10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders

10-CCW-Tips_Page_01 Beretta has produced a free e-book called Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders, which we think has some useful tips for our members to consider. We’ve excerpted three of the tips in the text below and have provided a link to the original so you can examine the rest of the downloadable document for yourself if you’re curious about the other material.

Beretta says the material in the book is “Intermediate” level, or content suitable for shooters who are familiar with the subject but have only basic experience in the subject matter. This content typically covers the fundamentals and moves on to reveal more complex activities, drills and tips.

The topics covered are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively
  3. Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
  4. Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities
  5. Choose a Suitable Caliber
  6. Practicing Basic Skills
  7. Try Your Hand at Point Shooting
  8. Training to Clear Your Weapon
  9. Stage Your Weapon
  10. Closing to Engage a Threat
Holsters come in three basic varieties: leather, plastic (or Kydex), and nylon.
Holsters come in three basic varieties: leather, plastic (or Kydex), and nylon.

Of course, Law Shield members ask us specific questions at seminars, and outside the legal questions on use of force, we also get some “gun lifestyle” questions. As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.” Law Shield agrees with all of those sentiments.

Here are some additional tips Beretta offers which align with some of our most frequently asked questions (outside the law):

Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively

There are two popular types of semiautomatic concealed carry weapons: pocket guns and holstered guns. Size is the obvious distinction, but there are more subtle differences in form and function. Some small guns, like .25 ACPs, and .380 ACPs, are ideal for tucking inside a pocket holster. Most of these guns have very short barrels and minimalist sights. Both make the drawing of these guns easier.
Yet these concealment assets can be liabilities if your intended target isn’t close. Larger guns are typically worn in holsters inside the waistband (IWB) or in traditional belt holsters that can be covered with a jacket. While a large handgun may be much harder to conceal, they’re typically more versatile guns, and more accurate at longer distances.10-CCW-Tips_Page_09
Whichever size you choose, you will need a holster. Holsters come in three basic varieties: leather, plastic (or Kydex), and nylon. Leather has a traditional look and feel, and is ideal for a belt holster. Kydex is popular for its rigidity and retention. Nylon offers the most flexibility, and is an ideal material for holsters that fit inside pockets. The key is security. A holster holds a gun securely, but not so tightly that it can’t be drawn quickly. The balance can be difficult to achieve, but your life may depend on it. So don’t settle on just any holster.

Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities

All handguns have limited range, but some are much better than others. Longer barrels usually result in better long-range accuracy. But this is rarely needed from a concealed-carry handgun. Most concealed-carry guns are designed to be reliably effective at close range. And that’s enough. But it isn’t just the length of the barrel, or the caliber that influences accuracy. The gun’s action is important, too.

  1. Single-action guns are most often carried with their hammers cocked (and safeties on). A simple pull of a single-action trigger is ineffectual unless the gun is cocked.
  2. Double-action-only guns don’t require manual cocking, but their trigger pulls are often a bit heavier.
  3. The third-option guns combine these two into a more versatile action. Hammers can be cocked, or not, which allows for a light trigger, or a heavier trigger.

To generalize, smaller guns with shorter barrels are not as accurate. They often have heavier trigger pulls. They may have fewer safety mechanisms. But they’re easier to conceal. And at close range, they are just as worthy. It is better to have a small gun with limited capabilities that you can carry effectively than a larger gun that sits at home in the safe.

Stage Your Weapon for Your Current Situation or Threat

10-CCW-Tips_Page_10Keep your eyes open. Even when you are not carrying a concealed handgun, you should be aware of people who look suspicious, who could pose a threat to you. Watch them more closely. It isn’t a foolproof method, but it is the easiest place to start. This creates situational awareness.
If you can sense a threat, you can avoid it. Only draw your gun as a last resort. If possible, remove yourself from a potential situation. And remember that every time you draw that gun, there are repercussions.

In conclusion, Beretta cites some statistics we thing are worth knowing:

  • 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
  • 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
  • The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
  • The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
  • The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
  • 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
  • Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
  • On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Law Shield doesn’t endorse products, and we have no financial relationship with Beretta, but we believe Beretta’s 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders booklet has some helpful information many members may benefit from, and the price is right.

You have to supply a name and email address to download the book, so if you have an email address you use as a spam collector, you might consider using it for this download.

Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF.