10 Things NOT To Do When Carrying Concealed

10 Things NOT To Do When Carrying Concealed
10 Things NOT To Do When Carrying Concealed
10 Things NOT To Do When Carrying Concealed
10 Things NOT To Do When Carrying Concealed

In this article we will look at concealed carry lifestyle, training, and practices that can help you to achieve good concealment habits and mastery of the art of concealed carry of a pistol.

My recommendation that you attend a course on carrying a concealed pistol that allows you to use all or most of your various concealment gear and garments. While attending a training course you will be able to get feedback on your concealment techniques. After the course, continue to train on your own and with others with similar training, to master both concealment and access.

Have someone watch you while you are concealed, the person assisting you should have similar training and understand how you may accidentally expose your pistol. If you are out in public when doing this it would be wise to have a prearranged signal for them to indicate to you that your weapon system has been exposed. This type of feedback may help you to avoid future problems.

Evaluate your personal attire for concealment, as well as comfortable carry. This may amount to trying on various types of garments, belts, and gear to determine what works and does not. Never carry concealed in public without ensuring that you have a system that works.

Locations to perform checks and rearrange you gear:

Locked room – Bedroom, office, single bathroom, etc.

Restroom stalls – It is recommended to have a plan for this and avoid very public restrooms, especially those with stalls that are open on the bottom and may or may not have doors.

Inside Vehicle – Look around first before you start arranging your gear. This will include looking for people in your immediate area and beyond. Also be aware that when in public parking areas you could be on a security camera that could be monitored.

Dressing Room – Look for those that are completely in closed and do not have one-way viewing glass or hidden cameras.

Safety Considerations When checking and rearranging your gear:

Many of the above locations are not always the best for performing checks and rearranging equipment. They leave you open to be surprised by some unsuspecting citizen if doing a check in a public place. The best place to check your rig is in a locked room or other location where no one can walk in on you. If the door does not lock, you can momentarily block it. When checking your rig in an area where it is possible for some one to see you always look around and listen momentarily before checking or altering your rig.

When getting up from a seated location check your rig to ensure that you have maintained retention and concealment before getting up from a seated position. Learn habits in you movement and conduct that will prevent unintended exposure. Having quality, functional gear and concealment garments that are suited to concealed carry can aid tremendously. If you have a rig or garment that is so uncomfortable or unsuitable, then change it as soon as possible. It is never recommended to unholster your weapon except when initially holstering or storing the gun, such as during an administrative loading or unloading procedure at home. Finally, the best training of all is to carry all the time.

Concealed Carry Bad Habits to Avoid

Proper concealed carry equipment, attire, and the practice with both in various situations will go a long way towards preventing accidental exposure or indicators that you are carrying. These are bad habits you want to avoid:

Printing – Allowing the outline of the weapon or accessories to show through the concealment garment or device.

Exposing – Allowing the handgun, holster, or an accessory to unintentionally exposing part or all of it in plain view in public. Be cautious when reaching upward, leaning forwards or sideways, kneeling down, or reaching for anything in your pockets.

Touching – A habit of touching or repositioning the handgun, holster, or an accessory in plain view. If this must be done, do it from a concealed location.

Looking – A habit of looking at your concealed gear to verify if its there or if it is still concealed. Especially avoid this if someone is staring at you. Learn how to subtly screen your movements or distract the on looker so that the possibly exposed item can be turned away from their view.

Telegraphing – Giving away the fact you might be carrying or preparing for action through either:

Active telegraphing – Body language and motions such as getting into a combat stance without the need to. This might also include noise that your weapons make during carry such as loose ammunition in a magazine, a squeaky holster, or other noises.

Passive telegraphing – Clothing or items worn which might indicate that you are carrying or that you are involved with firearms. It is not recommended to wear hatpins, lapel pins, tie-tacks, jewelry, logo clothing, or other adornments that might indicate you are a “gun person”. In some cases the wearer may be subject to an on looker who will see the original indicator, then looking you over until they locate where you are carrying.

Bumping/Sounding – Making contact with an artificial surface or when bumping into someone. The weapon may make a sound or someone may feel it. Very few things a person would carry feel or sound like a weapon. Be aware of items that make unnatural sounds as well what will give you away will also give others away.

Forgetting – Forgetting that you are carrying concealed. This is certainly possible when carrying a very comfortable system, or one that is small or lightweight. It is also possible when the user has not developed a sound concealed carry regimen or is used to carrying. Responsibility mandates that you not let this happen.

