How has your carry methods and/or equipment evolved? (long start)

This is a discussion on How has your carry methods and/or equipment evolved? (long start) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was pondering the evolution of my equipment, methods and mind set during my short concealed carry career. From the beginning, I was planning on ...

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Thread: How has your carry methods and/or equipment evolved? (long start)

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    How has your carry methods and/or equipment evolved? (long start)

    I was pondering the evolution of my equipment, methods and mind set during my short concealed carry career.

    From the beginning, I was planning on carrying IWB. I had read a lot, and considering that since I'm short, most of my shirts being too short to cover OWB; that aspect of carry remains the same.

    I had purchased a Ruger P94, not because I really wanted it, but because I came upon it at the right time and the right price. It became my first carry.

    I wore it IWB, in a cheap Uncle Mike's cloth holster.

    Prior to my venture into concealed carry, I became acquainted with defensivecarry.com. I did a lot of reconnaissance about guns and holsters.

    I decided that Glock was too popular, and 1911s were too expensive, and I settled on getting an XD and a SuperTuck.

    Meanwhile, I was carrying my P94, I had yet to really explore my mind-set about carrying. I didn't readily carry condition one, yet. I didn't understand the DA/SA workings of my pistol. I had difficulty mastering the first DA shot. I figured that the XD would take care of that problem.

    I realized that I needed training, how to use my equipment, and how to use my head. I started perusing websites dedicated to gun training. I read a lot, watched a lot of videos, etc.

    Then I happened upon Front Sight. They were offering their free gun deal: an XD and 4 day course. I thought, what the heck? I was going to buy an XD anyway.

    Well, I got off on the wrong foot with Front Sight (I've posted it about it before), and to make a long story short, I ended up with a Taurus 1911 instead of the XD .45 that I wanted.

    I was a little chagrined, but got me a good leather IWB and set off for the course. It was a pleasant, and eye opening surprise. I've posted that, too, so I'll spare you all that.

    I soon after that, acquired an XD subcompact. After the training session, I realized that I could use the 1911 quite well, and really came to appreciate the platform. I liked the XD, but wasn't fond of it as I was the 1911, so...

    I specifically blame Ram Rod and Retsupt99 for contracting the Glock sickness.
    I took both the XD and the Glock back to Front Sight. I sold the XD. Neither was really better or worse than the other, but there were small things that kept me on the Glock.

    I basically started out without any preconceived notions with carry mind set. So Front Sight, and the DC forum really shaped that for me. I guess that before that, I really had no mind-set. I wasn't in condition white, but I didn't really know what to look for, and how to prepare for reaction, before the feces hit the fan.

    The most recent stretch of change was a bit of mind-set and equipment. I started thinking about a BUG.

    I read a lot, and won't hash out the pros and cons of carrying another pistol, but I found that I agreed with the advantages of it and began experimenting with an LCP, in the pocket.

    In practice, I found that I couldn't count on the LCP. One of the ideas behind carrying a second gun, was in case your primary failed. I couldn't have that.

    I blame Sixto's Superduper Snubbie thread for my snubbie syndrome

    I came upon a slightly used, pre-lock S&W 442. It fit the bill nicely.

    My current set-up has evolved from the P94 to, depending on my mood, a G23 or 1911 IWB strong side, and the snub in my weak side pocket. I do have other methods for specific ventures, but that's about it.

    I currently have plans to attend Front Sight again, and someday want to go to Gun Site to keep my head and equipment in the game.

    A big thumbs up to this forum as a help on my journey.

    What's your story?
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I basically started out without any preconceived notions with carry mind set. So Front Sight, and the DC forum really shaped that for me. I guess that before that, I really had no mind-set. I wasn't in condition white, but I didn't really know what to look for, and how to prepare for reaction, before the feces hit the fan.

