Prepping 101 – Everyday Carry and the Get Home Gun
Most of the work we do when prepping stays at home. But you may not be home when disaster strikes. What then? Now I must admit that I am a big fan of the .45 ACP and my usual carry gun is a Para Black Ops Recon Hi-cap .45 ACP which is very hard to conceal out here in Phoenix Arizona in the summer time due to fact most people dress VERY lightly during the “summer months! I carry every day, and when I need “deep cover” a 9mm makes the most sense due to its “thin profile”. But there are times that a 9mm in a IWB holster simply isn’t enough. I wanted a rock-solid way to insure that I have everything I need. And here it is my take on the get-home-gun, and everything that goes with it.
Back in January, when mild winter weather was hitting Phoenix and most of the country was dealing with freezing snow and dropping temp’s, I sat secure in my little house “warm & toasty”.
If I’m going to have to park my SUV/truck and get out and walk, I like to be prepared. I’d prefer a compact or full-sized handgun in a substantial caliber. There is always the possibility that it could be dark, or get dark, so a flashlight is a handy addition. A holster will help hold the gun, and hide it. A good knife and a multitool will round out the preparations. A cell phone is a necessity. I like to have a way to start a fire, too. And I need a way to contain it all. Dumping it all behind the seat of my SUV/truck isn’t going to cut it.
I’ve been carrying a GLOCK 19 for about six months now, and I like the simplicity of the gun. It is compact enough to carry concealed, and large enough to make a strong visual impression. It has a decently high magazine capacity (15 rounds of 9mm) and can also accept larger GLOCK 17 magazines. The gun doesn’t have any manual safeties (other than the trigger block), which makes it an intuitive gun in stressful situations.
GLOCK 19 $649 – OWB that’s easy to conceal
Holsters are easy to come by. Finding the right one is far more complicated. There are few places that will allow you to test drive a holster, so you have to work on blind faith, or past experiences. I’ve come to trust Tony Catner at Multi Holsters. This is a 2-in-1 Multi Holster.
This holster set includes a magazine pouch that will hold two magazines. The holster is built for a GLOCK 19 with an Inforce APL light. When I’m carrying the 19 concealed, I wear a very similar IWB Multi Holster. Though it doesn’t accommodate the light, and I carry it in a slightly different position, I like the continuity. I wear this one OWB, but it is still concealable. The holster hugs really close to the hip and doesn’t print too badly.
What about a weapon light?
Night sights are great, but they work best in really dark surroundings. I’ve always been cautions about shooting something I can’t see clearly, and bright night sights aren’t going to illuminate the target. You need a weapon light. I’ve run several weapon lights, and I’ve settled on this one for my personal use. The switch is easy to access with a finger in the off-trigger ready position. The APL is bright, but not so overbuilt that it requires bulky battery housings. The light itself is extremely easy to use. It draws easily from the holster. The tan color would look better on a tan gun, but it was the only color available when I went looking.
Inforce APL $124.99 – A more subtle light
That may not be enough, though. A good weapon light will serve you well on the end of a gun, but it can be awkward using it as a flashlight in situations where the appearance of a gun might be, well…misunderstood. An extra flashlight is always a good idea. I like the compact lights from Four Sevens. Their Preon pen light is useful as a light, and large enough to use as a kuboton. This is the type of light I carry with me all the time. The Preon is at home in the front pocket of a dress shirt’ as it is in the pen holder of my man-purse. It runs on AAA batteries, so it is helpful to have some of those on hand, too.
Four Sevens Preon P2 $50
Knives and tools
The knives are from Gerber. I’ve always got a pocketknife tucked away in a pocket, but a solid fixed blade is a good asset. This is the CFB, and it is a pugilistic knife. The rubber handle and aggressive jimping make for a solid grip. The sheath comes with a nylon cover that allows the knife to be worn in a multitude of ways. I’m not wearing this one regularly, but like having it around. It fits in the case, so that is where it lives for now. The multitool, a Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool, is also a good addition to the kit. It is the one thing that’s likely to be forgotten, as I usually carry it in my pocket, too. The Sight Tool has some useful features for AR shooters.