DROPPING – Dropping an item, such as a magazine, or worse your weapon from concealment. Often due to equipment that does not adequately retain the item, not re-securing the item following a change. In positioning of concealment gear or wardrobe, this can be cause by activities like: a visit to the restroom, exiting a vehicle, getting up from a chair, or not being aware of changes in body position and activity can affect the concealed carry system.

In closing it is up to you the CCW permit holder to practice, practice, and practice more. By attending professional training courses, and practicing on your own every day you carry a pistol.

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Matt Schlueter is a retired Deputy Sheriff from South Dakota with over 19 years of combined experience in corrections and law enforcement, and held the position of Firearms Instructor and DARE officer with the Sheriffs Office he worked at till his retirement. He is also a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, and owner/chief instructor of Schlueter Firearms Instruction. Matt’s goal is to provide the best information possible for those who want to further their knowledge and skills in shooting handguns. Matt’s goals also include providing the best training courses possible for students who attended courses he is offering. For those wishing to contact him please visit his website at www.learntwoshoot.com, or www.zwarriortraining.com or you can join him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SchlueterFirearmsInstruction.
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Man I do a lot of looking and touching. I almost stopped carrying cause I thought everyone was looking at me.

Well, you are Mexican. BTW, where’s your green card?


I’ve been a little apprehensive to start carrying yet because I haven’t found the holster, or attire that I’m comfortable with. though I have the permit.

James Martinez Pacheco

What sort of pistol do you intend to carry? Blackhawk makes some pretty inexpensive IWB holsters. Sure you should spend good money on a good holster(Galco, Crossbreed) but anything is better than nothing.

Matt Schlueter

I would recommend reading my article on selecting a CCW holster. In that area you should find a friend who knows your tastes and be willing to help you selecting clothing for CCW.

Steven White

It will probably require you purchase larger size pants and a new belt, but Inside Waist Band holsters work well for me. My Kahr P9 fits great in this style holster, rides great in the car or while sitting and is easily covered by a shirt, jacket or coat. Position it just in front of your back pocket.


Good advice, Matt. I have carried for 4 years now, and all of these are relatable.


The Super Tuck Deluxe from Crossbreed Holsters is a great carry, very comfortable.
Once its broken in you can almost forget your carrying.


AMEN! I can’t give enough kudos to CrossBreed for their invention.
i usually carry full size 1911, all Steel (which makes it heavy) and the SuperTuck is top notch for concealment and comfort.


Sorry, that wasn’t very helpful at all.
I mean, that s.h.i.t. is pretty obvious man.


I agree JD, anyone who finds this article “really helpful”, probably shouldn’t be carrying a concealed weapon in the first place. You can teach a lot of things, but common sense ain’t one of them.


JD/CAV44 – Everyone was a newbie at one time or another, and it never hurts to be reminded of the basics, no matter how experienced you consider youself. Well done, Matt, thanks for taking the time and effort to write and share this with all.


You say don’t forget that you are carrying, that is easier said than done. How do you keep from forgetting if you carry much of the time?


This may well be unique to me, but I have been carrying for 22 years – both open and concealed – and have never had a problem remembering that I have a dangerous weapon on me. I am put into potentially dangerous situations from time to time – of course you never know for sure – and that reassuring weight is always a reminder that it is there, whether I need it or not. This is true regardless if my carry weapon is my PF9 or my XD sub compact. I would be afraid that if I became so comfortable with it that I forget that it is there that it would be detremental to having the proper mind set to draw it in in a timely fashion if confronted with a true emergency. Perhaps if you remember that someone – if you forget you have it on you – can take it away from you and use it against you and your loved ones will make you more conscious of your weapon(s). More practice drawing from the concealed carry position will make you more aware of your sidearm as well as increase the odds that you can produce if needed. Good luck!

William Starks

Thus is why I Open Carry….No need to change my lifestyle just because I am carrying a gun.

Mr. XD

Open Carry is not something we all get to do, I am sad to say. Concealed in South Carolina can mean as little as hanging a bandanna over the 1911 on your hip. Not that I recommend that because there is an element of our population that will risk anything to get your weapon. And, it makes grabbing it very simply.

I prefer a paddle holster for my XD .40 on my left hip, though I’m right handed. And I conceal with an unbuttoned shirt over a t-shirt.

If anyone has every figured out I was carrying nothing has been said. This includes Wally World Security, the Local PD in convenience stores and even the guys at the gun shops around town.


