Trending towards simplicity

When I started shooting I researched and researched what would be the “perfect” carry gun…

I wanted a metal framed gun to reduce recoil, I wanted a hammer fired gun because they were safer when re-holstering, I wanted something slim so I could carry it every day, it had to have a safety because some bad guy might not how to use it and I was going to train it into muscle memory. It had to have night sights for those low light attacks and it had to have Crimson Trace laser grips so I could shoot from “disadvantaged” positions. But mostly, it had to be a 1911 because JMB brought it down from on high.



When I pictured a 1911 it was a stainless gun with black grips and a skeletonized trigger, so that is what I wanted. Kimber seems to spend more money on advertising than GM, so they had to be the best, so that is what I wanted. I was a new shooter that was a little scared of .45 and I shot 9mm better, plus it was cheaper, and I could get 10 rd mags for it, so that is what I wanted… but I got the 4″ barrel so it would recoil a little more and ease my eventual transition to the big .45.

Lastly I ordered the Milt Sparks VMII before my pistol even came in because it was the best 1911 IWB holster and for some reason I believed that leather holsters are for metal guns and plastic (kydex) holsters were for plastic guns. Doh!

Milt Sparks VMII

Milt Sparks VMII

I still own the Kimber for 2 reasons…  It was my 1st handgun and I think I would regret selling it and when I take a new shooter to the range it allows me to let them shoot a 1911 pattern pistol without shooting expensive .45acp.  I no longer own the VMII holster (I made money on it) and I no longer use the Crimson Trace laser grips for this gun.  The holster was sold because I decided to carry something else I could see having that much money tied up in a holster for a range gun.  The laser grips were sold partly for the same reason, but also I couldn’t practice with them.

In the outdoor range that I usually shoot at I couldn’t see  the dot when shooting with a target focus because it was too bright.  In an indoor range I could see them fine, but I had to be standing and I could see my sights too… if you can see your sights, you can’t see the dot.  If you can’t see it why are wasting the battery.  If you have the grips turned off why are they on the gun?  My answer was I don’t know so I sold them.

The final straw for the Kimber was when I bought my 1st Glock 19. Because the “Block” was so fat I decided that I needed to find the thinnest holster I could for it.

Glock 19

Glock 19

I considered the crossbreed but decided on the Comp-tac MTAC because it seemed to have better workmanship, it had adjustable tension and did have any markers of faith on it.  (The fact that it came with Smarties and I hadn’t gotten into an internet argument with the owner of Comp-tac probably had something to do with it too… I’ll never buy a Crossbreed product!)

When I got the holster I realized this carry package was thinner than a 1911 in a leather holster, it held more rounds and it was lighter… plus I have never forgot the safety on a Glock  and was confident enough to not need a safety.  Glock wins!

However, Glock sights suck and I was used to 3 dot sights so I got the trickest ones I could… Ameriglo TFO’s (Tritium/Fiber Optic).  That way I was still prepared to protect myself in total darkness PLUS if there was light I could easily acquire my sights.

Next, I decided that I needed a back-up gun or at least a gun for non-permissible, but legal environments.  It also couldn’t be any more complex than my Glock to operate.  It had to be REALLY thin and since it was going to be a belly gun it had to have Big Dot sights.  At the time, the best option was the Kahr PM9.

Kahr PM9

Kahr PM9

I bought a couple of holsters for it, including another Comp-tac MTAC  and a Comp-tac Appendix holster.  By this time, I had decided that consistency was a very good thing in training and wanted to minimize the variables between guns the best I could.

On my 1st range trip with the Kahr, I found out that I could see the stock Kahr sights really well, but I hated the “bar” potion of the sight and totally I colored it out with a sharpie.

Wooah, that is much better!

It seems that the 3 dot sights had just too much going on and I could get on the sights better with just a single front dot.

At this point I had decided that I need a back-up G19 for classes, competitions and home defense so I bought a NIB RTF2 gun from a local nuclear power plant security guard.  On this gun, I added the Warren/Sevigny sights with a small fiber optic in the front blade and plain black rear.

I had come to the conclusion that I will never be shooting in the dark, because if I couldn’t see my sights (and I needed them) I probably couldn’t safely identify my target. So I better be looking for light.

I had gone from a 1911 with night sights and laser in a high-end custom leather holster to a Glock 19 in a modular hybrid holster.  It seems that as my skills increased and I began to use my gear I decided a lot of the cool guy gear didn’t suit my needs.

However, I now have a home defense gun with fiber optic/night sights, white light and laser.  What’s the difference?

I am not the only user of the home defense gun and I can’t guarantee that my wife will look at the sights and the laser is great for target focus (place the red stuff on the bad stuff and press the trigger).  The white light is a very crude aiming device too; plus it increases the weight of the gun and allows me to use my sights, while maintaining a full two-hand grip if I can’t turn on a light. But mainly there is no reason not to…

Have you also moved toward simplicity in you choice of carry gun or have you gone the other way?  If you aren’t carrying yet, does this make you think differently about the guns you are considering?

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