I wanted to do a follow up to my 2013 post, Why My Cary Setup Is Lightweight and post an update on some gear changes that I have made and what works for me.
Smith & Wesson 442:
This one has moved into the primary carry role for summer months. It is lighter than the KLCR and I carry 38+P in it during summer months anyway. It’s only modification is the addition of green nail polish on the front sight. We will see if it can stand the test of time. Since I have made the decision to carry only revolvers primarily, this one fits the everyday carry bill perfectly. After years of semi-auto training, it is a fun challenge to start pushing myself in training with the little revolvers.
I wrote about it here: Smith and Wesson 442-1 and Ruger KLCR Comparison Part 1: Specs and Speedloaders
After over six thousand rounds, my constant companion is still with me. I carry it mostly in winter months with the 357 magnum rounds. I decided to give the Smith a chance and see how it does. It’s only modifications are that it has a self modified factory boot grip, and green nail polish on the front sight.
My last update on it was here: Revisiting the Ruger LCR and it’s Speed Loaders
Charter Arms Bulldog:
The little 44 special that could. I carry this when I am out in the desert. It is great for snakes and anything else I may encounter. Sometimes it takes the place of the KLCR for winter carry if I am so inclined.The only modification is the addition of the Pachmayr Compaq grips.
You can read more about it here: The Charter Arms Bulldog 44 Special
Glock 26 Generation 4:
I carry this guy when I venture into the big city where the chances of active shooters and or multiple attackers multiplies. Higher capacity, quicker trigger, faster reloads, and concealable. The only semi I carry on a regular basis anymore. It’s modifications are a set of Ameriglo CAP sights and the factory +2 additions to the backup magazine.
I explain here why I chose the Glock 26: The Glock 26 vs Glock 43 Vs. Beretta Nano or Why I Gave Up On The Single Stack 9mm
I also explain why it is a better choice than a snub nose; even though I have chosen to carry them primarily; here: The Snub Nose Revolver vs. Compact Semi-Auto Handguns
I am a huge fan of the Speer Gold Dot
I like the accuracy I get and they perform well in FBI testing:
147gr Speer Gold Dot 9mm in the Glock 26
135gr Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 357 or 38+P in the KLCR
135gr Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 38+P in the 442
200gr Speer Gold Dot 44 Special in the Bulldog
Magazines, Speed Loaders, and Such:
I use factory 10 round Glock magazines with the 26. The two backup magazines have Glock factory +2 extensions with inserts. It goes in a back pocket.
For the KLCR, I primarily use the 5 Star Firearms speed loaders. They fit the best. Mostly I carry speed strips in my back pocket loaded with 4.
For the 442 the S.L. Variant is great but I only own one and they do not make them and or import them anymore so I will gradually move to the 5 star Firearms loaders. I want to kick myself for not buying more when they were available. Mostly I carry speed strips in my back pocket loaded with 4.
For the Charter, I own HKS loaders but I usually just carry full speed strips or cartridges on belt loops as I use this in the desert.
I also use Ted Blocker speed loader clips to hold the speed loaders on my belt. They allow for inside the waistband or outside the waistband carry. Please note they won’t fit thick belts such as the beltman thick belts.
I am a fan of the Galco Stow and Go Holsters. Simple, easy on and off, comfortable, and inexpensive. They come in two colors now and they work great and are low riding. They are soft holsters so they do not allow for re holstering but I carry appendix so I always remove the holster and then insert the firearm and put the holster back on anyway.
I also have both the MIC holster and the Suarez NPE-2 holster for deeper concealment. I like the NPE-2 better for two reasons: It has grommets and double string holes for both strength and durability, and it is quieter when removing from the holster. Unfortunately it is not made for the snubs. So the MIC it is. Both are inexpensive and minimalist.
I used to carry the Maratac AAA, I still have two of them. But I kept losing them because that’s what I do and I really found the need for a one-handed push button. I reviewed mine here: Maratac AAA Light
I liked it because it was small, lightweight, durable, and inexpensive. After searching high and low and trying out friends lights, I settled on the Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Flashlight and I have to say I love it. It is light, durable, bright, and inexpensive. The last one being the kicker, so I don’t feel as bad when I lose it… like when I lost the $100+ light. I can buy 5 for that price and they will last me a lifetime.
I carry knives as tools. So I want them to be lightweight and durable.
For my day-to-day work I carry a simple first generation Leatherman Wave that I modified to accept a spyderco pocket clip. The new ones now come with an option to add one and removable bits. I like the first gen better.
For out and about, it is a Case Jr. Scout. which gives me the simple tools I desire such as a bottle opener and a can opener. it is small, lightweight, and classy.
The defensive knife is the lightweight Benchmade BM530. It is light and strong. It has held up. Some people don’t like the spear point, but now they make a drop point. For me it is a last resort get off me knife so I could care less. Some people have put it through a lot of abuse with positive results. There are reports of the thumb studs falling off, but you open it by pulling down the lock and swinging it out anyway.
The other defensive knife is a Benchmade Instigator (now just called the 1456BP) neck knife. I like the wharncliffe design and it is comfortable and light.
After four years my Carhartt front pocket wallet finally needed to be replaced. The strap broke and the ID holder plastic started to disintegrate. I found a great American wallet manufacturer that hand stitches their products and makes beautiful minimalist horween wallets, I bought it based on this Review.
The company is Turek Leather Works out of Illinois and I could not be happier with the quality and price.
I have worn the same Maratac Compass Watch which is a contract made Timex Expedition with a sterile white face for the past eight years. It is simple, rugged and does the job well. I have my eye on an Omega Seamaster Deville with a black face, but my bet is I would either lose or break it. So I will stick to the inexpensive rugged stuff for now.
Whatever does not fit into my pockets now fits into a Waterfield Cargo Bag.
It includes but is not limited to: Whatever I need to get me through my day-to-day, a blowout kit aka IFAK, and day to day first aid kit. I also carry an insulated 24 oz wide mouth Hydro Flask.
I also carry a mini survival kit in a Maxpedition Janus Extension Pocket, that way if I head out somewhere, I can take it and a water bottle and throw it in my backpack or on a belt for desert walking. I like to be modular and simple. I can only grab what I need instead of lugging around unnecessary items.
In it I have some basic first aid, fire starting, signaling, water purification, an extra light and a knife with some spare batteries and other misc items. Enough to get me through a day or two of being stranded or hurt.
So that about wraps up my everyday carry and what works for me. Everybody is different and has different preferences. Mine is lightweight as they have been for the past few years and I am glad I made the change.
Heavy go bags, heavy firearms, and bulky items are not my thing anymore.