HGR 114 - The Lone Wolf Timberwolf with TJ

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.This week, I’m joined by TJ Gauthier to discuss his experiences with the Timberwolf pistol from Lone Wolf Distributors.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Please check out the Patriot Patch Company and their current Pre Orders for the Patriotic Flag 4 pack, the In God We Trust and The Diversity T-Shirts pre order!




Week in Review:

Ryan: Did some shooting at the range with a bunch of suppressed guns! Used a Ruger 22/45, the Volquartsen Custom Scorpion, S&W M&P .22 pistol, Ruger SR-22 Pistol, MP5-SD and CZ Scorpion Evo 3 suppressed! Fun times!

-Got some armor in to test probably this upcoming weekend.

TJ:I finished building my latest AR. Hoping to get out and sight in a few rifles soon.

Main Topic: The Timberwolf Experience with TJ

The Glock is like most firearms. You either have people who absolutely love the gun and won’t use anything else, and then you have the people who absolutely hate it for any number of reasons. The most common one I hear it “it doesn’t fit me right” or “I don’t like the grip angle”. Quite a large little industry has sprung up for the modification of these pistols to make them more fit to the user. A top name for this sort of stuff is Boresight Solutions. However, some people don’t want to have to send their gun off for a probably several month process. The Lone Wolf Timberwolf frame and slide allow someone who may not be too enamored with the traditional Glock feel to have a similar pistol that fits them better and has their choice of parts and setup.

Lone Wolf Timberwolf Frame

TJ, what prompted you to start looking at the Timberwolf?

What is the Timberwolf package?





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Until Next Week, Have Fun and Safe Shooting!!!!!!

HGR 109 - Alternative Carry Methods

Hello and welcome to Episode 109 of Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.This week, TJ and I discuss the various “alternative” methods of carry that don’t get discussed as much as IWB, OWB and Pocket Carry.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Bullpup Shoot in September!

Week in Review:

Ryan: - Spent some time at A&G Shooting & Supply in Fairfield, ME and used my new lightbox to take pictures of most of the pistols in their inventory. There is an album on the handgun radio facebook page that I am slowly adding to as i get the pictures color corrected a bit. Check it out at this link!!!

TJ: - A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to film episode of First Person Defender, on YouTube, produced by Gun Talk Media. It's show that puts ordinary concealed carriers into force-on-force type scenarios to evaluate their response, train them on one aspect that could improve the outcome, and run the scenario again, but with a slight change, to keep it fresh. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience that I am glad to have been a part of. It was great getting to meet Tom Gresham, Chris Cerino, and the rest of the staff. Look for my episode to release some time in November. In the mean time, take a look at their previous two seasons.

First Person Defender - Season 1

First Person Defender - Season 2

Main Topic: Alternative Carry Methods

There are many ways to carry a firearm, some are better than others. Some are more dangerous than others. Some are just not thought through (The “Handgun Sling” that I saw today comes to mind). TJ and I have a little bit of experience with a few of these more unconventional methods, so we thought it might be a good idea to discuss some of the more off the wall options that are out there so you as a concealed carrier can be better informed when choosing your method of carry. Before we start, don’t take us criticizing a particular carry method as a complete write-off of it, but just be aware of the particular situations where that method of carry would be the best option for you, i.e. someone who is seated driving a lot using ankle carry, perhaps a cab driver.

Carry Methods:

Carry in various pockets? Gun IWB in right belt and pocket gun in left pocket?

Ankle Carry:

-Great for when driving/seated for long periods of time where the IWB or pocket holster would be inaccessible.

-Good for small backup guns

-ABSOLUTELY, 100% get a high quality ankle holster, this is no place to get cheap, your leg is a moving object and the gun can come loose.

-Lightweight guns are the best. Less mass equals less chance of the gun coming loose.

Ankle Carry Demonstration - Armed Dynamics

OWB Small of the Back Carry:

  • Can be dangerous because a fall where you land on your back could cause serious injury to to the spine or disable you for a temporary period of time because of nerve damage.
  • The draw can be stalled by someone who can see you coming around the body.

An example from Gunner Holsters that tries to minimize the risk of Small of Back carry

MIC Holster/Trigger guard Cover:

The MIC Holster, and similar offerings, is a pretty specialized type of carry. It is basically a kydex holster that only covers the trigger guard and a loop of cordage. You attach the loop to your belt, clip the holster over the trigger guard, then put the gun into your waistband. The sling keeps the gun from falling down into your pants, while the holster keeps the trigger covered and safe.

