Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry: Packing Light, Packing Smart

Brown handled .38 in a light tan Galco holster

Part 7 in our concealed carry series.

If you are new to concealed carry, you probably started carrying a large handgun then drifted toward a lighter model for comfort. Sometimes that makes sense, but if taken too far, it reaches a point of diminishing returns. As the indomitable J. Henry Fitzgerald once remarked, “A man giving up a .45 for a .38 has gained a few ounces of comfort perhaps at the expense of his life.” That is good advice, but no one wants their pants dragged down when engaged in mundane chores or recreation.

We all want a gun that is essentially unnoticed until needed. My wife, Joyce, and I enjoy long walks and movie nights as much as anyone does. We also like to wander through parks after normal hours and often meet friendly folks. Chance encounters with folks of the rougher sort are not always precursors to violent action, and there are less-than-lethal avenues available in my muscle memory.

Violent attacks do occur, and dangerous dogs are a common problem. Armed criminals are one problem, dogs another—I am not willing to see a member of my family mauled because some inadequate type feels the need for a snarling, biting prosthesis. I most often carry a handgun and a good folding knife. The knife is suitable as an impact weapon as well.

I know what it takes to put down a member of our protein-fed, ex-con criminal class. I know how difficult it is to hit a moving, twisting target under stress in less-than-optimal light conditions. I prefer service-grade handguns, although after 30 years of packing a handgun almost daily, I realize I cannot always comfortably carry a 5-inch-barrel 1911 .45. After a few near misses and injuries, I do not carry the big guns as effortlessly as I once did. However, I am not going to carry a .380 Auto, either.

I do not damn pocket guns out of hand. Antipathy would be a better description of how I feel. There are times when I am prone to stick something light in my pocket, although it is a .38, not a .32. The need to have an accessible, and undetectable, handgun conspires against the goal, which is to carry a fight-stopping sidearm. As the cave man said, “Big rock is better.”

Stopping a dedicated assault with only a handgun is a challenging prospect. I am not taking the gun writer route of belittling a cartridge or two to boost my status. I want a cartridge that takes the fight out of the adversary—if the sights are on the right spot. Even with the .45 Auto or .44 Special, it may take more than one cartridge. As such, I tend to err on the side of caution. That means a .38 Special or better. Anyone who recommends anything less is doing the honest gun-toting citizen no favors and almost certainly has no experience in interpersonal combat. Let me not make blanket statements; let us intelligently consider the problem of carrying an effective handgun on a regular basis and drawing and using it quickly and effectively.

The Right Carry for the Serious Shooter

Black GLOCK with Streamlight, cold steel and a black holster.
This combination of GLOCK, Streamlight, Cold Steel and a good holster is hard to beat.

The guy who sometimes sticks a gun in his belt on the way to the bank to make a night deposit is not the target of this article. This article addresses the serious, concerned, religious carrier who carries a handgun 24/7. You can pack light, and you can pack smart. Without giving up critical effectiveness, you can realize the economy of weight. I have studied handguns for many years and fired most types available. The mystical properties attributed to some are not discernible by shooting. Some guns are practical; some are tactical. We must keep the problem in perspective.

Multiple attackers can be a problem. When the chief bull signals, the bulls stampede. On the other hand, perhaps a shark-like feeding frenzy is a better image. A .380 Auto does not cut it when facing multiple, motivated adversaries. We cannot reverse-engineer the situation; we cannot choose a handgun and hope it fits the situation. Consider the likely threat first.

Meet a serious, imminent threat with a long gun in hand and meet the unpredictable, critical incident with a handgun. Moreover, the gun must be reliable above all else—you cannot call a mulligan (a cease-fire on the target range due to a gun malfunction). Interest in concealed carry is at an all-time high. As a result, we have many choices in compact, powerful handguns and accessories.

The best gun may be a revolver or semi-auto; either will work. Both are available in snag-free, concealed-hammer designs.

  • Striker-fired autos, such as the GLOCK and Smith & Wesson M&P, are true hammerless pistols.
  • Smith and Wesson Centennial revolvers have geometrically snag-free, concealed-hammer designs. A concealed hammer is not a demand for concealed carry, although it is a good beginning.

