Finding the correct everyday carry (EDC) gear is an ongoing battle for the responsibly armed American. If you are anything like me, you have a box full of holsters and other gear that you thought you needed but didn’t really like. In most cases, it is not bad gear; it just didn’t serve the purpose (and you only found that out after you used it).
Remember, you are betting your life on your EDC gear, so it pays to make sure the products you select work for you. The USCCA can give you guidance through Concealed Carry Magazine and our outstanding video content, but the information we provide is just that — guidance. We always do our best to provide fair and objective reviews. If you question why you rarely see really negative reviews, it is because we don’t have the room or the time to deal with bad gear. If we get ahold of a piece of gear that simply does not work, we contact the manufacturer and explain that the gear did not work as advertised. At that point, the manufacturer can correct the problem and we will try it again. But I digress. This column is about the best way of changing up your EDC gear.
First and foremost, you need to test your gear before you commit to carrying it on the street. This goes not only for guns and holsters but also for anything else you might add to your kit as you walk out the door. If you buy a new flashlight and the clip requires you to carry that light bezel up when you are used to carrying a light bezel down, you need to clip that light on your pocket or pants and walk around your house to see how this change impacts you. I happen to like carrying a light bezel down. It just seems more natural as it comes out of my pocket. After buying a new light with a clip pointing the other direction, I found the scalloped edges on the bezel to be uncomfortable on the top edge of my pocket. It is a great light for use in my vehicle, but not one I like to carry every day.
You should be thinking the same way about magazine pouches, first-aid kits, knives and any other gear you plan to tote around every day. Carry it at home first. Get a feel for it. See how it works. Attempt to deploy it quickly. In short, practice with it to make sure you are comfortable.
The big questions swirl around guns and holsters. This is likely because they are so expensive. Finding the right rig can be costly, but carrying the wrong rig or — worse yet — not carrying anything because you don’t like your rig can be deadly.
I recently decided to make some major changes to my EDC gear. Calm down. The Grey Man pistol I developed with Lone Wolf will stay by my side. I love that thing. But I am moving into the 21st century by adding a light and laser to the gun. This means I’m right now working with a new holster. This is a difficult change for me because I love my Nate Squared Tactical Professional Model holster and have carried it daily for five years. But, sadly, the Nates don’t make a Professional Model Holster for the gun and light combination I have settled on.
My plan will be to mount the laser to my spare Glock 19 and carry it around the office for a couple of weeks, train with it and finally make the switch to EDC on the street when I feel comfortable. Until then, the Grey Man resides in my Nate Squared every time I leave the office.
Yes, this is a lot of work. Being a responsibly armed American is a lot of work. I hope you will commit to doing that work and accepting that responsibility every day. We can’t just strap a gun on our hip and think everything will be fine. There is more to self-defense than that.