In the interest of introduction, and providing perspective to future clients, I have decided to take what seems to be the “en vogue” approach and talk about my personal Every Day Carry or “EDC”, in the parlance of our times. This introduction will contain my perspective on each item, my thought process concerning its utility, and may (at times) evolve into some shameless plugs. Up front I will declare I am no Frogman, Commando, or other death dealing, high speed-low drag lifeform; what I AM is a combat pragmatist who has been on the two way range and, having survived, chose to devote countless hours and untold thousands of rounds of ammunition in the interest of becoming an instructor/trainer/mentor/spirit animal to a younger generation of Armed Citizens, Sheepdogs, and Warfighters. With that said, drive on…
My EDC consists (at times)(threat dependent)(as pictured) of the following; iPhone 6 in Magpul Field Case, Spec-Ops Wallet, Glock 19 Gen 3 in Raven Concealment Systems “Eidolon” holster with spare magazine, Surefire E2E hand held light, Blackwater Velocity 440C folder, and SOG Mini-Pentagon fixed blade. Deciding on the “every day-ness” of your kit is entirely upon the individual and the perceived threat condition you face. Obviously, if I stepped out of my door with a 100% expectation of needing to employ all of these items, I would be accepting that I was knowingly going into a situation with the absolute minimum required equipment to survive a violent encounter. But, who leaves the house KNOWING they will be getting into a gunfight?
(A brief aside/Reality Check. Statistically, you stand a phenomenally higher probability of needing a medical aid kit than ever needing to draw a concealed handgun and fire it. Bear that in mind. I have an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) complete with tourniquet in my office and in my vehicle. I do not carry a “boo-boo” or “blowout” kit, simply because I have not settled on an appropriately sized one.)
To start off with, the Glock 19 Gen 3 has my vote for the ideal concealed carry handgun. Mine has been modified with Hackathorn sights, a Vickers Tactical magazine release, and a grip channel plug. The Glock arrives out of the box needing very few modifications, but a good set of after market iron sights with, at minimum a tritium front sight are an absolute must. My other modifications are a matter of personal preference but are both extremely simple and cost effective ones; the Vickers mag release increases my efficiency in manipulating the weapon while reloading and the grip plug facilitates a smooth reload while also protecting the “Achilles Heel” of the Glock platform, the empty grip channel which leads directly to the firing mechanism. Bottom line is that the Glock has written the book on reliability for service handguns, when time is life, the gun must fire when the trigger goes down.
Mated with the Raven Concealment Eidolon, the Glock 19 becomes literally invisible regardless of my attire. I have experimented with various carry systems over the years, finally settling on inside the waistband appendix carry. The Eidolon was not THE holster that nudged me into IWB Appendix Carry (that was the INCOG by Haley Strategic), but it did, however, impress me with its pure concealment perspective and at the end of the day, that is our goal as concealed carriers. The Eidolon IS as Raven advertises “They’ll NEVER see it Coming!’ The holster is to the gun as tires are to the vehicle, if you spend $400-$700 dollars on a handgun, magazines, ammo, and a few mods, why would you then holster it in the “cheapest holster in the store”? Think about it.
The Surefire E2E “Executive Elite” goes with me everywhere. It’s dark 50% of the time (sometimes more) in the places that I go, so a powerful, pocket-sized white light makes sense. Additionally, I am a huge fan of positive identification (PID) of what I am shooting at in the event that I need to employ a firearm. The majority of my personal firearms (certainly all of my home defense weapons) have a weapon-mounted light in the interest of PID! I pair this light with my carry gun and devote a few magazines worth of practice ammo to shooting using either the Harries or Surefire-Rogers techniques to keep sharp on hand held light employment with a handgun. Surefire makes a rugged and reliable product with law enforcement and military end users in mind, any application you can think of, they can too.
Now to the blades, early on in my military career I was strongly influenced by Staff Sergeant “Todd” from the Marine Force Reconnaissance community. (He went on to be the honor graduate of his OCS Company, his Basic School Company, and the Infantry Officers Course and returned to the Special Operations Community.) Among the many lessons I took away from SSgt Todd was the value of carrying multiple knives. Both of these knives went with me to Afghanistan on my last deployment and were most assuredly carried every day. The Blackwater Velocity is your standard, “clip in pocket” knife, though it does run a bit on the big side when deployed. Folders are typically not ideally suited to a “fighting” mission as their deployment can be somewhat challenging in the heat of the moment when things have gone past words. Which introduces the SOG Mini-Pentagon which I carry horizontal at the 10-11 O’clock position (when the situation dictates) for easy deployment. (This takes some modification to mount securely using elastic, zip ties, 100mph tape, etc) Both of these knives have partially serrated blades, which makes them great in the event you need to cut through tactical nylon or seatbelt like materiel and hold an excellent cutting edge. When it comes to combative blade employment, I am not Jose Chavez y Chavez or Danny Trejo (or any other knife wielding figment of Hollywood’s imagination) but, I HAVE learned blade techniques in both my military and martial arts training and know enough to be bad news with a knife in my hand. It won’t be cinematic (real life rarely is) but I will make a mess.
In closing, the kit you run should match the skills you possess. If you have never attempted to shoot a handgun one handed while manipulating a flashlight in the other, face to face with the bad guys is not the time to make your debut. Carrying a fixed blade knife, or a karambit, or some other bladed implement of mayhem is a bad idea if you have done zero training with it. Seek out quality training. Build your own personal training program. Devote as much time and effort to gaining physical and tactical proficiency as you do to buying the latest and greatest in self defense equipment. Without training and proficiency to back them up, you gear will be like the Crucifix in the hand of a man without Faith confronting a Vampire, a mere talisman to be brushed aside. You are the “First Responder”, being ready is on you.
For more information about Jim’s Firearms and Self Defense Training visit his personal page: Jim Carter-USMC