Archive for February, 2011

Buying guns for novice and youngsters

I have had several regrets in selling off firearms that I wish I would have held on to.  One of  my biggest regrets was selling a Russian Saiga rifle off because I couldn’t get anything but 5rd magazines for it, and then I found out that it was possible to legally alter the firearms so that it could take 30rd magazines.   It was a very small gunsmithing alteration that would have been done in a few minutes.  You just had to know that it could be done.


Another regret I had was selling off a Ruger 10/22 rifle because the gun wasn’t very accurate compared to my Marline bolt action rifles,  but after taking several kids to the range, I found out that the children under 8yrs old had trouble with the length of the rifle stocks and something as small as the Ruger 10/22 would have worked since it had such a short LOP.   If a gun isn’t junk, you may want to think about why you should hang on to it, because you may wish you did.


Levels of concealment in close contact situations

I never thought about this all that much  until the first time that it happened.  In the Advent of cell  phones it’s actually easier and easier to get away with  now, but it can be a problem in unfriendly territory.  Many first time CCW holders start out with a paddle holster and a large size auto, but slowly transition to IWB.   IWB may not be the most comfortable for everyone, but there are problems that can come up with OWB in office, weddings, social environments.   There are gray areas where CCW may not be acceptable, but not illegal, and you may have problems.

I am speaking from experience here and not about what happened to me, but what happened to a friend of mine.    A women he worked with brushed up against him in a door way and hit the side of him where the firearm was.   She felt a clunk and then pushed up against the part of his body where she felt the gun holsters protruding area and start to say “what the hell is that” she kept poking and prodding him until she broke out into a cold sweat and realized it was a gun.   You’re average citizen isn’t going to look for a CCW, but if they find one, they may announce it.   It’s not just about hiding the gun from sight, sometimes concealment means not being able to find it in close contact situations.


Securing firearms in a holsters is important…

But don’t forget about all of your other gear.    Many of my previous blog posts have mentioned that I regularly attend training seminars and trade shows and I see and feel lots of gun gear and accessories.    I’ve seen plenty minds changed with gun holsters once the physical stuff starts.   I’ve busted a few CCW in my life usually during the Summer months when they are sitting back on a lawn chair and I see a fully loaded Sig 220 magazine laying on the ground next to them.    Another one of my friends fell asleep on a long car ride and woke up with an empty pistol magazine pouch, it was being held by the guy sitting behind him.

Those sound like funny stories, but it should be a wake up for anyone that is CCWing.   Gun accessories on firearms should normally have loctite on them, but you can’t do that to keep your gun magazines in place.   Those cheap nylon magazine holders are actually very secure, but some don’t like the image of cheap Army surplus stuff.   Blackhawk holsters are known for their locking Serpa holsters, but the double stack and single stack magazines are outstanding.   I’ve never lost a magazine during training and they are easy to retrieve unlike something with a flap.


A debate about guns, caliber and concealment

I’m mentioned many times before that I have witnessed many CCW holders go from full size autos to j-frame revolvers and I don’t think they are under gunned at all.   Many of my friends are now carrying  .380 pistols and 38 Specials.    If you are not on a hit list and not a LEO, you are more than likely  only going to deal with a minimal number of threats to your life and if you train to use  your firearm properly, you should be able to take out 1 or 2 bad guys with any firearm.   I’m not going to guarantee it, but having 2.5rds per target should make a 5 shot S&W worth it’s weight in gold.

I’m also not going to argue with someone that wants to carry a full size 1911 with a 7rd magazine.  I personally have never had a problem with my Wilson Combat Magazines, whether they are 7rd or 8rd.   I’ve heard many debates that the 8rd magazines are not as reliable, but I have never used anything but the 8rd magazines and I don’t have issues.   The real advantage of the 1911 design for CCW is that it is very thin.   I would say that my 8rd Sig 239 is actually thicker in the frame than a 45acp 1911 and it is easily concealed IWB.


Nylon hip holsters are they durable?

The answer to this is yes, depending on what kind of environment you expect to be in.   They aren’t hard, but they will hold up better than leather in many situations.   I find the holsters to be difficult to put on and off because of the clip on belts but they are very secure and I actually find them to be very useful for secondary weapons holsters.   Many nylon hip holsters also use valuable space and usually have room for a pistol magazine just in front of where the pistol holster.  There are hip holsters with and without, but I’d recommend the tactical ones.

I find the nylon tactical holsters magazine holder may not be the best placement for you because if you are right handed and your holster is on your right side, you’ll have to reach across with your left hand which may be awkward, but it’s an easy place to keep a spare magazine just incase you ever need one without having to carry an extra pistol magazine holder.  Uncle Mike’s holsters are not expensive and they won’t make you look rich, but I see plenty of made in China nylon holsters that I can’t tell a darn difference between them and what Uncle Mike’s holsters.   What kind of gun fight would you get in if you are carrying a carbine and need to use a handgun and still need spare mags?  Answer, a really bad one, just try not to get in one.


