Special Investigation - Concealed Carry
In the latest of our Special Investigations, the subject of concealed carry is looked into. Despite being banned to some degree in many countries, those countries where it is allowed are thriving and their citizens are passionate about their rights to ‘carry’.
The practice of concealed carry is the carrying of firearm, typically a handgun, in public in a concealed/hidden manner, either on one’s person or in close vicinity.
Most police or law enforcement officials around the world carry their firearms in a visible holster, while plain clothes officers and detectives are likely to carry in a concealed manner
Civilians are allowed to carry in some countries and jurisdictions, such as the USA and Czech Republic. Mostly civilians are legally required to obtain concealed carry authorisation documents in order to possess a firearm. In others, a permit is only required if the firearm is not visible to the eye, such as carrying said weapon in a purse, bag, boot/trunk of a car and so on
Concealed carry is banned in many countries, or heavily restricted in others. However, there are countries where it is allowed. The most well-known of these countries, and certainly the most publicised, is the US, where most jurisdictions allow the concealed carry of a firearm, usually a handgun. Some countries allow certain members of the country to have a concealed firearm, such as Brazil where politicians, lawyers and journalists are permitted due to the risk that their profession carries in that country.
In Europe, generally, rules are tighter but the Czech Republic is one country where concealed carry is available to its citizens. Gun licenses may be obtained in a way similar to a driving license – by passing a gun proficiency exam, medical examination and having a clean criminal record. Unlike in most other European countries, the Czech gun legislation also permits a citizen to carry a concealed weapon for self-defence – 246,715 out of some 303,936 legal gun owners have an E category license which permits them to carry a concealed firearm.
Country in Focus – USA
In 2018 The National Shooting Sports Foundation gave out the results of one of the most comprehensive studies into the concealed carry market in the USA. Here are the key points from the study…
Results show that male respondents have owned firearms for significantly longer overall than female respondents. Over three‐quarters (77.4 per cent) of men have owned a firearm for over 10 years while only 40.0 per cent of women have owned a firearm for that length of time. A third (34.7 per cent) of women are relatively new to firearms having owned a firearm for five years or less.
On average, participants in this study own 10.9 firearms although the average for men (11.2) is significantly higher than the average owned by women (7.8). A quarter (25.1 per cent) of women own one or two firearms and 21.9 per cent own three or four.
The difference between men and women in terms of the number of firearms owned is likely due to a number of factors but clearly the short length of time a large proportion of women have owned firearms is a factor.
Nearly all respondents (98.1 per cent) own at least one semi-automatic pistol. Long guns, both shotguns (73.1 per cent) and traditional rifles (71.6 per cent), are the second most popular firearms. Revolvers (61.4 per cent) are a distant fourth in ownership. Respondents reported owning a total of 49,087 firearms, a third (33.8 per cent) of which are semi-automatic pistols. After semi-automatic pistols, long guns, both traditional rifles (20.4 per cent) and shotguns (16.9 per cent) are owned in the largest quantities. Revolvers make up only 13.8 per cent of the total firearms owned by respondents.
Nearly half of respondents (47.0 per cent) carry all the time – either when they leave the home or both in and out of the home. Only 6.6 per cent of respondents carry occasionally or rarely in non‐permit states and 9.7 per cent carry never/rarely/occasionally in permit states. Overall, men carry significantly more frequently than women.
Almost half of men (48.0 per cent) indicated they always carry a firearm while a little over a third (37.6 per cent) of women always carry. Significantly more women carry only occasionally or rarely (13.6 per cent) or not at all (6.6 per cent) than men (8.3 per cent).
Significantly more women (85.5 per cent) than men (79.9 per cent) indicated that they felt safer knowing they could defend themselves. More women (24.0 per cent) than men (19.2 per cent) also indicated they wanted their permit in case they decided to carry. Men tended to be more concerned about acting as the first line of defence for both themselves and their family than women.
The 9mm is unquestionably preferred by both men and women although significantly more women (57.8%) prefer a 9mm than men (52.5 per cent). However, going beyond the 9mm, women tend to prefer smaller calibres and men tend to prefer larger calibres. Significantly more women prefer .380 (17.1 per cent) and 38 special (6.6 per cent) as compared to men (7.0 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively). Men, on the other hand, prefer larger calibres like 45 ACP (16.2 per cent) and 40 S&W (13.0 per cent) relative to women (3.3 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively).
Over half (58.5 per cent) of respondents always carry spare ammunition along with their firearm and 19.2 per cent either rarely or never carry spare ammo. Men carry spare ammo significantly more frequently than women. Although half (49.6 per cent) of women say they always carry spare ammo, a quarter (26.6 per cent) rarely or never carry spare ammo. Over half of men (58.8 per cent) indicated they always carry spare ammo while only 18.4 per cent rarely or never carry spare ammo.
