10 Essential Concealed Carry Gear Considerations

Updated: Nov 16

You are considering a Delaware Concealed Carry permit. You read our blog about how to obtain a concealed carry permit in Delaware, and the best concealed carry positions for sitting. Before you run out and buy a gun, you need to know a few things about concealed carry to make it comfortable, safe, secure and reliable. If you are wondering which gun to buy, check out our article about the best Glocks for concealed carry in 2022.

GET THE PERMIT

First, you start the Delaware Concealed Carry application process. How long does it take to get a concealed carry permit in Delaware? That will vary. New Castle County has the longest turnaround time. Kent and Sussex Counties are faster. You must apply for the permit in the county where you live. Once you get the permit, it is good across the entire state of Delaware. Relative to other states, it is a very difficult process, which is why we wrote this article detailing the application process and how to make it as easy as possible.

Once you have applied for the Delaware Concealed Carry permit, your real work begins. Here are the things you need to know.

THE GUN

What gun are you going to get? A handgun certainly because a shotgun is hard to conceal. Yes, some people will go out and buy a shotgun, thinking that it is a good concealed carry weapon. We are serious. Also, you need a true handgun, not one of the AR-15 or AK-47 pistol configurations that require a bag in order to properly conceal.

A Delaware Concealed Carry permit is not linked to a specific gun. It is like a driver's license; you can drive a car, a pickup, a station wagon or an SUV. The Delaware Concealed Carry laws apply to the person, not the weapon.

Your Delaware Concealed Carry class has a live-fire exercise. You should take the gun you plan to carry to the shooting part of the class.

Here are the points you need to consider before getting a gun for your Delaware Concealed Carry permit:


Sig Sauer p365s, from left: two tone p365 with 12 round magazine, black p365xl, two tone p365 with 10 round magazine, p365xl NRA with 15 round magazine.
Sig Sauer P365s, from left: two tone P365 with 12 round magazine, black p365xl, two tone P365 with 10 round magazine, P365xl NRA with 15 round magazine.

Fit & Feel


This is a top consideration. The gun has to fit in your hand and it must feel right. In other words, the gun must:

  1. Be the right size for your hand. A North American Arms mini revolver is a far cry from the Desert Eagle .50 AE. Tiny people can grip the NA revolver well while it takes a big hand to comfortably hold the .50 AE for any length of time. The DEagle, as it is often called, is not a good choice for concealed carry. Some people will carry small "micro 9mm" guns like the Sig Sauer p365, while others prefer a larger gun like the Glock 19. Is the Glock 19 a Good Conceal Carry Weapon?

  2. It feels right. This is totally subjective. How does the gun feel in your hand? Do you like a curved grip or a straight grip? Do you want wood, polymer (a kind of plastic) or rubber grips? Do you want finger grooves? X-Ring has plenty of choices for you. We can even swap the grips in the store to get what is best for you.

  3. Weight. You must get something you can hold properly and keep on target while you shoot. Weight matters a lot. You also need to think about the weight and carrying that all day. A pound does not sound like much until you carry it for 10 hours. Put a pound of fishing weights in your pocket and see how that feels.


9mm Jacketed Hollow Point
9mm Jacketed Hollow Point

Caliber

Handguns come in a massive variety of calibers or bullet sizes. Each one has a best use and each one has fans. Today's most popular caliber for Delaware Concealed Carry is the 9mm.

The 9mm is the caliber of choice for most U.S. law enforcement. It packs plenty of punch on the receiving end and yet has light enough recoil that most people can handle it. X-Ring can help you decide what the best caliber for you is.

When choosing a caliber, you need to factor in ammo availability. 9mm is a NATO handgun round because NATO members use the 9mm more than any other handgun caliber. This means 9mm production is a priority for ammo plants.


Other popular calibers to consider are .380, .40S&W and .45ACP. .380 lends itself well to smaller handguns because it is a less powerful round. .40S&W and .45ACp are both more powerful than 9mm, which means more recoil but also better terminal ballistics.

Recoil

Recoil could technically fit under Fit & Feel or Caliber. A .22 short fired from a Heritage revolver has no recoil to speak of. At the other end, the .500 S&W shot from a short-barrel revolver delivers punishing recoil.

The 9mm again is a top contender. With low-power loads, the 9mm delivers light recoil even in a lightweight gun. Remember, the smaller the gun the worse the felt recoil will be when compared to a larger/heavier gun, shooting the same ammunition. While concealed carry guns need to be small, they also need to be shootable and have manageable recoil.

Handgun Types

Handguns come in three basic types. Your Delaware Concealed Carry application does not care which one you plan to carry. With a few exceptions covered in the class, Delaware Concealed Carry reciprocity also does not apply to the gun type.

Semi-auto - Load the gun. Put one in the barrel. Pull the trigger and the gun fires. Each trigger pull is a shot until the gun is empty. Autos, as they are called, are fed by a magazine. If you have extra mags on hand, this is the fastest gun to shoot and reload. Many 9mms can hold 10 or more rounds of ammo.

Revolver - Think of the Old West. The revolver has a cylinder that holds the bullets. Revolvers hold 5 to 9 rounds of ammo. These take the longest to reload.

Derringer - This is a compact to sub-compact gun. The most common derringers have 2 barrels, allowing you to take two shots before you have to reload.

Safety

Many modern handguns, even some revolvers, now have a manual safety, something that keeps the gun from going off even if you squeeze the trigger. Some do not.

