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I Carry: H&K VP9-B in a DeSantis IWB 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-B in a DeSantis holster. We also have a Vertx shirt, an Ontario Knife Company knife and a Cobra Belt from Vedder Holsters.

Heckler & Koch VP9-B ($719)

The VP9-B launched last year as an “all-new” addition to the popular VP9 lineup, but really, there isn’t much new about it. Basically, the company caved to American demands for a push-button magazine release rather than the paddle-style release. That’s it. However, this new introduction gives us a chance to take a fresh look at the VP9 and its highlights. Though not quite as ubiquitous as a Glock, H&K handguns are popular for a variety of reasons.

True, you’ll spend more on a VP9 than you will on a similarly spec’d-out Glock G19, but the VP9 has a few things Glock doesn’t. For one, the grip on the VP9 includes not only interchangeable backstraps but also interchangeable side panels for a completely customizable grip. Additionally, the VP9 also has one of the best triggers found in a striker-fired handgun, as well as unique, patented charging supports found at the rear of the slide.

DeSantis Invader IWB Holster ($50.99)

To carry the VP9-B, I went with one of the more-popular holster designs from DeSantis: the Invader IWB. Build affordably with a contoured, half-shell made from Kydex, this holster also features a synthetic body pad that’s made using a combination of ballistic nylon and neoprene. The ballistic nylon provides a rigid surface that aids in friction retention, while the soft, neoprene backer on the body side of the holster offers a comfortable surface that allows for all-day carry.

The DeSantis Invader attaches to the belt with two C-clips molded from glass-reinforced nylon. The bottom edge of the C-clips are open, allowing users to slide the holster onto a belt without having to remove the belt completely from their pant loops. The C-clips are attached using two Hex screws, and two mounting holes allow for slight adjustments to ride height and cant. The holster is also tuckable, so you can run a business-casual look with this rig if you want, though the clips will still be noticeable.

Ontario Knife Company Ranger Kerambit EOD Knife ($236.50)

On our support side, we’ve got a backup, fixed-blade knife in the form of the Ontario Knife Company Ranger Kerambit EOD. Interestingly, this fighting knife also came with a DeSantis Kydex sheath for easy carry. Kerambits have a long, rich history as multi-use blades, and the fixed-blade, full-tang design of this kerambit makes it durable enough to handle defensive use or daily tasks. However, this EDC addition requires a caveat: using a knife effectively absolutely requires good training, as SI contributor and edged-weapons expert Steve Tarani often writes. Be sure you seek it out before counting on this for defensive use.

Vedder Cobra Gun Belt ($62.99)

With our gun and fixed-blade knife hanging off our waist, we need a solid, sturdy belt to keep everything secure and in place. Generally, I don’t like wearing these tactical-style, Cobra belts, but if you’ve got a cover garment hanging over your belt, nobody’s going to notice what belt you have, so you can maintain a discreet profile. Though they do tend to scream, “tactical,” cobra-style belts like this option from Vedder are incredibly strong, durable and sturdy, so you can’t really do much better than this to secure your gear. The nice thing about this Vedder belt is that the cobra buckle is sized small enough to fit through regular belt loops.

Vertx Short-Sleeve Guardian Shirt ($64.95)

Of course, to hide all of our gear, we need a solid cover garment. This Vertx Guardian shirt is built from the ground up to be ideally constructed for concealed-carry use. There’s a unique, double-layer design underneath the outer cover garment that includes a compression underlayer that can be tucked into your pants. This not only provides an added cushion layer for your holster to keep you comfortable, it also is designed to keep you cool on hot days, thanks to the company’s VaporCore construction. Snap-button closures allow for immediate, rapid access, and gusseted joints provide complete freedom of movement during a draw stroke.

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.

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