Respondents, on average, purchased 1.1 firearms in the past 12 months for carry. Of those who purchased one or more firearms for carry in the past 12 months, respondents spent an average of $902.10 (median = $625). Slightly over half (54.2 per cent) of respondents spent between $300 and $750 on firearms for carry. On average, men ($905.80) and women ($889.50) spent the nearly the same amount.
A little less than half of respondents (45.1 per cent) intend to spend the same amount on firearms for carry in the next 12 months as they did in the past 12 months. More respondents intend to spend less on firearms for carry (30.7 per cent) than intend to spend more (24.4 per cent).
Respondents spent an average of $513.50 (median = $300) on handgun ammunition and/or handgun reloading supplies. On average, women spent significantly more on ammo and reloading supplies ($621.80) than men ($501.40).
By far, the most frequently purchased accessories for carry in the past 12 months were holsters. Two thirds (67.0 per cent) of respondents purchased at least one holster. Magazines (50.0 per cent) and belts (48.1 per cent) were the second most frequently purchased carry accessories. A third of respondents purchased at least one magazine carrier (33.6%) and outer‐layer clothing (30.1 per cent). Only 14.6 per cent of respondents did not purchase any carry equipment or accessories in the past 12 months.
Note: It is important to consider the sample source when drawing conclusions from this report. The majority of the sample for this study came from an organisation whose purpose is to provide training, education and information resources to individuals who are interested in self and home protection and particularly in the use of a firearm for this purpose. This suggests that a disproportionately large percentage of men in this sample are carrying more frequently than would otherwise be observed in the general population.
Concealed carry licence costs vary per state. The 10 states above show an average of $257 in fees, training and processing costs required to receive a concealed carry license. The 17.9 million-plus concealed carry licences nationwide provided an estimated economic impact of more than $4.6 billion.
Number of CCW permits (2018-2019) is approximately 18.0 million.
52.9 percent increase over the estimated 11.7 million in 2014
164.1 per cent over the estimated 6.8 million in 2010.
Products in Focus - CZ
Czech Republic-based CZ are one of the largest manufacturers of concealed carry firearms in the world, so who better to study. Here we look at the company’s EDC pistol – the CZ P-10 Micro.
When the first model of the CZ P-10 series was launched in 2017, CZ talked about a new level of defence and service striker-fired pistols with a polymer frame. And it was not just a marketing slogan.
Civilian shooters as well as customers from the ranks of armed forces soon found out that the P-10s, thanks to their sophisticated and partly completely original design, really brought about significant improvements in some key properties and parameters. It resulted in great commercial success, followed by rapid extending of the offer with other versions. The most recent model in this excellent series is the super-compact CZ P-10 M, or the Micro.
The fact that the market lacked some products is sometimes realised by customers only when they get to touch them. And it is exactly the case of the CZ P-10 series. After a long period of hegemony of an already aged Austrian design and its more or less striking copies it suddenly becomes clear that pistols fitted with a linear, partly pre-cocked striker and a polymer frame can also be made differently. And that it can be a big plus for the user.
Just to be clear: The main features of the P-10s follow the existing proven canon of defence and service pistols. However, they differ in several design nodes and details. But these nodes and details are so important that all CZ P-10 series pistols, compared to the competition, can be controlled much more comfortably and enable much easier precise shooting.
It is primarily thanks to the patented trigger and firing mechanism. The trigger of the CZ P-10 models pleasantly surprises with its nice basic trigger pull around 26 N, smooth movement and, last but not least, a significantly shortened resetting length. And this all while maintaining the maximum safety of the pistol, meaning that the pistol can only be fired when the trigger is completely pulled (once the slide is locked, of course).
Another major improvement involves the ergonomics, which is decisive for how comfortably, quickly and accurately the pistol can be fired. This is a traditional strength of all CZ firearms. However, in the case of the CZ P-10 series CZUB did not leave anything to chance and utilised a new scientific method of Digital Firearm Ergonomic Design. Thanks to this, the grips of all P-10s fit perfectly in the hand of the overwhelming majority of the population. A matter of course is – with an exception of the extraordinarily small super-compact – the possibility of a partial change of the grip with the use of replaceable backstraps. The general shape of all CZ P-10 models enables intuitive and precise aiming. Thanks to the distinct chequering, the quality of grip does not change even after longer shooting or in a situation when the shooter's hands are not dry for various reasons.
Other great pluses of the P-10s include the extraordinarily long service life of the main and minor components as well as the extremely durable surface treatment.
Something for everybody
Since the first introduction of the CZ P-10 series, CZUB declared that its aim is to present a truly comprehensible line of striker-fired defence and service pistols. It’s safe to say that this mission has been accomplished in just three years.
