will last a lifetime.
The options are endless so resign yourself to the fact that you will end up with a drawerful of holsters that didn’t quite do the trick. Here a some manufacturers that I like:
Crossbreed (personally, I don’t like the Supertuck design, but a lot of people swear by them and Crossbreed’s customer service is superb)
West Wood’s Landing (good multi-configuration field holster)
Blade Tech (my favorite Kydek holsters)
Uncle Mikes (I have a love hate relationship with these holsters. They aren’t sexy and don’t provide the best support, but they work and are very reasonably priced. I generally buy one for my new pistols and use it until my custom holster arrives. Their inside the waistband holster is also my preferred running and exercise holster for a smaller pistol.)
If you carry a gun then you must carry a cell phone. You absolutely must report any incident in which you or someone else uses or threatens to use deadly force. If you don’t report or delay reporting the incident, it could very well look bad in court. Additionally, the cell phone gives you the opportunity to take your own pictures or videos of the scene (after you make sure the scene is safe and you administer first aid if required).
Emergency Contact Card:
Don’t expect to remember important phone numbers after a self defense incident. Make a little wallet card with your emergency contact numbers such as your spouse, partner, or friend, and your attorney. On the reverse side you may want to jot down an emergency action checklist (Call 911, Secure Scene, Administer First Aid, Call Attorney). I know it sounds silly, but case studies show that people forget the simplest things after violent encounters. There are several cases in which 911 was never called simply because the individual forgot to press the “Send” button on the phone after dialing.
If you have other “essential CCW gear” that you carry, then leave a comment.
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