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’re focusing on the Springfield Armory 911 in 9mm, along with a Wright Leather Works holster, a Kershaw knife and a Thyrm DarkVault phone case.
Springfield Armory 911 9mm ($659)
At first glance, it looks like we’re discussing the .380 ACP 911 Springfield introduced a while back. But actually, this is the company’s 9mm variant of the same design. It isn’t immediately apparent, because the guns are pretty close in size. This 9mm variant is less than half an inch longer than the .380 model and is just under 3 ounces heavier. So, for about the same size, you can take advantage of the harder-hitting 9mm while retaining all of the 1911-style controls of the 911.
Some of you might be looking at this going, “Isn’t that just a rebranded SIG P938?” Yeah, there’s no denying that it’s pretty similar to SIG’s 1911-style micro-compact, but Springfield made some of its own adjustments to a tiny 1911 that ultimately benefit the consumer. First, the 911 is a bit lighter than the SIG. We’re talking less than an ounce, but in a small gun like this, it can make a difference. In addition, Springfield’s offering can generally be found priced a bit lower than comparable models from SIG Sauer.
If you’re looking for even greater savings, then Springfield’s 911 Alpha line is one to keep an eye on. It’s only available in .380 ACP at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it expand in the future, and the models in this lineup are even more affordable than Springfield’s flagship 911 models. Of course, the benefit of having an option like the 911 available is if you’re used to 1911-style controls. This pistol features a single-action-style trigger and a manual thumb safety placed in a similar location to those manual safeties found on full-size 1911s.
Wright Leather Works Purse Holster ($75)
To carry this 911 9mm, I selected a Wright Leather Works Pocket Holster a while back, and I was surprised to find that the company has since re-branded it as a “Purse Holster.” I have to say that I’m not a fan of that characterization, because I feel strongly that any off-body holster should be designed to secure to a fixed point inside a messenger bag, backpack or purse. This holster, as you can see, has no way to mount inside a CCW compartment like other holsters that feature hook-and-loop backing or a mechanical mounting device.
However, that said, the team at Wright Leather Works didn’t change the design at all, so it still works as an effective pocket holster. Like all of the company’s holsters, the craftsmanship shines through, and the rough-out hide on the exterior of the holster helps to anchor the design inside a pocket and keeps the holster in place during a draw. It’s the same price as the company’s other holster and features more of streamlined, minimalist design with less material.
Kershaw Eris ($49.99)
One of my favorite knives in the Kershaw lineup is the Eris, built with a sleek handle made from stainless steel and treated with a matte-grey titanium carbo-nitride finish. The Eris is built with an 8Cr13MoV stainless-steel blade, complete with a drop-point profile and top swedge. However, the stand-out feature is its incredibly easy SpeedSafe opening mechanism, ensuring that users have ready access to their EDC tool when needed. It’s affordable, slim and very usable, even without a textured surface.
Thyrm DarkVault ($89.99)
Since we’ve got a holster that’s apparently aimed at off-body carry, we’ll take a look at the Thyrm DarkVault, which is a cool option that fits into your backpack or messenger bag. In today’s world of four-figure smartphones, keeping your phone protected from damage and from the elements is critical. The DarkVault is a durable, waterproof case that you can use to keep your electronics protected while you’re out exploring the wild.
However, there’s another hidden feature to this DarkVault that’s pretty cool, too. In addition to being a protective, polymer case, it’s also a Faraday cage. That means that any electronics stored inside are cut off electronically from the outside world. Personally, I kind of like the idea of being able to control when and where I’m tracked in an age when pretty much all consumer electronics are constantly recording.
Products like the Thyrm DarkVault give some control back to the individual, so I can choose when and where I want the aid of GPS locating or apps that listen in on what I’m saying. The conveniences of the modern world are great, but phones pick up much of our information without our knowing about it, and any piece of gear that allows me to control some of that information-sharing is great to have.
All of this gear represents just one of an incredible number of combinations on the market today, and it’s important for everyone to find the EDC kit that works best for them. Looking for something different than what you see here? Stay tuned to “I Carry” to see more concealed-carry setups.