    That's more or less what it came down to me. I had a idea of what I THOUGHT I wanted and what I THOUGHT would work and I based my decisions on those same preconceived notions that you spoke of instead of what actually worked for me. Very few pieces of my current gear is the piece of gear that I started with. Actually, the only original piece of gear from when I started carrying almost 2 years ago is my stream light micro stream flash light. To get to the setup I currently use (Which I am quite happy with by the way) took me through 4 knives, 6 guns (off the top of my head), only 2 holsters (Yep, I don't have the shoe box full), and 2 belts.

    The knives were a matter of deciding between a small blade, a HUGE blade and the blade I carry now which I would describe as "Small enough for edc/utility tasks but large enough to use as a weapon If I were left no other choice." My blade of choice is the Spyderco Endura 4. I have been carrying it for the past year and am quite happy with it.

    Belts was just a matter of finally manning up and spending some cash. I went from cheap crap, to better but still crap to a real hand made belt done by a real leather worker. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had just done that in the first place.

    I got lucky with holsters. I bought one, it didn't work out to well and I went straight to the CBST which I love. I have one for both my carry pieces and couldn't be happier with it.

    Now on to the good stuff. Guns! Oh how I went though guns... A rundown -

    -Glock 19 which I got rid of because it was uncomfortable to carry (This was before I got a CBST)

    -S&W 908S which I got rid of because I bought into the "One consistent trigger pull is better then DA first shot SA second shot

    -Taurus PT709 which I bought because it was SA only but ended up getting rid of because of multiple trips back to Taurus and because it had a external safety and this was about the time I became anti external safety

    -Taurus PT145 which I bought because I started to feel like the 9mm wasn't enough fire power. Never mind the fact that this gun had a external safety the same as the 709... Not sure what I was thinking here

    -There was a couple month phase in here where I was leaning very heavily towards a 1911

    - Glock 26 which I bought because my previous 2 auto's had given me issues. I figured I couldn't go wring with the glock. This is was probably my second happiest time in my CCW career. I was happy with the Glock except that it was uncomfortable to hold and I still had concerns with 9mm.

    - M&P45c which I traded the Glock 26 for. I liked it for the most part. It gave me the reliability I wanted, the ergos I wanted and a caliber I had faith in. The only problem is it was pretty bulky and heavy for me.

    -M&P40c which I liked except I lost faith in it after a mechanical failure. All in all a good gun

    Which leads us to my current set up which is actually 2 guns and a piece of advice that I wish I would have figured out 2 years ago. IT"S OK TO HAVE MORE THEN ONE EDC/PRIMARY CARRY. Seriously. I was trying to stuff every feature I wanted/needed for carry into one gun and it just wasn't happening. With my current 2 gun set up I am very happy. My current setup is really thanks to two members on this board. Bugdude and AZchevy. Bugdude for convincing me that there was nothing wrong with carrying a wheel gun and AZchevy for making me understand the concept that you should carry based on your area of operation.

    Ruger SP101 - Small, hard hitting, reliable and extremely easy to carry. For me it's the perfect sub compact/deep concealment/normal risk handgun. The slow reloads are made up for by the other features.

    Glock 23 Gen 4 - Fairly lightweight, good capacity, easy to shoot and a decently potent round. My go to if I am going to be in a area where I feel I may need a bit more firepower.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Zacii, my journey has not been as nearly diverse or intersting as yours or Rollo's.

    My major change, some time ago was from wheel guns to semi-autos. This was based on an acceptance of the value of burst fire, compared to indidivual shots, relative to self defense, when practical. This required the change to a weapon that provided a sufficient amount of ammunition and a firing system that permitted the application of this concept.

    What remained consistent, even with the change, was my preference for full size or near full size weapons, the ability to fire the first shot without any mechanical manipulation of the weapon outside of the trigger and the desire for a weapon with a hammer.

    I have still not reached a satisfactory solution to what I consider my primary problem. That is a method that allows the speed and accessability of open carry combined with the concealment and low profile of concealed carry. I fear that the solution to this will be more difficult than the solution to the last problem.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Zacii, my journey has not been as nearly diverse or intersting as yours or Rollo's.

    My major change, some time ago was from wheel guns to semi-autos. This was based on an acceptance of the value of burst fire, compared to indidivual shots, relative to self defense, when practical. This required the change to a weapon that provided a sufficient amount of ammunition and a firing system that permitted the application of this concept.