One negative of this type of carry is that since there is no hard attachment, the gun can move around, possibly making it not be in the exact position you need it in. The main drawback, though, is that once the handgun is drawn, the holster is pulled out, and you cannot easily reholster the gun. It requires both hands and a bit of time.

The major advantage I see to this method is the ease of keeping a holster with you, no matter what. If you carry in a bag, but want the option to transition to on-body carry, this style of holster can always be with the gun. It can also serve to cover the trigger in a bag/purse.

MIC Holster

Firearms Insider Review

Bellyband Carry:

The belly band is a very unique option. The design of a belly band is generally an elastic band with hook and loop closure. The holster part is usually a sort of pouch that you put the gun into. They generally don’t have retention straps, and rely solely on the elasticity of the band to hold it in. The major advantage of the belly band is that you can carry a large handgun with accessories, with pants that don’t have adequate belt loops or none at all, such as basketball shorts or scrubs. Researching this option, I found the Crossbreed Belly Band. It uses a large velcro field that you can attach one of their Purse Defender holsters, which is a Kydex body with a Velcro backer that you can attach to any other Velcro. With this option, you have the retention of a Kydex holster, as well as different mounting, depth, and cant options. It also offers a few accessory pouches in the band that can be used to hold spare magazines, knives, flashlights, or whatever suits your fancy. There’s also larger pouch designed to hold handcuffs, for off-duty officers, but would be more suited for carrying an ID, cell phone, or backup gun, as an everyday citizen.

Here is an example of me wearing mine with Glock 19, two 19 round mags, and a Smith and Wesson Shield while wearing my old high school gym shorts that barely hold themselves up.

Crossbreed Belly Band

Necklace/Bra Holster

  • Method of carry allows one to wear a necklace with a holster at the end concealed by the shirt, typically with the grip of the handle pointing toward the strong side arm of the carrier.
  • Some point upward, which I would find disconcerting, but most point horizontally.
  • Difficult to access from the bottom underneath a typical t-shirt. Might not conceal well under a front-button shirt.


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  • Leave us a review on iTunes!
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  • Be sure to check out the Firearms Radio Network on YouTube!

Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!!

HGR 101 - Concealed Carry Evolution


Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, we have a roundtable discussion with Weerd Beard, Matt & TJ to discuss our respective “concealed carry evolution”, covering where we started with our concealed carry setup and where we have ended up!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:


Had a fantastic Independence Day Weekend! Got to shoot some more handguns and put more rounds through the Steyr C9A1! I’m up to 300 now!

Have a awesome holster coming from Shan over at Werkz Holsters! If you ever need a piece of kydex gear, please check them out. Shan is an awesome guy and is willing to try to accommodate your needs!

Weerd: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sazerac

Whiskey balls

Shot lots of bugs with my Bug-A-Salt 2.0 whilst cooking meats on the grill.


Matt: I’ve been shooting TJ’s cast off. So far I’ve put about 800 rds through it. Its been a great gun but thats no surprise. Decided to shoot this months IDPA match with it.  I also picked up a Winchester 1906 pump action .22 that was made in 1919. Needs some love but at $45 I can't complain. After about an hour it's working but still crusty.

Listener Email:

So in short,   "inherent Accuracy" in guns is how little the barrel moves (so people will say Berettas or Blowback guns are more accurate than short recoil action guns)   or how tight the gun locks up.

On a 1911 the gun locks up at the two locking lugs forward of the ejection port, and where the muzzle meets with the slide.

In a traditional 1911 at the barrel is the bushing, and this unit can be good or bad.   You hear about old warhorse 1911s that can't even group, and it's likely because of lose bushings and worn locking lugs.

So now some 1911s makers made a different step by adding a bull barrel that doesn't use a bushing.

The advantages of this is:

-Heavier barrel,  so better adsorption of  heat, and reduced felt recoil

-Better lockup because the cone-shaped bull barrel has more baring surface against the slide.

Disadvantage is:

-No bushing, and captive recoil system makes them harder to take apart.

-If you shoot a LOT, and wear out the lockup,  you need to replace and fit the barrel, rather than just the bushing.

