It’s Not For Dunces
; .

Mas carries one spare G17 mag with this double-stack G19, two spare Wilsons with a single-stack like this Springfield Armory Range Officer .45.

Life in general and studies of gunfights in particular have taught me a few things. One is if you need something bad, if it’s not on your physical person, you may not be able to get to it in time. Another is the importance of redundancy: As our own Clint Smith put it so eloquently, “Two is one and one is none.” So, I carry a lot of stuff.

Wardrobe dictates how much that is. I have to wear a suit in court, and it cuts things down, but on my own time the trousers are almost always 5.11 cargo pants. “Tactical look” doesn’t count: Where I live, lots of folks wear them. Think “walking file cabinet.”


Mas in typical garb when not dressed for court, wedding or funeral.

When sciatica acts up, Bianchi X-15 is Mas’ “orthopedic holster,” here with
a full-size 1911 .45. Note keys on a triple-purpose D-Jammer.


Two $$$ repositories: regular wallet left hip pocket — the 5.11s offset this pocket so you aren’t sitting on the damn wallet and throwing your back out of alignment — and a money clip right side front pocket. In the same pocket, the C60 folding knife I designed for Spyderco 20-some years ago and coming back soon in a Sprint Run I’m told. Comb. Pocket change. Right hip pocket: two handkerchiefs — redundancy, remember? Eyedrops and a Bianchi Speed Strip with five 135-grain +P Speer Gold Dot .38 Special rounds in the right side cargo pocket. Left side trouser pocket: J-Frame 2″ revolver, most often the S&W M&P 340 with Crimson Trace LaserGrips. Pocket holster is either a Safariland holster. Southpaw cargo pocket: badge wallet with retired officer creds, backup ID to what’s in the regular wallet — did I mention redundancy? Cell phone pocket: SureFire LumaMax flashlight. If I have to wear a suit, backup will be in an Alessi, DeSantis or Galco ankle holster.

In warm weather, tee or polo under unbuttoned and untucked Columbia-style shirt. On the dress gunbelt, normally a holster at 3:30 for primary handgun. If I’m not testing a gun for an article — regular carry is part of the test for a carry piece, duh — it’s most often lately a 16-shot 9mm with either Winchester 127-grain +P+ Ranger-T or 124-grain Speer Gold Dot. I spent a lot of time last year with a Wilson Combat Beretta 92 Compact, loaded with the 15-round Mec-Gar magazine and backed with a 17-round full-size Beretta mag, also Mec-Gar or, as at this writing, a Gen5 GLOCK 19 backed by a spare 17-round G17 mag. In 10-round states, if I’m driving there, often a 1911 .45 or a GLOCK 30 in the same caliber; if I’m flying, one of the above 9mms with “Clinton mags,” a 1911 9mm, or S&W’s new CSX in the same caliber. The Reason: Commercial airlines limit you to 11 lbs. of ammo in your baggage and since resupply on the ground is tougher than ever these days, I can carry twice as much 115-grain 9mm as 230-grain .45 ACP. With the single-stack guns, I carry two spare mags, with double stack, usually just one.

Holsters? Wardrobe isn’t the only factor. In summer 2020, I was diagnosed with a couple of deteriorating discs in the lumbar region from whence the sciatic nerve emanates, and on bad days the sciatica goes right to the hip where I’ve always carried. My Bianchi X-15 shoulder holster has come out of retirement and been regular wear for months at a time. When the hip tolerates it, IWB or more often now due to the sciatica, OWB by Mitch Rosen, Precision Holster, Aker or Master Holster most often. Leather belt usually by Precision Holster, fabric belt usually by the Wilderness Instructor.

For the above reasons I’m trying to keep weight off the hips, so the second flashlight — one or another larger, more powerful SureFire often on a horizontal Kydex carrier near the belt buckle — but not always anymore. There’s a light on the iPhone, anyway.


Backup: S&W 340 M&P, Speed Strip of .38 +P, pocket holster, Spyderco C60 knife.

Redundancy and multi-purpose: (1) D-Jammer keychain clears malfunctions,
works great as a Kubotan. (2) ID. (3) Communication. (4) ID and $$. (5) $$.
(6) Comm, camera and recorder, light. (7) Light.

Calling All Cars

Two cell phones — I did mention redundancy, right? — usually in shirt pockets. One can die. I have each on a different system. I’ve often been to places where my AT&T had bars and my Verizon didn’t, or vice-versa.

Keys on the Kubotan-like D-Jammer I designed for Monadnock many years ago, tucked into the front of the waistband. Less likely to be dropped, lost, or mislaid and keeps an intermediate force defensive tool constantly at hand. Plus, I designed it to clear handgun malfunctions, hence its name.

We’re supposed to mention timepieces, right? In addition to the phones, a Citizen chronometer from my lovely bride, which means I don’t need a stopwatch or electronic timer when running the range.

Redundancy, accessibility, handiness. Works for me.

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