I was told that carrying a concealed weapon is not suppose to be comfortable…..trying to find a way to conceal the weapon and having it readily available is an art in itself….thanks for the tips.


I need to say something, ok, a couple things. If I EVER walk into a dressing room that has a “one way mirror or hidden camera” you can bet my .45, SOMEBODY is going to prison for a long long time, provided the justice system can get to them before I do… NEXT is the “Restroom Stall without a door”. No door? No use. PERIOD. I have NEVER seen a restroom stall without a door. NOISE from “LOOSE AMMUNITION IN A MAGAZINE” really? that mag should have been replaced LONG ago. DROPPING… You drop your firearm, you don’t deserve to carry, PERIOD. Matt, what are the two reasons the NRA says “Accident’s” happen with firearms? IGNORANCE and CARELESSNESS. BOTH of those reasons cover 80% of what you mentioned, so that person shouldn’t be carrying anyway.
BTW, am I an alcoholic because I wear a shirt that mentions Jack Daniels?
I’m not trying to be a jerk, just pointing out that some articles REALLY need to be thought out THOROUGHLY before being printed.

Big Kahuna

Matt you are right on “best training of all is to carry all the time.” I have been carrying on duty and off for over 34 years and now that I’m retired I still carry all the time. Good article I have tried at least a dozen IWB holsters and own nine. The holster I used the most is the Super Tuck from Crossbreed, I have a number of brands and Galco makes a good IWB holster. My advice try on the good quality IWB holsters and decide which works the best for you.


Thanks, Matt….I see some posters did not care for your article. I can relate to your views.
As you know, here in WI, we have only had our CCW for a few months. I had an experience at our local gun range last month, where Mother nature called and I went to the outside pit toilet. When pulling up my pants, my IWB flopped outwards and came unspapped, my pistol fell out, and fortunately it was unloaded, and it fell outside the toilet. Besides feeling stupid, I
learned a VERY good lesson. Thanks again Matt, to you and other contributors to USA Carry that make us THINK THINK THINK.


Matt: I am a 61 yr old retired LEO from Arizona.
I can say with all candor… you and I are attached at the hip, my friend.
Thank you for your service(s) ~G


I can relate to the re-adjusting of the holster and to address this, I got a proper belt that fit and could carry the extra weight.


A couple of comments on a very good article.

1. It’s “onlooker” not “on looker.” Sorry, but couldn’t help it.
2. You say “It is never recommended to unholster your weapon except when initially holstering or storing the gun…” I would say that’s true except when you are entering a “no gun zone” and have to leave your weapon in a car/truck safe or locked glove compartment. This happens a lot!
3. For the newbie, as I was 6 years ago, I found actually writing down different situations and the clothes I would wear for each was helpful. Then I’d try them around the house. Everything from hot weather/shorts/tee shirt (I use SmartCarry) to suit and tie but prepared to take my suit coat off (I have a MaxTuck IWB). Planning helps.

Fortunately I’m in Minnesota where you don’t have to conceal but 99.9% do. It means the law doesn’t care if you accidentally print or reveal it.

