All concealed carry setups evolve. Whether every-day-carry stuff like wallet, flashlight, and watch. or bigger boy stuff like concealed knives, guns, and backups, the setup contents and implementation will change over time. As you add new gear, get into new situations, and encounter limitations, either your ergonomic or functional needs will take priority over the other.
All that fancy talk means that you’ll be physically uncomfortable in certain situations with certain holsters and equipment, or you’ll need different capabilities from that equipment.
So, I’ve concealed several different handguns over time, but most of my carry time has been with a Glock 17 (full size, double stack) and a Glock 43 (sub-compact, single stack). I’m Ghandi Cut, so concealing a full-size gun at 12 o’clock with minimal print isn’t that difficult on the appendix – even with an extra magazine. After a rough adjustment period to some discomfort while sitting (had to always be sure my peas and carrot were out of the way), I got used to it.
I got sick of that after a couple years and got a Glock 43. That little sucker fits anywhere on the body – except on my ankle because skinny jeans/shorts – with max comfort. The barrel is short and won’t interfere with your dick while you sit with the gun at 12 and the gun can be carried anywhere around the clock with almost no interference with natural movement/sitting. I always forgot I was carrying the 43, it’s so small.
Anyway, that gun was cool and the bullets hit the stuff I aimed at, but like any Glock, there are almost no inherent safety features, and with a round in the chamber, I got a little nervous. So, I set my sights on a smaller, lighter, and inherently safer gun for concealed carry.
I knew I wanted a snub revolver because they’re tiny, so I tried out the Ruger LCR (.38, snub, no hammer, 13 ounces, $580 MSRP), Smith & Wesson 340 PD (.357/.38, snub, no hammer, 11.8 ounces, really nice sights, $1,020 MSRP), Taurus 85 Ultralight (.38, snub, external hammer, 17 ounces, $370 MSRP), the Ruger LCRx (.38, snub, external hammer, 13.5 ounces, $580 MSRP), and a Smith & Wesson M60 (.357/.38, snub, external hammer, 21.5 ounces, $730 MSRP).
I tried all these guns over a week and really like the Smith & Wesson J-frames, but after shooting the LCRx, I was impressed. The little gun is extremely light, yet manageable. The external hammer adds a nice inherent safety and the gun was on sale for $479 at Wisconsin Firearms Training Center, where I tried one out from their rental wall. That’s a hundred bucks under MSRP, and It seemed to be the perfect balance between price, quality, actual features, and ease of use – so I bought one new.
I immediately bought some 110 gr. Hornady Critical Defense rounds, shot a few groups at various distances, and left the gun store, impressed with the nice little lady.
WHAT: Ruger LCRx .38 special, 5-round revolver with 1.87” barrel. 6.5” OAL.
WHEN: Every second, every minute. It’s so small and light, you’ll forget you have it – which may or may not be good.
WHERE: Everywhere, just not the post office, government buildings, within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, or in bars if consuming alcohol.
HOW: Buy four or five inside-the-waistband holsters with different features (I’m rocking a Pitbull Tactical IWB right now – one of my buddies is making a custom one for it this week!), and see what suits your clothes and daily activities best.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: This is a purely defensive gun. It has only 5 rounds, and you’re probably not going to carry speed loaders on you every day. Get a variety of defensive rounds, do some testing, and see what food the gun likes best (SEE WHAT MAKES THE BEST GROUPS at various distances). This little lady, plus her holster, weighs about a pound. It’s a light gun, so shoot it lots and learn to manage the thing. My grandma can shoot .38 consistently, if you can’t, you’re a joke.