I’ve had a concealed carry permit since the early ‘80s. I’ll pause for a second while many of you realize that you weren’t born yet… Back then it was good fortune that tacky sports jackets were all the rage, which helped – because the guns were made of steel and were large. And if it did happen to get too warm even for a light linen Miami Vice style jacket with the sleeves pushed up – you could slip a Government Model into your big hair and just add a touch more spray for good measure. Back then, my EDC was either the Smith & Wesson model 639 or the model 645 in a Galco shoulder rig that held the handgun horizontal on one side and two full extra mags on the other. The truth is, during the times of year that I was always wearing a jacket that was a very comfortable and effective way to carry a ton of self-defense.
Buy a retro Smith on GunsAmerica: /Smith 639
Nowadays, our lifestyles and fashion sensibilities require things to be a bit smaller and more deeply concealed. The great news is that guns are smaller and lighter and there are nearly limitless holster and even off-body options. That is the result of a booming and still growing consumer market. Man, I love capitalism!
So, what do I carry today? I’m afraid there is still not an easy answer. I’m a gun guy. I review guns, I test guns, I teach guns, and I love guns. So my EDC is truly TBD on any given day… but here’s the lowdown as I can best describe it:
For the past several years, my go-to carry gun has been the Springfield Armory XD-S 3.3 in .45 ACP. It rides wonderfully in a Crossbreed Mini Tuck holster and feels as natural and comfortable as my old Timex wristwatch. However, the XD-S is just a smidgeon too large for me to pocket carry. So, when the weather dictates that I’m wearing a thin tee shirt that won’t even conceal the fact that I need to lose 10 lbs., I can’t have anything IWB. For those conditions it has been the Kahr PM9 for years.
Lately though, the Glock 43 has dethroned the Kahr and often the XD-S too. Not because I’m such a fan of the G43 that it immediately got the starting spot, but because I plan to do a more in-depth review of it in the future and that means I need to have many, many hours of real world experience carrying it. It fits in the same DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster that the PM9 uses (just barely) and when I need it inside the waistband, it rides in a Multi Holster Elite.
But when the leaves start turning pretty colors outside, and I reach for sweaters and sweatshirts instead of tees and shorts, the Glock 30S rides at my 4:00 in a StealthGear Onyx that is the Rolls Royce of IWB holsters. At any given time though, during any season of the year I could be carrying one of many guns that I am in the process of evaluating and reviewing. Most of these are double-stack 9’s and I carry most of them in a traditional model N82 holster.
That’s the gun part. The rest of the pocket-dump includes the following:
Virginia Blade Raptor pocket knife. This knife has been my EDC for about three years now, and I love it. Ultra-thin with G10 panels and a beautiful edge.
I don’t always carry a light, but when I do (no, this is not a beer commercial) these days it is the StealthGear SGX-5. You have to be careful with this thing or you’ll divert air traffic. I’m in the process of evaluating that one, so it has bumped the Streamlight for the time being.
If I need a light and clothes are tight – I have a Streamlight Mirostream that is easy to tuck away and gets the job done.
Keys – on a quick-clip so that I can use a D ring if I have it or a belt loop when I don’t want them taking up pocket space.
Oh, and the blue container? That houses my Nitro pills that the doctor says I must always have with me after my heart attack a year ago. I’d rather it contained some tic tacs instead, or some M&M’s.