Courtesy Krieger
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By Krieger

When I began a draft to address the question that I was asked what I carry and why, I started by providing an explanation based on experiences from my life. What occurred to me, however was that I’d written a lot, yet not answered the question. That seemed like a waste.

So, I’m going to do my best to briefly answer the question, with a bit of supporting information, of what I carry and in subsequent posts, I’ll provide the ‘whys.’


In order to effectively provide the answer to the question of what I carry, it’s important to make clear that it all depends on the situation…and the threat…and the restrictions (which are probably the biggest modifier), and the equipment available, and the profile under which I am operating and the mission.

Each of these factors (and more) have an effect on the items, the amount of ammo, gear and equipment that I want and try to carry.


If I were to graph these factors, I could visually demonstrate the decision making process that I apply when selecting my arms and equipment. It has never occurred to me to create an actual “Levels Of Threat” type matrix or graph from which to base my carry. In the past I have simply examined the situation and then made decisions on what and how much to carry.

That’s pretty ambiguous and I don’t want to leave you with ambiguity. So, in this first post I’m going to define what I carry based on an identified low threat level and no restrictions. In subsequent posts I’ll discuss what I select based on the modifiers such as increased restrictions and or increased perceived threat.


A. No immediate threat; Potential for criminal activity is extremely low as is terroristic threat
B. No restrictions regarding arms, ammo availability, or supporting equipment

The situation above describes the every day norm in the area where I live. While crime in this area is extremely low, it does exist and at any moment one could find himself in a life-or-death situation involving firearms and or multiple assailants. That’s the reality of living in the modern world.


A. Handgun and Ammunition on my person

  • 1 x GLOCK 17 Semi-automatic handgun
  • 1 x GLOCK magazine in the gun
  • 5 x GLOCK magazines in a mag carrier on my belt
  • Total GLOCK magazines on my person: 6 (each with a 17-round capacity, 102 rounds total)

B. Edged, Improvised, Stabbing, Crushing weapons on my person

  • 1 x Spyderco folding knife
  • 1 x Cold Steel, Tanto edged, fixed bladed knife
  • 3 x improvised stabbing/crushing weapons

C. Medical Equipment and Asset Locating equipment

  • 2 x medical kits

D. Signal and Asset Locating equipment

  • 1 x flashlight
  • 1 x handcuff key
  • 4 x equipment for identifying my location and providing to higher
  • 3 x equipment for identifying asset’s location


  • 1 x pistol caliber carbine
  • 2 x soft body armor
  • 1 x enhanced medical kit with advanced trauma management items and equipment
  • 4 x GLOCK 17 magazines (17 rounds each)
  • 1 x (30-round) GLOCK magazine
  • 1 x (solar) cell phone charger with emergency numbers, Android and iPhone charging cables and mini flashlight
  • **Other items not listed due to sensitivity in nature and propriety


  • 2 x GLOCK 17 magazines
  • 1 x solar powered cell phone charger with Android and iPhone charging cable
  • 1 x trauma med kit

**These items are not listed due to sensitivity in nature and propriety

In short, I don’t have a single EDC that fits every bill. Rather, my EDC varies widely based on many factors. I attempt to address them and modify what I carry based on these factors.

Courtesy Krieger


Although they say that you’re not supposed to answer a question with a question, each time I am asked a question about a tactical situation, unless previously provided with the situation, I ask, “What’s the situation?”

In every situation there’s a “wish list” of the things, people, weapons and equipment that we’d like to have with us. In my experience, the greatest modifier to this list is the situation.

Given any number of tactical situations I would love to have the resources of the 82nd AA infantry, 325 PIR or even a Battalion of Rangers. But 99.9% of the time, I’m relegated to making do on my own.

During these situations, I’m also often required to appear as though I have no offensive nor defensive weapons. It’s even better if I can look like I have little to no knowledge of unarmed self-defense techniques.

With that in mind, I am going to add a category that I hadn’t addressed earlier: Manner of Dress.


Again, Level 1 was defined as: (1) An identified low threat level and (2) No restrictions.

A. No immediate threat; Potential for criminal activity is extremely low as is terroristic threat.
B. No Restrictions regarding arms, ammo availability nor supporting equipment.
I am going to modify the idea of “No Restrictions” to the following:
1. No visible weapons permitted.
2. Minimal printing of pistols, knives, magazines or equipment permitted.
3. In a support vehicle: Ballistic helmet, body armor, and rifle are permitted to be carried, but not visible.


I stated that I carried the GLOCK 17 as my primary weapon along with 6 GLOCK 17 magazines.

Since I began carrying a handgun, I have opted for the GLOCK 17 for my personal carry. In fact there has only been one time that I didn’t carry this particular firearm and that was in an extreme case.

I carry the G17 because it has a long sight base, a full grip, carries 17 rounds and it fires when I want it to without additional bells and whistles that might induce a stoppage under stressful situations.

The only other weapons that I would considering carrying as my everyday carry is the GLOCK 45 (GLOCK 45) which is a crossover handgun combining the (longer) frame of the G17 with the (shorter) slide of the G19.

While the reduced slide length would diminish accuracy the increased concealability this weapon affords would more than make up for that.

I traditionally carry six magazines. I carry that number for a variety of reasons.