Pay Attention to Your Clothing

Give considerable attention to your covering garments—the looser the cut, the less printing (printing is simply the outline of the gun on the garment). The looser the cut, the less bulges will be noticeable. Practice drawing the handgun and sweeping outer garments away in one smooth motion. With one hand or two, the drill becomes second nature. Consider your movements made every day and the type of gun and holster combination you use.

Black handled GLOCK 19 in a dark brown leather Writer Holster on a white background
The GLOCK 19 and a Wright holster is a brilliantly fast and secure setup.

A well-fitted holster makes carrying more comfortable. A thin, well-constructed holster may make carrying a larger handgun possible. Thin, very rigid, well-boned holsters offered by top maker Barber Leatherworks are among the wonder holsters of the decade. They work, and work better than most. Those holsters and traditional designs, such as the immortal Summer Special from Milt Sparks, make concealed carry possible. However, in the end, outer garments dictate the mode and type of carry.

True concealment depends on the pursuits in which we engage while heeled. After some time, I find my 1911 duty guns and Commander off-duty guns supplemented by lighter guns. I still regard the 1911 as the primary concealed carry gun; comfort makes for a different course at times, which means a Commander .45. The light part of smart carry is easy; the smart part is more difficult. Discrete is the order of the day.

According to holster maker and long-time peace officer “Wild Bill,” a dark holster with non-reflective snaps helps. So do double loops for comfort. His leather paddle holster offers multiple carry positions. immense comfort and more than a little speed. I like it a lot and am beginning to realize easy-on, easy-off holsters are more appropriate for civilians than cops because there are so many restrictions on concealed carry in most states. Often, we leave the gun in the car, and carrying a holster sans the gun does not feel right.

Black GLOCK 19, barrel pointed upward and to the left on a green desk blotter.
The GLOCK 19 is one of the smartest picks possible.

I have carried off-duty guns more capable than 90 percent of the handguns I see used as duty sidearms. The Kimber CDP is one. However, I give a great deal of respect to the GLOCK 19 as well. The more I fire those little guns, the more I like them. They make a lot of sense and are not harder to handle than full-size service pistols. Modern versions with spring-within-a-spring technology recoil less than earlier GLOCK self-loaders and are more accurate—a no-lose situation.

I have said I appreciate my 1911 handguns, and as efficient as they are, they have exposed hammers. Cocked-and-locked carry demands a certain mindset many do not wish to entertain.

  • The GLOCK compact pistols are alternatives—light, powerful and reliable.
  • The Kahr may have more class and is clearly a purpose-designed compact. From its angled feed ramp to beveled slide, it was designed for concealed carry.
  • The cut-down GLOCKs are nearly as efficient, more proven and hold more ammunition.

If I were backing up a GLOCK, the Mini GLOCK is a clear choice. The Kahr is a fine stand-alone gun. The Kahr shows that gun valley can beat the Europeans at their own game. Those pistols, preferably loaded with the +P 9mm Luger, give the skilled user a high level of protection. Fifteen rounds of 9mm in a GLOCK 19 is a good reserve. Almost light enough to forget, the combo of loaded gun and holster weighs hardly as much as an unloaded Commander .45.

Some Smart, Light Options

Playing a what-if game is fine, and the better armament you have and the better you know how to use it, the more minimized the threat. Accurate, reliable handguns in serious calibers give you a fighting chance. I would not go below the 9mm caliber and see little use in choosing a .380 ACP when there are so many lightweight, controllable, reliable and viable lightweight 9mm pistols available.

Black GLOCK 36 .45 ACP, barrel pointed up and to the right, on a white background
For the GLOCK fan, the GLOCK 36 .45 ACP pistol is among the best choices for carrying light and smart.

When going to the light guns, most of us rarely encounter serious recoil control problems with the 9mm, unless you are not using proper technique. The .40 S&W kicks more than the 9mm, and all of us can control the 9mm better. Mini GLOCKs are fine guns, although not in the same league as the GLOCK 23 and GLOCK 19 in terms of control and overall ability in skilled hands. The Mini GLOCK should be in the dictionary beside Light and Smart. It is a mistake to choose a very small pistol when you could carry a compact or full-size gun. Nevertheless, the compact self-loaders clearly outclass the snub .38/short barrel .357 genre. Revolvers demand more practice for competence, and perhaps a 9mm might bring the user to a higher level of competence quicker. The occasional shooter is better served with a 9mm than a .357 or snub-nose .38 in terms of recoil.