The advantage of the safety is you have to release it to shoot. The disadvantage is you have to remember to release the safety to shoot. Without a safety, you just pull the trigger and shoot.

It is important to balance safety features on a concealed carry handgun with the potential need to quickly draw the gun and put shots on target. The crew at X-Ring Supply can help guide you to an informed and educated decision about getting a gun with or without a safety. Meantime, here is a detailed look at the various safeties.


Test Drive

So how do you know if all of the above categories come together in just the right gun for you? You test drive a few. We have a large selection in store that you can hold and see how you like them, but nothing beats trying them out. Find a friend who has a gun or guns you are interested in. Invest in a small box of ammo from X-Ring Supply and hit the range. When you shoot the gun, you will immediately know if it is something you are comfortable with.

A Delaware Concealed Carry class can help answer a lot of other questions you may have, including Delaware Concealed Carry reciprocity. In other words, you will learn which states recognize a Delaware concealed carry permit and the states that Delaware recognizes.


H&K VP9 in a L.A.G. Tactical right handed appendix carry holster with claw.
H&K VP9 in a L.A.G. Tactical right handed appendix carry holster with claw.

HOLSTER

A holster holds the gun when it is not in your hand. Delaware Concealed Carry laws do not cover holsters. Holsters come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and materials. The short list is:

Ankle - Straps to your ankle. This is for compact and sub-compact guns. This can be hard to get to and we generally do not recommend this type of carry.

Inside the Waistband (IWB) - This tucks inside your pants. You can cover it with your shirt. It is considered CCW. IWB can be a hip carry, small of the back carry or appendix carry.

Outside the Waistband (OWB) - This is outside your pants. Unless an effort is made to hide it, i.e., your shirt is untucked, this is considered open carry, not concealed carry. OWB is typically positioned on your hip.

Pocket - Fits in your pocket. Ideally, when you draw, the holster snags your pocket so the gun slide free. We generally do not recommend this type of carry.

Shoulder - Straps across your back and the gun rides under your arm. Best to think of this as CCW, although it can be open carry if it is obviously visible.


Holsters can also have accessories like space for extra magazines and a knife.

If you opt to appendix carry, the bigger holster may be more comfortable. A claw improves concealment and a wedge helps it conform to your body a bit better and makes it more comfortable.

The drawback is everything you add to the holster increases the weight and the space needed for the gun. You may need to increase your pants a size, possibly two sizes, depending on your holster, gun, and add ons.


Whether you IWB or OWB carry, a good belt is mandatory. Check out this article from Pew Pew Tactical for examples of great gun belts. X-Ring carries Blue Alpha belts and we are happy to let customers try on belts and holster in store.

If you pocket carry, the Neomag is available at X-Ring lets you easily access pocket carry magazines.

CONCEALED CARRY ACCESSORIES

You may want accessories like a small light, laser or red dot sight. X-Ring has all of these in stock. We can mount them on your chosen gun. Each one has benefits and drawbacks.

The chief drawback is common to all three, bulk. Each accessory you add increases the weight and overall size of the gun. Some people consider this tradeoff well worth it. At the same time, accessories mean you will need to use something other than a standard holster for that gun. Again, this is a tradeoff many people find worthwhile and there are multiple great holster companies that make light retention holsters.

Another drawback all three share is battery power. Some red dots do not need a battery, but they are very rare. Most use power. If you carry with a powered accessory, change the batteries on a schedule. Light batteries should be changed every six months. Red dot and laser batteries should be changed annually. Yes, the battery makers may say the batteries will last much longer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Changing the battery also means you do not worry about battery acid leaching out and destroying the accessory.




Weapon Mounted Light

A weapon mounted light usually goes under the barrel on the picatinny rail, or attaches to the trigger guard if no rail is present. This is helpful if you are in a dark place. Rather than hold a flashlight with one hand and your gun with the other, you have both in one hand. Gun lights are a great addition on home-defense handguns. Likewise, they are a good addition to concealed carry guns, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter. We have a whole article about weapon mounted lights for self-defense.

Laser


A laser is an aiming aid. It does not provide enough illumination to light up your target. Also, lasers work best in low to no-light conditions. On a bright, sunny day outside, finding that dot of light takes a super keen eye.



Red Dot

HK VP9B with Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot and HK VP30SK
H&K VP9B with Holosun HS507C X2 Red Dot and H&K VP30SK

A red dot is a type of optic that has a dot, usually red or green, instead of crosshairs. The red dot can be seen in complete darkness and bright sunlight. Tournament shooters like the red dot because it delivers fast target acquisition and you can focus on the target instead of the front part of the iron sights on your pistol.



Bayonet...?


Yes, you can get a bayonet for some handguns. But seriously, an actual knife is a good addition to your concealed carry gun. Buy a good knife that slips into your pocket or is carried in a holster or clips on your belt. It would be best if you always carried a knife where it is legal. You cannot cut a rope or zip ties very well with a gun. You certainly cannot cut a steak with a pistol.



X-RING SUPPLY HAS WHAT YOU NEED FOR DE CCDW.


If you are getting a Delaware Concealed Carry permit, X-Ring Supply has everything you need except the permit. Once your Delaware Concealed Carry application is approved, come see us. In addition to taking the Delaware Concealed Carry class, it is absolutely vital that you practice and take other courses taught by competent trainers.

gun store delaware, X-Ring Supply, online gun store.
Case of guns that we recommend for concealed carry, at X-Ring Supply, a gun store in Newark, Delaware.

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