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A Former Delta Operator Reveals the Key Concepts to Covert Carry and Why Caliber Can’t Compensate For Lack of Skill

If you think carrying a concealed weapon is just about obtaining a permit and strapping on a gun, then you are woefully mistaken. Carrying and potentially using a concealed-carry pistol competently takes skill, practice, and an emotional commitment … not to mention the right gun and gear for you and your lifestyle. With this in mind, the following are four areas I believe all CCW permit holders should consider before they step out the front door with that defensive tool.

From my experience both in training and operationally, the largest deficiency in concealed carrying after pure marksmanship is the ability to rapidly and reliably access one’s firearm in a manner that lends itself to quick and precise target engagement. In other words, can you draw your concealed gun and shoot accurately when it matters?

Marksmanship in its purest sense remains unchanged when covertly carrying, but the balance of speed versus accuracy begins to lean decidedly toward speed. Barring law enforcement and military personnel, a concealed pistol is a defensive firearm, so the most likely scenarios will be impromptu defense of oneself or another at a relatively short distance. If a threat is anywhere from contact distance out to approximately 10 yards, it is generally impractical to evade the threat safely without employing some form of active defense. In the infamous Tueller knife defense drill, it was established through testing that an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet in approximately 1.5 seconds. This gives what I believe is the best baseline for the minimum amount of time someone should be capable of producing a concealed pistol and firing an effective shot.

For that reason I have used 1.5 seconds as my training baseline, given sufficient precision to be effective. In my Covert Carry Course, I push to get those shots well under that at less than 7 yards and structure drills to reinforce rapid, effective engagement of multiple shots in that time while moving off the line of force.

Equipment Selection
The first question students often ask is, “What is the best holster for concealment?” That has so many determinant factors that it is virtually impossible to give them a specific answer unless I know what pistol they carry.

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