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[This post is part of our 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.]

A reader somewhere in Iowa writes . . .

We live in a modest suburban neighborhood in Iowa. Things are pretty calm here, even during this third week of March. The coronavirus is only something we hear about and, for the most part, we’re taking the recommended precautions. With that said, though, the gun stores are busy and ammo is about as easy to find as toilet paper or hand sanitizer.

No change in what I’m carrying. The 1911 is a .45, Springfield LB Operator with a Viridian X5L flashlight/green laser combo. The holster turns it on when drawn. I have recently ordered the MTR Leatherworks custom shoulder rig (similar to Galco Miami Classic, but will also turn on the Viridian). Ten week lead time on that before the virus screwed everything up.

When the 1911 is not on me, the SIG is, even at home. (Except at work. Bad words inserted here.) It’s a P938 Extreme (9mm) with the SIG red laser and Uncle Mike’s size 3 pocket holster with a strip of hook Velcro to help keep it where I put it. Sometimes, like when traveling, I carry both.

The 1911 holds 8 in the magazine and one chambered, with spare Wilson Combat 10-round mags. The SIG holds 7, plus one chambered. The wife made some denim mag pouches that hold three spare magazines each. I can fit them both in a cargo pocket.  That’s 39 rounds of .45 and 29 of 9mm total.

A Gen 3 GLOCK 23 (.40 S&W) with the same Viridian sight sits in the safe in the bedroom and I’m breaking in and upgrading a 9mm Springfield Range Officer Elite Operator with the same Viridian for future carry. (Recoil…I ain’t as young as I used to be.)

Federal HST is my current carry ammo: 230 grains for the .45, 180 grains in the GLOCK, 147 for the 9mm 1911 and 124 in the SIG. None of it is +P.

On my belt I carry a Leatherman Wave multitool and Leatherman Cree flashlight. In my pocket is my go-to knife; believe it or not, a Cutco I’ve had for fifteen years. It has a pocket clip, good steel, good lock, and keeps its edge. What more could you want?

Then there’s a Buck folder, a Victorinox mini, Speedy Sharp sharpener, earplugs, pocket change, spare battery for the flashlight or Viridians, Ronson rechargeable lighter (I don’t smoke), USB drive, comb, wallet, phone and duplicate sets of keys (anointing oil in that tube, not something white and powdery).

I wear a dozen feet of paracord in an ankle bracelet with whistle in the buckle and a toy quality compass.

Not pictured: The GLOCK, the other 1911, spare mags and pouches, and a boonie hat with 25 more feet of paracord for a hat band.

A Boker assisted opening clip knife (Automat Kalashnnikov 74) that lives in whatever jacket I’m wearing, along with a Vanquest pocket organizer full of more flashlight, batteries, fire starting stuff, a few Bandaids and some writing materials.

I need to add a first aid kit, and maybe a pair of water wings. If I ever fall in the lake, I’m going straight to the bottom!

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  1. Stopped carrying a 1911, you wouldn’t have a need for a backup gun. You could also use that space taken by the 9mm, and carry more mags. Just my thoughts. Worth what you paid for it.

    • Agreed. I’ve taken many multi-day training classes with minimal round counts for the weekend, ranging from 1000-1500 and I’ve yet to see a 1911 hold up with no malfunctions. They do look cool though! My Glock has 30-40K rounds through it with no issues and minimum maintenance other than routine spring changes.

        • @ Tdiinva No, but it’s a good indication of the potential reliability or liability of the firearm. I’ll take a quote from Yeager: “if your gun hasn’t malfunctioned, you haven’t pushed it hard enough.” All mechanical things are subject to problems, the question is, how long before your particular toy has one.

          @Ron This should be indication that the need to spend 4+ figures on a handgun for it to work properly is probably a bad choice. I’ll concede that Nighthawk, Wilson, and other custom/high end makers will serve you well for decades, but the fact it takes so much babying and attention to detail in order for it to function well isn’t my idea of a good choice. Not to mention size, weight, safeties, and the terrible capacity for something with those attributes. Not saying you can’t, or shouldn’t, just my thinking that there are much better options.

        • I didn’t spend 4 grand. Where does this you have to spend 4 grand to get a good 1911 cone from? I spent 750$ for a used kimber and have run a metric ton of ammo though it without issue. There’s plenty of 1911s that work just fine that don’t need thousands of dollars of polishing and tuning. By bottom barrel I’m referring to Remington or some of those 350$ 1911s you can get made by a variety of different obscure companies.

        • Absolutely wrong unless it fails at 50 rounds. I service my carry gun once month or 500 rounds whether it’s 1911 or an my APX. I will never be carrying a gun that it is so dirty that it is prone to failure. With all due respect to Mr. Yeager we armed citizens aren’t getting into 50 round gun fights with a pistol. If I thought I was going to get into a fight the required hundreds of rounds I would bring my AR and couple of buddies.

        • It doesn’t have to be a Wilson combat to be reliable. There are many relatively inexpensive 1911s made today that are very dependable.
          They also have much better triggers and can hit what your aiming at.