  • PRIMARY WEAPON RELOAD CAPABILITY I’m an advocate of the “One is responsible for every round fired” principle. At the same time there’s something to be said for having access to a “suppressive fire” type capability. In the event that I encounter a hostile force, knowing I have the ability to leverage overwhelming suppressive fire as I (and maybe others) maneuver provides a level of comfort.
  • MALFUNCTION CORRECTION We typically think of having spare magazines in order to reload our guns with a magazine that has ammunition in it should we run “dry.” However, one of the most important, yet least mentioned reasons for having spare magazines is that spare magazines allow you to clear a malfunction by dropping or stripping the mag from the handgun and discarding it without worry as you have extra magazines available.
  • SECONDARY WEAPON RELOAD CAPABILITY I also carry the Keltec SUB2000 which is a 9mm “collapsible” carbine that accepts GLOCK 17 magazines. Should I be faced with having to “hard-point” (take up a static position) in a defensive posture, my personal tactics, technique and procedure (TTP) is to employ my SUB2000 and to holster the GLOCK 17. This TTP allows me to engage hostiles at an extended range. Carrying the G17, GLOCK magazines and the SUB2000 allows me to conduct both tactical reloads and correct malfunctions utilizing multiple G17 magazines from my belt as opposed to having to dig for a magazine from my Go or Get-Home bag.
  • CROSS-LOAD CAPABILITY One of the reasons that NATO adopted the 5.56mm round was to ensure that all forces within NATO had and employed a standardized round. That intelligent decision increases NATO’s ability to provide cross-load support to all forces involved in combat operations from all other forces within NATO. That’s something I understand and support within the armed forces and within other institutions, such as my own family and friends. It’s with this idea in mind that I recognize that if members of my family and I were involved in having to defend ourselves utilizing our firearms, I would be able to provide at least one reload magazine to myself and four other people just with the magazines that I carry on my person. If I include the magazines I carry in the rifle bag, I’d be able to provide another four people with one more reload mag apiece or I could provide the same four persons with two each reload magazines apiece.
  • POST CONFLICT DEFENSE One of the few things that I’ve seen mentioned or written about, is armed self-defense post initial conflict. In many parts of the world where I’ve deployed, the TTP of assailants is to initiate conflict, inflict injuries, and cause the defending force to expend an inordinate amount of ammunition in an attempt to repel the initial attack. The attacking force then conducts a pre-planned withdrawal and then re-attacks knowing that the defending force has expended a substantial amount of its ammunition during the initial conflict and will now be judiciously managing its remaining ammo. This change in defensive posture then allows the attacking force to use overwhelming firepower in its attempt to subdue the defenders. Carrying six magazines would, in theory, increase my ability to repel attackers in an initial assault and maintain enough magazines to repel a secondary attack as well.

While the likelihood that you, as a law-abiding citizen will ever have to defend yourself against an armed assailant or assailants is minimal, that possibility is non-zero. Not only does the possibility exist, it is increasing.

Awareness and preparation are keys, though they don’t guarantee that you will be successful. Success is ultimately increased by employing many pre, during and post-attack TTPs.

The selection of the handgun that you use and the number of magazines that you elect to carry on your person could be the deciding factors in how well or poorly you negotiate armed conflict in your defense or the defense of others.


Krieger is a former Special Forces Green Beret, former personal protective security specialist, and Unconventional Asset Recovery Agent. He is an instructor with Hybrid Tactics Security. Hybrid Tactics is dedicated to providing its customers with the highest level of security available, whether that comes in the form of personal protective details, shooting courses or cybersecurity awareness and training.

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  1. Umm, yeah. Well, OK then. I guess I am no “operator,” and I’m good with that.

    I cannot imagine carrying six mags,much less all the other gear this guy has in his “support vehicle.” And in my (safe) little corner of the world, it is entirely unnecessary. If things change, I will adjust accordingly.

    • Your ‘support vehicle’ doesn’t have tracks on it. All that stuff and he doesn’t have a back up gun in case of his 17 shitting the bed. And if he falls into a swimming pool he’ll drown.

      • Hello JWM,

        For this article I did not mention a back-up gun. That’s for another time and issue.

        Fortunately I’ve yet to fall into a pool. However, if I did, I would attempt to side stroke to the edge of it and then extricate myself.

        If I found my gear to be too heavy to do that, I’d perform a “ditch and don.” ‘Not quite sure of the term. It sounds familiar. Point being, I’d dump the mags.

        Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself and end up falling into a pool in the next little bit. If I do, and I survive… I’ll post regarding the results.


    • You beat me to it. I have about 90% of all the items on the author’s list in my vehicle, but on my person as EDC I carry a knife, a flashlight, my weapon, and an extra mag. I do *not* carry a full size G17 plus five extra mags outside of a training course. I instead carry a micro compact.

      Let me take a moment and bow my head in shame. One day when I grow up, I want to be a real boy.

    • Wow, is it April 1st? I guess everyone can stop making fun of me now 😉

      In the past year I dropped the 2 spare mags I was carrying from my loafout if carrying a double stack based on John Corriea’s observation that he has not seen a reload used by non LEO in 40,000 defensive encounters.

      Also, I am not an operator and I cannot help you place this call, especially if the number on the matchbook is old and faded.

    • I agree but the point is that you will not in your lifetime find yourself in the kind of situation this guy describes because you ARE NOT a trained professional in a trained professional occupation, and I’d bet that he wouldn’t either more than maybe two or three times. EVen to BE that kind of professional requires hours of training EVER SINGLE week under simulated ‘combat’ conditions- and I’m talking maybe 12 hours a week just as professionals in other occupations require.

      • you will not in your lifetime find yourself in the kind of situation this guy describes

        What was described as level 1 is any given day in Chicago, New Orleans, LA, NYC, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, anywhere in Mexico but WTF would you know about that or what it takes to be able to defend yourself under overwhelming conditions. You do not need to be a “trained professional” to find yourself in one of those situations.

        • Hello MADDMAXX,

          Some months ago there was a heavily armed individual who entered a school in Uvalde, Texas.

          During this event an unarmed mother entered the Uvalde school and retrieved her own children before law enforcement entered and eliminated the threat.

          You most likely are familiiar with this situation.

          In case others are not, you may find the article here:

          While we may be able to state that we will never be in a certain situation in our lifetime, the reality is that no one can provide a guarantee as to what threat one will or will not face in their lifetime.

          I like the Boy Scout motto…

          Be Prepared.


