Concealed Online Reviews | How to Choose the Best Holster For Concealed Carry

Here at concealedonline.com we know that choosing the right holster can make all the difference. Picking the right holster is as important as picking the right weapon. The best ones combine good concealment with unimpeded access to your gun. Remember: when it comes to a holster, cost alone should never be high on your priority list. You don’t have to break the bank, but cutting corners on this vital gear could cost you more than just a few bucks.

Your holster is the interface between your gun and your body. A substandard design could cause discomfort, a compromised draw, or losing your CCW altogether. Holsters come in many different shapes, sizes and styles.

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There are so many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly cover all of them in one article. So we’ve boiled it down to the five most important criteria to consider:

RETENTION

Most incidents that require you to draw your CCW will be sudden, close-quarters confrontations. That’s why retention is an important consideration, as in, making sure your weapon stays in your possession at all times. Losing it during such an encounter could spell disaster.

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Retention devices include internal ones inside the holster or thumb breaks that help you secure your weapon if you’re engaged in a hand-to-hand altercation. Holsters that lack shape molding or retention screw pressure may not secure the CCW properly under these stressful circumstances. Retention systems that require a manual release are always preferable and highly recommended.

A good holster will be formed to a specific handgun and will maintain its form. A holster that is poorly fitted can cause the weapon to become easily dislodged, so it’s imperative to choose a quality leather or Kydex holster that matches precisely the contours of your handgun.

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Proper fit holds the gun in place and prevents slippage. Molding around the trigger guard will lock the weapon in place and is found in most Kydex holsters. Adjustable screws let you customize how much pressure you need to draw your weapon without it flying out of the holster or out of your hand.

The BLACKHAWK SERPA is a holster you might want to look into.  It’s made from engineered thermoplastic which makes it both lightweight and durable. But what sets it apart is the Auto Lock feature, engaging the trigger guard upon holstering, effectively locking the gun in place. This safeguards your gun from an assailant yet still allows you an effective draw, which is the next criteria on our list…

EFFECTIVE DRAW

Under duress, you should be able to quickly access and present your handgun with ease. The holster needs to combine both a comfortable, complete grip on your handgun while still allowing you the ability to release any retention devices. Your draw stroke should be straight-line, pointing downrange, while lining up your sights.

CONCEAL-ABILITY

Seems obvious that you’d want a CCW holster that allows for the best concealment, but you’d be surprised how this little detail always seems to slip through the cracks.

The element of surprise is high on our priority list when responding to an attacker, so choosing a holster that allows for proper concealment is paramount to getting the upper hand. It also enables you to avoid awkward situations where your handgun may be inadvertently exposed to the public leading to a confrontation with law enforcement that has the potential to turn tragic.

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TRIGGER GUARD

A good CCW holster should adequately cover the trigger guard. Plus the material should be rigid enough to ensure any object it comes into contact with can’t depress the trigger. You will also want to be sure that the holster design accommodates the safety.  A bad holster could disengage the safety on your pistol which could cause the weapon to fire unintentionally.

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RE-HOLSTERING

When the gun is removed, the holster mouth should remain open and rigid. A reinforced throat will allow for this, and will especially come in handy when re-holstering with one hand.  The CCW holster you buy should allow for rapid one-handed drawing and unassisted re-holstering.

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At concealedonline.com we got your back when it comes to concealed carry holsters. Our discriminating standards insist that the best holsters balance both concealment and accessibility, but still retain enough comfort to wear well in everyday situations. Buy smart, be safe!

Concealed Online Reviews | 3 Worst Gun Myths On the Internet

“Google it!”

These two words can be a blessing and a curse.  When it comes to guns, concealedonline.com has some serious pet peeves about the supposedly “good advice” you’ll find on the internet.

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Here’s a list of our top 3 bits of bad gun advice you’ll regularly find online:

MYTH #1: Concealed Guns Should NEVER Be Carried with a Round in the Chamber

For safety reasons, a myth has been circulating that you should always carry with an empty chamber.

Well guess what?  There’s no way you’re going to have enough time to draw your self-defense handgun…

… rack a round, and effectively respond, ESPECIALLY if someone is coming at you!

