I Carry: Bersa BP9cc in a Safariland Holster

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posted on April 12, 2019

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 Bersa BP9cc in a Safariland holster. We also have a Bravo Concealment magazine carrier, Tac Shield tactical belt and Mission First Tactical OC spray.

Bersa BP9cc ($302)

Bersa is an Argentinian firearm manufacturer that’s probably best-known for its “Thunder” line of handguns, which are styled similar to a Walther PPK and feature a double-action/single-action operating system. Priced at an affordable level, the guns have been popular options for shooters on a budget, and Bersa continued that trend with its BP9cc. In fact, this is just one of several models available in the company’s BP CC series of guns, the first polymer-framed options for Bersa.

The BP9cc operates on a double-action-only system, complete with a short-reset trigger, ambidextrous controls and a slim, single-stack profile. The pistol features a few nice touches for the price, like the textured grip and thumb-rest on the frame, a beavertail that protects a shooter’s strong hand from the reciprocating slide and slightly beveled edges on the front of the slide that facilitate reholstering.

Really, my only complaint about the BP9cc is the sights. The three-dot sight picture is all right but not great, and the front sight uses a SIG Sauer dovetail, while the rear uses a Glock dovetail. Seems like it would make more sense to keep both to a common pattern, but Bersa chose to go a different direction.

Safariland Model 578 GLS Holster ($58)

We’re carrying the BP9cc in a Safariland outside-the-waistband holster. At this point, you might be saying, “Why the heck would anyone carry a compact pistol in an outside-the-waistband holster?” Personally, I can think of a few reasons. First, the Bersa BP9cc is priced at a point that’s perfect for those just starting their personal-defense kit. Some beginners might not be quite comfortable with inside-the-waistband wear just yet, for whatever reason, and the 578 GLS gives them a generous bucket for reholstering, as well as a built-in retention system. When you get a firing grip, the retention lever is pushed forward, releasing the gun for a clean draw.

When carrying in an OWB holster, retention is particularly critical. Sure, you can cover the holster with a jacket or even a baggy shirt, but many who use OWB holsters will be carrying openly, and how you go that requires many considerations. For one, having some kind of built-in retention system is important. Two, staying alert and aware of your surroundings is essential. People might notice that you are carrying, and you’ll want to be sure you aren’t attracting the wrong kind of attention from bad actors who might look to take you out of the fight first or attempt a grab at your gun.

Bravo Concealment Kydex Magazine Pouch ($39.99)

In keeping with our OWB belt setup, we’ve got a Bravo Concealment Kydex Magazine Pouch on our support side. Like I said before, an OWB setup is friendlier for those looking to get started in basic defensive gun-handling, and this mag carrier illustrates the point. IWB carriers are great for concealment, but it can take some work and practice to get a spare mag from inside the waistband. With this OWB magazine pouch, that spare mag is right there, with plenty of space around it to grab and go when you’re in need of a reload.

Tac Shield Tactical Gun Belt ($73.99)

One of the easiest ways to enhance comfort and stability in an EDC kit is to mount your holster, mag carrier and other gear onto a solid gun belt. There are lots of great options available, and one of the latest is the Tactical Gun Belt from Tac Shield. Now, right off the bat, this belt is far from a discreet, non-tactical option, and it’s not going to work with business casual, but for a day out and about with a cover garment, it’s a pretty solid option. The buckle is designed to thread through larger pant loops, much like those you find on purpose-built pants made by companies like Propper. The belt features a Poly Stiffener system that adds extra support in the spots where a strong-side holster and mag carrier are mounted.

Mission First Tactical OC Spray ($12.99)

For our final EDC item, let’s talk about less-lethal personal protection. In particular, we’ve got a small canister of OC spray from Mission First Tactical. Just because you’re carrying a gun doesn’t mean you should eliminate other personal-protection tools from your EDC kit. Using a handgun needs to be an absolute last resort, because the fact is that you’re likely to face a whole lot of aftershocks following a defensive-gun use, like potential criminal and civil litigation.

With that in mind, shouldn’t you take every opportunity to stop a threat before having to break out that last resort? Also, not every threat warrant the use of lethal force, and there are places where you can’t carry a firearm, but other defensive tools might be allowed. That’s where a can of OC spray can come in handy. This small canister slides easily into a pocket and packs enough oomph to send a beam of red-hot pepper spray into an attacker’s face up to 10 feet away. Each canister has enough pressure to shoot 25 times before running out.

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