The ABC's of Concealed Carry: What do All Those Acronyms Mean?

2 min read

If you're just starting out on your concealed carry journey, you are really in luck—there is so much good information out there about self-defense and carrying concealed!

There's just one downside to that availability of informationit's pretty easy to get overwhelmed with new words, terms, and acronyms that you've probably never seen before.


OMG, what do all those letters mean?

We've put together a handy list of some of the most popular acronyms associated with self-defense and concealed carry. Bookmark this page and feel free to refer back to the list any time you get stumped!

Acronyms for Concealed Carry Permits

These are all plays on the same thing - it seems like just about every state has named their concealed carry license/permit something just a little bit different. 

CHL - Concealed Handgun License

CPL - Concealed Pistol License

CCW - Concealed Carry Weapon (Permit)

CFP - Concealed Firearms Permit

CCP - Concealed Carry Permit

CWP - Concealed Weapons Permit

CPL - Concealed Pistol License

Holster-Related Acronyms

most holster acronyms have something in common - they usually refer to the position or location of the holster on your body.

IWB - Inside-the-Waistband

OWB - Outside-the-Waistband

AIWB - Appendix-Inside-the-Waistband

SOB - Small of Back

MOB - Middle of Back


Shooting-Related Acronyms

These terms aren't limited to the concealed carry world, but you're bound to bump into more than one of these when learning about self-defense.

DAO - Double Action Only

SAO - Single Action Only

FTF - Failure to Feed or Failure to Fire

PCC - Pistol Caliber Carbine (Rifle)

LOS - Line of Sight

COF - Course of Fire

COM - Center of Mass

AD - Accidental Discharge

ND - Negligent Discharge

MOA - Minute of Angle 

FMJ - Full Metal Jacket (Bullet)

JHP - Jacketed Hollow Point (Bullet)

LRN - Lead Round Nose (Bullet)

TMJ - Total Metal Jacket (Bullet)

Law and Justice Acronyms

While these acronyms aren't exclusive to concealed carry, you'll see them a lot in concealed carry and self-defense information.

LE - Law Enforcement

LEO - Law Enforcement Officer

ROL - Rule of Law

AOW - Any Other Weapon

FFL - Federal Firearms Licence

GCA - Gun Control Act (of 1968)

NFA - National Firearms Act (of 1934)

RTKBA - Right to Keep and Bear Arms

2A - Second Amendment

General Concealed Carry and Self-Defense Related Acronyms

EDC - Every Day Carry

BUG - Back Up Gun

CQB - Close Quarters Battle

CQC - Close Quarters Combat

We hope this non-exhaustive list helps you navigate the sea of self-defense and concealed carry related terms. If you run into an acronym that's not on our list and want to know what it means, feel free to contact us so we can help!

Also in Carrying a Gun: Making the Decision

Concealed Carry for Women: Where Should You Start?
Concealed Carry for Women: Where Should You Start?

5 min read

If you're thinking about carrying a gun for self-defense, there are several things you need to consider before you start. We recommend the following steps if you want to start carrying concealed.
Read More
Tips for Carrying Concealed During the Summer
Tips for Carrying Concealed During the Summer

3 min read

Summer is here, which means carrying concealed becomes more challenging. Here are some adjustments you can make to stay more comfortable while carrying.

Read More
Top Tips For Concealed Carry Beginners
Top Tips For Concealed Carry Beginners

3 min read

Concealed carry isn't something you can pick up and do without making any adjustments. Here are some tips on how to get comfortable carrying.
Read More