Want proof?  Just look at Tueller Drills. They’ve shown that it takes only about ONE AND A HALF SECONDS for an attacker to cover 21 feet!

That doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to defend yourself, ESPECIALLY if your weapon has an empty chamber.

And this dovetails nicely into our biggest complaint about carrying with an empty chamber.  It’s a bad habit that leads to complacency.  When you ASSUME your firearm is unloaded, you get lazy, and laziness can lead to tragedy.

MYTH #2: As Long As Your Concealed Carry is UNLOADED, it’s Okay To Mess With It

We’re not even going to define what “mess with it” means, but it goes something like this…

“DON’T WORRY, I NEVER KEEP IT LOADED.”  Famous last words…

People routinely shoot themselves or someone else accidentally because they fail to observe the single most important rule for gun safety, namely:

Guns should ALWAYS be treated like they’re loaded AT ALL TIMES!

Every day you hear in the news about people who’ve shot themselves or others because they normally carry with an empty chamber and forgot that they chambered a round.

If you keep your firearm loaded and ready to fire, you don’t have to pretend your gun is loaded at all times.  You know it is and always treat it that way!

MYTH #3: At the Range, You Should Only Train For Head Shots

Head shots are easy on the range.  But in real life, you rarely have time to aim for the head…unless, of course, you’re John Wick…

.. or a trained SWAT sniper with superior shooting skills!

If not, you will want to remember these two words… CENTER MASS!

Firing for center mass allows for INACCURACY.  If your hand is shaking or you fire from an unsupported position, hitting the center part of a target affords you the greatest chance of the bullet landing somewhere that stops an imminent attack.

In conclusion, here’s something we at concealedonline.com feel bears repeating: if you’re not prepared to use deadly force to protect yourself, don’t carry concealed!

Concealed Online Reviews | 3 Dead Giveaways That Someone is Hiding A Gun

IS THAT A GUN IN YOUR POCKET, OR…. ?

Certain behavioral tics can tip you off that there’s a gun violator in your midst. That is, if you know what to look for!

In this blog, team concealedonline.com lays bare the most common giveaways.

1. Constantly Checking To Be Sure It’s There

Gun violators have a bad habit of continually touching…

… fidgeting…

… fingering…

… or somehow adjusting their (supposedly) hidden weapon.

They do it over and over, as if the gun could miraculously move on it’s own! This neurotic checking and rechecking can manifest as bumping the weapon with a hand, wrist or elbow – depending on what type of holster is being worn.

The most obvious offenders will nervously palm the weapon, thinking no one could possibly have noticed! Of course, if you’re observant enough, YOU WILL DEFINITELY NOTICE!

2. Weird Walk

Gun violators often adopt an unnatural gait or posture that reveals they’re carrying a hidden weapon.

For instance, if they happen to be packing a long gun in their pants, they tend NOT to bend at the knees. They may also walk funny, hands on hips, due to a weapon secreted away!

A distinctive Quasimodo-like, hunched-over manner of walking is also a good way to identify a stashed weapon.

3. “Printing” 

An alert observer can spot the bulge of a weapon – called “printing” – the outline of a handgun underneath clothing.

When a gun violator walks, be on the lookout for a bulge or gun butt visible as the weapon moves back and forth… or you might notice a bulge under the armpit (in the case of a shoulder holster).

So there you have it, the 3 most common giveaways that someone has a concealed weapon on their body.
Team concealedonline.com hopes you’ll remain ever-vigilant!

ConcealedOnline Reviews – End the Debate: Revolver or Semi-Auto? Which Works Better for Concealed Carry?

There are 15 people right now at your local gun shop. Step in and ask them if you should concealed carry with a revolver or a semi-auto and you’ll get 15 different opinions.

Well here’s another opinion for you: To end the revolver vs. semi-auto debate, you need to consider your concealed carry needs, your shooting style, and a few other factors those 15 guys at your local range aren’t even thinking about.

