Welcome to another episode of "I Carry,"Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Taurus Spectrum .380 ACP pistol in a CrossBreed ankle holster. We also have a CRKT tactical pen, a LEDLenser flashlight and a Gerber money clip knife.
Taurus Spectrum (MSRP: $289)
We’re setting up a backup/deep cover EDC kit here, so a micro-380 fits the bill. We have Taurus’s new Spectrum pistol today, which offers either 7- or 8-round capacity and 10-ounce weight, making it an excellent choice for deep cover. At only 5.4 inches long, 3.8 inches high and .89 inches wide, it’s quite small and can easily be concealed. A wide variety of thoughtful design options, covered in the July 2018 issue of Shooting Illustrated, make the Spectrum easy to carry and, well, mitigate the drawbacks of a small, light pocket pistol.
Now, I’m sure one or two of you out there are shaking your head and thinking to yourselves, hey, why the Spectrum and not one of the other micro-380s we’ve already seen? Good question. There’s really two factors at work here: Price and customization. While we all like to think that we’re immune to the charms of a fancy paint job, several manufacturers offer a dazzling variety of rainbow finishes, flat-dark-earth treatments and other colorful flourishes. Aesthetics matter to some people, and the Spectrum can be had in a dizzying variety of color combinations.
Second is price; the Spectrum comes at an affordable MSRP under $300, and can be found for about $50 less on store shelves. That’s a pretty low bar for entry for a backup or deep-cover firearm, especially one you can get in a variety of finishes. If the aesthetics don’t appeal to your creative side, the low price might be attractive to the accountant in the family.
CrossBreed Ankle Holster (MSRP: $34.95)
Ankle carry, while generally slower to deploy than waistband or pocket carry, offers advantages in concealability and access from a seated position. CrossBreed’s ankle holster keeps a small semi-auto firmly anchored via a hook-and-loop flap, and is padded for comfort. A calf strap helps keep the ankle holster from sliding down the leg, as well.
CRKT Tao 2 Tactical Pen (MSRP: $69.99)
If you’re carrying a micro 380, chances are good you’re looking to save space and consolidate gear. The Columbia River Knife & Tool Tao 2 Tactical pen allows you a less-lethal option that can also serve as, well, a pen. Even in today’s digital age, having a pen on your person is pretty commonplace, and the solid construction of the Tao 2 make it a formidable pain-compliance less-lethal device that won’t arouse suspicion.
LEDLenser P2 Flashlight (MSRP: $23)
In keeping with the smaller theme of this EDC kit, the LED Lenser P2 pocket flashlight is a great addition. At only 3.82 inches long and 1.3 ounce weight, the P2 will fit into any pocket or gear bag. Sixteen lumens are toggled via a standard tail cap, with seven hours of run time on a single triple A battery. There’s even a loop for adding it to your keyring to make it even easier to have with you or a lanyard to keep it on your wrist.
Gerber GDC Money Clip Knife (MSRP: $32)
In keeping with the low-profile, affordable ankle carry and a tactical pen, the GDC Money clip knife from Gerber is an excellent way to stash a small fixed-blade knife with your EDC gear in a way few will notice. The stainless steel body and clip hold credit cards, ID and paper currency, while the G10 front plate keeps the GDC clip together. A one and seven-eighths inch fixed blade knife is concealed inside, with an integral push-button release keeping it secure until needed. It’s an excellent, discreet way of having a knife on your person in any situation.