KEEP­ING IT CLOSE

OF­TEN, YOUR DE­FEN­SIVE POS­TURE MIGHT DIC­TATE THAT YOUR DE­FEN­SIVE WEAPON BE CAR­RIED OFF-BODY.

Gun World - - Cleared Hot -

Car­ry­ing a hand­gun for self-de­fense en­tails more than just the de­ci­sion to “pack some heat.” In ad­di­tion to know­ing the laws, se­lect­ing the right gun to carry and get­ting some train­ing, you need to de­cide how you will carry.

There are two ba­sic modes of carry: One mode is on the body—typ­i­cally in an in­side- or out­side-the-waist­band hol­ster. I don’t want to dis­count an an­kle or shoul­der hol­ster, which can still be vi­able meth­ods of carry in some cir­cum­stances.

The sec­ond method is off-body, which is what I will cover

here. (Re­mem­ber: When car­ry­ing any weapon, be sure to abide by all laws.)

WHAT’S BEST FOR ME?

When choos­ing to carry off-body, the method is the first to con­sider; the sec­ond is what type of con­tainer is best suited that still al­lows quick ac­cess to your firearm. The ad­van­tage of car­ry­ing off-body is that you are less likely to “print” as you might when try­ing to carry when wear­ing light clothes. Off-body carry also al­lows you to pos­si­bly carry an ad­di­tional, larger gun, com­pared to the one you might carry on the body. Plus, you can carry ex­tra ammo, a light, TASER or any other ad­di­tional tool to use in self-de­fense.

DE­CI­SIONS, DE­CI­SIONS!

When car­ry­ing OTB, there are some key vari­ables to con­sider—

Carry your hand­gun in the same con­tainer all the time—the one you trained with. Don’t switch up, be­cause it will con­fuse your mus­cle mem­ory.

Al­ways keep it within arm’s reach. It does no good if you can’t reach it. And, you should be aware of where it is at all times. No one, es­pe­cially chil­dren, should have ac­cess to it … ever! Train with your off-body carry method with the same vigor and method­ol­ogy you would use to train with your hol­ster.

WHAT ARE MY OP­TIONS?

Choos­ing how to carry off-body can be as daunt­ing as car­ry­ing on the body—maybe even more so be­cause of the vastly dif­fer­ent ways and con­tain­ers for each way.

Per­haps the most com­mon way for women who opt to off-body carry will be a purse. This is a vi­able op­tion, but there are many fac­tors to con­sider. The first one I al­ways rec­om­mend is that if you carry in a purse, get one that is pur­pose-built. The purse should be made with a sep­a­rate pocket that is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and pro­vides a re­tain­ing sys­tem for your weapon, along with any ex­tras (such ammo, light, knife or OC spray). If the re­tain­ing sys­tem does not cover the trig­ger, add a hol­ster or choose a dif­fer­ent bag.

Added con­sid­er­a­tions are steel ca­bles that run through the straps to pre­vent some­one from cut­ting them to snatch the purse. If you choose this method of off-body carry, make sure to main­tain aware­ness of the purse—and don’t ever al­low oth­ers, in­clud­ing cu­ri­ous chil­dren, ac­cess to the purse! There have been cases of chil­dren rum­mag­ing through purses, only to come across the hand­gun; and then, tragic things hap­pen. Be re­spon­si­ble if you are go­ing to carry.

BET­TER THAN DE­SIGNER

An­other rea­son I say to get a pur­pose-built purse is that you might have to shoot a hole through it if you aren’t able to get your firearm out in time. You won’t feel as badly shoot­ing a hole through one of these purses as you might with your Coach or Kate Spade purse.

In fact, this is an op­tion you should def­i­nitely train on. Shoot­ing through a bag or even a jacket pocket has its own dan­gers. With a semi­auto, there might not be enough space to cy­cle; or, push­ing the bar­rel on the bag sur­face could put the gun out of bat­tery. Ad­di­tion­ally, de­pend­ing on what ma­te­rial your bag is made of, the pow­der burn­ing out of the bar­rel could be an is­sue.

CHOOS­ING HOW TO CARRY OFF BODY CAN BE AS DAUNT­ING AS CAR­RY­ING ON THE BODY—MAYBE EVEN MORE SO BE­CAUSE OF THE VASTLY DIF­FER­ENT WAYS AND CON­TAIN­ERS FOR EACH WAY.

WHERE TO PUT THAT EX­TRA EDC?

