Tag Archives: holster

Why I don’t Carry Empty Or Chambered

There are many gun arguments among gun owners, but I feel perhaps the most contentious is around concealed and open carrying.  The root of the argument is whether to carry with a round chambered or not.

Initially I was part of the ‘not’ crowd.  Some of my thoughts were:

  • Racking a slide can often be enough intimidation to scare away an attacker;
  • I do not want a negligent discharge;
  • If stopped by police, it seems better to announce the weapon is loaded but not chambered;
  • My muscle memory after years and years of shooting was more familiar with unloaded weapons.

Of course, this view has a bunch of pros and cons.  And, yes I have seen the video of an attack where the shooter had no time to even rack the slide and the nasty outcomes of that.  But again, my personal pros seemed to outweigh the cons.

That’s when I started realizing this isn’t really a black or white situation.  We do not need to always be chambered, and we do not need to always be empty, either.

Risk And Reward Balance

To me, the decision comes down to risk profile.

While at home, when I feel the risk of one of the kids somehow (I know people say never, but accidents do happen) got ahold of the gun is high, I can keep the chamber empty.  I mean the risk of someone entering my home and me not having the situational awareness to get the gun and rack the slide seems pretty remote.  So chambered risk is high, unchambered risk is low.

However, once I leave the house, I rack the slide and chamber a round.  The risk is higher out there than at home, and the risk of accidental discharge is lower.  So it makes sense.  The moment I come home and remove my holster, I simply eject the magazine and the chambered round.  I am back into a lower risk profile.

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And, after concealed and open carrying for many years, I can say my weapon has never had an accidental trigger pull or negligent discharge.

I call this approach of chambered and not chambered hybrid carry.

This approach makes the most sense for me.  I can weigh all the risks of chambered and empty, and adapt the scenario to the associated risks.

Hopefully, this approach will also put to bed one of the most contentious arguments in the gun world.  Hopefully.

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FINDING A VEGAN CONCEALED CARRY HOLSTER **UPDATE!**

UPDATED!  I have purchased another vegan holster, from Bladetech and included it at the end.

I’ll save the whole “Wait…you’re a vegan and you have guns!?” discussion for another day.  Yes, yes I own guns and enjoy self-defense and target shooting.  Moving on.

One of the hardest things to find for me, is a vegan concealed carry holster.  Most brands, made by companies like Galco and others are made mostly with leather and polymer.

BLACKHAWK

Fortunately, when I recently purchased my Springfield XDS .45, the store had an ample supply of vegan holsters made by Blackhawk.

My Springfield Armory XDS chambered in .45 in the Blackhawk size 5 holster.

It is important to note that these holsters are not marketed (for obvious reasons) as a vegan holster.  They are basically an inexpensive option for people that can’t afford (financially or morally, I guess) the leather versions.

I’ll take it!  This puppy was $12.00 and works like a charm.  It’s like the Payless shoes for vegan gun owners (vegans will get the joke)!

The holster material is already forming to the shape of the pistol in only 2 days.

The nice part about their website is that they also organize the holsters by material.  So you can quickly identify which are vegan and which are not.  The nylon options are here.

My only complaint is the tapered section (as you see in the image) leaves the grooves on the rear of the slide exposed.  When seated, this presses those metal grooves into your back which is not the most comfortable.  Eventually this may affect the gun’s finish, but we’ll see.

For a $12.00, non-leather holster you cannot go wrong with this option!

BLADETECH

In December, 2015 I was strolling the aisles of my local cabelas, and looked at the plastic CCW holsters they offered.  I found this option for the XDS, priced at $23.

Unlike the Blackhawk above, I wanted something that offered more positive locking of the pistol.  The holster from Bladetech was inexpensive, solid plastic, and has a positive “click” when the gun is fully seated.

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The Bladetech offering.

The belt clip also has a much better “barb” that provides more secure carry in the belt.

I have not spent a ton of time with the holster, but the past few days I feel it is comfortable and easy to carry.