Not a weapon. This is a tool that integrates well with me. I’m the weapon.
Not a weapon. This is a tool that integrates well with me. I’m the weapon.
My Vortex VMX-3T magnifier and flip mount arrived today. It’s a 3X magnifier that quickly gets out of the way for no-magnification and/or flip-up sights use. This thing seems pretty fantastic right now. I put it on my .300BLK SBR and can’t wait to use it at the range this week!
My Glock 19 is with me every waking moment and my .300BLK SBR carbine is with me whenever I leave the house. I can depend on these guys 100%.
I got to put my hands on and bunch of rounds through my friend Keith’s Remington 700 VTR chassis .308 today. I have to say it’s a fantastic setup. It’s about the lightest chassis .308 I’ve ever picked up. Thoroughly enjoyed shooting this bad boy. Check out the triangular barrel and integral brake cuts!
At the range this morning I worked some CQB drills with my M5 .308. Today’s drills were not dynamic, but focused on accuracy, target transitions, and manipulations. It all went well until my extractor blade sheared off of the bolt(!). So got a new on on order. Ugh.
Here’s a bill drill at 15 yards (below). The point is to acquire and put 6 rounds on target in less than 1.5 seconds. This run shows a 1:34 time.
Here’s a target transition drill (below). I’m putting 2 rounds on each of two targets, spaced 10 yards apart, at 25 yards. Point is to finish both in less than 2 seconds. I generally ran around 1:50 – 1:60.
This month I’m evaluating a bevvy of pocket pistols for an upcoming comparative review. Specifically I’ve been shooting the S&W Bodyguard, the Glock 42, and the Ruger LCP II. These are all very small handguns and all chambered in .380. I’ve been shooting them mostly one-handed; both lefty and righty. I find these little subcompacts a bit easier to shoot one-handed than with two. I’m forming some specific opinions and look forward to sharing them with you in my gun review on the Eagle Gun Range blog in a few days.
I love it when the ammo arrives. Got a little bit of 168gr A-MAX .308 ammo from Stand 1 Armory. Can’t wait to put it downrange.
Illustrations by the author
If you carry one or more concealed weapons and other everyday-carry (EDC) kit, proper organization can make you more comfortable and your EDC kit less cumbersome. One of the best ways to organize your EDC kit is to exploit your belt to the fullest advantage, freeing up your pockets in some measure.
For the purposes of this article, and as a general rule, I suggest that proper EDC kit should include all of the following:
The fixed-blade knife recommendation is in addition to a flip/folder-knife, as a fast-access or backup weapon option for those who have been trained and have a fighting plan for knife employment. Otherwise, I believe a fixed blade is entirely optional. As a general rule, you should only carry what you’re trained to carry. Since a tourniquet is compulsory, do get trained in how to use a tourniquet. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.
While wearing an un-tucked shirt, I find it very easy to conceal a host of items on my belt. I spend almost every day with the Option A or Option B loadouts shown below. This approach has four items on my belt, freeing my pockets for other items. With an un-tucked shirt, I highly recommend keeping your spare magazine(s) on your belt. Mags are heavy and can wear out a pocket quickly. Also, it is important that your spare magazines be properly oriented for fumble-free reloads.
Note: These loadouts are configured for righties. If you’re a lefty, just flip the positions.
Options A’s belt loadout has an AIWB holster, smartphone in a kydex holster, TDI knife in a Kydex sheath, and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster. Everything except the pistol is carried behind the body’s lateral centerline, for better concealment.
Notice that the appendix position for the pistol works best with the belt buckle moved off center.
A pistol carried in the appendix position conceals better than any other option. OWB magazine pouch allows for fast, easy access for reloads and conceals perfectly. With the phone and magazines carried on the belt, pockets are more easily organized. The rear position of the TDI knife makes for more comfortable sitting and bending.
While out of the way and comfortable, the rear position for the fighting knife is more difficult and takes longer to get to in a violent situation. Also, as it lays horizontal, the TDI knife is pretty much accessible with the left hand only.
Options A’s belt loadout has an AIWB holster, smartphone in a kydex holster, two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster, and a vertically-mounded fixed-blade fighting knife on the weak side.
This option is identical to Option A, except for the position, orientation, and style of the fighting knife.
A pistol carried in the appendix position conceals better than any other option. OWB magazine pouch allows for fast, easy access for reloads. With the phone and magazines carried on the belt, pockets are more easily organized. The fighting knife is in excellent position for easy and fast weak-hand deployment.
