Another Topic, Discuss: Concealed Carry Compromises

A few readers commented on the new Concealed Carry graphic I’m using. I try to use graphics because apparently it makes your site more appealing, even though most sites that use them either have expensive stock photo accounts, or flagrantly violate other people’s copyrights. I don’t like to do either. No copyright issue with this one, because it’s me, taken about 14 years ago not long after I purchased a Glock 19 and a halfway decent holster. I was also an early adopter of Smart Phones, and at the time used a Palm Treo 270.

I’ve done a lot of dumb things over the years carry wise. The first time I ever carried in public, sometime around August of 2002, I was carrying a Bersa Thunder 380 in an Uncle Mike’s sausage sack. That’s what I had. I got the Glock I carry today a few months later, and then started experimenting with better holsters.

But one thing I did, really up until the iPhone 6 behemoth, is carry my cell phone at 2:00 and pistol at 4:00 strong side. Since the iPhone 6, I found a pair of pants and a jacket that has a cell phone pocket, and I use that. The iPhone 6 is too large to comfortably wear on a belt clip.

Concealed Carry

My placement of the cell phone relative to the firearm would horrify a lot of instructors, but I’m a firm believer that everything with carry is a compromise. If I had to follow best carry practices all the time, I wouldn’t bother with it, and I’m pretty sure most other people would not either. I’ll make tradeoffs provided those tradeoffs aren’t dangerous.

I’m willing to be convinced carrying a cell phone on a belt clip strong side near a gun is a bad idea, especially now that the phones are huge and I have other options. What does the Internets collectively think? Discuss.

30 thoughts on “Another Topic, Discuss: Concealed Carry Compromises”

  1. I’d think the muscle memory for drawing each is different enough. The counter-example is the cops who draw their duty pistols when they mean to draw their tasers, but those seem to me to be a lot closer in drawstrokes.

    Since I moved to a smartwatch and BT headset, I don’t have to fish the phone out to interact with it (particularly to check notifications and to originate/answer calls), so I can leave it less accessible.

  2. Carrying a phone like that may or may not be a bad idea from a CCW point of view, but it’s definately a fashion faux pas.

      1. No, they were a fashion faux pas then too. It’s just that the typical social circle of someone who had a treo in 2002 doesn’t care. (I carried a Treo 650 on a similar belt clip in 2005, and I looked like a dork too.)

  3. Well, why would do you want the phone strongside anyway? The left hand is perfectly capable of phone operations (answering calls, simple texts, making the device shut up). Further, the left is generally preferable for the phone, since it leaves your right hand free to shift the truck, run a bike’s throttle, hold onto whatever your carrying, operate the hydraulics of the tractor, run the computer mouse, whatever. Given that most of the world is built for right handed people, one handed tasks largely engage only the right hand. As the phone isn’t disadvantaged by being positioned to the left, why not put it there, where there is open space to use?
    All that said, I don’t see any danger to carrying the phone and gun alongside each other. It’s a bad place for the phone; the gun isn’t a factor, unless the phone is being used to obscure the gun.

    1. Previous discussion notes the left side is not empty (knife and flashlight). I personally carry both of those strongside myself, but I wouldn’t carry my phone on the weakside either, because it’d suck to drop it, and I’d have to transfer to strong hand to operate it anyway.
      (As I said earlier, I don’t carry my phone on my belt anyway, and haven’t for years)

      1. As to dropping the phone, that’s one of the reasons mine is weakside. Less stuff to knock it against, thereby, less risk of smashing it or losing it. Knife on the left is a notable factor, I hadn’t caught that.

        1. If your belt gear is rubbing up enough against your phone that it’s in danger of being damaged thereby…
          Or do you mean you tend to run into things with your strong side? In either situation, proper gear handles those issues.

          1. Running into things with my strong side. I meant like catching doorways and countertops, snagging on seatbelts or fences, in reference to losing the phone. As far as the damage goes, maybe that’s a personal thing, but when there is risk of impact, such as throwing my shoulder against a stuck door, livestock rushing past, or just tripping and falling, I lead overwhelmingly with my right. Until they build the phone or the case out of steel, the best bet is to keep it out of the way.

            1. Once I started wearing the iPhone 6 on a belt clip, I started clipping shit with it all the time. It’s just too big. That’s one reason I looked for other solutions for carrying it.

              1. And that’s one of the reasons I’m typing this from a galaxy s4 mini. Ive stayed with a smaller phone to keep it easier to tote.

