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DIY DEFENSE: CUSTOMIZED GLOCK 43

EDC-READY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

{ON THE COVER}

26 A SINGULAR
SINGLE-ACTION
Ruger’s new Officer-Style 9mm is a 1911
that’s both easy to carry and to shoot.
By Steven Paul Barlow

FEATURES 70 TOP-NOTCH TOP-BREAK BUYER’S GUIDE


NAA adds easy reload capability to its line of deep
18 MICRO SIZE, MAXI concealment revolvers with the Ranger II. 92 TAKING AIM
PERFORMANCE By Steven Paul Barlow A look at some of the best aftermarket
When there’s no time to call 911, you can reach handgun sights.
for your Springfield Armory 911. 76 SOLID DEFENSE By CCH Staff
By Richard Schutz Non-expanding handgun loads are sometimes a better
alternative to hollowpoints. DEPARTMENTS
36 BRINGING BACKUP By Bob Campbell
Here are the top 10 reasons why a secondary 6FROM THE EDITOR
weapon can be a lifesaver. 84 WIN THE FIGHT 10THE ARMORY
By Leroy Thompson LMS Defense offers a range of tactical training to help 12EDC BLADES – CRKT LCK
gun owners to survive deadly encounters. 16EXPERT’S CORNER –
44 50-ROUND REGIMEN By Mike Searson MICHELLE CERINO
Your time is precious. Make the most of it with 130 FINAL SHOT
this 10-step efficient handgun practice session. 98 CONTROLLABLE FOR COMBAT
By CCH Staff The Hudson H9’s innovative design makes for an Cover photo: Ruger Officer-Style SR1911; Gun Pro Sure Fire magazine;
easy-firing 9mm handgun. TOPS Knives Wolf Pup; Powertac Scholar Tactical Pen Light
50 RULE THE NIGHT By Bob Campbell Photo by: Steven Paul Barlow
Cover design: Eric Knagg
Streamlight’s new TLR-8 weapon-mounted
light/laser can get you through the darkest 106 SHOULDERING THE LOAD
scenarios. Add versatility to your carry options with a shoulder
By CCH Staff holster.
By Leroy Thompson 92
54 CARRY COMP CLASSIC
S&W’s Performance Center has resurrected the 114 AND THE WINNER IS…
M19—and it’s CCW friendly. The CZ P-10C exhibits rugged reliability and superior
By Dave Workman ergonomics.
By Chuck Taylor
62 EDC OPTIMIZED
SIG’s new P365 9mm pistol provides full 122 MAKING IT PERSONAL
capacity in a slim design. Stock or custom, the Glock 43 makes for an excellent
By Richard Schutz everyday carry pistol.
By Mike Searson

4 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


36 122
106

114
70

12

54 62

98 18 10

84

76 50 84

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 5


FROM THE EDITOR

THE PRICE OF EDITORIAL


Doug Jeffrey Editorial Director
Steven Paul Barlow Editor

SELF-DEFENSE
Kelly Nomura Executive Managing Editor
Wendy Wilson Managing Editor

DESIGN
Eric Knagg Art Director

CONTRIBUTORS
Bob Campbell, Richard Schutz, Mike Searson, Chuck Taylor,

H
Leroy Thompson, Dave Workman

ow much do you have to merely spending the cash on a high- ADVERTISING


Gabe Frimmel Ad Sales Director
spend on a good concealed end handgun will leave them better
(714) 200-1930
carry handgun? There are protected. There is no substitute for gfrimmel@engagedmediainc.com
Casey Clifford Senior Account Executive
generally two sides to the skill, knowledge and training time no (714) 200-1982
debate: matter how much you spend. Mark Pack Senior Account Executive
(714) 200-1939
Spencer Redmond Account Executive
One group advocates buying the best That being said, I can’t fault anyone (919) 771-8919
John Bartulin Account Executive
handgun you can afford as more who wants to carry an expensive or (866) 866-5146 ext. 2746
expensive handguns are likely to be highly customized gun. All my life I’ve Eric Gomez Advertising Traffic Coordinator

made of higher quality components, driven very basic vehicles—a Chevy MARKETING
be manufactured to higher standards Chevette, a Dodge Neon, and, yes, Michael Chadwick Digital Marketing & Media Coordinator

and be able to provide reliable service even a minivan when the kids were OPERATIONS
Devender Hasija Newsstand and Circulation Analyst
for a longer period. Spend the money. young. They got me where I needed
Shailesh Khandelwal Subscriptions Manager
After all, how much is your life worth? to go. But I don’t fault the guy (one Alex Mendoza Administrative Assistant
Victoria Van Vlear Intern Program Manager
of the writers for this magazine) who
The second faction believes that there chooses to drive nothing other than EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE
17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614
are plenty of good handguns out there a BMW. (714) 939-9991 • Fax: (800) 249-7761
for reasonable prices. You don’t need www.gunworld.com
www.facebook.com/eembybeckett
anything fancy or highly customized. Doug Turnbull, who turns out some of
Keep the money you save for ammo the most beautiful guns in the world, CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS is published by
Engaged Media Inc., LLC,
and training. After all, if you did use once told me that life is too short to 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614.
an expensive gun in a defensive hunt with an ugly gun. That hit home © 2018 by Engaged Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole
shooting, it would rust away in a with me. I always carried a cheap or in part is strictly prohibited.
police evidence locker for who knows knife, keeping the very best I owned
CUSTOMER SERVICE
how long. locked away so I wouldn’t lose them Engaged Media, Inc.
17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250
or wear them out. I no longer do
Irvine, CA 92614
So, who’s right? Well, both sides are. that. What good is it to own anything Subscriptions, Address Changes, Renewals,
Missing or Damaged Copies
You don’t want to skimp on tools you (other than a valuable collectible kept (800) 764-6278
might need when your life is on the as an investment) and not use it? (239) 653-0225 Foreign Inquiries
subscriptions@engagedmediainc.com
line. Don’t trust junk. How will you customerservice@engagedmediainc.com
know? A few boxes of ammo and I’m confident I could defend myself Back Issues: www.engagedmediamags.com
Books, Merchandise, Reprints
some trips to the range should always with my police trade-in S&W Model (800) 764-6278 • Foreign (239) 653-0225
weigh more heavily than reputation 10 .38 SPL, for which I plunked down Letters to Editor, New Products,
or to Contribute a Story or Photo
and hearsay. exactly $100. I am just as well armed djeffrey@engagedmediainc.com
too with my Canik TP9SF 9mm, a gun
Yet, there are excellent values in that costs about a third of some other
handguns. The companies that make guns I own. But, I also enjoy carrying
them might not be household names something equally effective, but a bit
and the resale value of those guns fancier sometimes. I’ll risk it ending ENGAGED MEDIA INC.
might not be as high, but they can up in evidence. It’s not much better Pinaki Bhattacharya CEO
Tom Conradi Group President
protect your hide just as well as that having it collect dust in my safe for Jason Mulroney Director of Content
custom gun. years. Nathaniel Phillips HR and Office Management
Syed Nazir Razik Digital Marketing Director
Philip Trinkle Newsstand Director
Too often people fall into the trap of Steven Paul Barlow, Editor
This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the
believing they can buy their success, understanding that information presented is from various
as if the rifle that’s twice as expensive sources from which there can be no warranty or
responsibility by Engaged Media Inc., as to the legality,
will shoot twice as many deer or completeness or technical accuracy.

6 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


© 2018 O.F. Mossberg & Sons

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THE ARMORY

01. NEW STREAMLIGHT TACTICAL LIGHTS GREAT FOR EDC


Pick the size you like. Streamlight has an EDC flashlight for every purpose. The new Protac HL-X USB is USB is perfect. It is about the size of your pinky finger, yet it has a light output of 250 lumens on
based on an earlier model, but now the light comes with the company’s new rechargeable 18650 lithi- high, 50 lumens on low. Pull out the sleeve at the front of the light and a micro USB port is revealed,
um-ion battery. There’s a micro USB charging port right on the battery. Charge it with the included cord; allowing you to charge the light’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery without removing it. A charge cord
there’s no need for a separate charger. The light can also be powered by two CR123A batteries. is included; there’s no need of a separate charger. The light comes with a two-way pocket clip that
The light puts out 1,000 lumens on high for 1.5 hours. On low, you get 65 lumens of light for 23 hours. allows you to attach the light to the brim of a hat for hands-free use. A lanyard is included, too.
It comes with Streamlight’s Ten Tap programmable system so you can choose among three switch
sequences. It’s aluminum body features an anti-roll bezel. It has a two-way pocket clip and comes with MSRP: $150 (Protac HL-X USB), $50 (MicroStream USB)
a nylon belt holster. Do you want something smaller when traveling light? The Streamlight MicroStream Web: www.Streamlight.com

02. AMMO ARMOR PROTECTS THOSE MAGAZINES 03. KEEP THOSE BLADES SHARP
You probably have a small fortune tied up in your pistol magazines. Life can be tough on them and a damaged or dirty You probably carry a knife on a daily basis. But do you have a handy way to
magazine might not function when you need it most. Dirt, lint, hair and other debris can cause malfunctions. Moisture maintain the edge or service the grip? Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) has
can cause corrosion. Impacts can cause bent feed lips or dented cartridges. Ammo Armor is a new product designed introduced the Knife Maintenance Tool specifically for folding knives, created by
to protect your spare magazines. Basically, it’s a polymer sleeve made for a specific magazine so that the fit is good. knife designer Tom Stokes. The tool doubles as a take-anywhere key chain. It
The company already makes these for a wide range of the most popular pistol magazines. The Ammo Armor fits all features both ceramic and tungsten carbide sharpeners, as well as two folding
the way down to the magazine’s base plate. Cutouts allow you to grasp the magazine to remove it. Whether you keep TORX drivers (T6 and T8) to tend to pivot nuts, pocket clips, spacer screws and
spare magazines in your range bag, backpack, car glove box or your jacket pocket, these mag protectors are a good grip panel screws. There’s also a flathead screwdriver and bottle opener. The
idea. They’re available in black, olive drab or desert tan, and you can use the different color Ammo Armor covers to tool’s handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon. The complete tool weighs just
distinguish the types of magazines or the ammo that’s loaded in them. 2.2 ounces and is 2.7 inches long.

MSRP: $9.95 MSRP: $29.99


Web: www.AmmoArmor.com Web: www.CRKT.com

10 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


04. WINCHESTER AMMO’S NEW WEBSITE 05. ALIEN GEAR HOLSTERS INTRODUCES SHOULDER RIG
FEATURES ENHANCED BALLISTIC CALCULATOR Alien Gear Holsters has introduced a shoulder holster that’s compatible with the company’s signature
Winchester Ammunition has redesigned its website. The site, Winchester.com, is mobile ShapeShift Modular Holster System. The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster, available in black and brown,
device friendly and, aside from an enhanced search capability to all of Winchester’s products, is comprised of both traditional and modern materials, including English bridle leather and neoprene.
will include articles, product reviews and videos, a Winchester TV series, short films, a dealer There’s elastic, too, in the shoulder pads to help the rig conform to the body. And, of course, the new
locator and an improved online store: WinchesterGear.com. In addition, the site will feature an shoulder holster features the polymer Shapeshift holster shell and single or double mag carriers. The
enhanced ballistic calculator for Winchester Ammunition handgun, rifle and shotgun products. shoulder holster can be adapted to carry one handgun and two mag carriers, two handguns or four
It will chart trajectory in increments of as little as 5 yards and a graph will show the point of mag carriers. The cant of the holster shell can be adjusted. The retention system features an adjustable
impact. It will calculate ballistics based on sight-in range, air temperature and crosswinds. It passive retention, thumb strap and thumb release.
will indicate maximum shooting distance and flight time. You can use the program to compare
various Winchester loads. Ballistic charts can be printed with the option to create a smaller, MSRP: $133.88 for complete holster system; $99.88 for Shapeshift Shoulder Carry Expansion
field reference chart that can be attached to a gun stock. A free app will be available to enable (to go with your existing Shapeshift holster shell.)
you to use the ballistic calculator on mobile devices. Web: www.AlienGearHolsters.com.

06. POWERTAC E20 PROVIDES A GOOD VALUE 07. PREPARE FOR THE WORST WITH AMMO BATTLE PACKS
IN A TACTICAL LIGHT Ammunition Depot is offering The Prepper and The Prepper Battle Pack products. The Prepper is a
Powertac’s E20 tactical flashlight provides good quality for a fair price. The E20 has a maximum stackable plastic tub filled with 1,000 rounds of ammunition under a lid with gasket for an airtight and
output of 1,180 lumens on high for a beam that extends to a far-reaching 188 meters. The light waterproof seal. Brands of ammo offered include: Blazer Brass; Federal (American Eagle, Gold Medal
features a power button on the barrel of the light, which is also used to toggle through the five Match, Hi-Shok, Premium and Tactical); Fiocchi; MFS; Perfecta; PMC; Remington; Speer; and Winchester.
brightness settings and strobe mode. When turned on, the light reverts to the last setting used. The Prepper Battle Pack features an air-tight, waterproof Mil-Spec plastic sleeve containing between
The tail cap of the light is magnetized, allowing you to quickly attach the light overlooking a 250 rounds (.45 ACP) to as many as 600 rounds (.380 Auto) suitable for either long-term storage or
work area for hands-free use. The light is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. A grab-and-go use. Prices vary according to brand and quantity.
battery charger is included.
MSRP: $308.99 (for 1,000-round Prepper of Fiocchi .45 ACP 230-grain FMJ);
MSRP: $54.95 $148.99 (for 300-round Prepper Battle Pack of Federal Premium HST 9mm 124-grain JHP.
Web: www.Powertac.com Web: www.AmmunitionDepot.com

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 11


EDC BLADES

COMPACT
COMPANION
LIGHT AND TOUGH, THE NEW RUGER LCK IS A PERFECT
MATCH TO GO WITH YOUR LCP II PISTOL
STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

12 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


U
sually, I’m not fashion con- weight Compact Pistol). The knife, Right: The metal
pocket clip is
scious enough to coordinate designed by Sussex, Wisconsin, knife- sturdy, but it’s not
reversible.
the styles of my EDC gun maker Matthew Lerch, features glass-
with my EDC knife. filled nylon grip panels over stainless
steel liners. The texturing on those grip
I do, however, demand some of the panels matches the serrations on the
same traits in both a knife and a gun. slide of the LCP II pistol.
They must both be of good quality,
sturdy and reliable. They have to carry OTHER FEATURES
comfortably. They must perform well The knife has a 3.3-inch drop-point
and must be reasonably priced. blade of 8Cr13MoV steel with a satin
finish. The blade is narrow—just .75
Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) is inches—so it folds into a compact,
licensed to produce an exclusive line of easy-to-carry package roughly 1 inch
Ruger knives. The knives are designed wide by a hair over 4 inches long. Still,
by some of the world’s top designers the blade is sufficiently thick at the
and, like Ruger firearms, tend to be spine at 0.124 inch. It’s not a flimsy
of very good quality and are a good blade.
value.
The knife features a flipper instead
With the new Ruger LCK (Lightweight of thumb studs to open the blade
Compact Knife), CRKT did much more one-handed. Once the blade is open,
than stick a gun company logo on a the flipper serves as a finger guard.
knife. The knife is meant to match the The liner lock that secures the blade
appearance of the Ruger LCP II (Light- open is simple and effective. There is a
metal pocket clip positioned for tip-up
carry in a right-hand pocket. It’s not
reversible. At just 2.6 ounces, it carries
well in the pocket.

The Ruger LCK


is an inexpensive
knife of good
quality. It’s made
by Columbia River
Knife & Tool (CRKT).
It’s shown with an
original LCP pistol
but more closely
matches the LCP II.

“AFTER MUCH USE, INCLUDING


CUTTING CARDBOARD, WHICH
ISN’T KIND TO A KNIFE BLADE,
IT WAS STILL IN GOOD SHAPE.”
FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 13
The blade is safely
secured in place IN USE
when open by a
simple, but effec- I carried the LCK for several weeks and
tive liner lock. The
lock features jimp- used it for all sorts of daily tasks that
ing on the edge might be asked of an EDC blade. The
for sure-handed
operation. blade was smooth to open, but a little
tight at first. When using the flipper, I
had to snap my wrist with a bit of ef-
fort to open the blade fully. It became
easier with use. I actually prefer it the
way it came. I’ve had loose-pivoting
blades with flippers partially open
in my pocket. Once open, the LCK
showed no sign of blade wobble.

I used the LCK to open packages, cut


cardboard and paracord, whittle sticks,
sharpen pencils, and even slice fruits
and vegetables, though it obviously
wasn’t intended as a kitchen knife.

When I test a knife, I don’t intention-


ally set out to destroy it. Anyone can
ruin a good knife. I’m more interested
in how it feels in the hand, how easy
it is to control it making various cuts,
and whether or not it comes from the
box sharp and stays that way.
The back of the
handle on the LCK
is open, allowing lint
and other debris to
pass right out of it.

With the blade


open, the flipper
becomes a finger
guard, adding a
measure of safety
to the small knife.

14 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“THE TEXTURING ON THOSE
GRIP PANELS MATCHES THE
SERRATIONS ON THE SLIDE
OF THE LCP II PISTOL.”

The Ruger LCK came from the factory


very sharp. After much use, including
cutting cardboard, which isn’t kind to a
knife blade, it was still in good shape.
I touched up the blade with a few
strokes on one of my favorite ceramic
sharpeners: the rough bottom of my
coffee cup to be exact.
Top: The blade is
technically a drop
point, but it’s long
The knife performed well with push and narrow, giving
it good penetrating
cuts and slicing cuts. The spine of the ability.
blade was thick enough to be comfort-
able when I positioned my thumb over
it for greater control on detail cuts. If
I was doing a lot of serious cutting I’d
prefer a knife with a larger handle. But
remember, this knife was designed to
be small and easy to carry, just like the
LCP II pistol. much. It’s long, slender profile makes
Middle: CRKT it excellent for detail work where
matched the
While the blade is technically a drop- pattern of the slide some reach is required and as well as
serrations on the
point in configuration, it doesn’t drop Ruger LCP II pistol, being a good penetrator.
shown here, when
designing the
texturing on the
handle of the LCK ANOTHER GUN?
RUGER LCK SPECS knife.
I like carrying the Ruger LCK, but I’m
Closed Length: 4.183 inches still committing a fashion faux pas
Open Length: 7.5 inches when I do. You see, the knife was de-
Blade Length: 3.3 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.124 inch
signed to match the Ruger LCP II and I
own one of the original LCP pistols. SOURCES
Material: 8Cr13MoV Steel
Finish: Satin finish The knife stands on its own merits, Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Weight: 2.6 ounces matching pistol or not. But now I’ve www.Ruger.com
Lock Mechanism: Liner lock got it in mind that I need the LCP II to
Handle Material: Glass-reinforced nylon accompany it. Or maybe I’ll talk to the Columbia River Knife & Tool
Left: The LCK fits
Other: Made by CRKT under license from nicely in the hand folks at CRKT about making a knife to www.CRKT.com
and the design
Sturm, Ruger & Co. allows for good match my Ruger American Compact.
control despite the
MSRP: $39.99 knife’s small size. CC

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 15


EXPERT’S CORNER

M
ichelle Cerino is a busy
woman. As a firearms
instructor, she brings a
woman’s perspective to
her work with the Cerino Consulting
and Training Group, a company she
formed in 2011 with her husband
Chris. Her passion is instructing in
FASTER programs, a comprehensive,
no-cost training program for edu-
cators to prepare them for possible
school violence events.

She runs the Princess Gunslinger web-


site covering everything of interest to
a modern, adventurous woman. She’s
the managing editor of the online
magazine, Women’s Outdoor News.
She writes a monthly column on
training for Gun World and the What’s
in Your Range Bag column for the
NRA’s Shooting Sports USA magazine.
She contributes to other publications
as well. She’s also a sponsored com-
petitive shooter and brand ambas-
sador for various companies in the
firearms industry.

A WOMAN’S
PERSPECTIVE
MICHELLE CERINO DISCUSSES PURSE CARRY FOR
WOMEN WHO WANT TO BE ARMED AND READY
BY CCH STAFF | PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHELLE CERINO

16 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


01 CCH: WHAT ARE
YOUR FAVORITE
CHOICES FOR EVERYDAY
03 CCH: WHAT DO
YOU RECOMMEND
FOR DEVELOPING CON-
05 CCH: WHAT DO
FEEL ARE KEY
FACTORS IN PREPARING
CARRY GEAR? CEALED CARRY SKILLS? FOR AND DEALING
Cerino: I carry just about everywhere I Cerino: Aside from mastering the WITH A SELF-DEFENSE
go and it’s usually off body in a purse fundamentals of shooting, an often SITUATION?
specifically designed for concealed missed, extremely important part of Cerino: Mindset and situational
carry. In the current purse I’m using, I training is learning how to run your awareness are such an important part
have a Springfield XDS 4.0 9mm and gear. Whenever I change purses I of self-defense situations. I highly
a nine-round magazine for a spare. make sure to dry practice my draw suggest reading “The Unthinkable”
Other times, depending on the size before I head out the door. Likewise, by Amanda Ripley, “The Gift of Fear”
of the purse, I may carry a S&W 442 I get a few dry practice reps drawing by Gavin De Becker and “Left of
with Bianchi speed strip and Safaril- from the holster before I carry on Bang” by Patrick Van Horne and Jason
and speed loader. I also always have body. A. Ripley. CC
a AAA Streamlight flashlight.