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Sure, there are already 1,000 opinions out there on forums, blogs, and in magazines…

Isn’t it time to analyze your style, needs, and goals and come up with your own opinion? Keep reading to learn more…

Let’s Talk Reliability and Concealed Carry

If you’ve been reading about revolvers already you’ve heard quite a bit about “second strike capability.”

So, if you’re firing a revolver and you have a misfire, you can just pull the trigger again.

Revolvers allow you to make this second strike. Your trigger pull advances the next cartridge.

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Die-hard proponents of revolvers for concealed carry will tell you “semi-automatics don’t have second strike capability.” You know what? It’s true. A few semi-automatics allow you to pull the trigger again to re-strike the same cartridge…but that’s not even the same, is it?

But here’s the thing…

You’re going to have to look hard to find a pistol you’re willing to actually buy for concealed carry that you can’t rely on.

Think about it! Out of all the brands you’ve been looking at…

Revolvers, semi-autos, Smith & Wesson, Glock, Taurus, Colt, the list goes on…

There are few pistols from major manufacturers available today that you can call “unreliable.”

On top of that, when  loaded with the ammo you’ll use in a life-or-death situation (that’s right, the premium stuff, not low-quality home-reloaded from the hobbyist down the street with second-rate powder), you’re very unlikely to experience failure.

When you pull the trigger, it’s likely your premium self-defense ammo will fire in any modern pistol. “Second strike capable” or not, reliability in this regard is a wash.

Now what’s out of the way, let’s talk about what’s really important…

Think Recoil, Not Reliability

So you pick a revolver because of reliability…

Now you have something else to face: Recoil.

When you fire a revolver, the hammer drops, the bullet leaves the barrel and nothing else moves. All of the force from the bullet you just fired needs to go somewhere. And it heads right back into your hands.

Heavy revolvers help reduce this recoil. Most of the revolvers you’ll concealed carry don’t (simply because they are smaller and lighter).

Semi-autos are built to dissipate the force of a bulleting being fired.

Some of the force from every bullet leaving the chamber is used to move the slide back. Pressure bleeds off and moves the barrel. The motion of the gun itself and the design of semi-automatics draw away the force and pressure of firing your pistol.

What does this mean?

Pick a caliber and a pistol weight and a semi-auto will feel like it recoils less.

When seconds matter and help is minutes away, you’ll want less recoil to keep your rounds on target.

Capacity is Another Consideration

This one is short…

You can fit more rounds in most semi-automatics.

Higher capacity without reloading (and faster reloading time) is paramount to nearly everything else in life or death situations.

You’ll be trained to carry concealed, you’ll be prepared to fire (hopefully), and even then, in most “must shoot situations” not all of your rounds will make it to target.

Studies show that most of the time simply having a weapon, firing a single round, and hitting your target just once will protect you and your family. Armed assiliants are rarely prepared for bystanders who are carrying concealed.

But at the end of the day would you rather be prepared to reload quickly? Armed with a magazine of 10 rounds you can reload in under 2 seconds? Or do you want to fire 5 or 6 and end up stuck reloading a revolver?

But What About Complexity?

Revolvers are easier to fire.

They are simple, with no-frills operation.

Put rounds in, close the cylinder, pull the trigger. Rinse and repeat.

Semi-automatic pistols have more steps. Insert mag, rack the slide, safety, shoot…

Revolver fans love simplicity. There’s less to go wrong and (importantly for some) fewer steps to “learn.”

But if you’re carrying concealed, you’re going to be training anyway, right?

How Do You Choose?

Here’s the bottom line…

Semi-Automatics give you more rounds, less recoil, and improved reloading time. Do you need to worry about duds and second strike capability? Maybe.

Deputy Sheriff Bob Beanblossom, rangemaster, gives instruction during the shooting portion of the Tipton Co. Handgun Permit class on March 30, 2013.

Are revolvers easier to operate? You bet.

At the end of the day you need to choose the concealed carry pistol YOU feel most comfortable with. That’s how we can all end the revolver vs. semi-auto debate.