        • Well aware of Uvalde TX, thought I was defending your position as I am also “prepared” when I go out the door but without the Tac vest/body armor (does not work well on the Harley) but with a Glock G29 10mm (3-16 round mags) a smaller 9mm (2-12 round mags) in an ankle carry and an AR based 4 1/2 inch barreled 9mm with 6-33 round mags in the trunk Also have a USMC issue Kabar, trauma kit, flashlight and my own personal Registered Nurse (she carries a 38 Spec).

    • And you people roundly mocked me for carrying a Glock 19, and TWO spare mags… for a total of ten pounds of stuff.

      I’m glad Dan added an “about the author” to this, because it reads like a 15-year-old wrote it based upon his experiences learned while role-playing in a modern-day “Dungeons and Dragons” game. That or maybe he lives or works on the SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO.

    • I understand that it could break unimaginable for one to consider carrying what I carry. If one hasn’t been where I and those like me have been… and still are… then most assuredly it would be a difficult concept to comprehend. Hopefully, I will be able to quantify my reasoning.

      I recently attended a course regarding the current threat to Americans. One of the high points of the course was this:

      There is no safe corner of the world.

      Threat exists everywhere and can visit us at any time. Being pro-active (and not re-active) and planning appropriately for when it does come knocking at our doorstep, I would assume might be the most appropriate course of action.

      Having lived and worked in high threat environments for many years, I have learned to carry and to have as much as I can and am able to have for the day and event(s) that threat might befall me, my coworkers or my family.

      I wish you well,

      Very Respectfully,


  2. I’m not an operator. Not high speed, low drag. Reverse that and you have me. I have military experience but that is 50 years behind me now.

    Mostly it’s a j frame and mister stabby. Mostly.

  3. I’m not operating operationally. This dude is preparing for a war(atomic war?). So am I but pretty much from my home. Interesting reading…

    • Imagine being detained by LE for whatever reason (wrong place, wrong time?) and being frisked for “officer safety”. Nobody would blink at seeing a compact and extra mag, but I’m pretty sure most anyone would raise an eyebrow at the sight of mags circling your belt like Batman, and some further questions would ensue, with all the detention time that comes with it.

      I particularly like the part where the author states he can’t disclose all the items he has with him, right after providing a detailed list of a-bunch-a-stuff with gusto.

      I have this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. You should pay attention to all of this. But I can’t tell you *that* because it’s sensitive information and I’m an operator operating operationally.

      • Knew a guy that did something similar with the Beretta 92 and storm carbine. Would not worry about him running out of ammo as much as having to answer questions or supplying options to bad guys in the worst case. I get he is preparing for the worst but having additional people with you with guns may be better than the extra gear at that point. With that said impressed with being able to comfortably care all of that.

        • he lost me at glook and keltec. a92 and storm carbine sounds better. although the mags might be different… wouldn’t you want the px4 for compatability? maybe they use the same.

        • From what I remember the carbine comes either in px4 or 92 magazine configuration (not sure for the 40sw version) and his absolutely took the 33 round 92 mags with no problem.

      • I see you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting anyone on the Aurora Police Department force.

        I suggest you keep it that way. A single-purpose tool known as a “seatbelt cutter” is enough to elicit literal screams of “Knife!”, “Officer safety!” and a physical assault.

      • Never checked the px4 out but more because I never ran into it. I will say the carbine was a lot of fun and only a minor complaint about the trigger, but not sure if the CA legal version works for NY so leaving it alone for now.

        • SAFE,

          Have and use a Keltec Sub2000, and overall, I like it. No idea whether it is ‘kosher’ in NY or not. One comment – IF you get a Sub2000, immediately install the MCARBO (or equivalent) upgrade kit (trigger, feed ramp, charging handle, recoil spring, etc.). The base gun usually (?!?!?!) functions adequately, jams a lot more than I’d like, and I had serious doubts about its long-term reliability. KelTec has interesting and sometimes brilliant designs – and absolutely SHIT quality control. $50 extra bucks spent in better quality components would yield an order-of-magnitude superior firearm, but KelTec is obviously pursuing a price point. Unfortunately, when I bought mine, the Sub2000 was literally ‘the only game in town’ for someone looking for an easily concealable, packable PCC. Still, to my knowledge, the smallest and lightest.

          Positives: WITH the MCARBO upgrade, I’ve had one jam in about 3000 rounds fired. It’s reasonably accurate (estimate 2.5 MOA) out to its effective range of >100 yards (anyone who shoots at a target more than 100 yds away with a 9mm, except as suppressive fire, is an idiot). Handles well, packs well, magazine-compatible with my pistol – overall, a solid choice for an emergency long gun.

          My son has a PC9, which is slightly more accurate, equally reliable, has magazine compatibility options, and is . . . about half again the weight, and takes up MUCH more room to pack.

          While I constantly bitch about KelTec’s random (or intentional??) approach to quality, some of their designs are brilliant. The Sub2000, when properly configured, is a great little PCC, once you get it to run right.

        • Lamp good to know re sub2k upgrade and qc, I have seen fin grip versions floating around but for the same reasons I haven’t messed with the Beretta (can’t afford to be the legal challenge to the SAFE act) I haven’t been able to play around with one. With that said if it’s anything like their shotguns that are everywhere up here you are understating their comical mad scientist approach.

        • SAFEupstate,

          My only suggestion is to see if you can find/rent a “NY legal” version, and try it out. Even the base model is . . . adequate (barely). With a decent upgrade, it is a pretty good “emergency” firearm (I would not suggest one for long-term, high-volume use). With proper upgrades (and I emphasize trigger, feed ramp, recoil spring, and sights – the OEM versions of each of those suck out loud), it is a handy little packable gun, giving you decent accuracy and power out to around 100 yds, and is certainly better than nothing.

          Try one, if you can. And, yes, I am FULLY aware of the whole “mad scientist” vibe of the KelTec organization. My working theory is the hired brilliant but mentally unstable designers/engineers, and a crew of total dips***s for manufacturing/production. Even their “fit and finish” leaves much to be desired, but . . . when choosing an “emergency gun”, appearance ranks about last on my list of criteria.