I have great faith in quality revolvers and still use the type for personal defense. Sometimes circumstances dictate the choice of a revolver. I own a five-shot .44, a .357 Magnum in a steel frame and a couple of aluminum-frame .38 Special revolvers. Yes, those are not small guns for the most part, and some kick more than many want to deal with—and there is no free lunch.

Do not let anyone con you with the “modern ammunition performance” argument for the .380 auto or .32 Magnum. Modern ammunition is better than in the past, and the same basic relationship exists. The .38 Special seems to have an advantage over the 9mm in short-barrel handguns. My .38 is most often a backup, although it is my primary carry in sultry weather. It is better than going naked, yet it is usually about as easy to find a place for a compact 9mm.

Different folks have different ideas when it comes to handguns; when they are highly skilled in one discipline, we need to listen. There are martial artists who strongly prefer the snub .38 or .357. They argue the revolver, with its large grip and short barrel, offers superior retention. A skilled martial artist realizes a gun-grabber has little to hang on to when attempting to gain control of a short-barreled firearm. In addition, a revolver may be placed against an adversary’s body and fired repeatedly. The auto pistol will choke if used that way. The revolver is the best choice for ankle carry and probably the best choice as a backup for those who feel the need for more life insurance.

I have no confidence in the .32 Auto; believing Maxwell Smart and his Bodyguard .38 represent smarter carry than Bond’s PPK. The .380 is marginal at best, even though it has its adherents. The PPK is smaller than any locked-breech 9mm. Its blowback action and slim lines allow a more compact pistol than the mini 9s. It is a tough call, although there are times when the .380 looks good for backup.

Black handled Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm in a light brown Talon IWB on a white background
A Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm in a Talon steel-spring clip IWB is good kit.

Then I ask myself which handgun would I want in my hand if trapped in an elevator with an acid freak armed with a stiletto.

Sobering? It is for real.

Winchester’s .380 JHP expands well from the PPK. which makes the .380 more interesting. I do not have much confidence in the .380, although it is easy to use well, just the type of trade-off about which Fitz so eloquently warned. Choose a good handgun, a good holster and good ammunition.

By choosing light, comfortable gear that can be carried on a 24-hour basis, you will be ahead of the curve—and armed when needed.

A final example— the Smith & Wesson Shield carried in a Talon IWB holster—holds eight rounds of 9mm +P and is a joy to fire and handle. The SIG P250 compact .45, carried in a Wright Leatherworks IWB, offers eight rounds of .45 ACP on tap. Neither is a burden on the hip. The old .38 just does not look as good these days.

You can pack light. pack smart and be well-armed.

What is your favorite light and smart choice for taking care of yourself and your family? Share in the comment section.

[bob]

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (38)

  1. My light and smart carry gun is a Glock Md 27 with a finger extension on the magazine for added grip and control. This gives me 10 shots of .40 S&W and by carrying a spare G22 magazine I have a 15 shot reload. This is serious firepower in a compact package. I would never carry a .38spl or lesser round for self defense as one can never tell what the threat may be in size or numbers. I’m a 1911 fan and will always be but Glock’s can Not be beat at any price for reliability and function. The only drawback in a double stack model Glock is that it is a tad wide and I accept that as a perfect conceal gun has never been made, it will lack power, be too big, or be limited in round capacity.

    I agree a Cold Steel knife is a perfect carry choice as a last resort back up but check with local authorities for laws governing legal knife carry as your concealed carry permit does not cover knives.

    Anyone who thinks “size” does not matter has never been in a life and death situation, bigger is always better using ones practice and muscle memory to increase the odds of surviving an unforseen event. A .22 may eventually kill something but the purpose of concealed carry is to “stop the threat” and survive. In other words if you are going to take on the responsibility of carrying a firearm be responsible enough to practice with the largest caliber you can handle effectively it may save you or a loved one. Leave nothing to chance.

  2. I’ve carried the LCP, the LC9, the LCR and the Kahr CM9. I have settled for the Ruger LCR in .38. It is light, easy to conceal and it does not fail. As a plus it does not wear you out with recoil and it is accurate. Semi-autos are great guns but I want to be sure I get more than one shot when my life depends on it.

  3. Control is important but the laws of physics are also important.

    The caliber must have adequate mass and sufficient penetration.