    What remained consistent, even with the change, was my preference for full size or near full size weapons, the ability to fire the first shot without any mechanical manipulation of the weapon outside of the trigger and the desire for a weapon with a hammer.

    I have still not reached a satisfactory solution to what I consider my primary problem. That is a method that allows the speed and accessability of open carry combined with the concealment and low profile of concealed carry. I fear that the solution to this will be more difficult than the solution to the last problem.
    This, I believe, is the paradox of carrying. Concealment means compromise. I know that you, as a veteran carrier, understand this, and thankfully it was a principle that I didn't fight. I read a lot of newcomers on these pages who think that they are going to get around this. I doubt that it can be solved, but I'll stand corrected if someone can


    Excellent post, Rollo

    when my LCP was letting me down, it was Bug Dude's double snub carry thread that got me going towards the wheel gun as a secondary.

    Many speak about a BUG in terms of just that; a back up. But I prefer to look at it as a secondary, or alternate. There are times when the little revo is the primary and the G23 is secondary (like today ).

    It's all about options. Options give advantages. Advantages are good.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    First I will convey my sincere thanks to this forum for the opportunity it provides in continued 'growth' regarding carrying my gun for personal protection. Secondly thanks to the members for their contributions.

    I've been defensive carrying, concealed, on a daily basis for a short 3 years (but guns have been a part of my life for 50+ years). I decided at square 1 to carry an all stainless steel .45 ACP. I wanted the weight. For me and my now arthritic wrists it provides better recoil management. I prefer the external safety of the 1911 - my EDC is a Kimber Eclipse Ultra II. I am still very happy with this gun.

    Holsters for me are a different story!! Got the "Box-O-Holsters" for sure. Partly due to my 'evolution' from IWB which I selected for better concealability to OWB which I'm happy to report is both more comfortable and more readily accessible yet only slightly less concealable.

    It was a year before I experienced the HUGE contribution a solid gun belt made to the overall set-up.

    [EDIT: I also add that I always also carry 2 additional magazines on weakside in dbl mag paddle holster.]

    I also go 'out-and-about' with a KaBar TDI carried cross-draw as Guantes described in another thread; and the small personal size cartridge of "Inferno" OC spray by Cold Steel.

    That's where I'm at currently.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    My progression has pretty much come full circle, in method that is, not necessarily weapon.

    When I started carrying it was a 1911, OWB with a shirt that covered it, my wardrobe didn't make this too easy. Vests looked absolutely silly, and in Texas wearing a jacket doesn't work for to many weeks of the year. I decided to try and start tucking my shirt in and switched over to a Bersa Thunder with a Desantis Tuck This so I could be more presentable in at the office. That worked ok, so I decided to up it and go with a PT111 with a SuperTuck. Still worked ok pretty well but trying to keep the shirt tucked in and bloused properly just got to be a pain in the rear.

    Then I discovered square cut button up shirts, whether they be Hawian, or other prints made no difference other than time of year. So I went back to OWB carry and tried to carry the 1911 again. Well maintenance on a blued 1911 when your sweating on it all day is simply a pain in the rear. So I switched back to the PT111 which made little difference if you sweat on it compared to the 1911. I later added a 24/7 to the fold, still carrying OWB, and discovered Fist holsters. I then added an SP101 to the fold still in a Fist OWB holster. I did pick up a Supertuck for it but carry that way is limited.

    So I started OWB, but not knowing much about dress, switched to IWB, tucked shirt which was sort of a pain, so I am back at primarily OWB with untucked square cut bottom shirts, or Tshirts that are tucked in with an untucked, unbuttoned, oversized long sleeve shirt over the top of it during the winter when not at work. At home, I simply pull the overshirt off, and could care less about being on my property with a gun exposed if I need to go outside and do something.

