In 1967 I bought a Ruger Bearcat .22 with the proceeds from the only mink ever to stumble into one of my traps. After carrying it constantly, the sheriff called me in and told me that if I absolutely had to carry it everywhere, at least hide it under a coat. I was 16, and there weren’t many relevant laws back then. Fast forward . . .
As a Marine counterintelligence officer/agent in post-Vietnam Asia, an issue Airweight Chief’s Special in a Berns-Martin rig was about all that would hide under the fitted Class A uniform blouse, though a government model 1911 disappeared under a field jacket nicely.
Returning to the States where personal weapons were allowed for plainclothes CI duty, I asked Tim LaFrance to build me one of his tiny Novas, a pocket-sized 9mm cut down from the excellent Star BKM. That served me well until resigning my commission in 1982.
As a civilian in California, a series of S&W J-frames were kept pocketed or handy until a very cheap, barely-used Kimber Ultra Carry II appeared at a local shop. After some serious smithing to make it feed, that became the motorcycle gun, riding in a Mitch Rosen “Tito’s Revenge” holster in appendix carry during my long rides across the country.
Fast forward again. Now retired in South Dakota, this Dan Wesson V-Bob in the High Noon horsehide holster is the most used concealed rig. It’s stoked with Black Hills Ammo +P 230-grainers and one spare mag is usually in a back pocket.
Why .45 ACP? In my experience, it works, even without expanding. Why the V-Bob? The Commander size is easy to conceal, fast to deploy, and accurate. The quality of the components and the build is pretty much equal to the customs, though I’ve only handled and examined those and haven’t shot them extensively. This one I used for IDPA competition for two years, have something like 10,000 rounds through, and trust completely. This is the one I put on with my trousers every morning.