Arc Angel

I’ve got mixed emotions on this article. It’s a bit naive. It really appears to be written for absolute rank amateurs – ‘newbies’ to concealed carry. Neither did I see anything about those, ‘core carry habits’ that truly hide your gun from prying eyes. (I’ve carried 1911 pattern pistols in state police barracks without any of the troopers realizing I was, ‘heeled’.)
The only thing you have to know about public rest rooms is to expose your back as little as possible. Personally, I won’t use a public rest room that doesn’t have doors on the stalls. (Because THAT exposes all of me; and it’s already hard enough to keep, ‘the mutts’ from coming over the top to hit you on the head.)
Proper concealed carry comes down to a list of certain basics. The first thing you’ve got to have is a strong, non-flexing, gun belt – A real gun belt! (Which all of mine are.) The second thing you need is a holster that presses the butt of the gun into your body. If your holster doesn’t do this then, for sure, you’re going to pattern and print. Don’t, ‘felony carry’ and you won’t, ‘bump/reveal’. Looking, touching, telegraphing are all the actions of a rank amateur. Experienced pistoleros, including police officers, don’t do things like that.
Never – as in, ‘never’ – check your rig when you stand up from a seated position. If you’ve got to do something like this then your belt or holster is wrong – Period. Some simple advice that goes a long way: Smile a lot. Don’t act dangerous; and you won’t be perceived that way. Of those items listed the toughest thing to accomplish is, ‘dressing around the gun’. All of my shirts and jackets are a size, or two, large; and I am always unbloused at the waist. I frequently wear patterns and prints; and I always avoid lightweight fabrics. ……. Therefore learn to keep your eye on others who wear similar shirts that are open at the waist or who keep their jackets unbuttoned.
I’ve been in a number of dangerous situations with young men who were wearing baggy clothing and/or hooded sweat shirts. If the dude tends to habitually keep his hands in his pockets or toward the front of his waist, you might be about to have a problem. I’ve watched people like this just before they draw. If a person looks right and left, tends to lower his head, or is, ‘stiff’ in the shoulders with his hands towards the front of his waist or near his pockets, well, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re, ‘about to go to work’. The other, ‘tell’ I’ve noticed is that these people seem to instinctively know how to, ‘blade’. If, in addition to the other, ‘tells’ I’ve mentioned, a subject also turns away before doing something with his hands ……. you ARE about to go to work.
Here’s several personal behaviors that you really need to know and adopt into your physical habit patterns if you want to keep yourself successfully covered up:
1. Don’t reach for things with your gun arm.
2. Always bend your gun knee whenever you bend over to pick something up.
3. Master the art of, ‘blading’ or, ‘three quartering’ others. Your gun side should always be bladed away from the audience.
4. Never allow someone else to hug you by placing his hands and arms under your own. Do this to the other person, instead.
5. Don’t be an, ‘equipment checker’. If you need to be doing stuff like this; you’re either inappropriately dressed, or wearing, or carrying, the wrong equipment. I can and have gone for 12 to 14 hours without checking or adjusting my, ‘belt load’. (Which is, often, considerable!)
6. Anytime you’re not alone and the seating is cramped, or in rows, always place your companion on your gun side. I, once, got, ‘made’ by a retired cop in this way; and I’ve never forgotten the lesson.
7. On the outside of your clothing the very best place to conceal a gun is at 4 to 5 o’clock along your waist. A problem arises when you’re sitting, though. If you sit a lot the best place to carry – but not necessarily to conceal – a gun is at either 10 or 2 o’clock, or else on your left ankle. (You pick the side.) 😉
Successfully concealing a large sidearm all day long is a series of personal habits and behaviors that must be integral parts of your daily patterns of body dress and physical movement. You’ve got to learn, ‘How’ to be instinctively cautious about the ways you dress and move your body. When it’s done right there is no equipment checking or adjusting; the gun. The extra magazines, the cell phone, and the knife are, ‘just there’. Truthfully, unless I wanted them to, I don’t think anybody has successfully, ‘made me’ at anytime during the past 7 or 8 years. They may have suspected; but they did not know. (And this includes several angry, ‘entitled’ civilians I got into things like parking space arguments with.)


Arc Angel,
Rarely do I read a comment that is as long or longer than the article! It appears you wanted to write the article, and didn’t get the chance, so you wrote your own in the comments. Most concealed carriers I know are humble about it. Your comments came off like a mall ninja graduate. Nice, sincere article, Matt. Thanks for the reminders.

Arc Angel

Qball, just saw your comment. ‘Mall Ninja’? Listen rather than merely venting your ire and jump all over me, why don’t you address the respective points in my reply with which you seem to so strongly disagree?

I clearly stated my own reasons for disagreeing; you should do the same. That way neither of us will be dealing in personalities, nor stooping to a cheap (and, quite frankly, I think undeserved) ad hominem attack.

If you’ve got something genuinely useful to say let’s see it. I’m willing to listen. (Cyberspace courage is never becoming!) 😉

Thomas Hartley

thanks tom

disqus crazy

I almost feel sorry for you when I read “All of my shirts and jackets are a size, or two, large”

Auroarah Summers

I purchased a purse that was specificlly designed to allow me to carry without drawing attention to it or myself. It was a bit expensive, but well worth it. Unless I accidently unzip the wrong compartment, you’d never know it’s there, and even then, it’s enclosed by a holster so it would not be easily seen, but easily accessible if need be.
These are great tips, especially for the newbie or novice carrier! Thanks for posting them

