How far are you willing to go in the pursuit of carrying concealed every day, like seriously every day. Are you will to endure discomfort and pain?
Didn’t think that through
We finished up an other excellent Concealed Carry Tactics class in Phoenix and a trend we are seeing during the class is the negative effect aggressive grip texturing had on the wearer. The constant rubbing against the body leads to “hot spots” and eventually the discomfort reaches a level the student changes their gear to be more comfortable. We typically don’t see this until we transition to inside the waistband where the pistol is the closets to the body. The benefits to IWB are the improved concealability due to the mass of the pistol being inside the pants. It’s classic camouflage of breaking up the silhouette. The negative is the pistol rides against the skin and even the slightest abrasion over time can go from annoying to painful. The problem is the discomfort usually leads to constant adjusting; which generates unnecessary attention; which can lead to greater scrutiny and the discovery of the pistol.
The chicken or the egg
Which is more important, improved ergonomics for shooting performance or improved concealability for lower profile? It’s a good question and in the beginning of class I ask folks to define their mission so they can better select their equipment so it best supports their mission. I get it, some of these grip modification help improve shooting performance. However, if the mission is to carry concealed and the aggressive texture causes discomfort to the point the wearer is telegraphing their pistol are the best fulfilling their mission. The ratio of carrying concealed versus shooting the pistol are very one sided. So, why would you choose something that detracts from your mission?
What is the priority for concealment work
Once a level of proficiency is reached in our class we free the student up to choose their primary carry method. They can either keep their IWB holster they have been using up to this point or select the on the waistband holster from earlier in the class. From the debrief, the decision to select a different holster is based off comfort. That’s the correct choice in my opinion. I’m sure there are some taking offense with rebuttals stemming from “they’re using crappy gear”, “they don’t know what their doing” or my favorite “I’ve been doing this for a bazillion years and it’s never bothered me.” Maybe some of these are true, but comfort transcends all skill levels and should be the priority.
Staying on the path
I’m not saying these aggressive texturing are not valuable, but I believe the priority should be on concealing. There are a few grip modifications not as aggressive as a good alternative. They offer a balance between comfort for the vast majority of carrying, but an improved grip for the time you need to go to guns. It is easy to loose your focus on the mission in today’s marketplace. If you can keep your concealment mission in mind when selecting equipment or enhancements you should steer clear of some of these problems. The other problem you are faced with is these modifications are permanent. You cannot undo them once they are done so you are basically stuck with the final product. I feel it is better to either forgo or choose a less aggressive grip modification.
The mission always drives the gear, put ego and emotion aside. They are of little help in fight for your life.