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The Concealed Handgun Manual

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The Concealed Handgun Manual:
How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self Defense.

The Sixth Edition of The Concealed Handgun Manual contains more than 500 pages and is packed with advice and information for anyone who carries a concealed handgun for protection or is thinking of doing so. The book includes many actual incidents of ordinary citizens using handguns to defend themselves against criminal threat or attack.

  • Find out why Joe Zamudio in Tucson and Jeanne Assam in Colorado Springs ran to the sound of gunfire.
  • How did grandmother Sylvia Hall and Old Betsy foil an attempted home invasion?
  • Ralph Williams knew what to expect after he shot an attacker because he had read an earlier edition of The Concealed Handgun Manual.

You will learn:

  • Methods of carrying a handgun and how to draw it from concealment.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of laser sights.
  • How to avoid trouble and stay safe.
  • The legal, physical, and psychological effects of dropping the hammer on another human being.

The reciprocity information in the last chapter has been completely revised and updated. Read about changes in state concealed-carry laws, including how you now don’t need a license to carry concealed in Arizona or, if you are a resident, in Wyoming.  

Chapter Contents

  1. Mass Shootings: In Search of Answers.
  2. Victims or Survivors: Fighting Back Against Criminals and Terrorists.
  3. Why Carry a Gun? The Police Can’t Protect You.
  4. Staying Out of Trouble: Non-Violent Dispute Resolution.
  5. Choosing A Handgun: Semi-automatics and Revolvers.
  6. How To Carry: Holsters and Other Accessories.
  7. Avoiding Accidents: Safety and Handling.
  8. Basic Handgun Shooting: Watch the Front Sight.
  9. Advanced Shooting: Shooting on the Move and Stoppage Drills.
  10. Winning a Gunfight: Mind-Set and Tactics.
  11. Deadly Force: When to Use It and What Happens When You Do.
  12. Practice: Your Life Depends On It.
  13. State Concealed-Handgun Carry Laws.

Publishing Information

Title: The Concealed Handgun Manual, Sixth Edition
Author: Chris Bird
ISBN: 978-0-9656784-8-3
Pages: 563
Photographs: 194 B&W
Binding: Paperback, perfect bound, 5½ X 8½
Retail Price: $24.95

Reviews and Kudos for Previous Editions of The Concealed Handgun Manual

“The Concealed Handgun Manual is a ‘must read’ for every serious defensive shooter. Chris Bird's recommendations are firmly grounded in reality, unlike so much of what masquerades as good advice on this subject. Each new edition contains even more timely, useful information. I regularly distribute the Manual to my own defensive shooting students.” – Emanuel Kapelsohn, law enforcement firearms instructor, author, attorney and expert witness in firearms cases.

“I’m impressed with the ‘street reality’ of this book. Chris Bird goes beyond the usual hardware and into the critical software: the ethics, the morality, the emotional and psychological elements of preparation, survival, and aftermath in a way that gives his book the third dimension of depth. I would recommend The Concealed Handgun Manual for the library of anyone who goes armed in public.” – Massad Ayoob, author and Director of Lethal Force Institute.

“Chris Bird’s work on concealed carry comes at an appropriate time on this important issue. The book is well written, illustrated, and very informative.” – Clint Smith, director, Thunder Ranch shooting school.

“An excellent guide to responsible, safe, and lawful exercise of the right to bear arms. Useful for persons who carry licensed firearms for protection, and for persons who want a better understanding of this controversial, important subject.” – Dave Kopel, author and research director, Independence Institute.

“Mr. Bird has relied on his own years of experience and extensive research to compile an intelligent and well laid-out work. Detailed case studies have been used to validate theories and techniques. Not only does the book cover firearms and their safe and tactical use, The Concealed Handgun Manual also offers some interesting and poignant commentary on current societal views. Recommended reading material.” – Louis Awerbuck, president, Yavapai Firearms Academy.

“Through Chris Bird’s significant journalistic talents, the reader ‘meets’ numerous gun owners, and learns why they carry a defensive firearm. A good number of Bird’s anecdotes concern women and how they came to carry a gun. Expect stories about female stalking survivors, women who used cunning and courage to emerge unscathed from home burglaries, survivors of infamous shoot-outs and more.” – Gila Hayes, staff instructor of The Firearms Academy of Seattle and author of Effective Defense, in Women & Guns.

“After reading The Concealed Handgun Manual by Chris Bird, it is apparent that a book has finally been written that teaches the proper techniques needed to safely carry a handgun concealed. The techniques used and applied are both life-saving and practical. Survival is what this manual is about, and for that reason I personally recommend it to everyone who carries a concealed handgun, both civilian and law enforcement. . . . survival is our number one objective, and I believe that Chris Bird’s number one objective is the same.” – Jerry D. Lane, law-enforcement firearms instructor.

“Outstanding! What I like is the anecdotes. It’s a really good book for someone who is not sure if they want to carry. It definitely fills a need.” – Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner and former state senator who sponsored the Texas Concealed Handgun Law.

“One thing that jumped out at me as I was reading The Concealed Handgun Manual was the ‘easy-to-read’ text layout and the fantastic use of pictures. The photos in this book are top notch. It is imperative to have explanatory photographs in a handgun manual. The quality and quantity of the images used in this book really put it into its own category of professionalism. In addition to these great pictures, the author writes in a very appealing easy-to-read style.” – Timothy J. Schmidt in Concealed Carry Magazine.

