Showing posts with label concealed carry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concealed carry. Show all posts

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Single Stack 9mm Winner Is..................

The Kahr CW9. There has been a lot of discussion about this. I have spent tons of time watching and reading reviews as well as combing over data points on different handguns.

So why this one?

As to caliber- I did  consider a .380 but given the proliferation of decent to good single stack 9mm's into the Walther PPK size range that used to be .380 domain something like a PPK or a Bersa did not make a ton of sense. The micro (KT P3AT, S&W Body Guard, Kahr P/C 380, etc) sized .380's are, aside from being chambered in .380 not typically guns most people shoot real well. I see them more as a non permissive environment/ deep carry type gun than a regular all the time carry piece.

Since the option was available I chose 9mm because it is a cartridge already on inventory and sufficiently potent for the task at hand.

As to size- This is about as small of a handgun as I can really get a good grip on. For shorter pistols you can get larger extended mags but the idea of getting one knowing you will use an extended mag all the time is kinda missing the point.

Quite a lot of guns fall really close to the specs of this one. The Kel Tek PF9 is very close though slightly (.88 to .9) thinner and considerably lighter (12 ounces to 15.8). The Shield is little bit thicker at .95 (due to a more curved grip vs the slab side Gen 1 Glock like Kahr. Both of these guns have 3in or close barrels while the Kahr has a 3.5in. Of all the ways I was going to be going the guns were really close in dimensions.

Why Kahr?- The three guns that showed real promise were the Kel Tek PF9, the S&W Shield and the Kahr CW9 (CM9). For the Kel Tek the lemon rate comparable to a bad used car lot was a real problem. In my mind the Kel Tek PF 9 is a price point gun. Given the modest difference between it and other offerings (a hundred bucks or a bit more) I pretty much eliminated it as an option. That is a shame because it manages to be very nice in the hand while still being a smaller package than the other options.

As to the Kahr vs Shield that is a more complicated conversation. I prefer the grip angle as well as ergonomics and controls of the Kahr; probably because they are very Glock like. Could give or take the Shield safety but do not like the big take down lever and am not in love with the trigger.

Kahr's QA/QC is not quite up to the level of S&W and they produce some guns that have issues. However worst case once those issues are addressed they seem to be good guns. This somewhat higher than it should be lemon rate [Though still probably better than Kel Tek which is probably better than Diamondback which is probably better than Jimenez Arms.] was initially off putting to me. However I realized that this isn't my first/ only handgun. Heck it isn't my first/ only CCW type handgun. I'll do some shooting and if it has issues get it fixed.

Also I could get a CW9 today for $50 less than an M&P Shield.

So far I am pleased with the purchase. Fit and finish are great and it is a a pretty little gun, well at least as pretty as a polymer striker fired pistol can be. It carries very well.

I hope to take it shooting tomorrow to make sure the thing goes bang.

So that ends the quest of the week. Maybe this winter I'll be in the market for a little .380.






Sunday, August 31, 2014

Single Stack 9mm Rabbit Hole, General CCW and Random Thoughts

I talked a good bit about this recently and it has been on my mind for awhile. Recently I came to a realization on the topic. The type of firearm dimensions I am talking simply do not support the concept of use I had in mind. The combination of enough grip (height) to handle decently yet quite short to theoretically allow pocket carry in 9mm from a company that builds to a decently professional standard is a bridge too far. Granted it isn't looking for a 20 round 10mm the size of a Beretta .22 Bobcat but it's still a bit too aggressive all the same.

The truth in the back of my head that it took some time for me to admit is that I have actually been talking about two pistols. The first pistol is a single stack 9mm with enough grip to get a decent grip and thus be reasonably accurate. Rough stats would be about a 3in barrel and height over 4 in but under 5, probably in the 4.5in range. Weight dictates a polymer frame and anything in that class is plenty light. The second pistol is a tiny pocket sized .380 acp. Something in the Kahr P380/ S&W Bodyguard W/O laser/ Kel Tek P3AT size range.

I then stumbled into the 'what to buy first' train of thought. After looking at both options I took a deep breath and got back to my original intent. My original intent was to acquire a thin subcompact (if narrowly) single stack 9mm that would be comfortable to carry IWB and be more accurate with a higher round count than the S&W 642.

