Most of the work we do when prepping stays at home. But you may not be home when disaster strikes. What then? I carry every day, but there are times that a 9mm in a IWB holster simply isn’t enough. I wanted a rock-solid way to insure that I had everything I need. And here it is, my take on the get-home-gun, and everything that goes with it.
If I’m going to have to park my truck and get out and walk, I like to be prepared. I’d prefer a compact or full-sized handgun in a substantial caliber. There is always the possibility that it could be dark, or get dark, so a flashlight is a handy addition. A holster will help hold the gun, and hide it. A good knife and a multitool will round out the preparations. A cell phone is a necessity. I like to have a way to start a fire, too. And I need a way to contain it all. Dumping it all behind the seat of my truck isn’t going to cut it.
I’ve been carrying a GLOCK 19 for about six months now, and I like the simplicity of the gun. It is compact enough to carry concealed, and large enough to make a strong visual impression. It has a decently high magazine capacity (15 rounds of 9mm) and can also accept larger GLOCK 17 magazines. The gun doesn’t have any manual safeties (other than the trigger block), which makes it an intuitive gun in stressful situations.
GLOCK 19 $649
OWB that’s easy to conceal
Holsters are easy to come by. Finding the right one is far more complicated. There are few places that will allow you to test drive a holster, so you have to work on blind faith, or past experiences. I’ve come to trust Tony Catner at Multi Holsters. This is a 2-in-1 Multi Holster.
This holster set includes a magazine pouch that will hold two magazines. The holster is built for a GLOCK 19 with an Inforce APL light. When I’m carrying the 19 concealed, I wear a very similar IWB Multi Holster. Though it doesn’t accommodate the light, and I carry it in a slightly different position, I like the continuity. I wear this one OWB, but it is still concealable. The holster hugs really close to the hip and doesn’t print too badly.
You can read more about Multi Holsters here:Multi Holsters.
What about a weapon light?
Night sights are great, but they work best in really dark surroundings. I’ve always been cautions about shooting something I can’t see clearly, and bright night sights aren’t going to illuminate the target. You need a weapon light. I’ve run several weapon lights, and I’ve settled on this one for my personal use. The switch is easy to access with a finger in the off-trigger ready position. The APL is bright, but not so overbuilt that it requires bulky battery housings. The light itself is extremely easy to use. It draws easily from the holster. The tan color would look better on a tan gun, but it was the only color available when I went looking.
Inforce APL $124.99
A more subtle light
That may not be enough, though. A good weapon light will serve you well on the end of a gun, but it can be awkward using it as a flashlight in situations where the appearance of a gun might be, well…misunderstood. An extra flashlight is always a good idea. I like the compact lights from Four Sevens. Their Preon pen light is useful as a light, and large enough to use as a kuboton. This is the type of light I carry with me all the time. The Preon is at home in the front pocket of a dress shirt’ as it is in the pen holder of my man-purse. It runs on AAA batteries, so it is helpful to have some of those on hand, too.
Four Sevens Preon P2 $50
Knives and tools
The knives are from Gerber. I’ve always got a pocketknife tucked away in a pocket, but a good fixed blade is a good asset. This is the CFB, and it is a pugilistic knife. The rubber handle and aggressive jimping make for a solid grip. The sheath comes with a nylon cover that allows the knife to be worn in a multitude of ways. I’m not wearing this one regularly, but like having it around. It fits in the case, so that is where it lives for now. The multitool, a Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool, is also a good addition to the kit. It is the one thing that’s likely to be forgotten, as I usually carry it in my pocket, too. The Sight Tool has some useful features for AR shooters.
Gerber CFB $154, Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool $95
The magazines are self explanatory, I think. I like to be prepared. The green MTM Caseguard box helps hold extra ammo. As a student of ballistics, I believe in situational awareness. I often carry Hornady Critical Defense in the summer. The round performs well, and is easy to control. I like to keep some Critical Duty on hand (which packs a bigger punch), and will sometimes have other special loads that I don’t carry regularly. In the case now are Critical Duty rounds and Federal Guard Dog rounds. The space below the MTM box is cut to accept a standard 25-round 9mm box. I will often keep three of the 19 mags loaded with basic target loads and a couple of mags ready for carry. Having slots in the case at differing orientations allows me to stay organized and consistent. All told, I can keep a lot of ammo in the case, 174 rounds (if I keep a loaded mag in the gun).
I keep a back up battery for my cell phone in the open space of the holster. If you wind up spending any time away from home, having one of these can be very useful. I use it most often to charge up my son’s iPad when we’re out on road trips. The Powerpak Xtreme is a great device and has lights that indicate how much juice is left.
Powerpak Xtreme NT120R Backup Battery $51
The extras that you can’t ignore
I keep a wide web belt under the holster just in case I’m caught out wearing a thin dress-up belt. The belt fits neatly below the magazine holder. The extra cut-outs in the case can hold a lighter, more tools, ear plugs, and any other gizmos. There are battery cut outs for various sizes, too. I sometimes include a pair of Mechanix gloves. They’re great shooting gloves and provide solid protection without sacrificing too much control.
Find the right case
The case itself is a Seahorse. I’m a huge proponent of waterproof cases. Seahorse makes a solid line that can stand up to daily use and abuse. They’re rock solid cases and they’re very competitively priced While my main objective was to get a case that was substantial enough to actually use, I needed one that looked rather innocuous. Most of the available laptop cases were a bit thin, but this one isn’t. It is a SE-710. The compact design makes it look more like a briefcase. It also fits inside a large messenger bag. The case is easy to obfuscate, which means you can carry all of this gear without looking like you’re headed off to war.
Read a full review of the case here:Seahorse Cases.
Seahorse SE-710 $45
Cutting the foam
And once you pick your case, I’d suggest you look to MyCaseBuilder.com for the foam. They have the most user-friendly software that allows you to build a custom case, just like this one. They even have a photo transfer tool that allows you to take a picture of a holster, or anything, and input some basic measurements to achieve really custom shapes. I used it for the holster on this one. The mag cut outs were already programed in, as was the gun. I added extra space around the sights, to accommodate taking it in and out. The rest of the cuts are simple geometric shapes. You determine placement, and depth. I really pushed the limits with this design and tried to get as much into one case as I reasonably could. I’m not worrying about anything in the case breaking, so I trimmed the padding down to a bare minimum.
Read a complete review of MyCaseBuilder.com here:MyCaseBuilder.com.
Everything you need, organized
All told, prepping requires a significant investment. Yet consider what you’re investing in. I take this case with me now. If I’m on the road, so is the case. It is subtle and unobtrusive. It is easy to hide in a car, even easier to hide in a car’s trunk. And if I ever get into a situation when I’m away from home, I’d stand a much better chance of getting back in one piece.
What’s in your EDC arsenal? What’s missing from mine?