R. Ann Parris on Consistency Is Key


Having a consistent carry position and carry of reloads is critical to developing positive muscle memory that shaves precious heartbeats and seconds off our response times.
That’s a nigh-on universal nugget.
It’s true. Anything you can repeat and the more repetitions you go through, the faster you can get.
It’s just not always practical.
My daily attire changes drastically, as do my tasks as I move through the day. One carry is neither equally great nor even “good enough” for a lifestyle that flips between seated and standing semi-professional work, domestic goddess chores, hanging with family in chairs, driving a passenger vehicle, being a passenger in a vehicle, and the numerous impediments to parts of my body from yard maintenance, planting and maintain and especially harvesting produce, and hunting or backpacking.
If your life leads to just a couple of positions, wearing typically the same things in the same ways across the board, there is an “average” that works as your most-common and primary carry, and it may very well be one of the waist carries that gets the majority of attention in civilian sports and practice and military-police training.
If not…
Start with your most common body position(s) and surroundings where a gun is most likely and needed fastest. That last part is super-duper important. When I am most vulnerable and face the highest risk factors is the time-place-situation I need to work on first.
(Psst…That may not be your 8/5 day job.)

Develop a single best-fit trend line that covers most of your most common situations for a carry style and location. Many can best-fit a carry designed for standing and semi mobile deployment that also works for 90-90-90 chair comfort. That covers a lot of people.

At the same time, develop AWARENESS of the impediments to your carry choice.
One, this is going to inform any twitches to your carry that you make in the future, whether it’s comfort based (comfort and convenience lead to actually carrying, versus setting your carry in a bag/drawer/console and not having it when you do need it). Two, being aware, you game plan “if-then” scenarios for overcoming these impediments.
(Psst… Remember to keep the “Bigtime Factors” in mind while you work through it.)

Once you’re comfortable with it, really and truly, and have determined that that is your most-trending best-fit compromise carry, then start complicating life with alternates.

Long-hours as driver/passenger or with young children/leashes may tweak your most-efficient carry compared to somebody else’s, clothing and physical limitations will affect it, but “it” – a singular go-to carry – is out there for a significant portion of the population.
Others are going to have to work by proportions of their lives.
Even a 75% rule or a 50% rule isn’t really going to work for them, and the most-common waist and thigh carries just aren’t actually going to work due to their daily life and bigtime factors.
Set a random timer to go off for assessing the feasibility of carry options and then train to be aware of the carry itself, of where we’re currently carrying. We have to.
Because we can’t actually get to a consistent single primary plus-minus backup carry, and thus may have 3-5 common carries, we have cost ourselves precious, precious automatic non-brain response time once we’ve decided that a situation merits presentation. We must to streamline deployment and train out the habitual easy standing draw we manage smoothly at the range or classes.

Consistency really is key to quality results. It can be worked around, but it takes actual work.
When we’re talking about defensive carries, we’re typically talking about life and limb being on the line. It’s worth putting in the effort to make sure the “everybody” waist carry really is ideal for us, for our most vulnerable periods and for our specific lives with kids and power tools on our hips, and to make sure we develop the awareness to get our hands on our go-to tool without doing the Macarena first if we don’t wear and carry consistently.