Concealed Carry Equipment:

Why ignoring EDC gear is a mistake.

There seems to be some serious pushback in the defensive world to the idea of paying attention to the defensive gear you select.  I understand where this resistance to gear is coming from.  It stems directly from the idea that there are plenty of folks out there that focus on gear only.

  • Consumers
  • Retailers
  • Media outlets

They are all guilty of paying too much attention to the gear.  If we are realistic about our defensive needs it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly that no one NEEDS a $2500 defensive handgun.  Yet there are plenty of very expensive defensive guns out there and plenty of people that are willing to pay for them.

Rarely will a $2500 custom GLOCK out perform a stock GLOCK in meaningful terms.  Sometimes the effect is exactly the opposite.  In tweaking the standard we can create more problems.

If you took the $2000 excess and spent it on training rather than on costly enhancements to an already capable gun think of the difference that you might see in your performance.  You would be faster and would be prepared to deal with much more than a skeletonized slide can provide.

The idea is, we can take equipment too far.  If, however, you don’t understand that some gear is going to perform better than other gear in defensive situations, you are missing the point.

There are some important ideas that people need to understand about gear.  When we ignore defensive equipment it leaves the evaluation process of defensive tools up in the air.

  • New defensive shooters
  • Folks looking for a change
  • People trying to correct an error

Folks need to have discussions, hear opinions and learn about concealed carry gear.  If CCW gear isn’t being talked about, how is that learning supposed to take place.

Gear can make self-defense simple or complex.

Simple gear tends to make your task more simple.  Complex gear tends to make your task more complex.  When it comes to self-defense, simplicity goes a long way.  We need to specifically and intentionally select simple defensive tools.

Big Picture: 

When it comes to stopping a threat we need to accomplish the task with as little time effort and energy as possible.  Efficiency is the benchmark.


  • We want our defensive too to be efficient.
  • Simplicity and efficiency often go together.
  • We need to educate ourselves about gear and its level of complexity so that we can make quality decisions about the gear we trust our lives to.

One of the best ways to make our defensive gear efficient is by selecting efficient gear up front and then become efficient in using that gear.  Train with that simple defensive handgun.  Practice with that simple defensive handgun.  Spend your money on ammo and instruction.  You will find yourself well ahead of the curve.

Good defensive gear needs to be evaluated beyond the price tag.

The price of quality defensive gear rarely reflects its ability to do its job.  In addition, the true cost of gear is rarely tied in to the price tag alone.

Big Picture:

Efficiency in stopping the threat is our goal and efficiency is rarely related to or reflected in the price tag of defensive tools.


  • The cost of defensive tools rarely ends with the cost of the primary tool.  Make sure to consider accessory costs.
  • Also consider additional maintenance and care that some defensive tools could require.
  • More complex tools take more time, effort and energy to master.  Consider your time as an important factor in the overall cost of an item.
  • Look for significant gains when evaluating new gear.  While seconds count in violence, spending your resources on training instead of the newest gear probably has a better pay out.

Defensive gear can be motivational.

Defensive tools that are fun to train with, carry and care for can motivate you to train more often and with more vigor.

Big Picture:

Having the right tools inspires confidence and confidence could be the greatest defensive asset you have.  Invest enough resources to make sure that your gear inspires confidence.


  • Don’t make the mistake that more $ = more confidence.  You need to seek gear that works.
  • Consider your context and make sure you select gear that works for you.
  • When all else is equal, select the gear you like.  If you like it, your will train more, gain more skills and more confidence.


Links to content that will help you look at gear in a healthy way:

Selecting the BEST Concealed Carry Handgun

Selecting the BEST Home Defense Handgun

Selecting the BEST Defensive ammunition

Why Ignoring Your EDC Gear is a Mistake

Show Transcript begins here.

The clock is running and this is Friday 15. My name is Paul Carlson I’m glad that you are here with me. Today in this Friday 15 episode of Safety Solutions Academy podcast we’re going to take a fast paced and direct look at why it is important for you to learn about defensive equipment no matter what it is that the experts say. Again I want to thank you so much for joining me on the Safety Solutions Academy podcast for another Friday 15 now let’s get right to it.

You know these days there seems to be some serious pushback in the defensive world to the idea that we should pay attention to gear. People are coming right out and saying that gear doesn’t matter. We’re not going to pay attention to gear, we’re going to ignore gear, we just aren’t going to talk about gear.

And I understand where this resistance is coming from. It comes directly from the idea that there are folks out there that are on the opposite end of the spectrum that all they do is focus on gear. It doesn’t matter of those people are consumers that are just fascinated by the firearms, or the knives, or the ammunition, or the holsters, or the belts, or whatever it is that they’re paying attention to this week.

