First, many people begin to consider the concept of every day carry when they make the decision to carry a firearm. Because of this, we will first explore the center of most people’s EDC: the firearm. When choosing a firearm for concealed carry, many people tend to gravitate toward the smallest firearm that they see. This is fine, but certain considerations must be made.
Is the firearm reliable? By this, are you certain that it will not fail when you squeeze the trigger? Is it chambered in a good serviceable caliber? It is recommended that this caliber be larger than the .380 ACP cartridge due to numerous reports on effectiveness. However, it is important to choose a round that suits you and your needs.
Are you comfortable with the magazine capacity? Many of the subcompacts manufactured today have a seemingly stunted magazine capacity of 5-7 rounds. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable with that capacity in the event that there were two or more attackers. It could be argued that the days of a single attacker are long gone. Is your firearm of choice capable of being used to effectively protect you and your family?
Is the firearm too small? A full-size handgun can be easier to train with due to sight radius, recoil, and typically increased ergonomics while shooting. Smaller handguns are typically a bit snappier and potentially less accurate due to a shorter sight radius and barrel. Be sure that you can effectively use whatever firearm that you choose to carry.
Along with a firearm, an extra magazine should be carried when possible. This magazine should be a factory magazine from the manufacturer that you have tested for reliability by running 50 rounds through (AT A MINIMUM!). This can be easily carried in the pocket or in a magazine carrier.
Next, a much less glorious and exciting piece of gear that needs to be addressed is the holster. There are many holster makers in today’s market (including Victoria Tactical) and the materials from which holsters are crafted range from nylon to leather to kydex.
Remember that a holster is like a pair of boots. Every member of the family needs one and a good pair should fit perfectly. Likewise, each of your firearms should have its own holster and each holster should fit the firearm it is intended for. Do not fall for gimmicks or sales pitches that could end up causing injury or death to yourself and others. Whether you purchase your holsters from Victoria Tactical or not, buy quality. Wasting money on cheap holsters is unacceptable and irresponsible. This topic and the benefits of kydex over other materials will be further discussed in a later blog.
The next item that should be carried on your person daily is a pocket knife. When I was young, my grandfather taught me never to go anywhere without a pocket knife. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate this advice. A good quality folding pocket knife can help you to overcome many different situations. Be sure to keep a sharp blade and to open the knife from time to time to be sure that it easily opens.
There are many different styles and manufacturers to choose from, so your choices are almost endless. For a decent folding knife to be used defensively, though, we typically recommend Spyderco. There are others that can do the job well (such as Gerber, Kershaw, or even Schrade), but Spyderco uses high-end metals and designs folding knives for extremely easy one-handed opening.
Additionally, it would behoove you to include a quality flashlight in your EDC. As with knives, there are many manufacturers of flashlights. It would be wise to research any flashlight before carrying it and possibly relying upon it.
Some claim that you should not use your “tac light” as a utility light, but ounces equal pounds and we are not at war while going to the supermarket. Use your flashlight as a flashlight should be used and take pride in your investment. Mind the battery life of your flashlight, keep the batteries charged and have spares on hand and easily accessible.
Do not rely on sub-par flashlights because of their attractive price tag. There is a myriad of light designs available today, so finding one from a quality manufacturer is not difficult. Personally, I choose to carry a flashlight with a pronounced strike bezel and a variable output along with a strobe feature and have found the Olight Striker to serve me well. There are smaller and larger options. Stick with manufacturers such as Olight, Streamlight, and Surefire and you should be covered.
Also, it is a good idea to carry a quality tactical pen. Not only does this ensure that you have a writing utensil at all times, but the glass breaker can be used as an impact weapon and can come in handy if you find yourself trapped in a vehicle.
First Aid / Trauma Gear
Finally, many people make the mistake of overlooking the need to carry quality first aid and trauma equipment. This can range from a tourniquet in your pocket to a full blown IFAK, or individual first aid kit, in your vehicle or on your person. Obviously, this should be dictated by where you are and by the activities that you’ll be taking part in. At a minimum, though, it would be a good idea to carry a tourniquet (we recommend the C-A-T by North American Rescue available in our store) and a good Celox bandage or sponge (also available in our store).
There are many other items that can be included in your personal EDC gear, but these are general necessities. Aside from the firearm and extra magazine, most of these can and should be carried almost anywhere. However, a firearm should always be carried wherever and whenever possible. Remember to train with every piece of gear that you purchase and plan to carry so that you can effectively use each piece of your EDC to stop any threat to you and/or your loved ones.
Be sure to check laws that may effect you when considering to carry any of these objects as it is your responsibility to know these laws, how they effect you, and what you can carry under such laws.
What do you carry? Did we miss something that you personally include? Leave a comment for us and let us know what you do and if you do anything differently.
Victoria Tactical. Victory at Hand.