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What the well prepared man is carrying

Krag

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#1
What the Well-Dressed Man is Carrying
Bertram Wooster - November 07, 2018

For hundreds of years, being a well-dressed man has meant wearing impractical clothing. Thin fabrics unsuitable for crawling around the shop or yard. Useless for carrying tools. I wear a tailored sports coat and dress pants to work. I have to remove my sports coat frequently and work in very close physical proximity to others. It is difficult to conceal a handgun on your body in these circumstances.

I purchased my first handgun several years ago. It was a Sig Sauer P229 Elite Dark 9mm. I made this choice after a gun aficionado patiently let me shoot through dozens of handguns in his collection. It is a beautiful gun in every way. The mass of a handgun limits recoil. At 2 1/3 pounds fully loaded, it is a comfortable gun to hold and to shoot. I would love to carry this handgun every day. If I were a soldier or police officer with a holster on a duty belt, perhaps I could.

Attached to the belt, the P229 bulges. There is no place for me to hide it under the thin fabric of tailored clothing, especially since my jacket has to be removed. Hard metal digs into my belly and is a constant distracting discomfort if I carry inside the waistband. I tried the narrower, single stack Sig Sauer P239 with a variety of inside waistband holsters, but it was no better.

Too heavy, too bulky, too difficult to conceal, impossible to live with.

I gave up, and there the matter stood. Until I started watching Active Self Protection's videos.

Active Self Protection's Youtube channel is a daily demonstration of the old Latin proverb “Homo homini lupus.” Man is wolf to man, and sometimes, physical conflict choses you.

They convinced me to carry every day. Concealed carry is a civic virtue. You provide a firewall against crime when you conceal carry. It is not a virtue that I flaunt. My parents, siblings, coworkers, and customers do not know that I carry every day. Only my wife, children, and gun guru know.

I am publishing anonymously for this reason.

I wanted a handgun for self-defense only. Most legitimate self-defense gun fights end at close distances and often without the defender being able to use their gunsights.

I presented my problem to my personal gun guru. He suggested an ultralight Smith and Wesson 340 PD, specifically with no internal lock. I am not associated with Smith and Wesson revolvers, or any of the other products in this article. Even as a beginner shooting the aficionado's handguns, it was obvious how much nicer modern semiautomatics are to shoot than revolvers. My gun guru thought I could handle the ultralight revolver. It is not an ideal beginner's gun.

The reason it is not a beginner's gun is impulse, or change in momentum. Crashing a car into a haystack or a concrete embankment cause the same change in momentum. They feel very different because the time to change to zero momentum is dramatically different in each case.

Semiautomatics spread the change in momentum out over a longer time than revolvers. Even heavy revolvers, by moving slower, spread the change in momentum out over a longer time than light revolvers.

Ultralight revolvers give you all the momentum change right now. Like a concrete embankment, it can be painful.

When you pick up an empty 340 PD, your brain will tell you it is made of light plastic. It is not. It has an aluminum scandium alloy frame and a titanium alloy cylinder. It is amazingly light, but very strong.

The Recluse pocket holster is an excellent carrier for the 340 PD. It is very comfortable. People can see that something is in my pocket, but it does not look like a handgun. The slim holster minimally prints on dress pants as a box shape that conceals its purpose. The holster fills the space both in front and behind the trigger. The trigger cannot move at all while the gun is in the holster. Guarding the trigger is what I like most about this holster. If I am in a car accident, or trip down a flight of stairs, I don't want a handgun firing into my leg or pelvis. Nothing but the 340 PD and holster go in my right front carry pocket.

For most concealed carry guns, the gun belt is as important as the gun or holster. With dress pants, I always wear a narrow gun belt from Mitch Rosen. Loaded and in holster, the 340 PD weighs just over one pound. With a gun this light, I don't even need a gun belt. I wear my 340 PD in dress pants with my gun belt, nylon pants with an elastic belt, exercise clothing with drawstrings and even in scrubs. I work out with it. I run with it. I can sit down on the toilet without two pounds of steel clattering on the floor.

There are disadvantages to external safeties, and the 340 PD does not have one. Instead, it has a double-action trigger pull. If you lift a ten-pound bag of sugar an inch with your trigger finger, you are close to the 12-pound double action trigger of the 340 PD. This long, heavy trigger pull is safer when carrying in and drawing from a pocket holster.

Practicing with the heavy double action trigger pull can be done even before going to the range. The people at Shooter Technology Group have developed an amazing tool for practicing at home. LASR uses laser cartridges and a camera to tell you where your shots are landing. I recommend the upgrade to infrared laser cartridges and camera so you become proficient in using your sights and pointing skills without tracking the flickering laser light.