Paul H

I carry my main gun in a desantis tuckable IWB holster. I am ambidexterous and have a left handed holster for my Llama Minimax II 45acp and a right handed one for my Taurus PT 145 Millenium pro. In the opposite side I have a backup gun, either a .22 or .25 semiauto in front pocket holster. Belts are a problem with heavy guns so I use the outer half of my CRSpeed velco competition holster, knowing it won’t flop over when I lower my pants in the restroom stall. I am well padded so I can conceal a large gunwithout it printing through. I live in Atlanta’s suburbs so it is hot a lot of the year. I wear a athletic shirt underneath a regular tee shirt most of the time. The athletic shirt prevents chafing from the gun. In cooler weather I don’t tuck in the holster and wear a shirt or jeacket over the T shirt, hiding the upper half of the gun. With either attire I wear suspenders over the t shirt to help control any sagging due to the weight of the gun. The pocket pistols are light enough to be worn with anything.
With the exceptions of the places forbidden in the GA carry law I carry at all times. I am always aware of my gun and work to nonchalantly check the location frequently enought so I know everything is where it should be.
IDPA competition is good for learning to work with well concealed weapons and being able to quickly to use the weapon if needed. While normal indoor range rules usually preclude working with drawing the gun from concealment I have friends with property where more informal practice can take place.
The right gear is essential. I went through a ton of holsters and guns before settling on the weapons and gear that works to me. Most of the gear was sold or given away with only the best kept for daily use.
I have no interest in going for open carry like William Stark. I don’t wear a badge and I have no desire to set myself up to be the first target neutralized – bad guys can pretty well figure out that the guy with the hogleg needs to be killed first. Concealed carry means that in a complicated situation I can choose my moment to bring my gun into play.

Dan Ess

Side holster or IWB front works fine with everything from Full Size 1911 to my Ruger LCP and everything inbetween. The Full Size 5″ 1911 doesn’t get carried much in warm weather, then it’s the 3″ 1911, EMP40 or MK40 Kahr and the LCP when going with only T-shirt & cargo shorts. I couldn’t sit for more than 30 minutes in a car back carrying, front I can do forever. Never been suspected of carrying, not even by the State Patrol when I was involved in a car accident. I was wearing a vest over shirt and the weapon was IWB front. He did ask if I had one in the glove box or elsewhere in the car. I didn’t, so I said no. Still waiting for my ankle holster, been on backorder for 2 months; they must be very popular these days! I do a lot of hiking and carrying, sometimes use a shoulder rig, when cooler out, and also use a camera bag to pack a backup at times; ini addition to the camera.


Unfortunately, i have two problems with this article 1) I do many of the dont dos and forget is a big one like carrying cash in my gun side pocket and subconsciously reaching for it 2) I live in decidedly anti-gun MA so because of all the things listed I don’t carry at all.
However, one solution I found very useful as did somebody else. I lived in Paris and got in the habit of carrying a beautiful leather “man purse” that”s carried with a shoulder strap. It holds my wallet, iPhone, reading glasses, pens and has a dived center where on one side I carry nothing but my Ruger SR9c. It’s a little slow on the draw as you can imagine but at times when I sense there could be danger I slip my hand into the bag and on to the 9c.
Works great but, it does draw attention as women think its attractive and some guys sneer.


Arc Angel, I see nothing wrong with this message. I have carried for over twenty years. But you do have “Newbees” and they also need to have someone to lead them in the right direction.


Accurate and is helpful to some (JD) because I do see stupid people do stupid things rather they regard concealed carry, driving or even walking (yes, some people are that stupid). Educational to some or common sense to others (like me, Army Vet, life-long firearms user) is irrelevent to the helpful nature of this writing. Thanks, Matt, for your contribution instead of abeing like many that contribute nothing unless it benefits them in this day and age of Generation…. where are we now… Z?


Good article-in short just use good common sense!


I too think the article is just fine. Yes, much of it is fairly obvious to many of us but there’s never any harm in going over fundamentals. I thank the author for providing it. The site is called USA CARRY and is designed for everyone at every level of the sport.