    • I’d really like to carry a short barreled full auto RPD, like one as seen in some pictures out of the Rhodesian war, maybe wrap the belt around my waist and more around my shoulders.

      But of course there’s whatever we’d like to do and what we can realistically do.

    • Now let’s talk “Level 2,” where the Davy Crockett really comes into its own. I mostly carry this lightweight, Jeep-portable nuke when I’m out on the town after dark, or visiting Chicago.

      • They have two at the Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning. One lists the range as 4000 meters and has a rope lanyard for firing.
        Not an MOS I would have wanted. lol

        • No kidding. 4000 meters, and unless you’re shooting off a cliff, you were inside the blast radius. Mercifully, I don’t think they were ever used.

        • IIRC, the training manual recommends digging a hole and getting in it before firing.

          It wasn’t entirely clear if the dirt was meant shield the firer from radiation, or so they’d already be in a grave when the nuke went off.

      • Given the current state of events in Chiraq you may just, I say again just have enough Level 2 for the task at hand. but as Ripley said when things got really bad: “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit”.

        • “It’s the only way to be sure.”

          I think Nathan Filion deserved MUCH more acclaim for his Mal Reynolds character than he received.

          “Nuke ’em from orbit” ranks up there with Maxim #37 of “70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries” – “There is no ‘overkill’, there is only ‘Open fire’ and ‘Reloading'”.

        • Oops, sorry Rick, it was Ripley, not Mal Reynolds (although they used a similar plot event in the “Firefly” universe). Point is still the same.

      • OK, napresto, but where do you carry your gigawatt laser?? Or your forcefield projector??

        I mean, what kinda operator are you, anyway??? Like Lord Baden-Powell said, “Be prepared”. (I have my laser and my forcefield projector mounted to my M1A1 tank.)

        • MAXX,

          Eh, not sufficiently armored against man-portable firearms, and not “NBC” sealed. Thinking about upgrading my M1A1 to a surplus attack sub. Or a surplus boomer in “OMG” configuration.

        • not sufficiently armored against man-portable firearm

          Maybe not but you should see the looks when I pull into the local Walmart parking lot… Besides with a force field projector who needs armor and hermetic sealing…

        • Oof, I’m rethinking my setup now. You are right. When the Zerg rush happens, I’ll be behind the eight ball for sure.

  4. Glock 21 down the back of the pants, extra mags in belt pouch. Bowie if possible, otherwise a small knife like the Kobun or similar in size. A folder clipped to right pocket…
    If it seems possible that a rifle would be in order, that would change a lot of things…

  5. I certainly do not begrudge anyone for carrying whatever they choose to carry.

    Having said that, this load-out is extreme and, as the title aptly indicates, a load-out for an “operator” who is expecting (or at least prepared) to engage a significant hostile force. And his/her load-out makes sense for that scenario.

    I will assert that John or Jane Q Public will not face such a scenario at this point in time in the United States. The worst-case scenario up this point has been two determined terrorists who are dedicated to maiming or killing–even at the expense of their own lives if necessary–a gathering of people. And we have seen, what, approximately one of those in the entire United States roughly every decade?

    I believe that a citizen who has a semi-auto handgun (with 15 or more round capacity), two spare magazines, and good skills/tactics is just as likely to survive any encounter in present day United States as the author of this article with his/her huge load-out.

    • Okay, after re-reading my comment above and thinking more in-depth, I suppose there is a tiny possibility of someone having to defend themselves or a loved-one from a crew of nasty criminals or even a rioting crowd: successful self-defense in those scenarios would benefit from a total of four spare magazines and/or a second handgun.

      Of course you would probably want a shotgun or rifle. However, most of us cannot realistically carry a shotgun or rifle around strapped over our shoulder just in case a crew of nasty criminals attacks or a riot breaks out. And while we could likely keep a shotgun or rifle in our car, I doubt that we would ever be able to access it in time to be useful.

    • Always did pre-combatchecks before every operational patrol on soldiers, and you always had that guy that had so much extra that if he left the perimeter loaded down as such he would be a heat. Casualty from the steel he carried… you always had a 5 gal bucket to dump the excess in to let h/I’m recover after patrol… anyone have to carry a heat casualty would understand… it was normally 120 degrees in body armor with water and ammo…

  6. LOL 6 mags. Excuse me while I unroll my eyeballs. You’re rolling solo, but planning on winning a gunfight where you need 6 mags?

  7. Hmmmm…..gun, spare mag, pocket knife…keys to throw in an attackers face….comb to make sure I look good after the fight. Most important: attentiveness to my surrounding; changes in behavior, demeanor, proximity.

    50% of preparedness is being prepared to act. The other 50% is having the tools to react. I just fabricated those numbers. Your mileage may vary.

    • LifeSavor,

      Along the same vein, avoiding “stupid people at stupid places at stupid times” goes a VERY LONG way to decreasing whatever load-out is required to survive.

        • locks for love, bra. temp sport a mohawk and handlebar ‘stache (the east indian at extra value sports a superb two foot wide, i thank him for letting me admire it whenever i shop there).

  8. I knew I wasn’t an operator……

    If I carried all that, I would look like a Tactikewl Fool (modern version of a drugstore cowboy). And probably need someone to lift me up if I tumped over.

    Glock 19 is doable. But 43 and 48 are more doable. If I have more than 1 spare mag, it’s in a vest pocket.

    I do (mostly) carry a tourniquet. Case knife and Spyderco.

    The carbine is in the truck with more ammo and medical stuff.

    I’m impressed with all that kit. Hope you never need it.

  9. wow. over a hundred rounds for low threat edc? i’ll stick to my 30. but i’d wager my thirty will score more hits than your 100 rounds, evenly spaced out targets to 100 yards 🙂 6.5 inch barrel s&w 10mm 610 or on a bad feeling day a super redhawk 44mag 7.5 inch. carried a first gen 17 for years and hated the sloppy glock.