I think the whole thing is hype, as all but some of the best shooters out there really have any concern about their guns "inherent" accuracy,   as most people can't shoot a pistol well enough to take advantage of these increases in accuracy,  and I personally easy take-down and ease or replacing the bushing, as thinking bushing guns are better.

Again, the point is moot, and enjoy your TRP and send pix!

Main Topic: Concealed Carry Evolution

At Matt’s suggestion, we thought it would be an interesting topic to go over how we evolved through our carry setups. We all started out trying things that we thought were cool, or maybe we got sucked into some creative marketing. Through the years, we have slowly evolved our concealed carry setups to where we currently feel comfortable with them. We may alter our setups for any number of reasons, but two of the main ones I think is level of perceived risk, and comfort reasons. Those aren’t all of them, but those are the main ones.

I thought we could take it one by one from each of us, starting off with what pistol we started carrying and the progression to what we carry today, then our choices of holster, reloads, clothing, flashlights etc.


-Started out carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 60, then switched to a Glock 27 with a plus two magazine extension. I liked the Glock 27 but the .40 S&W was just too snappy for that platform. However, it WAS very accurate. I started carrying the Model 60 on the belt and switched from rubber Pachmayr Presentation grips to the splinter grips from Smith & Wesson. They just fit my hands great. I finally switched to Altamont Boot Grips for my Model 60.

Started carrying on the belt then switched to IWB carry. Found IWB to be pretty uncomfortable for me, and switched to pocket carry, and that's where i’ve been ever since.

I am trying out a new holster from Werkz soon with some specifications for my needs. It will have a full length sweat shield/body shield, be convertible between IWB and OWB and should be awesome. Really looking forward to it.!

Current Setup(s):

Everyday: Kahr CM9 with DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster. Carry Bushnell flashlight with pocket clip. Extra magazine of 6 rounds. Carry ammo 124 grain Winchester PDX 9mm.

Looking forward to: IWB/OWB with Steyr C9A1, Werkz Holster and extra 17 round magazine.

Sometimes: Carry a NAA .22 LR Mini Revolver loaded with CCI Mini-Mags in addition to my Kahr.

Matt: I started about 10 years ago with an xd 45 4” and a small off the back holster and a high speed Fobus holster. Soon found out neither were optimal. I had only shot at square range at that time so no real test of my equipment. When I needed it the draw was slow and holster hit ground and when I first shot an idpa match I wasn’t very accurate under pressure. I got a lot better but still wasnt as good as I could be.Ended up switching to don hume leather IWB then went Crossbread IWB. Later got an M&P and found I shot it way better. In same day I shot 2 classifiers, got 184.31 with xd and 142.45 with the M&P. I started carrying the M&P9 full size in a Concealment Solutions owb. Worked great but wanted a smaller gun for our humid summers and got shield but tired of multiple mags and holsters. I sold it for a compact so I could use same holsters and mags. I also have an 642ct for pocket carry in sweats or basketball shorts.

Weerd Beard: Learned to shoot late in life.  Took my first shots in 1999.   Bought my first gun when I moved to Massachusetts in 2004,  but the first two towns I lived in took their May Issue status very seriously.    When we bought our house in 2008 I made sure I picked a town that would give me an unrestricted permit.

Because of this, I had bought two of my long-time carry guns and holsters and was carrying them only at home for several months.

S&W1911Sc in a Galco Miami Classic II

S&W642 no-lock in an Uncle Mike’s Pocket holster.  I later upgraded that to a Desantis Nemesis

Later I upgraded the pocket gun to my PM45 in a Desantis Nemisis.

Also I still liked to have a revolver around, so I got a LCR .357 in the same Nemisis.


I started carrying roughly 3 years ago, right after I turned 21. I had already planned to carry as soon as I could, so I did my research and the weekend after my 21st birthday, I bought a Glock 26. As for a holster, I was highly swayed by a relatively new YouTube gun guy known as Mr. Colion Noir, and purchased an all kydex IWB holster that he recommended. It didn’t work very well for me, because it was very uncomfortable, and held the pistol very high, so it tended to flop over and not conceal well. I soon decided to try a Concealment Solutions hybrid style holster, and it immediately changed my carry style, as I realized I could carry a larger gun and traded the 26 for a 19. From there, I saw a good deal on a trade for a Smith and Wesson 66, so I got rid of the 19. In hindsight, I should have just kept the 19, since I didn’t really carry the 66 much, and sold it to Matt to purchase a Smith and Wesson Shield. I am currently experimenting with appendix carry, and I’m really liking it so far.