So it is pretty apparent to me the 9mm needs to come first and potentially down the road maybe a .380 will come into play.

So where does that leave me? The Kahr CW9 is a viable option though it's Shield sized. Of the two I prefer the Shield. The Kel Tek fits well in my hand and is a nice balance of size but well I would be lying if I said Kel Tek makes consistently reliable guns to a profession standard. Certainly some of them work, Archer Garret loves his F9 and P3AT. However I do not feel like rolling the lemon dice, especially since I have the additional $50-100 to buy a well built weapon with a nominal couple percentage point dud rate (that exists with any good product it is just life).

Anyway I am looking hard at the Shield. Honestly all roads seem to keep coming back there anyway. I really wanted one maybe two years ago but they were brand new, untested which concerned me and unobtanium. Fast forward a couple years and whatever minor issues existed then have long been addressed. Availability is pretty much full and correspondingly prices are down a little bit. Seems like a good time to snag one.

So that is where I am with this today. I'm leaning hard towards the Shield though I might just get a .380 or bin the whole damn thing due to confusion.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Single Stack Compact 9mm Round Up

I do not mean this to be comprehensive. Instead it is going to be a brief and totally subjective view on some of the single stack 9mm's out there. For background I have been anecdotally in that market for awhile and recently put away the cash to do it so the looking has gotten serious.

-Beretta Nano. Very small but odd looking. Does not feel good in my hand.

-Sig 938. Has a lot to offer but a $700+ subcompact 9mm carry piece is a hard sell for me in a land full of very good $300-450 options.

-S&W Shield. Definitely the big boy on the block. Aside from initial minor issues which exist in all guns it's reputation is rock solid including some serious shooters. Feels good in my hand. Cost is pretty fair at around 4 bills. The downside is that for me it is a little big. Honestly I think it handles more like a very thin compact single stack 9mm than a subcompact. Probably the perfect IWB solution for a lot of people but I am not sure that I am one of them.

-Kahr CW9. Basically the same dimensions as the Shield. Ever so slightly thinner (than the Shield) due to a flat grip. Basically it is a single stack rendition of a Gen 1 Glock 19 (actually it is 4.5 in tall while the G19 is 4.9 but I digress).

-Kahr CM9. Basically a single stack G26.

As of right now I am mulling hard on a Kahr CM9. The grip is definitely a 2  finger job but you can get extensions if that is desired. Personally, without getting into specifics, I think for small guns it is better to have a shorter frame and add a longer mag/ mag extension when you want. A lot more versatile to slap in a +1 mag which has room for the pinky when you need to than to try and make a bigger gun fit a smaller role

Or honestly I am seriously just considering buying a little .380 either a Kahr or an S&W Bodyguard (w/o laser).

Am open to your thoughts and experiences on the subject. Comments that do not apply to the post such as 'Carry a 1911/ Glock 17 every day' or 'buy a J frame' will be ignored. What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We picked up a large Coleman family sized car camping type tent

I am actively shopping for a single stack 9mm pistol

Over the last week or two I have been refocusing on physical fitness and
diet. Let a few pounds slip on and now it is time to eat less and move more
to lose them.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Family Tent, Single Stack 9mm's and a Saturday Night ER Trip

Awhile back our larger tent finally kicked the bucket. Since, IIRC, my Dad bought it for me as a Freshmen in highschool it stopped owing us anything years ago but it still left a vacuum. Also honestly we needed a bigger tent. The one I had technically slept three which actually means it sleeps two unless 2 of the 3 are small children or all three are very intimately close.

Walker has been asking about it and since the budget was looking OK this month we decided to go get a tent. So we went to Academy in the nearest decent sized town and walked down to the tent aisle. Ended up with a big ole Coleman. Honestly it is a bit bigger than we want/ need but there is sort of a size gap in options and we'd rather be on the big end. It is like 12x7. Definitely a car or other mode of conveyance type tent.

We set it up in the living room so kiddo and I can sleep in it. Honestly sleeping outside when the low is 80 or so sucks so we are doing it inside.