Maybe it’s the retailers that are pushing hard to make sales, folks that are counting on making money off of selling gear and maybe it’s the media outlets that are depending on the advertising folks that are needing retailers to be there to make the sales so that they can make money off of whatever the media is that they’re putting out there.

These folks all have a tendency at times to pay too much attention to gear. Now if we’re realistic about our defensive needs it becomes pretty clear very quickly that we don’t have to have complete and total focus on gear and we take it too far to the extreme it can be a problem. I don’t think that there is anyone out there that needs a $2500 defensive handgun yet there are a ton of places where you can spend a whole boatload of money having your defensive firearm tricked out so that it is the latest and the greatest and I tell you what there’s no shortage of people that are waiting to pay to have that done.

Now what gets me is that it’s pretty rare that a $2500 custom GLOCK is going to outperform a stock clock in any real and meaningful terms. And sometimes that focus on gear well it can have exactly the opposite effect than what we wanted to have. We can find ourselves tweaking things so much spending so much time and energy focusing on gear that we create more problems than we started with. You know if we took that excess $2000 that you spent on that custom firearm and you put into your training instead of on very expensive and questionably valuable enhancements that are being made to an already capable platform. Think of the difference that you would probably see in your performance.

Don’t you think that with that kind of investment in yourself you would be faster, you would be more prepared to deal with many more situations than a skeletonized slide on your GLOCK could provide I think so. I think that there is too much of a focus on gear and yes we can take that focus too far but if you don’t understand, if you don’t get the idea that some gear is going to perform better than other gear in defensive situations you’re missing the point.

You see there are tons of people out there that also are brand-new to defensive shooting , that are brand-new to personal protection. If we ignore defensive equipment as those people come into the folds of defensive shooting and personal protection then we leave them hanging without the tools that they need to properly evaluate the defensive firearm.

The blade the less lethal choice that they make we leave that up in the air, we can’t do that to the folks that are brand-new to defensive shooting. We can’t do that to folks that are looking for a change because they didn’t understand when they made the first purchase. We can’t do that to the folks that have realized that their first purchase was an error and now need to fix that error. You see if we don’t talk about gear then those folks don’t have the resources that they need to make the correct decisions.

And a conversation we need to have about gear needs to be intelligent conversation. It needs to be conversation that is in context that deals specifically with the challenges that folks that are trying to carry a handgun concealed face. The gear conversation needs to be focused on how to make the right choice of defensive ammunition. The gear conversation needs to be focused on what tools are the best tools to use to defend your home, that’s what we need to be talking about when we talk about gear.

You see gear can make self-defense and personal protection either simple or complex and if we leave those folks that have gear questions just blowing in the wind then they won’t have the understanding of what it is that truly makes a simple piece of gear, make completing a defensive task more simple. Simple gear works simply and it makes it more simple to complete the task you need to complete which is stopping your threat.

Complex gear has a tendency to make your task more complex make it more complex to stop your threat to achieve your goal. You see efficiency is what it’s all about. We want our defensive tools to be efficient we want simplicity and we need to educate ourselves about gear and how the aspects of years were are often touted as features can make things more simple or more complex. So we need to have these conversations about gear so we can understand how it applies from a simplicity standpoint to defensive use.

You know we have to have these conversations about gear because gear needs to be evaluated beyond its price tag and if we ignore the idea that gear is simply more than something to spend our money on, if we ignore the positive aspects of what it is that we can get if we spend more money on gear… if we ignore the negatives of what it is when we spend too much money on gear then again the entire conversation starts to be slanted and maybe even just missing the key information.

So we need to make sure that we’re talking about gear so that we can evaluate it on terms that go beyond its price tag and go beyond the sales pitch that’s being given for the gear by the manufacturer or the individual that makes a profit. You see the price of quality defensive gear rarely reflects its ability to do its job. And in the same token or maybe on the other side of that coin the true cost of gear is rarely tied into the price tag alone.

Let me explain you see when we use that example of the Smith & Wesson M and P series pistols or a GLOCK series pistols those are reasonably priced relatively simple tools that have a tendency to do a good job from a defensive standpoint. Now we can spend a heck of a lot more money than the $500 or $600 that the typical person spends on the modern striker fired handgun. And the question is does the additional price tag of say $2000 or $2500 does that give us a proportional improvement.