02 CCH: DO YOU HAVE


ANY ADVICE SPE-
04 CCH: WEAPON RE-
TENTION CAN BE A
CONCERN WHEN CARRY-
CIFIC TO WOMEN ON HOW ING OFF BODY. WHAT ARE
TO CARRY CONCEALED? YOUR SUGGESTIONS?
Cerino: When using a purse for Cerino: When I’m walking in a city,
concealed carry, it’s important to I use a purse with long straps and
purchase one specifically designed for carry crossbody. Depending on the
that purpose. The firearm should be location, I may even wear it under my
kept in a separate compartment so coat. I set the zippers on the firearm

keys, pens and other objects cannot compartment for an easy draw
MORE FROM
get caught in the trigger guard. Also every time I leave the house. If I MICHELLE CERINO
make sure the zipper of that com- feel the need, I put my hand on the
Cerino Consulting and Training Group
partment is made of nylon coil. Metal grip of my pistol as I’m walking, it
www.CerinoTrainingGroup.com
ones may not open if just one tooth just looks like I have my hand in my
is missing, which could be detrimen- purse. I’ve also practiced shooting Princess Gunslinger
tal. Sometimes, depending on the through a purse with a revolver www.PrincessGunslinger.com
situation and my clothing, I carry on on the range. I now know how it
body using either a N82 Tactical Hers feels and what to expect should Women’s Outdoor News
holster or a Hawg Holsters IWB with someone get too close for me to www.WomensOutdoorNews.com
Ulticlip. draw my firearm.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 17


MICRO SIZE,
PERFORM
WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO
CALL 911, YOU CAN REACH
FOR YOUR SPRINGFIELD
ARMORY 911

STORY AND PHOTOS BY RICHARD SCHUTZ

I
t’s just like your father’s 1911 in
.45 ACP only smaller, much small-
er. That’s the Springfield Armory
911 in .380 Auto.

Springfield Armory’s new 911 pistol


is a 1911-style, micro-subcompact in
.380 Auto that you can have with you
at all times, no matter how you are
dressed. When SHF, your Springfield
Armory 911 will be there so you can
be your own first responder.

NOT JUST
ANOTHER 1911
The Springfield Armory 911 pistol fits The 911 rides in
Springfield Armory’s
square in the middle of the Taurus pocket holster that
is included with
Spectrum, Glock 42, S&W Bodyguard the pistol. Daily
carry gear includes
and Ruger LCP II pack by both size and a spare maga-
zine loaded with
weight. What the others lack is the Ruger ARX 56-grain
ammunition, a
1911 pedigree of the 911. Powertac E20 1180
lumen rechargeable
flashlight and a
Even though there are significant Buck Rush EDC
folding knife with a
differences between the 911 and a 2.5-inch drop point
stainless steel blade.

18 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


MAXI
ANCE

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 19


traditional 1911, the similarities are (inside) of the slide stop/takedown the large end of the recoil rod and
striking. It not only looks like a 1911, lever. slightly compressing the recoil spring.
but it feels like one, only smaller. The Carefully lift the recoil rod and spring
thumb safety, slide lock and magazine Then push the slide stop pin out assembly out of the slide while being
release are all in the same relative from the right side of the frame and mindful of the compressed recoil
positions as the 1911. Anyone who remove the slide stop lever. Slowly spring. Finally, the barrel can be lifted
can shoot a 1911 will have no trouble relieve the tension on the recoil spring up and backwards, out of the slide.
with the 911 unless they have very and allow the slide to move forward,
large hands. drawing it off of the frame. The recoil The slide is reassembled in reverse
rod and spring can now be removed order. When installing the slide on the
Even though the Hogue G10 trigger from the slide by pushing forward on frame, push down on the ejector to
shoe pivots on a pin rather than allow the slide to move fully rearward.
traveling straight back, the trigger feel Also, when installing the slide stop
is crisp and breaks cleanly, just like lever pin, make sure to capture the
a 1911. It breaks at an average of 6 barrel lug.
pounds, 2 ounces for 10 consecutive
pulls as measured by a digital Lyman
Trigger Pull Gauge.

Some other differences include the


lack of both a grip safety and a barrel
bushing. The 911 also uses a full-
length guide rod and spring rather
than the guide rod, buffer, spring and
plug used in most 1911s.

The thumb safety operates just like


one on a 1911, but with a different
effect. When the hammer is cocked,
the safety can be lifted up, locking the
hammer, but not the slide. When the
hammer is in either the half-cock or
fully forward position, the thumb safe-
ty locks the hammer in place, thereby
also keeping the slide from operating.

Just like on a 1911, the magazine


release is located behind the trigger
guard, at the bottom. It operates from
the left side only. Depressing the but-
ton releases the magazine, allowing it
to drop free from the magazine well.

EASIER DISASSEMBLY
The slide stop lever locks the slide
back when the magazine runs dry or
when it is manually engaged. Like a
1911, it is also used to disassemble
the 911. Disassembly of the 911,
however, is somewhat different from
that of a 1911. After removing the
magazine and checking both visually
and tactilely to make sure that the
pistol is empty, retract the slide to the
Right: The stripped
point where the half-moon window slide assembly
shows the under-
on the left side of the slide is aligned side of the slide,
barrel and guide
with the half-moon lug on the back rod with spring.

20 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“ANYONE WHO LIKES
1911S OR NEEDS A
BACKUP FOR A FULL
SIZE 1911, WOULD BE
FOOLISH NOT TO AT
LEAST GIVE THE 911 A
HARD LOOK AS AN EDC GUN.”
Above: Here the 911
is in the “cocked
and locked” condi-
MODELS,
tion with the ham-
mer fully cocked
ACCESSORIES
and the thumb At the time of writing, there were
safety engaged.
four versions of the 911. One
version has a black frame and slide
with green and black G10 grip
Below: The frame,
xx less slide, reveals panels. A bi-tone version has a
the ejector lever
protruding from the black frame, matte stainless-steel
frame. This must
be depressed when slide and gray and white G10 grip
reinstalling the slide
unto the frame. panels. The other two versions are
similar to the first two only with
Viridian green laser grip panels
rather than the G10 panels.

AMMO FRIENDLY
I found the Springfield Armory 911
to be amenable to any ammunition
that it was fed. All brands and types
of ammunition fed, chambered and
ejected without any problems. The
two magazines supplied with the 911

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 21


Right: The Pro-Glo
sights provide an
excellent sight
picture, especially
during low light
conditions. Note the
Octo-Grip textured
mainspring housing.

An oversized external
extractor ensures
that spent cases are
properly extracted
and ejected. The
ledge style Pro-Glo
rear sight is dove-
tailed into the slide.

also functioned flawlessly. proper grip is extremely important. If


the proper grip is not executed each
For this evaluation, I used six different time, problems could arise, such as
types of ammunition from six different inadvertently dropping the magazine,
manufacturers. Two of those types riding the slide lock lever and causing
were full metal jacket, three were the slide to lock back when you don’t
hollow point defensive loads and want it to, and engaging the safety by
one was a defensive load that uses a mistake. The only problem of those
composite bullet. types that I encountered was that
I had a tendency to disengage the
Left: The underside
of the frame reveals
NO MALFUNCTIONS magazine when firing from a sandbag
the laminations of I found the 911 much easier to control during accuracy evaluations.
the G10 grips, the
flush-fit six-round than I had anticipated. As with any
magazine and the
Octo-Grip front micro-subcompact pistol, obtaining the This micro .380 Auto pistol was
strap.

22 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“DURING APPROXIMATELY
350 ROUNDS FIRED, I HAD NO
MALFUNCTIONS TO REPORT.”

BEST WAYS TO PACK


THE NEW 911
Springfield Armory supplies a zippered nylon case with the 911. It
contains a pocket holster that is secured to the inside of the case
using hook and loop material. There is also an elastic loop to hold
a spare magazine and a compartment to hold a concealed carry
permit or other paperwork.

Hogue manufac-
tures the pivoting The provided pocket holster works reasonably well and does a
G10 trigger shoe
for the 911. good job of covering the trigger, thumb safety and the magazine
release. The one drawback that I find with this holster is that it
is bulkier than necessary due to the thick, padded material used.
snappy due to its small size and light operation of the 911. One plus is that you don’t have to spend $35 or more for a holster
weight, but it was still relatively easy after paying $500 to $550 for the gun.
to control. I have small hands, so Accuracy was quite good, too,
the 911 probably fit me better than especially for a pistol with a sight
Perhaps a better holster alternative is the DeSantis Gunhide Tuck
it would most men. Women should radius of just under 4 inches. Ruger
This II IWB holster. This holster is made from padded 1050D black
find that it fits their hands better than 56-grain ARX ammunition took home
Ballistic nylon and is lined with slick pack cloth to reduce friction
many pistols. the accuracy honors with an average
with the pistol. This holster also has an elastic pouch in the front
of 1.98 inches for three five-shot
spine for carrying a spare magazine. It is ambidextrous and the
During approximately 350 rounds groups at 15 yards. Federal Premium
pants clip allows a shirt to be tucked between the pistol and your
fired, I had no malfunctions to report. 99-grain HST, Hornady Critical Defense
pants. MSRP $43.99.
The magazines are easy to load and 90-grain FTX, Blazer 95-grain TMJ and
the slightly beveled magazine well al- Black Hills 90-grain JHP all came in
lows magazines to be inserted easily. between 2.48 and 2.92 inches. PMC DeSantis and other manufacturers offer a variety of holster op-
I have no complaints at all about the 90-grain FMJ had the largest average tions for the Springfield Armory 911, including custom fit versions.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 23


SOURCES
Springfield Armory
www.Springfield-Armory.com

any other way. The 911’s controls are DeSantis Gunhide


easy to use and have the familiar feel www.DeSantisHolsters.com
This bi-tone version
at 3.24, but even that is acceptable for of the 911 features of a full size 1911. Anyone who likes
a micro-subcompact pistol. a brushed stainless 1911s or needs a backup for a full
finish on the Black Hills Ammunition
slide and a 7075 size 1911, would be foolish not to at
anodized hard coat www.Black-Hills.com
WORTH A LOOK aluminum frame.
Grip panels are gray
least give the 911 a hard look as an
Overall, I found the Springfield Armory and white G10. EDC gun. Blazer Ammunition
911 a very competent micro-subcom-
www.Blazer-Ammo.com
pact .380 Auto pistol. As well as being Some people have a problem with
small and light, the 911 is accurate the stopping power of the .380 Auto
Federal Premium Ammunition
and functioned without incident for cartridge. I understand that it doesn’t
www.FederalPremium.com
over 350 rounds. have the knockdown power of a .45
ACP, however, with the proper modern
Hornady Manufacturing
It is extremely easy to conceal with defensive ammunition, it can be an
www.Hornady.com
a wide variety of clothing, whether effective defensive round. The im-
in a boot, ankle, AIWB, IWB, OWB or portant thing with an EDC pistol is to
belly band holster, purse, or virtually always have it with you and to know PMC Ammunition
how to shoot it well under adverse www.PMCAmmo.com
circumstances. The 911 is an EDC

SIG SAUER SPECS pistol that you can have with you at
all times. It’s up to you to practice and
Ruger ARX
(now Quantum Ammunition)
Manufacturer: Springfield Armory www.InceptorAmmo.com
become proficient with it. CC
Model: 911
Type: Single-action semi-automatic pistol
Caliber: .380 Auto
SHOOTING RESULTS
Capacity: 6- and 7-round magazines AMMUNITION AVG. SM. AVG.
Height: 3.9 inches VELOCITY GRP. GRP.
Length: 5.5 inches RUGER ARX 56-GR. 1,229 1.74 1.98
Thickness: 0.95 inch over grip panels FEDERAL PREMIUM P380HST1S 99-GR. HST JHP 924 2.08 2.48
Barrel: 416 stainless steel, 2.7 inches long
HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE #90080 90-GR. FTX 926 2.36 2.57
Weight: 14.1 ounces with empty 6-round magazine
BLAZER #3505 95-GR. TMJ 858 2.34 2.84
Sights: Ameriglo Pro Glo tritium night sights
Slide Material: 416 stainless steel
BLACK HILLS 90-GR. JHP 883 2.47 2.92
Frame Material: 7075 T6 anodized hard-coat aluminum PMC 380A 90-GR. FMJ 880 2.26 3.24
6/7 round magazines
Velocity is measured in feet per second, the average of 10 consecutive shots calculated by a LabRadar
MSRP: $599; $789 with Viridian Laser Grips device. Group sizes in inches are for three five-shot groups fired at 15 yards.

24 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


Galloway Precision 1 6/27/2018 10:58:13 PM

WWW.ROBERTSDEFENSE.COM

UNDENIABLE QUALITY. DRIVEN BY PERFORMANCE.

Roberts Defense_Fp_1.indd 1 7/2/2018 10:49:53 PM


A SINGULAR
SINGLE-ACTION
RUGER’S NEW OFFICER-STYLE 9MM IS A 1911
THAT’S BOTH EASY TO CARRY AND TO SHOOT
STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

26 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


The new Ruger
Lightweight
Officer-Style SR1911
pistol offers a good
balance of carry
convenience and
shootability.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 27


PERFECT SIZE
Several companies offer small 1911
pistols; some of the more recent ones
are small enough to be considered
true pocket pistols. Ruger settled on a
size similar to the old Detonics Combat
Master and Colt Officer’s ACP—easier to
conceal than a full-size 1911, but large
enough to be able to shoot it well.

Ruger didn’t just chop the barrel and

S
grip to make a down-sized 1911. First,
ometimes, small refinements The G10 grips are the company chambered it for 9mm
slim and comfort-
to a good design can make able. They provide Luger rather than .45 ACP, which has
a good grip without
all the difference. being too abrasive. two big benefits. It makes for a more
A nice touch is the
stylized wing from controllable pistol with lighter recoil.
the Phoenix bird in
There was a time when I would see Ruger’s logo. Also, the 9mm also doesn’t suffer as
an article on a newly introduced 1911 much from a loss of velocity in a short
pistol and ask, “Do we really need barrel as the .45 ACP, so hollowpoint
another one?” defensive ammo still has a chance at
reliable expansion.
The 1911 pistol can stand on its own
merits, of course. It’s a good design STAINLESS SLIDE
and it’s stood the test of time. Yet, The slide is stainless steel with a
once in a while one comes along matte finish. The wide cocking serra-
with just the right enhancements that tions at the rear are angled forming
combine to make something truly what looks like a pattern of arrows.
special. Such is the case with the new They’re different and attractive to my
compact pistol from Ruger: the Light- tastes, yet they’re very functional.
The full-size, white
weight Officer-Style SR1911 pistol. It’s three-dot Novak They make it easy to get a solid grasp
sights provide for a
not “just another one,” and that’s due good sight picture on the slide.
in large part to some well-thought-out and are a definite
aid in shooting the
touches. pistol well. There are no cocking serrations at the

28 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“...IT’S SLIM AND
SMALL ENOUGH TO
BE EASILY CONCEALED
AND COMFORTABLY
CARRIED WHILE STILL
BEING LARGE ENOUGH TO
BE CONTROLLABLE AND
EASY TO SHOOT WELL.”
front, but the slide is scalloped at the Above: The main-
spring housing is
front. This tapered slide allows for nicely checkered for
a good grip but is
easier reholstering and also provides a rounded at the edg-
es so it won’t dig
good handhold if you are accustomed into you when you
carry the pistol.
to retracting the slide from the front.

Atop the slide is a full-size set of


Novak metal sights in the three-dot
pattern. They’re set in dovetails and
the rear is drift adjustable for windage
and is secured with a set screw. En-
graved along the flat sides of the slide Right: The pistol fea-
tures a bull barrel
are “RUGER MADE IN USA” on one side that helps to control
recoil by getting a
and the Ruger logo on the other. The little more weight
out front. It’s made
ejection port is flared at the rear and of stainless steel
with a black nitride
lowered for reliability. finish.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 29


SOURCES
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
www.Ruger.com

Galco Gun Leather


www.GalcoGunLeather.com

Sticky Holsters
www.StickyHolsters.com

Gun Pro Sure Fire Magazines


www.GunPro.us

GUN PRO OFFERS


NO-JAM MAGAZINES
LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME the left side only and are extended Above: The Ruger
Lightweight Of-
FOR FINICKY 1911S
The slide-to-frame fit was very good. slightly for easy reach, but not enough ficer-Style SR1911
pistol is easy to
The frame is made of lightweight to get in the way while firing. The disassemble as I experienced no malfunctions whatsoever
there is no barrel
aluminum, allowing the entire pistol plunger tube for the slide release bushing. while testing this Ruger SR1911 pistol. But
to tip the scales at 27.2 ounces, not a and thumb safety is integral with the some 1911’s can be finicky with certain types
featherweight, but much lighter than frame. It’s not staked on as with some of ammo. For those pistols, Gun Pro offers
a full-size, steel-frame 1911 at 39 other pistols and won’t work loose its Sure Fire magazines. They feature a small
ounces. The frame appears dark gray, over time. spring on the body of the magazine that
but with a bluish tint in brighter light. prevents the top cartridge in the magazine
In any light it contrasts nicely with the The beavertail grip safety cups the from nose diving. I tried a seven-round model
stainless slide. skeletonized “Commander-style” row- Sidebar: A closeup specifically for compact 9mm 1911s. A longer,
of the Gun Pro
el hammer. The grip safety has raised Sure Fire magazine 10-round 9mm magazine is also available.
shows the small
The controls are finished black. The surfaces at the bottom for positive spring that’s intend- They are available in .45 ACP too: six- and
ed to prevent bul- seven-round mags for compact guns as well as
slide release, manual thumb safety activation when you take a grip on the lets from nose-div-
ing and causing a
and magazine release are all on pistol. The flat mainspring housing is malfunction. longer eight- and 10-rounders.

30 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“ITS ATTRACTIVE
TWO-TONE FINISH
AND ENGRAVED G10
finely checkered for a secure hold, but The slide doesn’t
have forward GRIPS COMBINE FOR
A PISTOL THAT’S SURE
it’s rounded at the edges so the pistol cocking serrations,
but it’s scalloped at
won’t cut into you when carried. the front in a way

TO INSTILL PRIDE OF
that it can still be
manipulated easily
from the front if
The single-action trigger of the 1911 desired.
is one of the main reasons it stays so
popular. On the Ruger, it is unfinished OWNERSHIP.”
aluminum. It’s skeletonized and is
serrated on the face. It’s fitted with slim and feature a stylized wing on EASY TAKEDOWN
an over-travel screw. The trigger is each panel from the Phoenix bird This is probably the easiest 1911 to
excellent. It has a slight bit of take-up of the Ruger logo. Those wings are disassemble that I’ve ever encoun-
and then breaks cleaning at about 4 textured for a good grip without being tered. There’s no barrel bushing, no
pounds even according to my scale. too abrasive. The Ruger logo is also capturing of the spring required and
present on each panel. no tools involved. Move the slide
The grips are gray G10. They’re very rearward until the takedown notch
The pistol has a sin-
THE INSIDE SCOOP aligns with the slide stop lever. Push
gle manual thumb There are good features on the inside, out the slide stop lever from right to
safety on the left
side of the frame as too. The pistol features a bull barrel, left. The slide can then be removed
well as a beavertail
grip safety. Note the putting a little more weight up front to from the frame. You can then lift out
skeletonized rowel
hammer. help control recoil. It’s 3.6 inches long the recoil spring, guide rod and recoil
and made of stainless steel with a spring plug. The barrel slides out the
black nitride finish. A small port at the front of the slide.
top serves as a visual loaded chamber
indicator. No barrel bushing is needed. AT HOME ON
THE RANGE
The recoil spring surrounds a full- Down-sized 1911 pistols are notorious
length guide rod. They’re held in the for reliability issues. Many are reliable
slide by the recoil spring plug. This only after a substantial break-in peri-
pistol has no firing pin block. It does od. This Ruger had no reliability issues
have a titanium firing pin to lessen the whatsoever and needed no break-in
chances of an accidental discharge if period. Through several hundred
dropped. That lightweight firing pin rounds of ammo of all types, it was
also helps to improve lock time—the flawless.
time between when a pull of the trig-
ger releases the hammer and when Of course, I was using quality ammo
the gun goes boom. throughout. I tested the gun with two

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 31


OFFICER STYLE MODEL IN .45
Ruger is offering this SR1911 compact pistol in .45 ACP too.
It's built on a stainless steel frame, rather than aluminum.

Hornady loads. The first was their Crit- The author found very manageable. The American Eagle yards were in the 1.5-inch to 1.75-
the new Ruger to
ical Defense load with FTX bullet that be 100 percent reli- full metal jacket ammo from Federal inch range with some a bit above or
able with all ammo
has a flexible polymer tip filling the tested. makes a great practice load. below that.
hollowpoint. That tip aids expansion
and prevents clogging of the hollow- Most of my shooting during this Two stainless steel magazines came
point by barrier materials. The second test was performed standing with a with the gun. One review I read listed
was their American Gunner load with two-handed hold, although I did fire the magazine capacity at nine rounds.
conventional XTP hollowpoint. a couple of magazines one-handed I could squeeze eight into them if I
with each hand. I found the gun more really tried. The Ruger website now
I was favorably impressed with the Sig controllable than smaller 9mm pistols lists the capacity at seven rounds.
365 ammo both the hollowpoint and I’ve tried. Carried for defense, I’d go with seven
full metal jacket loads designed for rounds plus one in the chamber and
short-barreled handguns. Recoil with I also performed a minimal of obliga- not risk any reliability issues from an
the Winchester Defender 124-grain +P tory accuracy testing from the bench. over-stuffed magazine.
load was predictably snappier, but still The sights were well-regulated; I
punched holes in the target where NO NEGATIVES
I was aiming when I did everything During the test, I never felt as if I
RUGER SR1911 LIGHTWEIGHT right. Five-shot groups fired at 15 wanted something more from this

OFFICER’S STYLE SPECS


Model: Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Officer’s Style
Type: Single-action, semi-automatic pistol
SHOOTING RESULTS
AMMO AVG. SMALLEST AVG.
Caliber: 9mm Luger (9x19mm)
Capacity: 7+1 (2 stainless steel magazines included) VELOCITY GROUP GROUP
Length: 7.25 inches AMERICAN EAGLE 124-GR. FMJ 1,019 1.75 1.75
Height: 5 inches HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE 115-GR. FTX 1,058 1.5 1.7
Width: 1.34 inches HORNADY AMERICAN GUNNER 115-GR. XTP 1,080 1.25 1.5
Barrel: 3.6 inches, stainless steel bull barrel, black nitride finish
WINCHESTER DEFENDER 124-GR. +P JHP 1,067 1.75 1.75
Weight: 27.2 ounces
SIG SAUER 365 115-GRAIN FMJ 1,095 1.5 1.6
Slide: low-glare stainless steel
Frame: Anodized aluminum
SIG SAUER 365 115-GRAIN JHP 1,083 1.5 1.7
Grips: Textured G10 Velocity measured in feet per second by Chrony chronograph 12 feet from the muzzle. Accuracy measured
Sights: Novak 3-dot in inches with average groups the result of three five-shot groups at 15 yards.
MSRP: $979

32 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


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“THROUGH SEVERAL
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pistol. There was nothing lacking. It Leftr: The new Best of all, the Ruger Lightweight
Ruger maintains the
offers complete reliability in a proven slim profile that’s Officer-Style SR1911 pistol balances
always been one of
design with performance-enhancing the strong points of along that fine line: It’s slim and small
the single-stack 1911
features. Its attractive two-tone finish design. enough to be easily concealed and
and engraved G10 grips combine for comfortably carried while still being
a pistol that’s sure to instill pride of large enough to be controllable and
ownership. And you still get a pistol easy to shoot well. And that above
that’s compatible with standard parts all makes it a winner. Apparently, we
and magazines. really did need “another 1911.”CC

Galco Summer
Comfort holster

Galco
Corvus
holster

CHOOSING HOLSTERS the holster easily without getting half undressed to do it.
It has a reinforced lip that provides for easy reholstering,
FOR CARRY VERSATILITY always a plus.

