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Old August 30, 2013, 12:25 AM   #1
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New to CCW

Another ccw thread.

New to CCW. Right now I carry the Kahr PM9. I also have a Smith Airweight hammerless .38 that I am contemplating carrying, but for now i want to get comfortable with the PM9.

I feel like everyone can see that I am carrying; right now ive only tried IWB at the 4 o'clock position--any advice there?

If im going to be carrying the semi, I want an extra mag. What I am thinking about is a IWB for the PM9 that also has an attached mag carrier/pouch. for now I am using an old slip in fabric type one. Any suggestions?

Have you ever been called on CCW while out and about?
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Old August 30, 2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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I feel like everyone can see that I am carrying;
That’s a pretty natural reaction to your first few carry experiences, so don’t feel bad. I think what you’ll figure out after a while is most people are paying very little attention to what others are doing.

I’m not real familiar with holster for your gun, but I will recommend getting a real gun belt. A good belt will make a big difference in comfort and support regardless of the holster. This is an area where you can spend a lot of money on a custom leather belt or get by fine with one of the decent trainer style belts from someone like 5.11 or Blackhawk.
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Old August 30, 2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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I carried a CM9 for a while. Honestly, you are probably not showing nearly as bad as you think you are. The Kahr line are ridiculously small, and barely noticeable.

I would also advise against an IWB holster/mag puch combo. If you are in a situation where you need to reload, you need to reload quick. Reaching across your body is wasted movement and time. I normally carry my single stack mags in my pocket, or OWB. IWB pouches can be found easily.

Barry is right, even with a smaller pistol, a good belt makes a good carry piece better.

As to a holster, you can go minimalistic with a Galco Softuk (generic, soft leather holster) to a Crossbreed (leather back with kydex shell front, form fitting). For smaller guns, I also like the clip-less holsters, like those from Remora or Sticky Holsters, that can be used for safe storage, IWB carry, and pocket carry.
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Old August 30, 2013, 01:51 AM   #4
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You'd be amazed how often you think you're printing all over the place and you're afraid everyone can see your gun, and in reality no one notices. I mostly carry a Glock 19 as my EDC. Sometimes I carry with a belly band, a T-shirt, and gym shorts. And I live in a crowded anti-gun urban area. But nobody has ever noticed. Ever. It's just not something most people have on their minds. If you bend over and they see a lump, they'll just assume it's a phone or something. And that's if they even consciously process it. And anyone who might possibly notice a lump and figure out it's a gun is probably also a gun person; someone who is highly unlikely to call you out and cause a stink.

I don't open carry, but I know plenty of people who do, and they say the thing that surprises them the most is how few people notice. Trust me, if you have a gun as small as a J-frame or a PM9 carried IWB at 4 o'clock, nobody is ever going to notice unless somehow your shirt rides up right as they're looking right at your waist line. And even then they might not notice it.

So just carry the gun and ignore it. The more you worry, the more you pull at your shirt or adjust your belt, the more attention you'll draw to yourself. But as long as you have a good carry belt and a good, form-fitting leather or Kydex IWB holster, nobody will ever notice you're carrying.

And that's what I recommend for most people: A form-fitting holster of some kind that will hold the gun securely but still allow a quick and easy draw. And, like BarryLee said, a good, solid belt (combined with a pair of pants that has enough belt loops) can make all the difference in the world.

As for the carry position, I think the best place for most people to carry is in that sweet spot between 3.5 and 4 o'clock (8 and 8.5 o'clock for left-handers). Carrying at 3 o'clock causes to gun to stick out way too much for most people, and at the same time too many people also end up carrying the gun too far back towards the 5 o'clock position. I like the 3.5 - 4 o'clock position because the gun nestles into that spot right behind my hip where it's most concealed, it prints less when I bend over, I can cover it with my arm when walking through crowded places to avoid whacking people with my gun, and it's easier for me to to draw it quickly.