    • Pretty big guns for carry and if you need to shoot someone at 100 yards that is not the usual self-defense distance unless you are in a gun battle?

  10. Reviewed article…agree with previous posters. I too am no operator, I generally only carry one small pistol and mostly only one reload. Okay, yeah I mostly have another option in my vehicle and spare ammo along with a small “get home” bag, but my vehicle is about as far from a monster super tough four wheel drive truck as you can get.

    Of course I don’t live in Murder City USA, and while I am not that far from Atlanta, it has been years since I had to make trips inside the perimeter. If the conditions in my AO change I will adapt my tools, but I am more of the opinion of have a pistol (with a round in the chamber) and keep it on you all the time…six magazines all the time???

  11. Lmao, this guy is no special forces operator. If he was, he certainly wouldn’t be choosing a kel-tec. Also, how does one taylor their edc loadout depending on certain situations?! Absolute crock. I guess i need to get the same crystal ball this hack has got. You run what you brung. Bring the same thing everyday and know how to use it. And bring it everywhere, regardless of the signs.

  12. An ‘operator’?

    That sounds like another one of those ludicrous words that was made up just to spark some kind of emotion. If any of you really think I’m going to refer to them as operators then you are already missing the point. This is ridiculous.

    What I just read doesn’t sound like an operator. This sounds more like the daily carry for a cop or SWAT.

    • “Operator” used to be a very specific thing: one who is assigned to SOTF-D and has completed the SOTF-D Operator’s Course. Larry Vickers was an Operator. Paul Howe was an Operator. 3rd, 5th, 7th, any of the other ODAs not assigned to TF-Delta, MARSOC, NAVSPEC, any of the civilian SWAT, “Ground Force/Unit or any contrator teams would not be considered “Operators” under the original definition.

      • The only operator that makes sense to me to carry that title is the lady that’s on the other end of the phone that works for the phone company. There might have been an official designation using that term but the same thing can be said for “zombie bullets” from Hornady. I don’t mean any level of disrespect here. I just find it completely absurd to refer to people this way. What are they operating? Guns? Well, any two-bit hood knocking off the corner store could be called that under the same thought process. Saying someone is an operator doesn’t mean they are good. I mean this really sounds to me like it came from True Crime magazine. We all might as well be operators for how we handle or cellphones while driving and for the way we command our computer keyboards. Terms like ‘arm chair quarterback’ makes more sense. This is why so many people have everything so twisted and backwards. Especially in the gun world.

      • I frequently work with “operators” and sometimes I am one myself. Backhoe, excavator, drill rig…..

  13. I carry a cop on my back wherever I go. That way, I know that if I’m ever in a bad situation, he’ll be there to help me in as little as twenty minutes. Maybe thirty.

  14. OK I am not sure I understand the article. If you are carrying as a civilian in your neighborhood or surrounding towns most of what you listed here is overkill. Most people carry for self-defense not to get into a gun fight. Most self-defense situations occur within about 10 feet. Most situations don’t require more than a few shots so carrying an extra mag or two makes sense but 102 rounds for around town? So I need some help here, what the heck is this article about, a swat member or a civilian? Also, my guess is if you have to defend yourself and shoot someone the cops may actually think you went looking for trouble armed for WWIII.

    • Yes. My issue m16 weighed about 7 pounds. I see folks nowadays pushing AR’s that weigh over 10 pounds.

      Ammo. Water. Rations. Poncho. Extra socks. Smokes. And very little else. You have to hump that stuff.

  15. “One of the reasons that NATO adopted the 5.56mm round was to ensure that all forces within NATO had and employed a standardized round.”

    Just one of the many reasons the new 6.8 round as the primary infantry round is a bad idea. There’s a lot more of course which I don’t feel like getting into at the moment, but I can’t resist a chance to trash this whole new ridiculous M5 plan.

    • But NATO followed our lead and adopted the 7.62×51. And then we promptly switched to the 5.56. NATO wagged its tail and followed. NATO is worthless on its own. They will do what we do.

      • NATO is pretty worthless. But in reference to the conversation you’re having above me, the M5 weighs almost as much as a freakin BAR before optics and lasers and shit. That’s right, Before optics and everything else. I really can’t believe the army is adopting a standard rifle that weighs more then an M1 garand. I’ll be honest, I just can’t help but throw shade on the project every chance I get.

        • Guess those fancy pants procurement bubbas haven’t read Soldier’s Load and the Mobility of a Nation by S.L.A. Marshall.

        • Ron,

          While the defects of the whole military procurement process are legion, I think the WORST aspect may be the lack of meaningful input from grunts. Even the “user testing” is often done with fobbits, rather than line grunts. Ask the guy who has to hump the firearm, its ammunition, and maintain it and defend himself with it. If he doesn’t like it, I couldn’t give a fart if some Pentagon armchair commando is hot for it (and concurrently angling for a sweet post-retirement gig with the manufacturer) – if the grunts don’t like it, it’s garbage . . . usually really expensive garbage.

  16. This load out seems more for a SHTF scenario. Carrying a sub-compact 9mm double stack (Evil Hi-Cap) and two extra mags, a knife, light, keys and keeping it all concealed is enough for plodding around town, at least where I am, for now. All that stuff he has and I’d be “busting a sag” like the homies.

  17. In all seriousness, some pictures of the author with his EDC gear concealed, and not concealed, would be really helpful in understanding how “it” all comes together in the “everyday” urban environment. I do know of an incident where a cop used 140 rounds of .40cal to take down an armed perp, but the cops gear was all over his belt, and obviously open carried.

  18. Author much better prepared for bad situations than i; but… i feel pretty well prepared with sig 365, couple extra 15 round mags, and a knife. When st louis riots going on, I carried a couple guns with four additional magazines a few times with more stuff in vehicle.

  19. I live in Houston, no way I’m humping all that.

    Work EDC: 4″ folding knife and a pocket holster with Ruger LC9s with 7 1 and a 9 rnd spare.
    Non-work EDC: 3.8″ Springfield 9mm sub-compact with 13 1 and 1 or 2 19 round back ups, 4″ Mr. Stabby.
    Car keys are on a monkey fist key chain with a 1″ steel ball bearing.

