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Conrad Carter, a Seattle HVAC contractor, sends his HVAC Technician’s Carry load-out, via Everyday Carry.

Mr. Carter, 56, has this to say about his stuff:

Tools, all, tested and suitable for their tasks. The Mission Go Bag is a super durable tool bag that looks at home in Commercial properties. I prefer the E1B’s (one rides in a Raven Concealment holster) because the Lumins are enough, and they do not white out schematics in crawls and attics where rats can be as big as cats and rattle snakes like to hide. The pug is good medicine in SO Tech’s tourniquet pouch; and the knife holds an edge – prying has not hurt it. In a world where pens last less than a year the only one that holds a candle to this 5 year old Surefire EWP-02 is the Shaker. Smaller phones are better. The wallet is an adaptation of a cartridge dump pouch, it holds half a dozen credit cards, and greenbacks by friction.

Frankly, if I ever encountered a rat as big as a cat, that little North American Arms “Pug” .22 Magnum probably wouldn’t feel all that comforting.  Yeah, it beats a sharp stick.  But I like options, and that’s why my safe has things besides sharp sticks inside.  Mr. Carter calls the pistol “good medicine.”  That’s the first time I’ve heard that line.

Yeah, cat-sized rats?  Ewww!  A couple of years ago, I confronted a pregnant raccoon that looked about 25 pounds in size in my backyard.  She hissed at me from about four feet away at roughly the height of my head.  Yes, situational awareness fail.  Epic fail.

I broomed (with a stout commercial push broom) the beastie away from the squirrel feeder filled with peanuts (go figure), then chased her around the house (literally) before she finally stood her ground then charged me back.  My wife about peed herself laughing so hard when I screamed like a little schoolgirl and retreated.  Lucky for Mrs. Raccoon we didn’t live out in the country.  And I was glad I had a GLOCK on my hip, and not a .22 snubnose.  Your mileage may vary.

I count three flashlights, two pens (A Sure Fire EWP-02 and a Tactile Turn Shaker) and a pair of Wiley X sunglasses that got cropped out (see here).

I like how his stuff is very incognito, at least when it comes to the gun.




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  1. Yeah, no. I’ll take a good 4ft long sharp stick over that “pug” for a cat sized rat or rattlesnake any day. In the case of the rattler, the stick can double as a skewer for grilling him.

      • I may work in the Puget Sound but my service area is fairly large. Just as you may find yourself on Oregon’s Eastside crawling around so do I from Twisp to Yakima. That is the nature of my contacts.

    • Sounds good. You get the 4ft stick, and a guy in a rat costume gets the pug. Good luck.

  2. Nifty holster for the E1B. I don’t think I’d use one but seems more durable than the old Surefire nylon ones where the velcro closure went to shit after a couple years.

  3. An NAA ‘Mini’ and some ‘gator clip test leads.

    I like it.

    And Mr. Boch? Don’t sweat freaking out on a racoon. You should have heard my dad when he was chasing a bat around the inside of his bedroom at 0-dark 30 back in the early 70s…

    And the NAA ‘Mini’ I had dispatched a sick or wounded armadillo for me just fine in the early 00’s…

  4. No HVAC guy better be shooting off a pistol in my attic — I would not be pleased about having to patch holes in my roof.

  5. Having crawled around under houses and such, The NAA is not a bad choice. Better than a honking big whatever, that will hang up on every and any thing.
    I would also say .22s have dispatched more raccoons than any other round.
    Not a bad load out for a person that is unlikely to be mugged under a house. Bet he has something bigger in the truck.

    • Generally out of a rifle. It isn’t the round that’s inadequate, it’s the pistol. It might be fine for center mass on a human but your chances of hitting a moving coon are nil.

      • In a crawl space, it depends on the distance. With a good flashlight and arms’ length distance, I’d shoot the snot out of whatever I needed to with a Pug. Beyond that and I’ll just let the critter scamper away.

        Put in the open, different story.

        • I don’t think I want to come face to face with coon in narrow space. Great way to get your eyes scratched out.

      • I killed a metric shit ton of possums and raccoons with an H&R 999 with whatever 40 grain solid was on sale at the time.
        very few took more than 1 shot.

        • you,, , you,. , MURDER ! ! ,! you should be ashamed, a shit ton even. And just how many do you claim to have RAN over. the horror, the horror.

        • Get him back, Possum –

          Tear up his wife’s flower beds and shit on his doormat… 😉

        • Both of you. First chuckle of the day. I always hated shooting raccoons. They was cute. But they was after the eggs and the chickens, so they got shot. Or whacked with a mattock.

          Possums are so ugly even their mama’s carried the babies on their backs so they wouldn’t have to look at them.

  6. Can someone translate that “paragraph” into English please?

    I’m no English major but jesus that was hard to read and comprehend.

