If you’ve been reading this blog a bit, it should be no surprise to hear me say that I’m a huge proponent of armed citizen’s carrying all day, every day. I’ve also shared how my every day carry choice has evolved over time. But the truth is, I don’t carry my “every day carry” (I’ll use EDC for short through the rest of this post) gun all day, every day and definitely not in the same manner. Don’t get me wrong, chances are if I am legally permitted to carry a handgun, then I am. But the EDC isn’t an absolute.
As a rule of thumb, if I am out and going about my typical daily activities I will be carrying the Sig Sauer P229 concealed on my strong side hip with an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. There are plenty of reasons for this selection. One reason is that I live in and spend most of my time in the urban and suburban areas of Austin, Texas – which means there are enough people who are alarmed by guns that I’d rather not deal with. Another reason is I believe concealed carry is a better option for urban environments where there is an increased risk of an encounter with a threat that may want to take my weapon and use it against me – a low probably statistically speaking, but something else I’d rather not deal with. Last reason is there are more places that allow me carry a concealed weapon than places that allow me to open carry. All in all, it seems to me like concealed carry is a more sensible option. This accounts for 80% of the time I carry my defensive firearm and is what I consider to be my EDC. As such, this is the firearm and carry method that I train and practice with the most.
However, there are times and days where I’m either forced to change things up, just want to be more comfortable, or at an activity where another side arm makes more sense. Let’s talk about some of these.
The Business Meeting
I have to attend business meetings from time to time as part of my day job that require a tucked in button up shirt and slacks at least. While I could use a jacket to assist in keeping a defensive firearm mounted to my hip concealed, it would be a very uncomfortable being a larger man living in Texas. In the summer time, I would look out of place and probably sweat profusely. In the winter time, heaters are turned up so hot that I would also sweat profusely.
Given those constraints, I find myself turning to a much smaller Smith & Wesson Bodyguard tossed in my pocket while using a pocket holster.
This defensive firearm and carry method combination isn’t ideal. But it’s better than no carrying a defensive firearm at all. It does provide compliance with the carry all day, every day mantra.
If I’m being honest with myself, this combination gets little to no training and practice time. This is something that I should change.
In the Privacy of My Home
Within the privacy of my own home and free from judgement of the general population, I find myself switching out from the IWB holster to an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster. It’s just more comfortable that way. On occasion and depending on my mood, I may even switch out the P229 in favor of a 1911.
I do find myself switching back to an IWB carry method when we have guests over. Mostly because some guests don’t share my mindset and sometimes they bring kids along. As such, the IWB configuration provides the out of sight, out of mind environment which means I’m rarely in a position where I have to deal with gun politics during a social visit.
Summer Weather and Lighter Clothing
For the most part, I can pull off carrying my EDC concealed with an IWB holster while wearing shorts and a t-shirt (plus an undershirt) in the hot Texas summer. However, there are somedays when I wear a tank top and forego the undershirt. During these sorts of days, my EDC tends to get really uncomfortable and I look to something a little smaller and lighter when heading out of the house (or having company).
Enter the Sig P365. The smaller, thiner, and lighter characteristics of the P365 provides quite a bit more comfort in exchange for some capacity and shoot-ability. Don’t get me wrong, the P365 shoots well, but I’m much more capable with the P229.
Out in the Wilderness
When I head out to the wilderness, be it for camping, fishing, or hunting activities, I like to change things up yet again. I do this for a couple of reasons. First off, the most likely threat changes from a two-legged predator to a four-legged one and it’s my understanding that penetration is the name of the game for four-legged predators. The other reason is that I happen to own a 10mm sidearm. To be honest, I don’t have any experience defending myself against four-legged creatures nor do I have any experience hunting them with a pistol. But I’ve read plenty about those who have hunted with a pistol and it seems that 10mm is capable enough for the wildlife found in Texas.
So for these scenarios, I tend to open carry a Sig Sauer P220. I suppose this may change if I was headed out to bear country in preference of a wheel gun chambered for a magnum cartridge.
What’s the Point
I’ve mentioned a few times there is value in armed citizens carrying all day, every day. Statistically speaking most armed citizens will never need to use (or even draw) their defensive side arm, but if the situation ever arises I doubt an armed citizen would rather be without it. Like the old adage says, “It’s better to have and not need than need and not have.” So my first point is this: realize that a single firearm with a single carry method as an EDC may not be sufficient for all scenarios we may find ourselves in. So consider situational edge cases and find a solution that provides the option to carry rather than leaving it behind. The solutions for those edge cases can generally be solved by alternative carry methods, but in some cases a different firearm may be required.
The next point to take away is to evaluate training and practice time and adjust it accordingly to account for the edge case solutions. If a single firearm and carry method is used 80% of the time, then 80% of training and practice should be allocated to that method. The remaining percentage of training and practice should be allocated to the edge cases in proportion to their frequency of application. At least, that is my layman suggestion.