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My current carry gun: a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911 in Stainless with 5″ bbl, skeletonized hammer, match trigger, beavertail grip safety, night sights, full length guide rod, and a $.50 front-strap grip-tape modification. I carry the same pistol year round, IWB. Jeans, slacks, shorts – it makes no difference to me. I’m always open to new weapons, but my 1911 has yet to do anything to “deserve” replacement. And nothing else floats my boat. What kind of life preserver do you carry? Compact? Full-Size? Polymer? Steel? Automatic? Revolver? Derringer? Pirate flint-lock? Do you have multiple firearms for different seasons / style of dress? What’s in your holster?

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Ben is an aspiring gun-writer caught up in the pursuit of playing with firearms for a living. He spends his days grinding his way up the corporate ladder and wishing for 5pm. His nights.. well the details of how he spends those are private.. His childhood dreams of chasing "bad guys" for a living met the unfortunate reality of student loans, bills, and promotion potential. Ben resides in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys long walks.. to the range. Ben is always on the lookout for new article ideas. Have a firearm you want reviewed? A product tested? Your suggestions are welcome!


  1. Glock 19, Charter Arms On Duty, or Taurus Polymer PD (when it gets back from Taurus)

  2. Used to carry a Sig p226, but now I’ve switched to the Springfield 1911A1, stainless steel, with 8 round mag.

    My primary motivation for the change? Style. If I go down, at least I’ll look AWESOME doing it.

  3. H&K USP Compact .40 in the civilized world, S&W Model 29 .44mag in the woods.

    Also my SOG Flash II pocketknife and Scorpion streamlight, naturally.

  4. Ruger LCP with Buffalo Bore ammo. In 20 years of carrying I’ve carried the Glock 23, 27 and S&W 442 snubbie. With those I have had to make concessions in dress and activities, including not carrying. My LCP is always with me, no problem. I am very comfortable with this gun considering my lifestyle and location.

    • How do you like it? What has been your experience with reliability? It is on my short list.

      • Well I have only put about 200 rounds through it (enough for break-in) since I bought it about three weeks ago but I will say that I like it a lot… especially for the price I paid for it ($360 at the gun show here in Lafayette, LA). It is accurate. Reliable (so far). Very thin and very light. Also it is quick to bring into action due to the grip size, grip angle and sight picture. The factory sights on this dude are just great and don’t require any mods (not that you could really change the front sight anyway). I am carrying it in an inexpensive Tagua which is a little thick but I have a Crossbreed Mini-Tuck on order. All in all I couldn’t speak more highly of it as carry gun. My brother-in-law (who regularly carries a SA 1911 Operator) was with me at the gun’s maiden voyage to the range and was highly impressed. He even expressed intimations of acquiring one for himself.

        • Thanks Hunter. I have handled the .40 and was very impressed. As they say “You can never be too rich or too thin.”

  5. Full-sized Springfield XD(m) .45, stock, in a Minotaur Kydex n’ leather holster, lots of Wilson Combat ammo. Smith & Wesson Gemini Custom ported 642 .38 for bathrobe carry.

  6. I carry a Springfield 1911 Champion with black Colt grips and 2 extra Novak 8 round magazines, loaded with Hornaday Critical Defense FTX rounds. Would love to carry something lighter, but this is all I have. I’ll make the best of it.

  7. Still trying to figure it out, just got my chl in hand. so far subcompact glock is pulling my pants down and my shirts are a bit too short. need a better belt and better shirts

    • Buy a good belt first – I went two years with a crappy belt and spent the whole time complaining about my holster etc. etc.

      I finally cracked that wallet and sprung for a good, quality belt.. what a difference!

      • I love the Blackhawk Instructor nylon belt. Just bear in mind it is 1 3/4″. It fits all my jeans and bdu’s. It is a good stiff belt, just make sure the length you want-medium or large. The velcro is very strong on it-been using it for years.

  8. I, I say I, have Foghorn’s eye for style.
    The 1911 pistol speaks (loudly) for itself.
    Kimber 1911 5″ Gold Match – blue
    Kimber 1911 4″ Pro Carry HD – stainless

  9. I’m carrying a Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II – an aluminium-frame 1911, with a 4″ barrel, Crimson Trace laser grips (natch), and an 8-round mag, with two extra magazines in my laptop bag (which goes with me practically everywhere). I found the 4″ barrel to be a lot easier to deal with an IWB (CrossBreed) holster.

  10. For many moons it was a 5″ Springfield Stainless in either a SuperTuck Deluxe, Galco Open-top, or Galco FLETCH (for motorized activities) – at least in the “less hot” months. In Phoenix in July (and some of April, and May, and June, and August, and September, and most of October) it was a S&W M60 in a DeSantis Nemesis ITP holster. However, the XD(m) line of pistols is by far my newest favorites (to carry). My XD(m) 45ACP in a SuperTuck is my cool-weather gun, and my XD(m) 3.8 Compact in .40S&W in the same SuperTuck for summer. For hiking/camping/hunting, I still go with a S&W .357magnum, although a .44Magnum and .460S&W aren’t out of contention. Of course, I still take the 1911(s) out for a spin from time to time. I have used them for carry, competition, home-defense, etc. so they hold a sweet-spot in my heart. Now they enjoy a sweet life – getting shot at least once a month but never having to get too dirty!

