Carry what you want

I saw this over at Gun Nuts Media.

Carry gun rotations are a bad idea

I don’t spend a lot of time of gun forums these days, and even less time in “gun related” facebook groups. I realize that as a result of this, I’ve largely self-selected my circle down to people who are relatively like minded about the whole concept of EDC. This means that when I do venture out into the wild of FB or youtube comments, I end up running into ideas that I forgot people even had, such as the terrible idea of a “carry rotation.”

Echo chambers exist everywhere.

To understand why this is such a bad idea, first we have to define exactly what a carry rotation is, and more importantly what it isn’t. What is NOT a carry rotation is carrying specific guns for very specific purposes, or if you want to be all operator about it, mission profiles.

That doesn’t sound so bad.  I have different guns I carry because they fit the weather and what I’m wearing.

Now that we understand what a carry rotation isn’t, we can look at what a carry rotation is, and why it’s a bad idea. Note that with the three guns I carry regularly, they are all similar trigger types (DA/SA or DAO) and each gun is used for a particular set of circumstances. A carry rotation on the other hand is when you say “oh well it’s Sunday I’m going to carry the 1911 today, Monday I carry the Glock 19, Tuesday I carry the HK P30L, etc etc.” Choosing to carrying a different gun because it’s a different day of the week, or the moon is in retrograde, or because “I felt like it” is a pretty terrible idea and here are a few reasons why.

That’s just stupid.  Sometimes I get in the mood to be different.  I have a shitload of knives that I put in rotation.  Why?  Because I can.  We actually had a competition at work with who could carry a different knife every day and go the longest before repeating.  I didn’t win but I came in towards the top.

First is a lack of consistent practice. If you’re carrying four different guns with four different action types, how do you consistently practice? How do you adapt to the trigger going from a DA/SA to a striker fired to an SAO with a safety?

Shoot more, it’s not that hard.

The real answer of course is that you don’t.


Sure, some people are at a high enough skill level that they can pick up basically any gun and shoot it pretty well, but it’s been my experience that the sort of people who have “carry rotations” aren’t those people.

Kiss my ass.  The only gun in my collection I can’t shoot well is my Glock.  It’s probably because I’m not a Teutonic Ubermensch but my hand doesn’t attach to my wrist at 22 degrees.

I shoot competition with a 1911 and carry either a 1911 or a DAO revolver.  Pretty much opposite ends of the handgun spectrum, and guess what?  I can use them both.

Second is the equipment issue! I already have a box that has 100 holsters in it, and at this point I don’t really want to have any more holsters laying around. I can’t imagine trying to have enough holsters to carry four different guns simply because it’s a different day of the week. It would get exhausting and expensive.

I’m sorry that you are poor and can’t afford more holsters or a bigger house to store them all in.  Tell me more about how sour those grapes are.

Finally, there’s the issue with access. Let’s say sometimes you carry a 1911 in a traditional IWB holster behind the hip, but today you’re carrying a j-frame AIWB because it’s J-frame day or whatever. What happens if you actually need that gun? Are you going to be able to access it from a holster position you don’t practice with and manage a trigger you’re not used to? Like the 8-ball says…signs point to no.

Or just carry the same way all the time.  I carry strong side in competition.  I carry strong side for CCW.  I still don’t get appendix carry.  I’m a fat guy, it’s not comfortable.  I also don’t want to thrust my crotch at the bad guy like some music video backup dancer in order to get my gun out.

I get it though, guns are cool. Sometimes we want to show off guns and carry different things. However, I’d suggest that if the primary reason that you’re carrying a gun on a specific day is because you think that gun is cool…you might want to re-examine your priorities.

I’m pretty sure I can have both by cake (cool gun) and eat it too (effective for defense).

There is an old saying: “fear the man who has just one gun, for he knows how to use it.”

That may have worked for the cowboys.  Today, the only reason I fear the man with just one gun is that the guy who has it is probably a Fudd who only does one thing like shoot skeet or hunts pheasant and doesn’t mind me having my arsenal confiscated by the goverment.