Concealed Carry – How To Run and Gun While Carrying Concealed

Carrying Concealed While Doing Your Daily Jog

We at concealedonline.com support a healthy lifestyle… but running with a loaded firearm can be bad for your health!
All that bouncing around can be a big problem for most holsters.
Securing your gun is something most traditional holsters offer. But a standard holster doesn’t provide proper trigger protection if you run with a gun.
Accidents WILL happen when there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on!
Whether at the gym or at your local park, here are a few “Don’ts” for carrying concealed when excessive movement is in the mix:

Don’t Cock Your Gun

Stating the obvious, right? Well, yeah — but you’d be surprised how many joggers do just the opposite.
Better to keep the safety on your handgun even when the holster has some form of trigger guard which could accidentally set off the weapon with excessive vibration.

Don’t Wear A Short Jacket

Longer jackets suck for running but offer the ability to position the weapon further from your body.
OWB holsters work great with sweatshirts or hoodies and are perfect for keeping the concealed gun away from your body while running.

Don’t Carry A Big Gun

Big guns do not conceal well.  Compact firearms are easier to hide while maintaining an athletic lifestyle.
For instance… this might be a little too conspicuous…

Don’t Use An Ankle Holster

The cons outweigh the pros of an ankle holster… literally.
All that extra weight on your legs is bad for your knees, plus the fact that most of the shaking starts in your legs will definitely shake loose your gun.
Better to go with any form of shoulder, tank top or waistband holster. They work wonders at keeping the gun away from your body, hiding the weapon, and causing as little discomfort as possible.

Don’t Underestimate the Bad Guy

Bad stuff happens to good people anytime, anywhere. Better to be prepared than to let your guard down when you’re out doing your daily exercise regimen.
We at concealedonline.com support a healthy, concealed carry lifestyle.
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Concealed Online Reviews | Justified – Where and When To Use Your Concealed Carry

Be Aware, Be Very Aware

Deciding the proper response, i.e. when it’s justified to use lethal force, is a huge part of carrying concealed. How exactly to make that decision involves quick reasoning powers and breaks down into a two-pronged process.

Step one is simply being present enough in the moment to know when a threat exists. The ability to quickly and accurately identify danger separates those who carry from those who know when it’s appropriate to USE their carry.

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If you’re walking around tactically oblivious, situationally unaware, then you’re just asking for trouble.

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This is not to say you have to become super-paranoid about everything and everyone, but when carrying concealed, you have an obligation to heighten your sense of your surroundings. Hey, being alert goes with the territory.  Deal with it.

Threat Assessment

Before you can react to a threat, you need to have a grasp of the level of jeopardy. This can get tricky because the actual severity may be hidden or may not be immediately obvious.

Your response needs to match the perceived threat level. If you overreact, you could wind up in prison. If you don’t react properly, you could wind up dead.

Assessment should first take into account whether or not the danger is a direct threat to you and your response should be based on the nature of those circumstances.

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For instance, is the threat LETHAL or not? Does the attacker want to kill you, punch you out, run you off the road, or just scream at you a lot?

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Lethal force is only justifiable if you’re facing grave bodily harm or worse and the law dictates that you can use commensurate force — i.e. the same level of force that threatens you.

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Remember, the whole point of a concealed carry is to get you out of trouble, not into it – and recognizing a threat is the first step to doing just that.

Understanding when force is justified or not is quite literally a life or death decision. In either case, stay vigilant, hombre.

Concealed Online Reviews | We’re Jammin’ – How To Fix Firearm Malfunctions

The Immediate Action Drill

At some point, your concealed carry is bound to malfunction. No way around it.

Remember, a handgun is a machine. It needs maintenance. But even when you do everything right to keep it in perfect running condition, it can still misfire or malfunction. I know – bummer.

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Hey, it’s a complicated piece of equipment. And the more complicated equipment becomes, the more likely it is that something will go wrong with its operation.

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Whether it’s un-ignited powder, a stuck piece of brass that wasn’t extracted properly, or a round that just wasn’t fed in correctly – learning how to fix a malfunction can literally mean the difference between life and death.

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The goal of these drills is to train you to use the same motor response for each malfunction.

As in… less thinking, more doing.