On the door of the tent there is about an 8 inch lip at the bottom. Walker tripped on it and slammed his face into the floor biting his lip pretty bad in the process. Of course there was some blood and lots of crying. His sister joined in with some sympathy crying for good measure.

We got him cleaned up and the cut was pretty good, solidly in the 'maybe it needs stitches' range. So we hopped in the family hauler and went off to the ER. Just what everyone wants to do at 6pm on a Saturday. The injury was more in the 'urgent care' range but with our medical coverage it is ER, a few rare same day appointments (M-F of course) or waiting several days to a month for an appointment. Consequently in addition to relatively minor issues like Walkers there are always lots of moms with kids who have the snivels.

I dropped Wifey and Walker off then went to do a couple things with Princess.

Walker got checked out and the verdict was since the deep cut is inside his mouth (vs the lip) they would not do stitches due to infection concerns (and I think the mouth cures pretty well plus a scar there is not an issue).  The advice was to feed him lots of popsicles and keep an eye on it.

We had a quick drive thru dinner on the way back. After getting home we let him watch a tv show then it was bed time. Read stories in the tent and he passed out shortly after.

I have been doing some more thinking and research on Single Stack 9mm's. I have been looking at the S&W Shield for awhile but recently came to a revelation. I think the Shield is a tiny bit too big to really be a meaningful difference from other guns on the inventory.

The Shield is 4.5in tall which for reference is roughly in the middle between a Glock 26 (4.1in) and a Glock 19 (4.99in). Honestly (and interestingly my initial observation from the first time I handled it) the Shield is sort of closer to a single stack COMPACT pistol in terms of height and grip length than a true subcompact.

As I have learned with small guns you can always get a bit more grip (and usually an extra round) with a mag extension but if you want a gun to be smaller, to say fit in a pocket, you cannot remove a half inch off the grip of a larger handgun.
Now I want to get my hands on a couple other guns to see if they might better suit my needs.

Going to read some junk on the net, watch a bit more TV then go to sleep in a tent that's in my living room.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kangaroo Carry and Other Outside the Box Ideas

You probably notice I have mentioned the S&W Shield a few times recently. Then I took a step back and checked the whole concept a little bit. May be the answer is to find a more comfortable way to carry a gun I already have like a Glock. Got an OWB kydex holster that I really like but it does not offer the level of concealability I desire. Also I just am not loving IWB these days.

While it is very pro gun it is not, at least in my observation one where people carry in a marginally concealed way. So my need to conceal deeper is at least worth thinking about. It got me looking at different outside of the box options.

The first one I stumbled into was Kangaroo Carry. Sort of a hybrid shoulder holster/ belly band type of thing. The ability to carry a large end 'compact' pistol like a Glock 19 in a solidly concealed fashion with a pretty high level of concealment appeals to me. Also for drives it is off the waistline which is good. Also handily with a very affordable price of $50ish on their website and closer to $30 elsewhere it is solidly in the 'I'll give it a shot' range.

If anyone has personal experience with this setup I am quite interested to hear about it. There is another similar maker, deep concealment if I think, to which the same applies.

Also if you use some other outside the box type carry setup I would be interested in hearing about it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Evening Thoughts

It was a long, busy week at work. One of those brain numbing weeks where you get home and after eating (and if applicable) hanging out with the kiddo's just want to veg out.

I have always hated Gin with the sole exception being the ultimate 'white girl wasted' drink the Long Island Ice Tea which, best I can recall I last drank 6 or so years back at Applebee's in Columbus, Georgia with Wifey and Stephen (RIP).  Anyway a week or so back at a guys house (waiting to carpool somewhere with a DD) said guy offered me a gin and tonic. Said sure half to be polite. It was delightful, light and fizzy. I have a new summer drink, at least for now.

Am looking hard at getting a single stack 9mm pistol. Efforts into reloading are on hold as I am putting that on hold for fear I might smash a rifle in a fit of rage. Also I would like have a better compromise between concealability and firepower than is currently on inventory. Am leaning hard towards the S&W Shield though if I find a deal on a Khar CM/CW9 it would be hard to turn down. Am for it on a conceptual level, just a question of this month or the next, in comparison to other options.

Have recently started watching Archer. It is awesomely amusing mindless entertainment.