    For me, a good belt, a good belt slide holster, Fist being about all I purchase now, or on occasion a Supertuck, but rarely with a tucked shirt, allow for quick access to the gun, easy reholstering and comfortable carry all day long with either a PT111, 24/7, SP101 or the 1911. Although I did weigh the 1911 with 15 rounds of ammo and compared to the 24/7 with 17 rds of ammo, the 1911 is a full pound heavier. So stainless steel and or polymer guns are now almost my exclusive carry types. I have carried a knife on me every day since Jr. high or high school, nothing changed there other than type of knife.

    Basically, if your not willing to adapt to your gun when you decided to start carrying every day I think you will find it very difficult to carry effectively. Can it be done, certainly, but how effective remains the question for me if your not willing to adapt.
    Last edited by farronwolf; January 17th, 2011 at 09:56 AM.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    I had carried revolvers all my life, and then Glock was invented, so I began a love hate affair with it. Finally, I have come to accept my preference for Glock and actually embrace and prefer it.

    Over the years I have tried revolvers and pistols of all shapes , sizes, models, and calibers. I have spent more money than I care to think about. Gone thru all modes of carry, and have holsters that I don't even have guns for.

    I am now content with the 9mm in G26 or 17 and still trying different modes of carry. I still enjoy my revolvers and believe in them, but have come to the conclusion that the world has changed and more fire power is a good thing.

    I started with the Glock in 1988 and it seems I have come full circle today. I could have saved myself alot of money if I would have known that, but I have had alot of fun.

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    Look....if I'm going to be blamed for anything.......I'll take full responsibility for my actions whatever they might be. The Glock sickness has still yet to be listed as a contagious disease by the CDC. Therefore...it doesn't actually exist. Personally, I've gravitated back to the 1911 in ways of my own. That's why I have a SIG P220SAO. My previous 45acp Glocks just didn't cut it for me. Many times, you'll find yourself getting back to the basics, and where you've come from despite your current love for the modern world. Everything has it's place, and for everything there is a time. The time and the place are entirely up to you to decide since time is ever flowing, and your place is constantly changing. We live and we grow on the highway of time. Lessons from the past still make our future. Never forget where you've come from and remember where you're going. Simple thoughts for a life of confusion. You just simply do your best under he circumstances. Nobody else can tell you what to do since we're all in the same boat. Sink, swim, or eat the weak for your own survival.

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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    My evolution has been limited pretty much to caliber choice. At one time or another I've tried them all and found some to be lacking. I've now settled on three and I feel quite comfortable that I'm done... Still might like to try 10mm.

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    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    My criteria for a defensive gun was, in order of importance:
    1. Only one gun (knowing this would require compromise between concealment, caliber, and capacity).
    2. To be able to have it within arm's reach at all times, 24/7/365.
    3. To have it completely concealed at all times even from my wife. At the time she was very uncomfortable around guns - not so much now.
    4. Must be able to be used efficiently at all times, in all lighting situations. This would require night sights and/or a laser sight.
    5. Very reliable.
    6. Combat accurate.
    7. The largest caliber gun that fit within the above parameters.

    At the time the only guns that fit were the Kel-Tec P-3AT, Seecamp .380, NAA Guardian .380, and Rohrbaugh .9mm.

    I bought my P-3AT in October of 2005. I mounted an ArmaLaser sight on it when they first came out about two months later, and I have been carrying it and two extra magazines in a SmartCarry holster 24/7/365 ever since.

    Also have a Grandfather Oak Kydex holster for occasional pocket carry. That's it -- no other guns or holsters.

    Been thinking about a .45 for night stand use and possibly for IWB carry for along time. Want a compact .45 that will accept low cap. (for carry) mags, and high cap. (for spare, nightstand, and range) use. Also want tritium adjustable night sights and grasp activated laser. The Springfield XD .45 compact and the Glock 30 are pretty close, but I'll wait for Springfield to make a XDm in .45 compact or Glock to make a Gen 4 30. Then I may be ready to actually buy.

