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Article Home CCW Carry – My thoughts on why I do it every day.

By Wurger, Dec 2, 2016 | | |
  1. Wurger
    As 'gun people', we often like arguing about a plethora of aspects in our culture. Handgun people in particular have a knack for finding something to have a heartfelt, sometimes maniacal opinion on. This point of view propagates a new found purpose in their life to proselytize any nonbelievers they might find wandering the vast deserts of ’inexperienced’ gun owner ignorance. Desolate places of which they (of course) have avoided in their own well-reasoned and rational world. Gun brands, action types, calibers, finishes, carry methods...”it is what drives us, what defines us” to quote Agent Smith of the Matrix movie fame. One such topic that I've seen appear on a regular basis on these forums, is the idea of 'home carry'. That is, the regular carry of a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) on ones person while we are safely ensconced in our domicile of choice. Our own personal castle and sheathed but at the ready to say.

    My particular journey has taken many turns and many years to arrive at where I stand today. As I repose now, in my house, writing these words, a Kahr CM9 comfortably sits in my right jeans pocket while a spare magazine and folding knife resides in my left pocket. This is the case today, tomorrow and every day to follow that I can foresee. I can hear the calls of paranoia, crazy person already starting. I shall explain.

    Let's take a brief look at my particular journey. Growing up on a farm, i was allowed to keep my hunting rifle and ammunition in my bedroom from the age of about 12. At that young age, I was driving heavy equipment that could effortlessly, through negligence, kill myself or anyone else around me in an instant so a firearm was seen as no more or no less a danger. Times do change. Being far out in the country, I still remember one day coming to the conclusion that it would probably be a good idea to keep at least one of my two magazines for my .243 loaded "just in case" it was quickly needed. There started my slippery slope to always being prepared at home.

    Fast forward to my twenties. Having bought a Glock 17 during the first year they were available in the USA, I also obtained my initial CCW permit. The G17 was followed by the G19 when that became available. Carrying a pistol for self-defense slowly increased in frequency until it was more like putting my seatbelt on in the car when preparing to drive down the road. At that time however, we had an incident at our house that made me consider ratcheting up our home security to a new level. My young wife was in the kitchen of our rented farmhouse that was surrounded by fields and woods. A very quiet place when darkness fell as it had on that day. She heard a sound at the back door like a heavy coat brushing against the siding as though someone was leaning in close to the house to scan the entire room. A loud knock immediately followed. To her credit and my eternal relief, she immediately dropped what she was doing and retreated upstairs to retrieved her Lady Smith .38 Special. There she waited at the ready for five minutes until I got home from work. Once there, I grabbed my 12 gauge shotgun and immediately went to work attempting to locate the person or their tracks. A few expended rounds of birdshot were also used to get the point across that the intruder should never return. Lights and alarms were added as well as additionally keeping my Ruger MK II ,22 at a hidden location in the living room in the event we needed a firearm and could not get upstairs.

    That’s the way it stayed for quite a few years. Many guns rotated in and out of my preferred CCW slot. Eventually, even better options for concealed carry came along in the Kahr PM/CM9 and the Ruger LCP. These two pistols made pocket carry a very viable option with a cartridge that was more effective than the old tiny pistol chamberings of .22 RF, .25ACP and .32 ACP.

    Anyone who watches the news has seen the proliferation of home invasions. If you are like I was, it raises a point of concern, but what are the chances it will happen to you or your family? Remote at best…certainly.

    I live outside a quiet little town in Lancaster County PA. A number of years ago, a mother, father and son were brutally stabbed to death in their house. A college age daughter ran from the house and survived. The manhunt went on for many months without resolution. When the teenage perpetrator was finally caught, he revealed that he had driven the area looking at other houses to attack. Houses in my neighborhood! As a result I’ve decided to be constantly armed. Not fretting every instant of my existence but just having my CCW on me just the same as putting on my shoes if I’m going out in the yard so I don’t step on something sharp with my bare feet.

    GT Article 1.jpg

    My current selection of loaded firearm either kept in rapid access safes or on my person in my home.

    So what options do we have for CCW ‘in-house’? Available pistols are often categorized in ‘full-sized’, ‘compact’, ‘sub-compact’ and ‘mini’. Full-sized includes such stalwarts as the Glock 17, Beretta 92 and Browning Hi-Power. These typically hold 15 to 17 rounds in their magazines. As such, they would be the most effective in a protracted gun fight since they are easier to shoot and have a higher capacity on board without reloading. Unfortunately they are also comparatively big and heavy. In most cases, they require open carry or covering garments. Not the most ideal if you are trying to maintain a low profile in your neighborhood. Compacts like the Glock 19 are smaller but still require most of the same considerations as the full-sized. The bulge under your untucked tee-shirt is just a smaller bulge under your untucked tee-shirt. Remember, I did use the Glock 19 as my primary CCW for a few years. Sub-compacts like the Glock 26/27 offer a big improvement in concealability while maintaining a reasonable magazine capacity. Not only do they conceal even more readily under garments but they also open up the possibility of an ankle rig or even pocket carry. Many think that pocket carry is out of the question for the Glock 26/27 but with the right pants/shorts with a substantial pock, it is possible and even easy to do. The last category is the ‘mini’. This group has exploded in size in the last decade. Kel-Tec PF-9, Kahr PM/CM9 and PM/CM40, Beretta Nano, Kimber Solo and Glock 43 to name some of the more popular. An even smaller sub group of the mini’s are the ever increasing field of .380 pistols. Glock 42, Beretta Pico, Kahr PM380 and Ruger LCP/LCP II. These pistols can also be carried similarly to their larger brethren in various types of belt holsters but they really shine in the ‘inside the pocket’ holster.