    2. I’m pretty ambidextrous with most of those simple tasks. I do some things left handed. I bowl left handed. I shoot pool left handed. Hell, I’d probably shoot rifle left handed if there weren’t serious disadvantages to that. But cell phone I’m pretty strongly right handed. Same with writing.

      1. It sounds like your a lot better with your left than I am with mine. But my point was, that for many tasks, you have to use your right. The gearshift will always be over there, for example. The phone is free to move, it might take some effort to build the skill set, but it can. Much of the world cannot.

  4. Now I know for sure it is a slow news day.
    My pet peeve starts a thread?

    My EDC set up.

    4:00 OWB P320 Carry with 13 round magazine-14 total. 357Sig.
    Front right pocket clip knife. Topper/Buck
    Front left pocket, money clip.
    9:00 position is my IPhone 6 in a clipped holder.
    9.30 Single Mag carrier with 14 round full size 357Sig magazine. Sits higher than cell case, and able to slip right to it.

    All that being said, and understanding that the exact positions might be off a little depending on the belt loop placement on pants. (And I occasionally do not carry spare mag.)

    OK, why I carry my cell phone on the left?
    Now understand that I have now been carrying a firearm coming up on 40 years. When I started carrying a cell it was a work Blackberry and I believe it was in 1996-97. 20 years ago. I switched to a Motorola flip, then carried 2 for a while.
    I have always been taught, and I now teach, to be the first one to call 911 (The Police)in any firearm use. If you show it, and it ends the conflict, if you draw it and it ends the conflict or GOD forbid you may have to shoot at/or hit someone. You should call 911 and report it fast. How do you grab your phone with your firearm in your hand? Do you go to weak hand carry while you reach down and grab the phone? Maybe you do. I don’t like you doing it. Most people don’t train weak hand near enough. I am very weak at weak hand, so I switched to learning to grab and dial my cell with the left hand(My weak one), while possibly concealing myself, covering, holding an individual or possibly returning fire from cover.

    I will not list any detailed scenarios but start with all the ones you may draw the firearm to possibly detain a bad guy. You have him on his belly, palms up, legs crossed and he is obeying your commands, you switching hands? Maybe. Make up your own scenerio, I have a bunch based on police reports.
    Secondly, if bad guys run in twos and 3s, are you backing up to a wall and scanning for additional threats and possible escape lanes? Using the firearm in your weak hand? Not me.

    YOU do what you want, and train to your muscle memory, all I can do is offer some reasons to rethink your choices.

    1. Just to be clear, I wasn’t picking on you. I thought the topic would provoke some conversation, which is always a good thing.

    2. Case in point, I just tried to see if I could get to my cell phone weak handed. I can, but it would really help if I lost 30 pounds.

          1. I’m not terribly displeased by mine, save for the battery life. And that’s a common complaint.

  5. From what I’ve read most armed confrontations are over in a few minutes, damned if I’ll waste any time I need to be focused on saving my life dialing a phone!

    That said I would be calling the cops as soon as possible, but saving mine or someone else’s hide comes first.
    I normally carry gun at 3-4 o’clock strong side. Taclight is clipped to a belt loop of my pants around the 11 o’clock area and a double mag holder at 9 o’clock.
    I like painters or cargo type pants and keep the cell in the leg pocket, preferably left side since I am a 2 handed phone user, holding it in the left and dialing or typing with the right hand. Thumbs too short and fat for thumb dailing or typing!
    Also usually carry a lighter, small Swiss army knife, folding knife, or 2 or 3 and keys,nail clippers, p38, comb in assorted pockets. So a leg pocket or cargo pocket for just the phone works out well. I’ve never scratched up or broke a screen yet, and I always made sure the screen faces my leg.

  6. Ever since I started carrying, I retrained myself to carry a phone on my weak side. Always. After awhile it became normal. When I am carrying a pistol, (not nearly as often as the phone) it is strong side. After awhile I reach for the phone weak hand as a reflex. Seemed like a good idea. Can’t find a reason to change this. YMMV

  7. I’ve always carried a phone weak side, if for no other reason than the Riggs and carhartts I wear around the farm have carpenter pockets halfway down the left thigh. They fit smaller phones, like the apple SE, perfectly. Over all these years I’m now unconsciously trained not to hit that side and crack a $150 glass! It’s also easy to grab when needed.

    I wouldn’t have thought about holding a gun in the right and calling with the left, that’s a great point!

    1. Always put the phone in the pocket with the glass against your leg, you may get a few dings in the back panel (i have) but never cracked or even scratched glass. The thigh is fairly flat and soft afterall!

      1. This, too. Every time I see someone stow a phone screen-out, I cringe; worse than when I see bad gun handling, and I see the bad phone handling more often.

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