“The Concealed Handgun Manual is a truly universal manual, covering virtually every conceivable aspect of carrying and using a concealed handgun.” – Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association.

“The book explores all aspects and ramifications of carrying a concealed firearm. In addition to shooting instruction and guidance as to when it would be necessary to fire a gun in self-defense, the book also recounts many real-life events. This is an extremely useful guide for those who want to learn more about the world of concealed carry.” – Michael O. Humphries in the American Rifleman.

“The chapter that I find the most interesting is Chapter Nine, entitled Advanced Shooting: Back Up and Move to Cover. Even experienced instructors can learn something from this chapter.” – John Krull in Gun Week.

“This book has made me re-evaluate my life and more importantly, my expectations of myself and the police. I do have the power to avert an attack either subtly or with direct action on my part. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the personal accounts throughout the book from real people who I can identify with.” – Toni Winchester – Colorado Shooting.

“The fourth edition adds two-hundred pages to the original book. Given the quality of the original the question is what could be added? The answer is, a great deal. The author has not simply fleshed out his basic work; he has provided layers of illustrative detail to owning, carrying, and using firearms for self-defense. The author has conducted an impressive amount of research to gather incidents with illustrate the many aspects of carrying and using firearms in self-defense.” – K.L. Jamison on the website of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance.

"A must for those looking to carry a concealed handgun." - The Second Amendment Foundation Reporter.

"Carrying a deadly weapon is too serious a matter to go unstudied. Chris Bird's work serves as a fine textbook for those who have made, or are considering making, that commitment." - Will Cox in Gun Week.

"Sound advice, clear explanations, and proven techniques. He (Bird) delves into what goes on in your head and what happens to your body when faced with a deadly threat. These are all things you need to know to cope with the emotions that overwhelm you in such a situation. He also shows what can go wrong and how the consequences may not be what you expect. If you wear a gun, this is a book you can't afford not to read." - Bill Clede in the NRA's American Guardian magazine.

"Chris Bird's The Concealed Handgun Manual is easy to read and understand. It would make a very valuable gift for someone new to carrying and shooting handguns for self-defense. But, it goes far beyond that level. It contains much useful information for those of us who may have heard it all before but need to hear it again! Each chapter contains real-life accounts of gunfights, often by the persons involved. The reports of the Luby's horror-story, and Gordon Hale's episode which became Texas' 'first use' incident are worth the price of the book!" - Craig Palmer, president of the Kentucky Firearms Foundation, Inc.

"Stay out of trouble when you can , but stay in practice for when you can't: that is the theme on which San Antonio journalist Chris Bird constructed one of the most practical books around on choosing, carrying, and shooting a gun in self defense." - Donna Fielder, Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle.

"Bird begins with the very pertinent question, 'Why carry a gun?' He goes on to answer the question with, 'Because the police can't protect you.' To illustrate his answer, he discusses many of the well-known instances of violence against citizens left helpless both by the inability of police agencies to provide protection and by laws which prohibit self-protection. He also talks about lesser-known incidents from his own experience and throws in a bit about the history and political debate surrounding gun control and the right to keep and bear arms." - Dave Thomas, editor Front Sight, official journal of the U.S. Practical Shooting Association.

"Provides useful information on how to keep fender benders for escalating into homicidal nastiness (and helps to put you onto firmer legal ground if they do). . . . Far from being 'psychobabble,' this chapter is an honest look at the psychological dynamics of conflicts and how to deal with them, and covers some of the warning signs of an impending attack." - Charles M.B. Smith, The Sharpshooter, newsletter of the Oklahoma Rifle Association.

"OK, you know everything about handguns, however, this book may just be what your spouse wanted to know about concealed handgun carrying without you instructing them. It is the basics to advanced reading. The first step before going to take the handgun carrying permit class. An easy way to learn the fundamentals at your own pace and in the comfort of your home." - Tennessee Shooting Sports Association newsletter.

"The Concealed Handgun Manual fills a definite niche. . . a comprehensive guidebook that the student could refer to after the (handgun) course has ended. . . . Packed with easy to read text and numerous photographs it covers everything from choosing the firearm and ammunition, firearm safety to basic handgun shooting procedures. Other topics covered are: how to carry, advanced shooting, mind set and tactics, and deadly force." - Irv Benzion, editor Gun News, journal of Washington Arms Collectors.

"There are may thought provoking ideas for the license holder, especially in the legal aspects. The book emphasizes three things that every permit holder needs to remember. Using your weapon is always the last resort, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because if you have to fire your troubles have just begun. Of course balance that thought with the fact that you have to be alive to have problems. Second it's not the gun that wins the fight, it's the person. Just because you are carrying, don't forget to think. Finally, practice because when all else fails your skill may be the only advantage you have." - Newsline, newsletter of the Arkansas Rifle & Pistol Association.

"I would recommend your book to anyone applying for a concealed carry permit. It would also make an excellent text book for those teaching a concealed carry class. It presents the material necessary to understand the rights and responsibilities of concealed carry; along with very helpful information for choosing the proper equipment, all in a very readable and interesting form." - Rep. Roy L. Brun, an author of the Louisiana Concealed Handgun Carry Law.

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