Main Gear: Your Gun
Gear dominates most of the articles written in the “gun world” more than anything. The most discussed gear? Guns. It makes sense as the other aspects of gear are supporting or supplementing the guns we carry.
In the modern age, gun magazine articles have largely been supplanted by blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media discussions. Often these social media spaces in particular, and their predecessors which are gun forums are divided up not just by interests around guns but by specific brands.
I intend for my posts here to be as objective as possible. While I have my preferences, often my statement when asked is “there are many good choices available today”. I really do believe that and believe it more and more as there are increasing options for quality guns. We are living in firearms golden age of sorts.
I will post up some reviews in the future, but I will reveal my preferences are for 9mm Glocks.
There are many factors which influence which concealed carry handgun you may choose. The commonly acceptable answers will vary depending on who you ask. The only general guidelines I will suggest go with 9mm if possible, go with as large of a gun as you are willing to carry and choose reliability over price or looks.
Guideline #1: 9mm if possible. 380 ACP or 45 ACP or many other calibers may make sense given a unique circumstance or preference you may have. If you absolutely have to have a very small, very concealable gun then 380 ACP may fit the bill. I would though, encourage you to consider some of the modern very small 9mm pistols such as the Glock 43, Sig 938, and M&P Shield. Revolvers still have a place as well.
If you absolutely have to have a very small, very concealable gun then 380 ACP may fit the bill. I would though, encourage you to consider some of the modern very small 9mm pistols such as the Glock 43, Sig 938, and M&P Shield. Revolvers still have a place as well.
Guideline #2: Carry as large of a gun as you can. A larger gun is easier to shoot well typically, yet harder to carry. I know people who carry full sized steel framed guns happily and others who will not carry more than a Ruger LCP in the pocket.
Carry as much gun as you are willing to carry. Average civilian self-defense shootings are typically low round count affairs, but that old adage of “no such thing as too much ammo unless you are on fire or drowning”, while humor is informative.
People will throw out X number of rounds as being the minimum. There is no minimum but carry as much as you are willing to carry. I am not one of those full sized gun folks. I typically carry a Glock 26 with a 10 round magazine. It makes sense for me and it is what I am willing to carry.
Guideline #3: Quality over price or looks. I understand we all have a budget and may have aesthetic preferences. Buy a used quality gun before buying a cheap new gun. Do not buy a gun merely because it looks cool. If it is a reliable, well-built gun and within your budget and you just love some cool aspect of it? Knock yourself out and enjoy. Reliability, durability,
Do not buy a gun merely because it looks cool. If it is a reliable, well-built gun and within your budget and you just love some cool aspect of it? Knock yourself out and enjoy. Reliability, durability, quality > cheapest gun you could find or something that just looks cool.
In another article, I will discuss more on reliability and gun selection overall.
Don’t Forget Your Holster
There are two main types of holsters, inside the waistband (IWB) and outside the waistband (OWB). Within each of those two broad categories, there are many different styles or takes on them. Carrying OWB is typically more comfortable than IWB whereas IWB is usually more concealable.
You need to determine what it is you value and decide if OWB or IWB makes the most sense for you. I struggle carrying IWB (even with larger pants, good belts, and a good holster) so I usually carry OWB. My typical OWB holster is the
Carrying OWB is typically more comfortable than IWB whereas IWB is usually more concealable. You need to determine what it is you value and decide if OWB or IWB makes the most sense for you. I struggle carrying IWB (even with larger pants, good belts, and a good holster) so I usually carry OWB. My typical OWB holster is the Blade-Tech Classic Eclipse. Holsters now include leather,
Holsters now include leather, kydex, injection molded plastic, and combinations. Leather may be the most comfortable, but you need to maintain it and ensure it is in good condition and adequately protects your trigger. It is also wise to get a holster which does not collapse when you draw the gun, so you can reholster with one hand.
Finally, there are holsters with retention mechanism which must be manually released before drawing the holster. Police officers and civilians who open carry often carry retention holsters.
Other types of holsters include pocket holsters, ankle holsters, “sticky holsters” and other types of non-conventional holsters. Pocket holsters make good sense for a backup weapon or if that is your preferred mode of carrying. Just ensure it both covers the trigger well and allows for you to draw your gun…without the holster coming out with it.
If traveling for a long period, I will ankle carry for the sake of comfort. Pocket and ankle carry have some advantages and disadvantages. You have to determine your needs and what you value. When I open carry, it is usually in a Safariland ALS.
Grabbing Extra Mags
Should you carry an extra magazine? Yes. You should carry an extra mag not just in case you need to reload your gun, but in case you have a failure with your primary magazine. Some carry two spare magazines. Again this gets back to carry as much as you will. I often carry a Magpul 21 round magazine as a spare.
Last But Not Least: Gun Belts
Finally, many who have much experience carrying guns will tell you to first buy a quality belt. I agree you may never find comfort carrying using a regular belt.
There are several different types of belts suitable to carry. A heavy thick leather belt is one of the older options. Modern belts may have a leather covering with a plastic or thin metal inner band. There are also belts made of heavy webbing material.
I hope this brief discussion was beneficial. In future articles, I will go more in depth and include reviews as well. Summing up, buy a quality, reliable 9mm pistol, a good holster, and a good belt and you will have the gear necessary to carry comfortably.
The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to carry.