My current carry setup is:

Smith and Wesson Shield

Concealment Solutions ASP 3.0

Concealment Solutions Python Gun belt

Surefire LX2 Lumamax flashlight

Spyderco Tenacious folding knife

Occasional Discreet/Light Carry:

Kahr CW380 in a Galco Ankle Lite or pocket holster

North American Arms Black Widow 22 Magnum in homemade leather pocket holster


Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!

HGR 100 - One-Hundredth Episode Extravaganza


Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week is the ONE HUNDREDTH EPISODE of Handgun Radio! We have TJ & Weerd Beard on to discuss the show, how it has progressed and what have been some of their favorite moments!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Weerd Beard’s Drink Segment: http://www.weerdworld.com/2013/drink-like-james-bond-pt-2-og-bond-drink/

Main Topic: 100th Episode Extravaganza!

Short Show Clip from Episode 001

Favorite Moments:


Handgun Beauty Contest

Weerd Beard:

Joe Mantegna Interview

Ryan Michad:

First Ever Appearance on the FRN

Hamilton Bowen Interview

Listener Questions:

Listener Ken:

Hi Ryan, great show! However, I’m not seeing any way to download episodes prior to episode 58. Usually podcasts give you some way to download episodes from their website that no longer show up in the feed but I don’t see a way to do that. Can you tell me how to get these older episodes? I just started listening and would really like to listen to them all.

Listener Steve:

Ryan, I've recently been considering and therefore researching night sights for my EDC gun. This research has led to the discovery of some opinions that night sights are totally unnecessary on a EDC gun due to the nature of most defensive encounters. This makes me wonder if perhaps it could be true that sights might not even come into play in such situations due to the rapid development and close range most often involved. I just re-listened to episode 066, but it didn't exactly elaborate on this. I would very much enjoy hearing a discussion about this in a future episode and I feel sure other listeners would too. As always, the show is great and keep up the good work!

Listener Mike:

Comment: I am considering purchasing an S&W M&P .45c in the next few months and was curious what you think about it if you or anyone you know has fired it yet and what holster you might recommend for conceal carry? Thanks.

Listener Bob:

That should take you to an Imgur gallery with pictures for the big bore revolver shoot I attended today. John Linebaugh brought some of his guns and other big bore enthusiasts from around the country descended on my local club. There were so many beautiful guns there today. Even better so much knowledge about guns and reloading.

I figured you may get a kick out of them.

Also, I like Weerd Beard's drink advice. His taste and mine seem to be about the same. His first drink, the negroni, is one of my favorites. I tend to drink mine with bourbon making it actually a boulivardier. One he should check out is the paloma. I started drinking it in Mexico and is my favorite way to drink tequila. It is pretty easy.

In a high ball glass add:


The juice of half a lime

1.5 to 2 ounces of tequila depending on taste

Pinch of salt

Grapefruit Soda (Squirt)

At restaurants in Mexico they put the salt on the rim of the glass. I put a pinch in the drink as it cuts down on the salt intake that way.

Thanks for the show and keep up the good work.

Listener Spencer:

Hey Ryan, you guys had some questions about the Ruger LCR chambered in 9mm. As a new owner of one let me give you my thoughts on this kind of strange revolver...

I can say that it’s the same size and weight as the 357 version, since it handles similar pressures. I bought this a couple of weeks ago since I’m switching from 45ACP for carry to 9mm, and this seemed like it would be a good backup to my FNS-Compact.

If you look at Ballistics by the Inch you’ll see that out of a 2 inch barrel most 9mm loads will leave a 38-special load in the dust, both in energy and in velocity. In fact according to them, the 9mm gets better performance than the 357 loads in a 2-inch barrel.

It typically has a lighter bullet, but given that there is some excellent self-defense ammo out there for the 9mm, I’m very happy with this revolver as either a backup or a primary carry gun.

I did swap out the fatter grips that come with it for the astoundingly good Ruger boot grip (link below), and even with those the recoil is much more manageable than the 357 version, or even some hot +P 38 Special loads I’ve tried. There is very little muzzle-flash as well, I’m guessing because 9mm tends to use faster burning powders?