Uriel Utter

Mr. Schleuter,
Thank you for a considerate and well-made list of items regarding concealed carry. Your list of things not to do are particularly cogent. I have several nits to pick with the tone and some of the content of the article, however:
First of all: This article would have all of us walking around on eggshells to avoid anybody knowing we’re carrying as if we’re common criminals who have some reason to be afraid of what we’re doing. Unless some otherwise law-abiding citizen is breaking the law by carrying concealed, this is offensive and demeaning in the utmost. I’m gonna check the position of my damned handgun anywhere I need to, if I think there’s the SLIGHTEST risk of it being loose or in any other way insecure. I carry a full size Glock 20, and I don’t even tend to cover my double mag holder, opposite my carry holster, unless I’m wearing a jacket anyway. I’ve had many interesting conversations, and no negative reaction from anyone for carrying myself this way, and I KNOW people see the magazines. I’m not hiding to do any of it, nor should anyone. Hell the furtiveness of that action alone might lead law enforcement to be suspicious (you’re a cop, how do you react when somebody is slinking around with a bulge on one side of their hip?). Following most of your ‘check and see’ or ‘have a partner’ suggestions would be picked up by any sober individual on the planet, and THATs gonna draw negative attention.
Next, tactically you’ve lead people to overcaution. Self-defense is never obtained by being passive and wimpy. If somebody has to think about rattling ammo, concealed carry ‘tells’ or even wonder whether or not it’s time to assume a combat stance, they should likely not be carrying, because they’re also unfamiliar enough with their gun, the situations they find themselves in, and how to react to both, that they’re likely to react too slowly and provide some would-be perp with a free gun. Just my $.02


I think this article points out the importance of consistantly carrying your weapon. Most of the things, not to do, happen because you are uncomfortable with the weapon on your body. Being familiar is key, knowing and feeling, so you are not self-conscience about having the weapon on your person. It is the same as develping muscle memory for the draw and presentation of your firearm, that comes by handling the weapon every day!



I believe common sense is dead, just like common courtesy. But the vast majority of us “sentinels” that have chosen to carry a concealed weapon have already demonstrated that we possess at least some sense. Or, at the very least we have pulled our heads out of the sand and realized that we may, at some point have to rely on our own willingness and ability to protect ourselves or our loved ones.

That being said, developing a workable, and yes, comfortable concealed carry system takes time, effort, and money. There are very few shortcuts to selecting the right rig. Buy one, try it out, pass/fail? Repeat.

I had a drawer full of concealment holsters that either didn’t conceal, or couldn’t be worn more than half an hour before making me want to scream in pain. Fortunately for my son-in-law, he was searching for a concealment rig for the same weapon (Glock 27) so he got all my rejects. He settled on a unit that I couldn’t wear around the block, and he wears it all the time. The point is, don’t expect the “magic” holster that your buddy uses to be a sure fit for you. Experiment, and get comfortable with whatever you settle on. Then wear it consistently. Practice with it religiously, and get as much training as you can from QUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS!!

Our “job” as concealed weapons carriers is to help make things safer out there. That requires that we be smarter, more diligent, and “better” people, just like those who take up arms professionally for our military, and law enforcement agencies.


Newbie or veteran carry; its never a bad idea to review the basics. IMHO

Matt Schlueter

I appreciate every ones opinions. I find it easy for people to hide behind a username but harder to come out and let people know who they are when being critical of others.

I have held off on responding to see what others have had to say about the article. The article was about tips on things to avoid when carrying concealed. The first part of being a good instructor or writer is knowing your audience, on USA Carry I have noticed there are tons of people seeking good honest information on the basics of concealed carry. These people are whom most of my articles are geared towards. There are some of us with more experience in this area, and the majority would like to pass the information on to help those seeking to carry concealed pistols.

The reason for carrying concealed is just that to have a concealed pistol legally to defend ones life if ever presented with deadly force. The reason you would not want someone to be able to tell you have a concealed pistol is to maintain that edge of surprise if you will.

Not everyone lives in states where possessing a weapon on their person is socially accepted, and if discovered may result in the person discovering this calling the local authorities. Which does create a dangerous situation as the local LE Officers responding are responding to an unknown situation, and the only thing they may know is the person is armed with a gun. In all reality if this ever did happen, there is no way for me to predict what could happen. So it is my opinion that if carrying concealed then the pistol should be concealed to avoid such situations unnecessarily. If you live in a state where open carry is legal and you choose to carry openly it would be your choice.

I think everyone should be concerned about having good concealed carry habits, and being able to do this means knowing what signs could give away you are carrying concealed, along with practicing to get good at carrying concealed. This includes having pistols capable of filling this role, holsters, and other equipment to complete your concealed carry system.

Matt Schlueter


You tell ’em! Well said Matt and your work is very much appreciated by the majority here. At least by those who matter.

John Coleman

I like the way you said it. Being critical of an article is one thing but some are just flat out rude and seem upset when everything presented isn’t 100% slanted toward them. Honest criticism is fine but accusing an author of writing for new folks is puzzling to me. Aren’t they part of the group here? Aren’t they very people who need the basics the most? I must have missed the caution on the first page that warned “for advanced shooters only”. This place is for everyone. Some forget they were new once and craved even the basic information. Unreal huh? Good job Matt.

