U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Carry guns, and our EDC setups are unique to every gun owner that chooses to carry a firearm for self-defense. There is no correct answer to what gun to carry or what holster to use. Hell, even where to carry a gun is something that can be debated without finding a “one size fits all” answer. But what we can do is share our reasonings for what we do.
In Bruce Lee’s book, The Tao of Jeet Kung Do, the martial arts master posed that we should take what is useful to us and leave what is left behind. Most people leave off the part of the book where Lee explains what works for you might not work for me and vice versa. This philosophy can absolutely apply to concealed gun carriers.
I bring this opinion up because I am going to write about my concealed carry gun and the setup I run on most days. I am in no way an expert in concealed carrying, but I can give my opinions and the reason why I do the things I do. Take of it what you will and leave the rest.
My everyday carry is a Glock 43x. I have always carried Glocks from my concealed carry guns. Glocks are known for their reliability, and in my experience, it is a well-deserved reputation. Reliability is the most critical factor for me in choosing a gun that I may need to save my life. If I need to pull my gun and use it to defend myself or my family, I want a pistol that I can be reasonably sure that it will go bang.
I can shoot reasonably well with my Glocks. I am more accurate with my HK VP9 after about ten yards, but realistically, most encounters will be within less than ten yards. With that said, I am not a bad shot with Glocks and can still shoot a five-to-six-inch group at 15 yards to my average four-inch group with my VP9.
Many people complain about the ergonomics of Glock pistols, but I don’t think it is as bad as people say. I tell everyone to try a handgun before buying that one gun for an EDC. What fits my hand might not work for your hand. For example, a lot of people love Sigs. For me, I don’t like the Sigs’ standard pistol frame’s ergonomics. I replaced the Sig branded chassis of my JSD Supply 80% P320 with an aftermarket frame from Polymer80, which was a significant improvement.
The Glock 43x is also thinner than my Glock 19. The upside is that the Glock 43x prints less than the G19. I have tried open carrying the Glock 43x, and I didn’t like it as an open carry piece, but I hardly ever open carry, so it isn’t a big deal for me.
Shield Arms 15 Round Magazines
I swapped out the Glock 43x’s magazines with the Shield Arms 15 round mags. I know some people have had issues with the Shield Arms magazines with the stock polymer Glock mag catch. I replaced the polymer magazine catch with a steel mag catch that Shield Arms sells on its website. I haven’t had an issue with using the Shield Arms magazines. I have put around 3,000 rounds through my Glock 43x with only a couple of failures, but those failures were probably from the ammunition I was using since they were low-quality reloaded range ammo. I also carry an extra Shield Arms 15 round mag in a Kydex mag holder. If I need more than 30 rounds, then I am in serious trouble.
I use Hornady 115 gr Critical Defense Ammunition. I have trained with this ammo and have found it to be very reliable. I believe everyone should train with the ammo that they carry in their EDC handgun. That isn’t to say it should be the only ammo you train with because that would get really expensive. I try to mix in a box of my self-defense ammo for every 100 to 200 rounds of ball ammo. Since the ammo shortage, it is on the higher end.
JM4 Magnetic Holster
There is a lot of holsters on the market for the Glock 43x. I tried a lot of different rigs to carry my EDC gun. I have tried leather and Kydex holsters, but I keep coming back to my medium JM4 Original magnetic holster. The holster is made of Herman Oak leather and is very comfortable. Comfort is essential to me when it comes to a holster.
The holster also is one of the most concealable holsters on the market today. I wear my firearm at the five o’clock position. I know appendix carry is the “in style,” but it is just uncomfortable to me. I tried multiple holsters, and it just doesn’t work for me.
Finally, I don’t use lasers or red dots on my EDC firearm. I use night sights, but that it is. Since night sights don’t depend on batteries and won’t fail me when I need it the most, maybe in the future I will use a red dot, but right now, it isn’t for me. For full disclosure, I did have a guide rod laser on my G19 but never used it.
This article describes my EDC firearm setup. Is it perfect? Probably not, but I will continue to evolve it over time. Will it work for you? Maybe or maybe not. I will leave you with a quote from Bruce Lee.
“Be like water, my friend.”
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.