As far as the moonclips go, I tried an experiment.

I took a box of the cheapest, dirtiest 9mm ammo I could find and started shooting it without using the clips. To empty the rounds I would just open the cylinder, flip the muzzle up a bit and rap the grip with my palm.

I got through 25 rounds (5 cylinders) before I ran into the first case that I had to manually extract with a fingernail. On the next string that same chamber stuck worse, and I had to use my folding knife to get it out.

At that point I switched to Hornady Critical Defense (my carry ammo) and started putting that in without the clips. I got through the entire box of 25 without any issues, probably because of the nickel plating that ammo uses.

That convinced me that I could carry this with a moonclip in place, but use it as a secondary gun just by stripping ammo from the FN and loading it in directly. With high quality, self-defense ammo you could probably shoot this gun without moonclips all day long.

One last thing I noticed. Since this is the latest LCR to be released, it has all the various improvements they’ve made to the line over the years. Mainly small things, but having a white section on the front sight blade and the newer, crisper trigger are definitely a bonus.


Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!

HGR 087 - Pre-NRA 2015 Guns & Gear Anticipation

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, Weerd Beard, TJ and I discuss some of the guns & gear that we are looking forward to seeing come out at the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings next month!!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

Ryan: -

The FRN is doing a Kahr Arms EDC Giveaway! Enter at this link!



Main Topic: Guns & Gear Anticipation Pre-NRA 2015

The NRA Annual Meetings are coming up soon, and TJ and I will be attending and getting to look at some of the things we will cover tonight. Weerd has attended NRA shows before so he is more of a veteran here, and I’m sure he has some insights on how to best cover the stuff you’d like to see. This is a list of guns we may have talked about before post-SHOT Show 2015, but more guns have come out and more info has come out on these new guns & gear since then, so we thought it would be a fun discussion to cover what we’d like to see!

Glock 43 -

The Glock 43 Size Comparison to other similar pistols

Browning .380 1911-

Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Gen 2-

Korth Sky Marshall-

10mm Sig-Sauer P220-

Glock 40 in 10mm -

Smith & Wesson 69 and Model 66 -

Kahr Gen 2 Guns -

Altamont Grips -

ATI Polymer 1911 -

Rock Island Armory Baby Rock Standard CS -

Iver Johnson Frontier Four .22 LR Pepperbox Derringer -


Until next week, have fun & SAFE SHOOTING!!

HGR 081 - Choosing Your Concealed Carry Firearm

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, I’m joined by TJ to discuss some important considerations when going to purchase your first concealed carry firearm!!!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

Ryan: TJ will be joining me at NRA Show in April. TJ, what are you interested in seeing at NRA Show?

For me, I’m interested in that reproduction Colt 1903, hopefully a Glock Single Stack, and I’d love to handle the new Korth Sky Marshal.


Main Topic: Purchasing Your Concealed Carry Firearm

Purchasing a new firearm for concealed carry purposes can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t terribly familiar with all the operating methods, brands, types and calibers out there. As always, I recommend getting the proper training in how to safely carry a firearm and for you to feel comfortable shooting not only just rimfire training handguns, but some of the larger centerfire calibers as well.

Some of what we will discuss, such as caliber, will be a personal opinion type thing, so don’t take it as complete gospel. That said, both TJ and I have spent a lot of time handling different styles and brands of handguns, and have spent time training with concealed carry firearms. We hope to be able to better inform you if you are a first time buyer, or if you are someone who is a seasoned buyer, maybe we can make you think about something you hadn’t thought of before.

Revolver or Semi-Auto?:

-Revolvers are harder/slower to reload. Training for the reload is quite a bit more intensive than the reload for the semi-auto.

-For a long time, revolvers carried more potent rounds in a smaller package than most semi-autos, which were largely chambered for .32 and .380. Today, we have semi-autos that are smaller or as big as many J-frames, hold more rounds and are just as reliable.

-Revolvers don’t malfunction terribly often, but when they do, it is often a catastrophic failure that renders the gun useless or almost useless. (My Model 60 broke it’s bolt and could be fired, but not reloaded.)

-Semi-autos are often more inexpensive compared to most small revolvers like the J-frame.

-Semi-autos tend to be more shootable for the average person when compared to small revolvers.


