TTAG Reader: What I Carry and Why – 1/16Dr’s Blade and Pepper Spray

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I am a medical student in a swing state. Minus the university’s marksmanship program, guns on campus aren’t going to happen any time soon, so for the next four years I’m relying on pepper spray as my main line of defense. Even after graduation, I will likely be disarmed by working in a hospital . . .

That being said, when I do return to my hometown for semester breaks, there’s a SIG SAUER SP2022 9mm waiting in the safe. I chose it for reasons both practical and personal: Mr. Leghorn’s positive review, its use in the Jormungand anime, and its comfort. I originally wanted a GLOCK-brand GLOCK, but the finger grooves didn’t fit my hand, yet the SP2022 felt like an extension of my arm.
I’m very happy with my purchase, the gun is accurate and while I’m a smaller guy, it fits nicely in a Galco KINGTUK IWB holster. Although the KINGTUK isn’t expressly made for the SP2022, the Springfield XD version is compatible and was bought for well under MSRP from a gunshow vendor.
My knife has a glass-breaker and seatbelt cutter built in. True personal safety must be comprehensive — you can win a fight, only to die in a car crash. All of us carry to save lives and we should be prepared for even non-confrontational crises.

comments

  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Might consider carrying a baton. In some states it is legally the same as pepper spray, and considerably more effective.

    I also own a 2022, although I bought it before I saw it in Jormungand. I found it interesting out of the 30 or so different handguns used in the show that it was the only one mentioned by name.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Alameda county CA. My edc is a Kershaw assisted open knife. Beats harsh language.

    1. avatar WRH says:

      I have a Kershaw in my pocket now. As a Canadian resident, that’s all I can carry.

      1. avatar Mister Sir says:

        “can” =/= “allowed”.

    2. avatar Art out West says:

      I’ve got one of those too for when I am a work (in a gfz). Knives up to a certain size are allowed.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      A knife and pepper spray puts you ahead of the vast majority of people. They are a lot better than nothing. Do you practice deploying them? A lt of people carry pepper spray, but have never discharded one. It might be good to buy several and practice with a few.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I used to carry a pepper spray. But I live in the bay area and more days than not it’s quite breezy here. I live near the bay and spend a good amount of time near the water.

        I just think a knife would be more reliable.

        1. avatar Tyler Durdan says:

          Try Inferno by Cold Steel, it is more like a thick foam and is pressurized enough that wind usually isn’t a factor, it is also a UV and bright orange stain color.

        2. avatar 1/16Dr says:

          Responding to several comments here. I have practiced my draw and fire, plus, it’s not in a little leather holster like the spray some classmates carry. The knife is absolutely a last resort, I know even the winner of a hand-to-hand fight can be pretty bloodied up and I don’t want to get covered in a junkie’s blood who’s infected with Hep. C or HIV.

          I would never break the rules because I have to change and wear scrubs a lot which would mean I’d need a shoulder rig. Also, getting caught could mean 8 years of my life down the drain and changing professions.

      2. avatar Fred says:

        Pepper spray has an expiration date too, so watch out for that. My wife usually test fires the old one a month before expiration. Eye protection when discharging is recommended.

        I’ve found deploying a knife takes much more effort and fine motor skills, then you have to instantly assess distance and your plan of attack. I much prefer deploying pepper spray or a gun and backing away than a knife and getting closer. I tried to explain this to a new knife aficionado as he held up his Leek and said to his wife, “this will keep us safe”. She rolled her eyes.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          Practice with what you carry. That’s the most important thing. One of my coworkers carries at least two knives. And I would not want to cross him. (He also now carries a G42)

  3. avatar Tile floor says:

    I had a 2340 in .357SIG, which to my understanding is the 2022 with the weird different rail on it. It was a nice shooting gun, and plenty accurate, but fat and I didn’t care for the high bore axis.

    Just my opinion though, it’s still a nice gun, especially for the price

  4. avatar Nate says:

    I may be known to carry my ASP baton with my regular folder knife. Baton’s are technically illegal here but no one is going to see it for anything less than life and death and this miserable freaking state is still processing the paperwork for me to own a handgun let alone carry one. One thing with a baton though, you probably want to get a real good feel for it since getting it taken would be a bad day if used on you, much easier than a handgun since its a strike weapon.

  5. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I ALWAYS have a Kimber Pepper Blaster and a knife. Except if I go to court. Occasionally a gun. Get a better pepper delivery system-the knife is great. FWIW no one has ever “made” the pepper blaster in 4 years-great for dogs too.

    1. avatar James Lee says:

      How is the accuracy out of that blaster? Does it mandate a headshot for effectiveness?

      1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

        Never shot it James Lee. Check out some Youtube videos. One weakness is it has no inert way to test it. $20 a shot. One huge advantage is 112mph and cuts through the wind. Also has a safety and somewhat real sights.

  6. avatar Mister Sir says:

    Just a few things for your consideration:
    There’s a very big difference between “Unable to carry” and “not allowed to carry”.
    Concealed means concealed
    And there are many people out there who’d love to pull a charlie hebdo at a hospital.