    GT Article 2.jpg
    'One' of this selection is always (where legal) on my person. Including Home CCW. Clothing selection for the current weather conditions dictates which one.

    For house carry I’ve settled on the Kahr CM9. It is light enough to not be obtrusive but is chambered in 9mm which is more than adequate for defensive purposes. I do also use the Ruger LCP, especially if my back is bothering me as it is lighter yet and I still consider it effective when loaded with Federal HSTs. I’ve considered open carry with one of my Glocks but I want to be able to walk out into my yard or answer the front door without the neighbors seeing that I’m armed. A few of them have been references for me on my CCW permit applications so they do know that I carry but I’d rather avoid offending or alarming someone who does not share my personal beliefs on self-defense. I do keep my Glock 41 and Glock 27 loaded and in rapid access safes for the occasion when something goes bump in the night. A couple of good dogs who are trustworthy around children but are appropriately protective round out our home’s active self defense.

    GT Article 3.jpg GT Article 3.jpg
    Kahr CM9. My most often used Home CCW.
    Link to my CM9 review:

    Kahr CM9. My most often used Home CCW.
    Link to my CM9 review:

    GT Article 4.jpg Ruger LCP. My 'fall back' Home CCW when even the CM9 is too big.
    Link to my LCP review:

    So am I paranoid for carrying in the house? I don’t think so. I work in the OR of a local Level 1 Trauma Center Hospital. I get to see the results of violent crimes, negligence and being at the wrong place at the wrong time on a daily basis. Often, when we are called to the Trauma Bay to assess whether the OR’s services will be emergently needed, the injuries are from a MVA (motor vehicle accident). During the EMT’s report they will say if the person had been wearing their seatbelt or not. When the report states ‘unrestrained’ there is an almost sub-audible sigh from the room. If only they had taken the basic precaution of putting their seatbelt on, their condition would most likely not be as bad as they now present. If only the homeowner had a firearm at hand when the perpetrators kicked down their front door while they sat in the living room watching television. If only…. They might still be with us today.

    That is my rational. Calm, reasoned, safe, comfortable concealed carry of an effective firearm while inside of my house to protect my family and myself if the need ever arises. I hope it never happens just as I hope to never be in a serious car accident. Tomorrow as today, I will put on my seatbelt in my car and will carry my CCW everywhere I can, including my house.

    By Gary Wohlforth

Recent User Reviews

  1. TeagueTigers11
    "A+ and a genuinely valid point"
    Newbie here and just came across this article and wanted to state just how important I believe this topic is regardless of choice! Never read anything on this and am glad to know I'm not the only "crazy" guy that ensures my G43 is in arm's reach at ALL times!!
    Truly great and a topic I hope to see more on!
  2. KB2QQM
    "I Enjoyed the Article."
    Great article ! All great points about CCW. I like that the CW9 can fit in the pocket of your shorts. I enjoy my G19 but am looking for a little gun for pocket carry.

    If you don't want to be surprised my someone kicking in your door. Go Youtube: 'Ez-Armor' door products.

  3. Scouse
    "It costs nothing!"
    This pistol, that pistol, this calibre, or that one?

    Me? I stick to a Glock 19, 16 rounds, of 147g Ranger T. In this instance, in reinforced dressing gown pocket? Yes my Wife is a good sewing machine Lady. The other pocket, my IPhone. No not a monster sized one.
    What would Glock change on their pistols? Get shut of those lined triggers! Smooth triggers! All mine are changed.
    I am armed with a Gen 4 Glock 19 always. Out and about, a spare 17 round magazine. First replacement, after the smooth trigger, TruGlo fiber optic sights.
    What use are sights you can not see in poor light?


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  1. Alcoy
    Very good article.