  4. I don’t believe it is a question of caliber, or even power, but rather the degree of control, accuracy and shot placement. One needs to practice and be proficient in the best caliber and size handgun with which they feel comfortable. There have been cases where a .22 has taken down a bear.

  5. Sir,

    Thanks for reading!
    I am certainly not anti Ruger. Just this month I did a feature on all three LC Rugers for a major publication. Ruger gives a great value for the money and they always work. But it isnt fair to compare a $500 gun to a $1300 gun. The less expensive guns are good and reliable but of course you can do more with the Kimber. The Ruger CMD is a good 1911 I have tested extensively. These guns are all different birds. The LCP would be better compared to the Kel Tec and the SR’s to the Glock.

    Bob

  6. I’ve shot half a dozen different guns manufactures and will take Ruger over everything else I’ve shot. I own, Blackhawk SA 357, Blackhawk SA 44 mag, SR40, SR40c, SR9c, SP101 357 and I would put them up against any other gun out there. If they would just make me a 10mm i’d be a very happy guy.

  7. I agree with the article but have a question for Bob. I love my Kimber CDP Pro, I have had 5 inch 1911’s but I shoot and like the Pro. I also carry the Ruger SR40c and LC9. The LC9 works especially good when on my motorcycle in hot weather in a 511 holster shirt and vest. I would put my Ruger’s up against other guns. The trigger on the SR9s and SR40s are really good. Not Kimber good but good. Are you anti Ruger Bob?

  8. A cheap “Saturday Night Special” or “belly gun” in a lower caliber class is better than no firearm at all. Many a peace officer has been killed by just such a weapon when they were carrying a larger caliber handgun with years of proficiency training using it. Of course, a well made and respected firearms maker is most desired and to say otherwise is ridiculous. But in a pinch, use whatever is available to protect yourself. This is an opinion and nothing more. I have not written any books, been a speaker or instructor or do test firing for anyone. I have practical experience with 36 years of continual service as a law enforcement and corrections professional, and still working in this capacity as of today.

  9. again with the calibre wars? really? .380 and 9mm ballistics are so much better these days. and for us small people they are effective and the weapons are easier to conceal, shoot, and re-shoot. .4X one-stop statistics do not support the hand-cannon folks. but who cares what is realistic? i am not alone….i cannot shoot .4X without the gun, any gun, twisting in my hand. so much for the “second cartridge”. i cannot conceal a big gun in/on anything i wear (and still draw it our). small .38s are too harsh to practice with extensively. so much doing favors for the serious concealed carry crowd.

    yes, in a gunfight, hitting anything becomes really problematic. if you have never been in a situation where you recognize, “hey, this is serious, that guy might kill me”, you are in for a total re-calibration of your assumptions. carry and use what you can handle without thinking about stopping power, recoil, muzzle flash. gunfighting leaves no room for careful caution and questions about your equipment. and at the range, practice shooting at moving targets. it is interesting what happens when you are face-on to a carboard target coming at you, hanging from the retrieval rail. the point of aim/impact does change between shots; you should know how to at least deal with that. lateral movement is just about impossible to practice, and shooting targets moving away is a whole ‘nuther country (as in you are no longer in self-defense mode).

    but i digress….

    find a comfortable platform/bullet combo, practice, practice and learn to run the gun well. carry what you can shoot reliably and accurately (i might be an innocent by-stander to your gunfight).

  10. I agree, David. I had a Glock 17 or 19, I can’t remember, it’s been a long time. I just couldn’t shoot accurately. I hated the trigger, and my wife hated the gun from day one. That’s not to say Glock is not a good gun. However, I traded my Glock for a CZ 75. The CZ will shoot with anything, it’s just too heavy for a police gun, etc. Now there are lighter CZs and I’d like to buy the 2075 RAMI for my wife. I also have an old S&W 5943, which was made before S&W make the fine pistols they make today. That gun will also shoot with anything, except maybe my CZ. There are many good guns on the market, but I think Glock sells because it is light, simple, and not too expensive like, say, the Sigs.

  11. I’m not overly excited about anyone that says my gun is better than yours and I am certainly do not believe that Glock is the finest thing ever built. It is a fine gun however I have shot Ruger, S&W, M&P and Kimber right along side Glock and not missed a beat. I carry a Ruger in 40 daily and will stand next to Glock or Kahr any day. Further where is the part about control, comfort and fit. Arguing guns is like arguing Chevy and Ford.