There is no problem finding holsters for this new To complete my lineup of carry options for the Ruger, I
Ruger. My preferred carry method is strong-side, tried one from a different maker: Sticky Holsters. This is
inside-the-waistband. But with any pistol I choose for holster simplicity in the extreme. It has no loops or clips.
everyday carry, I like to have options on how I carry it, so It relies on its soft, no-slip fabric to hold it in place. You
that usually means selecting more than one holster. merely tuck it inside your waistband, cinch your belt over
it and that’s it.
First, I reached out to Galco Gun Leather and chose
their Corvus model, an open-topped Kydex holster with At first, I was concerned about the holster staying in
carbon fiber finish. It’s a workhorse of a holster: rugged, place with really loose-fitting pants, but there was no
lightweight, comfortable, easy on the gun’s finish. The problem with the holster staying put with the clothes
great thing about the Corvus is that it’s convertible. It I wore as I tested it. A big benefit with a Sticky Holster
comes with the hardware to convert it from a conven- is that it can be worn anywhere around the waistline—
tional belt holster to an inside-the-waistband rig. strong-side, cross-draw, appendix, small-of-the-back.
A Sticky Holster also makes a great pocket holster. And
I also opted for Galco’s Summer Comfort holster. This is while this Ruger is a bit large for this mode of carry, it
a finely crafted leather IWB holster. It’s fitted with two isn’t out of the question with pants I own with deep
belt loops with snaps that allow you to put on or remove pockets.

34 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


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BACKUP
BRINGING

THE TOP 10
REASONS WHY
A SECONDARY
WEAPON CAN
BE A LIFESAVER

STORY AND PHOTOS BY LEROY THOMPSON

36 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 37
I
Right: Two pocket
’ve always viewed backup guns revolvers used law enforcement officers, soldiers, opposite the leg carrying the holster
by Thompson for
as akin to spare tires or insurance support side pocket private security and civilian con- should be practiced for a faster
policies: You probably won’t need carry—top S&W 638 cealed carry licensees among others. presentation and to perhaps gain an
and bottom S&W
them, but if you do, you’ll really Model 42 Classic. There many times when a backup instant while the attacker attempts
Both shield the
need them. hammer for a quick weapon can be invaluable. Here are to target you.
presentation from
the pocket. the top 10 reasons to carry a second-
In fact, the first time I saw a backup ary weapon: A common backup gun for decades
gun, though I didn’t know that’s has been a compact revolver such as
what it was called at the time, was 1. A SECOND GUN: the S&W J-frame. If one is chosen, it
as a kid when I used to hang out in THE FASTEST will normally be carried on the sup-
a satellite railroad yard/coal yard MALFUNCTION DRILL port side, often in a pocket. Because
outside St. Louis. The most common rationale for car- the backup gun will often need to
rying a backup gun is for use should be drawn quickly, under stressful
A railroad detective was showing us the primary weapon malfunction. conditions, one of the hammerless
a couple of his weapons one day. In the case of a special operations or shrouded hammer revolvers
He had a big revolver on his belt—I soldier, that means that the Glock or should be used. The first backup
didn’t know enough at the time to SIG on his hip comes into action after gun I owned was a hammerless Iver
recognize it, but he also had a black- a transition drill if his rifle or carbine Johnson .32 S&W 2-inch top-break
jack tucked into a back pocket and a goes down. that had a Glock-type trigger safety.
small revolver, which was a nickeled If a small auto is chosen, a DA or
top break, safety hammerless in a For the police officer, should his or striker-fired one without an exposed
vest pocket. I think it was probably her duty weapon malfunction in a hammer is good.
a 3-inch S&W Lemon Squeezer, but way that cannot be immediately
I’m not positive. But, he did call it his cleared, it means that the backup Many security companies will
“insurance policy.” That description For members of auto or revolver in a pocket or ankle limit their personnel to one issue
close protection
still works for me. teams, a second holster is drawn. NOTE: If an ankle handgun, but if they don’t, a backup
gun can allow
sustained fire to holster backup gun is carried, the gun can serve the same purpose as
cover evacuations
Backup guns have proven useful to under fire. technique of going to the knee for the police officer. In some cases,

38 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“THE MOST
COMMON
RATIONALE
FOR CARRYING A BACKUP
GUN IS FOR USE SHOULD
THE PRIMARY WEAPON
MALFUNCTION.”
FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 39
faster, more sustained fire. We also
A backup gun with
fight stopping
2. FOR ADDED practiced fire and movement drills to
capability such as
this S&W 360 PD in
FIREPOWER disengage. We drilled reloads behind
.357 Magnum offers A backup gun mission that applied cover or while on the move, but
a lot of appeal.
to me when I worked on close pro- having the option of the second gun
tection details was giving me more was comforting.
firepower. I often carried two of
the same high capacity autoloaders For the typical police officer or civil-
based on the assumption that if we ian CCL, this scenario is not likely, but
the backup gun may be even more had to go into an evacuation under a backup gun offers the capability to
important for the private security of- fire drill, I might have to empty one keep fighting if things get really bad
ficer who may be patrolling a lonely gun and go to the second one to and really hectic.
warehouse or factory at night with keep giving fire to cover the evacua-
no likely help on the way. tion of the principal. 3. AS A
CONCEALMENT
Likewise, the concealed carry licens- We practiced regulating our cover OPTION
ee will not be on patrol or looking fire to a round per second to allow If the civilian CCL carries a second
for lawbreakers, but he or she may longer sustained engagement, gun, it will often be a smaller auto
encounter them. The odds are that but under stress or due to multi- or revolver that may be carried in a
the concealed weapon will suffice, ple attackers, we also planned for pocket, while the primary weapon
but an insurance gun can’t hurt

“ANYONE WHO
unless in a jurisdiction that limits the
licensee to one gun listed by serial

CARRIES A GUN MUST


number on the license.

SOURCES CONSIDER THE


www.SigSauer.com POSSIBILITY THAT
www.DesantisHolster.com
www.DonHume.com AN ASSAILANT
www.Seecamp.com
MIGHT ATTEMPT TO
DISARM HIM AND
www.Smith-Wesson.com
www.TotersJeans.com

TURN HIS WEAPON


www.CCWBreakaways.com
www.us.glock.com
www.ReederCustomGuns.com
AGAINST HIM.”
40 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
is carried on the belt. The situation Anyone who carries a gun must Left: Blackie Collins an inside jacket pocket accessible
Toters jeans are
may arise in which carrying the belt consider the possibility that an as- designed to carry to his support hand. He felt that the
multiple weapons
gun into some establishments is not sailant might attempt to disarm him in pockets. In this knife would be quicker in a struggle
feasible, advisable, comfortable, et. and turn his weapon against him. photo a pistol and for his Glock 19 than reaching for a
backup knife are
al. In that case, the larger primary Law enforcement officers normally carried on the second gun.
strong side, while
weapon may be locked in a gun safe receive at least some weapons re- another pistol and
either another knife
in the vehicle and the pocket gun tention training, as do some military or an ASP baton A quick-opening folder designed for
are carried on the
carried discreetly into the establish- personnel. Most CCLs don’t. support side. close combat and worn clipped to
ment. a support side pocket works well to
Having a second gun available to slash at the hand trying to snatch to
4. IN CASE OF the support hand allows the person gun, though that creates the possi-
AN INJURY under assault to clamp the assailant’s bility of slashing one’s own hand in
The backup gun may prove invalu- hand and/or the gun in the holster a struggle. Drawing the knife and
able if an injury is sustained to the or the gun itself if it has been drawn, stabbing whatever body part of the
shooting hand. For example, drawing and shoot the attacker multiple assailant is close at hand multiple
a weapon from a retention holster times wherever possible. times will usually “distract” him!
with the support hand might be slow
and difficult, especially if in pain. Note if struggling for a gun that 6. FOR LONGER RANGE
However, a pocket gun or second has been drawn, the most import- Another backup option that I used
holster gun accessible to the support ant thing is to control the muzzle. when working on some protective
hand will allow one to keep fighting. Grabbing the barrel normally gives details was a second gun designed
leverage and by torqueing the gun, for longer-range engagement. I nor-
If the primary weapon is carried in allows the assailant’s trigger finger mally carried a SIG P210 with which
a pocket, a draw with the support to be broken if it is inserted into the I could engage man-sized targets
hand is extremely difficult so having trigger guard or forces him to release effectively at 100 yards. I had one
a second pocket gun on the support the weapon. Shooting him or her contact who worked on protective
Right: CCW Break-
side is desirable. Support hand works better! aways trousers details in Africa who carried an FN
reloads are often relatively slow, allow the quick Five-seveN as a second gun for the
presentation of a
too, so the second gun will speed up A backup knife can work as well handgun from the same reason, though its 20-round
pocket by allowing
re-engagement. or better for weapon retention. A part of the pocket magazine capacity also made it
to “breakaway”
friend of mine who was a St. Louis during the draw. suitable for extended engagement
This method even
5. WHEN STRUGGLING detective normally carried a compact allows a pocket gun and with AP ammunition he could
TO RETAIN A WEAPON
to be drawn with
double-edged fixed blade knife in the opposite side use it against an attacker wearing a
hand.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 41


ballistic vest or an AK chest pouch A quick opening
knife can be an
full of loaded magazines. invaluable backup
when struggling to
keep the primary
weapon from being
7. TO ADD A LOW snatched. Note that
the hand of the
LIGHT OPTION assailant has been
clamped down on
Although not a common reason to the gun while the
knife is brought into
carry a second gun, I have carried a action. Care would
have to be taken in
second automatic pistol with a light this scenario not to
cut the defender’s
mounted to give me better low light own hand. Punching
stabs might be
capability. I do not advocate carrying more effective.
the primary gun with a light mount-
ed for various reasons, including
slower presentation, using the light
in certain situations can make you a
target, and it’s bulkier.

For law enforcement personnel,


agencies that have allowed offi-
cers to carry a weapon with light
mounted as their duty weapon have
frequently found that they have a
“A BACKUP KNIFE CAN
WORK AS WELL OR
tendency to use the light mounted
on their weapon as their flashlight,

BETTER FOR WEAPON


resulting in the weapon “sweeping”
citizens when checking registration,

RETENTION.”
etc. I have a double shoulder holster
rig that allows one of two 1911s to
be carried with a light mounted. I
have used it only rarely. second gun is available to deal with said that, I have worked on protective
dangerous four-legged predators. I details where we had available in
8. WHILE IN A VEHICLE once escorted a client to visit a ranch vehicles SMGs, assault rifles, and light
For the civilian CCL, a backup gun that raised large, confrontational machine guns for situations where our
carried so that it is more quickly bulls. In addition to my Browning handguns would not suffice.
available in a vehicle to deal with High-Power, I borrowed a 4-inch
a carjacker makes sense. Some just S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum to take A FIT FOR YOUR
keep a weapon in a console or a along as well. In places such as LIFESTYLE
holster under the seat for this pur- Alaska where bears are a danger, For most reading this, the backup
pose, but a shoulder holster will also locals tend to just carry a bear-stop- gun will be, as I said at the begin-
allow more rapid presentation when ping handgun on the assumption that ning, an insurance policy. It will be
seated. A cross draw holster for the if they have to stop a man, it will do there if your primary weapon fails or
second gun works well, too. the job! available if you are fighting to retain
your handgun against an assailant.
When I worked on security teams, I 10. WHEN THE
sometimes carried a gun in a strong BACKUP IS BIGGER As an aid to weapons retention,
side hip holster and a second gun in THAN THE PRIMARY the quickly accessible backup blade
a cross draw on my support side. I Today, the availability of rifle-caliber may be as useful as a backup
could access it in a vehicle and also handguns with arm braces has made handgun. As with many aspects of
could reach it by twisting my left it possible to carry a backup weapon concealed carry, choice will be based
hand for injured primary arm drills. in your vehicle, backpack or gym on individual needs. Do a lifestyle
bag, one that fires a more powerful assessment and a threat assessment
9. WHEN DANGEROUS cartridge than your carry handgun. and decide if you want a backup gun
GAME IS A or backup knife or both. It has never
POSSIBILITY Presumably, these weapons would taken me much thought to decide
Once again this is a specialized situ- only be needed when facing an espe- I want a spare tire—but, I don’t like
ation, but there are cases when the cially well-armed assailant, one attack- the temporary spares. It doesn’t take
primary weapon is carried to deal ing from a distance, one in a vehicle or me much thought to decide I want a
with two-legged predators, but a one behind penetrable cover. Having backup gun either. CC

42 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


44 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
50-ROUND
REGIMEN
YOUR TIME IS PRECIOUS. MAKE THE MOST OF IT WITH
THIS 10-STEP EFFICIENT HANDGUN PRACTICE SESSION
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CCH STAFF
LEAD PHOTO BY FERNANDO GREGORY/DREAMSTIME.COM

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 45


“DRY-FIRE PRACTICE
IS WHERE A LASER
REALLY COMES
IN HANDY AS A
TRAINING AID.”
01
T
DRAW AND AIM. Use the anything can serve to simulate cover.
Left:
xxx Whenever pos-
here are only 24 hours in sible, incorporate clothes and holster you’d nor- This will get you in the habit of not
the use of cover
a day and, yes, we’d all in your training mally wear when carrying concealed. standing still when your big moment of
routine.
practice our handgun skills With an empty gun (obviously), pick a truth arrives.
more often if we only had point on a wall—hang a target if you
the time, right? like—quickly draw and get those sights LIVE-FIRE DRILLS
up and on target. Repeat, repeat, Ideally you should practice more often,
While there’s no substitute for repeat. but budgeting the time and money to
dedicated training from qualified fire 50 rounds of ammo once a month
instructors, if you’re willing to devote
a half hour a week to dry firing and 02 DRY-FIRE PRACTICE. Quickly
draw and get the sights
isn’t excessive.

one 50-round box of ammo a month


in live fire drills, you will be much
better equipped to handle a deadly
aligned on the target as in the first drill.
Now, however, you’re going to squeeze
the trigger. Don’t hurry the trigger pull
04 DRAW AND FIRE SINGLES.
(15 rounds.) Starting from
a holstered position, draw and fire
confrontation. at first. Get it right. Build the speed one round two-handed. Do this five
over time. Dry-fire practice is where a times. Now draw and fire one shot
You can tailor your practice routine laser really comes in handy as a train- with your dominant hand only. Do this
to suit your needs and skill level, but ing aid. If you’re pulling your gun off five times. Now, starting from the low
here’s one 10-step training session target as you go through your trigger ready position, fire one shot with your
suggestion to get you started. pull, it will be very apparent with the support hand only. Do this five times.
movement of that laser dot. Wait, what’s the distance for this drill?
BEGIN EMPTY Anywhere from 5 to 15 yards is fine.
There are several benefits to regular
dry firing practice. It’s quiet, you can
do it in the privacy of your own home,
03 MOVE TO COVER. Now you’re
going to draw, aim and dry-fire
as in the previous drill, but this time
As you build your proficiency on this
one, extend the range a bit to keep it
challenging. But aren’t most shootings
Right: A tactical
and it costs nothing but a few minutes reload is an import- you are going to move to cover as you at closer range? Yes, but if you can
ant skill that few
of your time. practice. draw. A chair, table, door jamb, most get good a 15, you’ll be super at 5.

46 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


If it’s too good to be true, there’s usually a catch.
Not here. The TCM Rock Standard FS Combo delivers
a lot of value in addition to its penetrating impact and
remarkably light recoil. So while the price may shock
you, the rest of its features will leave you invigorated.
Regular practice
with your concealed This is a warm-up drill, but if it’s too
carry handgun
doesn’t have to easy, start with a varying amount of
involve a great
expenditure of time ammo—two, three, five rounds—in
and money.
your gun and magazines to incorpo-
rate some speed reloads.

05 TRANSITION WITH
RELOADS. (12 rounds.) Set
two targets 5 yards apart. Load with
four rounds. Draw and fire one round
at one target, two at the other and
one more back at the first. Perform
a speed reload, scan and holster.
Repeat this two more times.

06 TACTICAL RELOADS. (6
rounds.) This isn’t practiced
often enough. You don’t want to
shoot until empty during a fight if
you can help it. Load your gun and
two spare magazines with three
rounds each. Draw, fire two shots,
perform a tactical reload, fire two
more, perform another tactical reload
and fire two more rounds. Move to
simulated cover during the tac reload
Flashlight tech-
niques should be if possible.
included in your
regular training

07
sessions. STOPPAGES DRILL. (10
rounds.) Load two magazines
with five rounds each, but place an
empty casing in there somewhere
(not first or last). It’s more of a sur-
prise if you get someone else to load
the mags for you. Draw and fire until
empty, clearing the stoppage when it
occurs. Do this twice.

08 FLASHLIGHT TECHNIQUE. (5
rounds.) Try various flashlight
techniques and choose the one most
comfortable for you. Start at the low
ready, quickly raise the gun to get
on target and fire all five rounds. Try
to keep the gun and flashlight beam
aligned. If you can’t do this in low

MANTISX CAN HELP WITH YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE light, do it anyway. You need to know
how things change when you’re hold-
When shooting on your own, you can still get some critical feedback with one of the many training aids on the market. ing a flashlight in one hand.
One of the best is the MantisX. The device attaches to the rail of your handgun and works in conjunction with a free
app that you download to your smart phone. That app is continually being updated to provide you with more useful
functions. The MantisX features several drills, including basic target practice, one-handed practice, timed fire and
reloads. With each one you get valuable feedback. The app tracks the movement of your muzzle before the shot, plots
09 FINISH AT 15. (2 rounds.)
End with confidence. No
matter what distance you chose for
the location of the hits and scores you for individual shots and an entire string. The program will diagnose any flaws in the previous drills, set a target at 15
your fundamentals based on the projected impacts of your shots and will provide suggestions for fixing the problem. yards. Using slow, aimed fire take
The MantisX comes in a sturdy little Pelican case, includes a USB charge cord and retails for a suggested $149.99. two head shots.
(www.MantisX.com)

48 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


10 DRY-FIRE AGAIN. Before you pack
up your gear, dry-fire your gun
slowly, methodically five more times to
reinforce your muscle memory on proper
technique.

MAKE IT HARDER
Has this been too easy for you? Challenge
yourself by adding time constraints, the
number of targets, different shooting
positions, movement, more stoppages and
by increasing distances.

PROBLEM AREAS
If there’s a particular technique that needs
work, vary the drills to concentrate more on
those fundamentals. Add or delete drills as
you like, but shoot with purpose. Now get
down (to the range) and give me 50. CC

BOOST YOUR
ABILITIES
BY TAKING THESE
ADDITIONAL STEPS

01 TAKE A FIREARMS TRAINING COURSE


TAUGHT BY PROFESSIONALS.
These reap lasting benefits as you’ll be able
to incorporate the things you’ve learned
in your regular practice sessions when you
get back.

02 ENTER A COMPETITION.
Not all competitions replicate what
you’ll face or how you should handle a
real-world situation. But putting on a little
pressure from the timer and the friendly
competition will push you to become better,
faster.

03 BUY A .22 HANDGUN.


You can still shoot more for less
money with a .22 and you can concentrate
on other fundamentals while not having
to address the whole recoil issue. You could
even go through some of the same drills Find us on
twice—once with the .22 and a second time
with your centerfire carry gun.

04 REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN.


Once you’ve put 50 rounds through
your gun in training, you don’t necessarily
Discover the
have to go home. Try your luck with some world of firearms at
interactive targets: soup cans, rubber balls,
bowling pins, steel plates for some informal
your fingertips.
plinking fun.
www.gunworld.com

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 49


RULE
THE NIGHT
50 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
The Streamlight
TLR-8 light/laser
combo allows you
to light up a threat
while maintaining a
proper two-handed
hold on your pistol.
The TLR-8 is shown
here on a Ruger
American Compact
in .45 ACP.

STREAMLIGHT’S
NEW TLR-8
WEAPON-MOUNTED
LIGHT/LASER
CAN GET YOU
THROUGH THE
DARKEST
SCENARIOS
BY CCH STAFF

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 51


SOURCES
Streamlight
www.Streamlight.com

“THE STREAMLIGHT
DeSantis Gunhide
www.DeSantisHolster.com

TLR-8... CAN GIVE


YOU GREATER
CAPABILITY IN LOW
LIGHT WHEN MOST
CONFLICTS OCCUR.”

T
The TRL-8 is a pow-
he more you practice low- on target for a follow-up. erful light in a small laser for an excellent sighting alterna-
package, with a
light shooting techniques, maximum output of tive in low light. It has many qualities
about 500 lumens.
the more you appreciate A weapon-mounted light (WML) that should make it a popular if not
a good flashlight. And the can solve that problem. Once used necessary handgun accessory.
more you practice flashlight tech- primarily by tactical units, as the
niques, the more you appreciate hav- devices have become smaller and TLR-8 FEATURES
ing a light attached to the weapon. lighter in weight, they have become The TLR-8 is powered by one CR123A
more practical for widespread, every- lithium battery, which is pretty easy
There are many good tactical day use. to find these days. You access the
flashlights on the market. But the battery compartment by unscrewing
techniques for using a flashlight One of the best new ones is the the light’s bezel. You can do this
in conjunction with a handgun Streamlight TLR-8. Designed to be without removing the light from the
usually don’t allow for your normal mounted on the rail of compact and weapon.
two-handed hold on the gun. Some- full-sized handguns, the TLR-8 com-
times you’re OK for the first shot, but bines a powerful light with a max Long, narrow power switches run
it can be difficult getting the gun back output of 500 lumens, with a red vertically along each side of the unit.