The goal, in fact, of any training program should be simplicity and efficiency because time is not on your side when it comes to getting a handgun back up and running after a malfunction.

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Ergo, we are going to cut out the whole look-think-assess aspect of our training and just leap-frog directly to “react.”

In many cases, the solution to these malfunctions can be solved by the “Immediate Action Drill.” Also known as the “tap-rack-bang drill,” the actions involved in this maneuver include:

— tapping (more like smacking, actually) the bottom of the magazine to make sure it’s seated properly;

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— yanking the slide back to eject bad ammo or brass (we call this racking, btw), and;

— firing if the threat still exists.

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The basic tap-rack should become a reflexive response when your handgun doesn’t respond to a trigger press. If that doesn’t fix the problem, immediately go to rip-roll-rack-reload.

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Remember, the goal is to skip over the process of look-think-assess and jump directly to react. And with non-diagnostic malfunction-clearance drills incorporated into your regular training routine, you’ll be able to do just that!

Concealed Online Reviews | Stay Frosty – Good Gun Prep For Any Situation

A concealed carry is only as good as your ability to access it.

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We feel it’s best to occasionally state the obvious. So, here goes…

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

Prior knowledge of possible dangers gives you a tactical advantage. Or to put it another way — always be ready to use your concealed carry in any and all situations!

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Especially those situations where you know there’s a good chance you could find yourself compromised, like say for instance, if you happen to be entering a dangerous, messed-up part of town.

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In those cases, it’s a really-really good idea to keep these simple tips & tricks fresh in your brainpan:

FREE YOUR HANDS

Sounds like something I shouldn’t have to tell you, right? But you’d be amazed how many people forget this simple rule and wind up on the receiving end of a violent crime.

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Keep your hands as free as possible for quicker access to your concealed carry.

Shift your groceries to your passive arm…

Get in the habit of carrying a backpack to free up your hands…

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Put down the damn phone! Talking about which…

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STAY ALERT

You’ve heard of Distracted Driving, right? Well, what about Distracted Walking, Distracted Talking or for that matter, Distracted Breathing???  That’s what happens when you bury your head in your phone.

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People can’t go two seconds without looking at their phone. There are many documented cases of people walking into traffic, walking off a cliff, and other stupid yet lethal incidents while ogling their iPhone screens!

Put down the phone. Back away from the phone. Now… look up… engage!

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I know it’s hard – but just do it. You’ll thank me later.

Plus of course, when you have a phone in hand, you can’t also be expected to easily access your concealed carry. Bottom line… stay alert to your surroundings. A simple rule to live by that could save your life.

Also, make sure access to your firearm is unimpeded — unzip your coat, release the snap closure on your holster, and make sure your undershirt or shirt tails don’t get in the way of unholstering your gun.

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Lastly, getting in and out of a car can pose problems for access…

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… especially with seat belts and IWB holsters as part of the equation. Be aware of your limitations in a vehicle and adjust your firearm accordingly.

The Right Look – The Best and Worst Clothes for Concealed Carry

Clothes that effectively hide your gun are a must for carrying concealed.

Pairing stylish clothing with the potentially awkward bulge of a firearm is what we’re about to explore in this post. Our fashion sense always takes into account how good any piece of attire is at hiding a concealed weapon.

If it’s obvious you have a gun, what’s the point? The term “concealed carry” suggests handgun access coupled with public discretion. Here’s a good example of the OPPOSITE of that…

Loose pants and shirts can help keep the outline of your pocket holster or “print” (see above) from being noticed. Longer shirts that extend past the waistline are a great way to hide an IWB weapon. Again, here’s an example of just the OPPOSITE…

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Pick clothes that offer both conceal-ability and accessibility. A shirt that keeps things inconspicuous by covering your weapon isn’t worth the tradeoff if it also makes it difficult to reach your gun in a time of need.

Coats and jackets make it easy to be discreet with any sized weapon but if the occasion calls for short sleeves and shorts, you may be better off arming yourself with a smaller weapon or risk looking like some bizarro terrorist!

