I got a recent phone call from a few LEO’s that were getting moved to investigations and it was time for them to rework their working attire. I think it’s safe to say that wearing a uniform all day is not as comfortable as wearing jeans or your preferences in shirts, pants and shoes. I’ve had to wear boots all day for 5yrs straight and when I get a rare occasion to wear sneakers my feet and legs feel like they move faster. Carrying a gun is something very similar to wearing boots. If you have to carry a full size Beretta 92FS, you’ll feel the same way when you are carrying a Rohrbaugh R9S in your pocket.
I have watched many of my LEO friends go from street work and SWAT Team apparel to white collar “is that the same guy I knew before” looking individuals. Blackhawk holsters do make a pocket carry holster for the white collar work. Guys that have to carry briefcases or laptops aren’t going to want to carry 50rds or more of ammunition when their job is to do office or investigations work. You want to be able to show up at doors and not notify the neighbors of the people you are talking to that a cop is investigating a grim in the area.
I’ve been in some homes where there were serious gun collectors. I guess I should feel fortunate that these people trusted me enough to allow me to view their stash of weapons because the liabilities of knowing that people “know” what you have in your home is considerable. I’ve never heard of a gun collector getting his stuff stolen during a home invasion, but there was a rash of thefts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania a few years ago where the gun thefts occurred in places where the alarm systems didn’t even catch the bad guys. If you are a gun owner, lock your guns up or get them complete out of sight and out of obvious hiding places.
I was at Shot Show 2011 this year and saw some inventive and interesting items. The Console Vault for those on the road and the Stealth Vault for people that really want to hide their weapons in furniture ect. If you have the time and the talent, go for it, but make sure someone in your will knows where you are stashing this stuff or somebody is going to get it at a flea market sale. Gunvault gun safes are widely know for handgun safes. I’ve thought about building a safe for an M4 Carbine since I personally believe that a .223 fragmenting round is a better thing to use in a residential neighborhood.
I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you are traveling and want to prevent someone from using a firearm against you on the road, gun locks are pointless to keep on a firearm. As a matter of fact let me revise my opinion. Gun locks are a waste of money and do not make your firearm more safe. The traditional two piece gun lock the locks inside the trigger guard if not absolutely rock solid tight can still cause a firearm to shoot if bumped. What’s the frickin point of that? Keep the gun unloaded and store the ammunition in a hidden place. If the point is to keep children away from them, put them in a safe. If you are concerned about theft or fire damage, get a gun safe.
With the advent of Biometric technology, many reasons for not locking up a firearm are now over. I think you are asking for more problems if you leave a loaded gun in your home and it is not in a safe. Guns can get used against you and children know how to get into things when Mom and Dad aren’t around. Gunvault gun safes are more diverse in application then from years ago and I have a few Biometric safes that are holding up as advertised. They work great for keeping money and jewelry in and the Nanovault NV 100 is something I travel with.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some of the IDPA National competitions in recent years and it has still amazed me that the 1911 is the number one firearm that is being used. I’ve spent enough time on the range to know that the 45acp is more consistent in knocking down targets and makes bigger holes. The triggers on the 1911 design can be sweetened and even though there are some draw backs to the 1911 design, for competition, there aren’t any. Glocks have a good showing because they have a consistent trigger design like the 1911, but they are very different to shoot.
I understand that many shooters will probable shoot a 9mm more proficiently over a 45acp and I have done personal evaluations of novice shooters and done comparisons. The 9mm is easier to shoot and will most likely get you a higher hit percentage. For more advanced shooters, they won’t have problems with the 45acp. Wilson Combat magazines are still the number one 1911 gun magazine that I see at these events followed by Chip McCormick. Every 1911 design can be tweaked and modified just like a pile of Legos.
There are many things to concern yourself with when you choose to carry a firearm. People training to hit holes on paper and maneuver themselves around a firearm range, but if the shit hits the fan, not everyone is mentally prepared for a fight. Many that have become victims of crime tend to be the most proficient at my training courses because they know what the receiving end of crime feels like. Having that feeling is not something the less experienced will easily learn to know. I have personally witnessed people freeze up in hostile situations that I would normally think would be fighters and sometimes people can just become off balance and loose themselves.
Everyone has a different reason for carry the firearm that have chosen to carry and that is your personal choice. I have issues with carrying firearms that are high maintenance, but to each his own. One thing to consider when carry a firearm out in the open though is to have some level of retention device. I am not big on using these for CCW, but for open carry, it’s wise to have something like the Blackhawk holsters that have a locking device that is easy to release but a BG that tries to grab a hold of your gun in a fight will have extra fiddling to do if they want to get a hold of your Sig Sauer, Glock or Springfield XD.
The entire gun holster market is so diverse now that it sometimes makes my head spin just thinking about recommendations for friends. You can do google or yahoo searches for gun holsters and you’ll find some of the largest makers of firearm holsters, but I still wouldn’t hesitate to try a customer holster maker. I have a friend that makes Kydex holsters and they are very original even though at first glance they look very much like other kyder holsters. With the advent of lasers, flashlights and customer gun smithing, gun holsters can get really complicated.
