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I Carry: H&K VP9 Tactical in a CrossBreed SnapSlide Holster

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 Heckler & Koch VP9 Tactical carried in a CrossBreed SnapSlide holster. We're also carrying a Crimson Trace Laserguard, a 5.11 Tactical XBT A2 flashlight, Buck Knives Inertia and a Black Beard Belts Peacekeeper gun belt.

Gun: Heckler & Koch VP9 Tactical ($899)

Before getting into the details of this rig, it’s important to consider why the VP9 Tactical is a solid option for personal defense, particularly over the company’s original VP9. The difference between the two is simple. The Tactical simply has a threaded barrel and suppressor-height sights, so size- and weight-wise, carrying the VP9 Tactical is no different than the original VP9.

So, why choose the Tactical? Well, you get all the benefits of the original 9 mm VP9, like the improved ergonomics, enhanced striker-fired trigger, charging supports and customizable grip. But when you get to your house, now you have a great home-defense platform that can take a suppressor to protect your family’s hearing. The H&K VP series also accommodates a host of accessories, thanks to a built-in frame rail.

Laser: Crimson Trace LG-499G ($309)

One such accessory that’s purpose-built for use on the VP9 is the Crimson Trace Laserguard, which fits snugly onto the frame rail of the handgun. An instinctive-activation pad runs underneath the trigger guard, ensuring that the laser comes to life once users obtain a solid firing grip. This particular model incorporates the company’s green laser, which is much more visible in both daylight and nighttime than similar red-laser models.

Having a laser sight like the Crimson Trace Laserguard on your home defense or concealed carry pistol can be an incredibly helpful aiming aid, particularly in low-light conditions. In a high-stress self-defense scenario, having an added reference point while getting on target can save precious seconds and end the threat quicker.

Holster: CrossBreed Holsters SnapSlide OWB ($48.50)

Of course, having a laser mounted on your firearm necessitates a form-fitted holster to accommodate the combination. No worries, though. Crimson Trace has already thought ahead and developed a Holster Resource Guide, more than 44 pages of holster designs that accommodate the company’s light and laser products.

One such design is the CrossBreed SnapSlide, an outside-the-waistband rig that snugs a carry gun up tight against the body in a strong-side carry position. The tight, flat design ensures that a loose-fitting shirt will easily conceal the platform while still presenting it in an ideal position for a quick draw.

Flashlight: 5.11 Tactical XBT A2 ($31.49)

Another essential element for a daily carry or home-defense kit is a solid flashlight, and the XBT A2 from 5.11 Tactical is built for heavy-duty use by civilians and professionals alike. The housing is machined from aluminum and holds two AA batteries, powering the 256-lumen light for a total run time of 2 and a half hours.

Knife: Buck Knives Inertia ($60)

Completely made in the USA, the Buck Knives Inertia provides users with a solid daily carry folder that opens easily with a single hand. The 3 1/8-inch drop-point blade is machined from 420HC stainless steel and deploys rapidly, thanks to the spring-assisted mechanism. For safety while stashed inside a pocket, the Inertia features a simple locking mechanism next to the flipper tab. The knife is completed with durable nylon handles and weighs just 3.8 ounces.

Belt: Black Beard Belts Peacekeeper Gun Belt ($109.99)

All of this gear can be easily secured by the new Peacekeeper Gun Belt from Black Beard Belts. This duty-ready design takes the concept of a gun belt to the next level, having been made from polymer-coated nylon that resists folding, rolling, stretching and weathering that plagues leather belts. The unique ratcheting buckle means that users can find their perfect size, since it adjusts belt size by only ¼ inch per click.

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