52 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


They make the light easy to operate help with recoil control.

WML
Top Left: The TLR-8
is compact and
in the dark, under stress. Press either what little weight
it does add to the

BENEFITS
switch and the light turns on or off. muzzle end of the The TLR-8 comes with an assortment
gun also helps in
Press and hold a switch briefly and recoil management. of adapter plates so that you can
the light switches to momentary-on fit it precisely and securely to your Aside from being able to control your hand-
mode. Release the button and the particular gun. The clamp that secures gun with a normal grip, the obvious benefit
light goes out. That’s a good tactical the TLR-8 to the gun’s rail is held of a weapon-mounted light is that it takes
feature because a light can also make tight by a single bolt. It is slotted so no more coordinated effort or skill to use it
you a good target. you can use a screwdriver to tighten
with a firearm. Where you point your gun is
it, but a quarter or other coin will do.
where your light shines. You can assess any
Pressing both buttons allows you to The bolt is also knurled, so you can
threat without the constant need to work
toggle through the different modes: hand-tighten it too in a pinch.
at keeping the gun and light focused on the
light only, laser only, and light and
same point.
laser together. There’s a strobe mode Adjusting the laser for windage and
too that, once you program it in, elevation is easy using the included
They are small enough now that many peo-
activates with two quick touches. tiny hex wrench. I sighted it in to
be on target at 15 yards. Closer or ple keep a light mounted to the gun all the
Top Right: The laser
The TLR-8 is 2.15 inches long, so it’s of the TLR-8 can be beyond that to reasonable handgun time, so it’s there when you need it. Holster
adjusted for wind-
not a bulky add-on. It weighs less age and elevation distances and I was still putting hits makers are responding by offering new
using the included
than 3 ounces—not much—but it’s at hex wrench. where they’d do damage. Removing rigs designed to fit handguns with lights
the muzzle where every little bit can the TLR-8 and remounting it didn’t and lasers attached. DeSantis Gunhide,
seem to affect the zero for instance, has its leather Tac-Lite (with
appreciably. That’s good to thumb break) and Speed-Lite (without
know if you will be taking thumb break) holsters for use with TLR-8-
the unit on and off the gun. equipped guns.

The Streamlight TLR-8 has If you don’t want the light attached full
a suggested retail price of time, they’re easy to remove. You can carry
$350. The company offers the gun all day, then add the light when
a TLR-7 model too with you reach your destination, whether that’s
light only, no laser, for a a remote wooded area, a hotel in a strange
suggested $215. Either one town or home sweet home. They make
The Streamlight is a worthy addition to your
TLR-8 uses one
great handheld lights off of the gun too.
CR123A battery. It self-defense gear that can
can be replaced
That’s a good idea because often you don’t
easily without give you greater capability
removing the light
want to be pointing a gun where you need
from your weapon
in low light when most
by unscrewing the
to direct your light.
bezel.
conflicts occur. CC

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 53


CARRY
COMP
CLASSIC
S&W’S PERFORMANCE
CENTER HAS RESURRECTED
THE M19 AND IT’S CCW
FRIENDLY
STORY AND PHOTOS BY DAVE WORKMAN

54 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


Smith & Wesson’s
new Performance
Center Model 19
Carry Comp is a
handful. Chambered
for the potent .357
Magnum cartridge,
it is a smooth dou-
ble-action.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 55


I
t’s a defensive classic with modern The first magnum handgun I bought
touches. was a Model 19 with a 6-inch barrel
and square butt, and later on my carry
Among the all-time classic gun of choice was the round-butt
double-action revolvers ever to serve model with a 2 ½-inch barrel that still
police and private citizens, one of goes along on the trail, the chambers
the indisputably best of the bunch stoked with 158-grain JHP handloads.
was Smith & Wesson’s classic K-frame They both came out of their respec-
Model 19, a six-shot handgun that tive blue cardboard boxes (which I
was, and remains, a workhorse that still have!) wearing that incredibly
has earned a place of respect among eye-catching deep blue S&W finish.
shootists.
Well, time marched on. But the repu-
It was a favorite of the legendary tation of the Model 19 remained. And
author and Border Patrolman Bill now, this superb carry revolver is back
Jordan (1911-1997), a man so fast on in a Performance Center incarnation
the draw that it seemed sometimes that should delight wheelgun aficiona-
impossible to see his hand move. The dos across the landscape.
Model 19 was the service sidearm
of choice among so many police and THE NEW
sheriff’s departments that it seemed CARRY COMP
to be everywhere you looked, typically Enter the Performance Center Model
nestled into a black leather holster 19 Carry Comp, a revolver for today’s
with a basket weave pattern stamped round-gun devotee. It’s got that same
on the front. smooth action, the same six-round
capacity, the same color case finish
on hammer and trigger, the same
click-adjustable rear sight, the same
round butt and some things that earli-
Below: Check that er models didn’t have. Heck, it works
full underlug barrel
and muzzle, with just fine with my HKS speed loaders,
the port between
the muzzle and too, but there the resemblances start
front sight. shifting into the 21st century.

FINELY FINISHED
The finish on this new model is a deep
matte black that, on my test sample,
was uniform from the rear of the grip
frame to the muzzle of the 3-inch
PowerPort vented barrel. Speaking
of the barrel, according to S&W, it’s
stainless steel, where the frame and
cylinder are carbon steel.

Instead of a plain black ramp front


sight on my personal gun (onto which

56 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


I added a bit of red-over-white nail
polish many years ago to make it
Compared to au-
thor’s classic Model
19 from the early “...SMITH & WESSON’S
CLASSIC K-FRAME
1980s (top), the new
more visible), this one has a Trijicon Performance Center
model is heftier,
Tritium insert for immediate sight

MODEL 19...WAS,
with a full underlug
barrel, matte finish
acquisition in low light conditions. That and more.

AND REMAINS, A
is a vast improvement that will appeal
to anyone who carries this sidearm for

WORKHORSE THAT
personal protection.

HAS EARNED A PLACE


Years ago, S&W shifted the firing pin
from the hammer to the frame. While

OF RESPECT AMONG
the older hammer rebounded to keep
the firing pin away from rounds in the

SHOOTISTS.”
cylinder until the trigger is pressed,
this new model doesn’t allow the

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 57


“...THE .357 MAGNUM IS
A POTENT COMPANION
ANYWHERE YOU MIGHT
ENCOUNTER SOMETHING
WITH CLAWS AND TEETH.”
2.5-incher weighs just over 30 ounces
SOURCES with factory grip panels, but they
went away years ago in favor of a set
Smith & Wesson of Herrett’s stocks.
www.Smith-Wesson.com
And there’s that top front barrel
vent. When this Performance Center
DeSantis Gunhide
revolver goes off, the effect is…well,
www.DeSantisHolster.com
let’s just say…interesting. You might
be able to light up a dark room.

SHORT CCW BARREL


Let’s talk a bit of history, which will
explain why so many handgunners in
search of a versatile revolver will grav-
itate to the Model 19 platform. The
.357 Magnum came along in the early
1930s, but in the larger S&W models,
now known as the N-frame configura-
tion. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that
Jordan began consulting with S&W to
come up with a less bulky six-gun on
the K-frame that became the Model
19. History tells us that the first of
these guns was presented to Jordan
on Nov. 15, 1955.

The Model 19 went through several


changes as it evolved through the
years, so many that I can’t even list
them all. The first snubby version with
a 2.5-inch tube and round butt ap-
hammer to strike the firing pin until The backstrap on Magnums in any K-frame. peared in 1966 as a standard offering
this new model is
the trigger is fully pressed. smooth, and the (though 50 were reportedly built three
wood grips make
for a compact pack- When I ordered a test gun, I contacted years earlier, according to an online
age for maximum
There’s an overtravel stop on the concealment. the gang at DeSantis Gunhide for history of the model).
trigger, which is smooth on the front a Speed Scabbard pancake-style
surface, just like my vintage 1980s holster. I have one of these rigs for my In 1999, the 2.5-inch barrel was dis-
snubby, so it felt like an old friend 2.5-incher and it’s a design that I find continued. By that time, the shooting
to my index finger. S&W ships the very accommodating to the Model public seemed enamored with the
Carry Comp with a handsome set of 19 for a strong-side carry and fast stainless Model 66 variation, and in
wood grip panels, plus a synthetic presentation. the 80s and 90s, the blued models
replacement grip that I suspect a lot seemed to gradually vanish, except
of people will install because it soaks The Performance Center model is in the hands of people who already
up the recoil, which can be rather, uh, heftier than my snub gun, hitting the owned them. I rarely see one for sale
“brisk” when using full house .357 scale unloaded at 34.1 ounces. My at a gun show or shop, and when I do,

58 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


they fetch a premium price. Of course, the most important thing
about any handgun designed for carry
Handgun popularity seems to flow is that it shoots. There is nothing to
and ebb. So, it must be said about the worry about here.
Model 19. Sure, the compact semi-au-
tos with their shorter grip frames SPEED,
carry a couple of additional rounds, PERFORMANCE
but there is the argument that six is Over the course of a couple of shoot-
plenty if you can hit that at which you ing sessions, I learned two important
are aiming. things about the Performance Center
Model 19 Carry Comp. First, it handles
That brings us around to the adjust- every .357 Magnum load I could
able sight on the test piece. Some- scrounge up. The selection I ended
body at the factory cranked the rear up with represents what might be
way to the right and down because a typical cross-section of the loads
my first shots at the range struck low average citizens might select for their
and right at 15 yards, off a rest with own use.
a two-hand hold. That, of course, was Above: Look closely. according to the chronograph.
There’s a tritium
an easy fix with a small screwdriver. From high to low, the best average lamp insert in the
front blade sight.
Part of that might have been due to velocity I scored over the screens of I had about a half-box of Hornady
the top port in front of the front sight, my chronograph, set 20 inches ahead 125-grain XTP rounds that clocked
which does prevent recoil flip, but of the muzzle, was 1,381 fps using 1,123 fps, and surprise of surprises,
the low shooting was consistent with Winchester 125-grain JHPs, followed the CorBon Hunter 180-grain JSP and
Bottom Left: Old
every round I fired during chronograph closely by the new Sig Sauer V-Crown and new, the Model the Black Hills 158-grain JHP both
19 has an adjustable
tests. 125-grain JHP at 1,330 fps. rear sight even averaging 1,029 fps.
on short-barreled
models.
One small thing I had to get used to The 125-grain Federal Hi-Shok warped Understandably bringing up the rear
was the different hammer shape. through the screens at 1,201 fps, with was a Black Hills 158-grain lead pill
The new model’s hammer is tapered, the 125-grain Speer Gold Dot close that averaged 937 fps.
where the hammer on my snub gun is behind at 1,184 fps. Bottom Right:One
notable difference
a target-type with a bit more surface is the hammer. On And the good news with all of these
the new model (left)
area. It would not be a big deal to Federal’s 158-grain Hydra-Shok scoot- the hammer tapers rounds is that at 12 yards, I managed
to the rear, while
anybody who hasn’t spent years firing ed out at 1,183 fps, and the Black Hills on the older model to keep some pretty tight groups
it was a squared
an earlier model. 125-grain JHP moved out at 1,170 fps, target-type. using a two-hand hold on a rest, the

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 59


“...THAT SINGLE
widest spread being about 4 inches, Top Left: Long
gone from the S&W
early in the testing. Once I swapped revolver hammer is

POWERPORT VENT
out the grips and got a better feel for the firing pin. Notice
the safety locking
the trigger let-off, things tightened up. device now part of

JUST BEHIND THE


the S&W revolver
And, after I adjusted the rear sight to design.

shift bullet impact up and to the left,


I blew through a mix of all the test
MUZZLE DOES HELP
TAME THE BEAST.”
loads into the head oval of a Birch-
wood Casey Shoot-N-C target.
Middle: Trigger on
LET’S TALK RECOIL the Performance
Center Carry
grip panels for the synthetic grips, reading a single account of a self-de-
There should be no question that any Comp features an which fully wrapped around the back- fense shooting in which somebody
overtravel stop. The
short-barreled revolver chambered for traditional color strap. I’m convinced this also helped mentioned recoil. They may have
case finish remains.
the .357 Magnum cartridge is going to absorb recoil, along with the addition- noticed it, but it apparently never
buck when it goes “bang!” But there is al couple of ounces that come with made a difference.
good news with the Performance Cen- the full underlug ported barrel. As I
ter Carry Comp, because that single noted earlier, this revolver has a bit Opt for the synthetic grips. You will
PowerPort vent just behind the muzzle more heft than the classic Model 19 not be disappointed, for a couple of
does help tame the beast. I was very snub gun, and it makes a difference. reasons. In addition to reducing felt
pleasantly surprised when shooting recoil, I discovered that the synthetic
full-house magnums—and I burned For people who might be recoil grip didn’t slip around in my hand
through a bunch of them—because I’m sensitive, I suggest practicing with during recoil, even when damp.
rather used to a healthy recoil in my Top Right: Here’s a +P .38 Specials, and loading up with
personal Model 19 snubby.
top view of the Pow-
erPort vent. When magnums for serious business. I have ACCESSORIES
this handgun goes
off, the muzzle flash never felt recoil during a match or Get a good holster, because any S&W
is impressive.
I prudently swapped out the wood while hunting, and I cannot recall Performance Center handgun deserves

SMITH & WESSON SPECS SHOOTING RESULTS


Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson CARTRIDGE MUZZLE VELOCITY (FPS) GROUP SIZE (INCHES)
Model: Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp WINCHESTER 125-GR. JHP 1,381 1.5
Action: Single/Double-action revolver
SIG SAUER 125-GR. JHP 1,330 1.25
Caliber: .357 Magnum/.38 Special +P
FEDERAL HI-SHOK 125-GR. JHP 1,201 1.25
Capacity: 6 rounds
Barrel: 3-inch with PowerPort, full underlug, stainless steel
SPEER GOLD DOT 125-GR. JHP 1,184 1.5
Frame: Carbon steel FEDERAL HYDRA-SHOK 158-GR. JHP 1,183 1.75
Cylinder: Carbon steel BLACK HILLS 125-GR. JHP 1,170 1.5
Grips: Wood or synthetic (both included) HORNADY 125-GR. XTP 1,123 2.0
Weight: 34.1 ounces CORBON HUNTER 180-GR. JSP 1,029 2.75
Sights: Adjustable rear, Blade front with Tritium insert
BLACK HILLS 158-GR. JHP 1,029 1.75
OAL: 8 inches
BLACK HILLS 158-GR. LEAD 937.0 1.5
MSRP: $1,092
Velocities recorded with chronograph set 20 inches ahead of muzzle. Group sizes measured best three
rounds out of five-shot string, fired at 12 yards from rest.

60 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


the best. I didn’t have time to solicit Right: The wood
grip panels are
sample rigs from various holster remarkably hand-
companies, and because I was familiar some, with very
nice checkering and
with the DeSantis model and could finger grooves.

get it in a rush, that’s where the Carry


Comp nestled while I was carrying it.

Some people prefer synthetics such as


nylon or Kydex, but I prefer genuine
leather. It flexes to fit the body, it is
gentle on the finish, and it is fast.
enjoyable when shooting the Perfor- encounter something with claws and
Trust me on this: You will wind up mance Center Model 19 Carry Comp. teeth. (During my test period, two
with more than one holster for this I have no doubt that this model will mountain bikers were attacked by a
handgun. That is as predictable as find popularity among people who not mountain lion just a few miles from
January snow in Maine. only carry for protection in the street, my home. One was killed, the other
but on the trail as well. injured. A handgun might not make
Get some speed loaders, at least two a difference in such a situation, but
and maybe four. I prefer HKS, but In western states, especially, it is not having one leaves that question
others build good models. Practice not unusual to find hikers, campers, unanswered negatively.)
quick reloads at the range until you’ve anglers and other outdoors people
Chambered for
got the movements down pat. the .357 Magnum carrying a sidearm, and one cham- For the discerning handgun buyer,
cartridge, the
Performance Center bered for the .357 Magnum is a po- S&W’s Performance Center Model
GREAT TRAIL GUN
Carry Comp will
also handle .38 tent companion anywhere you might 19 Carry Comp would make a good
Specials.
Practice is something one will find choice. It is simple to operate, ammu-
nition can be found virtually anywhere
there’s a gun shop or sporting goods
store, and most important of all, this
revolver is capable of very good accu-
racy. It’s a winner. CC

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 61


62 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
EDC
OPTIMIZED
SIG’S NEW P365
9MM PISTOL
PROVIDES FULL
CAPACITY IN A
SLIM DESIGN
STORY AND PHOTOS
BY RICHARD SCHUTZ

The SIG SAUER


P365 rides in
a CrossBreed
MiniTuck holster
with black cowhide
backing and FDE
Kydex pocket. Other
essential EDC items
include a brushed
chrome Zippo
lighter, PowerTac
Scholar 140-lumen
LED tactical pen
light, KAI/Ker-
shaw ZT 0095BW
titanium handle
flipper folding knife
and a 10-round
extended spare
magazine loaded
with SIG SAUER
124-gr. V-Crown JHP
ammunition.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 63


S
Left: SIG’s excellent
XRAY3 tritium IG SAUER has been on a roll made specifically for the everyday
night sights are an
excellent choice recently. carry market. It is chambered for the
for the P365 and
are a necessity for 9mm Luger round so only a few will
an EDC pistol. The
P365 is very slim The company’s recent write it off as too weak and puny for a
with the takedown
and slide lock levers product releases range from the self-defense weapon.
and the magazine
release as the only outstanding P320 modular handgun
protrusions.
system—including the M17 version for Prior to the introduction of the P365,
the United States military—to the MCX SIG’s only small striker-fired EDC pistol
Virtus line of rifles, SBRs and pistols, was the P320 subcompact. The P320
all new electro-optics, suppressors and sub-compact has a 0.5 inch longer
ammunition. barrel, is 0.9 inch longer overall, 0.3
inch wider, 0.4 inch higher and weighs
Now it’s the P365 EDC pistol, possibly 7.1 ounces more than the P365; a
the epitome of EDC handguns. And significant difference.
there are several reasons why it stacks
up well against other pistols on the One thing that makes this EDC pistol
market. stand out from the fray is its increased
capacity for its size. It maintains the
FAVORABLE size and weight range of its compet-
COMPARISONS itors like the Smith & Wesson M&P
The SIG SAUER P365 is a striker-fired Shield M2.0 (9mm) and the Glock 43,
polymer frame micro-compact pistol while increasing ammunition capacity

Above: The usual


slide lock lever and
takedown lever are
located on the left
side of the P365.
The author found
them well-placed
and never rode
the slide lock lever
while shooting.

“ONE THING THAT


MAKES THIS EDC
PISTOL STAND OUT
FROM THE FRAY IS ITS
INCREASED CAPACITY
FOR ITS SIZE.”
64 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
The texture on all
by as much as twofold. The 9mm four sides of the
grip is aggressive
Shield comes standard with 7+1 ca- enough for a good
grip, but it is not
pacity and the Glock 43 has a capacity overly sharp.
of 6+1. The P365, however, comes
standard with one flush fit 10-round
magazine and one extended finger
rest 10-round magazine. An extended
12-round magazine is also available
for $55.

The Shield has a slightly longer grip


than the G43, allowing for the extra
round of capacity. The P365 with the
10-round flush fit magazine is about
0.25 inch shorter than the Shield and
about the same as the Glock 43. The
grip widths are within 0.08 inch from
thinnest (G43) to thickest (P365).

GETTING SPECIFIC
The overall operation of the P365 is
much like that of its counterparts in

the 9mm micro-compact field. It does feels smoother and lighter than those
not, however, have a trigger safety on either the G43 or the M&P Shield
built into the trigger shoe as both M2.0. The P365’s trigger feel does,
the G43 and Shield do. It does share however, come closer to the feel of
a striker block. The P365 also has a the Shield than it does to the Glock
dual recoil spring and a large external 43.
extractor.
Perhaps the most interesting part of
Fieldstripping the P365 is simple and the P365 is its magazine. Using a grip
it does not require the trigger to be that is only about 0.015 inch wider
pulled. It does have a slight quirk for than that of the Shield, SIG manages
reassembly, however. To disassemble, to fit in a magazine that is 0.185
remove the magazine, lock the slide inch wider. The resulting staggered
back and make sure that the chamber magazine design accounts for the
is empty. Rotate the slide release lever five-round capacity increase (with
90 degrees clockwise, release the 12-round magazine) with the same
slide (while restraining it) and remove length grip.
the slide off of the front of the frame.
One additional item was the ease of
For reassembly, it is necessary to first racking the slide. While I wouldn’t con-
raise the slide lock lever before the sider it an easy-rack slide, it definitely
takedown lever can be rotated down operates more easily than either the
to allow the slide to be reinstalled Shield or the G43.
onto the frame. Once the slide is on
the frame and locked to the rear, It is also worth noting that the acces-
rotate the takedown lever 90 degrees sory rail on the P365 is not a standard
counterclockwise, and then release 1913 MIL-STD rail. It is the SIG Rail and
the slide. is compatible only with SIG accesso-
ries. The SIG SAUER Foxtrot1 weapon
Trigger feel is subjective, but my light (100/200/300 lumen output) is
opinion is that the trigger on the P365 compatible with the SIG Rail system.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 65


SEVERAL GOOD HOLSTER
OPTIONS FOR THE P365
You’ll have no trouble finding good holsters for the P365. SIG SAUER
offers both IWB and AIWB Kydex holsters made for them by Black
Point Tactical. These are both high quality holsters priced at $79.95 for
either style.

The holster that I used most of the time when carrying the P365 was
a CrossBreed Designer Series MiniTuck IWB model. It features a black
cowhide backing and hand-molded FDE Kydex pocket. The SnapLok
powder coated metal belt clips are adjustable for both ride height
and cant. A shirt may be tucked between the belt clips and the pistol
for concealment with a dressier look. The backing is also offered in
horsehide at no extra charge. I prefer the horsehide backing due to its
greater flexibility. The Kydex pocket is offered in sniper gray and tiffany
blue as well as FDE. Two optional clip styles are also available for a $10
up-charge. MSRP: $72.75.