Comfort vs convenience

There is going to be a argument with your body between comfort and convenience whenever you put on a holster.    IWB may work for you, but if you start carrying larger guns you’ll start to feel it pretty fast.  I have already seen guns go from carrying fat compact guns and transitioned back to a 1911 which is longer, but is thin and more comfortable to carry IWB.   If you are expecting to get into street combat then do something other than wear a concealment holster.   I have had years of experience in carrying guns IWB, but recently I’ve gone to pocket carry because I’m getting tired of feeling it when I’m out on golf course or batting practice.

There are plenty of custom holster companies for you to research, but you may spend a lot of money on a holster that doesn’t work for you and the best thing to do is go to a gun show or a gun shop that carries them and ask if you can try them on.  Galco holsters have a stow n go holster that is an easy fix for IWB concealment holsters.  If you don’t want to blow a ton of money on a holster look at Galco or Don Hume first.   There are belt loop, paddle and pocket holsters that are very reasonable priced.


5.11 tactical holsters do they still make clothing?

I’m not going to get on the bandwagon and say 5.11 is a bad company, but I will say that the company has far out extended itself.   I have an own many items from 5.11, but after a failed attempt and trying to get back into wearing some of their stuff with the 5.11 jeans, I’m really annoyed that if I want to try to order any of the other pants online, I’m probable going to have sizing issues.  I have to wear a full size large in the pants that I presently own and I have no idea how they got so out of  hand when it came to consistency.   I see 5.11 watches and holsters, but I’d like to see them go back to making clothing right.

The 5.11 thumb drive holsters are another way of doing something, and if it floats your boat, they float it.   I don’t like jumping around with too many  holster variations because like driving many different vehicles in a short time  period, there will eventually be a time you reach for something and it’s not where you thought it was.  Retention or locking holsters can be very important,  but sometimes its nice to just put on  Fobus holsters and you’re all ready for Winter/ Jacket carry or open carry.  Sometimes you have to stick to the  basics and consistency is paramount


Are there bigger 9mm than the Beretta 92FS?

I’m trying to think here, but I can’t think of too many.   The Sig 226 is the closest firearm that I can think of.   There are always trade offs between firearms and if you want the power of a +P 9mm with 15rds,  you really can’t beat the Beretta 92FS.   The gun has a long enough history of being proven to be reliable, and in my many years of owning a shooting them, I have never had any problems with it.   Finding used 92FS magazines is easy and there will probable be as many of them laying around 20yrs from now as there are 1911 magazines.

I have a few family members that have served in the Military and each and every one of them has mentioned that the gun is so darn big.   If you are carrying a loaded M9 pistol, and you are 5’6″  I can understand the gun is probable big for you, but do you really want to do guard duty with a Walther PPK when guarding the entrance of a base?  Having a good gun holster like Blackhawk holsters or a Galco shoulder holster might help offset weight.  I have no idea why the US Military is still afraid of putting hollow point ammunition in sidearms, but the 9mm +P does not have a good reputation.   Private contractors are a different story and it seems that the 92FS still has a good reputation with them.


Spring and Summer holster options

With the advent of the Glock pistol, I have thought that it was smart to consider getting gun manufacturers to move in that direct, and I think just about everyone is on the bandwagon now.   I think firearms are like Golf Clubs and baseball bats, and everyone is going to have to find one that works for them and not expect every person to be using the same one.   There is a difference between someone that does investigation in a PD and someone that is showing up on the scene of a crime and rifles and handguns are should be chosen in the appropriate environments.

I have ruined a few firearms whether it was pitted or rusted out screws, and pretty much removed leather holsters from my non-Winter carry options.   My paddle holsters are all Fobus and Blackhawk holsters and I have no real concerns about using them, but I am still finding rust on some of my pistols.   I have taken the plunge into carrying Glocks for a few months just to see if I can adjust to the feel.   I’m still not very comfortable, but I will give it a few more months and possible look into getting a Springfield XD or a Smith & Wesson M&P pistol.


Blackhawk Serpa Holsters

I’m in the midst of a major change in the type of holsters that I am carrying.   I’m really getting tired of carrying IWB every day and it’s starting to get to me these days.    I was always very fond of Fobus gun holsters but after several days of Level III defensive shooting training, having a holster with a retention locking system, thumb snap or other, was very important.   I am also very fond of the Blackhawk mag holsters because they also have a retention mechanism that helps keep them in place.   I’ve seen more magazines to a stray at Level III training than firearms and both incidents are bad for an operator.

I see a few of the new thumb release devices from 5.11 tactical and I believer there are a few others, but I find the Blackhawk holsters to be a better and more natural feel.  I think there is nothing wrong with a non locking system for concealed carry, but for paddle holsters, it is something to consider depending on your work environment.   There are different levels of alertness and there are different levels of firearms that you can deploy.    Having a .380 pistol is better than none, but having a .380 pistol for street work for LEO is not a smart weapon to deploy.

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