Firearm: Smith & Wesson Model 360PD (MSRP: $1,075)
With 10- and 11-round micro-9 mm double-stack pistols plentiful, it’s harder than ever to make much of a case for a 5- or 6-shot revolver. Now, of course, if you’re familiar with wheelguns and shoot them well, that’s great, but for general purposes, a P365 or Hellcat loaded with anywhere from 11 to 14 rounds of +P 9mm ammo is going to be more attractive than 5 rounds of .38 Special. Especially when the guns are roughly the same size and weight.
There is, however, one area where the wheelgun might be the superior option. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and find yourself communing with nature on a frequent basis, you might want greater options in your ammunition selection. That’s where a revolver like Smith & Wesson’s 360PD comes in. You can stoke it with CCI .38 Special snake shot should you be hiking in an area where rattlers might be encountered, or you can load hot, hardcast .357 Magnum rounds if there’s a likelihood of coming across a larger predator.
Now, here’s the hard part. This is a .357 Magnum revolver. It weighs 11.7 ounces. This translates, well, into OUCH. Even with standard .38 Special ammunition, this is not going to be particularly fun to shoot. I’ve owned this particular 360 for quite a few years, and on multiple occasions, friends who wanted to shoot it got exactly two rounds of .357 Magnum off before handing it back to me. I suspect they took the second shot simply to see if the first was, perhaps, double-charged with powder or something. It is painful to shoot even a couple of cylinders. However, there’s little denying the power of .357 Magnum, even out of the shorter barrel.
For everyday carry, .38 Special +P rounds are nearly as powerful as their .357 Magnum counterparts, but slightly less painful to shoot. Be careful, though, with lighter-weight projectiles, as anything lighter than 120-grain runs the risk of coming apart under recoil, especially with the .357 Magnum. There’s quite a bit to consider, but if you keep your bullet weights heavy and your range sessions short, it’s an advanced tool for specialized applications that can serve you well.
Holster: Mission First Tactical J-Frame Revolver Ambidextrous IWB/OWB (MSRP: $49.99)
We’ve discussed the importance of being flexible so far in this kit, which is why we’ve chosen the Mission First Tactical J-Frame revolver ambidextrous IWB/OWB holster. As the name implies, this holster is suitable for either right- or left-hand carry, meaning southpaws can use this holster, or it can be carried on one’s support side as a backup gun. The IWB/OWB, much like the Smith & Wesson 360PD, offers a lot of versatility.
Constructed of Boltaron, the IWB/OWB features a 1.5-inch belt clip that can be adjusted for either 0- or 15-degree cant and can be mounted on either side of the holster. A deep sight channel allows for tall sights, while an abbreviated sweat guard keeps perspiration off the handgun (and the handgun off your body).
Accessory: MyMedic The Solo First Aid Kit Advanced (MSRP: $100)
If you’re spending any time out in the Great Outdoors, having a comprehensive medical kit is an absolute necessity. Even if all you’re doing is hiking through a well-traveled trail in your local city, there’s any number of hazards you might encounter. Sure, you’re most likely to need sting relief or a bandaid, but why not carry a medical kit that covers a wide range of emergencies just to be safe?
MyMedic’s The Solo first-aid kit, Advanced has more than 45 essential supplies. The basics like adhesive bandages, antihistamines and even Tylenol are included, but more advanced kit like tourniquets, quick-clot and chest seals round out the kit. It’s probable you’ll never need these advanced items, but they really don’t take up a lot of space or add significant weight, and like we say, it’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it, right? The kit comes in a number of colors including bright-red and can be carried on a belt or attached to a backpack.