Also started reading a new (to me) Brad Thor book. Picked it up at a garage sale for a buck. So far it is quite fun in a contemporary spy drama sort of way. Am looking forward to reading it.

This weekends plans are to take care of some chores at home and spend a lot of time with the midgets.

So that is what I am up to this week. What have you been up to?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Carry System Upgrade? Blade Tech Belt and OWB Kydex Holster.

After yesterdays post I did some thinking. As a general rule I try to approach problems from the easiest and cheapest option then work progressively towards the opposite end. If the problem could be a $5 fuse or a $60 battery or a $500 alternator it just makes sense to start with the fuse. So I am relooking the issue of the carry system I have been using.

Basically I needed a decent gun belt that would be comfortable enough for regular wear. Also for comfort, speed and keeping corrosive sweat away from the gun I kind of wanted to try a close to the body OWB holster. I did some looking and ended up pointed at Blade Tech for both. They do not get quite the same coolness points as some companies (who pay work with a lot of big names in the industry) but have been making quality products at pretty good prices for a long time.

Also their brown gun belt looks like something a person like me (casual, 30's, etc) would wear instead of a big ole cowboy belt or a dress belt. The holster I ordered has an open bottom which is especially handy for people who own multiple sized of the same caliber gun (Glock 17/19/26, etc) as it can be compatible with all of them without having the length of the longest one.

So I am going to give that a try as well as some other holsters on inventory (including a Blade Tech IWB and a crossbreed knock off) to see what sort of improvements can be made in comfort to promote carrying in a better way more regularly.

Pending how this goes I may end up negating the immediate want for a more concealable single stack auto. 

Mentioning my little J frame here sort of muddled the waters. It was applicable because that is my non Glock default carry gun and I am not in love with its capabilities. However the J and it's role is a subject I have generally discussed as much as I want to. Once the above issues are solved the J's role will be reevaluated. Anyway moving on.

As to potential pistol purchases I need to get my hands on a Shield again and compare it with other guns hands on. While I do want a Walther PPK (stainless) in .380 it would probably be prudent to punt that goal until a few more practical concerns are handled.

As to AR pistols my concept of use is a 10-11in barreled paperless SBR utilizing one of those SIG arm braces.  Its (soft) armor piercing, round count and range PWN pistol caliber carbines.

Anyway hopefully I get into a carry system that is comfortable enough to execute consistently with a Glock. After that we will see what happens.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

"These are the things one must consider if buying a gun strictly for the purpose of CCW - weight, bulkiness, recoil, grip, hand fit and always the caliber. Small and light you WILL have less stopping power, but it is easier to conceal."
-Brigid

As we talked about awhile back I think carrying a gun is more important than carrying a specific size/ type/ caliber of gun.
 Better small and light than a choice of ""alNO concealed protection because of what you are wearing or the temperature. A .380 in the pocket is better than a .45 in your nightstand when you are facing someone with a knife as you get into your car in an isolated parking lot.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baby Glocks and Snubby Revolvers

The comparison between snubby revolvers and subcompact double stack pistols like baby flocks and heir m&p equivalent ia inevitable. Here are my thoughts on this.

Small autos are easier to shoot well than.small revolvers. I suspect my experience is comparable to most folks here.

Small autos hold a lot more ammo than revolvers. Roughly twice as much.

Small autos can take mags from their larger siblings. This os handy for backup guns or if you have a larger compatible house gun.

Nothing is free in life. Smallpox double stack pistols are much wider throughout than revolvers so they do not carry.as well. They are harder to conceal than revolvers.

Small autos, particularly universal servo e pistol types withoutphysically accessible safetieare not as forgiving about poor carry methods and handling as revolvers. While tactically a poor idea I would comfortably stick a small revolver in.a back pocket without concern. Their heavy da trigger pull makes negligent dischargeunlikely. Treat a baby Glock or m&p like a wheel gun and you are asking for an nd. Universal srci e pistols need to have the.trigger fully covered, ideally with a stiff type sheath.

Without discounting the utility of the j frame modern subcompact pistols have a lot of benefita. I think a small auto is an excellent choice for realistic concealed carry. Purchase one that is compatible with your larger service pistol is an excellent idea.