The sec­ond most-com­mon method will be a back­pack. Again, there are un­told num­bers of pur­pose-built ones out there that have sep­a­rate pock­ets made for hand­guns. If they don’t, they have MOLLE straps that al­low for at­tach­ing a good hol­ster to the in­side.

As I men­tioned above re­gard­ing purses: Main­tain con­trol!

An added fea­ture for back­packs is adding ei­ther soft body ar­mor, ar­mor plates or both. For a min­i­mal in­vest­ment, you can slide in some level III pro­tec­tion. What I like best about off-body carry with a purse or back­pack is that even if you carry on your body, you can also carry a big­ger gun in your OTB pack, along with some ad­di­tional essentials that might be dif­fi­cult to carry un­der your cloth­ing with­out them be­ing no­ticed or be­ing un­com­fort­able.

CHANGES IN TAC­TICS

There were many times while over­seas dur­ing my mil­i­tary ca­reer that I had to carry off-body while in civil­ian cloth­ing. In those cases, tac­tics had to change in or­der to have quick ac­cess to a weapon.

If you are go­ing to carry off-body, you need to un­der­stand that your tac­tics for self-de­fense will need to adapt to that method: It will take you longer to get to your weapon; it will be more likely that you are go­ing to tele­graph your in­ten­tions; and you now have an ex­tra con­cern of the bag dur­ing pos­si­ble handto-hand com­bat that could pre­cede the need for deadly force.

PRAC­TICE FOR REAL

Re­gard­less of how you carry, re­al­is­tic prac­tice is im­por­tant. If your lo­cal range won’t let you train for these types of sce­nar­ios, find one that does—prefer­ably with su­per­vi­sion and on a closed area to pre­vent ac­ci­dents.

Do plenty of dry-fire train­ing lead­ing up to your live-fire train­ing. The last thing you want when draw­ing your hand­gun from a purse is to have Jolly Ranch­ers melted onto the rear sight or lip­stick in the trig­ger well. The same goes for back­packs: A pen or pen­cil stuck in the bar­rel will hin­der the draw ... and do worse if you fire it.

Fi­nally, once you draw your gun, you can al­ways use the OTB con­tainer as a dis­trac­tion by throw­ing it at your as­sailant to give you more time to ready your aim. As I men­tion of­ten: Train

as if your life de­pends on it! GW

5.11 TAC­TI­CAL 511Tac­ti­cal.com

BLUE­STONE SAFETY Blue­stoneSafety.com/prod­ucts/body-ar­mor-bal­lis­tic

CAMELEON BAGS CameleonBags.com

GUN TOTE’N MA­MAS GunTotenMa­mas.com

IF YOU ARE GO­ING TO CARRY OFFBODY, YOU NEED TO UN­DER­STAND THAT YOUR TAC­TICS FOR SELF-DE­FENSE WILL NEED TO ADAPT TO THAT METHOD.

The im­por­tance of be­ing able to get to your weapon when car­ry­ing off-body can­not be over­stated. Here, the “vic­tim” is us­ing the Vertx EDC Es­sen­tial Bag. There is a distinct ad­van­tage to the sin­gle sling in both speed of ac­cess and re­ten­tion of the bag. (Photo: Vertx)

If you opt for a back­pack to carry your EDC, the Dis­creet Op­er­a­tors Back­pack from Cameleon Bags has plenty of room for your com­puter and EDC essentials, along with a sep­a­rate gun pocket with right- and left-handed en­try. (Photo: Cameleon Bags)

Gun Tote’n Ma­maspro­vides a wide se­lec­tion of purses made to hold your firearm while still be­ing fash­ion­able and not look­ing tac­ti­cal.Each of these is made with off-body con­cealed carry inmind.

Se­lect­ing the right weapon can pro­vide you with a great deal of fire­power, should the need arise. Here, the 5.11 AMP bag has plenty of room to hold a col­lapsed HK233.

The Aphaea hand­bag from Cameleon Bags is both fash­ion­able and func­tional. The con­cealed-carry pocket is lo­cated on the back and is ac­ces­si­ble from ei­ther the left or right side. It is large enough to hold a full-sized gun. (Photo: Cameleon Bags)

For ex­tra pro­tec­tion, you can add soft or hard ar­mor to your pack. It is light­weight but still pro­vides pro­tec­tion for your vi­tals. Here, Blue­stone Safety Prod­ucts makes an in­sert that can pro­vide Level IIIA pro­tec­tion. An­other bonus: It’s made in the U.S.A.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.