CrossBreed also offers other style IWB and AIWB holsters and a SnapS-
lide OWB holster. Another interesting design is the Designer Series
Purse Defender that attaches to the inside of a purse using hook and
loop material. A right-angle bedside backup assembly is also available
for the Purse Defender model.

VERSIONS Sidebar: Here


the P365 with a
AMMUNITION the first 250-300 rounds, I had several
At the time of writing, there was 12-round magazine For evaluation purposes, I used seven occasions where the slide failed to go
is in a CrossBreed
only one version of the P365. It MiniTuck IWB different factory loads from five dif- completely into battery. I thoroughly
holster. This holster
has a Nitron finish on the slide has a black cowhide ferent manufacturers. Bullet weights cleaned and lubricated the pistol at
backing but brown
with a black polymer grip and horsehide is option- ranged from 115 to 150 grains. Four 300 rounds and had no further prob-
al and my personal
XRAY3 day/night sights. I’m sure preference due to loads used FMJ type bullets and three lems. Two other P365s that I shot had
its flexibility. The
that other versions with different FDE Kydex pocket used JHP bullets. After a break-in no such problems and several local
shown here is also
sights, different colors and with available in tiffany period, the P365 functioned fine with gun shops reported no problems with
blue and sniper
various rail-mounted accessories gray. all seven loads. the P365s that they had sold. I have
will be available in the future. I to believe that it was just my early
wouldn’t think that SIG would offer
The right side of
the P365 shows PUTTING THE P365 TO production gun.
it chambered for different cartridg- the front and rear
cocking serrations, WORK AT THE RANGE
external extractor,
es, but hey, you never know. (A SIG Rail and Overall, I fired more than 800 rounds The P365 also proved to be quite
.357 SIG anyone?) extended 10-round through the SIG SAUER P365. During accurate. Federal Premium 150-grain
magazine.

66 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“IT’S NOT ANY ONE THING,
BUT THE COMBINATION OF
FEATURES, THAT MAKE THE
P365 SUCH A GOOD EDC GUN.”

Below: The business end of the


P365 shows the end of the recoil
rod and the texture on the front
of the grip and 12-round maga-
zine extension.

HST JHP had the best 15-yard average


group size at 1.43 inches. The seven SOURCES
group averages were separated by
only 0.57 inch. The best group size www.SigSauer.com
was 1.21 inches.
www.AguilaAmmo.com
I found the P365 small enough to con-
ceal easily, yet large enough to shoot www.CrossbreedHolsters.com
comfortably. Firing 250-300 rounds
during a shooting session was no www.FederalPremium.com
problem at all. A person could easily
shoot the P365 all day without raising www.Hornady.com
a blister or experiencing any other
discomfort. With either the extended www.Winchester.com
10-round or 12-round magazines,
there is sufficient room for a full grip.
An undercut in the back of the trigger
guard allows a high grip and provides it is easy to operate. As with any
additional room for the grip hand. micro-compact handgun, hand place-
ment is crucial to the proper function
The layout of the controls keeps the of the pistol.
off-hand from riding the slide lock
during shooting. Also, the magazine The accuracy and familiar operation of
release is protected from inadvertent the SIG P365 is more than adequate
operation, but with a bit of practice, for a defensive EDC pistol.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 67


OVERALL EXCELLENCE The barrel and re-
coil rod and spring
assembly fit into
The SIG SAUER P365 is probably the the slide in much
the same manner
“best” EDC pistol that I have evaluated as with other striker
fired pistols.
recently. Because the attributes that
make a pistol a good EDC gun are
largely personal, my findings may not
apply to all persons who are looking
for an EDC gun. However, I think that
once someone has put 500-plus
rounds down range with the P365
and carried it for a month, most will “THE P365 ALSO
agree with me.
PROVED TO BE QUITE
It’s not any one thing, but the com-
ACCURATE. FEDERAL
PREMIUM 150-GRAIN
bination of features, that make the
P365 such a good EDC gun. One major

HST JHP HAD THE


item obviously is the 10-12 round
magazine capacity. Others include its
ergonomics, excellent night sights
and a very good trigger. Couple these BEST 15-YARD
items with SIG’s Black Point holsters
and excellent ammunition and you AVERAGE GROUP
have everything necessary for your
EDC firearm needs. If there is a SIZE AT 1.43 INCHES.”
drawback it could be the price. When
comparing prices, just remember to pistol that you are comparing to the P365. The most difficult part of your
include tritium night sights on the P365. decision may be finding one. I’m
seriously considering replacing my
SIG SAUER SPECS If you are looking for your first every
day carry gun, or thinking about
G43 carry gun with a P365. That way I
can carry one spare magazine instead
Manufacturer: SIG SAUER, Inc.
upgrading from your current EDC gun, of two and still have two to four
Model: P365 NITRON
take a close look at the SIG SAUER additional rounds on tap. CC
Action: Semi-auto, striker-fired
Caliber: 9mm Luger (+P rated)
Capacity: 10+1 (12+1 optional)
Grip Material: Polymer
SHOOTING RESULTS
Frame: Stainless steel w/Nitron finish
AMMUNITION AVG. VELOCITY SM. GRP. AVG. GRP.
Slide: Stainless steel w/Nitron finish FEDERAL PREMIUM 150-GR. HST JHP 851 1.33 1.43
Length: 5.8 inches WINCHESTER USA 115-GR. FMJ 1,053 1.45 1.59
Barrel: 3.1 inches SIG SAUER E9MMB2 124-GR. FMJ 1,040 1.35 1.66
Height: 4.3 inches AGUILA 124-GR. FMJ 1,029 1.35 1.68
Width: 1 inch
SIG SAUER E9MMA1 115-GR. V-CROWN JHP 1,114 1.21 1.77
Weight: 1 pound, 2.5 ounces (w/empty 10-round flush fit magazine)
HORNADY CRITICAL DUTY 135-GR. FLEXLOCK 974 1.79 1.99
Sights: XRAY3 day/night sights
Trigger Pull: 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces AM. EAGLE SYNTECH 115-GR. TSJ 1,058 1.79 2.00
Rail: SIG Rail (proprietary) Velocity measured using a LabRadar device. Group fired at 15 yards using a sandbag rest
MSRP: $599.99 Velocity in feet per second at the muzzle. Groups are the average of three five-shot groups.

68 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


TOP-NOTCH

70 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


TOP-BREAK
NAA ADDS EASY
RELOAD CAPABILITY
TO ITS LINE OF DEEP
CONCEALMENT
REVOLVERS WITH
THE RANGER II
STORY AND PHOTOS
BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 71


I
n short, getting me to tout, much
What sets the
Ranger II apart can punch out the empty casings and TYPICAL QUALITY
from other NAA
less tote, a small gun is a tall revolvers is that it reload. That’s really not a problem as Aside from the new action, the rest of
features a top-break
order. action that partially these guns aren’t intended for sus- the Ranger II is NAA as usual. In other
extracts the casings tained battles and statistics show few words, the revolver is well made. The
when opened.
Yet, you don’t have to lift my hearing rounds are needed in typical civilian Ranger II is a stainless steel, five-shot
protection and shout in my ear to defensive situations anyway. rimfire revolver chambered for .22
make me understand that there are WMR—commonly called .22 Magnum
some roles that only a small gun can Still, as a matter of convenience, the these days. The one I received is a
handle well. When there’s a need for easier to reload a gun the better. combo model that came with a sec-
deep concealment, to travel light in NAA addressed this first with the ond cylinder in .22LR (Long Rifle).
the extreme or to carry a last-ditch Sidewinder model that features a
backup weapon, small guns can excel. swing-out cylinder. Even easier is
the new Ranger II with a barrel that
Among the smallest of the small are hinges at the bottom of the frame and
the single-action mini revolvers from is secured by a spring-loaded latch on
North American Arms (NAA). The com- the top strap.
pany’s latest, the Ranger II, borrows
a page from the history books in that When you open the action all the way,
it’s a quick-loading, top-break design the extractor star pops up to partially
of the type that was popular for many extract the casings, which can then be
years. A quick reload will be welcome dumped out.
feature to the many NAA revolver fans
out there.

THE RELOAD
Many of the NAA revolvers require
you to remove then cylinder pin and
then the cylinder itself before you

“THE .22 MAGNUM


CAN BE EFFECTIVE...WITH
VELOCITIES RANGING FROM
900 TO WELL OVER 1,100
FEET PER SECOND OUT
OF EVEN THE RANGER II’S
SHORT BARREL.”
72 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
BREAK-ACTION
REVOLVERS
WERE ONCE
VERY
PREVALENT
Break-action revolvers were very popular
at one time. One of the earliest of the
self-contained cartridge guns in this
country was also a tiny rimfire revolver:
the Smith & Wesson Model 1 in .22 Short,
although that gun was a tip-up break-ac-
tion design.

The S&W Model 3s—the American, Russian


and Schofield variants of the 1800s—were
large frame revolvers, but were popular for
their top-break actions. Iver Johnson and
Hopkins & Allen were among other notable
manufacturers of top-break revolvers.
And let’s not forget the Webley top-break
revolvers that helped the British through
two world wars. More recently, Harrington &
Richardson produced their Sportsman 999,
a nine-shot .22LR revolver with a top-break
action.

SECOND CYLINDER The break-top design, while fine for black


Its barrel is 1.63 inches long and has Swapping the cylinders is easy and re-
powder or mild smokeless powder loads,
a simple bead front sight. A small quires no tools. Simply lift the latch on
was deemed not strong enough to handle
notch on the top strap serves as the the top strap and the cylinder slides
modern centerfire cartridges (.357 Magnum
rear sight. This isn’t a gun designed for right off the cylinder pin. As rimfire Along with its .22
Magnum cylinder, for instance) and their higher chamber
precision target shooting. You’re going ammo is sometimes still in short a second cylinder
in .22LR is included pressures. As a result, only a few Old West
to point it and shoot. The grips are supply, being able to shoot either .22 with the Ranger
rosewood, bird’s head shaped and are Magnum or .22 LR ammo—whichever
II combo models, replica guns and this new NAA rimfire
allowing you to fire
a very classy touch. is available—is a big plus. whichever ammo remain in production.
might be available.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 73


NO SHORTAGE OF USES FOR AN Ever. But if I’m out for a jog or trying to burn some calories on a bicycle—I admit it—I am

NAA MINI REVOLVER


going to leave the big guns behind. But I might just carry the Ranger II.

I live in the Northeast where the weather is lousy most of the year. So, concealing 04 Dressing for the occasion. It’s always better to adjust your wardrobe to accommo-
date your carry gun. Still, there are times when nothing but a small gun will conceal
well. A NAA revolver is the king of deep concealment. It can be tucked in a boot, carried in a
a handgun somewhat larger than many would consider carrying is an easy task. As
a result, most of the time my carry gun is a Glock 19, Commander-style 1911, Ruger shirt pocket with a button flap or hidden when wearing the lightest of clothing.
American Compact or S&W K-frame revolver.

So, what does a true believer of the “bigger-is-better” handgun cult do with a mini 05 Saving weight. If you’re otherwise lugging needed gear—backpacking, portaging
a canoe or kayak, for instance—every ounce carried has to be considered carefully.
If I’m hunting with a rifle over mountainous terrain, I might opt for a NAA revolver in my
revolver? Here are some times when a NAA mini revolver is good to have in your
pocket: pocket in lieu of a large handgun on my hip.

01 Around the house. No, I’m not a paranoid geezer who paces from window to
window all day, suspicious of anything that moves. But I do like to maintain 06 In a survival kit. Look at lists of recommended gear to add to a survival kit and most
times the “experts” fail to mention one of the most important items: a firearm.
When putting together a compact emergency kit, including a NAA revolver and a 50-round
some level of protection without being too burdened at home. So, carrying a NAA
revolver such as the Ranger II in a DeSantis pocket holster is a good choice. At box of ammo is a smart idea. Within short ranges, taking small game is possible and, of
home, I am usually just a few steps away from a larger gun in a touchpad lockbox. course, there are the defensive uses.
A small gun instantly available in my pocket, I figure, might help to buy some time
for me to get to that larger gun.
07 For recreation. Sometimes it’s great to have one of these tiny revolvers around just
for fun. Whenever I’m going where there might be an opportunity for some im-

02 As a backup. Very often lately, when I need to go out on some errands, I’ll promptu plinking, the Ranger II, along with a set of foam ear plugs and a box of ammo, can
switch that NAA revolver that I’ve been carrying around the house to a left- form a take-anywhere recreational shooting kit. Everyone I show the gun to wants to try it.
hand pocket. Then I’ll tuck my larger EDC gun in a right-hand inside-the-waist-
band holster. That allows me to access a weapon with either hand without feeling
any more weighed down than if I carried one gun only. 08 For the recoil shy. If you are sensitive to recoil, the Ranger II might be the answer for
concealed carry. Think of how many people are toting around .380 pocket pistols for
defense when the .380 cartridge is notorious for under-penetration. The .22 Magnum can

03 Traveling light. More than 27 years in law enforcement has taught me that be effective at reaching the vitals with velocities ranging from about 950 to about 1,150 feet
bad things can happen at the worst times. I don’t like to be defenseless. per second even out of the Ranger II’s short barrel.

SAFE TO CARRY
The firing pin is mounted on the ham-
mer, but there is no need to carry the
gun with the hammer over an empty
chamber. The Ranger II, like other
NAA revolvers, has notches between
the chambers in the cylinder, the way
some early cap-and-ball revolvers
did. You can lower the hammer into
one of those in-between notches so
that there is no danger that the firing
pin can strike a cartridge if the gun is
dropped.

SHOOTING along with wrapping more of your in- this is a single-action gun, the trigger
Shooting the Ranger II takes some dex finger around the trigger than you travels just a very short distance
practice as there isn’t much to hold on The easy-loading would with a larger handgun. Despite before the gun fires.
top-break design
to and the sights are very rudimen- of the Ranger II its small size, recoil is not an issue
makes it even
tary. Still, good hits out to 10 or 15 better than earlier with even the magnum rimfire loads. I had a few misfires with some of the
NAA models for
yards are no problem once you get defensive purposes. .22 Magnum ammo during the first
The author plans
accustomed to the gun. I found that a on adding a set of The trigger was excellent. I measured 25 rounds fired and I suspected it was
Laserlyte laser grips
high, deep grip on the gun works best to this gun. the pull at about 3.5 pounds. Because not the gun, but the old ammo to

74 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


SOURCES
North American Arms DeSantis Gunhide Laserlyte
www.NorthAmericanArms.com www.DeSantisHolster.com www.Laserlyte.com

Notches between
blame, as I’ve had similar results with should have and no doubt this caused chambers in the revolvers—one in leather and one in
Ranger II’s cylinder
old rimfire ammo in other guns. But some of the high impacts. provide places to nylon. Each includes a pocket to store
rest the hammer
after those initial few rounds, I fired during carry so that spare cartridges.
perhaps 150 more without a single The other NAA revolver I own—the the firing pin can’t
contact a cartridge
problem. Usually, if a break-in period Sidewinder—is fitted with Laserlyte if the revolver is
dropped.
NOT A TOY
is needed, it’s with a semi-auto, not a laser grips that have proven to very Even as an advocate for carrying larger
revolver. Whatever the problem was, helpful in getting hits on target guns, I cannot deny the handiness
it resolved itself and I have confidence quickly. They’re available on the NAA and effectiveness of the NAA Ranger
that it’s now reliable. Still, I will fire website along with other grip options II in specific roles. The gun is not a
more rounds through it before placing or directly from Laserlyte and I’ll prob- gimmick or merely a novelty. It is
it into service as a defensive arm. ably pick up a set of the laser grips well made and would be a welcome
for the Ranger II also. With the laser, addition to your personal armory,
I didn’t shoot this gun from the bench sighting will be easier in low light useful whenever a highly concealable
for accuracy results; I didn’t see the when I’m apt to need it and the laser handgun is required.CC
point with this type of handgun with can be adjusted so my point of impact
such minimal sights. But I did achieve will be dead on.
good hits at 10 and 15 yards offhand.
With all loads, including some Rem- HOLSTER THAT GUN
ington .22LR rounds, the Ranger tend- The Ranger II came with a leather
ed to shoot a bit high. Part of that was belt holster, but this is a handgun that
my fault. As I tried to get a better look most will opt to carry in a pocket.
at that small bead front sight, I didn’t DeSantis Gunhide makes a couple
settle it down into the rear notch as I of different pocket holsters for NAA

NAA RANGER II SPECS


Right: A leather belt
Model: North American Arms Ranger II holster was includ-
ed with the Ranger
Type: Top-break, single-action revolver with star extractor II that was shipped
to the author.
Caliber: .22 WMR (.22 Magnum), also available with second cylinder for .22 LR
Capacity: 5
Length: 5.16 inches VELOCITY RESULTS
Height: 2.81 inches .22 WMR AMMO AVG. VELOCITY
Width: 1.06 inches WINCHESTER 40-GR. FMJ 949
Barrel: 1.63 inches
ARMSCOR 40-GR. JHP 949
Weight: 6.9 ounces
CCI A22 MAGNUM 35-GR. GAME POINT 975
Sights: Bead front
Grips: Rosewood, bird’s head HORNADY 30-GR. V-MAX 1,146
MSRP: $574 Velocity measured in feet per second by Chrony chronograph 12 feet from the muzzle.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 75


NON-EXPANDING HANDGUN
LOADS ARE SOMETIMES A
BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO
HOLLOWPOINTS
STORY AND PHOTOS BY BOB CAMPBELL

The NovX loading


is interesting both
in terms of the
projectile and the
modern cartridge
case. NovX photo

76 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


D
SOLID
EFENSE
FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 77
I
t’s time to start thinking about
alternatives to hollowpoint bullets
in your defensive handgun.

There is only so much energy behind


a bullet. That energy may be used
in penetration or it may be used to
expand and deform the bullet. The
small calibers seldom have enough
power to both push a mushroom and
offer adequate expansion. The big
bores do not need expansion to be
Performance
effective. Loads in the middle—the exhibited by Buffalo
.38 Special and 9mm Luger—benefit Bore’s .32 ACP flat
point was impres-
the most from hollowpoints as they sive.

usually have sufficient power to make


the most of a well-designed bullet.

Solid bullets in loads from Black Hills,


Buffalo Bore and NovX are examples
of effective choices for defense that
might just be better than traditional
hollowpoints, especially in small-cali-
ber handguns.

SMALL BORES
In my experience, when small
bore cartridges perform beyond
expectation it is because they have
penetrated adequately. When big bore
cartridges fail, it is because of inad-
equate penetration. The .32 ACP, .32
H&R Magnum and the .380 ACP—es-
pecially with hollowpoints—often fall
short for personal defense. That isn’t
an opinion but a conclusion based on
many years of research.

An expanding bullet in a weak caliber If we could add a blunt nose that cuts
doesn’t have enough penetration to rather than pushes flesh aside, wound
be effective. The better choice is a potential would be increased.
loading that offers deep penetration.
A valid comparison is the size of a
man and a deer. Both weigh about

“AN EXPANDING BULLET the same, as least as far as eastern

IN A WEAK CALIBER
and southern deer go. Both are about
as hard to put down, save that ani-

DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH


mals are not subject to shock through
blood loss. There is no psychological

PENETRATION TO BE
aspect as animals do not know they
have been shot. Yet deer shot with

EFFECTIVE. THE BETTER


the .308 Winchester or .30-06 often
run 100 yards or more after being

CHOICE IS A LOADING THAT


shot. We need to stop a threat imme-
diately to stop his actions and to save

OFFERS DEEP PENETRATION.”


our life and yet some rely on cartridg-
es with little chance of doing so.

78 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


Unfortunately, during the past few validity even without practical Above: The .44 Small caliber non-expanding bullets
Special Honey Bad-
years there seems to be a common experience, but I find validity and ger is among the do not have a good reputation for
hardest hitting of
thread among writers to discount experience a solid combination. If factory .44 Special wound potential. But whichever we
loadings.
actual experience and authoritative something sounds too good to be use, the bullet must have good pen-
research in favor of opinion and true, it probably is. etration. This means 12 to 16 inches
shadowy studies that professionals in gelatin. I have tested modern frag-
doubt even occurred. I have not shot PENTRATION IS KEY menting loads that exhibit perhaps 5
drugged goats and probably no one The single most important criteria for inches of penetration. Some are .380
else has either, but I have looked over a defensive cartridge is penetration. ACP hollow points, others are 9mm
both ends of the gun barrel and stud- The opponent might be a pretty big and .45 loads designed to fragment.
ied the after effects of bullet wounds guy. It isn’t unusual for a member They are not very useful for personal
for decades. of our protein-fed, ex-con criminal defense.
class to top 280 pounds after years
When my experience agrees with of hard time pumping weights and The felon may have his arms out-
the accounts of reputable men of living in a highly dangerous environ- stretched and the bullet will have to
the past, peace officers, soldiers ment. Even the average sized felon penetrate the arm bones, clothing
and reliable correspondents, I think will be heavily clothed in the winter, and the chest to reach a vital organ.
I have a conclusion. A repeatable and this clothing will fill the nose of The felon may be behind cover, which
and verifiable experiment will have a JHP bullet and cancel expansion. is a separate problem.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 79


“THE HONEY BADGER...
BULLET HAS SHARP
SCALLOPS CUT INTO THE
NOSE…THE .380 ACP IS
SO SHARP I HAD TO BE
CAREFUL LOADING THEM
IN THE MAGAZINE!”

