Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together an ideal everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Remington RP9 in a Mission First Tactical holster. Rounding out the gear is a Blackhawk QuickMod magazine carrier, a 5.11 Tactical TMT L2x flashlight, a Coast DX311 double-lock folding knife and a Sneaky Pete Match Grade belt.
Remington RP9 (MSRP: $489)
Remington’s first foray into the crowded full-size, striker-fired polymer-frame pistol market, the RP9 represents a sea change for the company in its product lines. Remington makes 1911s, R51s and RM380s, all metal-framed pistols, with the only “plastic” handgun in the product line, ever, the unique XP-100 bolt-action. The RP9 (soon to be expanded to other calibers including .45 ACP) brings a modern design to the 200-year-old company.
With no external safeties save the ubiquitous trigger-mounted one, the RP9’s unique—some would say ungainly—appearance belies a utilitarian pedigree. The rounded grip should fit just about any hand, with a rounded, sculpted feel that even the largest mitts can grab easily. No concessions were made for looks, and while there’s no denying that “holster appeal” can often play into a firearm purchase decision, there’s a beauty to be found in function. This RP9 has fired in excess of 1,000 rounds with no failures of any type—that performance looks pretty darn good no matter what you think of the pistol’s aesthetics.
What’s the appeal of the RP9? Honestly, it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t appeal to anyone looking for a full-size, striker-fired handgun. MSRP is $489, and pistols have been spotted in new condition on gunstore shelves for around $300. For this price you get two 18-round magazines, a thoroughly reliable firearm and three backstraps to fit the RP9 to your hand.
Mission First Tactical Outside the Waistband Holster (MSRP: $69.99)
Launched last year, Mission First Tactical’s holster line is hand-crafted from Boltaron (a proprietary thermoplastic alloy). I had the pleasure of visiting Mission First earlier this year, and in fact had a hand in making this particular holster. Standard black holsters are currently available, while the prints will be rolled out later this year.
Sneaky Pete Match Grade Belt (MSRP: $29.95)
Given all we ask a gun belt to do, it’s not surprising to see variants that cost upwards of a C-note. The Sneaky Pete Match grade belt, though, continues this “I Carry” segment’s focus on value and offers a 1 ½-inch wide, 3/16-inch thick leather belt for under $30. It’s designed to support a holstered firearm and spare magazine carrier, and color-matched to the Sneaky Pete line of holsters.
5.11 Tactical TMT L2x Flashlight (MSRP: $74.99)
Two CR123 batteries (included) power this 638-lumen light for up to 3 hours on high mode (24 hours on low mode with 52 lumens), offering plenty of light in a rugged aluminum housing. The TMT L2x is water- and impact-resistant, employs a Cree XML-B LED light, and has handy pocket clip. There’s even a neat lock-out twist-ring to prevent accidental draining of the batteries due to inadvertent activation.
Coast DX311 Double-Lock Folding Knife (MSRP: $18)
Also in keeping with the budget-minded theme of this segment, Coast Knives’ DX311 offers a plain or serrated, 3.35-inch blade, thumbhole opening and a double-lock system for ensuring the blade stays open. All this in a 3.2-ounce package that retails for under $20? At that price, buy two and sock one away just in case…
One of the downsides to the RP9’s increased capacity is a slightly larger magazine size that prevents it from comfortably fitting in most magazine carriers. Even if the carrier is designed for a double-stack 9 mm magazine, the RP9 mag was found to be larger than most. Enter the Blackhawk QuickMod case, which has a spring-steel clip to retain even a magazine as large as the RP9’s. The QuickMod has a fast-adjustment system that allows it to function with belts from 1.5 to 2.25 inches wide.