        • Respectfully, you are missing the point. Given a choice between a firearm that goes 30k round with no failures vs. one that has multiple failures during a 1000 rounds, I’ll take the 30k one. No way to know whether it will fail on the first round on target or the 1000th round. Tdiinva you choose to carry a gun, yet the likelihood that you will ever been involved in a DGU is remote at best, but you carry anyway. You prepare for the worst case scenario. The same logic should be applied regarding carrying the most reliable firearm that you can carry.

        • Are the failures random or do they start happening after a certain number of rounds have been fired. I have seen Yeager on this and he has observed that it’s from a dirty gun and not random. Except for GSG 1911-22 I have never tested a 1911 to failure and I stopped at 1200 rounds on that one without an ammunition related failure. You get those with bulk 22.

          I love all these claims about 30k rounds with a failure especially after watching someone with a Glock clear a stovepipe next to me on the range. It happens all the time. It’s a product of selective memory. My $700 Springfield has almost never had a failure not related to a bad magazine or bad ammo. We are talking thousands of rounds.

        • Steve you strike me as someone who has only read about 1911s in gun blogs, ones with an agenda, not someone who’s actually owned or shot any. If you ever do, I’m willing to bet you change your tune.

          Keep in mind gun blogs need to generate revenue. That means clicks. How do you get more clicks? You say things that are controversial. That doesn’t always translate into accurate content. That’s not a dig towards TTAG, by the way. Personally I think TTAG is better then the rest in terms of actual gun reviews.

      • Oh whatever. If that story is true then I’m willing to bet they were bargain bin. My 1911 has never had a single malfunction.

      • I’ve taken numerous, multiple day courses with high round counts. Most were with a 1911, specifically a Kimber Elite Pro. My backup was a Smith & Wesson 1911. Other than having to swap out a recoil spring after several thousand rounds, my pistols ran just fine.

      • guess I got lucky with my 1911, it’s round count is enough I’ve just about wore the rifling out of the barrel, changing the recoil spring is all its ever had. It’s loose and rattles like a Ford pickup on a gravel road but still hits were it’s pointed

    • Hey! I thought I was that guy. Then again Boch never did critique my post at everyday carry, so maybe I don’t carry enough stuff. 😉

      Joking aside, I have had occasion to use most of the stuff I carry. Maybe I’ll try to take a better picture of it this weekend and submit for the amusement of TTAG commenters.

  2. I believe that there is always a need for a back up gun.
    Mechanical things can and do fail. An extra, is a good thing, even if never needed.

      • Nope!
        One spare will do. And a spare mag for each.
        Because you don’t carry two, or three or…spare tires! Just one.
        If they both break, then it’s just your time is all.

  3. While I’m a big 1911 guy I don’t carry one for self defense. If I were it would be a Commander length with an alloy frame to save weight. If I were to carry a full size pistol it would be SIG 226 or Beretta 92A1, both with 18rd mag. Two back up mags. But since I don’t carry a full size I stick with my all the time carry, Sub Compact XD9 13rd in a Cross Breed IWB. Two extra 13rds in the Springfield mag pouch. I’ve always carried a folding knife and for the last 8 or 9 years it’s been a Smith & Wesson pocket clip stainless knife. This thing never rusts even in this hot humid climate where I live. Light weight, thin and functions well. The only problem with this carry could be at night since I don’t have a light on the pistol. I do have small flashlights that I can carry and always have lights in my vehicles. Probably going to add night sights to the pistol very soon.

    • Billb,
      Every consider the Rock Island 1911 9mm/22TCM. 18 rounds, in a double stack package only slightly wider than the standard 1911. Accurate, low kick (no kick with the 22TCM) all in a package you are very used to. I hated to give up my 1911, so thought this was a good trade off. The double Stack 45 was ok but that added weight and I made the mistake of getting the tactical model, which adds a bit more weight with the full rail. Bu the 9mm/22TCM is the best of both worlds.

    • Right on BILLB. I love the P226 as an EDC. I don’t know why, but I am so much more accurate and faster on target than with my G19. Plus, I like the .357 Sig chambering. Fun as heck to shoot.

    • If he can walk, he must be a beast! I would be flat on my back attempting to lighten the load! And he’s thinking of packing a spare 5 gallons of gas for the getaway, too, I understand.

    • NY reload. Depending on how you carry it, you might be faster drawing a second gun than reloading. Also works for severe malfunctions.

      Not really my bag most of the time but I suspect that’s the logic.

  4. My EDC is a Sig P938 with a spare mag. It’s surprisingly enjoyable to shoot for a gun that small. I wish I could carry a bigger pistol, with a better sight radius, ergonomics (they’re as good as they could be on the tiny Sig but I have big hands), ammo capacity…but I live in a state where 70 degrees is considered cold, so shirts 9-10 months a year and I cannot conceal efficiently any double stack or a big single stack like a 1911.

  5. I’ll paraphrase Bruce Lee concerning this equipment post.

    I’m not scared of the man that practices 10 guns 1000 times. I’m scared of the man that practices 1 gun 10000 times.