As for the extra mag, you want it on your weak side; the same side as the hand that you use to load your mag. Like JimmyR said: If you ever need to reload or you just had a type-3 malfunction and you need your backup mag, how are you going to quickly grab the backup mag when it's on the opposite side of your reloading hand?
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Old August 30, 2013, 04:46 AM   #5
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Welcome. It common to feel everyone is looking and can see your gun when you start carrying. Have someone turn the video on there phone video you walking around the room ect. You'll see what someome who is looking will see, but as most people walk around with there head up their "six" dont worry.
As for carry holster and position thats up to you to figure out. Buy some used holsters and try different styles and positions. Dont buy new if you can find used. Your going to end up with about 5-6 different ones till you find what your going to use most. Also no one holster will be right for all activity. If you drive a lot a shoulder rig is best vs a 4 O'clock for walking around.
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The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to touch an electric fence"..... Will Rogers.
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Old August 30, 2013, 06:15 AM   #6
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Have you ever been called on CCW while out and about?
As everyone mentioned, if your gun is concealed no one is going to notice you are carrying.

Here are a few tips to make sure you are concealed. Wear a loose fitting shirt to help avoid printing. A shirt with a pattern is better than a solid shirt. A good leather gun belt and holster will keep the gun tight to your body helping conceal it better.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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As mantioned, a very common self conscious feeling at first. But in reality, nobody is looking at, or for your gun.
I carry a KAHR CM9 in either a Theis hybrid IWB holster, or a DeSantis Namisis pocket holster. The IWB hybrid is very comfortable with the weight being spread out over a larger area of your belt. There are several companies making that style (Crossbreed) of holsters, but the Theis is of great quality at a bit lower price. Each one is hands made, and tested for gun fit and retention, plus the delivery time is usually in days, not weeks or months like some others.
The DeSantis pocket holster works OK with large enough pockets, but the weight is more noticable being concentrated at that point.
Several companies also make an IWB magazine pouch which I would carry week side, not attached to the gun holster on my strong side.
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Old August 30, 2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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As everyone has said here... unless your gun is completely exposed, no one is going to notice... In fact, it is possible that no none will notice even if your gun IS completely exposed.

Last summer my wife accidently open-carried through a whole day of shopping in the urban/suburban parts of our city. Open carry is not really allowed here... She carries her LC9 in an IWB holster, and on this day, she tucked in her t-shirt and put on a windbreaker. But as the day warmed up, she ditched the windbreaker and went about her shopping and errands, completely forgetting that the butt of the pistol was completely exposed. No one noticed. or if they did, they didn't care. She shopped at Lowes, Target, a Wine merchant, Dry Cleaners, and the Grocery store...

As she walks in the front door, I go out to help her unload the car... I said "your pistol is showing", she glances down, eyes big as saucers, and shouts "HOLY SH!!", loud enough for the neighbors to stop what they were doing and stare at us... She couldn't settle down that whole evening... she was certain the police were going to come knocking on the door, looking for "a female suspect carrying a firearm creating a public nuisance". I had to feed her some of that wine calm her down... But bottom line, no one noticed.
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Old August 30, 2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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I'll second Thesis holster. Great holster, each of my firearm has one dedicated thesis holster.

For PM9, I would recommend pocket mag holder on weak side (since mag is so small, it's both comfortable and disappears in your back pocket). IWB/OWB mag holder is also good, but I use those for mostly double stack mags since in pocket is not comfortable.

And like everyone said, nobody notices/cares you are CC'ing except you.
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Old August 31, 2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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Have you ever been called on CCW while out and about?
I've never been noticed visually, and I carry some rather large hardware (S&W Model 28s (.357 version of the Dirty Harry Model 29) and full size 1911s among them). What you feel is perfectly normal and will subside over the coming months.

The only times I've ever been "outed" is while hugging someone. That's honestly the trickiest time for staying concealed and discreet. Everyone was either neutral or positive about it in my case. I carry on IWB on my right side, and when about to embrace someone I tend to lean in with my left side with my left arm only, leaving my right arm at my side shielding my gun from them bumping it.

