Concealed Carry.

By on October 6, 2014

Understanding Concealed Carry Loadouts and Equipping

for Any Threat Condition

by DIYSL July 8, 2014
Jeff Gonzales EDC

Do you have a default gear list of items you always carry? Is there a benefit for changing up your daily concealed carry equipment selection?

What’s Under the Hood?

If you ask people why they carry a certain loadout, a lot of times you get a shoulder shrug and/or a “because.” There doesn’t appear to be a lot of thought that goes into the why “this” or “that” and on the flip side, why NOT “this” or “that.” My point is that we all need to weigh our perceived threat(s) and balance that perception with the loadout of your choosing. If we were to truthfully tackle this subject, I think we can all agree that if we really thought we were going into harm’s way we would:

  1. Not go.
  2. Grab a rifle and…
  3. Grab some friends with their rifles.

So, this perceived threat we envision is largely based off being able to handle a lethal encounter with a pistol only. Just the other day I penned an article where I talked about your Qualify of Life as someone who carries concealed for personal protection. It had some great insight into balancing your life with the need to carry concealed, but it did leave a few gaps in the “how” or “why” you’re carrying your standard loadout . Let’s try to tackle the why.

Threat Conditions

The first thing we need to do is define the perceived threat condition. Is it high, medium or low? High means that you face a high probability of loss of life, limb or eyesight. An example of this might be verifiable threats against your life or injury. Whether it’s a personal encounter, a threat over the phone or one on the Internet, you have something tangible that gives you a reason to be concerned.

A medium threat might have more to do with the location or time such as heading into the infamous “bad part” of town, or it’s extremely late at night. It can even be a combination of the two. While there’s no directed threat against you, the location and or time increase it to a medium level.

At the bottom of the scale is a low threat, basically the whole reason why you’re carrying in the first place. It’s for that off chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This isn’t an all inclusive list, but it should get the juices flowing and I encourage you to consider your own definitions of high, medium and low threats.

The Kitchen Sink

Next is the armament loadout and I break these down into light, standard and heavy. This provides me with some flexibility within the perceived threat condition. In other words, you have three different levels of armament within each threat condition. So, if I’m in a medium threat condition but I want to go heavy, it might mean I bring a spare weapon as a backup, maybe on my weak side hip.

My loadout starts with a low threat and light armament. This means a subcompact firearm with a magazine capacity of 10 rounds or more, a small tactical flashlight and a folding knife. From here, I might move up to a compact firearm with higher magazine capacity at the standard level and then carry a spare magazine at the heavy end.

Jeff Gonzales Concealed Carry

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Syndrome

There’s also the level of concealment that needs to be addressed. Typically when you have a heavy loadout, it’s difficult to truly be concealed, so don’t forget that while you may obscure the presence of your choices, they’re not really obscured. Kind of like the physical application of cover versus concealment.

Threat Matrix

If you take a closer look, this theory has a total of 9 squares, which makes up our Threat Matrix. I would encourage you to sit down with a piece of paper and draw out 3 columns and then 3 rows. Label one Threat Conditions and the other The Armament. Then fill it in with your available loadout. It may be nothing more than a paper drill and you wind up deciding to eliminate several squares, but the point is that you have put some thought into the concept.

Threat Matrix

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit for more information.

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