    When I have to go into certain parts of Houston, we load the M29 Davy Crockett on the roof in case we need to nuke a neighborhood as a distraction. It’s the only way to be sure. Wife only lets me load 2 reloads for the Davy in the car, keeps mumbling about radiation for some reason.

  20. Sounds like one of the guys who goes off base to threaten to kill a First Amendment auditor who dares to film the exalted entrance to said base that’s been on Google Earth street view for years.

  21. …and TTAG just went crazy.

    Id be embarrassed for any non-2a people to read this article.


  22. Hmmm: A gun with 15 round magazine, wallet, keys and a bag in the trunk with a change of clothes in case I get caught in the rain.

    • Negative. There’s no ninja cat claws for climbing walls and nary a mention of multiple .338 strikes.

  23. This may be a joke. Never knew an ‘operator’ who called himself an operator.
    My hat if off to the man’s service. But I think he is toying with the fan boys.

    In any case pretty ridiculous. If this Indvidual actually carries this load on a daily basis they have some type of psychological artifact in place that is gnawing at them. I also noted that there is no mention of a backup. Two Glock 19s, two spare magazines, as an example would be a far better set up.
    In any case TTAG has become a bad joke something of a rag during the past few months and I dont see anything different coming along.

  24. Not prepared enough! What happens when you empty your 6th mag and they are still coming at you from all angles? Just joshing, everyone gets to pick their own edc and I would never look down on someone for any choices.

    That said this man is far more accepting of being uncomfortable than I. Makes me the weaker man in this situation I suppose!

    • “What happens when you empty your 6th mag and they are still coming at you from all angles?”

      Happiness is a portable, belt-fed weapon.

  25. Initially is seems like a lot. However, one must weigh the authors experience and profession. Many people carry multiple magazines, cell phones, radios, medical equipment, and a carbine in the support vehicle. It’s not unusual. Sadly these days require one be prepared. If someone else was say carrying a Glock 26, 19, 17, 34, or 45 with two extra mags, that’s not too uncommon. Two Magpul 21rd mags and it’s better. Then imagine 4 spares carbine mags and now you’re at 6. Hmm I just read that number somewhere. Plus several T’s, IFAK’s, knives, lights, radio, and a backup phone and you’re not too far off from what he has. Friends who fought in the Stan and Iraq have said to me: “you can never have too much ammo in a gun fight.” I was shocked at how much ammo they carried or mags they had loaded. But, they have a different view point. They have been in gunfights. One was telling me their squad easily went through 10K rds in a single contact – belt feds. Unfortunately we don’t have helicopter re-supply.
    So, from the authors perspective, he may feel naked with all that. Green Beret vs Everyone else? I might listen to his advice and see what I can learn.
    Thanks for the insights.

  26. So I enjoyed reading the article, but I also live in the real world. I have things to do, which I cannot carry all that gear without looking like an idiot. I have always carried a pocket knife, (Spyderco}, a small .380 in my jeans pocket and a wrist watch. I grew up before cell phones and seems I always forget my phone at home, it’s OK I could live without it. By the way, never trust anyone that does not wear a watch, they are usually late for everything.

  27. This article is so stupid that I felt brain cells die while reading it. It is either stupid or the author is the most paranoid person on the planet. 6 extra mags would make sense in a war zone and no where else.

  28. Reminiscent to me of a local acquaintance who needed to defend himself at the mall. Police inventoried his pistol, two mags, backup pistol, two mags for that, pepper spray, two spider cos, and a couple of Surefires. Their comment? “Seemed overly prepared for a night at the movies.”

  29. Um… OK… uh… why a rigger’s belt and not an actual double layered “war/battle” belt built to carry this much stuff?

    Also, is this OC or concealed? Like… under a mumu, thobe or a circus tent? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  30. “No immediate threat; Potential for criminal activity is extremely low…” I dont think this situation exists anymore.

  31. Well, maybe I don’t carry all this stuff but I will attest to the fact that situations can happen when a lot of ammo will be needed. After the event with saving my wife I started carrying 4 15 round magazines. It pretty much startled me that at the time of the event that I was down to only a couple of rounds left and although one bad guy was down the bad guy with the gun had still not gone down despite being hit numerous times, had I needed to fire those last few rounds I was out of ammo and he was still fully stocked, thankfully he finally went down though. After that I realized that carrying more ammo is not a bad thing, and was down right necessary not because of what people say is the ‘norm’ but because things happen sometimes that are not the norm.

      • It was .40 S&W and Glock 22. Its what i still carry EDC, I’ve increased the mag count for carry.

    • “After the event with saving my wife I started carrying 4 15 round magazines.”

      Bitter truth is that you always need one more mag than you have on you.

      Which isn’t the case with carrying a Beretta Neos, .22LR space gun. Bad guys will be completely incapacitated with laughter, allowing plenty of time for cops to roll up and arrest.

  32. Could someone please help me, did “Operator” Krieger address the loadout for his “operator” beard? That is after all the most important part of looking like an “operator”.

    What is the purpose of article to real world day to day life in the United States?

  33. If I need 6 mags, something tells me I need to break contact and do a tactical retreat.
    And, I need something more than a handgun.

  34. “Will somebody please get this man a gun….”

    The author is a John Wick/John Rambo fanboy.

  35. Hmmmm. While I would never question someone else’s EDC, unless this “operator” is operating in an active combat zone (in which case, he’s missing a “real” long gun and a backup sidearm), this seems ‘over the top’. Sure, I can imagine scenarios in today’s US where that load out might be useful . . . and I make it a point to avoid those situations. EDC has to be based on practicality.

    “During these situations, I’m also often required to appear as though I have no offensive nor defensive weapons. It’s even better if I can look like I have little to no knowledge of unarmed self-defense techniques.”

