what I'm carrying now GLOCK 19
Courtesy Matt M.
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[This post is part of our new series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]

Matt M. writes . . .

I’m a police officer in a major (read: violent) city, and this is what I carry off duty. Honestly, it hasn’t changed much from what I carried as an every day citizen with a carry permit.

GLOCK 19 Gen 4
Streamlight TLR-1 HL
Bravo concealment holster
GLOCK brand magazines (I always carry a 17-round reload. Due to current times, I now also carry an extra 15-round mag, too.)
Winchester Ranger T 127gr +p+ (prefer 124gr +p, but they were out last time I bought some so these will have to do)
Coast knife
Small wallet containing badge, department ID, and state certification card carried opposite side of my body from the gun
Not pictured: regular wallet with cards, keys, and chapstick

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    • After a lot of rumination and civilian DGU videos, I eventually conceded that having an extra magazine and/or carrying a gun with a higher capacity is rather… prudent in the real world.

      • Which civilian DGU videos have you seen where the civilian carrier reloaded? I don’t think I’ve seen those. Except maybe in Brazil. Brazil is… special.

        • Lol, maybe I shouldn’t make decisions on off-duty cop DGUs in Brazil of all places but my point stands. XD

          A 6 round pocket 380 (or NAA revolver) was all I carried for awhile.

        • Ron. There are very few places you can go that hasn’t got some form of camera watching you. A lot of shootings are caught on those cameras even though the folks involved haven’t a clue they are being filmed.

          And you can believe if there are any others around half of them will whip out their phones and record instead of run and hide.

        • Yeah there are an awful lot of DGUs that have been recorded in one way or another. But in terms of US non-leo cases, I have yet to see evidence of conceal carriers needing to reload in a firefight (i.e. not a home invasion situation). Hence why I’m wondering which videos the poster has been seeing that I’m not.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ragging on everyone that carries a reload- I do too, sometimes. But I get a little tired of those that act like carrying 17 rounds of ammo in a gun without a spare mag somehow makes you unprepared.

        • Same here, p32 with one mag off duty, 15 years of that duty belt on my lower back I am sensitive to the weight on my cilivan belt.

        • I agree. I have yet to see that in the US. Active Self Protection’s YouTube channel brings a new video everyday, and it is only the off duty Brazilian police that ever seen to need to reload.

          Even so, I do carry a spare for my G19, but I guess old cop habit. Gun has a TLR-1 in a Crossbreed holster. I remember the Utah mall shooting and the off-duty that engaged the shooter. He had a compact 1911 with no spare magazine and ran out of ammo. He said it was a big regret. Figure it is worth tossing it in the pocket.

          I picked up a P365XL last year with the Foxtrot light. Been carrying that more frequently with a 15-round spare mag. That gun pretends it is a duty size gun on the range. Really enjoy shooting it!

          @Not Larry in Texas – speaking of lower back issues, the agency I was with has a lot of Expeditions in addition to the sedans (now the.Interceptor Utility’s). I remember back when Ford did their redesign in 2007 and went with the wrap-a-round sears. They are really supportive if you are in normal clothes, but with your duty belt on, my holster used to just dig into my side. I’m a pretty thin person, and it meant I could never sit back for the entire shift. It’s hard to beat the old Crown Vic seats or the Interceptor seats of recent years!

        • It’s not just about having more ammo. Most semi-auto malfunctions are magazine induced. You going to clear it and continue to use that same mag? Not me.

          • I carry a spare mag for both reasons; for extra ammo and in case Muphy’s Law decides to visit me at that time, and have a malfunction in the middle of a gun fight. Besides, I’ve been carrying a spare mag even before I started working for my Agency 19 years ago. Better to have and not need, than need and not have.

        • All of these replies converged on the practical application of a spare magazine:
          (1) malfunctions
          (2) spree killer / suicide / terrorist attack in public location

          The odds of needing a spare magazine to prevail over a couple of street thugs looking for an easy score are statistically zero.

          I purposely omitted another application of a spare magazine: combat (of the military and gang varieties). If you are going into combat with an enemy force that is determined to neutralize you, then you will want a spare magazine. (Actually you will want several spare magazines and a rifle, but I digress!) That isn’t what this thread is about so I did not add it to the list of two applications for a spare magazine.