The longer, vertical mount for the fighting knife can sometimes be uncomfortable for some folks, especially when sitting. Discomfort can be mitigated by positioning the knife more to the side (at 9 o’clock).
Options C’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster, tourniquet, two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster, and a push knife in a Kydex holster.
The side-rear hybrid-style IWB holster and position is typically more comfortable than appendix-position carry. The belt-mounted tourniquet solves what can be an awkward carry issue (sometimes not best suited to a pocket). A push knife is not as long as a typical fixed-blade EDC knife so it can be more comfortable and be positioned more toward the front.
The 3-5 o’clock position of the primary weapon takes longer to get to and is more difficult to defend (retention). The push knife can be a more awkward weapon to fight with, especially without getting specialized training. A phone is large and can be cumbersome to keep all day in a pocket (often requiring nothing else live in that pocket).
Options D’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster, tourniquet, and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster.
This loadout is just like Option C, but without a fixed-blade knife.
With most of the same advantages as Option C, this option has one less item on the belt.
With most of the same disadvantages as Option C, the lack of a fixed-blade knife means having to use a slow-to-deploy flip-knife as a non-gun or backup weapon if needed.
Options E’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster.
This loadout is just like Option D, but without a belt-mounted tourniquet.
With only a primary firearm and backup magazines on the belt, the diminished belt loadout means less weight and bulk on the belt.
With only a gun and ammo on the belt, everything else must be carried in pockets. Unless you’re wearing 5.11s, with extra pockets, it’ll be difficult to comfortably and strategically carry a phone, flashlight, tourniquet, flip knife, and multi-tool in your pockets. Also, there is no fixed-blade knife to use as a fast-deploy or backup weapon.
A tucked shirt presents some challenges to concealed carry and to advisable and comfortable EDC kit complement carry. A tucked-in shirt generally means a smaller gun and only a single IWB magazine pouch (I’ve never seen a comfortable way to carry 2 mags inside the waistband). While one could carry an additional magazine in the pocket, the pockets will already be loaded down with other EDC kit. Not optimal.
While a phone can certainly be belt-carried with a tucked-in shirt, I’m not showing that option here as I don’t think a phone should be a visible fixture on a person. Surely, some with less concern for courtesy will disagree with me.
Options F’s belt loadout has either an an AIWB holster or an IWB hybrid-style holster and one spare magazine in a Kydex or leather IWB holster (all covered under a tucked shirt). Of course one could wear a Kydex holster in the 3-5 o’clock position, too.
Tuckable holsters for both the pistol and spare magazine allow for workplace or formal dress with good concealability (with a smaller gun model).
IWB carry with a tucked shirt typically, if not always, means a smaller gun than one should otherwise carry (especially in a time of war, like now). The single spare magazine means less ammo and only one malfunction-replacement option. The exposed belt means no good option to carry other important EDC kit outside of the pockets.
Options G offers a variation of Option F’s approach. Instead of carrying a pistol and a spare magazine, you might carry a primary pistol and a backup gun. This approach can be accomplished in a number of ways (spare gun in ankle holster or carried off-body—not recommended), but I’m showing here in what is the best configuration with both guns on the belt. One is in appendix position and one is in 3-5 o’clock position.
Tuckable holsters for both the pistol and spare magazine allow for workplace or formal dress with good concealability (with a smaller gun model). Having a backup gun rather than a spare magazine means a faster transition should your primary run empty or malfunction beyond quick repair. There is an added advantage of having the option to arm a compatriot should a prolonged life-threatening situation develop.
A backup gun will generally be one smaller than your primary gun. This can present challenges with respect to ammunition caliber match and magazine compatibility between the two guns (it’s always best to have magazine compatibility—like primary is a G19 and backup is a G26, etc…). Also, two guns on your belt can be a bit bulky for some folks.
While there are many other possible configurations you might opt for, the options shown here outline some of the primary organization plans you might consider. Some folks may find fault with prescribing two extra double-stack magazines as compulsory, but we are at war right now. That war may break out at any time at any place we frequent during the day and the attackers may number half a dozen, be well trained, and be armed with rifles. Putting them down or getting to safety could take a while and require a lot of ammunition expenditure.
Carrying a bunch of EDC kit needn’t be overly cumbersome or uncomfortable. Organization helps. I hope you find the presented options useful and thought provoking for your own approach considerations.
My EDC gun.
The action was random and the timing was set to 5 seconds, so it was super easy, but having to monitor both targets made it interesting. This is just a small clip of what I got to do. These are cool tools with wireless remote control and adjustable settings. I can see how they could be of use in shoot-or-no-shoot and multi-target drills. The price of these guys is not too bad!