While shot placement is the single Top Left: Left to hollowpoints for defense? One
right: .380 ACP,.38
most important component of Special, .45 ACP, promising design is the Black Hills
.44 Special and .44
stopping power, wound potential is Magnum Honey Honey Badger ammo that provides
Badger loads.
dictated by penetration. Consider the a good combination of needed pen-
entire depth of penetration. As any etration and wound cavity that can
hunter will tell you, an animal that maximize the effectiveness of your
takes a raking shot and all of the defensive handgun, especially if
energy of the bullet is expended in you carry one of the small calibers.
the body goes down quickly. While I
trust the larger calibers as carry guns, THE HONEY BADGER
I also believe that the .380 ACP and Bottom Left: Each The Honey Badger is an animal
Honey Badger has
.38 Special can be useful in the back- a unique design for with a ferocious attitude akin to
the caliber.
up category. A cool head that shoots that of the Wolverine or Tasmanian
straight will possibly have good Devil. As for the Honey Badger You have to understand that deep
results if the bullet has adequate pen- ammunition, like my pet Dingo penetration with a non-expanding
etration. If the bullet can be designed Lucy with proper understand- bullet equals more total wound
to damage tissue without expansion, ing there is nothing like them. potential than a JHP bullet that offers
we will have something. Jeff Hoffmann, CEO of Black Hills shallow penetration. The penetration
Ammunition, wanted to develop part is easy. Wound potential is more
SOLID BULLET Middle: The author
a non-expanding bullet load with difficult. The Honey Badger is a solid
ALTERNATIVE was impressed by
the .380 ACP Honey
wound potential rivaling that of a copper bullet. The bullet has sharp
So, what’s the alternative to Badger. hollowpoint bullet. scallops cut into the nose. I was

80 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


Buffalo Bore offers full
wadcutter loads in pop-
ular calibers. This isn’t
light target stuff.

BUFFALO BORE
BULLETS PROVIDE
DEEP PENETRATION
Buffalo Bore offers good quality ammunition loaded with flat
nose, semi-wadcutter, full wadcutter, jacketed hollowpoint and
bonded core hollowpoint bullets. These bullets are chosen for the
problem to be solved and the job at hand.

As an example, a full wadcutter bullet is usually chosen as a target


bullet. When the bullet is hard cast rather than soft lead and
loaded to velocity over 850 fps, the bullet gets more interesting.
Rather than pushing flesh aside as a round nose load bullet might,
the Buffalo Bore load cuts a hole in flesh and penetrates straight
surprised—the .380 ACP is so sharp I 1,200 fps compared to the 830 fps and deep. The result is greater wound potential.
had to be careful loading them in the 230-grain FMJ bullet.
magazine! Both RNL and FMJ bullets sometimes slip or skip on bone. A
There is another component other flat nose bullet will not. The SWC bullet with its flat nose and
They are designed to rotate and push than fluid dynamics and one more hard-driving shoulder offers excellent wound potential and it
fluid around in the body creating easily understood and demonstrated.
is a favorite of those hunting large game that demand greater
a wound channel larger than the A hollowpoint bullet is simply a round
penetration.
bullet itself. Instead of a bullet caliber nose bullet when it meets flesh and
wound, the wound is larger and this blood. It must expand to push the
While Buffalo Bore’s .357 Magnum and .45 ACP hollow point
is born out in gelatin testing. With mushroom and create damage in the
loads are well designed—and the .44 Special lead hollow point is
gelatin testing a cavity may be creat- body. If the hollowpoint nose strikes
a favorite—in .32 ACP, .32 H&R Magnum and .380 ACP these flat
ed and the cavity is larger than FMJ bone or fills with intermediate mate-
point loads maximize the caliber. Buffalo Bore offers cookie cutter
bullets and comparable to hollow- rial such as down clothing, it may not
point bullets. expand at all. type full wadcutter defense loads.

Something is going on as the Honey The Honey Badger features sharp The owner, Tim Sundles, lives in territory where everyone is bun-
Badger doesn’t penetrate like a FMJ. flutes that are whirling as they strike dled up most of the year and the animals are large and aggressive.
As an example, the 135-grain .45 ACP the target. They create significant He cuts no corners with his ammunition. Just one example of
loading penetrates 24 inches in water damage. This is obvious when you fire Buffalo Bore performance: the 60-grain hardcast flat point .32 ACP
compared to 30 inches with 230 grain at a paper target. There is a unique clocked 980 fps in my Colt 1903 and penetrated a solid 24 inches.
FMJ “hardball.” This is despite the signature from the Honey Badger That brings the .32 ACP into a different last-ditch niche.
.45 Honey Badger traveling at over bullet.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 81


“THE HONEY BADGER
FEATURES SHARP
FLUTES THAT ARE
WHIRLING AS THEY
STRIKE THE TARGET.
THEY CREATE
SIGNIFICANT
DAMAGE.”
Above: NovX rounds

NOVX 9MM: I was most impressed by the perfor- This exhibits proof the fluid dynamics
use a polymer
flute in the bullet
to instigate tissue mance of the .380 ACP. After all, it is a are at work. While the other loads
NEW CASING, damage.
light caliber. I am deploying the Honey threw the water jugs about, the .44

NEW BULLET Badger in my .38 Special revolvers.


The .45 ACP gave excellent perfor-
Magnum erupted four in line and
soaked the author thoroughly! This is
mance. a load that should prove reliable for
The NovX features a new twist. The
animal defense. CC
cartridge case is a stainless-steel casing
A problem with the .44 Special has
mated to an aluminum case head which
houses the primer. This is a lightweight
but very strong cartridge case. The loading
been achieving enough velocity to
make a JHP bullet work. At 700 fps I SOURCES
have little confidence in a 200-grain
is designed to produce high comparative Black Hills Ammunition
JHP in this caliber. The Honey Badger
velocity for a handgun cartridge. www.Black-Hills.com
.44 Special jolts a 125-grain bullet to
1,100 fps with excellent potential. I Buffalo Bore Ammunition
Because copper and polymer are longer for was interested to note that despite www.BuffaloBore.com
the caliber than lead and copper jacketed more than 200 fps more velocity the
bullets, and less dense, the bullet weighs .44 Magnum load did not penetrate NovX Ammunition
only 65 grains. The 9mm Engagement more than the .44 Special. www.NovXAmmo.com
Extreme Self Defense loading fires a
65-grain copper-polymer bullet in excess of
1,500 fps. The bullet will tend to break up
BLACK HILLS HONEY BADGER AMMO TEST RESULTS
on contact with hard surfaces such as brick FIREARM AND LOAD VELOCITY PENETRATION IN WATER
but penetrates wallboard. .380 ACP, 60-GRAIN HONEY BADGER
ROCK ISLAND BABY ROCK 1,200 FPS 17 INCHES
A standard pressure loading breaks 1,575
SPRINGFIELD 911 1,170 FPS 16 INCHES
fps while the +P loading with the same
65-grain bullet reaches 1,655 fps. There is 9MM, 125-GRAIN HONEY BADGER
little difference in felt recoil with the +P HUDSON H9 930 FPS 20 INCHES
loading due to the light projectile. GLOCK 19X VELOCITY 890 FPS 20 INCHES
.38 SPECIAL 100-GRAIN +P HONEY BADGER
A less expensive Cross Trainer Competition
load in standard and +P loadings with COLT DETECTIVE SPECIAL 960 FPS 18 INCHES
a round nose bullet is offered. The Cross RUGER GP100 1,048 FPS 20 INCHES
Trainer Competition loading cost about the .45 ACP 135-GRAIN HONEY BADGER
same for 51 rounds as the 26-round box
DAN WESSON GUARDIAN 1,230 FPS 24 INCHES
personal defense loading. That’s right, 51
and 26 rounds, which is unconventional but .44 SPECIAL 125-GRAIN HONEY BADGER
in this day of high capacity handguns an S&W M69 .44 MAGNUM, 2.75-INCH BARREL 1,102 FPS 22 INCHES
extra round or two compared to a 20-round .44 MAGNUM 160-GRAIN HONEY BADGER
box of personal defense loads is important.
(SAME REVOLVER) 1,320 FPS 22 INCHES

82 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


WIN THE
FIGHT
LMS DEFENSE OFFERS A RANGE OF
TACTICAL TRAINING TO HELP GUN OWNERS
SURVIVE DEADLY ENCOUNTERS
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE SEARSON

A
s a firearms writer and Do you draw
against a firearm
instructor, a common ques- already pointed at
you or do you try
tion I often hear is, “I have to de-escalate the
situation?
X-amount of dollars. What
should I get for concealed carry?”

My answer is usually to find a reliable


handgun with which the shooter is
comfortable, a good concealment
holster, several hundred rounds of
ammunition and, most important,
training.

I do not hawk myself as a trainer and


have not taught a firearms class in
more than a decade, so I usually refer
them to LMS Defense, my preferred
school of choice, or another good
instructor that I know of in their area.

The dilemma is often, “Which course


should I take?” I would imagine that
many other students of the gun have
the same quandary.

84 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 85
COURSE SELECTION
01: Scenario based
force-on-force train- 01
ing encourages
At LMS Defense’s 2018 Customer shooters to think
rationally under
Appreciation weekend, shooters could stress.
sample as many as 10 different cours-
es to get a feel for what they wanted
to try next.

I audited a number of these and while


some were more oriented toward
tactical operations such as shotgun,
low-light carbine, night vision and pre-
cision rifle, I found plenty if your main
concern is bolstering your concealed
carry pistol training.

Here is a sampling of some of the


most pertinent courses from LMS
Defense:
02: Students apply
HANDGUN the lessons learned
in Pistol Funda-
FUNDAMENTALS mentals.

On the surface, this may seem like a


basic course and for some advanced
shooters it may be. However, even
with 30 years of shooting, training 3A
and instructing under my belt, I still
picked up a few tips in this abbreviat-
ed course.

The instructor was Major Jim Carter,


USMC. Much of his course dealt with
proper grip and presentation. I saw
this as good for rank amateurs as
well as points of refinement for more
seasoned shooters.

A question about “head shots” came


up and it was agreed that it can be a 3A, 3B: Firearms
used for force-on-
potential fight stopper, but shot place- force training are
modified and identi-
ment is critical. A shooting session fied before use.

TRAIN LIKE AN ATHLETE “...CREATING


DISTANCE AND
ESCAPING A
All too often I hear, “I train all the time,” which really means, “I shoot
all the time or at least two or three times a year and my factory box is

POTENTIALLY
my holster and my target is the Birchwood Casey 10-pack I grabbed at
Walmart for $9.99.”

I see shooting as an athletic endeavor, and anyone who wants to VIOLENT ENCOUNTER
function at a high level in any field of athletics needs a coach who can
ARE PREFERRED
TO BLASTING YOUR
provide feedback and help the athlete improve their performance.

WAY THROUGH
You may not be an athlete in the strictest sense as a competitive
shooter, but if you want to protect yourself, you need to ensure that
you can perform as well with your guns and gear in all situations.
EVERY OPPONENT.”
86 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
02

3B 04

illustrated that a shot too high or to often that those basic courses barely 04: Classes are was performing a realistic scan after
kept on the small
low may not stop the threat. covered the minimum amount of side and split into shooting a threat and ensuring it is
groups, so each
training requirements for real world student can receive down. Rather than an abbreviated turn
CONCEALED CARRY CCW applications. attention from the
instructor. that exposes your back to the threat.
FUNDAMENTALS Jackson encourages students to scan
If you are like most people who have Drawing from concealment was an while moving, keeping the threat in
attended a CCW course to obtain your eye-opener to some students who sight while looking for other threats.
permit, chances are that the course in may have been running their CCW
question dealt more with where and piece in a holster for the first time in Several drills were performed in which
when you could lawfully carry your a training scenario. Getting the cover the students would verbally engage
handgun and an extremely basic han- garment out of the way by using one a threat while having to respond to
dling session coupled with a minimal hand or two hands if necessary was another threat in the vicinity as well
shooting requirement. demonstrated as was repositioning of as students standing side by side and
the holster for some shooters. one drawing and firing in response
Josh Jackson of LMS Defense came to the shooter on their left as if they
up with this course after seeing too Another point Jackson drove home were the threat downrange.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 87


RED DOT SIGHTS Above: As red dot
sights on pistols
what do you do when you draw your while superimposing the dot on the
ON PISTOLS are becoming more
commonplace, it
pistol in a life or death situation and target. Too many shooters make the
Daniel Bales of LMS Defense taught makes sense to take there is no dot? mistake of “chasing the dot” and
a class dedicated
one of the more popular courses as to their use should declare the system is not for them.
you choose to
mounting a red dot sight is becoming mount one on your If the handgun is set up with the
IN EXTREMIS
carry gun.
the thing to do with pistols these correct sights, you may be able to
days—and we are not talking for use your factory irons as a backup. SHOOTING
competition but concealed carry. However, this is far from the norm Of all the courses I audited, this was
Right: Reloading at this moment in time as some red perhaps my favorite. When I am not
one-handed may
One of the drawbacks of shooting a require charging dots require removal of the rear sight testing firearms from manufacturers
the slide off your
pistol with an electronic sight is the equipment. or the sights are too short. When and practicing my own defensive
potential for equipment failure. A dead this is the case, a shooter can sight shooting, I incorporate a number
battery or a cheap one can cause any- through the window of the sight or of these drills in every session. In-
thing from a slight delay in acquisition even use the top of the housing as a structor Jim Carter taught this course
of the dot to an outright failure. focal point. and hit on some of the more critical
aspects considering the abbreviated
Below: In Extremis
At a match or training session you pistol shooting Most important is the red dot- time frame.
requires shooting
may have the luxury to swap bat- with one hand and equipped pistol allows the shooter
not necessarily your
teries, sights or even handguns, but primary hand. to focus on the target or the threat In extremis basically means shooting

88 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


SOURCES
LMS Defense
www.LMSDefense.com

“SEVERAL
DRILLS WERE
PERFORMED
IN WHICH THE
STUDENTS
WOULD
VERBALLY
ENGAGE A
THREAT WHILE
HAVING TO
RESPOND TO
ANOTHER
THREAT
IN THE
VICINITY...”

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 89


pouches or the edge of the holster if
need be.

AN INTRODUCTION
TO FORCE-ON-FORCE
This is by far one of the most useful
courses regarding real-world feed-
back and it gives students an oppor-
tunity to see how well they perform
in scenario-based training using UTM
man-marking ammunition in a vari-
ety of shoot/no-shoot situations.

The key takeaway from force-on-


force training is realizing that not
every encounter while armed is
with the “Demon of Darkness.” Not
every scenario results in a shooting.
Parleying with an aggressor, creating
distance and escaping a potentially
violent encounter are preferred to
blasting your way through every
from a weakened position and/or In Extremis shoot- Firing from a weakened position is opponent.
ing means shooting
one-handed. The premise is that one from uncomfortable always a challenge. One-handed on
and unorthodox
of your arms is incapable of holding positions. your back or on your stomach does Daniel Bales of LMS Defense taught
or supporting the firearm. not sound difficult until you try it— this one, and force-on-force training
and once you empty your magazine, is one I’d recommend that every
This is not limited to being shot in a try going for a reload. shooter who carries concealed should
gunfight. You may be holding a child take on an annual basis.
or a piece of equipment. Your arm I did pick up on something we had
could be disabled from an unrelated not considered before, though, THE REST
injury or surgery. related to a one-handed reload. In Other courses available included sub-
the past, I was taught to place the jects as diverse as creating a firearm
Experimentation with placement of firearm under my non-shooting arm trust as well as an overview of tactical
the non-shooting hand is the key. or between my knees while using medicine. LMS Defense offers courses
Letting your arm hang uselessly at the good arm to jam a magazine in all over the country. Potential students
your side will throw off your balance the well. However, if you are running can easily check LMS Defense’s course
while shooting. You can jam your a Kydex holster you can holster the calendar on their website for dates
hand into a pocket and “clutch a roll firearm with the slide locked to the and locations. Chances are that you
of quarters” or make a fist and place rear, reload it and rack the slide may find one within a reasonable
it over your heart. one-handed off your belt, magazine driving distance. CC

LESSONS LEARNED “A ONE-HANDED


RELOAD WHILE INJURED
• A one-handed reload while injured can best be accomplished
by placing the handgun with the slide locked to the rear CAN BEST BE
inside a Kydex holster.
ACCOMPLISHED BY
PLACING THE HANDGUN
• In many cases, creating distance from a potential threat can
be more important than drawing faster than the bad guy.

WITH THE SLIDE LOCKED


• Practicing moving the cover garment out of the way is as
important as drawing and driving the gun from concealment.
• The key to success with a red dot-equipped pistol is focusing
on the target while superimposing the dot as opposed to TO THE REAR INSIDE A
treating it like an electronic crosshair.
KYDEX HOLSTER.”
90 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
TRIJICON PHOTO

92 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


TAKING
AIM
A GUIDE TO SOME OF THE BEST
AFTERMARKET HANDGUN SIGHTS
BY CCH STAFF | PHOTOS FROM THE MANUFACTURERS

Y
ou like the pistol you’ve chosen for concealed carry,
but somehow it could be just a little bit better. In
the days when revolvers were king, the first thing,
if anything, that you changed was the grips. In this
age of polymer-frame semi-auto pistols that’s a bit harder to
do, although many come with interchangeable backstraps or
palm swells.

Today, you’re more apt to swap out the sights. Maybe you’re
having trouble seeing the sights and you want a bright fiber
optic set. Or maybe you want night sights for low-light de-
fensive use. Maybe you need higher sights to peek above the
suppressor you’ve thinking of adding. The good news is that
there’s a great selection of aftermarket sights from companies
that specialize in sights or gun optics. Here we’re highlighting
some of the best that you can buy to get your gun on target
quickly and accurately.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 93


01
Gun Pro
Delta 1 Sights
With many sights, you have
to choose between fast acquisition and
precision. But Delta 1 Sights from Gun Pro
aren’t your ordinary aftermarket sights. They
feature a wide, orange front sight with an
inverted triangle notch on top. The rear is an
acrylic, high-visibility, lime green triangle. For
quick acquisition, that large front sight jumps
right up in front of you when you present
your handgun on target, and the wide notch
provides an excellent, open view. But place
the top of the triangle rear sight at the bot-
tom of the front notch and that single-point
alignment provides a high degree of precision
for accurate shot placement. After a few
rounds to adjust to the new sight picture,
these sights are very fast and accurate. They
are highly visible in daylight and they’re also
photo-luminescent—once they’re exposed to
some light, they glow in the dark. The sights
are available for Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig
Sauer, Springfield Armory and 1911 (Novak
cut) pistols.

MSRP: $99
Website: www.GunPro.US

02
Night Fision
Perfect Dot
Night Fision Perfect Dot night sights
are made in the U.S. of machined 4140 steel coated
with black nitride for corrosion and wear resistance.
They make use of a patent-pending injection-molded
aluminum sleeves that hold the tritium vials in place—a
more durable design that also provides for a brighter
sight. The front sight features a choice of a white,
orange or yellow florescent ring around the tritium, so
the sights are easy to acquire day or night. The rear
sights are available with either a U-notch or a square
notch, outlined, black or blank. The sights are available
for Glock, Canik, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer and Spring-
field Armory handguns.

MSRP: $108
Website: www.NightFision.com

94 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


03
Williams
Fire Sights
Williams Fire Sights have
been a go-to product for those interested
in light-gathering, high-visibility fiber
optic sights. They’re constructed of
high-strength aluminum with a steel
front bead, unlike some sights that are
plastic. The sights are available in either
a low-profile, no-snag self-defense
configurations or fully adjustable target
models. The fiber optic tubes are replace-
able. They are available for a number of
handgun brands, including Glock, Ruger,
Springfield Armory, Taurus, HK, Kahr, FN,
Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Colt, Kimber,
Browning and Desert Eagle. The company
makes fiber optic sights for shotguns,
muzzleloaders and AR-15 rifles as well.
The company also offers a fiber optic
ghost ring rear sight.

MSRP: $49.95
Website: www.WilliamsGunSight.com

04
Hi Viz
Litewave H3
Do you want night sights
or fiber optic sights? With the new Hi Viz
Litewave H3 sights, you don’t have to
choose. You get both in one sight. They
combine both tritium inserts with the
company’s Litepipe fiber optic technology
for excellent visibility day and night.
They are made with steel construction
to be durable in rough use. These sights
match the height of the original factory
sights, so they should shoot to the same
point of aim and will fit in standard
holsters. They are available for Glock,
Smith & Wesson, Kimber and Springfield
Armory pistols.

MSRP: $126
Website: www.HiVizSights.com

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 95


05
XS Sights F8
Tritium Big Dot
XS was a pioneer in the big front
dot front sight for fast acquisition. The company’s
new F8 sights feature a large tritium front sight
surrounded by a large, high-contrast photolumines-
cent (glow in the dark) orange ring. The overhung
rear sight reduces glare in daylight. It has a single
tritium dot for a figure-8 dot-on-dot sight picture.
The wide rear notch helps visibility and accuracy,
and the rounded bottom helps to draw focus to
the top edges for proper sight alignment. The rear
sight also features a tactical ledge for emergency
one-handed slide manipulation. The F8 is available
for Glock, Sig Sauer, Springfield Armory, FN, Smith
& Wesson and Walther pistols. The company still
offers its DXT sights too that feature a tritium Big
Dot or standard front sight with a vertical bar rear
sight below a shallow groove, especially for acquir-
ing a flash sight picture. The company also makes
sights for tactical rifles, hunting rifles and shotguns.

MSRP: $142
Website: www.XSSights.com

06
Ameriglo Agent
Ameriglo has a wide range of aftermarket sights of nearly every config-
uration. Its Agent three-dot sights, shown, feature a ProGlo green tritium
insert surrounded by a wide orange outline for high visibility both day and night. The rear
sight features a serrated U-notch with green tritium dots. At this time this was written,
they were offered only for Glock pistols. Glock M pistols that won the FBI contract come
equipped with Ameriglo sights. The company’s new Defensive Carry sights, also initially
for Glocks, are similar, except that the front sight is also offered with a lime green outline
around the tritium and the rear sight has a white outline—instead of black—around the
tritium.Ameriglo makes high sights, too, for use with a suppressor or optic mounted. The
company also offers an unusual but highly effective set of night sights with a ghost ring
rear sight—very quick on target. The ghost ring also has a small tritium dot on each side
of the ring. For those who prefer something other than a standard three-dot configuration,
Ameriglo’s I-Dot sights have an outlined tritium front sight with a single dot rear. They’re
made for Glock, S&W, Sig and Springfield Armory handguns. The company offers fiber optic
sights as well.

MSRP: $84.99 (Agent sights)


Website: www.Ameriglo.com

96 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


07
Truglo
TFX Pro
The new Truglo TFX Pro handgun
sights feature the best of both worlds: fiber optic
tubes for high-visibility daytime use and tritium
inserts for the night. (The TFX stands for Tritium/
Fiber-Optic Xtreme.) They feature a front sight
with a large orange ring around the green inserts
that contrasts nicely with the green rear dots for
fast acquisition with no misalignment. The rear
has a U-shaped notch. There’s a ledge on the
front edge of the rear sight too for emergen-
cy, one-handed slide operation. The sights are
made of CNC-machined steel protected by the
company’s Fortress Finish for corrosion resistance.
Their low-profile, snag-resistant design also
allows them to fit standard-sized holsters for
your handgun. Models are available for numerous
handguns, including Glock, Beretta, CZ, FN, HK,
Kahr, Kimber, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson,
Springfield Armory, Steyr, Taurus, Walther and
Novak-cut 1911s.