Thoughts?

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Gun You WILL Carry


In our recent discussion of whether a 5 shot handgun is sufficient an old saying came up. Someone, H if I recall said he had been advised to carry a full sized handgun and "dress around it ". I have to start by saying carrying a full sized handgun is an excellent idea. A compact Flock 19 sized handgun (meant Glock) falsintothe same category though it is easier to do. The problem is that most people simply will not carry a full sized handgun with any regularity. I once heard a saying "if anybody says they edc a full sized 1911 ask them to show it to you, right now. Inevitably an excuse will follow about.why it ia in the glove box or their home." As a general observation most people simply will not carry a full sized handgun, particularly a heavy steel one, with regularity. We are lazy and like to be comfortable. . It is human nature. Folks might buy a full sized handgun or get a license to pack their house gun then do it for a day or a week. Eventually it gets to be a hassle then they start doing it less and les. It is not that I think a little baby Glock, .38 snubby or. 380 is better than a full sized handgun. It is that the little pistol BEING CARRIED REGULARLY is better than anoy carrying a handgun at all. I would rather see somebody carrying a small gun regularly than paying lip service to carrot a bigger one but doing it rarely. My general advice would be to carry the biggest gun you WILL ACTUALLY CARRY Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Rounds Enough for Concealed Carry?


I once quoted James Yeager saying "The definition of an optimist is a guy with a J frame and a speed strip." Like many quotes my goal was more to provoke thought than say something is good or bad.

We can quote cases such as the 1986 Miami shoot out or stuff from FerFal that show the weakness of lower capacity firearms. I would discount the Miami case because I am not an LEO pursuing dangerous criminals. If I was I would relegate a J frame, if carried at all, to a back up. As to the FerFal stuff that is Buenos Aries not Peduke, Iowa or in my case western central Louisiana.

Most of the time I carry some sort of a Glock 9mm with a spare mag. About a third of the time the pistol I carry is my little J frame with a pair of speed strips. Distance being traveled, events being attended, perceived level of risk and my level of laziness really dictate the choice.

Do I feel well armed with a J frame? Honestly I do not. Then again the risk in my sleepy little town is low. My odds leaving the hardware store at noon or a restaurant at 7 of getting into something are tiny. The kind of situations I might get into (strong arm robbery, just caught in the middle of something, etc) are the type that any centerfire handgun is capable of handling. So when I go to get a gallon of milk and slip the .38 into my back pocket I feel adequately, if not particularly well, armed.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

White Knight Syndrome



Truth by James Yeager. You might not agree with everything he says but the man is dead on about this one. Personally I have thought a lot about the actual situations where I would intervene/ get involved with violent (or potentially so) situations that did not involve me. Admittedly as the years have gone by I have gotten older and wiser about this topic. Honestly the times I would get involved are pretty narrowly defined and vastly outnumbered by 'not my problem'.

If White Trash (I say as the most likely cultural group I would encounter in this context, not an insult. Pot says to kettle.) Joe is slapping around White trash Betty May  who is a stranger to me that is not my problem. If Betty May is my family member or good friend it is probably going to be Joe's problem but that is a whole nother discussion. The truth of those situations, from watching years of Cops, is that you are more likely to end up fighting both of them then save this gal or whatever.

Honestly if strangers are doing whatever sort of madness to each other and life/ limb/ eyesight are not genuinely in danger I sort of figure it's not my problem.

In a clear cut situation (ex random guy tries to grab old lady's purse in a parking lot, meth maggots assaulting a school girl a la Training Day, etc) I am more likely to get involved that some sort of DV or mutual combat situation. Then again I guess even that is scenario based.

If I'm walking around with 2 buddies who are also armed I'm going to get involved, we've got that purse snatchers number. If I'm alone I still really like my odds and will probably help Granny out.  On the other hand if I'm alone coming out of a store holding an upset/ tired/ sick/ whatever 3 year old in my left arm whilst wrangling a cart full of whatever that also holds my baby daughter the idea of getting involved in any fight I'm not forced into is a hard sell. Personally I consider any  potential risk to my loved ones as far more important than some random person. I'd see Granny in the dirt before risking my kids getting hurt. That is harsh and not nice to say but absolutely 100% true.