You know you would think boy my life is worth…well it’s priceless so I’m willing to spend as much money as I need to, to have the right kind of firearm. Well, just because you can spend more money doesn’t mean that you should so that price tag can be incredibly deceiving and the reality is that we find in many situations that bone stock GLOCK is probably going to perform more reliably for most people right out of the box than if you spend the $2500 tricking it out.

The same goes with that M and P pistol, but don’t forget that we have to look beyond the cost alone of the firearm. There are lots of guns out there that have great reputations are used by agencies that are popular for concealed carry, that are popular for defensive use. Those guns are reasonably priced they’re not tricked out but they can be very expensive in the long run because it takes more time, effort and energy to use, to learn those guns.

This is a common conversation I have with folks that show up with a traditional double action gun something like a Sig or a Beretta where they have to learn two different gerbils. Sometimes folks that are dealing with simply the double action guns can struggle with the same issues because of the length and the weight of the trigger press.

So what happens is, we have a reasonably priced gun that becomes very expensive to become proficient with. How does that proficiency become expensive? It takes more time, it takes more ammunition, and it takes more energy. If you have to spend double the amount of time and the amount of time let’s say is 16 hours with a standard gun, if you spent 16 hours training in a year to get to a level of proficiency that you are comfortable with and some other gun takes you 32 hours what’s the actual cost of that?

I guess it depends on what it is that you need or want to be doing with your time. You’ve got family members that you want to spend time with or maybe you need to spend time with them because they’re young and they need your care, they need your guidance, they need your direction or maybe they need your care because they’re ill. If you have a job that’s nagging at you to get things done and you have to spend extra time learning that gun becomes so much more costly.

So we have to take a look at defensive gear just because it has a high price tag doesn’t mean that it’s worth it, doesn’t mean that has that value and just because it has a low price tag doesn’t mean that it is fit for the job either. We have to talk about defensive gear because we have to evaluate it beyond its price tag.

Let’s also not forget the defensive gear can be motivational people can get worked up about their gear and that is a good thing. If you are motivated about your gear you’re much more likely to practice with it, you’re much more willing to train with it in general. You’re much more willing to spend time with it and get comfortable with it and carry it with you.

The fact is that if spending a little bit of extra money on some gear can get you motivated to do what it is you need to do, to keep yourself and those that you love safer then maybe we need to spend some time talking about gear so we can make the right choices and head in the direction that’s going to get us excited about what we are doing out on the range.

So if you find people saying to you we don’t talk about gear, we ignore gear, gear isn’t important, you know there are some things that are more important than gear. I agree the willingness to defend yourself, the understanding, the knowledge the mind-set, all of those things are more important than gear. The tactics that you use, the thinking part of self-defense, but the fact is without the gear you’re in a much more difficult situation. And sometimes if you have the wrong gear you can actually put yourself behind the curve. So folks don’t focus on gear don’t over focus on gear, don’t be obsessed with gear, but don’t ignore it either.

If you appreciated this Friday 15 if you gained some insight about defensive gear and maybe had a chance to re-evaluate how it is that you look at your equipment and what it is you need to think about when it comes to the important aspects of self-defense or personal protection I would like you to connect with me and with Safety Solutions Academy so that you can learn more about making proper choices with your gear.

When you do connect I’m going to go ahead and send you a link to a PDF file that you can download, it contains some resources that I alluded to in today’s episode you can take a look at them in more detail follow some links and learn about resources that can make a real improvement in your personal safety.

Now connecting is very simple all you need to do is take out your cell phone and open up a new text message. You’re going to send a text to the number 33444. So again just start a new text message and text the word Friday 15 to the number 33444. Now Friday 15 is all one word all lower case letters and the numbers 1 5. So text Friday 15 to 33444. And I’m going to send you a link to where you can download a free PDF from today’s episode and resources for all of the other Friday 15 episodes that we have done and that we will do in the future.

I want to say thank you so much for spending some time with me today on the Safety Solutions Academy podcast Friday 15 episode for this week. I’ve got some fabulous news for you in that this is the fourth Friday 15 episode that I have recorded today. That’s right it’ll be the first one that you hear of the new series but it’s the fourth one that’s been done and that means you’ve got three more weeks of Friday 15’s coming and even better news there’s 11 more shows are ready to go in the can.

So you can look forward to 15 weeks in a row and that’ll continue to grow 15 weeks of Friday 15. That’s a lot 15’s there I can’t even do all the math with all those 15’s. Again I appreciate you connecting with Safety Solutions Academy. I appreciate you spending time with me today and putting me inside your ears and listening to what is that I have to say. Folks get on out there, get yourself some training when you do make sure you keep it simple please stay safe and as always have a great day.