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 aSmith & Wesson SW1911 Pro Series 9 mm carried in a Galco KingTuk Air holster. We also have aStreamlight flashlight, aLeatherman Tread multi-tool and a Vertx Guardian concealed-carry shirt.
Gun: Smith & Wesson SW1911 Pro Series 9 mm ($1,330)
When you think of Smith & Wesson, your mind might not go right to the company’s line of 1911 handguns, and that’s understandable. Smith & Wesson is definitely known primarily for its collection of revolvers and polymer-framed M&P pistols, but the SW1911 lineup is definitely not one to miss, particularly this new model from the company’s performance center.
The Smith & Wesson Pro Series 9mm is built specifically for concealed-carry use and incorporates many custom elements designed to enhance its potential as a defensive pistol. Stand-out features include its oversized external extractor, rounded frame and ambidextrous thumb safety. Also obvious is its compact size, featuring a barrel length of just three inches.
The pistol’s pretty light for a 1911, weighing about 26 and a half ounces with its scandium-alloy frame. However, the gun’s definitely shootable, and we can thank its 9mm chambering and classic 1911 ergonomics for that.
Holster: Galco KingTuk Air ($60)
I’m carrying the Pro Series SW1911 inside of a Galco KingTuk Air IWB holster. Actually, I have a lot of experience with this holster, as I carried a Glock G19 inside of one for quite a while, and there’s a lot to like about the rig. Right off the bat, you’ll notice the ventilated backing plate. Summers get hot in my neck of the woods, and it’s nice to have some air flow to avoid that sweaty spot that builds up on the backs of other holster options that aren’t as well-ventilated.
Another thing to highlight - actually two things - are the metal spring-clips that hold the rig in place. First, they’re adjustable for ride height, but secondly, they’re also designed to go on easily and attach solidly, thanks to the angled opening on the mouth of each clip. Each clip provides plenty of room behind it for tucking in shirt material, meaning this holster and the gun inside it can be concealed well.
Flashlight: Streamlight Jr. F-Stop ($55.08)
We’re also adding one of Streamlight’s latest products to this EDC kit: the company’s Jr. F-Stop light. This long, narrow worklight can be easily tucked into the corner of a pocket and remain out of the way until needed. With 250 lumens of output, the tool has enough power to light up your immediate area, and it’s powered by commonly available AA batteries. One thing I particularly like about the Jr. F-Stop is its sliding bezel, which allows users to focus the beam as needed. The bezel doesn’t move without a little force, though, which means it’ll remain in a user’s preferred position.
Multi-Tool: Leatherman Tread ($174.95)
Multi-tools are great to have handy when something more than a pocket knife is needed, but many designs tend to be bulky and heavy. Who’s really going to carry a brick around in their pocket all day? This issue occurred to the folks at Leatherman, and they designed the Tread bracelet to solve that issue. The Tread is designed to latch on like any metal watchband, except that this does a whole lot more than your watch band ever did. The Tread features 29 different tools, including a bottle opener, hex drives, screwdrivers and box wrenches. The only thing to be aware of is that it is a little on the heavy side, since it’s made entirely from 17-4 stainless steel, and getting good leverage on some of the tools can be a little tricky, but this bracelet definitely adds capabilities to your EDC kit.
Cover Garment: Vertx Guardian T-Shirt ($64.95)
All right, so we have all this gear for our EDC kit, but now we need a solid cover garment. For comfort, many people choose to wear an undershirt with their IWB holster, but adding layers, especially in summer, can be sweat-inducing. For summer wear, Vertx introduced its Guardian line, which provides a compression underlayer that runs from the bottom of the chest to the waist. This breathable VaporCore layer provides all-day carry comfort, and the shirt itself is designed with snap-button closures that allow users to quickly and easily access their concealed-carry gun.