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Went to the range today. If you’d like to read my in-depth review of the gun I’m carrying for the 30-day project, click on over. I’ll wait.

Back? Good. Okay, so I was having a discussion with Fearless Leader the other day, and RF casually mentioned that he and his significant other keep a gat strapped to their person pretty much every waking moment. (There’s a story there, I’m sure, but he’s not sharing – yet – and I’m not prying.) Since I don’t live in downtown Beirut, I’m disinclined to keep a gun on my while I’m at home . . .

It’s mostly a comfort thing, since I work at home, and sit in front of a computer. A lot. Mostly. And given that I work with computers, frankly, there are times that the temptation to extend my tech support skills to include the option of shooting the damn thing, which could get expensive,not to mention all the paperwork I’d be filling out. I can see it now – “Um…Mr. Kozak, you’re asking me to believe that the only way you could fix your blue screen of death was to help your laptop assume room temperature with the aid of a .45 ACP bullet?”

So, as you know from the last installment, I’m having a bit of trouble locating my CrossBreed holster. So since I’ve already tried the Springfield paddle holster, I decided to try something different today. In my search for the Crimson Trace, I ran across a leather fanny pack I acquired at some trade show or other.

The fanny pack. It is to concealed carry what the minivan is to transportation – serviceable, but über-nerdy. But surprisingly practical, it turns out, as long as you’re willing to…wait for it…compromise.

Here’s the thing – there’s a big advantage to having your gun with you when you need it. Advantages like “survivability.” But just having your gun with you may get you into the “I want to Live” party, but it won’t get you to the final round. You have to be able to get to your gun when you need it, in order to have it do you any good.

A fanny pack is a dandy way to carry comfortably. It frankly sucks as a way to carry if you actually need to draw your gun and use it. To begin with, this particular fanny pack has probably a dozen zippers. That’s about eleven too many, when you’re in a big, fat hurry to get to your piece.

The purpose of a holster is to hold your firearm securely, in a position to make it accessible and ready at a moment’s notice. This fanny pack gets an “A” for holding the gun securely, but an F minus on the “have it ready to rock.” Now, of course, most people just assume that having a gun with you does the job. Others presume that having the right holster will be enough to get that gun in your hand when the time comes. Wrong.

If you want to actually be able to respond to an emergency situation with your gun, you’d best practice the entire process of getting the gun out of concealment and presenting it so that you’re ready to acquire your target and fire. That means that practicing drawing with a dummy gun (or an unloaded weapon that you’ve somehow disabled so that there is ZERO chance of an accidental discharge).

Using a fanny pack is convenient, but it’s not a solution for conceal carry if you think you’re gonna need to get to your gun quickly. I discovered that (thankfully) at the range. It was actually kinda funny/humiliating/embarrassing (take you’re pick – I’m easy). I wanted to show the range owner the Kimber. I pulled up the edge of my sweatshirt, and reached for the zipper. With twelve zippers on this over-engineered pack, that quickly became a comedy of errors. I finally gave up, unbuckled it, and found the right zipper. (I realize there are specially-designed fanny packs with Velcro closures just for guns. This one is NOT one of those.)

Now keep in mind, of all the shooters I know, there’s only one that I know of that carries his gun in a fanny pack. He is not, shall we say, a slave to either fashion or convention. As I’m currently between wives, I’ve got some kind of image to at least try and project, so the Nerdasaurus Rex look is out. Then, too, I’ve heard that to the bad guy contingent, wearing a fanny pack into a restaurant or convenience store is a lot like a sky marshall wearing a business suit on an airplane. It practically screams “I’m armed! Shoot me first!”

When I was a kid, my mom talked about the impracticability of her shooting my dad’s S&W .38 Chief’s Special. She said “if some burglar wants to rob us, I’d have to look at him and say, ‘hold on for a moment, mister burglar…I’ve got to find some cotton to put in my ears before I shoot you.” Drawing from a fanny pack would be much the same thing, I’m afraid. By the time I figured out which zipper was the right one and got it half open, I’d have already assumed room temperature, on my way to a long dirt nap.

So it comes down to this: I can carry in comfort (albeit not in style) with a fanny pack, or I can find my friggin’ CrossBreed holster and get serious about carrying in a way where I’d have a better-than-average chance at bringing the gun to bear in time to defend myself.

Guess I’d better tackle that next box o’ stuff in storage. Sigh…

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  1. I live in the Pacific North-wet, where the profusion of North Face Gore-Tex parkas, Polarfleece jackets and REI cargo pants provides a little bit more herd camouflage for those who carry in fanny-packs. But they're still easily noticed by the cognizant, and cops will make you in a split second.

    Even amongst the throng of Birkenstock Bolsheviks, fanny-packs are nearly 20 years out of date. They blend in pretty will if you're willing to wear the rest of the 'Smelly Hippie' uniform (dreadlocks, t-shirt, scraggly beard, cargo shorts, Teva sandals) but you'll stick out like an armed sore thumb if you CCW in a fanny-pack while wearing recently laundered clothes or a shirt with a collar. I happen to prefer both, so I stick with IWB carry.

  2. A fanny pack can be improved by stitching on a tourist patch such as a Disney patch, attaching a pull cord to the zipper pull, paint the zipper pull a bright color and cutting off all irrelevant zipper pulls

  3. Great idea Rabbi.

    But if you seriously want to carry in a fanny pack Brad, I have a Galco one I will send you. Lord knows I never will wear it.

  4. I'm sticking with IWB, but I'll be sharing some more thoughts on the practicality of IWB vis a vis body types in an entry I'll be posting Really Soon Now. But the fanny pack did make one thing easier – I didn't have to worry about bending over.

  5. I often wear a fanny pack for CCW. I've added a large leather knot to the proper zipper. It is a dark color that doesn't stand out visually. The case is dark green rather then tactical black. I carry a .380 Kel-Tec so the bag is small. I also loop the strap around a belt loop to keep it in position. I wear it around hardcore liberals a lot and haven't had a problem in over ten years.

    I have a Galco fanny pack and it is black and huge; works for the .40 Beretta though. Sadly I never carry the Beretta.


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