  11. Gen4 Glock19 in a BlackHawk Check Six with an extra mag and flashlight on my other hip. Night Sights are in the mail 😀

  12. SigSauer P220 Carry .45 ACP with night sights in a Galco IWB. Eight-round magazine with two spare ten-round magazines.

  13. Springfield XD(m) 3.8 Compact 9 mm. Depending on the clothes, I carry it in compact version or full-size version. Around the house, full-size all the way.

  14. Depending on weather & cover garment, a USP .45 compact, a Glock 21-sf, and/or a Glock 27, with a P7m8 joining the G27 as back-up gun on occasion. Having gone through a large number of holsters over the years, I have lately been using CompTac almost always for IWB/OWB – specifically the CTAC, MTAC or Gladiator. Lately, I have been doing a lot of appendix carry with the G27, although as weather warms up, the need for fewer layers may change that.

  15. A CZ P07 in a Crossbreed SuperTuck or, when the occasion demands it, a Kel-Tec P3AT in either the strong side front pocket or a Galco 2nd Amendment IWB.

  16. I carry the Springfield Arms GI 45. Nice basic handgun although is it really concealed during the warm weather months?. I am thinking of buying a Beretta Px4.

    Wife carries a Beretta 92FS.

      • Not to down cast the Beretta, but with the .45 try a minimalist belt slide and run the slide into your back pocket. That’s how I carried a full size as a gun dealer back in the day.

  17. Glock 26 in a comp-tac infidel
    HK45 in a comp-tac c-tac

    the Glock is my t-shirt and shorts carry option and the HK comes out during the cooler months.

  18. For conceal-carry: Walther PK-380; for open carry: either my Springfield-Armory XD-45s or my Taurus Magnum Judge. I also have a FEG 9×18 Makarov but I prefer the Walther.

  19. At the risk of sounding like a 1911 fundamentalist, I carry my full size SW1911 whenever I can. I just like it.

    If I have to travel really light I carry a j-frame and my 3″ NAA Earl.

    If I want a little more firepower and just don’t have the option for a full size gun I carry a PT145, though it isn’t my favorite.

    In the woods I carry a 4″ ruger service six, or my 629.

  20. No OC allowed in MA, so I CCW all the time. I tote a S&W M&P .40c with an Apex trigger job and a Remora holster when I can IWB. When I can’t, a S&W 637 .38Spl snubby in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster does the trick.

  21. Here in the Kajaki district open carry is legal (well, for ISAF and ANSF).
    I prefer my M4 w/ PEQ-15, RCO, Magpul stock, magazines and fore grip.
    The M9 stays in the room.

    …In real-life I plan on getting an XDM .40 compact, as soon as I get home and start maneuvering through Onslow County’s (NC) ridiculous concealed-carry process.

  22. Since I bought it last summer, I’ve carried my Kel-Tec P3AT .380 in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster fully-loaded with seven 90-grain Federal Hydra-Shoks. The whole thing is smaller/thinner than a lot of people’s smart phones, “prints” less than my wallet, and weighs less than my massive wad of keys.

    I don’t worry about keeping a round in the chamber because the Uncle Mike’s holster completely covers every last bit of the trigger guard, and after a great deal of draw/presentation practice, I feel good about my level of access. With nearly 700 rounds through the gun (200+ with the Hydra-Shoks), I’m comfortable with its reliability, and even with small hands, I can handle the snappy recoil well enough to still manage decent groups at 21 feet, even when firing rapidly.

  23. P89 in a Blackhawk Serpa or sr9c in a Blackhawk IWB. Picked up a p95 decocker yesterday… I’m thinking shoulder rig. When I can find them, speer gold dot 124 gr. When I can’t, hornady 115 gr critical defense. Yes, for now, I only have 9mm pistols… but I know them and I can put rounds where they need to go.

  24. Concealed Beretta fullsize PX4 in .40, everywhere except at work. Either IWB (most places), or shoulder rig/511 t-shirt holster when driving.
    At work, North American Arms .32NAA in deep pocket.

  25. I CCW a RIA Tactical 1911.

    If I find the 1911 is too uncomfortable during the summer, I’ll switch to my Bersa .380

    Maybe at some point I’ll move up and get a stainless 1911. However, considering how well I shoot the Rock Island, I may not ever give it up.

  26. I carry a Glock 30 .45 in a Kramer horsehide inside the waistband holster with hornady critical defense 175 gr bullets.

  27. FN FiveseveN: Yeah, the round doesn’t have much punch, but I’ve got thirty. Plus one. Plus two standard (20-round) mags. But the 2 main reasons I switched to it are 1) weight: I buggered up my back at work a while back, and a full sized double stack .45 is heavy. Ditto the .40. B) The Bradys hate the FiveseveN with a passion that defies belief. III) It’s fun and easy to shoot. Three, the three reasons I carry a 5.7 are weight, Brady hatred, shootability. That’s it. Just three.