    • Hey Robb, maybe I should have made every sentence a new paragraph, itwas my first run at it and I wanted to offer tight explanations and not a narrative. But, good mechanics aren’t English Majors, heck, when I was an English teacher I could never make any money.
      Crawls for 10,000+ foot square houses are not my favorite places, sticks work well with spiders, and like Dave says, a person can’t carry stuff that hangs up on insulation, wires, or ductwork.
      I stopped wearing a watch 15 years ago and use my phone instead. A wrist watch will hang up inside equipment and get you electrocuted, then you find you can scream like a little girl, lol.

  7. One of my best friends carries one of those North American Arms .22s of some description. He owns a commercial electrical company. What’s up with you contractors?! Mark has one of the finest firearms collections I’ve ever seen. I know. I helped him build it. Before he met me he was just a firearms accumulator. He would buy anything willy nilly. I mean, really, who would want two Tech 9s?

    • contractors work on their feet in all kinds of conditions. a .22 mag NAA really is good medicine for the working class. I carry one myself.

      I do agree with the poster that said a 4′ stick is better for snakes. heck, just about everything is better than a pug whatever the job the user is trying to use it for, with one glaring exception. its so easy to carry, you will actually have it when you need it.

  8. Joel, I get what you’re saying. However, if I were only disposing of four legged vermin I might agree, but I carry a firearm for the most dangerous vermin. I find it works equally well on the smaller variety.

  9. Looks like this fella knows what he’s about.

    Interesting choices.

    My crawlspace weaon of choice is a shambock. Good for what ails you.

  10. I’d reckon a snake load at rat range would probably kill it”d, suck if it didn’t, probably crawl off and die somewhere stinking to hi heaven . Not to piss Gadson Flag off again but I know deer can be killed with a .22pistul..

  11. Georgia contractor here. I can vouch for the choice of compact and concealed. Dirt and snagging are major concerns. Accidentally exposing a firearm to customers can be bad for business. A bulky gun with sharp edges will be painful when you are laying on it and trying to wrangle something heavy.

    After 9 years i carry a micro pistol while working and keep something larger in the truck.

  12. Probably has to carry that to defend himself from the customer after handing out a rip off bill for service.

    • It costs quite a bit to stay in business.
      If you want to see large bills call a Union shop; but the reality is nobody is getting rich, we all need about the same amount to stay in business. I’ll not forget the fellow at Lowes who asked me why he was working there. My “Idunno” was followed by his explanation that when he was a Contractor he gave away too many good deals.

  13. “Rats the size of cats and rattlesnakes like to hide” …. what?rattlesnakes? I’m a residential electrician in Seattle. I can guarantee there are no rattlesnakes in attics and crawls around here. Rattlesnakes do not live in this area.

    • Work on the Eastside of the mountains, start at Twisp and work your way down.

      • The article said you’re a “ Seattle HVAC guy”….. eastern WA is nowhere near Seattle. Twisp is 200 miles away from Seattle.

  14. At the very least when I go anywhere my PUG & Paramilitary II go with me.
    I have the PUB loaded with Speer Gold Dot 40gr. HP.

    Generally I carry a Shield II .45acp and a couple of spare 8rd. magazines but still
    have my PUG with me in the same pocket holster Mr. Carter uses.

  15. Several stories: I was called to an expensive high rise condominium outside of Seattle and as soon as I entered he shut the door, locked it and stood in front of me looking like he wanted to have his way with me… or maybe he was going to make soup. Very strange. I got into his Loop, drove the Call, finished my business and got out of there.
    In Ballard there was/is a large Commercial building with the only access to air handlers being through a grate on the perimeter of the building. I crawled in and proceeded over and under ductwork to a distant piece of equipment. As I went I began to notice blankets, sleeping bags, cookware etc , and I felt like I was being watched. There was no good way to turn around yet – so I tried to get into their loop by telling ‘them’ why I was there – and I did get that job done, worked there for a couple years but was glad to leave it to the next dude who needed the money.
    Like I said, a man needs his tools.

  16. True story, working on the roof three stories up in an unsavory neighborhood in the city, one of the HVAC guys was checking the rigging on a unit on the ground to be hoisted up. He was kneeling facing the unit working out of his tool bag laying in front of him. An unsavory character pushed a barrel between his shoulder blades and demanded his money. The tech replied that his wallet was in his front pocket and that he had to stand and turn to give it to him. The thief OKed the move and gave the tech room. Unbeknown to the thief the tech kept a NAA Black Widow in his tool bag. The thief being hit at a distance of about 3 feet dropped in about 3 yards.
    I’ve also been nearby when an electrician had a similar experience including eliminating the threat. Many of us in the construction trades that are eligible, carry and many that are not eligible to carry are thankful that we do, if you get my drift. Many reformed and not so reformed characters work in the trades; make sure you know who you let into/on/around your house. These things happen more than most realize. I’ve even had a company truck stolen, literally, right below us while we were working. Being on the roof we were able to see it long enough that a police patrol car was able to intercept it and cut it off.

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