    G43 is with me all the time. G19 not too far away.
  2. rollerotr
    Very well written clearly stated, and overall, a great American story. And so, how do the naysayers one walk around the seat belt analogy and not look like hypocrites?
  3. jaybirdjtski
    There are two Americas. Ours is based upon the Constitution and moral absolutes based upon what we call the Judeo Christian ethic. The other America is based upon the notion that the world should be (not "is") holding hands around a campfire (Wait! An artificial campfire so as not to pollute the earth) and singing kumbaya. Our world is based upon reality. Call reality the scientific method. We observe, gather facts, predicate a hypothesis and test it to see if we're correct. Their world is based upon touchy-feely stuff, how they "think" the world should be.
    The world is full of evil and good and we're part of the good. Look at history. Look at the evil locked away in prison and shudder to know that evil is running around on the streets. You have a God given right to protect yourself and others from evil. All one needs is to gather facts. Read the paper. Read The Armed Citizen in American Rifleman or American Hunter. Find some of those magazines from the 50's. Nothing has changed much. Evil is lurking right outside the door of your home looking for a way to violate your rights. Rats don't care much about your rights. And they travel in packs. So if you want to be a sheep then expect to be eaten, not that all sheep are eaten, just those who are easy prey. I prefer to think of myself as a shepherd and I will be prepared and hope and prey that the wolves will sense that and stay away. But I will be prepared so I am always ready to defend myself and those innocent sheep, my brothers, from evil. The wolf outside your door can huff and puff and blow your door down in a matter of seconds. And I don't suffer from paranoia just a dose of reality. Applied history doesn't just look at the past. It predicts the future. Live or die. That is your choice. I choose to not be easy prey. "You carry a gun! Are you paranoid or what??!!. "I'm carrying a gun (and I know how and when to use it) so why should I be paranoid!"
  4. fixer61
    I strap on my carry pistol when my pants go on after I get ready for bed I have two pistols with reach.Ar less than 10 feet two revolvers hide in odd places around the house one 357 and other 44spl.I can do this cause kids are grown up and I live alone.I hope never have to use but it's nice to be prepared.
  5. jaybirdjtski
    Absolutely. If someone is breaking down your door you might not have time to access a firearm in the safe. Plus if you carry at home (and all the time) carrying feels natural, like wearing comfortable shoes.
    I also make a point of practicing, dry fire, ammo in another room, all the dry fire rules you learn at school. Practice drawing your gun from retention a lot. What I found is that this is the way to be confident your holster/belt/clothes set up will not impede you from presenting your firearm quickly without fumbling around. Do your clips hold the holster in place? Does your holster work with your belt and clothing, etc. All the little details that keep you or a loved one above ground.
      newseditor likes this.
  6. KB2QQM
    I do not carry in my house. Yes, i can get to my guns if need be, but 99% or more of people Do Not do the very thing they need to do to make their homes invincible to undesirables. Menards and I believe Lowes sell a door device called "Ez-Armor". They are about $70 each. They are totally awesome. Here is the video:
    If you do not have a handgun in your house you need this. If you have guns in your house you really need this to keep the bad guys out of your home. I Do Not Ever want to shoot someone in my home. This product will keep you as safe as possible until the Police arrive.


    And for sliding glass doors:

    Also install 3m product and others ballistic window film so nobody can bust out the glass.

    Guns are great deterrents, but fortify your home first.

    My wife also works from home and I am glad to know that with these door products, she and my child are protected.
      jaybirdjtski likes this.
  7. schogfan56
    Great article Gary! Like you, I too have seen more trauma due to foolishness, carelessness, or just not being prepared. I'm a retired Army LTC who has also been a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) for nearly 30 years. While I don't always carry in the house, I have weapons conveniently and strategically placed throughout our home. A glock 23 in a cabinet by the front door, glock 21 upstairs in a quick open lock box, 1911 in my nightstand and glock 19 in my wife's nightstand as well as a tactical shotgun in our gunsafe located in our master bedroom closet. I live in a golf course community in a town of about 25,000. I'm not paranoid by any means, just realistic about the world I live in
  8. Bill Denton
    I was never accurate enough with the Kahr PM9 to feel comfortable carrying it anywhere. It also did not always feed properly when racked. Only when locked and the slide release used. I prefer to carry the 26 in an IWB Nate and Nate (and carry a 15-17 round spare), but have really gotten lazy and now pocket carry the 43 all the time. At home and away. Even going downstairs in the middle of the night, I'll slip the 43 in a pair of shorts. I carry it in a non slip pocket holster. During the day I carry a spare magazine, like you, in my left pocket and have another spare in my car console.
  9. newseditor
    Interesting read. I carry a Glock 43 around my home most days now in a pocket-carry holster, and my car trunk while at work. Five years ago I would never even have considered it, but home invasion probably is far more likely these days than running into a bad guy in Walmart or a shooter in the mall. I don't make a big deal about home carry, I just do it because it gives me peace of mind. Probably not for everybody, but that's OK. Each person has to make up his or her mind one way or the other. Strictly a personal decision, probably as much in that decision where you live as anything. However, the more I handle my Glock and my Walthers, the easier it will be to use them effectively if the need ever arises.
      KB2QQM and humbleopus like this.
  10. PNine64
    That's funny. You're using my exact line up (with the same thought process) with the exception of splitting the difference and going with a G19 instead of the G26/G17 combo. Would love to be able to justify the G19 all the time but the Kahr fits the bill most of the time. The Ruger can tuck into just about anything though. I see a lot of posts about a lot of different choices and just can't bring myself to make changes.

    Thank you for the write up!