Here’s an uncomfortable fact: a lot of gun stores are pretty terrible. The problem is that most gun stores are started up by gun people, not business people, which means that things like “customer service” frequently aren’t a priority. There are exceptions to this rule, and whenever I find them I make sure to patronize them. However, that’s not what we’re talking about today, because we live in the future. You see, you can actually buy a complete CCW set-up (except for the gun) off Amazon. So here’s how to do just that.
There are plenty of styles out there as well, so long as you carry a relatively common gun. If you’re rocking an M&P, a Glock, or a 1911 then you’re in luck. Safariland probably has a holster on Amazon for it. The model 27 is just about as generic an IWB holster as you can get, but it’s a much better choice than those awful nylon pieces of garbage. The ALS OWB holster is an absolute must-have if you plan on OC at any point. It’s a proven retention system that has saved people’s lives, and doesn’t really sacrifice a ton of speed. It’s also popular with 3-gun shooters because it offers excellent handgun retention during movement.
A lot of time belts get overlooked as a piece of carry gear. People often will throw their gun and holster on to whatever crappy wal-mart belt they have, and the results are predictably terrible. Above I have two solid options for carry, one is a Blackhawk rigger’s/instructor belt, which I have several examples of and have used extensively. It’s a good choice if you’re not concerned about looking “tactical,” as it supports all sorts of guns very well. The Galco option is what I’d recommend if you need to actually look like a grownup – assume you’re going to be seen with your shirt tucked in and don’t want people to think you’re some kind of a tactical hobo.
3. Ear protection
If you don’t need electronic ears and will primarily be shooting outdoors, get the Peltor Shotgunners. They’re great earpro, I have a pair that I’ve used for years.
The shotgunners will work on an indoor range as well, but I’d strongly recommend doubling up and using some foam plugs under the shotgunners to really make sure your ears are protected.
4. Eye protection
You’ll need two kinds of eye protection. I have sunglasses for outdoor, and clears for indoor/cloudy days of outdoor shooting. Here I’m just going to post what I use because it’s easy.
Boom. Get your eyepro.
Now you’ve got your holster, your belt, earpro and eyepro for the range. There are a lot of pieces of ancillary gear we could get into here as well like magazine pouches, range bags, we could have a really long discussion about which kind of eye protection is best. The goal of these buyer’s guides is to give new shooters/CCW permit holders/competition shooters the ability to “one stop shop” for the basics that they need to get started.