For those situations where a more full-sized gun isn’t on the schedule, this Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight has often tagged along with me, especially in hot summer months.
I picked up this 15-ounce piece of prevention back in 1997 and, while my typical everyday carry is a double-stack 9mm compact (alternating between Glock’s G19 and S&W’s M&P 2.0) this .38 special often pokes its head out of the safe for various uses. While not perfect, they do have their place and this one has been nothing but faithful for 22 years.
More on its journey in my column at Guns.com.
I thought this list was pretty interesting. It’s a survey of the carry choices of 100 Rangemaster certified firearms instructors.
Most commonly, they carry (almost every day) a 9mm striker-fired semi-auto, with about 80 percent falling in the compact to full-sized arena (very few mouse guns or subcompacts). Almost all waist-carry (concealed) IWB on the strong side, appendix to the back of the hip, in a Kydex holster. All have a round in the chamber, with about half carrying a secondary piece for a New York reload.
Hmm. I agree with most, but I do like my leather sometimes…
While weapon mounted lights are increasingly the norm, carrying around a broad selection of low/no-light shooting skills in your toolbox will keep you well-lit in even the darkest of situations.
Going back to the era of the old town watch of Colonial times, which employed men who were armed with a sword or polearm and a lantern, it has always been preferable for those wandering about in sometime perilous conditions to have both a weapon for self-defense and some portable illumination to know when to use it.
Today it is no different.
Woe is the EDC practitioner who carries a defensive handgun without a light and no access to one on their person. Let’s face it, in your typical 365-day cycle, about half of that time is spent at night or in twilight, while the prospect of our species, as predominantly urban dwellers, to be thrown into pitch dark at high noon as we move about our homes or offices– due to a simple thrown light switch or power outage– has never been higher.
More in my column at Tac.44.com
On the cutting board, I give you six sub-$125 (most sub-$50 if you shop around) light fixed blade knives that are small enough to carry every day (depending on clothing options) while still being able to along with you almost everywhere in an urban or suburban environment if needed while remaining nominally concealable. Besides typical chores in daily life, they should also be strong enough to fill a foray into the woods or camp, capable of light bushcraft.
From left to right: A Kershaw 4007, CRKT Mossback, Cold Steel Spike, CRKT Obake, Tops Mountain Spike, and a Benchmade SOCP 176. All in current production
More detail on each, with plusses and minuses, noted in my column at Tac44.com.
A good tactical folder for the purpose of this installment is a knife that can accomplish all your classic “penknife” or “pocketknife” tasks– cutting a thread or cord, trimming fingernails, touching up a shave in a pinch, cutting an apple, and box cutting and opening mail– while still being available as a fast and earnest edged weapon if needed. As such, they need to be at the fast ready, have a sufficiently long blade, be capable of one-handed opening, be strong enough to take real abuse, and, to prevent cutting off one’s own fingers in such a situation, lock upon opening.
Five “budget” tactical folders under $50 (if you shop around) that get the rotation in EDC: Ontario Knife Company’s RAT1A, a Spyderco Tenacious, Matthew Lerch’s CRKT Argus, Ken Onion’s 1660 Kershaw Leek, and a Gerber Applegate–Fairbairn Mini Covert.
All are used and have spent their time in pockets, clocking in as needed. The Leek even survived the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina with me in my pocket– and I was glad to have it several times in that week. As such, any spots, dings, scratches or mars on the blades or scales are honestly earned and not the fault of their maker.
Why the $50 benchline? Bottom line is, sure you can carry your Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 or really nice ZT, Benchmade or Microtech– and I have a few of those– but if you were to have one of these upper shelf blades pull a pocket jump without your knowledge while you are in your travels, you are going to be out a lot more than $50.
Of course, as with anything, your mileage may vary and by default, the best knife you have is the one you have on you.
I do a mini-review on each in my column over at Tac.44.com.
Glock 19 Gen 3 with InforceAPL, Streamlight Stylus, SAK 2015 limited edition officer, CRKT Obake skoshi, SnagMag concealable carrier with spare OE mag, Leatherman Rev multitool, Rite in Rain notebook, all atop a Tac.44 armorer’s table pad. Not shown: lightbearing holster, wallet, keys
On the reasons why for each, check out my article over at Tac44.com
With a dozen states now codifying the right to possess a concealed handgun without a permit and over 15 million license holders from coast to coast, there has never been a better time to practice every day carry.
A true EDC is one you are 110 percent comfortable with keeping 366 days per year. It is your “get out of trouble” escape plan translated into mechanical format. By pairing that one sidearm with its dedicated holster and accessories, you are making a statement in reliability. You trust that device in any situation, without reserve.
However, if you have a Glock, there are a few things to keep in mind.