Whether you are new to EDC (everyday carry) or a seasoned veteran, it is always a good idea to step back from time to time and review your daily ballistic ritual. With that being said, let’s get back to basics and take a look at five tips for everyday carry.
1. Carry Enough Gun
The gun we carry everyday must be sufficient to defend us if we end up in the worse case scenario. As the numbers of concealed carry practitioners has grown, so has the number of guns designed around EDC. One trend has been the miniaturization of handguns. The plus side of that is they are easy to conceal and carry. The downside is that they are small, sometimes difficult to shoot accurately and heavy on the recoil. While some people have no choice but to carry a micro-blaster, I suggest you carry the largest frame handgun you possibly can. The increased sight radius, better trigger, and higher capacity make it a better choice. The argument has always been that large guns are “uncomfortable.” I will share with you some of the wisest words I have ever heard:
“Carrying a gun is not supposed to be comfortable – it is supposed to be comforting.”
I have several small and medium size friends that carry a gun in the Glock 19 size range every day.
2. Get Comfortable
Now that we have discussed carrying to be comforted, let’s look at ways to strike a balance and carry as comfortably as we can. The holster you choose is critical. It needs to be well made, void of sharp edges, and have solid mounting points. You should also consider where you would like to carry. The most popular methods are appendix carry and 2 O’ clock inside the waistband. These positions allow you quick access to the gun and are also easy to conceal. One position I discourage is small of the back carry. If you end up on the ground, or are even sitting in a chair, you will have trouble quickly getting your gun. Holster material varies but the two kings of the arena are Kydex® and leather. Once again, it comes down to personal preference. Holsters can be a challenge because we rarely get to try them on before we buy. Like many of you, I have a closet full of holsters that I thought would be great, but ultimately did not do the job. If possible, try a friend’s holster on or research in depth to make sure you are getting what you need.
If you are serious about EDC then we need to look beyond simply carrying a pistol. The laws of physics tell us that a handgun is underpowered when it comes to actual stopping power. The offset to that then is volume. In all likelihood, if the dark day comes that you have to shoot someone, you will need to do so multiple times. If this happens you will quickly realize that the magazine you have in your gun gets empty in a hurry. I will stand on a soap box and tell you that you must carry an extra magazine with you. This is especially true if you carry a micro blaster with low magazine capacity. There are several magazine carry pouches on the market if you so choose, and there is always your pocket. Another accessory I encourage people to carry is a small flashlight. If you are not already carrying this, you are missing one of the best things in life. While it has obvious tactical applications in low light target identification, it is also a super useful everyday tool. Flashlight technology has come a long way and even small LED lights can put out quite a bit of light. As with our handgun, these additional items will bring you a sense of comfort.
4. Dress for Success
How you dress while concealing is important. We must dress around our gun to be effective. “Printing” is when your clothes do not conceal the gun effectively and in most cases, an outline of the gun can be seen under your shirt. Wearing clothes too tight are the most common reason for this. For women this can be a bigger challenge because of a more fitted wardrobe. While many of you will grimace as I write this, dressing to conceal supersedes fashion concerns. We are not relegated to an old potato sack though as many companies make clothes based around EDC. Many serious EDC folks actually buy pants one size too big in order to accommodate their gun. While not for everyone, this is an example of how we need to base what we wear around our EDC.
5. Get Your Training On
There is one undeniable truth regarding firearms. Shooting is a perishable skill. If you have been at this forever or are just beginning, I cannot emphasize just how critical professional training is. Shooting a handgun accurately and effectively takes training. The gun is fairly small and provides sometimes snappy recoil. The trigger press is almost twice the weight of the gun and in the end, it is constantly exploding at the barrel about two feet from your face. These are challenges that need to be overcome and seeking professional training is a way to do that. You will also learn how to quickly draw your gun, how to manipulate the gun for reloads and malfunctions as well as general maintenance. The better trained we are, the higher the probability that we come out on top.
All the things to consider with EDC can be overwhelming. I encourage you to take it one step at a time and build your daily carry as well as routine. Take time to customize it to best fit your needs and wants. Choose your gear wisely and keep your firearm protected. Avoid buying something because it is a bargain basement deal. Your EDC is your line of defense against lethal threats, and you should make sure you have the best tools available.
Gear up, get some training and carry with confidence!
By Fred Mastison
Mr. Mastison is a national magazine contributor, author, professional firearms & combatives Instructor and executive protection provider & trainer. He currently writes for 16 separate national magazines. He has been teaching in the industry for over 30 years and has divisions in the US, Ireland, Germany, and Mexico.