Marc Griffin

You know you have a successful web site when you attract trolls!


When do we stop thinking?I have a CCW on my side (don”t stop thinking is my rule……..)
I carry a small revolver it shifts,my pants shift!! Please keep us newbees that can’t afford the intense classes that are out there informed.Thank you.


If repeating info that some think is “newbie info” is perceived as a bad thing, then we will not have as many reminders about the FOUR RULES! It is almost impossible to have too much emphasis on firearm safety and the FOUR RULES. I am not a “safety nazi” nor do I play one on TV, but I know that promoting safety and awareness is a key to safety for all of us and the general public.


Great article for new carriers and a good refresher. Thanks. Most of us have common sense, but repetition never hurts anything. As for some of the arrogant comments posted? Pride goeth before a fall.

Fed. Investigator

Matt, great article as always. I can’t tell you how many Federal Agents have used a public restroom and placed their weapon on the toilet paper holder and then several hours later realized they left their gun at a store. Not only is it highly embarrassing to have to report a missing weapon, we find many of these weapons later used in violent crimes. Please follow Matt’s advice and know what you are doing 100% of the time. You don’t want to end up being the criminal, because you were careless.

ccw in midwest

As a suggestion to the forgetful types that leave a gun on a toilet paper holder (wow are they sleeping in that stall?) ….If I must use a toilet my gun is ALWAYS first unholstered and placed onto my still worn underwear where I MUST reholster it before I leave. The crotch forms a perfect hammock for the gun. Also, it is easily reached there and can not be forgotten after the “paperwork is completed.”

Not you.

Hope I don’t buy a gun from you.


All in Article are great points. I would add just one. when Carrying avoid really friendly people who like to give hugs etc. They’ll give you a pretty odd look. I learned this one at my church, where I have permission to carry. One Sunday a nice little lady just had to give me that hug and there it all went.
That was a number of years ago so most have forgotten or never did know, but those who were privvy were certainly surprised to hear I’d been Armed in CHurch for about 10 years without anyone ever being the wiser.
And that was my big Concealed Carry OOPS.

ccw in midwest

Excellent point, I’m always aware of my ccw and people walking by me approaching be they friend or a possible foe. I am alert of their position and possible fast movement. I position my arm over the butt of the gun (which is an iwb carry) but maintain a position of an ability to move to the side and draw if needed.


good article


I think people overlook the fact that with a permit you can carry however you wish to. I personally wouldnt attent a carry course because all the instructer is going to do is tell you how HE wants you to carry, Ive carry nothing but full sized handguns sense day one of my first ccw and i learned quick not to care about printing. And in the summer time im know as the guy who always has a gun because 90% of the time im OC’ing and people learn to accept it, mostly because i dont feel i should be pressured into shoving my full size 1911 down the crack of my ass when its 90 degrees out. People need to remember that this is The United States Of America. Just my 2 cents.

ccw in midwest

FYI-People get killed, clubbed, stabbed, etc. from behind, FOR FAR LESS than the value of most guns. Please think twice about flaunting/showing your legal gun carry..


I live in Las Vegas, NV. I was walking down Las Vegas BLVD (The Strip). I had someone bump me on the side I carry on. He asked me if I was carrying Concealed. I told him no that it is my back support Brace/Belt. He smiled and said ok. 5 mins later we cross each other pass and he came close and told me he told is wearing his back support brace/belt too. He then Smiled. I told him God Bless America and he replied God Bless the 2nd Amendment. At First it was a bit scared but then I thought, sheep dog meets sheep dog among the sheep’s and wolves.

big K

Dom, If someone randomly approaches you in public and asks if you are carrying, then you need to ask yourself what it was that gave you away? Perhaps you are not concealing as well as you thought? Ask your spouse or a close friend to observe you in public and to offer an honest assesment I am not trying to be uber-critical, and hope that you have already asked yourself this question.


Are there any good sources of info on how to conceal properly. I’m new to cc and want to avoid any issues.

Matt Kaufmann

#11. After showering, remember to put on deodorant before you holster your firearm and get dressed. Otherwise you may apply deodorant to your rear sight when you swing it under your strong side arm.

You’ll end up getting a waft of Old Spice at the range every time you press the trigger.