    Dwayne Johnson wearing a parka couldn’t carry that load out and “appear as though [he had] no offensive or defensive weapons.” NO ONE could carry that load out in an urban setting and be in any way, shape, or form “concealed”. If you open carry that load in an urban setting, you ARE going to be stopped by the cops – which is totally contrary to the whole point of personal safety.

    I see only two possible scenarios to explain this . . . article: (1) it is parody (in which case, it is WAY too broad to be funny), or (2) the “operator” is describing his carry in an active combat zone, omitted that rather significant detail, and his descriptions of “threat levels” applies to relative threat levels in a combat zone. Otherwise, this may be the single stupidest article I’ve read on TTAG . . . and that is saying something!

  36. Dunno why he’s all G17 -its the crappiest trigger out there. After installing my Apex tactical forward flat faced trigger on my M and P 2.0 compact I had the option of choosing how many lb’s to set the trigger. Lightest being just under 3lb’s and feels like a precision rifle….

    My instructor who is ex mosad and has emergerd unscathed from more than one close quarters firefight with terrorists, actually advised me to set the trigger on the lightest pull! He claims if you are not safe with a light pull, you have no business carrying a gun….Then again we carry without one in the chamber but we train to rack the slide in a fifth of a second…….

    • Hello Steve,

      Perhaps l will be able to address your question in greater detail later… For now,

      I utilize the Glock for a few reasons. This is one of them:

      Every contract that l was a part of issued the Glock. As l was deployed for nigh 9-10 months of each year I carried a Glock fir 9-10 months of the year.

      I became proficient with the mechanics of the Glock. Perhaps more important l became accustomed to its “feel” if you would permit me license to use this term.

      I felt it would be folly to use any other handgun during the few months that l was CONUS, as l would have undoubtedly been subjected to an “OODA” loop immediately upon grabbing, handling, securing any other pistol in my self defense, with which l was not as familiar.

      As you, and undoubtedly many if not all of the readers of this blog know, sub-conscious actions, which we refer to as habit are more efficient and faster than a sub-conscious or a conscious “OODA” loop performed at its fastest – Therefore, l omitted the possibility of both by continuing to use a handgun with which l was and am intimately more familiar with.

      Again, there are other reasons…

      I hope that this suffices for now…


  37. To everyone who has read this post I would like to say thank you. Your time is valuable and I appreciate your having shown interest in this information.

    To each of you who have replied I would like you to know that I appreciate your having taken the time to provide your thoughts and your comments.

    Whether you agree with my points or not each reply demonstrates a desire to attain:

    The publishing of Correct and True information.

    It is to that end that I dedicate my efforts and myself.

    As such, it is my intent to address some if not all of the comments that take issue with this post in any manner. It is also my intent to be respectful to each of you in doing so as I believe that in the end each of us desires that which is truly most important:

    A well trained, well armed, and ready citizenry in accordance with the 2nd Amendment.

    I wish you all well.

    I invite you each to review my upcoming responses with an open mind.



      • Hello bobthebuilder,

        I’ve been out for a bit… l’m not sure who Gecko45 is or might be… but l assure you l am not named individual.

        I’m just me… 🙂


    • Krieger,

      I suspect not many actually read the short bio at the bottom of your post. I did, and based on that, your EDC loadouts don’t seem excessive in that respect. You are obviously in a position where you may need what you have. If I had the need and money to require a protective detail, I would expect them to be kitted out to deal with any reasonable potential scenario that is unlikely to occur for most of us.

      Honestly I would love to be able to keep a plate carrier and carbine in my vehicle, especially in Houston or when out in the wide parts of Texas simply because any help needed would be a long time coming.

      Many of us here pounce on the occasion to enjoy a more light hearted thread, one without heavy political implications or reminders that certain parts of this country believe that at the very least free citizens need to be subjugated and cowed to properly respect their ‘betters’.

      • Hello Silentnrick,

        I appreciate your positive assessment of my EDC, your encouraging words and your honest assessment.

        I have, in my time, seen “security professionals” who seemed a bit more interested with looking the part than being the part; By that l mean that the ability to be able to respond properly to a threat was a distant 2nd or 3rd to ensuring that their suit wasn’t wrinkled or that their hair wasn’t messed up.

        I appreciate anyone who takes the responsibility of their profession or their “charge” seriously, whether that charge is a diplomat in a foreign country or a family member at Walmart.

        It is my sincere hope that those who agree with me are able to glean something from the articles and that those who do not agree with what l’ve written will look at the quantifiable information with an open mind…

        A strong well armed and well trained society is a polite and respectful society


  38. Steve

    If your instructor advocates both a light trigger and chamber empty carry you need anothr instructor. Period.

  39. please show me a one fifth of a second slide rack with one hand from carry.
    That is preposterous. Need a timer —

    “Isn’t that the way they say it goes?”

    “Maybe, but that’s not the way it feels.”

    That’s what happens when living in LA.

    “So you could no longer call him up and have a date any old time? Hmmmmmmm…”

    No. In LA, he was a new boy in town. Only called him, once, from a pay phone, standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Called him up to tell him that he needed to call the girls, not the other way round. And to trade beer stories. He wanted to do things his own way, so he became “best old, ex-friend”.

  42. MADDMAXX October 11, 2022 At 18:29
    Your comment is awaiting moderation
    Been to Winslow, got picked up by a girl in a flatbed Ford when she slowed down to take a look at me, spent the weekend at the Hotel California drinking Tequilla Sunrise.

    WTF?, NOTHING in this post to MODERATE!!!

  43. “Been to Winslow, got picked up by a girl in a flatbed Ford when she slowed down to take a look at me, spent the weekend at the Hotel California drinking Tequilla Sunrise.”

    You would have been better going out to the desert on a horse with no name.

    On the other hand, I’m stuck in Lodi, again.

      • “I’ve been to Lodi. I feel for you.”