I don't mean to be uncaring here, nor that I do not value human life. If I can realistically help somebody without undue risk to my loved ones I would do so. True story... a few years ago in a shopping complex where my little sister used to work a woman was randomly murdered by a transient type guy. Just a normal gal doing some shopping or getting lunch and some asshat attacked her. He probably had a knife but I honestly do not recall. Anyway a bunch of people watched this goblin kill that poor gal. Ryan don't play that. At that point in life I was not legally able to carry a gun but I'd have stopped that guy or died trying. Knife (mine), improvised weapon like a metal chair or my bare hands there is no way I'm going to watch some monster butcher a person. The only way I wouldn't get involved is if I was A) alone with my children. Usually Wifey is with us and she could thus take them speedily in opposite direction while I go do what must be done AND B) I was not carrying a firearm.

[Admittedly a strait up lethal force situation is easier to deal with given that realistically my kids would be there. I say this because I'd tell crazy murderous transient to "stop or I will shoot you" then do precisely that. The odds of risk to my children, sitting in the grocery cart, when I am between them and knife wielding psycho and engage him while holding a pistol at the high ready are pretty darn low. The Tueler Drill goes out the window if the gun is already aimed and the shooter is willing to immediately open fire.]

Anyway as a person who may potentially (you bloody better) choose to carry deadly weapons I urge you to think about the situations where you might choose to get involved in a violent or potentially violent encounter. Consider the legal as well as social/ moral angles. Think about this now before you might have to make a split second decision that could change your life. Do the right thing for your family, yourself and strangers in that order.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Man Points Gun At Carjackers Head

Here is a hint. Avoid carjacking large men wearing Carharts. Doubly so if they have crazy facial hair. Gun or no gun it probably isn't going to be easy.
Seriously, who picks this guy to mess with?  Read the story here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flying Armed: 2013 Edition

This holiday season the operational cache is getting set up I needed to transport the weapons involved. So I found myself getting ready to fly from a small regional airport, through Houston to the PNW.

The guns went into a Pelican Case. I was shopping the longer rifle cases but found a short squat Pelican 1600 case just sitting in the garage. With the buttstock folded and the slant muzzle device off the AK fit, just barely diagonally in the case. I got some foam from the Wally World to fill the gap in the case then cut it to fit the rifle. The little revolver went in next followed by 3 (empty) mags for the rifle, a box of .38 ammo for the revolver then 3 little boxes of 7.62x39 Wolf HP to load up 2 of the mags if need be. Last went in a pair of holsters, one pocket and a basic IWB holster for the revolver, all the speedloaders I could find (can order more for home later) and my Kershaw Blur. I locked it up with a pair of keyed alike padlocks.

It was a quiet regional airport. I got up to the counter and told the gal I needed to declare firearms. She got another employee who knew the procedure. I opened the case so he could look inside. He said "Is that an AK" to which I replied "Yes". He asked me to show that the revolver was empty so I took it out of the foam insert, flipped the chamber open then tapped the ejector rod. When I went to do the same with the rifle he said it was fine. He then asked if the mags were loaded and I said they were not. The guy handed me the standard declaration form which I signed then tossed into the box. I closed the box then put the locks back on. From "I have a firearm to declare" to done it was maybe 2 minutes.

Travel with kids was well, travel with kids. They were really good but it's still a hassle. Anyway on the other end we got the rest of our baggage then walked to the oversized luggage area and got the pelican case. We went on our way. Everything was fine. As a family we have flown with firearms three times. All went fine without any issues.

Broadly speaking issues I have heard of can be broken down into getting messed with checking in/ collecting the guns and them being lost/ stolen.

As to getting messed with checking them in. We have only flown from free state to free state with our guns that were legal on both ends and packed properly in legitimate hard locking cases. I have heard all sorts of horror stories from NYC, Mass and the like. If you are there I would be extra sure to cross your t's and dot your I's. Just read the TSA/ airline policies and comply with them and you should be just fine. I think having a legit case vs some jerry rigged lunch box is advisable and prevents a lot of hassle. Pelican cases are expensive but awesome.