Gerber CFB $154, Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Sight Tool $95
The magazines are self explanatory, I think. I like to be prepared. The green MTM Caseguard box helps hold extra ammo. As a student of ballistics, I believe in situational awareness. I often carry Hornady Critical Defense in the summer. The round performs well, and is easy to control. I like to keep some Critical Duty on hand (which packs a bigger punch), and will sometimes have other special loads that I don’t carry regularly. In the case now are Critical Duty rounds and Federal Guard Dog rounds. The space below the MTM box is cut to accept a standard 25-round 9mm box. I will often keep three of the 19 mags loaded with basic target loads and a couple of mags ready for carry. Having slots in the case at differing orientations allows me to stay organized and consistent. All told, I can keep a lot of ammo in the case, 174 rounds (if I keep a loaded mag in the gun).
I keep a back up battery for my cell phone in the open space of the holster. If you wind up spending any time away from home, having one of these can be very useful. The Powerpak Xtreme is a great device and has lights that indicate how much juice is left.
Powerpak Xtreme NT120R Backup Battery $51
The extras that you can’t ignore
I keep a wide web belt under the holster just in case I’m caught out wearing a thin dress-up belt. The belt fits neatly below the magazine holder. The extra cut-outs in the case can hold a lighter, more tools, ear plugs, and any other gizmos. There is battery cut outs for various sizes, too. I sometimes include a pair of Mechanix gloves. They’re great shooting gloves and provide solid protection without sacrificing too much control.
Find the right case
The case itself is a Seahorse. I’m a huge proponent of waterproof cases. Seahorse makes a solid line that can stand up to daily use and abuse. They’re rock solid cases and they’re very competitively priced. While my main objective was to get a case that was substantial enough to actually use, I needed one that looked rather innocuous. Most of the available laptop cases were a bit thin, but this one isn’t. It is a SE-710. The compact design makes it look more like a briefcase. It also fits inside a large messenger bag. The case is easy to obfuscate, which means you can carry all of this gear without looking like you’re headed off to war.
Seahorse SE-710 $45
Cutting the foam
And once you pick your case, I’d suggest you look to MyCaseBuilder.com for the foam. They have the most user-friendly software that allows you to build a custom case, just like this one. They even have a photo transfer tool that allows you to take a picture of a holster, or anything, and input some basic measurements to achieve really custom shapes. I used it for the holster on this one. The mag cut outs were already programmed in, as was the gun. I added extra space around the sights, to accommodate taking it in and out. The rest of the cuts are simple geometric shapes. You determine placement, and depth. I really pushed the limits with this design and tried to get as much into one case as I reasonably could. I’m not worrying about anything in the case breaking, so I trimmed the padding down to a bare minimum.
Everything you need, organized
All told, prepping requires a significant investment. Yet consider what you’re investing in. I take this case with me now. If I’m on the road, so is the case. It is subtle and unobtrusive. It is easy to hide in a car, even easier to hide in a car’s trunk. And if I ever get into a situation when I’m away from home, I’d stand a much better chance of getting back in one piece.
So… what’s in your EDC arsenal? Tell us in the comments below!
Want to know more? Check out these related articles:
Home Defense: The Best Ammo for Your Shotgun
How to Conceal a Gun in a Home or Vehicle
7 Badass Weapons You Can Make at Home
*This article has been written by Jack Graff and shared with permission*
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July 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Good article and good gear. For a “101” I’d go a slightly different route. I suggest a tiered approach to EDC when starting out.
First level is to get the gear that will work with any outfit, from a tank top and board shorts on up. So that your early purchases will work no matter what you wear.
Level 1 would be something like a subcompact pistol (Boberg for example), a multi-tool kit built into your phone case, a key-chain knife or one of those wallet knives and a small LED light also on your key-chain. These will all work no matter how much or how little you are wearing. You always have your phone, wallet and keys on you.