  28. Ruger LCP with an Uncle Mike’s #1 pocket holster. Easily fits in any pants or jacket pocket so it’s always with me. Very light (only 11 ounces fully-loaded with 7 rounds), printing is minimal, and access is quick and easy.

  29. Depends on how I feel. G29, G20,G21 S&W 19-7(? 2 in. barrel) or my 1911. Same paddle holster from fobus fits all 3 glocks as well as the desantis IWB.

  30. Depending on the way the wind blows my longfellow, my personal paranoia meter and where I am heading-a S&W 640PD .357 in one pocket, a Bond Arms .44 derringer on the side or in the back pocket, or a Glock 27 in a pocket holster or a Beretta 90-TWO in my Thunderwear. Ammo is always at least 30 rounds of back up-and no, I am a great shot-just like to carry heavy. Now, in the truck-an Ithaca entry pump and sometimes the RPK if I’m heading to the swamp. On the bike-always an aerosol pepper grenade.

    • Oh yeah, if you haven’t seen a Desantis Bodyguard shoulder rig-check it out. It carries on both sides, universally-even X frame revolvers.

  31. Kahr K40 Covert or Glock 23. I hardly ever carry my 1911 anymore because of the length.

  32. Kahr P45 in an Allesi Holster, + 7rd extra mag, great gun, light, wear and almost forget, and thin. Glock 23 when clothes permit.

  33. Kimber Pro Carry 2, .45, with crimson trace grips (not the fancy Crimson Carry, but a decent equivalent). I carry in my Galco purse. I have yet to find an IWB option that doesn’t cut into me when I sit down. I have a Solo on order for summer, but knowing Kimber, I likely won’t get it until Christmas.

    • Purse carry is a VERY bad idea. It’s hard to draw (two hands required) and you can lose possession of your gun (which can lead to losing your gun rights and arms a bad guy). Find a way to carry on your body. Try various holsters. Own various holsters. Do whatever it takes and then practice. Good enough is not good enough when your life is on the line.

  34. HK USP compact .40 OWB Mitch Rosen gun leather; Speer GDHP. Carry with one in the pipe, hammer down, safety off.

  35. Springfield V-10 .45 with combat grips in a leather SOB holster, with two additional mags in a wallet in my port rear pocket. Keltec P3AT backup (plus an additional magazine) in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster in my starboard rear. Total of 35 rounds available to send downrange if necessary.

  36. Gen 4 Glock 19, IWB in a Remora holster until I find something different. If I can’t carry the G-19, it’s my Ruger LCP in a Uncle George’s pocket holster or in a Holster Kings Universal depending on what I’m wearing.

  37. Year round I carry a Kimber Tactical Pro II in a Galco belt holster or a Comp-Tac C-Tac IWB holster.

  38. Taurus 609 TI 9MM, or Sig Pro 2022 9MM, both with Crossbreed Super Tuck Deluxe IWB holsters. Tried the Galco King Tuk for my M & P 9MM didn’t like, it sat too low on the leather and would grab clothing when trying to reholster, will get another Crossbreed for it.

  39. North American Arms 22Mag with a laser site. , Easy to carry no matter what I wear,

  40. Most often I carry a Charles Daly Mil Spec 1911 with two spare mags with Winchester 230 JHP Personal Protection. I bought it used just to get me in the 1911 club after firing several other 1911 variants including Ed Brown, Kimber, S&W, and several others. I am saving for an upgrade to a lighter commander length 1911. Looking at S&W, Kimber, or SIG.

    Occasionally in tight clothes I carry a 40+ year old Italian made Beretta Model 70 (7.65mm) with a single spare mag of Federal 65 Hydro shock JHP 32 auto cartridges.

    I use a Crossbreed IWB for each model.

  41. Ruger P90. As obscure as it may seem, it’s a wonderful gun. Great accuracy, great power, and very comfortable to use. Can’t remember the last time it jammed.

    Funny story: had some French tourists nearly piss themselves in fear when me and a few friends ran into a group at the local mall (best pal’s getting married). It was the most hilarious thing you ever did see. One of them threatened to call the cops, so I offered to do it for him. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t.

  42. Para Ordinance Warthog 45 ACP stacked mag 10+1. All the firepower you need and can run 1000 rounds (any ammo) without cleaning, although I do take good care of it. Great accuracy. Traded up from a Bersa Thunder 380 which is ammo selective and jammed on hardball and light loads. Bersa replaced a KelTec 380 which never fired 2 rounds without jamming.

  43. A 9mm PT-1911 (42 oz) or a 9mm PT-911 (28 oz), depending on how much weight I’m up to carrying that month!

  44. Glock gen 4 G27 with Crimson Trace LG-436. PDX-1 for ammo. X-Grips to use G22 or G23 mags as needed.

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