For some, any old shirt or jacket that hides a holster is acceptable, whereas for the more discriminating armed civilian, concealed carry has to resolve other expectations as well. Factoring in a little style is key to avoiding being pegged as a stereotypical carrier. What’s wrong with dressing in a way that conceals your gun PLUS makes you look sharp at the same time?

If a suit-and-tie is your outfit of choice, then take notice. Businessmen who carry for personal protection have a built-in advantage given that their bulky attire provides great cover. Actually, a suit is probably the most effective method for reducing “printing.”

Another benefit is the variety of holsters you can carry. Business attire allows for added variety: paddle-on-the-hip or behind-the-back, IWB, shoulder or ankle holsters all work great when suited up.

Another consideration for a suit wearer is whether you need to take off your jacket or wear it unbuttoned. An unbuttoned jacket can conceal either kind of behind-the-back carry but is a bad choice for a hip holster or under-the-arm. If you tend to take off your jacket, wear pants that accommodate IWB carry and a dress shirt that can be worn untucked to drape it over the gun butt.

Business Casual

Business casual is the preferred style for plainclothes cops, bodyguards, spies, or any other badass carrying a gun as part of the job. It straddles the respectable and the practical and often includes a jacket, which makes it perfect for pros in these lines of work.

That said, non-pros should also consider the jacket-and-slacks, dress-casual combo. It provides plenty of places to conceal a weapon plus makes you look well-dressed relative to the average shmoe on the street.

Everything Else

When dress code is not part of the equation, you can wear almost anything that disguises the fact that you’re armed.

  • Concealment jackets –  made for concealment but looks like a work jacket. Big, unobtrusive pockets inside.
  • Bomber jackets – a classic style with padded lining perfect for concealing bulges.

  • Untucked – offers tons of concealment if you’ve got an IWB holster.

  • Hoodies – trendy, ubiquitous, and plenty of room to hide large caliber concealed carries.

Once you have your outfit down, no one should know you have a gun… until you’re using it.

Concealedonline.com | Carrying While Drunk – JUST SAY NO!

At concealedonline.com, we feel it’s best to never mix the two. Here’s why:

Because It’s The Law

Most states have laws against carrying any sort of weapon while drunk.

Take Michigan for instance……where carrying a gun while having a BAC of .o2 or above will lead to having your weapon confiscated. If you’re around 200 pounds, you’ll hit .o2 after having 2 drinks in 1 hour.

Because Your Judgement Will Suck

When you’ve had a few drinks, stuff you normally never do will suddenly seem like a perfectly good idea.  Like getting into stupid, unprovoked fights or getting upset over the slightest slight or generally acting like an A-hole.

Now add a gun to the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Also when your judgement is impaired, you’re more likely to tell someone you have a gun when normally you’d keep your trap shut. Talking about your gun could come off as bragging and lead to an argument or fight.

Because You Have A Good Chance Of Getting Pulled Over 

Traffic stops become exponentially higher when you’re hammered.  If you get behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks, you will most likely be driving erratically.

If that happens, prepare to be in a world of hurt. Not only will you lose driving privileges, you’ll also lose your gun.

Each state defines “intoxicated” in their own way so they can use it at their own discretion. Don’t give them an excuse to use it against you and take your gun away in the process.

Because You Could Lose or Drop Your Gun

Being drunk means you forget stuff. Your brain is addled.

Imagine losing a lethal weapon. How would you feel if you were responsible for a kid finding it and hurting someone else or self-inflicting a gunshot?

How would you feel if you lost your gun and a criminal found it and killed someone? You definitely do not want to know how either of those situations will play out on your psyche.

Plus, if you unholster your weapon while drunk, your control will be all out of whack. Your weapon could easily slip out of your hand and hit the floor (and potentially discharge accidentally).

Or worse. You could have your weapon TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU AND USED AGAINST YOU.

And then the meaning of the term “worse case scenario” would suddenly become oh so crystal clear.

Because You Will “Print”

When your judgement is clouded due to drink, you’re less aware of your body language and your gun might be showing under your clothes.

Bottom line, guns and booze are a BAD combination!