  12. Ross,

    That guy’s advice is among the worst I have ever read.

    God help his students, if he is an instructor.

    Regards

    Bob Campbell

  13. James,

    I was trying to work up a reply, but yours is better!
    Absolutely and I had some form of clairvoyance to
    know when I needed to carry a gun it would not be
    a handgun but a 12 gauge or a .308
    !Well said ,

  14. Don’t disagree with anything in the article, perhaps agree more with some points than others. I did notice the last photo misidentified a holstered Taurus g2 as a Smith and Wesson shield. The logo on the grip and textured panels are a dead giveaway. Better gun than the s&w in my opinion.

    1. Since when is a Taurus better than S&W? I doubt that any highly qualified Gunsmith would agree with that.

    2. The g2 I own is a really well made gun, if I wanted a slightly bulkier 9mm subcompact glock or springfield do everything the sw shield does only better. Unless the gunsmith is going to carry the weapon for me all day, who cares what they think?

  15. Plenty of sound logic. I agree on staying away from the light calibers. I see too many first time females with these .380’s. I hear apologetic comments like “Its only a little gun.” I still carry my first self defense gun and it is little and it took a lot of rounds to get proficient. I’m a man with a 32″ waist. There is no room in my pants for a gun. Ruger LCR .357 in a Galco Stinger OWB does well. A speed strip in a horizontal, belt clip on, smart phone case with a magnetic flap works very well also.

    When I became aware that I needed to protect myself and child, I committed to 24/7. Yes, I carry at home. To the laundry room. To the bathroom. The thieving tweekers are the most likely encounter I need to be ready for. After that would be the Gangsta Wannabees with their stolen guns they traded drugs to the tweeker for. Burglaries and home invasions would be more common than running into a holdup but I don’t care for buying gasoline at night anymore.

  16. Anyone who carries 24/7 is a paranoid or lives in a really bad situation. Change it! I am an instructor, and have been for 30 yrs, and yes, have experience. Most people do not want to have to change their entire life, in order to carry a firearm…get it? All the hype and other stories designed to have everyone living in fear of their lives is great for selling product and training. I spent time in DOD/DIA..and we used .380’s and .22’s very effectively. Get close, point, fire, dead bad guy. If you plan on being in armed shoot outs, that require multiple weapons, magazines etc…you might consider asking yourself why? and what you are doing wrong ? Awareness and brains are the best weapon, period. I have all the popular pistols and can shoot them well, but there are times when a .45 just doesn’t cut it…so my S&W bodyguard .380 with Hornady Critical Defense gets the nod. or the Model 60…either one WILL do the job, but neither will keep you safe from the rabid mob syndrome. So, don’t get in that situation. We always hear about the crazed drugger, but the real stats show other wise. Live in fear, die in despair. Find a piece, practice and use your brains. Bottom line is NO ONE wants to get shot with anything and Situational Awareness will provide the edge you need not to become a victim, regardless of the firearm you choose.

    1. You act as though you can determine what day you need to carry in able to save your life and/or the life of loved ones. Criminals don’t attack only when you just happen to carry that day. Being prepared is what it is all about, not hoping you decided to carry on the right day. You are rolling the dice and hoping for the best. That is not being prepared; that is being careless. Your choice, but it is wrong to badmouth those who wish to be prepared for bad situations.

    2. What is this comment all about? You carry but we shouldn’t carry? So you figure you carry when you know there’s going to be a need, but no other time, is that what you’re saying? So you are an instructor of just what exactly?

    3. wm,i could not agee with you more. on this subject I have experience as a marine in south America during the late 70s and early 80s..no one wants to get shot and I found that the folks who were guiding us unofficially of course were carrying anything and everthing into some close range jungle fighting. 22s were especialy liked because the badguy usually ran awy to die..lever action winshesters were everywhere,mostly old and in 44-40.it was considerd a stopper in that the badguy had to be buried..30-30s were long range and saved for such use.i think the mentality of urban city life and the need to be tactical is a little too much portrayed,however that’s where most people live in America.we here in the Ozarks use the heck out of our revolvers with buckshot and hunt with heavywadcutters for deer and when we are in town we got our mod 686 plus and a 22 mag 9 shooter.just say’n…semper fi from some marines in the woods….