    Secondly, and unrelated to this post, this article series is unnecessary in my opinion. To ask what people are carrying now compared to before this outbreak makes me question why they bothered to carry before. Good day / bad day: who knows until IT happens. Carry for the bad day.

    Third: what good does your EDC loadout do if you’re spending 40 hrs a week unarmed at work?

    EDC is a compromise and this guy compromised his “every day” for a busy photo and cool gear thats out of reach during work hours. Choose an EDC gun you can carry 100% of the time or admit that what you have is just a fashionable accessory. Just my opinion.

    Whats my EDC loadout? LCP and spare mag in homemade kydex pocket holster with spare mag. Flashlight and pocket knife IWB. I don’t remember the details buts its ALWAYS there and invisible.

    • I agree that less can be more and I also think these kinds of carries are ridiculous, but the assumption that people who work 40 hour jobs won’t carry just cuz someone says they can’t? lol… ok. I work in a place that does not allow employees to carry, but I know a couple who do anyways. Rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. Even if it means pocket or ankle carry… it’s still there just in case.

      • I agree and do the same. But the author implies that he is unable to carry at work. Concealed means concealed. Find something that works within your dress code.

    • You should also fear the guy that practices with 10+ guns 10,000+ times each…and goes to classes and competition with them 🙂

  6. That is way too much and too many snag points. For a ccw you do not need a flashlight like you are an operator going in for cqb. People need to stop over thinking and falling into the tacticool category. Zombies are not real!!!

  7. After the Springfield 10000 round test, I carry my Springfield XD/M 10mm with a Crimson Trace laser in a dedicated holster. I’m loaded for bear or anything else for that matter..

  8. I dont think having a flashlight is just a tactical operator thing. When my truck broke down at night outside of city limits having a flashlight was nice. I dont know about a weapon mounted light but at least a pocket light. I dont carry a back up gun right now but ive been thinking about it.

    • I’ve used a flashlight on average more times than I care to count per week. A surefire microstream takes up hardly any space. I honestly cannot think of a good reason to NOT carry a small flashlight. Basics are light and a knife. If you can’t make room for those in your EDC, you need to recalibrate your pocket situation.

  9. Seems like a reasonable amount of stuff for most people when you consider how it’s probably carried the only “extras” are really the BUG, comb and keys to various kingdoms.

  10. This is ridiculous. Willing to bet this guy is of the heavier set and wears a vest. As others have said, the paddle holster tells you everything you need to know.

    • Please tell me what you can assume about someone who uses a paddle holster?
      Some of the audience just want to see the cool stuff. The expectation is show a gun, knife, light, maybe a holster. In reality most folks additionally carry a watch, wallet, ring, keys, chapstick, pen, phone, eye/sunglasses. It’s great this person took the time to share his loadout.

      • I really don’t need too.. the loadout says the rest. No shit we all usually “carry” more. But sunglasses, chapstick, etc? Really dude?

  11. I once met a man while I was out hunting. He was walking the trail and had a full backpack, full sized, on his back. Got to talking to him and found he was only out for the afternoon. My first thoughts were critical that he had way to much. After talking to him I found he was lost once, spent two nights out with basically a gun and knife. Scared him real bad. Now he carries enough to survive a week easy, no matter how long he is going for.

    After consideration I thought, ok maybe still over reacting , BUT, at least he is not letting his experience keep him from enjoying the outdoors, damn good for him.

    It’s easy to criticize, but we never know what experiences creates what someone carries.

    As far as 20k round in 3 day extreme classes… Sure I suppose I could run a marathon to pick the shoes for my daily walk too.

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  13. Big Springfield Arms fan here and there plenty of solid 1911’s under a grand to $400, DIY mods, etc. I do the turbo torch lighter thing too. I keep my hair short enough that I dont have to comb it anymore, lol. My Marine friend of many years always says it you cant wash your entire body with a bar of soap, then fix it, lol. A knife is always crucial. If I have to carry a folder, then the 110 Buck style is best, nice and solid support, as I dont like these new thin fold outs with the skinny/thin blade support with the thumb grip when open to press sideways to close. I had one fail, it bent, because it was not centered behind the open blade and folded and came down on my hand once, so that was it for me. I like the seatbelt cutter and window breaker idea, but there are other things to use for that. A lot of people travel longer distances to work/etc, bad weather climates or explore like the hiker mentioned, so I dont criticize people who carry extras. I like work Jean’s with extra pockets, but not those big hammer loops that catch on everything you walk by, lol. You can have a seamstress alter coats, boots an things for additional items, if you dont like to sew like me. I’m not wrist wrap rope carrier, but my son and his buddies are, kind of a group thing they do. Keep a tow rope or two in the truck, baseball bat, metal pipe, long jumper cables, more knives, multi-belt tool/pliers, if their simple to use, some tools, visegrip, claw hammer and a rock climbers rope, thinner, knots stay tight, but still strong and doesn’t fray under stress and no low grade aluminum/pot metal fasteners ever, like the ones in the Stallone climber movies.
    lol! I purchase Peerless brand steel fastener hooks with deep threads, but not too long, so that you can thread back and forth easy with your fingers. I guess theres routine carry and carry for the occasion too. Whatever works for you.


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