There have been times when I was taking a gun course where I’d take out a leather holster that I don’t normally wear to the range and my Springfield 1911, although it’s not the most carried sidearm I own, I have more Galco holsters for this firearm because it’s so cool looking in a leather holster. I have the Miami Classic shoulder holster, the Fletch and the Avenger. The Galco combat master is a fast draw holster that if worn with a nice belt, nice pants and a good shirt, will definitely get you more girls, I’m joking…
I have witnessed one too many times of people mounting things on firearms that fall off, get snagged or malfunction. The more you put on a firearm that needs to be tightened or screwed on, the more you better pay attention to how it is mounted and verifying that it has been locked in every time you expect to use it. I haven’t caught on to the handgun white light idea because considering the distance I would use a sidearm inside my home, holding a flashlight while shooting a Glock vs having it on a Glock doesn’t really mean much to me. I’m not going to be taking 25yd shots where I need a better shooting grip to get good shots.
Mounting a white light on your gun may also mean you can’t use your gun holsters anymore and you’ll have to run out and pick up a new one. Keeping a gun in your bed side safe with a white light is very practical. Streamlight flashlights make the TLR-1 and TLR-2 that gives you the option of a flashlight or flashlight and laser. I’m a fan off certain types of firearms for me, but there are guns that I would issue to less trained loved ones with certain accessories because they are easier to manipulate or handle. I’m a big fan of shotguns and battle rifles, but that is too much for a fragile person to handle inside the home. I’d feel better issuing a Glock 19 with a white light than a 1911 with a manual safety for someone less trained to deal with recoil and stress.
There is a mindset that goes with the responsible Citizen and it’s not all about firearms and self defense. I’m a big proponent of getting First Aid or emergency response training if you are a concealed carry holder or if you have taken defensive firearm training. Not only are you preparing yourself for defending yourself, you may be involved in a situation where others besides the BG may have been shot or injured. I’ve witnessed enough violent crime in my life to know that some old guy or an old lady may have a heart attack in a crisis situation and knowing how to deal with that is important.
I keep a spare magazine in my car for the nightmare scenario of needing it, but I also carry jumper cables, fix a flat and tire pressure gauges. Another thing to consider having is small fire extinguisher and something you can use to cut a seat belt or smash out a car window. Breaking car windows can be difficult if you don’t have the proper tools, but many tactical knives and something like the SOG Fusion tactical tomahawk will make it easier to smash open a window to free someone from a burning car. I witnessed several car accidents that turned into car fires and sometimes people will become unconscious after an impact. There are many ways to save peoples lives. Having the tools to do so
I try to test out as much of the tactical clothing market even if something really isn’t my style. I’ve seen things that looked like good ideas really turn out to impractical, over priced and become impossible to find because manufacturing them was too difficult. There are always things that the tactical apparel community tries out and then the next thing you know those well know 5.11 businesses on the west coast are selling the pants for $19.99 that were going for 49.99. Not everyone is so harsh when it comes to testing clothing out because not everyone wears the stuff 5-7 days a week. I’ve found the only way to know how well something is made and how much movement I will have is to test it out myself.
I am not big on the whole tactical shirt thing, they have pockets all over them, some have velcro and others are zippered. I still find that losing stuff in them is easy, but I get more use out of the pants pockets than I ever will in a shirt. Woolrich Elite shirts tend to fit very loose, this even goes for the p pants and vests. Some people like this because it gives them more movement and if not tucked in, can help in concealing a holster. Tactical shirts make you look more like a LEO than the pants in my humble opinion so if I’m carrying, concealing a firearm doesn’t do much for me when everyone sees how much tactical clothing I’m wearing.
I’m really starting to accumulate a lot of gun cleaning accessories in recent years. Not that I really felt I needed them, but I was wanted to know if they were useful and helped speed up or simplify the process. Every firearm I own needs to be cleaned in a different manor. I am very careful how I clean my Russian SKS rifles because I have seen on several occasion that using the wrong cleaning liquids like WD40 can actually cause the gun to double or go full auto. Bolt action rifles are in another category because you really could get away with mostly just using gun oil or a rust inhibitor.
I have several AR15 rifles and I like shooting all of them, but when it comes to cleaning, It doesn’t matter what cleaning tools I have, my LWRCI M6A2 is my favorite to clean. I don’t need to clean the LWRCI upper receivers pistol area more less than once every 2500 rds and there is absolutely no need for using a scraping tool inside the locking lugs or the bolt carrier like my direct impingement guns. Depending on what type of AR15 fits your needs the LWRCI gun may cost you 30-50% more than a less expensive gun, but there are hobby guns and there are combat carbines. And you get what you pay for. How about accuracy, reliability and easy cleaning?