MSRP: $149.99
Website: www.TruGlo.com

08
Trijicon HD
XR Night Sights
Trijicon has long been the
standard for high quality night sights. They’re
used by numerous law enforcement agencies.
Trijicon’s newest HD XR three-dot night sights
provide quick sight acquisition with their large
dot front sight. But that front sight post is nar-
rower than others—just 0.122 inch. That allows
for more precise aiming with more daylight
visible on each side of that front sight when
you align it with the rear. And that narrower
front sight won’t obscure the target at longer
distances. The sights are available with either
an orange or yellow ring surrounding a tritium
lamp capped with a sapphire jewel for a bright
sight picture day or night. The ring is imbued
with luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) paint for
the clearest sight picture in transitional light
between daylight and eventual darkness,
when the tritium component takes over. The
rear sight has a wide U-notch opening and a
steep, hooked front edge to aid in emergency
slide manipulation by catching it against a rigid
surface.

MSRP: $175
Web: www.Trijicon.com CC

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 97


CONTROLLABLE
FOR COMB
98 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
A new version with
threaded barrel
should be shipping
soon. Hudson Man-
ufacturing photo

AT
THE HUDSON H9’S
INNOVATIVE DESIGN MAKES
FOR AN EASY-FIRING 9MM
HANDGUN
STORY AND PHOTOS BY BOB CAMPBELL

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 99


T
he Hudson H9 9mm is a dis- With all respect to the Hi Power, the
tinctive handgun in appear- Hudson is the superior combat gun
ance, yet the mechanism as my firing evaluations have shown.
is traditional. While the The Hudson is a design that should
design features are proven in other be respected by Glock fans and the
handguns, the confluence of design is 1911 enthusiast alike and at the
extraordinary in many ways. same time it should stand on its own
merits. One of the primary reasons is
The pistol elicits diverse reactions. I how low it sits in the hand.
have shown it to friends and profes-
sionals and there have been many LOW BORE AXIS
comments. While a few felt the pistol The H9 is fairly slim and compact,
looked odd, others find the pistol but with a bulbous nose that the
looks futuristic. The pistol may have a casual observer might think houses
modern appearance, but it also looks a combat light or suppressor. That A bulbous dust cov-
like a pistol that may have been de- monolithic dust cover contains the er is a trademark of
the Hudson pistol.
signed at the turn of the last century. recoil spring in a novel arrange- Hudson Manufac-
turing photo
ment. By keeping the recoil spring
The Hudson H9 is advertised as a under the slide in this manner, the
mix of the best features of the 1911 bore axis of the pistol is effectively
handgun and modern striker-fired lowered. This results in superior
handguns. This is true to an extent. shooting qualities as demonstrated
The single-action trigger offers a during the firing rests. The lower
clean break that isn’t found with dou- bore axis and the straight to the rear
ble-action only or safe action pistols. recoil spring motion also reduces
Yet the pistol may be carried safely felt recoil.
without a manual safety.
The pistol features a light rail, which
The pistol is Browning like in many few 1911 handguns and no Hi Power
ways and I feel that it is more similar 9mm
xxxx handguns do. While the low
to the Browning Hi Power than the bore axis results in low felt recoil, it
Colt 1911. With the Hi Power out of also results in a low hanging combat
production this year, it seems that light. It is different, but still useful
we have been given an alternative. for home defense.

Sometimes there is a lag time for


holster makers to get up and running
on making holsters for a new handgun.
The Hudson I have personally tested
is deployed in a PHLster holster. They
are first with the most. This is a Kydex
inside-the-waistband (IWB) design with
good features, such as an anti-rollout
attachment for use as an appendix
holster. I would think this was a difficult
A tritium front sight
insert offers excel- piece to design a holster for, but PHL-
lent hit probability.
ster has done an admirable job.

100 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“WHEN ADDRESSING DRY FIRE
SCENARIOS IN A DARKENED ROOM,
I FOUND THE PLACEMENT OF THE
SINGLE FRONT DOT HELPED IN
WORKING WITH BOTH EYES OPEN.”
NICE FEATURES
The balance of speed and retention is
good. The Hudson H9 is flat enough
and balanced well for concealed carry.
The grip is thin enough for most hand
sizes to obtain a good grip.

The pistol is similar in feel and size to


the Browning Hi Power and the grip ac-
cepts a 14-round 9mm magazine. This
magazine is unique to the Hudson. The
grips are well done and are recessed
into the grip frame. The grip texture
offers a good balance of adhesion and
abrasion. The front strap is checkered in
custom style but it is machine checker-
ing. The checkering isn’t as sharp as a
Dan Wesson or Les Baer but well done
and offers a good gripping surface.

Just behind the trigger guard is a The slide lock is easy to manipulate.
Note that the trigger safety operates
depression similar to the Colt Enhanced differently than those on other pistols.

treatment. This further lowers the bore

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 101


SOURCES
Hudson Manufacturing
www.HudsonMfg.com

PHLster Holsters
www.PHLsterHolsters.com

axis. The pistol features a beavertail TRIGGER TREATMENT This is the Hudson
chassis between the dip in the frontstrap to properly
two frames. Hud-
grip tang. There is no grip safety. The The magazine release is easily changed son Manufacturing manage shot placement.
photo
mainspring housing is nicely checkered. from right to left hand. The trigger ac-
The magazine well is slightly beveled. tion is clean and breaks at 4.5 pounds. The night sights are a great advantage
However, the trigger safety differs in personal defense or home defense.
The controls of the pistol are well de- completely from most and may give The rear sight is a serrated unit with a
signed. The ambidextrous slide lock is some shooters trouble. Actuating the wide rear notch that allows the front Tri-
positive in operation and easily reached safety is a natural movement, but the jicon HD to come into focus quickly. The
by the firing hand thumb. The maga- trigger shoe that acts as a safety lever HD type self-luminous iron sight features
zine release is positive in operation. is hinged at the bottom. The safety isn’t an orange dot that is highly visible in
The magazines are tapered at the top a small lever inset in the trigger face any type of light. By using the orange
like all high capacity 9mm magazines. but covers the entire trigger. As slack is dot rather than the top of the sight for
This makes for good speed in magazine taken up in the trigger shoe, the trigger sighting, I was able to keep on track and
replacement. The pistol is supplied with shoe closes on the trigger face and the get the pistol to fire to the point of aim.
three magazines, a good thing. They trigger is pressed to the rear. When addressing dry fire scenarios in a
were very stiff to load during the first darkened room, I found the placement
range outing. After a dozen loadings or The trigger is smooth, very crisp, if not of the single front dot helped in working
so they loosened to an extent. quite as well refined as a Les Baer or with both eyes open. That is an advan-
high-grade Colt. However, the trigger tage over most systems.
This pistol calls for a magazine loader. I safety is different than other designs
used the Blackhawk! magazine loader and results in some shooters firing low. SHOOTING
during these exercises. Even today with By carefully working the trigger to the IMPRESSIONS
some 1,400 cartridges fired, the mag- rear and attempting to manage the The pistol shoots low with most
azines are difficult to load to the full trigger safety without affecting trigger shooters. All who fired the pistol noted
capacity. They are positive in operation pull, the shooter will be on target. its straight to the rear recoil. This is a
and feed reliability is high. Also, you should be certain to dig into component of the recoil spring recoiling

102 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“...THE HUDSON IS
ACCURATE ENOUGH FOR
PERSONAL DEFENSE
AND MOST FORMS OF
ACTION COMPETITION.”

more toward the grip frame than the


slide. The pistol shoots flat at long dis-
tances, perhaps due to limited muzzle
rise. By applying the best technique
possible to the pistol and concentration
on the fundamentals, I was able to af-
fect a grip and sight picture that proved
acceptable for accurate fire and with a
better correlation between the point of
aim and point of impact.

As for reliability, the pistol has fired


well over 1,000 rounds without a
problem since the initial firing program.
During the first box of ammunition,
the striker failed to reset. Beyond that
there have been no malfunctions. I
have used a good quantity of Black
Hills Ammunition in this handgun,
beginning with the 115-grain FMJ load-
ing. This is a training load with good
accuracy and a clean powder burn.
The Hudson H9
is an innovative The Black Hills Ammunition 124-grain
design with a very
low bore axis. Hud- JHP at 1,100 fps has given good
son Manufacturing
photo results. This load offers a good balance

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 103


“THE HUDSON H9 IS
ADVERTISED AS A
MIX OF THE BEST
FEATURES OF THE
1911 HANDGUN AND
MODERN STRIKER
FIRED HANDGUNS.”
of expansion and penetration and is A bulbous dust
cover houses the
pleasant to fire in any 9mm, but espe- recoil spring.
cially the Hudson H9. For a duty load,
I would move to one of the Black Hills
Ammunition +P loads, the 1,300 fps
115-grain or the 124-grain +P 1,200
fps loading. While they recoil a little
more, the 35-ounce Hudson doesn’t
exhibit much muzzle flip.

HUDSON H9 SPECS
Caliber: 9×19mm
Capacity: 14+1 As for absolute accuracy, the Hudson is accurate enough for personal defense
Weight: 34 ounces and most forms of action competition. I fired several five-shot groups of 2.5
Barrel Length: 4.28 inches inches at 25 yards from a solid bench rest. Most have been larger. The pistol is
Sight Radius: 6.25 inches service-grade accurate, which means most groups with quality ammunition will
Overall Length: 7.62 inches be under four inches at 25 yards.
Height: 5.25 inches
Maximum Width: 1.24 inches
HIGH QUALITY, BUT DIFFERENT
Hudson went to a great deal of trouble to design the pistol and then combined
Slide/Frame Materials and Finish: forged steel, black nitride
top grade manufacturing process with forged steel and good components. The
Trigger: 4.5-5 pounds pull result is a pistol that works well, is accurate enough for defense use, and which
Sights: Serrated black rear, Trijicon HD front is among the rare innovative handguns to come along in some time. The Hudson
Grips: VZ Grips, G10 H9, however, isn’t for everyone. The Hudson is an interesting handgun and
MSRP: $1,137 possess good features. Whether it is right for you is a personal decision. CC

104 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


xxx

EASY
DISASSEMBLY
Fieldstripping the H9 is simple. Clear the magazine
and lock the slide to the rear. Inspect the chamber
to be certain it isn’t loaded. The takedown lever is
pressed inwards right to left and rotated. Then work
the slide from the rear to the front and the slide is
removed from the frame. (The trigger must be pulled
to remove the slide.) The barrel is easily removed from
the slide by pressing it downwards. The recoil spring
stays in the frame.

K9 Elite P9 S9
W W W. K A H R .CO M

Made in the
USA T H E U LT I M AT E 9
FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 105
SHOULDERING
THE LOAD
106 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
ADD VERSATILITY
TO YOUR CARRY
OPTIONS WITH A
SHOULDER HOLSTER
STORY AND PHOTOS BY LEROY THOMPSON

Closeup of the
Springfield Armory
Professional Model
mounting a SureFire
weapons light and
carried in a Don
Hume holster for
weapons with light
mounted.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 107


Y
ou can’t have too many
holsters.

If you only own one


handgun, chances are you’ll end up
with several holsters for it. And if you
own multiple guns, you’ll soon have
a bin full of holsters for every carry
situation.

Adding a good shoulder rig to your be carried under the arm in a shoulder impede my draw. Having said that, I
holster lineup can provide you with an- rig, leaving the belt holster-free. have carried two guns that take the
other great carry option, especially for Remember, Sonny Crockett on Miami same magazine and carried the spare
guns that you might ordinarily leave Vice normally wore trousers without magazines in the double mag pouch
at home. So, here’s a look at when a a belt. on the shoulder rig. I just made sure
shoulder holster works best and the to adjust the straps so it stayed clear
types of holsters that are available. I prefer a shoulder rig that allows of the draw.
spare ammo to be carried under the
THE CHOICE FOR Mitch Rosen
shoulder rig support side arm in a mag pouch for VERTICAL
LARGER HANDGUNS Thompson used to
carry his SIG P210 autos or a drop pouch for revolvers. SHOULDER HOLSTER
Generally, shoulder holsters are at pistol and two spare There are exceptions. If I carry a Shoulder holsters normally allow
magazines. The
their best for larger handguns. There P210 was normally primary pistol on my hip and a backup presentation of the weapon in one of
carried as a second
are exceptions, which I will discuss lat- gun available gun in the shoulder rig, I don’t want a three ways: vertical, horizontal and
for longer-range
er. A full-sized fighting handgun may engagement. mag pouch hanging down that might upside down.

108 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


The horizontal
A vertical shoulder holster positions shoulder holster
carries the pistol
the handgun perpendicular to the comfortably,
unobtrusively and
belt and allows a draw by reaching allows easy access,
however, care must
across the body and twisting the wrist be taken that the
muzzle doesn’t
slightly to grasp the weapon. print against the
back of the jacket
when stretching the
support side arm.
I have used a vertical shoulder holster
primarily to carry a magnum handgun
with a barrel length of 4 inches or
longer. The Dirty Harry shoulder rig is
a typical vertical model. I use an orig-
inal Dirty Harry rig for 4-inch N-frame
revolvers and the latest generation
Original Dirty Harry II—“Magnum Citi-
zen”—for 6.5-inch N-frame revolvers.

HORIZONTAL
SHOULDER HOLSTER
The horizontal shoulder holster pres-
ents the pistol or revolver so that the
butt is pointed towards the hand as
it comes across the body and allows
a more rapid presentation. However,
because the pistol or revolver is not
actually horizontal but has the butt
pointing slightly downward, a safety
strap is necessary to keep it from when in a vehicle. It may be neces- had a custom S&W 25-5 in .45 Colt
sliding out. A couple of times this sary to grab the seatbelt’s cross-shoul- cut down, hammer bobbed and action
happened to me when I did not have der strap to pull it away slightly during smoothed for DA use. I found that
the safety strap secured. the draw, but most of the time, I find when sitting in an aircraft seat, the
that I can access the gun in the shoul- upside-down holster allowed me to
Barrel length can be an issue with der holster. The draw is faster than quickly draw the revolver and engage.
this type of holster, as the muzzle will trying to access a belt holster with a It was also comfortable for carrying
print against the jacket when stretch- seat belt on. the big revolver.
ing if care is not taken. I’ve used this
type of rig from Mitch Rosen, Horse- UPSIDE-DOWN The other type of upside-down rig
shoe Leather, or Galco with SIG P210 SHOULDER HOLSTER that I have used is Ken Null’s City
and P226 pistols, Browning Hi-Powers, The upside-down shoulder holster is Slicker for a J-frame S&W. Constructed
CZ75s, and Colt 1911s. With care, a vertical design but with the butt of polymer, the City Slicker is light and
careful fitting of the shoulder rig, and of the weapon hanging downward. fast. I often have used it under a light
proper clothing choice, printing is not Even more than with the horizontal shirt in the summer and also appreci-
normally an issue. shoulder holster, keeping the weapon ated that perspiration may be wiped
from sliding out is paramount. off the polymer at the end of the day.
I found another advantage of the Retention is excellent with this holster,
horizontal shoulder rig when I worked Most upside-down designs are fitted which has the trigger guard covered,
on security teams: I could stand with in such a way that it is necessary to while draw is fast by naturally pulling
my arms crossed observing suspicious pull the weapon forward then down forward to draw the revolver. Another
activity while unobtrusively keeping to clear the holster’s retention. Nor- plus for the City Slicker is that it is
my hand on the grip of my pistol. mally, the upside-down holster works white, making it less likely to show
best with a relatively short-barreled through a light shirt.
By the way, I also practiced pivoting weapon. The one I used the most
my right foot back slightly when was made for me by British holster One of the advantages of the shoulder
drawing so that I presented a slimmer maker Andy Arratoonian of Horseshoe holster for unobtrusive concealed
target but also so I could engage more Leather. carry is that the problem of exposing
quickly after the pistol cleared leather. a belt gun when raising the arms to
The horizontal shoulder rig also allows I was training some prospective air get something off of a shelf or when
good access to draw the weapon marshals for a Persian Gulf airline and stretching to pick something up is

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 109


REMEMBER THESE
9 SHOULDER
HOLSTER TIPS
ANYONE CONSIDERING USING A SHOULDER HOLSTER SHOULD
BEAR IN MIND THE FOLLOWING POINTS:

01 The jacket must be kept on at all times to keep the holster from
being exposed. This same issue will arise, however, with most
belt holsters. On a couple of occasions, if it was absolutely necessary
to remove my jacket, I wrapped the shoulder rig with gun in it and kept
it on my lap.

02 Careful fitting is necessary for comfort. Fit can be adjusted by


lengthening or shortening the straps.

03 It will be necessary to practice presentation of the handgun,


including releasing a retention strap if present and learning the
smoothest method to draw the weapon. Normally, the safety strap
should be kept snapped unless drawing.

04 Clothing will have to be chosen that is not so light that the


straps pattern, especially at the back.

05 Because the shoulder holster is worn under the arm, it will


cause perspiration. As a result, after carrying the handgun in
hot weather, it will be necessary to wipe it down with a lightly oiled
rag. It will also be necessary to hang up the holster to dry out.

06 Vertical shoulder holsters normally have a belt loop that can be


affixed to keep the holster from moving too much for comfort.
To allow the most rapid draw, it is important to use this loop.
CHEST HOLSTERS
One other type of holster should be
SHOULDER HOLSTER
FOR A SECOND GUN
mentioned, even though it is not, I have often used the shoulder holster
strictly speaking, a “shoulder holster.” to carry a second handgun that is a
07 A shoulder rig that incorporates a method for carrying spare
ammo is most convenient.
The chest holster is similar to a shoul-
der holster but places the weapon
backup or supplement to the gun I
was carrying on my waist. For exam-
across the chest. It is the choice for ple, when working on security teams

08 If items are carried in an inside jacket pocket, it is best that


they are in a pocket opposite the side as the gun is carried to
prevent exposing the butt when reaching into the jacket.
military personnel today as it positions
the handgun for ease of draw while
in places where we might face AK-47
armed attackers at 50-100 yards, I car-
seated in a vehicle or helicopter and ried a SIG P210 in a shoulder holster
for dog handlers or others who may for use at longer ranges.

09 Practice drawing the weapon while seated at a table, desk, or


in a vehicle is advisable.
find a typical belt holster gets in the
way. At least once when protecting a client
in an area with dangerous animals, I
The chest holster is also used by carried a S&W Model 29 in a shoulder
View of the Horse- hunters or outdoorsmen in areas holster as a backup to my Browning
shoe Leather up-
eliminated. Some care does have to side-down shoulder where they might encounter danger- Hi-Power on my hip.
holster with custom
be taken that the weapon doesn’t chopped S&W 25-5 ous game to allow quick access to a
.45 Colt revolver.
show if the jacket blows open. I used powerful handgun; in Alaska or other I’ve also experimented with carrying
to carry a spare loaded magazine in cold climates, it may be worn over a a handgun with a light mounted in a
my gun-side jacket pocket to keep parka. I have a Guide’s Choice chest rig shoulder holster as a supplemental
the jacket from flipping around in the from Diamond D Custom Leather for night fighting weapon. Don Hume
wind since I normally left it unbut- my John Ross Special S&W .500. It is makes horizontal shoulder rigs that
toned. comfortable and provides quick access. will take a variety of pistols with

110 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


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“I PREFER A SHOULDER
RIG THAT ALLOWS SPARE
AMMO TO BE CARRIED
UNDER THE SUPPORT
SIDE ARM...”
SOURCES
www.DiamondDCustomLeather.com
www.GalcoGunLeather.com
www.Holsters.org
www.KLNullHolsters.com
www.MitchRosen.com
www.DonHume.com
www.RuffianoInternational.com
www.WildGunsLeather.com
www.C-Rusty.com

weapons light mounted. The one I ster holding my Browning Hi-Power Rudimentary shoul- shoulder holster, most prefer the up-
der holster used
have used the most takes a 1911- in the holster and two spare mags during the Cold War side-down or down-slanting horizontal
to carry the Czech
type pistol with rail-mounted light. in the pouch. I’d drape it over the VZ82 pistol. variety.
bedpost so that if alerted during the
I have one Don Hume double night I could grab it and go with 40 A RIG TO SUIT
shoulder holster to carry a Springfield rounds at hand. YOUR LIFESTYLE
Armory Professional Model with light For most concealed carry licensees,
mounted for support side access and SHOULDER HOLSTERS a pocket gun in a pocket holster will
a Wilson Combat Light-Rail Light- FOR WOMEN best suit their lifestyle. However,
weight for strong side access. I’ve The shoulder holster works especially some of us still like larger handguns
also used the same rig with a pair well for many women who carry and may not want to carry them
of Springfield Armory pistols. The a full-sized handgun. I’ve known on our hips. The shoulder holster
two pistols balance each other fairly multiple female detectives who have offers another option for carrying a
well and are relatively comfortable, chosen the shoulder holster over the magnum revolver or high-capacity
though, admittedly, it feels good to hip holster. For many women, the hip full-sized auto pistol. It also offers
shrug the load off after hours of use. holster requires a thicker, heavier belt the option of carrying a handgun
than they would normally wear if they and spare ammo while leaving the
Instead of a double rig, I usually pre- even wore a belt. belt free of holster or mag pouch.
fer to carry one handgun in a strong
side hip holster with the supple- The body shape may also not lend it- I still carry a handgun or handguns
mental/backup gun in the shoulder self well to some types of hip holsters, in a shoulder holster when I feel I
holster under my support-side arm. especially if they are small. However, am going somewhere that might
I mentioned that I like having the the shoulder holster, if straps are require more gun and more ammo
magazine pouch under the arm properly fitted to the body shape, will than I normally carry in my pocket.
opposite the shoulder holster. When generally be more comfortable. The I never venture out without at least
I worked on security details I some- bust line may actually help conceal one 9x19mm pistol in my pocket,
times spent nights in the principal’s the shoulder rig by pushing the jacket but sometimes I venture out with
residence on call. I developed the out. Based on my limited experience quite a bit more in my shoulder
habit of sleeping with a shoulder hol- of working with women who use a holster. CC

112 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


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AND THE
WINNER
IS...
THE CZ P-10C
EXHIBITS RUGGED
RELIABILITY
AND SUPERIOR
ERGONOMICS

STORY AND PHOTOS BY CHUCK TAYLOR

114 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


The author found
the CZ P-10C had
superior ergo-
nomics.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 115


W
hen the Glock 17
first appeared back
in 1986, I don’t think
anyone, including
Gaston Glock himself, had any idea
of the impact it would have on the
handgun world. Polymer frames
couldn’t take the pounding, they said,
and its double-action-only design
would never pass muster. And the
Top: Generous mag- trigger-mounted safety, they said,
azine well provides
for fast speed load- would never work out. There would
ing and malfunction
clearing. be negligent discharges galore.