  1. I bought the g19 and took advantage of freedom week to lay in a supply of standard cap mags. It is a workable set up.

    I’ve never used a light mounted on a weapon.

    • jwm, you should. Especially if it’s a nightstand weapon. Also, keep a handheld there too. Allows you to check loved one’s bedrooms without pointing a weapon at them. Once confirmed, drop the handheld and go straight to weapon.

      • Agreed on the extra light. I like a weapon mounted light because I carry a knife with the other hand. That way if anyone manages to grab my gun they get stabbed quick. No one expects to be stabbed.

      • Roger that.

        My nightstand Glock has a mounted light (Olight PL Mini, which is 400 lumens and slim profiled to match the Glock’s frame), plus an extended 25-rd mag. This allows me to keep on the line with the 911 operator with cell phone in one hand, while permitting me a light source and plenty of ammo with the other.

        Of course, I also have a separate hand-held flashlight, so that I don’t need to be sweeping the room with the muzzle to check those more benign bumps in the night.

        Lastly, I keep my car keys on the nightstand as well. I can set off the alarms to both cars if necessary, which would hopefully wake up some neighbors and provide potential witnesses to view perps running from my property, and prove I had good reason to be armed.

      • No need to point the gun at anyone. Turn on the light with the gun pointed down. The splash on a bright light will give you enough light to determine what’s going on in that room. You never actually have to point a gun at anyone with a weapon mounted light if you do it correctly.

        You can test this right now by removing the light and going to the rooms. If you think the splash is not bright enough, then use the handheld or buy all the lumens!

        • Tom, I went through a class sponsored by Surefire at the High Liability Training Conference. We were taught that technique, among others. I found it lacking. Too slow.

      • I have a night stand light. It’s strobe capable, very bright and would serve as a club if needed. I’ll look into a weapon light. I’m researching belt and holster for my new guns now. I’ll widen the search to lights.

        • I bet you were pretty thankful for “freedom week”. I’m glad you guys in California had a chance to load up on proper magazines.

        • Art. I know a dude that bought four 30 round pmags for an ar15. Which he doesn’t own.

          Just because he could.

      • I live in a small city (Allentown, PA). Between street lights and neighbor’s lights, there is so much ambient lighting that, even on a dark night, every room is illuminated ( we have lots and lots of windows). During my bouts of insomnia. I have toured the entire house at night, many times. I would not need a flashlight to check for intruders. HOWEVER, if my wife ever agrees to room darkening shades instead of the frilly, semi-shear lace, that could change. Power outages change the situation, also. But I have flashlights staged everywhere. So, no gun-mounted light.

        I have a strong handheld light in my EDC (big enough to aid in hand-to-hand) for when I am out of the house.

        I think that is enough. Is it?

    • I never used a weapon mounted light either but I think its because I don’t understand the application in civilian DGUs. I carry a flashlight of course, just never considered a mounted light, not even on my home-defense AR.

      Might be a training thing.

      • I trained w/ flame thrower.
        Kills two birds w/ one stone.

        Come to think about it, kills a lot more than that…

        /sarc off/

      • To see what you might have to shoot and, if you’re lucky in a DGU situation, the bad guy will be blinded. Additionally, the bad guy may realize that if you have a “police style” light there is probably a “police style” gun and the bad guy will make a strategic withdrawal to another zip code before you have to perforate him. I’ve had people ask me why I carry a light. I tell them so I can see in the dark. If you’ve ever been on a Navy ship and the lights go out and the battle lantern batteries haven’t been changed lately you find out the meaning of “pitch black.”

      • There is minimal reason for a civilian to have a weapon mounted light. You’re not busting open doors and clearing rooms. You’re almost never in pitch darkness – even at night there’s ample ambient light. (Citation – Training Priorities by Tom Givens / Defensive Handgun Training by Mike Seeklander).

        Now, on a home defense gun, your weapon light should be used to find the light switch, and that’s about it. (Citation – Clint Smith, Thunder Ranch).