  7. avatar 'liljoe says:

    Apply for residency in a non-swing state… 🙂

  8. avatar James Lee says:

    Anyone expecting Jormungand season 3? Not very likely though. I felt really, really bad for Hex after watching.

    1. avatar 1/16Dr says:

      Season 3 probably won’t happen because the show followed the manga, which ended. They need to do a prequel or a series with Kasper.

  9. avatar MD says:

    I understand the future Doctor’s dilemma, because I also live and work in environments that aren’t gun friendly. However I would suggest 1/16 gets a better knife. Perhaps even two? (Lots of good knife reviews over at TTAG’s sister site, TTAK).

    Also, as other’s have suggested, test your pepper spray, and practice with it. I recent discovered the canister I keep in the truck had lost all pressure, and was worthless. Fortunately I discovered this during an audit, not an emergency. Good luck.

    1. avatar 1/16Dr says:

      Do you recommend a blade? Other than my handling skills from Boy Scouts I don’t know much about knives. My knife has fallen out of my scrubs before so I am thinking about getting a 2-3 inch boot knife/ something in an ankle sheath, but I cannot find anything small that doesn’t look tactical.

      1. avatar defensor fortismo says:

        I don’t know the knife laws in your area, but I prefer a boker/coye Ridgeback carried in the appendix position. But if you’re in scrubs all day, I suppose that isn’t necessarily feasible. Cold steel makes a number of push knives that are extremely intuitive and can be carried on a neck chain. I’d also recommend researching local FMA classes in your area, they’ll give you a good working knowledge of using a blade.

        Also, for OC, asp makes the defender series which doubles as a palm stick, it might be worth looking into.

      2. avatar MD says:

        1/16Dr: There people a lot more qualified than me to give knife advice, but here goes:

        In my location carrying a fixed blade knife is legally problematic. If it isn’t a problem for you, by all means go with the fixed blade. The Kabar TDI has a pretty dedicated amongst folks interested in last-ditch defensive tools. Another popular, but more expensive, option is the ShivWorks Clinchpick. Like the TDI, it is designed solely as a close quarters problem solving tool.

        I would advise against ankle carry. It has most of the same problems as carrying a gun on the ankle, and offers few advantages. Most importantly, it is virtually impossible to access the weapon during a fight. As fortissimo advises above, the appendix position is a good location – its low profile, provides good retention in a struggle, and is accessible to either hand.

        Because of the legal issues associated with fixed blades, I carry folding knives. After about 15 years of daily carry, I tend to go with Benchmade knives with the Axis lock. I can open them quickly with ether hand, using a variety of different grips and opening methods. The lock is strong, and Benchmades are generally very well made. Spyderco and Coldsteel occasionally make it into my rotation also. CRKT and SOG knives have spent time in my pockets too, but have been phased out in favor of Benchmades. Most days I carry two Benchmade Griptilians.

        I also suggest you try to find a training knife that has similar dimensions and deployment to your real knife. The trainer will be blunt and provides a safe way to train deployment, application, and retention against varying degrees of resistance.

        Unlike fortissimo I do not recommend Fillipino Martial Arts (FMA). I trained Kali for a while, and it was extremely enjoyable. However I found the techniques translated poorly to my folding knives. If I could legally carry a stick, baton, or large fixed blade, it would have been more relevant. These days I’m more interested in the stuff being done by Craig Douglas at ShivWorks, and similar practitioners. Your mileage may vary.

        Good luck and stay safe.

  10. avatar Dave says:

    Just carry a gun discreetly. They won’t know you have it unless you have to defend yourself, in which case you’ll still be alive.

    Look up the shooting in Killeen, TX. If that woman had broken the law, she could have killed that madman. Laws be damned. It is better to be judged by 12 than carfied by 6.

    1. avatar Gregolas says:

      Agree with Dave. Find a fanny pack that matches your scrubs. Carry wallet, phone etc. in it so others get used to you using it. Soon they won’t notice. A belly band would be good too. As long as you don’t have to go through a metal detector to get into work. You’re good.

  11. avatar JSJ says:

    Not sure I’d jeopardize my employment and possibly my entire career over it, depending on the exact circumstances. The knife and spray seem a reasonable compromise.

  12. avatar DaveC says:

    I haven’t seen anyone one here mention a Taser. At a gun show my wife was insistent I buy her one for carrying in her purse. I do not know why, She has a carry permit and a gun. Regardless, a taser is in the same category as a knife; close combat and last resort. I bought a fairly high voltage model, one with enough charge to stun an assailant and allow her to run. I encouraged her to get some pepper spray also. Honestly, I really do not think a knife is a good weapon for my wife. She would probably get it taken away and have it used on her. The way I see it is pepper spray is good for a frontal attack, someone coming at you. A taser or a knife is for when someone grabs you from behind. I personally carry a lock blade pocket knife. It is a short blade, but would certainly hurt if I put it in an arm or leg. No, it is not some high end high priced knife. But I do keep it sharp and would do what I need.

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