-Personally, I carry a 9mm Kahr CM9 with one 6+1 round magazine and another spare 6 rounder on my person. I choose the 124 grain Speer Gold-Dot or Winchester SXT +P. I don’t care for lighter weight bullets like the 115 grain. The 124 grain strikes a good balance between bullet weight and good velocity for expansion.

-I find concealed carry handguns in .45 to be too bulky for my tastes, and the .40 S&W is really tough to control for me in a small handgun. For many years I carried a Glock 27 and while small and concealable, it was a handful with defensive ammo.

-I used to carry a S&W Model 60 chambered in .38 Special, and in that I either carried whatever 158 grain SJHP I could find or the great Speer Gold Dot 135 grain Short-Barrel load.

-Smaller guns may be more finicky with the ammo you select. Be careful.


-A lot of people think that they can only carry the micro-compact pistols and snubbie revolvers.

Manual of Arms:

-If choosing a semi-auto for concealed carry, you have to consider all of the different manuals of arms, meaning the differing locations and styles of controls. Some pistols have nothing but passive safeties and some have multiple manual-type safeties, and even styles of those types of safeties. When looking at purchasing a pistol, you should take all of these different styles into consideration, and try them out, if possible.

Sights & Grips:

-Night sights can be incredibly advantageous on a defensive firearm.

-Some factory sights can be made of plastic and can break with aggressive use. Consider this when choosing sights for your defensive gun.

-Grips can make a huge difference in shootability when it comes to defensive gun use. Make sure they fit your hand well and allow proper trigger finger placement.

Other Miscellaneous Things:

-Certain guns/mechanisms may be harder for some people to operate effectively. This may be something to consider.


Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!!!

HGR 058 - Pocket Carry Considerations & The Ruger LCP

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, I’m joined by TJ Gauthier from the Firearms Insider to discuss some pocket carry considerations as well as my recent experiences with the Ruger LCP .380 pocket pistol!


Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review

Ryan: -Took the Ruger LCP out for some range time to get more familiar with it. It definitely isn’t a target pistol!

  • Sorted some .32 ACP and 9mm brass. No Fun!

TJ: - Nothing much, just concealed carrying

Main Topic: Pocket Carry Considerations and the Ruger LCP

As the number of concealed carriers has increased over the past several years, the number of people looking for good ways to carry a handgun has grown as well. For some people, carrying a gun on the belt is just not comfortable or feasible (I know, carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable). For those people, pocket carry may be a great way to go. I used to carry my Model 60 in an IWB holster for many years, but oftentimes I found it uncomfortable. Last year, I switched to pocket carry, and I have been blown away by the different options out there for holsters & other accessories, as well as the different guns that can be pocket carried. We will try to discuss and link to some of the more popular carry options.

Pocket Carry:

Holsters & Materials: Some materials may be better suited for pocket carry comfort than others. One thing I have discovered is that the horsehide material that Galco makes their pocket holster with can become uncomfortable in really humid situations. Two key things to remember when pocket carrying: 1.) If the holster does NOT stay in the pocket when you draw, you need to find a better pocket holster. Having the holster come out with the gun on the draw is not a good situation. 2.) When holstering your loaded & chambered firearm, ALWAYS put the gun in the holster OUTSIDE of your pocket, and then put the gun and holster into the pocket as one unit. NEVER TRY TO HOLSTER YOUR GUN WITH THE POCKET HOLSTER IN THE POCKET!

Galco Horsehide Pocket Holster -  This is the one I use to carry my Model 60. It does not have a sticky outer exterior like other pocket holsters, but uses a small hook molded into the leather on the back of the holster to catch on the pocket on the draw, leaving the holster in the pocket and the gun in your hand.

DeSantis Nemesis -  The DeSantis Nemesis is the holster I am currently using for the Ruger LCP. The Nemesis uses a slightly tacky outside exterior to keep the holster in the pocket on the draw. I have been impressed with the comfort of the Nemesis, but I have heard that over time, the tacky outer exterior becomes less tacky, and may require you to replace the holster. Luckily, they are pretty affordable.

Remora Pocket/IWB Holster Clipless -  The Remora Pocket/IWB clipless holster is designed so that you can deploy the holster in the manner that you choose: Pocket Carry or Traditional IWB. It uses a very tacky rubberized outer exterior to ensure that the holster stays put.