Loss/ theft is an interesting topic. The airlines have a complicated job getting a lot of bags to different places in a timely manner and inevitably a certain percentage of bags are misrouted, misplaced or even lost. However some folks have noted bags with firearms or other good stuff tend to get stolen lost more often.

It is my personal opinion that small locking cases inside normal luggage probably lead themselves more to theft than a big, hard to open case. A small lock box could get stashed and slipped into a lunch box to be opened by the thief at home. On the other hand it is harder to discretely carry a fairly secure box the size of a microwave out discretely after work. I've heard of people locking their small case with a wire to the suitcase. If limited to a single bag I'd probably go with a big locked pelican type case to hold my spare clothes and such that also would protect my gun.

It is true there is risk in flying with guns. Heck there is risk to everything. I'd be awful careful and get special insurance to fly with an expensive class III weapon or something but for a couple normal guns it's probably not worth the hassle. 

In conclusion with a bit of preparation I do not think flying with firearms is a big deal. Pay a bit of attention, follow the rules and you will probably be fine. If you want to bring a gun on a trip or whatever I would be comfortable doing so.

What have your experiences flying with firearms been?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 Initial Impressions

Today we will be reviewing the Ravel Concealment Vanguard 2 holster. I saw their earlier version some time ago; while I thought it was a great idea for carrying a fully loaded (vs mag full chamber empty) Glock Mexican Carry isn't my thing so I never got around to buying one.

Basically Version 2 is the cup around the holster piece with a piece of plastic kydex screwed into the holster piece to which is attached a soft belt loop. It looks like this.
The plastic piece covers the trigger guard rendering the gun safe and retaining it securely.
I was sort of on the edge of buying one. Needed a good holster and figured for $34 why not give it a shot. That was an excellent decision. Onto the usual format.

The Good: Just about everything. My dealing with the company were quite pleasant. They sent status updates when it cleared another hurdle in the order process which was nice. I think from order to shipping it was 4-5 days then another 3 to my mail carrier (who mucked it up for 5 days but that is not the companies fault). They charge a very fair $6 for USPS shipping which was nice.

The holster is well made without some of the rough/melted/misformed edges or lines that can occasionally happen in kydex stuff. Retention is excellent, it passes "hold by holster, the turn upside down and shake" test. Granted there are the inherant limitations of a friction type retention system so this is not the holster for jumping out of planes, scuba diving, bronc riding, etc all but for a normal person walking around doing normal things it is more than sufficient. I also appreciate the audible click when the 'holster' sets into place.

Personally I am carrying a small Glock Appendix Inside Waistband (AIWB) with this setup. I like Appendix a lot for security/ retention and speed of access. John Mosby talks the benefits of AIWB better than I can. IIRC he also uses this holster for whatever that's worth.

This holster is simply the smallest/ thinnest and probably lightest way to make safe and retain a Universal Service Pistol (Glock, M&P, etc) currently available. It also comes at a price point where if you don't like it taking the soft loop off and using it when you occasionally carry in a kit bag, as a backup holster or whatever, is a valid option.

This is an excellent setup because it does not put more stiff, pokey, pointy stuff inside the already full space of a person's pants. It is much more comfortable (well as comfortable as AIWB gets) than other holsters I have tried without compromising on retention. Also it is compatible with all Gen 3 and 4 Glock 9/.40/.357sig/.45gap pistols which is pretty handy for somebody with a big Glock collection. Best of all since it doesn't cover the side/ barrel it is compatible without the bulk of the biggest possible gun's dimensions.

An added side benefit of the Vanguard not covering the frame/ slide is that you can load or unload a pistol with it in place. Granted if you can't safely do that you prolly shouldn't be carrying a gun, in fact you should just give it to me, but that is another story. A nice option to have anyway.

The one belt loop design is very comfortable with plenty of give to fit how your body wants which is handy for AIWB. Also that it is adjustable for belt size as well as cant and depth is excellent. That gives a lot of options to play with in order to get the holster fitting just right. Personally I adjusted the depth up a notch because the factory setting was excellent for concealment but too deep to get a good firing grip on the draw. Tweeked with the cant but ended up adjusting it back to strait up and down.