“MINE HAS NOW


DIGESTED OVER
10,000 ROUNDS OF
VARIOUS 9MM AMMO,
AND IS SHOWING
NO PARTICULAR
INDICATION OF
WEAR, NOR HAS IT
MALFUNCTIONED...”
116 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
Well, they were wrong. It’s been 01: Rugged, accu- Curiously, the other manufacturers tells the tale. The term is ergonomics.
rate and ergonom-
more than three decades now and ically superior, the didn’t get the message, at least not Simply put, it feels good in your hand.
P-10C represents
the Glock 17 has become the world’s the high-water right away. For years, they ignored the Its controls are well-located for fast
mark of modern
most popular handgun, with more striker-fired 9mm huge and ever-increasing influence access and operation under stress
pistols.
than 70 percent of the world’s mil- the Glock had exerted on the market, and the various backstraps that come
itary and police organizations using but when they finally figured it out, with it allow a perfect fit to nearly any
them. It’s polymer construction, they all jumped in with both feet and hand. It also features ambidextrous
DAO design and trigger-safety have today, nearly everyone offers some slide lock levers and magazine release
passed the test of time, making it kind of striker-fired DAO in a multitude buttons, in deference to the fact that
the world’s toughest handgun. 02: Familiar of calibers. 20 percent of the people in this world
trigger-mounted
safety of the Glock are left-handed.
is also present on
the P-10C. ENTER THE P-10C
The latest entry into this market is CZ’s Fieldstripping takes less than 10
01 P-10C 9mm. It hit the handgun market seconds, another great feature.
hard and has continued to experience Simply lock the slide back, turn the
a high wave of popularity that thus take-down lever, pull the trigger
far shows no sign of subsiding. CZ is and…voila! The slide, barrel and recoil
03: Takedown lever
is also the same as shipping them out as fast as they can spring are released and then easily
found on the Glock.
build them, yet they continue to be withdrawn from the frame.
in short supply. There can be only one
explanation for this: People are also And it doesn’t stop there. Once
buying them as fast as the dealers can you get it to the range, the P-10C
get them in stock. continues to impress. Because it’s
04A, 04B: High-vis-
ibility fixed sights well-balanced, it’s fast from any kind
with white three-dot
horizontal pattern Why is the P-10C so popular? Simple. of decently designed holster, easy to
inserts allow fast
sight acquisition in Even before you get it on the shooting control in the fast shooting sequences
both normal and
low light. range, a quick visual examination typical of tactical shooting and, thanks

02 03

04A 04B

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 117


to its generously large magazine ent bullet designs through mine, I’ve
well, easy to speed load. Its high-viz yet to experience a malfunction.
fixed sights with their inlaid three-dot
horizontal white dots are quickly and My personal P-10C shot exception-
easily acquired and the multiple back- ally well with the 85-grain Dynamic
straps that come with it, allow custom Research Technologies “Terminal
fitting to virtually any hand. Shock” load, with three-shot groups
of 1.25 to 1.5 inches being typical.
ACCURATE TOO With 124-grain NATO ball (FMJ), the
From an accuracy standpoint, the 147-grain “G2” government-contract
two P-10Cs I’ve had the pleasure of JHP, Federal Hydra-Shock 124-grain JHP
working with both shot into 2 inches and Remington 115-grain JHP, three-
at 25 meters over a sandbag rest, and shot groups of 1.5 to 1.8 inches were
though I’ve run a multitude of differ- the norm.

Right: Rough

SOURCE
textured front and
backstraps, as well
as the sides of the
grip-frame, and ad-
justable backstrap
capability, allow
excellent fit to vir- www.CZ-USA.com
tually any shooting
hand and provide
superior control-
lability during fast
firing sequences.
Above: Available in
both black matte
and flat dark earth,
and for a relatively
modest price, the
P-10C is a clear
winner.

Right: Ambidex-
trous magazine
release buttons
allow left-handed
shooters to speed
load as quickly as
right-handers.

Left: Forward grasp-


ing grooves and
integral light rail are
also a nice touch.

118 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“I USED THE P-10C IN A HEAD-TO-HEAD
COMPARISON WITH THE GEN 5 GLOCK 17,
FN-509, SIG P-320 AND SPRINGFIELD
ARMORY XD-9... WHEN THE SMOKE
HAD CLEARED, THE P-10C EMERGED
AS TOP GUN.”

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 119


HEAD-TO-HEAD
“...THE P-10C’S
Left: Ambidextrous
Last winter, I used the P-10C in a slide lock levers
allow left-handed

SUPERIOR ERGONOM-
head-to-head comparison with the shooters equally
fast speed loads
Gen 5 Glock 17, FN-509, SIG P-320 and malfunction
clearances.

ICS CONTRIBUTED
and Springfield Armory XD-9. The
course of fire was the extremely dif-

SUBSTANTIALLY
ficult American Small Arms Academy
Handgun Combat Master Qualification
Course. The ASAA HCM is super-fast,
and all-encompassing in the sense TO ITS SUPERIOR
that it entails virtually all the shooting
and weapon-handling challenges PERFORMANCE.”
inherent to combat handgunning.
commercial handloads of questionable can shoot it, and possesses the best
Yet when the smoke had cleared, the quality. Finish wear is minimal, even “human-engineering” of any of the
P-10C emerged as top gun. Without though it’s been presented a high 9mm striker-fired pistols currently
question, though all the pistols used speed from a Kydex holster thousands available. And its MSRP—$499—makes
are the best 9mm striker-fired designs of times now. it exceptionally affordable, even for
currently offered, the P-10C’s superior those with the tightest of budgets.
ergonomics contributed substantially EVERYTHING All things considered, the P-10C is a
to its superior performance. YOU NEED winner and a great choice for any kind
In short, my impression of the of concealed-carry or general-purpose
Mechanically, the P-10C seems to P-10C is entirely positive. It’s tough, defensive function. Take a look at it—I
be cut from the same mold as the reliable, more accurate than anyone think you’ll agree. CC
super-tough Glock. Mine has now Right: Relieved
ejection port pro-
digested over 10,000 rounds of vari- vides better spent
case ejection and
ous 9mm ammo, and is showing no
particular indication of wear, nor has it
prevents denting of
the spent case. This
is a boon for those
SHOOTING RESULTS CZ P-10C 9X19MM
malfunctioned, even with a variety of
who reload their
own ammo.
LOAD VELOCITY GRP. SIZE
DYNAMIC RESEARCH TECHNOLOGIES 85-GR. TERMINAL SHOCK 1,355 1.2-1.5
CZ SPECS HANDLOAD-HORNADY 90-GR. CTP JHP & 6.0 GRS. UNIQUE 1,335 1.6-1.8
Model: CZ P-10C HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE 100-GR. FTX 1,342 2.0-2.2
Caliber: 9x19mm FEDERAL PREMIUM GUARD DOG 105-GR. FRANGIBLE 1,321 2.6-3.0
Firing System: Striker-fired double action only BARNES TAC-X 115-GR. JHP 1,298 1.7-1.9
Frame: Fiber-reinforced polymer
HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE 115-GR. JHP 1,144 1.6-2.1
O/A Length: 7.3 inches
REMINGTON 115-GR. JHP 1,199 1.5-1.8
Barrel Length: 4.02 inches
Height: 5.2 inches NATO BALL 124-GR. FMJ 1,078 1.5-1.8
Width: 1.26 inches FEDERAL PREMIUM 124-GR. HYDRA-SHOCK JHP 1,101 1.5-1.8
Weight, Unloaded: 26 ounces SPEER GOLD DOT +P 124-GR. JHP 1,128 2.2-2.8
Sights: High visibility fixed, white 3-dot horizontal pattern FEDERAL PREMIUM HYDRA-SHOK 147-GR. JHP 967 2.6-2.9
Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds
SPEER GOV’T CONTRACT G2 147-GR. JHP 985 1.5-1.8
Safety: Trigger-activated firing pin block
MSRP: $499 Velocity measured in feet per second by Oehler Model 35P chronograph 6 feet from the muzzle.
Groups in inches are the result of three shots fired from a sandbag rest at 25 meters.

120 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


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122 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
The semi-custom
G43 with textured
frame, threaded
barrel, custom slide
and Streamlight
TLR-6 is functional
artwork that
out-performs the
author’s factory
G43.
PE
STOCK OR
CUSTOM, THE
GLOCK 43
MAKES AN
EXCELLENT
EVERYDAY
CARRY PISTOL
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE SEARSON

AKING IT
RSONAL
FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 123
W
hen you buy a new AT FIRST LOOK the shooting line and emptied the six-
pistol, should you When I first opened the box contain- round magazine, forming one ragged
keep it stock—the ing the Glock 43, I was disappointed. hole on my target. The group was
way it came from the It felt top heavy, I thought the grip about 2.5 inches at 10 feet and all the
factory—or does it pay to customize it? frame was too small, and it was still rounds were touching.
I tried the Glock 43 single-stack 9mm too big for pocket carry. To make
both ways and found that either way matters worse, a somewhat freakish Over the next few days, I pushed the
it makes an excellent EDC handgun. three-day rainstorm in Northern Ne- target farther and was achieving out-
vada kept me from being able to go standing groups. There was something
The Glock 43 debuted in April 2015 at out and shoot it, causing me to hate special about this little pistol and, as
the National Rifle Association’s Annual on the polymer-framed pocket pistol is the case when I get a performer
Meeting (NRAAM) to great fanfare, even more than was necessary. like this, I asked Glock if I could buy
and in the past three years it has been the pistol from them when the review
one of the hottest selling pistols for I was convinced that I was going to was over.
concealed carry in the United States. write an article telling people to run
from this pistol and the folks at Glock I was told, “No.” The pistol had to go
I was one of a handful of journalists had completely lost their minds. Then back because they were completely
who received the pistol in advance the rain let up and I made it out to sold out. So, some lucky shooter out
of the NRAAM to provide reviews the my shooting spot in the desert. I there has a refurbished writer’s pistol
day the pistol was launched. Three tacked up a target stepped back to that is a total tack driver.
years later, I now have two of them:
one that’s nearly stock and another
that has considerable custom touches.
They are among my favorite concealed The addition of a
Streamlight TLR-6
carry handguns that make it into is a "must-have" on
these subcompact
my regular carry rotation. But in the Glocks. Minimal
bulk is added in
beginning, I wasn’t sure it was going exchange for a light
and laser.
to work out that way.

“FOR MY ALMOST-STOCK
GLOCK, ALL I NEEDED
WAS A HOLSTER AND A
WEAPON-MOUNTED LIGHT.”
124 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018
Left: The G43 slide
by Grey Ghost Pre-
cision (Tactical Tai-
lor) is a limited run
of precision-made
slides.

PATIENCE PREVAILS me with a set of Trijicon night sights


As soon as I sent the sample gun installed. For my almost-stock Glock,
back, I began my quest for a G43 of all I needed was a holster and a
my own. For a year this proved to weapon-mounted light (WML).
be an extremely elusive pistol. The
local shops sold out of them as soon A WML ON A COM- Right: Grey Ghost
as they hit the sales floor and they PACT CCW PISTOL? Precision's distinc-
tive skull logo is
engraved on the top
seemed to be backordered every- After attending a pair of low-light of each slide.
where. It did not help that the pistol courses with LMS Defense, I came
was such a hot item that no used home with two takeaways from the
ones were being traded in either. training: Any serious self-defense
Eventually I found one and it came to pistol needs a WML, and night sights
IS APPENDIX
CARRY FOR
were for the most part useless outside
of a few hours.

It does not help that the sights on YOU?


most factory Glock pistols are plastic Whether you carry a Glock 43 or other
place holders for real sights, but pistol, one of the most important consid-
erations is how you carry it. Appendix carry
is a method controversial to some and I
was slow to adopt it. Your body shape and
height has much to do with the comfort
and concealment aspects. The inherent
danger is pointing the muzzle of a loaded
firearm in the direction of the femoral ar-
tery or the family jewels. To be safe in this
manner, you need to practice your draw
stroke and your re-holstering a lot more
than if you carry elsewhere on the waist.

I admit that it is not for everybody, but


it is worth a try. If it is comfortable and
concealable for you, continue to work at
it. I believe in most circumstances it is one
of the fastest ways to get your concealed
pistol into action.

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 125


GLOCK 43 CUSTOM MODS
1. Grey Ghost Precision slide
2. EFK Fire Dragon threaded barrel
3. TruGlo TFX Tritium/fiber optic sights
4. Streamlight TLR-6 light and laser combo
5. Nevada Cerakote brain-pattern frame texturing and Cerakote finish,
with bronze Cerakote for TLR-6 light/laser housing

whenever I make an upgrade these Each of the author’s


Glock 43 pistols
days, 99 percent of the time it is is very similar, yet
completely dif-
either fiber optic or fiber optic with ferent.

a tritium insert. The reason for this is


due to the WML.

I know what you’re thinking: A WML


on a pocket pistol? This guy is off his
rocker! You would have been right to
say that a few years ago, but with a
WML as small and as light as Stream-
light’s TLR-6, that mindset can be left
in the past.

At a scant 1.27 ounces in weight and


mounting at the front of the trigger
guard, the TLR-6 keeps bulk and
light to a bare minimum. It is a dual
flashlight and laser with ambidextrous
controls that provide 100 lumens of As my mantra around carry guns goes: percent frames. I do understand that
light at the touch of the button, so you When you find one you like, buy a some people like the idea of building
can identify your target when you are second one just like it. The reason from scratch or live in areas where
most likely to face an attacker. being is if something happens to the G43 is not on an approved list of
your primary firearm, it’s nice to have firearms for sale in their city or state
In all honesty, I would trade in the la- a spare in the safe. Extractors can and an 80 percent build is their only
ser for more lumens on the flashlight. break, barrels can split, or you may be option.
There are folks who appreciate a laser involved in a shooting and your gun
on their carry gun, but I’m just not one may be out of commission for who However, this market has made Glock
of them. knows how long as it sits in evidence. factory frames come down in price
When you have a spare, you can and I have found stripped frames
The last piece of this system is a hol- continue carrying with an identical or from brand new firearms as cheap as
ster that conceals well, is comfortable near identical pistol. $40. Compare that to an 80 percent
to wear all day and can accommodate frame at three times the price that still
the pistol with the WML mounted. MY CUSTOM G43 requires a few hours of work to make
I found it by way of L.A.G. Tactical of For my second G43, I went the it ready to install the parts, much less
Reno, Nevada, in their Appendix IWB semi-custom route because I like make it shootable.
Holster. I have been running this hol- building my own firearms whenever
ster for close to 18 months and I for- possible, and in the past few years Unlike its bigger brothers, there are
get I am wearing it at times. Whether there has been a huge surge in still not many custom parts for the
I am sitting behind a desk for eight building Glock pistols from the frame G43. My belief is this has much to
hours, driving my daily commute, up. This has much to do with the do with the smaller size of the pistol
hiking or riding a horse, the fit is so availability of “80 percent Glock pistol and its slightly smaller components
comfortable that I almost never feel frames.” that make for shorter travel distances
it. It is also one of the fastest ways to and provide a more than adequate,
access a carry pistol. Personally, I am not a fan of the 80 yet safe trigger squeeze. So, the most

126 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“...I REACHED
OUT TO TRUGLO,
WHICH SUPPLIED
ME WITH A SET
OF TFX TRITI-
UM/FIBER OPTIC
SIGHTS THAT ARE
EQUALLY VISIBLE
REGARDLESS
OF LIGHTING
CONDITIONS.”
SOURCES
Glock
us.Glock.com

EFK Fire Dragon


www.EFKFireDragon.com

Nevada Cerakote
www.NevadaCerakote.com

LAG Tactical
www.LAGTactical.com

Streamlight
www.Streamlight.com

TruGlo
www.TruGlo.com

Trijicon, Inc.
www.Trijicon.com

Thyrm
www.Thyrm.com

PK Design Lab
www.PKDesignLab.com

Steel Flame
The Krieger (War-
rior) AIWB holster www.SteelFlame.com
by LAG Tactical is
the finest holster
of its type as
far as comfort, Spyderco
concealability and
retention. www.Spyderco.com

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 127


For sights on this pistol, I reached out to the frame, I had the housing of the
Minimal upgrades
custom feature of this build was the to the G43 turn this to TruGlo, which supplied me with a TLR-6 finished in a bronze Cerakote for
pocket pistol into a
slide. formidable fighting set of TFX Tritium/Fiber Optic sights a custom two-tone look. The result is
handgun.
that are equally visible regardless of a more accurate and more attractive
I sourced a G43 slide from Grey Ghost lighting conditions. As a bonus, when looking pistol than the factory Glock 43.
Precision. All steel, made in the U.S. using a visible white light, the fiber I can still use the same L.A.G. Tactical
with their markings, front cocking ser- optics take over and allow the shooter AIWB holster and the controls are
rations and guaranteed for a perfect to see the sights while identifying the identical on both pistols.
drop in with all OEM parts sounded target. Like my standard Glock 43, I
like music to my ears. installed a Streamlight TLR-6 light and Some may question the installation
laser combo. of a threaded barrel on a concealed
I sourced a threaded barrel from EFK carry pistol. My reasoning is that it
Fire Dragon. I have found these barrels After putting it all together (as a side barely adds an inch of length past the
to be some of the most accurate pistol note this was one of our most painless slide and for my purposes gives me an
barrels on the planet as the rifling is Glock builds to date, taking less than 20 additional suppressor host for use in
cut via EDM (electrostatic discharge minutes) I sent the pistol out to Neva- silencer testing when I write additional
machine) as opposed to other rifling da Cerakote for both a frame texturing articles for World of Firepower or Tacti-
methods. and Cerakote finish. cal World. But be advised, that in some
states this may transform your CCW

GLOCK 43 SPECS The texturing, known as the Brain pat-


tern, is cut with a laser that makes the
pistol into a deadly assault weapon. If
that is the case, use a traditional pistol
Model: Glock 43 pistol much easier to grip. In addition barrel designed for your Glock 43.
Caliber: 9mm Luger (9x19mm)
Capacity: 6 + 1
Frame: Polymer, black SHOOTING RESULTS
Slide and Barrel: nDLC finish GROUP SIZE
Length: 6.26 inches
AMMO TYPE FACTORY CUSTOM
Height: 4.25 inches
WINCHESTER RANGER 127-GRAIN JHP 2.05 2.1
Width: 1.02 inches
Barrel Length: 3.39 inches
WINCHESTER RANGER 147-GRAIN JHP 1.99 1.88
Weight: 17.95 ounces (unloaded) HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE 115-GRAIN FTX 2.13 2.05
MSRP: $529 Groups measured in inches and consist of six rounds fired from a rest at 25 feet.

128 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018


“...I FOUND THE
SEMI-CUSTOM
VERSION A BIT
SOFTER SHOOT-
ING, MOST LIKELY
BECAUSE OF THE
CUSTOM SLIDE BY
GREY GHOST
PRECISION...”
EITHER WAY
Accuracy was about the same on both pistols, but I found the
semi-custom version a bit softer shooting, most likely because
of the custom slide by Grey Ghost Precision, although the tex-
turing by Nevada Cerakote made it more comfortable to hold.

Whether you decide to run a stock G43 or a custom, home-built


G43 with a few upgrades, I find this pistol as a system incor-
porating the light and the holster to be my favorite concealed
carry pistol to date. CC

HANDALL BEAVERTAIL ™
®

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Eagle Imports 33
Elite Survival Systems 83
Fiocchi of America, Inc 111 : GLOCK 26/27
Fobus U.S.A. 83 : GLOCK 42/43
Galloway Precision 25 : KAHR ARMS P9/P40/CW9/CW40
Glock Store 33 : RUGER LC9
Harpers Ferry Armory 91
: RUGER LCP II
HKS Products, Inc. 83
Hogue Grips 129
: RUGER SECURITY 9
JM CUSTOM KYDEX 49 : SIG SAUER P320
Kahr Arms 105 : S&W M&P BODYGUARD 380
Military Products Inc 43 : S&W M&P SHIELD 9MM, .40, 45
O.F. Mossberg Firearms 7 : TAURUS SPECTRUM
Roberts Defense 25 : TAURUS TCP
Sig Sauer 132
Springfield Armory 3
SwapRig Holsters 113
Tedder Industries 2
XS Sight Systems, Inc 131 HOGUEINC.COM 1-800-438-4747
GRIPS P.O. BOX 91360, HENDERSON, NV 89009

FALL 2018 • CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS 129


FINAL SHOT

DOTTING
YOUR
EYES

A
s advancing technology Compact Reflex Optic). Red dot sights
allows for reflex sights to such as these are hailed for their
become smaller and more ability to get you on target quickly.
durable, you’re seeing The ACRO P-1 features a 3.5 minute of
them on more and more handguns, angle (MOA) red dot with adjustable
both for professional and civilian use. brightness settings. It can run for
more than a year on a single CR1225
Here, a Glock is equipped with the battery. The company hasn’t released
new Aimpoint ACRO P-1 (Advanced the price yet. www.Aimpoint.com CC

130 CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS • FALL 2018 AIMPOINT PHOTO


A NEW LEADER IS

CROWNED

SIG V-CROWN® - The ultimate in defensive ammunition,


delivering exceptional on-target energy, maximum weight
retention, and optimal expansion at all effective distances.
Available in a wide array of calibers and grain weights,
the SIG V-Crown creates a new standard for reliability,
accuracy, and performance, round after round.

www.sigsauer.com