Her Concealed Carry Journey, Part 1

By Michelle Cerino
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Her Concealed Carry Journey, Part 1

April 25th, 2020

4 minute read

This is the first part of a series on obtaining a concealed carry license (CCL) in the state of Ohio. During the next few weeks, we’ll follow 24-year-old Elizabeth Buerling on her journey of becoming a concealed carry license holder.

Elizabeth is a serious competitive shooter that loves firearms and the shooting sports. Image: Rick Delagrange

Meet Elizabeth Buerling

In the 7th grade, Elizabeth began competing in the Pentathlon, an athletic event comprised of swimming, running, fencing, riding horses and shooting air pistols. Since her weakest event was shooting, she began working with a coach and actually began enjoying the sport. In 2008, she liked the sport so much she even started competing in small matches at her local range.

Elizabeth went on to attend The Ohio State University with a shooting scholarship, graduating in the fall 2017. As a student, she competed in International Pistol with both air and rimfire on Ohio State’s pistol team. She also competed in Bullseye pistol events at Camp Perry for many years.

She really knew her way around a handgun, but wanted to get into CCW. Image: Rick Delagrange

Throughout her shooting career, Elizabeth earned quite a list of accomplishments. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 she won High Female Junior at the Bullseye Nationals. From 2010 through 2014, her team won High Jr Team for rimfire, .45 caliber Center Fire, and 3 Gun Aggregate. She placed 3rd in the 2010 Junior Olympics and in 2012, she actually competed in the Olympic Trials. While shooting for Ohio State’s Pistol Team, they won the Collegiate National Championships consecutively in 2014, 2015, 2016. In 2017, the women’s team won.

Elizabeth is shown here on the far left. Image: Rick Delagrange

Concealed Carry Concerns

Seeing that Elizabeth has such an accomplished background in the shooting sports, you might question what more she could possibly need to know to obtain her concealed carry license. Well, here’s the issue: all of her competitions consisted of one-handed shooting. Now she needs to learn how to shoot with two hands, work a holster and draw from concealment.

When I asked Elizabeth what her biggest concern was regarding learning to shoot defensively, she replied, “I’ve always been a bullseye competition shooter and that’s very different from defensive shooting. When I compete, I shoot one-handed, single shot, in a bullseye stance with an eye occluder on my glasses. Plus, my pistols have super light triggers. During competitions, it’s me, my pistol and the target. Defensive shooting is so different. I need to learn to shoot with two hands, multiple shots and not be concerned about my stance. Also, I’ve never drawn from the holster. That’s going to take a lot of practice.

“Then there’s the law aspect of concealed carry. I want to make sure I really understand all the laws. Like how, when and where I can legally carry. Plus, how I should store my handgun, what ammunition I should use and how I want to carry.”

Elizabeth is shown here, second from the left.

Pistol Training Plan

Elizabeth wants to become familiar with two-handed shooting and drawing from the holster before she takes the class for her CCL. Although she plans on carrying the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 in 9mm, to make learning easier, she is going to use a full-size pistol, the XD Mod.2 4″ in 9mm. A full-size high capacity gun with three magazines, opposed to a compact, low capacity gun, is much easier to train with, especially for long days at the range.

The XD-S Mod.2 in 9mm will be Elizabeth’s primary carry gun.

As for the training schedule, we plan on beginning with the fundamentals and gear manipulation using dry fire. From there, we will head to the range for live fire. Once Elizabeth is comfortable shooting and using her gear, she’ll attend CCW Class. Then it’s on to deciding how she wants to carry concealed.

Elizabeth selected a 4″ XD Mod.2 in 9mm for long days of training.

Check back next week when Elizabeth learns more about her pistol, two-handed shooting and drawing from a holster.

Read part two of the series here, part three of the series here, and part four of the series here.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Michelle Cerino and shared with us by Women’s Outdoor News. Also, be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Michelle Cerino

Michelle Cerino

Michelle Cerino is the managing editor at Women’s Outdoor News and author of Gear Up, sponsored by Springfield Armory and Princess Gunslinger. She also freelances for other industry magazines including Combat Handguns, Person Defense World and New Pioneer Magazine. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. They instruct both civilians and law enforcement. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. Michelle is a proud Life Member of the NRA, and also belongs to NSSF, AG&AG and ILEETA.

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