        Stopped to buy gas in Lodi, once. Bought a Coke and a package of Oreos. Didn’t seem much else to do. Heard you can always eat at Joe’s, so decided to drive South. Wanted to talk with Cinderella, and ask what the story is all about. And does the shoe fit her now?

      • “Unfortunately, I was Still in Saigon at the time after a run through the jungle.”

        Never made it to Saigon proper. Spent a night at Camp Freedom, on the way out.

        • Got to go there for a two day in-country R&R(?) after a trip to Cam Ranh Bay to recover from Malaria.

  44. Boot James, You won’t hit squat pulling a gun fast and shooting one handed. In Israel we train to draw (empty chamber) to chest height and AS you punch the gun forward your other hand comes back to rack the slide just before you attach it for a two handed grip. On a timer, the difference between racking the slide or drawing like this with one already in the chamber is about a fifth of a second. After a few hundred reps you will find this is solid, accurate, confident presentation for a first shot…..a lot of dead terrorists has proven it works…..

    A word of caution….wear an elbow brace on shooting arm if you’re going to be putting in a few hundred reps…..

  45. I am not going to debate any further on this notion- it is your hide.
    In America the possibility of attack at close range and the possibility the weak side hand may be tied up in some defense drill demands a handgun be ready for one hand use

    You are repeating a myth. Second string in Israel carried chamber empty. The guys on the point carried Browning High Power 9mm round chambered and safety on, condition ZERO.
    I would not do that- but it worked

    “Got to go there for a two day in-country R&R(?) after a trip to Cam Ranh Bay to recover from Malaria.”

    Two days to recover in a town where you could get a worse disease than malaria?

    • 10 days at Cam Ranh Bay but yeah, and where you have to be locked and loaded 24/7. The very definition of Ironic… But can be a fun town.

      • “The very definition of Ironic… But can be a fun town.”

        I remember getting schedule changes for R&R at Vũng Tàu, beach; adjustments allegedly made in coordination with VC/NVA who also did R&R there. We were instructed that helmet, vest, and sidearm were mandatory while at the beach.

        Never went.

        • Had several company sized in-county’s at the beach in Da Nang steaks and beer 24 hours a day not a bad time after 6 months in the bush.

  47. “Had several company sized in-county’s at the beach in Da Nang”

    Went there once. Laughed at the chain link fence that was supposed to protect us from the locals. The fence ran across the beach, and into the water, then ended. Also, there were the remains of a recently blown up US jeep partially submerged in the sand. Kinda spoiled the mood.

  48. Yes when I go into an arab town full of Hamas terrorists I carry with one in the chamber, but at all other times I’m confident to rack n’ roll thank you. That’s why in Israel an N’D’ and ‘Glock leg’ is almost unheard of and when it happens even without a bloody outcome it’s on national news…….

  49. …The chances that as a civilian I’ll have to use my handgun in a life saving situation are less than once in a lifetime. The chances that that situation will be one where I’ll lose the fight because I had to rack the slide are about one in a hundred. So if it means to cater for that remote possibility I must carry with a round in the chamber and constantly have the very real and constant risk of an N’D’ with horrific consequences -I’d rather carry without one in the chamber and train to rack the slide fast…..

    Just my opinion and the opinion of almost every instructor in Israel…….

  50. I’m calling total bullpoop on this article. Come on! Six 17 round mags??? for a low threat level environment??? He did NOT list the suspenders he will need to keep his pants on! And with all of the ammo, guns, knives etc he is carrying, I didn’t see any mention of body armor other that the helmet in the car’s trunk.

    • Hello Joseph,

      Yes, my standard, EDC walk out of the door is 6 mags of 17 rounds each, and that is for a low threat environment.

      As I noted earlier, a Low Threat environment can become a High Threat environment in a matter of seconds. Planning for that environment change may be the difference between surviving or becoming another statistic.

      I might liken it to this… Every military parachutist I know is required to have a reserve parachute… Yet there are very few main parachute malfunctions… so then why is everyone required to have a reserve parachute?

      I think the answer lays in the heart of a saying I once heard:

      Hope for the best… Plan for the worst.


  51. I’m not an Operator, and make no claim to having vast knowledge or experiences, I do, however carry, and have done so for nearly 30 years. I can’t stand Glock’s triggers. 5 generations and they still suck unless you dump an aftermarket in. So I opt for a SIG P365, a 10+1 in the gun and two 12 round spare Mags on my person. Three more spare 12 rounders in my vehicle. Being a retired Paramedic and RN, I always keep my Jump Bag ready to go where I go.
    I’d love to get a PCC, but it’s not in my budget with this schitty Bideneconomy, at least not anytime soon. So if I need to carry a rifle/carbine, an AR Pistol in .300 AAC can be tossed in the SUV.
    A knife and Flashlight are a given.

  52. Greetings to all who have read and commented on this post and my article.

    I would like to take just a moment and provide a finality of why I utilize the NATO STANAG aluminum magazines.

    These particular magazines allow me to do something that is impossible to do with any (composite or metal) magazine that does not conform to the NATO STANAG dimensions:

    The use of aluminum NATO STANAG magazines allows me to carry 10 magazines in the Velocity GEN IV UW chest rig.

    I have used this particular chest rig for the past 11 years. I continue to use it because it is compact, yet due to its design allows for a multitude of equipment to be carried.

    This same chest rig was designed to carry 4 AR mags in front. It also has two radio carriers (1 on each side). It is HERE that I have managed to fit 3 MORE STANAG magazines, which allows me to carry a total of 10 MAGAZINES in a compact carrier.

    The ability to carry 10 AR magazines in a compact carrier is enough of a reason for me to continue to carry and use the NATO STANAG aluminum “GI” magazine.

    I am aware of no other carrier, nor any magazine type nor brand that allows for the same or greater number of magazines (with the same ammunition count) to be carried as is possible with the NATO STANAG magazine.


    Pictured: Velocity Systems UW Chest Rig (Gen IV) carrying 10 NATO STANAG aluminum magazines

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