At present, this series includes a full-size model (CZ P-10 F), a compact model (CZ P-10 C), a semi-compact model (CZ P-10 SC), where a standard barrel and slide are fitted on a compact frame, a sub-compact model (CZ P-10 S) and now a super-compact model (CZ P-10 M) as well. The offering is gradually supplemented with versions with the frame in the popular FDE (Flat Dark Earth) colour and with a version marked as OR (Optics Ready), with the slide adapted for easy, and at the same time, robust mounting of a red dot sight.
When somebody is not satisfied with the basic factory design, they can look at CZ’s gradually extending aftermarket offering – for the time being just in the Czech Republic but an expansion to certain other countries is planned – and assemble their dream firearm using the excellent on-line configurator: www.czconfigurator.com.
All models are available in the 9×19 mm calibre, the compact and full-size models are also offered in the 9×21 mm calibre for export to countries in which the legislation forbids civilian users from using a Luger 9mm pistol. It is for the same reason that CZ P-10 C is also produced in the 9 mm Browning short calibre (.380 Auto). A separate category is represented by service versions of the C and F models in the 9mm NATO calibre, which are supplied exclusively to official armed forces.
An attractive feature found on the brand-new CZ P-10 M super-compact is that it offers all key advantages of this series in the form optimized for comfortable everyday concealed carry (so-called EDC), while maintaining constant readiness for immediate and highly efficient use.
This lovely micro-pistol in the powerful 9×19 mm calibre weighs just 575 grams without ammunition. Its total length is 160mm and the barrel length is 85mm, the height with a basic magazine is 112mm. What is especially important for concealed carry is the maximum width – CZUB has managed to get to 25.5 mm – around 1in. Just for comparison, the width of the smallest P-10 available so far, the subcompact marked S, is 32mm.
CZ designers have managed to achieve this small width thanks to a new magazine with the capacity of seven rounds, in which cartridges are arranged in a clever manner, so to speak, in the form usually called one and half column. Although it looks more like a single-column magazine from the point of view of common users. In any case, the designers have successfully managed to balance the width to length ratio in terms of production and design, and all that while ensuring comfortable loading and fault-free function.
The basic CZ P-10 M magazine features a polymer base with chequered front surface for a better hold of the pistol grip. The recesses on the sides of the magazine base facilitate the manual extraction of the magazine. However, your customers can look forward to duralumin magazine bases, which will partially increase the magazine capacity without significantly enlarging the overall dimensions of the firearm.
The new magazine has enabled significant narrowing of the pistol grip. But the Micro, in line with its purpose, is generally very flat, which has been achieved by omitting the outer slide stop finger pieces and by changing the method of stripping.
The first point that was mentioned does not mean that the CZ P-10 M lacks the locked-open position of the slide; although it is not considered necessary for the EDC category pistols, CZ follows the strategy of providing the customers with as many options as possible and leaving it up to them whether to use them or not. Therefore, once the last cartridge is fired from the magazine, the slide is caught in the rear position and the user can release it by pulling the slide backwards.
For disassembling, the spring-biased both-sided finger-piece has been replaced by a classical pin, which can be pushed out using the magazine base. The head of the pin on the right is provided along its circumference with a neck for easier extracting – an excellent idea.
As we have already briefly mentioned, the grip, due to its size (being minute) lacks replaceable backstraps. One cannot expect ergonomic miracles from such a small firearm, but, despite this, CZUB has managed to design a grip that is good to hold and enables quick and accurate shooting.
Another interesting feature is the retained MIL-STD-1913 mounting rail with a transverse notch in the front part of the frame. Again, in the spirit of the CZ strategy, most customers will not make use of it but the choice is theirs.
What else is different on the CZ P-10 M? The basic version offers just the left-side magazine release button (with an aftermarket option of its replacement with a right-side button), a lightweight trigger tab with an integrated safety and the rear face of the slide preventing dirt from entering the firearm mechanism. Despite the noticeable reduction of the firearm dimensions, CZ has managed to maintain 10 grip grooves at the rear of the slide, and just one grip groove had to be removed from the front of the slide. It is an insignificant difference for the user, as the Micro can be reliably cocked by the ordinary grip even with dirty hands.
Testing so far has proven that the new miniaturised P-10 is a firearm very reliable with various types of ammunition, highly safe and surprisingly accurate as well as exceptionally user-friendly. During long-term concealed carrying you will surely appreciate its extremely durable surface treatment.
And, in the long term, you will be pleased by the significantly enhanced service life of the main components, especially if you intend to engage in proper shooting practice more intensely.
In short, the new CZ P-10 M model will become an unmissable player in the EDC category and a highly attractive choice for all who expect more than just the smallest possible size from a super-compact.