GlockTech MIC - The GlockTech MIC holster is a kydex sheath that covers the trigger guard. It doesn’t keep the handgun in a static position, nor break up the outline, but it will add that level of safety of covering the trigger.

TJ’s custom holster for the NAA Black Widow:

Spare Ammunition:

-Most pocket guns are going to have limited capacity and will be of a small(er) caliber. This makes carrying spare ammunition a very important consideration.

-Smaller guns often have different operating systems from their larger counterparts. Many small automatics run using a straight blowback system. This limits them to smaller calibers, usually no bigger than .380, to maintain small size while shooting a light defensive caliber.

-Because of this different operation, the ammunition you want to run with it should be tested. (It should always be tested, but even moreso, especially if you use the ammo in your larger guns and it works good there. It may not work the same in the smaller gun.) Many people suggest running several hundred rounds through it, but I don’t personally believe many people can afford to run premium self-defense ammo through it that much. I know that personally, running 50 to 75 rounds through with no problems would make me feel comfortable carrying it.

-When choosing speedloaders for a small revolver, be mindful of the method of operation of the speedloader. It can be of the twist knob or push button type, but you MUST test it to ensure that it will securely hold the rounds until you are ready to deploy it. Many people will carry speedloaders in a pocket or other area on their person, and it needs to be secure enough that you don’t go to reload and come up with an empty speedloader.

Mas Ayoob ProArms Speed Strip Reload

-Likewise, ensure you carry your spare magazines in such a manner that the feed lips do not get bent. This can cause feed malfunctions and ammunition loss in a hurry. Many of the holster makers like DeSantis also offer a companion magazine pocket holster pouch to protect the magazine and keep it in the proper orientation in the pocket.

What Guns Work For Pocket Carry?:

  • In my experience, smaller autos and revolvers, and try to purchase or have one that is as snag-free as possible. This is of particular concern on a J-frame S&W or a D-frame Colt. The spur hammer can EASILY snag on the pocket and disrupt the draw. Some people advocate holding their thumb over the spur on the draw. I have two problems with this; 1.) I’ve tried it several times, and on some pockets, it just doesn’t work. 2.) In my opinion, having your thumb on the hammer during the draw will make you have a tendency to cock the revolver for a single-action shot. THIS IS A BAD THING! In a high stress situation, single-action is NOT the trigger stroke you want. I recommend having your gun converted to DAO, or purchase one that is DAO.

Manual Safties?:

  • ALL guns should be pocket carried with a holster that COVERS THE TRIGGER! Anything less than that is unsafe. I do not like manual safeties because they introduce one more thing into a stressful situation. I have personally missed the manual safety on some guns before, and I prefer that they not be there. The LCP or the Model 60 are perfect for me. Your decision may vary depending upon your level of comfort & familiarity.

The Ruger LCP:

Sights: -Black on Black sights that are nearly nonexistent. I put a touch of fluorescent paint on the front sight to allow me to know which one is the front sight in a snap sight picture. This is more of a “line the silhouette of the gun on the target and go to work” rather than something with a fine sight picture.

Magazines: - A 6 round magazine, with a 7 rounder available from Ruger. You can also get finger extensions that extend the grip frame for better controllability.

The 7 round magazine adds very noticeable extra grip surface

Controllability: -It barks, for sure. It is a very light .380 Auto that doesn’t have much of a grip frame. That said, I believe there is a reduction in recoil from the decision to use a tilt-locking design rather than a fixed-barrel blowback system. I think a fixed barrel blowback Ruger LCP would be very uncomfortable to shoot.

Cleaning & Disassembly: - Not very hard at all. Make sure the gun is clear, bring the slide out of battery just a little bit, and use some sort of flathead instrument to pull the takedown pin out of the frame. Cleans up just like most of your other autos that use a takedown pin system. Assemble in reverse order.

LCP - Gen 2(?): Ruger seems to have done an under-the-radar update to the LCP. I have no clue why they wouldn’t advertise it, because it seems to fix the two main problems of the LCP: the sights, and the trigger. The sights are noticeably taller and the trigger is somewhat shorter and lighter. See more information and comparisons at Guns.com.

(Photo Courtesy of RomeoTangoBravo.net)

Obscure Gun We Want:

Ryan: S&W 940 9mm J-Frame

TJ:7 Round .380 with at 3.5”ish barrel


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