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

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Cynthia7421
    "911 is not an option"
    Thank you for the well thought out article. It's almost like you read my mind. I live almost 25 miles from town and the closest cop shop.
    I also live by myself. If something happened, calling 911 would happen but as far as the cops by to my home in time is zero.
    I sleep with my carry gun on my nightstand and have gotten into the habit of taking it with me wherever I go. It's not paranoia, it's common sense. Unfortunately America has changed and not for the good.
    Remember, Criminals don't take a day off and neither should you.
  2. ranger10mm
    "home ccw carry"
    great thoughts. new to the glocks myself. i just recently purchased a glock 40 mos in 10mm. love this firearm. and for those who say you can't carry this firearm, i do and its comfortable owb with a Blackhawk serpa level 2 retention at the 2 to 3 o'clock position. i don't in holster mine until i hit the rack. then its on my night stand. thanks for the thread!
  3. palmettosunshine
    "my thoughts exactly"
    THIS is why I carry at home. I don't get to choose when things go bad in a hurry. I don't get to decide that my neighborhood is "safe". Since my family is in my home this is where I carry the most. I couldn't imagine living with myself if I had the ability to defend myself and my family and didn't.


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  1. SK2344
    I have made a personal commitment to carry a firearm for self defense. At first I did not carry my weapon on my body when I was in my house but over the first few years, I started to here, more and more about Home Invasions in our State of Florida. I had about six or seven handguns at that time, including several Western single action Revolvers which I used for SAS Shooting competition. Then I started to place one gun in every room of my home which I could easily get to in an emergency. After I retired, I started to down size my collection and no longer did the SAS competition so I no longer had a gun in every room and that is when I started to carry one of my handguns in my pocket while inside or outside of my house. It has become a good habit and make me and the wife feel safe in our old age. Retirement is good!
  2. FR3
    Different strokes for different folks… if I lived in the infamous south-central L.A. I might (maybe) carry in the house, especially on a Saturday night, but I don't live in south-central so I just keep a gun (or two) strategically located in the house. And as my dear old dad departed dad used to say: Son, opinions are like "arses," everybody's got one.
  3. james Garrison
  4. Starlite
    Good article, something to think about.
  5. lj1
    a great article.
    I do wish that all who carry weapons shared your opinions.
    it is not expected that all share your experience as this will vary for each person.
    yet the wisdom you have in "why" and "how" you carry is summed up by you in your article.

    "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."

    sadly there are too many around that will open carry in town and even church!?!
    just to show their belligerent attitude. [there is no respect for them]

    I do agree that it is a right to carry [and have] but to carry in a responsible way that is not just to show off.
    or in a bad way that places you as the 1st target/threat to be removed.

    be careful out there. :)
      Glockworks and james Garrison like this.
    1. james Garrison
      Point taken I have been in Law Enforcement for over 30 years. As a Leo often open carry as part of my job. However I was always required to have a security 3 holster. Because of that every holster I have is a security holster. I often see the public with open carry and no security holster. I encourage everyone who can carry legally do so, but please consider a security holster. I aways carry off duty and even at home but I carry concealed. Just a thought.
      Glockworks likes this.
  6. WoodyCCC
    Enjoyed your post and agree with you. You share many valid points. I have perplexed my wife many times for chastising her in not keeping her CCW on her person. I have told her that I will defend her to the best of my ability, but if I fail, what are you going to do? I fully believe that old Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" is the best policy. I pray that I never have to use my CCW. I believe that a person that does not think it can happen to them is naive. Twice in my life I have witnessed the presence of a firearm stopping a rape in my apartment parking lot and a home invasion.
      james Garrison and Glockworks like this.
  7. Scouse
    My gun safe has quite a few firearms, that just sit. They all work.
    The only one that is my constant companion, sitting behind me on my bedside table (It is 5 am) Old guys don't need a lot of sleep.
    The minute the track pants and shirt go on, Glock 19 4th Gen goes into the right pocket, I phone in left.
    After shower, pants and belt, Kydex holster, Glock 17 spare mag, flashlight, Florida shirt.
    We have a friend from Canada staying for a week, and her 11 year old Grand Son.
    They have not seen any gun, and will not. They live in a dream world of suburban Canada? But I do not.
      Jamesdo72 likes this.
  8. JKirk54
    Good stuff.....Thx for posting. As I typed this the news behind talking about a sheriff deputy out in his front yard mowing the grass and a truck pulled up, started shooting at him. We are at the point where there is no place or time that we shouldnt really need to be able to respond. Really,,,gun fight from the mower?? Being on guard for the unguarded moment in a turbulent world ladies and gentlemen.
      Jamesdo72 likes this.
  9. ATP100
    Glad to know that I'm not the only one who carries inside my abode. I live in a small one bedroom in a 240 unit apartment complex with a lot of turnover. Strange faces walking around every day. I'm 65 and it's just my dog and me. One stiff kick would probably take down my front (and only) door and I can't fortify. Fortunately my Shar Pei mix alerts 100% of the time to movement outside my fence or any window and if someone touches the gate his bark will wake up the dead. Thus I don't think I will ever have to draw on the drop. I wear the Glock 43 inside with a 30SF in a kitchen cabinet (ala Kill Bill) and a 19 equipped with Crimson Trace and a Inforce Glock specific APL in the bedroom. Have a gun cabinet and safe for storage for when we're away. Paranoid? After joining and consistently watching the videos on the Active Self Protection network I'm trying to carry 100% of the time, especially outside of the house. And being retired I'm able to range train 3 or 4 times a week. One final thing: If your vehicle is not where it normally would be or in its numbered space in a complex (like when it's in the shop or someone borrowed it) and you are home you really do need to be carrying.
      Courtney Allen likes this.
  10. J.EdgarPI
    Great article Gary.