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3 Important Accessories Concealed Carriers Often Forget

concealed carry accessories

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So you’ve just got that concealed carry permit, or maybe you live in a state where no permit is required, and you’ve decided to start packing heat. The first natural accessory that new concealed carriers will purchase is often a holster; all but the smallest pocket pistols will require a holster of some sort in order to carry the pistol properly. There is so much out there on concealed carry holsters that we won’t bother mentioning them here, and as important as they are, did you realize that there are other important accessories to consider, as well? Yes, there are!


The first point of failure for most new concealed carriers usually happens to be the belt, or lack thereof. Most people just assume they’re going to wear the belt they already have, and some people wear no belt at all on a normal basis. Consider that the belt you wear while concealed carrying is one of the most important parts of carrying – period. Here’s why:

  • Your belt does two things while concealed carrying – it provides an attachment point for the holster, and it also keeps the holster on a horizontal plane. Both of these are critical for keeping the weapon stable.
  • A properly fastened and retentive belt also keeps the holster attached when you draw the weapon. Keep in mind that a belt that is too loose, too thin, or not up to the task will flex and bend when you draw the gun, which could interfere with your draw.
  • The belt is part of the concealment system. No belt, or too thin a belt means a droopy bulge of a gun that moves when you move. There’s nothing that screams “I’m carrying a gun” as much as a bulge that slaps your hip or leg with every stride. A good belt keeps the gun well-secured and tight to your body.
  • A belt is critical to weapons retention, and is often the only thing holding your holster in your pants.

A good belt for concealed carrying can be made of either quality leather, or even synthetic nylon. Look for a solid buckle and a wider belt rather than thinner, as this provides more of a purchase for holsters.

Keep Your Handgun Locked and Loaded, Ready For Instant Use – Without Fear Of An Accident!


Perhaps you were of the impression that the only rounds you needed could be found within the gun itself. This may be the case – but then again, it may not. Consider a multiple active shooter situation such as Columbine or something of that nature – in which people and lots of ammo are needed to get the bad guys — and you’ll quickly want the ability to reload. Since you have a belt and a concealed holster to begin with, there’s no reason that you can’t have a couple of slim-fitting magazine carriers on your weak side. Often, these can be disguised as well as or even better than the pistol itself, and you’ll hardly notice the weight. There’s no room for flap-type pouches here – go with an open-top magazine carrier that allows you to grab the magazines from their bottoms, and pull them straight up for a reload.

If you shoot a revolver, there’s no problem with open-top speed loader pouches, although they are wider than the corresponding magazine pouches. Remember one thing – speed loaders or magazines in your front pocket looks exactly like speed loaders or magazines in your front pocket! Yes, people that know can tell. Keep them just as concealed as the weapon itself.


It’s pretty safe to assume that the pistol you are using to concealed carry probably won’t be equipped with a weapons light. The whole size of a rig like that is too big and bulky, and not only that, the corresponding holster will also be huge. None of this diminishes the fact that you still need tactical illumination, since many of the places you might carry, such as theaters and restaurants, are dimly lit. Correspondingly, restaurants and theaters also happen to be popular attractions for active shooters! Therefore, carry some form of tactical illumination on your person. It doesn’t have to be clipped to your belt, just available.


Part of concealed carrying is having a weapons system on your person, and a weapons system is more than just a weapon itself. It’s a way to respond to a potential threat and a means to have more options than just expending a single eight round magazine and then giving up or having to run away. Not all self defense situations will require multiple magazines worth of ammunition – some might only require a single round. But as concealed carriers often quote – it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Come equipped!

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  1. PLEASE… Stop using the term “packing heat”. It has a negative connotation that we just don’t need. While in the privacy of our individual communities it is/may be an inside joke, using it in an open public forum does little for our image.
    That said, the rest of the article is good. The only thing I would add is pepper spray. These are the things I preach to my students in every class. It can – and often will preclude having to go to the gun. Multiple levels of response offer the best chance of survival with the fewest ramifications.

    NRA Certified Instructor
    SC CAP Instructor

    • I would never encourage bringing pepper spray into a situation where an adversary is armed with a handgun or long gun. You want the bad guy’s gun to go off in a hurry? Hit him with the pepper spray and see if there are any seconds to count down before the weapon discharges.

      I always tell my CCW students that all weapons should remain secure until the threat to life or limb is certain and imminent, but once you clear leather you acquire your target and eliminate the threat instantly. No warning shots. No “Stop or I’ll Shoot”. Nothing but two in center body mass and one in the head. Drawing a weapon means diplomacy has failed and you are a heart beat away from them or you, to draw at any other time turns you into the aggressor.

  2. I strongly agree with the entire comment by Howard. We have enough negative press without using paper pulp terminology from detective novels. The rest of his comments are also dead on.

  3. As to the two above, I dont believe it matters to anti-gun leftists if you called your weapon a daisy. They hate you and the gun, and their argument is based in emotion. The mistake we make is that there is actually ANY way to get along with them,,, there isnt. Look at Gov Christy,, he thought he bought himself two truck loads of goodwill with the Obama Hug Photos !!

    But,,, alas,,, there can be no friendship, and I fear that any future and all past attempts to alter you speech and bow to PC dictates only emboldens them, that you are embarrassed or think there is something wrong with what you do.
    The Col

  4. For those of us who have had firearms since young, grew up with the knowledge and safe use of firearms, served in the military, were involved in law enforcement and presently conceal carry, we know to carry an extra magazine. We also know to not carry any caliber that doesn’t begin with a “4”, other than a .357 Magnum. We also know to alternate our loads with a HP, FMJ, HP, FMJ, etc. We also know to fire in “pairs”, not with “single shots”. The is much for the novice to, not only learn, but learn how to apply. Practice, practice, practice!

    I look at the photo above “Shooting on the Move” and I cringe. The left thumb is across the back of the right hand instead of laying on top of the right thumb along the side of the slide. If the thumb in the picture gets just a bit too high, the slide will remove the skin and meat on the top of the thumb knuckle (may take some bone with it also) when it “cycles” causing intense pain and the probability that the weapon will be dropped. Definitely NOT the picture to have been posted.

  5. I carry a knife as my first level of response. A karambit to be exact.

    • I carry a pair of karambits when I can’t carry a handgun. What a great knife style. Love ’em, but still prefer a handgun as primary whenever it is permitted. I teach at a community college, guns are not an option but a knife has not been questioned so far.

  6. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. I hadn’t even thought about the importance of carrying a flashlight with your weapon. It’s true that many situations that may call for use of your weapon will be poorly illuminated. Plus there are other safety benefits that can come from carrying a flashlight on you at all times.

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