  2. IMO…A Glock is not a firearm for the inexperienced. Ask a newbe where the safety is on Glock and 99% of time they will point at that little thing in the middle of the trigger. See it’s safe when that thing sticks out. Right. If an object happens to enter the trigger guard while the firearm is in motion, etc. it will go BANG.
    People who stick chambered Glocks into their pants and something catches the trigger they will be singing high notes. People who shove chambered Glocks between the seat and console in a vehicle may blow a hole in the floorboard, etc.
    There is a molded piece available that fits behind Glock Triggers. It installs easily and pushes out quicker than most safeties on other firearms can be operated. Can’t recall the product name but it’s out there. I won’t carry a Glock chambered without one.

      • Not ragging on safetyless guns, my winter carry is an APX, but the three “independent” safeties aren’t safeties especially when they are all disengage through the act of firing. They make the gun drop safe. The 1911 has two independent safeties that are also independent of the trigger and both must be deactivated by you to make the gun go bang.

    • If not a Glock, then what? The sort of person you’re describing sounds like they wouldn’t be safe around ANY gun.

      I’m not a huge fan of the Glock platform but I would recommend them to a new shooter over most other handguns. Maybe a double action revolver depending on their circumstances but they have the advantages that Glocks have- pull the trigger, gun goes boom.

    • Glocks are fine, stop trying to scare people. I personally just don’t like the trigger, or any gun with that style of trigger, so I don’t own any. But that’s personal preference.

    • Glocks are incredibly reliable, safe guns. I trust my life with my Glock. However, they will seriously punish the complacent/careless gun owner.

    • A person who does not understand (and apply) the 4 rules of gun safety won’t be safe with a firearm, be it a striker fired with a glock style trigger and no manual safety, or a revolver, a 1911, etc.
      If you handle your weapons properly, carry with a good holster and practice your drawing and re-holstering in an efficient yet safe manner, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Glock. Plenty of “newbies” are doing just fine with it.

    • We had a range instructor put his g23 in his from paints pocket to go into the store cause apparently he was to lazy to put it his off duty holster or did not have one. Well Murphys Law and the Darwin award both struck at the same time making the pistol discharge. The speer gold dot torn down his leg barely missing the artery and luckily with a rapid first responder reaction time he survived. He is no longer a range instructor nor employed.

      • Pants not paints, christ I am tired. 10 month old demon infants that are teething are the worst

    • I agree, Glocks are not the ideal choice for begging gunm enthusiast. In actuality any semi automatic firegunm is not an ideal choice for someone very new to gunms.. About the safest is the DA revolver, single action revolvers are iffy as a lowering of the hammer could cause a mishap. .

      • “In actuality any semi automatic firegunm is not an ideal choice for someone very new to gunms..”

        A semi-auto hammer down (DA) is just fine.

  3. Matt or anyone else,
    Do you find any issues with the bravo concealment holster with the light accommodation?

    I have the same Glock19 Gen 4 in a bravo concealment holster. I tried the bravo holster that would accommodate my surefire weapon light but just didn’t fit well compared the non-light version. This was when they jus released it.

    To their credit, Bravo took it back under their 30day guaranty with no problem.

    • The gun seems to be plenty secure in the holster. So much so that I feel I need to fully commit to drawing it full speed and not just half ass it, otherwise it stick. My biggest gripe is that the bottom of the holster seems a little wide (presumably to accommodate the light), and that I can semi easily fit a finger into it and onto the trigger. That being said its still tight enough that it would be impossible not to notice something getting in deep enough to press the trigger and engage the trigger safety.

  4. I carry off duty pretty much the same as what I can on duty with my Agency. It also happens to be very similar to what Matt M. carries, with the exception is that I carry 2 different hand held flashlights (1 is Fenix and 1 is a Streamlight), my spare/reload magazine has a TTI +6 basepad, and my ammunition is Agency issued Speer 124 grain +P. I i have used the same Bravo Concealment IWB holster, but have switched to a Fury Hybrid IWB holster. I find it more comfortable and appendix carry doesn’t work for me……as I’m built for comfort. 😁

  5. Anyone know of light-friendly holsters that don’t cost above $60 or is that the norm? Just picked up a HK45 and I figure it’s not heavy enough so I want to throw a light on there but it’s tough finding holsters for it. Kinda makes me think I should have just gotten the USP…

      • I suspect that may be right. Even worse are the lead times.

        Just will have to make do without the light for now I think…

    • Don’t cheap out on the holster? You paid (average street price is $700~) for the gun, but $60 is too much to make sure it’s secure?