From here things can get bigger as your outfits can fit your gear. (and as your budget can fit)
Level 2 might be the things in this article – these would be second purchases.
Level 3 think “you are wearing a jacket or coat”.
Level 4 would be your full tactical load-out. This is where I put open carry. Big guns. Big gear. and you would probably be carrying a rifle here as well.
Keep pumping out the solid info guys.
July 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM
I agree with you on this one Luke.
July 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I too believe in the .45acp, my carry gun is a Taurus millennium pt145 in .45acp. my choice of ammo is the federal hydrashok. I did my own personal ballistic tests using 2liter plastic soda bottles filled with water. lead round nose and full metal jacket rounds went in and out at the same diameter, jacketed hollow point went in same diameter but came out about the size of a half dollar. the hydrashock ammo had the top of the bottle and bottom of the bottle but the rest looked like cole slaw. in hotter weather I wear cargo shorts and use the cargo pockets to carry the gun and 2 extra magazines, that is 31 rounds ready to go. I use a piece of heavy plastic inside the outer edge of the pocket to break up the gun silhouette , if you use Velcro on the flap drawing is about the same as a snap holster on the waist band.
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July 25, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Uhmmm…What about food and water. I live in a rural area, and if something happens while I’m out, I’m going to probably be 30+ miles from home (closest town of any size is 35 miles away). Your gear is awesome, but kind of over the top for the average person. You’re talking $1,000+ for your equipment. The fact is, probably 90% of the people you will run across aren’t going to be armed at all. Yes, depending on the situation, there might be bad guys with bigger guns running around, but if they see you’re armed, they’ll more than likely go after those in that 90%……If something bad happens, most people are going to be just concerned with getting home to mess with you. I’d be more concerned with having some food and water, and maybe storing a good pair of walking shoes in your bag then carrying hundreds of rounds of ammo. And yes, I do have a CCW and carry whenever I’m out. But even when I carry my Bersa .380 with the Hornady Critical rounds, I know I’m going to be better armed than the vast majority of people out there.
July 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM
Any thought to water/hydration? Easy to defend against the horde of zombies with 150+ rounds, but if you’re dehydrated, you’re useless.
July 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM
I carry my SCCY 9mm and spare. The ammo is Federal Premium, low recoil Hydra-shok, 135 gr. I carry extra ammo in my man purse along with a small inexpensive flashlight, pepper spray, duct tape wrapped around an old credit card, handkerchief, note pad, pen and sharpie, clif bar, small multi-tool, hand sanitizer, bic lighter, swiss army knife and lip balm. In my pockets are my keys with another multi-tool, light and set of screw drivers. This gear is just to get me back, if possible, to my vehicle where my better equipped get home bag always is.
July 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM
A 9mm PLEASE!!!! After Iraq I would have to be really desperate before I would even pick up a 9mm. Other than that, good article.
I have a fanny pack holster that I wear(either housing a M1911A1, or a Sig P-229 in 40 S&W) in hot weather along with my Cold Steel Spartan and my Gerber Multi tool. My key chain has a long 550 cord “monkey fist”. That pretty much covers all the bases until I get home to heavier fire power.
July 25, 2014 at 11:55 PM
EDC… Glock 23 in an ankle holster, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy so always boot cut jeans. I have a Niteize 2 compartment belt holster that holds my SOG Powerlock, Inova T1 LED flashlight, pen, and 4″ caliper (just handy). I keep an extra clip on my pocket. I also carry a Victorinox Swiss Champ and a small carbide sharpener. I know… weird.
July 29, 2014 at 6:53 PM
Like the author, my “usual” carry piece is a 1911 in .45 ACP – Kimber CDP, in fact – but this summer I took a six day motorcycle tour of my state. Wanting to be sure I have “enough” ammo yet wasn’t packing six or seven magazines, I took my Glock 19 and two spares, giving me 47 rounds of “get home” fodder and a solid, dependable gun to run it through…and I never felt “undergunned”.
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