Don’t Get Caught in the Everyday-Carry Trap - SkyAboveUs - Outdoors
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Don’t Get Caught in the Everyday-Carry Trap

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LJ Bonham is a semi-subsistence hunter, hunting magazine editor, and firearms enthusiast who lives in the Rocky Mountains.

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The Everyday Carry (EDC) concept began as a worthwhile idea: have basic survival gear on one’s person at all times. At first, this just meant a few things such as a pocket knife, cell phone, and especially one’s legal sidearm. Then things changed in regards to the gun, and a trap emerged for unsuspecting or novice licensed firearm carriers.

For Your Convenience

Handguns are uncomfortable and inconvenient to carry: steel just doesn’t conform to the human body, and it’s heavy. Authorized CCW people make a commitment when they decide to carry a sidearm; it’s serious business. The problem is, human nature intervened, and people looked for ways to make the EDC concept easier and less cumbersome.

A good EDC gun, the classic Colt Officers ACP.  Also makes a good backup companion paired with a full-sized M1911.

A good EDC gun, the classic Colt Officers ACP. Also makes a good backup companion paired with a full-sized M1911.

Paradigm Shift

Basic CCW doctrine changed during the last decade as more and more permittees adopted standard law enforcement practice. They now carry a backup weapon in case their primary handgun becomes inoperative. Almost overnight, the market demanded very small, light-weight backup handguns.

Ruger LCP, cal. .380 ACP.  One of the many new ultra-compact pistols on today's market.  A great backup gun, but with only a six round capacity and minimal sights, not the best choice for a protracted fire fight.

Ruger LCP, cal. .380 ACP. One of the many new ultra-compact pistols on today's market. A great backup gun, but with only a six round capacity and minimal sights, not the best choice for a protracted fire fight.

It's Only Natural

This trend to smaller and smaller guns intersected with the natural desire for convenience, and far too many people now rely on an ultra-compact backup type gun as their primary sidearm. Advances in modern bullet design also fueled this trend as ammunition companies found ways to make what had been considered sub-standard calibers such the .380 and .32 ACP much more effective, which made the new small guns even more attractive.

EDC, the old school way.  S&W Model 36 Chiefs Special, cal. .38 Spl.  Also a great gun, but best suited as a backup weapon.

EDC, the old school way. S&W Model 36 Chiefs Special, cal. .38 Spl. Also a great gun, but best suited as a backup weapon.

The Simple, Direct, and Wrong Solution

These trends found fertile ground in the EDC arena and a dangerous schism developed in some people’s minds. It became fashionable to divide concealed carry into two realms: casual, or everyday, carry, and for lack of a better word, “formal” carry. Web forums and magazine print alike endorsed this notion. The gun industry didn’t see a problem with this either since their customers were now in the market for more than just one or two guns.

A better EDC choice: the Glock 26.  About the same size and weight as a five shot snub-nose revolver but carries 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

A better EDC choice: the Glock 26. About the same size and weight as a five shot snub-nose revolver but carries 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

Would You Prefer the Casual or Formal Shootout, Ma'am?

Yet, there is a problem here—shootouts are not “casual” events. Firearms are not fashion accessories, and anyone who carries just to make a statement misses the entire point. The primary, and only, reason to carry a concealed handgun is to protect oneself and their loved ones should they encounter violent criminals intent on life-threatening harm. Such a situation is battle, pure and simple, and battle demands equipment suited to the task. There are no “do overs” in battle; people can die. A person is either ready or not ready; there is no middle ground.

With the right leather and clothes, a full size service pistol, like this .45 cal., M1911, carries like a much smaller, less effective gun.

With the right leather and clothes, a full size service pistol, like this .45 cal., M1911, carries like a much smaller, less effective gun.

Denial is Not a River in Egypt

The future is an uncertain business, and one doesn’t get to choose what mayhem may come their way on any given day. Deadly-force situations come in all shapes and sizes, from a single person armed with a tire iron to a dozen-heavily armed terrorists, or even a city-wide riot.

Anyone who legally carries a firearm must make an unflinching, no-nonsense assessment about every potential threat the world might throw at them and arm themselves to meet those threats. If confronted with several assailants intent on killing everyone in their path, it is far better to have a proper, mid to full-size, battle capable handgun chambered in a more than marginal caliber; copious extra ammunition; and a backup weapon, rather than just one diminutive .380 which is difficult to shoot accurately beyond five paces. At the least, consider a high-capacity sub-compact gun such as the Glock 26/27, Sig P365, or Springfield Hellcat.

Modern holsters, such as this Galco Miami Classic, can comfortably carry a full or mid-sized handgun and extra ammo all day.

Modern holsters, such as this Galco Miami Classic, can comfortably carry a full or mid-sized handgun and extra ammo all day.

Mid-size pistols, like this Glock 19, are outstanding EDC choices: reasonably light, compact, good magazine capacity, and chambered for combat effective cartridges.

Mid-size pistols, like this Glock 19, are outstanding EDC choices: reasonably light, compact, good magazine capacity, and chambered for combat effective cartridges.

Make the Right Call

Avoid the EDC trap and always carry the best gun possible under the circumstances. Remember, your life depends on it.

Carrying a Full-Size Service Pistol is Easy IF You Have Good Leather and Proper Wardrobe

Gunsite Academy Was Founded by the Legendary Jeff Cooper

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 LJ Bonham

Comments

LJ Bonham (author) on March 01, 2017:

I'm glad things worked out for you, Mr. Burton. Often, the mere presence of a firearm in the hands of the potential victim is sufficient to stop an assailant.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on March 01, 2017:

"Anyone who legally carries a firearm must make an unflinching, no nonsense assessment about every potential threat the world might throw at them and arm themselves to meet those threats. "

If that was the case we would all be carrying around ARs with multiple 30 round magazines.

The vast majority of the people who carry do so on the basis of what is "reasonable" that they will someday face. For many, a smaller caliber/smaller firearm fits what they understand as their needs.

My Keltec P-32 managed to keep me safe when approached by two thugs. It did everything that I needed it to do at that time.