  17. We outcasts that carry HK’s find these articles interesting but feel a bit left out. Is it because our choice “costs too much”? I carry either an HK45C or the P30S. I carry them in a Kramer holster and wonder of wonders they both fit the same holster. Coincidence? Kramer horsehide holsters are the best fitting longest lasting I have ever used and I have boxes of holsters. I have been wearing the one I have now for over four years daily and it is like new. Still grips the weapon like the day I got it and conforms to my body perfectly. What it boils down to is carry what you will consistently carry with comfort. If you dread putting it on, then you have the wrong system.

  18. What is the holster shown in the picture captioned “… Glock , Stream light and Cold Steel …”. I’m looking for a holster like that to use with my Glock 23 / Streamlight TLR2s combo.

  19. In the future I will try to make the focus of the feature more clear.

    Please read more and comment

    criticism appreciated

    regards

    bob campbell

  20. Bob the Geezer-
    ( I am in embassy with you on that title! LOL)
    and DJ
    the Serpa is a great holster. My son is a Captain in the Army and I purchased the same for him for the Beretta on his last deployment. All the men seemed to have one.
    However– as is the case with any such holster do not deploy it until you have completed 500 successful repetitions of the draw and continue to practice at least ten draws per week. You will reach a certain plateau where you are very good and then progress more slowly toward greater proficiency. DJ– I like appendix carry with a short compact handgun.

    Bob

  21. Larry,

    Thanks for reading. I took mundane to mean ordinary. I do pack the iron when walking and hiking. As for the advertisement my education includes a degree in Criminal Justice, Psychology, writing ten books and travel in thirteen countries to date. The small bore cartridges are recommended by those with no such experience in personal defense. And, evidently, in simple physics. So, I do promote the cartridges that actually work not the ones that we hope work. I also have more than one knife scar and a bullet pucker. However, I am looking for more experience to cure my ignorant outlook.

    Regards,
    Bob

    1. Ignorance is defined: Without Knowledge.
      With those credentials, if true, and I do not doubt they are, at least in part. You should clarify the intent of your article in purchasing the right holster for the firearm of choice, whatever the caliber that best suits a given need.

  22. “Never argue with a Man on his choice of religion,politics,guns,knives or dogs”..
    I carry 24/7/365 and I am comfortable with my choices.
    ‘Nuff said

  23. Excuse Me!!!! Is the author from another planet or just ignorant???? “Doing mundane chores or recreation”
    When was the last time anyone felt compelled to ware a side arm while doing the dishes? Or vacuuming the carpet? Or taking out the trash? or playing softball? or bowling? or playing tennis?
    When and if someone carries, concealed or open that individual “Should” be well practiced in firearms safety and use of their handgun of choice which obviously means knowing “How” to arm themselves in the most practical and comfortable way possible. This article is nothing more than and “Advertisement” for different carriers.

  24. I was looking at your examples of holster, specifically the picture of the Galco with the .38 revolver, and I though to myself “what bulk”. The holster is far more bulk than the gun. Then I remembered seeing a picture of a revolver in a “DeSantis” intruder. That’s my choice.

  25. Excellent article, Bob. I do not carry 100% of the time (24/7); however, with the recent surge in “crazy” shootings, I am trying to train myself to carry MOST of the time.
    I greatly prefer the Blackhawk SERPA line of holsters for the simple fact that the weapon remains securely locked in the holster until I release it. So, it is unlikely that some thug is going to come up behind me, grab the gun out of my holster and shoot me with it. Yet releasing the gun is a natural act with the trigger finger that is already properly positioned and requires only a small fraction of a second.
    The holster is versatile and comfortable to wear. I just wish Blackhawk would offer the SERPA line for more guns equipped with laser sights. I’m in my 70’s and a laser is a huge aid to my aging eyesight.

    1. Bob, the Serpa is a good holster, and many carriers like the retention feature. A concern is that, upon pressing the release and drawing the weapon, the trigger finger lands directly on the trigger during the draw, rather than on the frame where it should be. This makes this holster prone to accidental discharge, unless the carrier deliberately trains to put the trigger finger on the frame as the gun emerges from the holster.

      I carry a 9mm Springfield XDs in a Crossbreed IWB Appendix holster, which keeps the gun in front of me where I can see it and keep my arm on or near it all the time.

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