The Bad:
As per the manufacturer it is not safe to reholster with the holster inside your pants. I am initially inclined think that is probably more a factual safety issue than a legal liability thing. [If anyone wants to chime in from real world experience with this holster I'd like to hear about it.] Then again given this holster's concept of use is for concealed carry/ self defense not range fun or competition so the issue is negligible. I just keep the belt loop attached, lift the holster piece out of my pants, reattach the weapon and return it to it's normal position. Really only an issue when doing dry fire practice.

Well that's really the only bad part about this holster.

I'll try to remember to get back to you after a few months of carrying it to share my thoughts but as of right now The Vanguard 2 is a strong buy in my book. I'm not sure there is a more compact and comfortable AIWB holster out there and am pretty sure if there is it's a lot more than $34.

To those who own a Vanguard 2 I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Can Haz Interwebz

We were finally able to get the web which is good. We also got out stuff which is good. Still trying to get some basic stuff going here as well as unpack. I'm gone 13 hours a day so that task pretty much falls to Wifey. She's making huge progress despite simultaneously watching both kids. Despite having the internet for the first time in awhile there will not be a real post today as it's 20 minutes before bedtime plus I'm beat.

Loving my Raven Vanguard 2. Will probably write about it tomorrow; unless something else comes up.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ten Commandments of Concealed Carry

I- Thou shall know, understand and be able to perform the 4 rules of gun safety
II- Thou shall be of sound mind and body. Should thou find thyself in an altered state be it medicinal or recreational thy shall abstain from carrying until the condition passes.
III- Thou shall not try to be a policemen or hero or confront suspicious persons walking in thy neighborhood
IV- Thou shall train how they actually carry
V- Thou shall carry consistently
VI- Thou shall carry thy gun physically on thy body
VII- Thou shall know thy areas law's. Thou shall try as much as possible to follow thy laws. At a minimum knowing thy laws allows Thou to make informed decisions.
VIII- Thou shall carry thy gun fully loaded
IX- Though shall carry a reload. Should thou carry a revolver or a single stack automatic thou would be wise to carry a pair or more of reloads.
X- Though shall train to fight with thy hands, blade and gun under tough, realistic circumstances.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

War Drums and Random Thoughts

So our President wants to give Syria a spanking. Looks like President Obama wants Congress Mommy's approval before acting. Half the democrats are such doves they wouldn't vote to fight anybody, ever and the Republicans love them some war but wouldn't agree with President Obama that water is wet. So this should be fun to watch.

Playing with carry setups. Think the right answer for me is pocket at home and appendix when out. I've been a bit lazy so pocket has gotten more play then it probably should. Not having a good dedicated appendix holster is part of the problem.Looking at getting a Raven Vanguard to try fixing the hardware issue. They fit different sized Glocks without irritating extra space which is huge for me plus at that price point I'll take a chance. Meant to order one today but lost track of time.

Had an awesome lunch down in Lake Charles yesterday. Wonderfully cooked shrimp that were huge. Also had gumbo for the first time which was cool. I like the food down here.

Not having much stuff has been interesting. This has been a good reminder that if you pick the right stuff it's easy to get by without too much. When we get the rest of our stuff it will be time to go through everything again. Last move a lot of stuff was thrown away or donated. This time it will probably be less than last but  we can stand to get rid of some unnecessary stuff. Sort of along those lines I plan to organize some preparedness stuff. Probably look at caching some redundant stuff and using the rest to fill out useful systems. Looking at that as an opportunity to identify small holes in our preps which will be really good. Failing because you could not afford to buy a 5k whatever sucks but what can ya do on the other hand failing because you forgot a $20 cord/ cable/ widget would suck.

Things are looking good for the housing plan. It ain't over till it's over but there aren't many gates left to pass through. Living in a nice place we actually like will be really nice. Hopefully it all works out.

So far this weekend we have been busy. Yesterday we went to Lake Charles which was cool and then fished in the evening. Today we hit a flea market this morning. Some stuff was decent but half the vendors seemed to have stuff pulled from the trash put into piles that were covered with filth and dust at 4x fair market value. Not going back there any time soon. Got some fun plans for the rest of the weekend.

Well I'm bored of writing so it's time to wrap this up. Talk to you all later.


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