How to Carry Your Handgun Safely

Leslye Leslie // May 12

I love the feeling of mountain air on my face, trying my hardest to get away from crowds. However, I always do battle to stay safe and carry my handgun when I am out in nature. In Utah, we have a large and steadily growing number of mountain lions, bears, and coyotes. What concerns me, even more, are people with bad intentions.

How to Carry Your Handgun Safely

I truly enjoy hiking and exploring deep into a canyon or following a difficult trail, but I only feel comfortable when I carry my pistol.  I despise wearing a belt, so I have to get creative with ways to wear my sidearm.

Here's how to carry your handgun (safely):

Read More: Firearms for Beginners: How to Purchase a Handgun
  1. One of my favorite ways to carry when hunting or hiking is with a chest holster from StealthGear USA. It adjusts to me perfectly and never shifts around. The retention on the holster is spot on. I can even change which shoulder I want the strap to cross over without any loss of comfort or security.
  2. When I hunt and have my pack on, then I usually use the Eberlestock Hatchet holster to drop the grip of my pistol slightly so that I have a free arm swing. I use a standard Kydex holster from BladeTech to screw onto the Eberlestock Hatchet holster drop, and off I go.
  3. If I am crazy enough to wear a belt, then I like to carry the Alaska Guide Creations holster on my belt. It will attach to my bino harness as well if I wish, but I prefer them to be separate most of the time.
How to Carry Your Handgun Safely

Carrying my pistol is like my security blanket. I recall a moment when I was hiking well before dark, and I was by myself.  I heard the eeriest chuff from just to my left and I nearly froze! I had my hand on the grip of my gun that was attached to the molle webbing of my pack around my waist. I softly kept walking but steadily got out of there! I truly do not think that I would have kept going if I did not have my pistol.

If you're looking for more ways to carry, check out this YouTube video!

Training is the most important piece of carrying a handgun. But, being able to wear it comfortably and safely is supremely pivotal. You must make sure that the carry is stable, retention is good but can be drawn when needed, and that you can reach it in a pinch.

Answers to your commonly asked questions about carrying a handgun safely:

Where is the safest place to carry a pistol?

The safest place to carry a pistol is in a securely designed holster that properly covers the trigger guard and provides retention. This ensures that the firearm is not easily accessible to unauthorized individuals and minimizes the risk of accidental discharge.

Does carrying a pistol make you safer?

Carrying a pistol can potentially enhance personal safety, but it does not guarantee absolute safety. It is important to remember that responsible firearm ownership includes proper training, knowledge of applicable laws, and a commitment to practicing safe handling and storage.

Should you keep your gun loaded when carrying?

Whether to keep a gun loaded while carrying depends on individual preferences and circumstances. It is crucial to follow local laws and regulations regarding carrying firearms. Additionally, one must consider the level of training, experience, and comfort with carrying a loaded firearm, as well as the potential risks and responsibilities associated with it.

Where is the best place to carry your pistol?

The best place to carry a pistol is subjective and may vary based on personal preference, body type, and the level of comfort and accessibility desired. Common carry options include hip (strong side or appendix), inside-the-waistband (IWB), shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, or chest holsters. It is essential to choose a method that provides secure retention, ease of draw, and proper concealment, while conforming to local laws and regulations.

How do you carry your handgun?

Read More: Gun Safety:: What You MUST Know Before Handling Any Gun

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About the Author

Leslye Leslie

Leslye has always been a Southern woman, but learned to love shooting, hunting, and fishing after a cancer diagnosis. She now loves both rifle and archery hunting for big game, waterfowl and pheasant hunting, and fishing the amazing waters of Utah with her husband and two daughters. Leslye is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist with the University of Utah hospitals. She enjoys shooting competitions with her custom CK Arms pistol, and teaching others how to shoot makes her happy! Leslye is a Krytpek Ladies Legion member as well. She loves camping, backpacking, hiking, trail running, and the barbell rack at the gym is her favorite bar. She has taken her passion for hunting to a new level in 2019 by becoming a Hunters Education Instructor with the Department of Wildlife Resources for the State of Utah.