I honestly laughed out loud when reading this pro tip!


its a bro tip


Not sure why there were other people leaving negative comments, but I’m brand new to this forum, and this article has been extremely helpful! thank you so much. A lot of people get to thinking that everyone knows this stuff.. but not everyone does, there are always the newbies out there that are quite thankful for this info.


Very good article. As a recent qualifier for my CWP, this has a lot of good information.

Josh Thornburgh

Is it legal, or illegal to wear your conceal carry badge on ones holster? I live in an OC/CC State. Just want to see if this would be considered impersonatting a police officer?

Bill Lumbergh

Worst article ever


I don’t know how they do it in S. Dakota , but here in Ohio it is “no big deal” if your gun is exposed for a time due to moving around or sitting an drising out of chairs, cars etc etc..things that can’t be helped.

I have read the Ohio CCW laws inside and out and all over and it says you “can” coneal…but says nothing about “having to conceal.”. Our instructors {active and retired police and county sheriff deputies} eluded to that fact… back in 2005 when I got my ccw license told us that we should try to keep the gun concealed as best we could but not because it was unlawful to do otherwise …but because it makes some folks nervous to see a handgun and it could cause a dispute with a cocky person or drunk person, or simply a gun control advocate, {Liberal} who wants to make a scene.

I have had this happen where it came out and I was’nt aware of it. I was in the bank one day and it happened , and the person who saw it made the comment that he was glad some decent folks are armed around town, athough he did not intend to carry it made him feel more secure. I asked the bank what their policy was and the girl said the home office simply said “Don’t ask , don’t tell”. They did not have any signage for “NO Guns” on the door , which state law requires if businesses don’t want ccw in their place of business.

Banks are just like the other businesses …when the ccw first passed many businesses put up signs against gun carry in their place of business…. until that is… they thought about what that “sign was telling the criminals”…”hey there are NO guns in here go ahead and hold us up.” Business after business soon “pitched out their “no gun signs” in a hurry.”

Bank robberies & armed robberies of ALL kinds in our state have drooped dramatically since CCW was passed by the state legislature. In Fact overall crime in Ohio is down big time since the criminals know somebody besides them may have a gun….??? Crime has dropped in every state that has the ccw law…and very little or no instances of accidental firing…we know never to unholster the gun unless it’s time to use it.
Members of my church have said they feel better too , knowing someone in the room can do something besides call 911 while people are being killed by a maniac, while waiting for someone with a gun to arrive….many folks can be killed in that 5 -10 minutes or more it could take the cops to come…and most usually are dead before the cops get there. Cops usually get there just in time to fill body bags…through no fault of their own, it’s just the way it is.

Diana S Winkler

Thanks for the article.I am a newbie carrier and I did some looking at my holster when I went to Pei Wei with it the first time. Stupid sign on the front window “No firearms”, I ignored. In AZ we can conceal carry and open carry without a permit. Glad I was glancing at it, because it shifted because it was 110 outside and I was sweating. The strap was not tight enough to keep it still. I went into the bathroom stall to fix it. I also wore it to the dog park. Same scenario. I have figured out wearing a t-shirt as a first layer helps with the sweat and slippage. I am learning guys and improving. I will keep working on it! I take conceal carry seriously.


I’m a bigger guy, and the gun I’m most comfortable with is a full size gun which would not protrude if worn in a vertical shoulder holster and covered by a jacket. However, if someone noticed any bulge in my jacket, would this possibly cause problems with authorities? Mainly those in Texas?


I carry 2 two handguns every moment every day. i agree on some but i think letting people know you have it means you have less change of using it. i know my right and have a background to prove it when any question come up i have answers that law and court have rule at hand with case code to stop any officer or anyone else from making a seen. we need to start taking right back not hiding them. I open carry both in summer and have had 20 to 1 people tell me they support it and are happy to have me in the location


I have to add this: Couple of nights ago while shopping around local Walmart, NC, there was this young man, tall, strong looking carrying his firearm on his belt, right side! I was surprised to see him just shopping with it so exposed…. I turn the electric ‘cart’ around, found him, said “Hi, excuse me, didn’t realize Walmart allowed ‘open-carry’ as I call it, he stated yes, no sign saying ‘NO FIREARMS'”….. am still surprised! Now, granted, he may have been in LAW ENFORCEMENT but I did not ask… he was a bit ‘standofish’… maybe lots of people ask him! I have my CC but the Taurus I purchased is just a bit too big for CC, my problem! Just rather not see them like that AND if the individual IS in fact Law Enforcement, I rather see something indicating that, don’t know, maybe am wrong in that! comments?