      • I paid around 600; HKs have gotten cheaper thanks to the Georgia production. Maybe you’re rolling in the dough but paying $100 for an OWB, then another $100 for an IWB gets expensive quick, especially if you’re looking at each for a gun with a light and without one.

        I have found that cheap kydex holsters that I bought off Amazon are usually as good as the ones that go for a lot more. Leather is a different story. But the problem comes with when someone dumb like me buys a gun that isn’t the most popular and there’s very few holsters available at all, especially when you start tossing on attachments.

    • You get what you pay for, well more often than not you get less but the point is you really don’t want to go cheap with the holster. If you go cheap you might also end up buying several holsters until you find a good one.

      • I don’t buy nylon cheapos from big box stores but I’ve found that when it comes to kydex fitted holsters there’s not as much difference between the $40 off-the-shelf ones and the $100 with the strong warrior name brand, at least for me.

        So if there’s no option between a el cheapo crap and the premium custom stuff, I will go for the latter; but if there is a middle option, I’m not one to wave it away thinking it’s never any good.

        • Why not the $40 custom ones? KT Mech will make different cuts on the holster to suit your needs for no extra charge. I only wanted OWB carry for their holster so I had them cut that unnecessary tall piece of plastic that jabs into your side.

    • The USP is a bitch to find holsters for when you start adding to the gun because of that damn rail adapter. I spent a long time on that road lol.

      What light are you putting on the HK45? I’ll go look up the sites I saved looking for USP holsters that would take a TLR-2 and toss you the ones that will do that gun/light. Pretty such a few of them will do the 45 depending on what light you’re using.

    • I bought the above holster, and an OWB light bearing holster from Bravo for about $70ish (with upgraded shipping) total within the past two months. I suggest you try there.

  6. Nice load.
    That is a big light to share your drawers with. 😬 (I use a smaller light).

    But he seems to know what he’s about.

    • Carrying it at 3 o’clock is no problem at all. Appendix on the other hand isn’t the most comfortable, but certainly doable. My issue is, if I’m carrying IWB while driving, appendix is always faster to draw in my opinion. To add to it, I drive a lot (not just at work), and my car has decently aggressive bolstering on the seats, so I’d have to lean forward to the point that my head is touching the steering wheel to be able to draw from 3 o’clock IWB while seated.

  7. I cannot conceal any double stack unless I am wearing a jacket, which is very rare as I live near Tampa, FL. I am not fat, I am not short, I am not a giant….really I am fairly average I guess. It prints with a shirt IWB. I am okay with the smaller, single stack I carry and a spare mag but I am always amazed when I see that kind of EDC.

    • What position do you carry? In the summer and fall i carry appendix and can usually not print double stack wearing: camp shirt, regular fit T-shirt (as oppose to baggy or athletic), patterned dress shirt (no-tuck with sleves rolled up). I think when i wear a non-veteran/gun t-shirt, like a Star Wars, Popeye, 80’s Retro, or surf print shirt, and wear flip-flops, most folks would think that’s a non-gun dude. My beard could be mistaken for a hipster beard, maybe? One’s overall apearance and body language can direct away from minimal printing.

  8. If I were to change my CCW it would be going up in size a little. Currently a Springfield XD9 Sub Compact 13rd. I’d be going to a Smith M&P 2.0 compact 9mm which is the same as a G19 size wise, with 15rd mags. I’m also, since this virus thing hit, carrying two extra magazines. People are nuts and when put under stress lose all reasoning sometimes. Add to this that a lot of times it’s a fairly large group rioting/committing these acts. It’s why I switched from a J Frame .38.

  9. I’ve tried every bullet weight in 9 mm abd still can’t find one that kills as good as a.45. Don’t believe me, look who won the War both times. How’s come everybody in China is wearing a mask and everyone in other countrys is not? This MCGA with our U.S. dollars. sure bit us in the ass

    • Possum,

      You raise an interesting point. Anyone know of statistics that rank DGU successes by calliber?
      I absolutely get that a .45 hits harder and makes bigger holes; just wondering if, for civilians, there are data indicating a .45 makes us safer.

      Not challenging you, Possum, honestly just wondering. Would be an interesting read.

  10. Always amused at folks spending many hundreds on their carry gun… and toting a $25 knife.

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