To use LASR, I first unload my 340 PD and move the live ammunition out of the room. I load 3 infrared laser cartridges, set up the camera and select my targets. I take the added precaution of setting up targets so no one is behind them through walls. I then activate the program and start shooting. I practice rounding a doorway and quickly getting my sight picture. I shoot one handed. I work out until my heart is pounding and practice shooting. Adrenaline can make it more difficult to use your sights, and I point shoot without sights. When I hit the target, the camera will record the exact location of the hit and a satisfying “ting” will come out of the computer speakers. It sounds just like hitting steel targets at the gun range.

I shot over a thousand shots with LASR over my first week with the 340 PD. I then went to the range with some 38 Special practice ammo and my more powerful everyday carry ammo, Buffalo Bore wadcutters. The 38 Special practice ammo is fun to shoot in the 340 PD. Almost as fun and comfortable as shooting my P229 with 9mm ammo.

The more powerful Buffalo Bore ammo gives the gun more momentum, and is not fun to shoot in this ultralight handgun. The Buffalo Bore ammo makes the 340 PD feel like someone is vigorously swatting my palm with a bamboo cane.

The 340 PD can also shoot 357 Magnum ammunition. People who have done this call it “the devil's handshake.” Shooting an ultra-powerful cartridge from an ultralight gun takes a special kind of masochism. I like having an overbuilt handgun that is capable of these more powerful rounds. Some people buy fatter, softer grips for their 340 PD so they can use 357 Magnum cartridges. I like the factory grip which is slim and smooth to draw from my pocket.

Each trip to the range, I shoot 50 shots of practice ammo and 5 shots of my carry ammo. Shots land in the same place with both, but I want to remind myself what the gun will feel like with the more powerful ammunition if I have to use it in self-defense. Ammo cost for my range trip is about $24 with about 2/3 going to the 50 shots of practice ammo and about 1/3 going to the 5 shots of carry ammo. After the initial investment, the LASR shots are all free.

You can change the sight on a 340 PD. I like the XS Sights white dot tritium sight after trying many sights in different lighting. I keep my 340 PD holstered on the bed stand at night, and the glow of the front sight makes it easy to find in the dark.

Practice. Unload the gun and practice your draw. Use LASR to practice quickly getting your sights on target and your long, strong, smooth trigger pull. Go to the range and practice with recoil. If you aren't already proficient, shoot less powerful practice ammo before switching to more powerful ammo so you don't develop a flinch. No shot will magically hit a target, and most people don't drop over dead when shot by a handgun. They will usually stop what they are doing to focus on their new hole.

If you are proficient in its use, the ultralight Smith and Wesson 340 PD may be the only gun you need.

It is what this well-dressed man is carrying.
 

Son of Gloin

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#2
I have the SW 360PD. It's the same revolver with an exposed hammer. I like it a lot. The doggone thing is like a feather in your hand and two feathers, when fully loaded. Twelve ounces of firearm and several more ounces of ammo. Compact, accurate as hell. The writer is correct, though about maggies. Shooting maggies out of a gun this light is excruciatingly painful, at least for me. I've only ever put two cylinders of magnums through this gun and I couldn't make myself do more and my hand felt pulverized for almost a week, afterward. Shooting 38 plus P's, though, is a piece of cake. It's sharp recoil, but much easier to take and it's really nice knowing that you can, if you really want to, load 357's in the gun. Expensive as hell; they run about nine hundred now.
 

<SLV>

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#3
Ruger LCR.
 

Unca Walt

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#4
I gotta point out sumpin' about carrying a magnum (which I do).

For target shooting, as the posters above correctly point out -- a magnum is painful.

Soooo...

Practice with regular loads. CARRY with magnums.

Best of both worlds.
 

Son of Gloin

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#5
I gotta point out sumpin' about carrying a magnum (which I do).

For target shooting, as the posters above correctly point out -- a magnum is painful.

Soooo...

Practice with regular loads. CARRY with magnums.

Best of both worlds.
Good point, Walt. If you ran into some dude that just needed to be shot, you probably wouldn't even notice the recoil from mags. You might wonder, a couple days later, why your hand was sore.
 

Unca Walt

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#6
Good point, Walt. If you ran into some dude that just needed to be shot, you probably wouldn't even notice the recoil from mags. You might wonder, a couple days later, why your hand was sore.
There it is.
 

ToBeSelfEvident

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#7
I agree with most of the info in the article. We use the Buffalo Bore 150gr hard cast full wadcutter in our bedside revolvers. I also think a lightweight J-frame revolver is all most people will ever need to carry. They are safe, reliable and always in battery.
 

historyrepete

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#8
They will usually stop what they are doing to focus on their new hole.
Had to laugh at that thought.
Pretty good video there too.
Snubby 357 mag beside the nightstand 45 under the matress 12 gauge behind the curtain. Sks for plinking at the backdoor. I don't conceal carry but do open carry a 45 at times
 

Son of Gloin

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#10
Friend of mine recently bought a 686. I've been wanting one, ever since. Very nice gun.