Recently, I read this article about printing.  I wish I could agree with them, but it’s wishful thinking, basically treating a gun as a magical talisman.

Certainly, not everything he says is wrong.  That initial nervousness of going out in public with a concealed weapon is pretty much universal to concealed carriers.  I’ll take them by the numbers:

  1. “It’s not as obvious as you think.”
    That’s generally true.  Because we know what’s causing the bulge in our shirt, we assume others will too.  Good news, they usually won’t!
  2. “Nobody’s looking.”
    Blatantly false, completely aside from the other CCW’ers and police, most of whom won’t cause trouble, there are some people looking.  Guess what?  They’re not nice people.  In fact, they’re the very reason you probably chose to carry a gun in the first place.Here’s some people who thought it wouldn’t matter who saw their gun.  They all regretted it, because yes, some people are looking.
  3. “Printing rarely looks like a gun.”
    I’ll give this one a qualified “sometimes”.  Certainly most people will ascribe the bulge to something other than a gun, but it’s unwise to count on that.
  4. “Nobody cares.”
    Refer back to point #2 – some of the wrong kind of people DO care.  Remember, you’re not supposed to be carrying to impress the good guys, or pretending that you’ll ward off evil by the mere possession of a weapon.
  5. “Know the law.”
    True, this one is important.  Research your local laws and abide by them.
  6. “Stop touching it.”
    A good point, shifting it around draws attention.  If it’s shifting, you need a better belt or holster, or both.

What really bothers me about the article is the mindset of the author; it seems to be that merely having a pistol is all you really need.  That’s understandable on one level, after all, many defensive gun uses are ended by showing that you’re serious by producing a pistol.  Most bad guys are looking for an easy score, not a real fight.

This is similar to the argument often put forth by the revolver with no sights crowd.  “The average gunfight is 3 rounds from 3 yards and lasts 3 seconds.”  Even if we accept that as gospel truth, they don’t appear to understand that averages are composed of extremes!  Maybe you’ll hit the average, or maybe you’ll end up shooting at a lot longer distance, and need a lot more rounds.


The above graphic makes me sad, as it really shows how most people view their ability, or the innate effectiveness of a gun.  No, of course I don’t expect everyone to spend all their spare time training, but the state mandated minimum is woefully inadequate.

If you’re carrying concealed in order to compensate for something, march on, you probably didn’t read this far anyway.  Printing does matter and we’d all be wise to go to a little extra effort to prevent it.

Stay safe, be dangerous.


4 replies
  1. Keith Cattaneo
    Keith Cattaneo says:

    It’s frustrating and boring to shoot at a range. I do shoot at least once a month but it really takes some effort to motivate myself. Very few ranges will even let you draw from a holster most likely because of liability.

    • John
      John says:

      Try IDPA. It is not training but it is a good way to more realistically stress test your skill, gear and ammo. And, it certainly is not boring

  2. johndewitt66
    johndewitt66 says:

    I could not agree more. These were the exact thoughts I had in my head as I read that initial article. Printing is a big deal. Not to say I never print. I’ve carried concealed everyday without fail for the past 4 years & I know that some days I print more than most others. I’m less concerned with the fact that I may be printing as I am about the activities, environment, & people I will be around in any given situation. There have definitely been days where I had to change what I was wearing because I knew I was printing too much & was going somewhere that I knew I did not want to people to be aware of the fact that I was carrying a pistol.

    More than anything though, I appreciate your take on training. It’s incredible how few people train & how infrequent they are when they do, not to mention the “training” that they actually do… Thank you for posting this & reminding me that I need to be better too.

  3. concealed weapons classes in florida
    concealed weapons classes in florida says:

    Took the class with Chris and learned a lot of things as a private citizen that I wasn’t aware of. Found this trainer to be extremely knowledgeable and very approachable. Enjoyed my shooting on the range as I had never shot a pistol. Chris guided me through it and found I really enjoyed shooting at a target and hope to never have to shoot at a living one. Thanks Chandlers I will see you for the PPS course as well, Looking forward to it, Chris Johnson


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