    Bobo
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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    when I started carrying I was carrying a .22 single action revolver in my boot. I then grew into my Ruger Sec Six for a while, then my grandma needed it for her home defense and decided she did not feel safe without it. So back to my .22 I went. I was comfortable with it, could hit a flea at 20 meters with it, and it was comfortable in my hands. Then I started working for Blue Line and Mom bought me a XDM .40, my first semi auto. I started carrying it at work and off duty in a blackhawk serpa and found the serpa to be uncomfortable off of a duty belt. So i bought a Taqua leather holster and have been using that for my XDM off duty ever since. My next firearm was a .380 Sigma, oh what a mistake that was. I traded it for a 1911 that my Mom got me for my birthday. Then came my BUG on and off duty, my little bersa. Now I am trying to figure out how to conceal a .44 magnum S&W, amazing how I started with a revolver and am now gravitating back towards one.
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Got my first concealed carry permit in 1980. Carried a 4 inch 357 in a shoulder holster under a biker vest. Young, wild and doing things that were not smart, but not breaking the law.
    Gravitated to OWB and later IWB. Since being a member I changed from being a 3:00 - 3:30 carrier to about a 4:00 carrier. This was primarly due to comments about BUG. Got me to thinking that if I injured my strong arm I could not access my weapon while at 3:00. Now I am starting to consider shoulder holster again. The site has not really influenced the guns that I carry or like. I started out carrying a fullsize gun and know if I ever had to use a gun for protection I would prefer a fullsize gun.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    After I sent in my HCP paperwork and $$ I started getting serious about how I was going to carry my Glock 33. I wanted the best concealment but with comfort which I have learned are many times mutually exclusive. I had a bunch of various Catalogs, magazines, etc. But how do you choose where to invest $$? Early on I realized I was doomed to end up with a holster/pistol "leather" collection.

    I tried some "less costly" holsters that looked good on paper and found out that the old axiom holds, "you get what you pay for". I quickly found that body "shape/size" is a key factor both for concealibility and comfort. Fidgeting around adjusting clothing, hitching up pants, shrugging shoulders, etc. are a give away that you are carry'in. Going several hours like that is NO fun, my gun leather search got more complicated with comfort getting more important than cost!

    I luckily hooked up with a holster maker that builds holsters in several designs, one of which turned out to be ideal for me. Before I bought it I had learned a valuable fact the correct belt/belt design makes a huge difference in fit and comfort. I asked the maker if I could use a "regular" belt and got an education by way of reply. Result; I spent more on the belt than on the holster! Boy am I glad I did that!

    The belt you "hang" your holster on is your "weapons platform" the military spends mega-bucks on weapons mounts for a reason! When I strap that belt on and clip the holster on it feels solid. I tried the same holster with my dress belt and more than half the time My Glock got hung up in the holster when I tried to draw! I strapped on the same holster with the belt designed for it, the draw stroke was flawless!

    Bottom line in this ramble, get the best belt you can afford, one designed to support a holster, then get a holster.

    The Duke
    "It's time to nut up or shut up" - Woody Harrelson, "Tallahassee" in "Zombieland"

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I first bought a S&W 442 and an inexpensive nylon clip on IWB holster. I then went on to buy a Ruger P95, Taurus 709, Bersa Thunder 9uc, XD40sc, RIA1911, Ruger SP101. I've bought lots of holsters for all of them for carry in all sorts of methods. After all of this and several years of practicing with all of them, I'm now primarily carrying my S&W 442 in an inexpensive nylon clip on IWB holster. Go figure.
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    Senior Member Array TJK68's Avatar
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    I have been carrying almost 20 years, and have carried many pistols and revolvers over the years. My favorite has been and will always be the 1911. I have always been a big fan of the .45acp. As I have gotten older I like to try different calibers and different guns. I like wheel guns, this is what I started with, but have carried auto's for several years now. I guess the biggest change for me is investing in better holsters and gun belts, I think this greatly improves the comfort of EDC, no matter what you carry, it is money well spent. I still carry a wheel gun once in a while, but mostly auto's, mostly 1911's and mostly .45's. But as I type this I have on my Glock 19 9mm, go figure. LOL..... I guess we all are looking for the perfect setup, but to me that is part of the fun, it gives me an excuse to buy next gun.

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