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 Springfield Armory 911 in a Galco ankle holster. We also have a Blackhawk magazine carrier, an LA Police Gear flashlight and a CRKT knife.
Springfield Armory 911 Loaded (MSRP: $599)
Unveiled at SHOT Show 2018 was Springfield Armory’s first pistol chambered in .380 ACP, the 911. This diminutive, 1911-style pistol offers a 2.7-inch barrel, full length guide rod, tritium night sights and G10 grips as standard features, and does so while keeping weight to 12.6 ounces and an overall length of 5 and a half inches. It’s a great size for backup or deep-cover duty and holds 7 rounds of .380 ACP with 8 rounds in reserve with the extended magazine.
Pistols the size of the 911 are both a blessing and a curse. They’re quite easy to conceal, making them ideal for use as backup guns or for deep concealment in dire situations. That same small size, though, makes them harder to shoot. There’s less area to grip, a shorter sight radius for aiming and can often require a change in hand position entirely. For example, an extremely short-barrel pistol might require the support hand dip down to avoid coming near the muzzle. It’s absolutely critical to receive quality training and reinforce that training with practice with these types of handguns. As a bonus, you get to know your small pistol better.
Springfield Armory‘s small 911 is a solid option, but especially for fans of 1911-style handguns. We often stress the importance of keeping a similar manual of arms between firearms, like having a Shield as a backup to an M&P full size, and the 911 allows someone that carries a 1911 as their primary pistol to have a backup or deep-concealment gun that features a similar operating system. It’s a smart way to transition from big gun to small gun when needed without needing to mentally re-train how to run each.
Galco COP Ankle Band Holster (MSRP: $59)
When going for deep cover or backup use, ankle carry is a solid choice for an unobtrusive method to hide your pistol. Galco’s COP Ankle band offers a neoprene band with hook-and-loop closures, an acrylic fleece pad for comfort and an adjustable hook-and-loop retention strap for security. For those concerned about the elasticized pocket not adequately protecting the trigger, fear not – there’s a leather reinforcement to prevent inadvertent activation of the loud switch.
Blackhawk Tecgrip Magazine Holster (MSRP: $14.95)
We’ve covered Blackhawk’s Tecgrip line previously with the company’s pocket holsters, and the same innovative features inherent in the firearm holsters transfer over to the magazine variant. Nylon lining inside the carrier allows magazines to be retrieved rapidly, while the grippy outer layer keeps the holster anchored in the pocket. The Tecgrip magazine holster keeps the magazine properly oriented and dirt- and debris-free, which is exactly what you want in a pocket magazine carrier.
LA Police Gear L2 Flashlight (MSRP: $54.99)
Not all flashlights have to be super expensive. The L2 from LA Police Gear offers three power settings and a strobe, and has two different operating systems. In one, only high output and strobe are offered; in the second, there’s a high, medium and low setting. On the high setting, the L2 offers 730 lumens for a run time of 2.3 hours. Medium setting yields 305 lumens with a 3.3 hour run time, and Low setting gives 10 lumens for a significant 63 hours. The L2 is powered by 2 CR123 batteries and is water- and impact resistant. It even comes with a pocket clip and a section to attach a lanyard.
CRKT Offbeat Folding Knife ($39.99)
If you’re looking for a folding knife that lives up to its name, CRKT’s Offbeat is a definite contender. Offering a three and a half inch, 8CR13MOV drop-point blade, the Offbeat opens using a standard thumbstud. However, when kept open or closing, the unique lockback mechanism is part of the Offbeat’s charm. Designed by renowned knife designer Pat Crawford, the novel locking notch is intended to keep the blade open under heavy use, as the lock is tightened with increased grip. To close, simply pull the lock out of the notch and close. Handles and the blade are polished steel, and give the Offbeat a uniform, interesting finish.