Personally, I believe in carrying what you are comfortable with.  I am comfortable with a lot of things.  I got a new 1911.  I knew it came with the wrong sight height the second I pulled it out.  Why?  Because I lined up the sights and it felt wrong.  It just pointed… wrong.  I got it out to the range and I was right, it was off.

At the same time range trip as I was tinkering with my 1911, I had my LRC with me and was going back and forth between a SAO 45 and a DAO 38 and doing equally well.

The trick is… shoot a lot and practice with what you have.

But forget me, let Clint Smith explain it.

Know how to use everything because you never know what you will have when shit goes down.  If I have to pull a gun off a dead cop or a bad guy, I need to be able to fight with it.  I can’t say “it’s not fair, this is not my usual carry gun.”  Gun fights aren’t fair.

Even Clint mixes and matches on the same day.

He carries a 1911 on his belt but packs a DA revolver on his ankle.

I prefer the statement to be: “fear the man who has a lot of guns and even more knives because he can kill you with anything.”

Don’t tell me why your limitations as a shooter should effect how I carry.

6 Replies to “Carry what you want”

  1. Well, okay, you can pick up pretty much anything and shoot it well (I can, too), but most people can’t. They haven’t spent, and can’t or won’t spend, the necessary time and money to get proficient with more than one (or maybe two) action types.
    And the big problem is life-threatening stress. If you mostly practice with your Glock, and you’re carrying your 1911 today, will you automatically wipe off the safety at the right time?
    You and I aren’t the target audience here. He’s talking to the majority of people whose skills are fairly limited, and he’s saying it’s better to get good with one gun than to be mediocre with four (“Beware of the man with only one gun …”), and I think he makes a valid point.
    When I carried guns for a living, I carried a striker-fired auto backed up with a J-frame revolver (at least for the last, non-revolver, half of my career), but I practiced more with each one than the average person does. (Maybe the free ammo had something to do with it.)
    I’m not saying this to blow my own horn, or to look down on people who have other priorities in their lives. But the average Joe or Joan is better off picking one action type and sticking with it.

    1. His whole thesis could be dismissed with “just make sure you are proficient with every gun in your rotation.” I did it. You did it. It’s common sense.

      1. Well, okay, but most people have X amount of time and money to spend on their training and practice. If they use one gun, they can devote all that time to one thing. If they use four different guns with different actions (let’s say, striker-fired, SA auto, DA/SA auto, and revolver), they will use less than X amount of time and money on any one thing. (They won’t use .25X on each because they’ll decide they like one or two more than the others.) Then they likely won’t develop the proficiency they might need when the SHTF. (When I was an instructor I read several studies that said you’ll shoot half as well in a for-real shooting as you do on the range. So it kinda behooves you to get as good as you can get.)
        But you’re right, it’s America. You can go to your church and I’ll go to mine.

  2. I agree. The title of my response would be “You do you and I’ll do me”
    Not sure why person A would have an opinion on person B’s carry preferences.

  3. This is in the same vein as the only way to learn is to attend training schools. Pray tell, where did the teachers learn? Sooner or later it comes down to someone figuring it out on their own.

    1. Right there with you, man.
      Self-taught, after one trip to the range with my friend.
      I bought “the pistol shooter’s treasury” (yes, it was nearly 40 years ago) and that book had some good advice.
      My first gun was a super Blackhawk (hey– it was less expensive than the .38 Security Six at the gun store).
      After learning to manage recoil, I got very, very good because I practiced all the time.
      And that’s how you do it.
      I now have several carry guns, from a P3AT to a 1911 Commander, to a very nice Model 29, to an assortment of nines, .40s, and even a 10mm.
      It all boils down to practice, especially dry firing a lot, including holster draw with concealing garments of various types.
      One other thing: when at the range, always practice regularly with weak hand also. It could save your life.

      I also liked the point that was made regarding having to use a “found” gun, in extremis. Familiarity with various types of guns could save your life also.

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