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 using the Glock G43 to build a complete daily carry kit using an IWB holster from Mission First Tactical, a smart, trackable key organizer from KeySmart, a Bear & Son knife and OC less-than-lethal spray from POM Industries.
We’ve spent lots of time in this video series discussing the benefits of the Glock G43, we’ve featured many different holsters for it, and there’s a reason. This gun is incredibly popular. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out our earlier videos, but to summarize, it’s thin, it’s light, it’s reliable and it’s supported by a huge marketplace of accessories, all positives for the concealed-carrier. With that, let’s jump into the holster.
Mission First Tactical IWB Holster
At Shooting Illustrated, we’re big fans of Mission First Tactical, which is probably best-known for its line of AR-15 accessories. However, the company moved into holster-manufacturing in a big way just a couple years back, and we’ve taken a look at some of its offerings in past “I Carry” videos. One of the latest introductions for 2019 is this simple, no-frills, appendix-carry holster designed for the Glock G43, although the trigger-guard-based friction retention and open bottom mean it can also accommodate newer single-stack Glock models, namely the G43X and the G48.
Since we’re spending a bit more time on the holster in this video, it’s a good opportunity to examine some of the nuances of an all-Kydex design that you should look for in any holster, not just in the Mission First Tactical lineup. The first thing you’ll notice is this rounded profile at the holster mouth. This design provides two benefits. The cutout on the holster’s leading edge provides plenty of room for slide-mounted reflex sights. Though Glock doesn’t offer a factory G43 with an optics cut, a number of companies are offering services to modify an OEM Glock slide or completely new slides that incorporate a milled slot for a red dot, so this is a welcome feature for those looking to carry with a red-dot sight.
At the trailing edge of the holster, you’ll notice that quite a bit of material is removed, exposing the gun’s frontstrap up to the bottom of the trigger guard. This is critical to obtaining a solid hold on the grip frame during the initial draw. Grip matters for gun-handling performance, and you can’t be shifting and adjusting your grip during the presentation phase of a draw. When you get your strong hand on the gun while it’s in the holster, your carry rig of choice should allow you to choke up on the gun while it’s still holstered.
Finally, let’s talk about the clip. There are tons of different methods out there for securing a holster to your waistband. This Mission First Tactical holster uses a simple, open-ended belt clip made from flexible polymer that you can bend over your gun belt. The benefit of this wide, polymer clip design is that you can quickly mount your carry gun and go, and the wide design provides a larger footprint on the belt line to minimize canting. However, for maximum concealment, you’ll want a loose shirt over your waistband, because the design isn’t tuckable, and that belt clip is pretty conspicuous.
KeySmart PRO Edition
While we’re slimming down with our concealed-carry rig, we’ll also see if we can make other elements of our daily carry gear a bit easier to EDC, and one great accessory that enhances your everyday-carry kit is the KeySmart. Instead of having all of your keys loose on a key ring, where they jangle around loudly and poke into your thigh, the KeySmart organizes them all into a slim unit with individual keys that flip out like the accessories on a pocket knife. This particular KeySmart is the company’s Pro model, which includes a built-in LED flashlight and is compatible with the Tile App. If you’re missing your keys, simply use the app to make the KeySmart ring loudly. What if you have your keys but can’t find your phone? Use the Tile button on the KeySmart, and your phone will start ringing to alert you to its location.
Bear & Son Bear Edge 61106 Sideliner
Moving to our EDC knife, we’re running against the grain here, because so many of today’s EDC enthusiasts love a high-end knife. We’re talking hundreds of dollars here, and if that’s what floats your boat, awesome. However, I love a simple, inexpensive pocket knife for daily carry. I’m not going to fight with it, I’m not going to build a survival camp with it, and I’m not going to feed a family of four with it. For what I encounter on a daily basis, I need something that’ll let me open packages, cut tape and strings and perform other easy, utilitarian tasks. For that, an inexpensive knife like the Bear Edge Sideliner here will do the job. And best of all, since it doesn’t cost much, I don’t have to worry about dinging this one up. Plus, despite its low cost, this EDC knife is packed with features, like a 440 stainless-steel blade, spring-assisted deployment and a reversible pocket-carry clip.
POM OC Spray (MSRP)
Finally, let’s discuss less-than-lethal gear from POM Industries. Carrying a firearm for self-defense is great, but that’s a zero-to-one-hundred response that doesn’t have any stops in-between. It’s possible to handle a threat using OC spray, and that’s an option that you should consider for legal, moral and psychological reasons. What if it doesn’t stop an attacker? Well, the other benefit of OC spray is that its quick and judicious deployment can give you a chance to create some space between you and your assailant. This gives you time to either get away or draw your gun if lethal force is then required.