Carrying Concealed: Two pieces of gear to check out
Contrary to what proponents of the nanny state might tell you, not having a gun can get you killed. Many people recognize this, and that is one of the reasons why there are so many people who have gotten concealed weapons permits around the country.
People who carry a gun for protection need good gear. I’ve recently had the chance to evaluate two products that I found to be in that category.
Blue Ridge Holsters
The first rule of a gunfight is “have a gun.” For a concealed carry practitioner, that means finding a gun, holster and gear that strikes a balance between power and concealability. A good holster can go a long way to improving your comfort and the ability to keep the gun from being observed.
Blue Ridge Holsters is a small holster maker located in north Georgia. The company was founded on the idea of developing and providing effective – and affordable – concealed carry holsters for citizens. The result is three models the company claims are exceptionally comfortable and very easy to conceal.
The company sent me one of the Camo Hybrid holsters for evaluation. The holster is a blend of leather and kydex parts, using each in the areas best suited for its properties. The overall design is an inside-the-waistband design, with leather against the body and a kydex sheath holding the pistol. Metal clips on each end of the leather clip to the wearer’s belt.
The holster slips into place fairly easily. Wearing it during normal activities, I found the rig was comfortable even with a full size Smith & Wesson M&P pistol. The gun’s weight was distributed across a wide area and did not cause a sagging feeling in the pants.
I found the holster had a small degree of flexibility due to its construction, which allowed the gun to shift slightly during movement. The shift was small enough to not impair my ability to quickly draw the gun, but was just enough to increase comfort while sitting and moving.
The leather can be had in brown or black. Kydex colors include black, coyote brown, flat dark earth and OD green. The Camo Hybrid runs $59.00 – $61.50 depending on color choices. The company’s other two holsters start at $55.00 each. The holsters are available for a wide range of pistols.
I always advocate carrying an extra magazine for your handgun, especially if you are not carrying a backup gun. The problem for many people, however, is finding a way to carry that extra mag that is comfortable and unobtrusive, yet located where it can be grabbed quickly if needed. Enter the MagHolder.
The MagHolder is a polymer pouch that carries a single magazine in a horizontal position on the belt.
The MagHolder clips over the belt very quickly, and is easy to remove. However, when it is in position on the belt, it is very secure. The clip has a good deal of tension, which grips the belt firmly. On the back of the retaining clip are multiple rows of tiny “spikes” that engage the pants, and help maintain the MagHolder in position.
Magazines are held in the pouch by small tabs that engage the notches on the magazine body. When inserting a magazine into the holder, there is a small “click” that confirms the mag is properly seated. A slight amount of force is needed to overcome the tab retention.
I wore the MagHolder extensively during the past week and found that it was extremely comfortable to wear and it did not move around during my daily activities. In the one o’clock position, a double-stack Glock 19 magazine was not visible under a light t-shirt.
The MagHolder is made for a range of handgun mags including:
- 1911-style pistols
- Glock pistols in 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG and .45 GAP
- SIG Sauer P226, P228, P229 and P2022 pistols
- Springfield Armory XD & XD(m) pistols in 9mm and .40 S&W
- Springfield XD-S pistols in 9mm and .45 ACP
- Smith & Wesson M&P pistols
MagHolder also makes a single stack magazine holder that will hold mags for the following handguns:
- Beretta Nano
- Diamondback .380 ACP and 9mm
- High Point C9
- Kahr 9mm and .40 S&W pistols
- Kel-Tec PF9
- Ruger LC9
- SIG Sauer P238, 239 and 938 pistols
The single stack MagHolder holds magazines in place by friction instead of the tabs I described on my holder.
Pricing on the MagHolder is straightforward: $25 for any of the models. Currently, the only color available is black.