Last edited by jad0110; September 1, 2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old August 31, 2013, 06:10 PM   #11
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I picked up a Recluse dual-mag carrier for my Kahr mags. Slips into my left-rear pocket like a 2nd wallet, mags are surprisingly fast/easy to access (especially the extended mags) and no printing to worry about.
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Old August 31, 2013, 06:42 PM   #12
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When our CCW law was young, we had no pre-emption of local ordinances, so there were towns where OC was the only option ..... so I did just that. With a full size blued steel 1911. I did this for over a year in one town (it took that long to get the law changed) ....... 90% of people were completely oblivious, and the other 10% asked me if I was a cop.
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Last edited by jimbob86; August 31, 2013 at 07:07 PM.
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Old August 31, 2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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I have to agree with everyone else. Most people don't notice, that's been my experience.

You understand their are evil people committing evil acts everyday, knowing that fact, you have chosen as an informed American, Father, and or Husband to protect yourself and your loved ones. It's your right to do so, I wouldn't worry so much about hiding it.

People get to hung up on the conceal part of CCW, and forget WHY they are actually carrying.

Last edited by Phidelt208; August 31, 2013 at 08:07 PM.
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Old September 2, 2013, 02:31 PM   #14
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Re: New to CCW

Originally Posted by Mr_Jumper View Post
I'll second Thesis holster. Great holster, each of my firearm has one dedicated thesis holster.
X3. I also have a theis holster and it's great quality and I am very pleased with it. I carry my small S&W Bodyguard .380 in it and forget it's even there. I also used to worry about people noticing but like most things, the more you do it the more you get used to it. Enjoy your 2nd amendment right!
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Old September 3, 2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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x4. I also have a Theis Holster for my Shield. Great package. I'm thrilled with mine!
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Old September 4, 2013, 11:24 AM   #16
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Another vote for "nobody notices":

I used to carry in an IWB @ 4:00 under an untucked polo shirt.

I now carry the same guns (one at a time of several) in an OWB cross-draw at 1000. It definitely makes a bump in my shirt, even with a PM9, but...

Nobody notices. i really think that "almost" nobody notices and the few that do, don't know for sure and/or don't care.

You'll get used to it.

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Old September 4, 2013, 03:06 PM   #17
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When I first started carrying, I kept waiting for someone to shriek "OHMYGAWDITSAMANWITHAGUN!!!" It never happened. I've carried for about 3 years now, and the only one who's ever "busted me out" is my daughter. However, she knows (a) that I carry; and (b) what to look for. (The good news is that if I'm printing, she moves in right next to me so that she's blocking everybody else's view.) The reality is that we live in a world where everyone carries something on their belt.

I have a Theis holster, which I like very much. I can CC a full sized steel pistol with it without anyone noticing. I also have a couple of leather OWBs that I like very much (a DeSantis and a Galco). Because I wear a jacket most the time, I can get away with an OWB without worrying too much.
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Old September 7, 2013, 02:29 PM   #18
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Considering ccw

I'd like to thank all who posted in this thread. I've been considering getting my cpl and all of this discussion is very useful.

I bought an S&W 67 today at the wife's insistence. She said we have too many automatics and she can't rack the slides. What a good woman
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Old September 7, 2013, 02:52 PM   #19
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get your license - even if you never use it (not recommended - carry all the time recommended). All above advise is good. Good belt, Good holster, loose shirt. no problems. Also as mentioned above - pocket carry with good holster. It worked well for me in Suit and Tie environment for YEARS! Not recommended with tight jeans/slacks. The PM9 or Jframe Smith are good choices. Practice/dry fire extensively.
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Old September 7, 2013, 05:00 PM   #20
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I bought an S&W 67 today at the wife's insistence. She said we have too many automatics and she can't rack the slides. What a good woman.
Indeed. Clearly, she deserves a Smith 67. Nice gun.
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Old September 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #21
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I use to think people could see me carrying, but one day while working at a gun shop I was helping a gentleman with a new handcuff key when he pulled up his Hawaiian shirt and he had a full duty rig on underneath, complete with a Beretta 92 and 4 mags, a radio, etc etc etc. I had no idea.
I don't worry anymore.
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