The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Preview – The Experts Learn What They Carry and Why

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Self-defense is a fundamental human right. But you can’t be afraid of your own shadow and barricade yourself in your home watching The Simpsons marathons, never to venture out. Concealed carry is a natural solution to provide security for yourself and loved ones.

As we and our contributors have communicated in this magazine, the decision to carry should not be made lightly. With it must come the commitment to adopt the appropriate mindset, to obtain the right gear, and to train — preferably smart and often.

One’s choice of weapon and carry method is intensely personal. But it should be informed by your particular set of circumstances, needs, and physical characteristics. What type of threats do you anticipate? How much danger do you experience on a daily basis? Who are you protecting — just yourself or loved ones as well? What is your climate? What type of clothing do you need to wear? What type of activities do you perform? Are you more likely to be standing or sitting? What is your body type? Is it like our frequent contributor Mike Seeklander or more like Jack “Kung Fu Panda” Black? The list can go on and on.

These considerations can be a bit overwhelming at first. To get you started on thinking carefully about these issues, we’ve compiled a panel of subject-matter experts who share their thoughts on weapons, modifications, holsters, and mode of carry. Their experience and expertise is at once both deep and broad, with backgrounds in everything from local and federal law enforcement to various military branches and special-operation forces. We also have someone representing our core reader’s perspective, the armed and prepared civilian.

While each has his or her own particular set of circumstances, needs, and preferences, you can learn a lot by examining and reading about their choices. Keep an open mind, compare and contrast with your own situation, think about the commonalities, incorporate them into your training and practice, and test how they might work for you. Once you’ve determined what does and does not also work for you, put it into practice.

If you’re a reader of this magazine, you’ve probably already decided you’re not a victim. Do your research, be prepared, train hard, and stay safe!

Mike “Noner” Pannone
Occupation: Founder and owner, CTT-Solutions LLC
Service Background: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army 1st SFOD (Delta); U.S. Army Special Forces; USMC Reconnaissance
CCW Pistol: CZ P-07

  • CZ Custom Shop trigger job and sights
  • Robar blunt-nose treatment on frame and slide, custom cut front cocking serrations, and“Norton Special” refinishing (Roguard on slide and NP3 Plus on internal parts)
  • Custom slide engraving by LEO Armory
  • Bicycle inner tube on grip

Holster: JM Custom
Position of Holster: Appendix


Why conceal carry this particular firearm in this manner? The pistol is lightweight, extremely reliable, and extremely accurate. It’s very natural and comfortable in the hand, with all levers and buttons being robust, accessible, and in all the right locations. I prefer double-action for a carry gun if I plan on having a round chambered. The CZ double-action trigger with CZ Custom trigger job make it absolutely the best combination for my shooting style and requirements.

Frank Proctor
Occupation: Owner, Way of the Gun Performance Shooting LLC
Service Background: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army Special Forces
CCW Pistol: Smith and Wesson
M&P 9mm full-size

  • Dawson Precision black rear sight with .115 notch and .115 front with red fiber-optic (Frank recently launched his own line of Proctor Y
  • Notch sights, available for Glocks now and M&Ps in Spring 2015)
  • Apex Tactical sear
  • Wilson Combat barrel
  • “Custom” stippling (AKA hit it with a soldering iron)

Holster: Off the Grid Concepts (part of a line of holsters they’re making for Frank)
Position of Holster: Appendix and 3 o’clock


Why conceal carry this particular firearm in this manner? I push toward carrying a full-size gun for several reasons. If have to use it, I want a capable platform that I train with a lot. I can do everything I want and need to do with the 4.25-inch M&P. It has good, comfortable ergonomics for shooting and training. For CCW, I can do a lot of work with it if I need to, including out to 50 yards with confidence (which I encourage for CCW). I can compete with it, carry it every day, or go to war with it. Also worth mentioning: I’m a big fan of 9mm for everything, especially with good ammo — I carry Hornady Critical Duty 135-grain +P, which delivers amazing performance.

Appendix is great for accessibility and concealment, though I do find some drawbacks occasionally with comfort. So 3 o’clock carry is also an option — it puts the gun in the same position for any kind of carry and is very comfortable. My holster and my everyday attire allow me to conceal the gun well from either carry position.

My sights allow better accuracy on smaller targets because they aren’t so big that they cover the target, while the 0.115 width is still very durable. I prefer the red fiber-optic front for all around use; of course, it’s awesome in the daylight. Folks ask about use at night — I feel that if you carry a CCW you need a light as well to be able to ID anything you might need to shoot in low light. In that case, the light illuminates the sight very well. I find that night sights are too big for what I want and need to do with the pistol, plus the lack of contrast between the front and rear sight slows down the shooting. I’ve just released my own sight design, with a rear notch shaped like a Y (0.140 wide at the top and 0.100 at the stem) and a 0.117 wide fiber-optic front sight. This provides shooters with maximum speed and accuracy in one sight — use the wide top portion of the rear sight for speed and the narrow portion for accuracy.

Nikki Turpeaux
Occupation: Owner, Archangel Tactical LLC; NRA news commentator; weekly columnist, NRA Sharp Daily
Service Background: N/A
CCW Pistol: Glock 26 Gen 3 9mm

  • XS 24/7 Express sights

Holster: Galco Gunleather Defense Planner, Gun Tote’n Mamas Raven Shoulder Pouch
Position of Holster: Off-body, slung


Why conceal carry this particular firearm in this manner? The Defense Planner is a great option for carrying to meetings, business lunches, or even to the workplace and church (where allowed). It looks like any other type of day planner, and no one would know that it houses your carry pistol. It has a lock so you can secure it from little ones and even carry in your vehicle. It also has a detachable wrist strap. This durable and high-quality carry method is professional and discreet. As with any type of off-body carry method, maintaining proximity and full knowledge of its whereabouts is paramount. Galco has quite a few carry options that I use, but I like this one for occasions when a more traditional holster method is not practical.

I am on the go quite a bit, and when I need another option for off-body carry, I like the Raven Shoulder Pouch. It’s very durable and allows for secure, hands-free concealed carry — a steel-reinforced cable prevents it from being cut away. With plenty of space for other personal items, it makes for a practical and casual carry bag. The holster is removable and can be positioned at the angle of your choosing for quick retrieval. Plus there are ambidextrous pull tabs to quickly access the concealment compartment.

For the rest of this article, click here to purchase: CONCEALMENT

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