Firearm: Kimber Micro9 Rapide (Black Ice) (MSRP: $883)
Concealed carry is trickier for me than many other people because I’m only 5 feet tall and 110 pounds. So, the first thing I consider with any gun is its size. This Kimber Micro 9 Rapide in Black Ice, however, is small enough at 4 inches tall and 6 inches long for me to conceal it with the help of the DeSantis Slim-Tuk holster.
Now, if you’re familiar with the full-size Kimber Rapide, the look of this Micro 9 won’t be new to you, but I’m glad they took that styling into a concealable option. I love the look of this gun, with its two-tone silver/gray finish and black contrasts. It’s not ostentatious, but it’s just fancy enough that I might want to show it off at the range.
The most important thing, of course, is how it shoots, and this little guy shoots like a dream. It’s aluminum-framed rather than polymer, and especially in a small gun, that makes a noticeable difference in felt recoil. Many women I know opt for .380s because they don’t feel they can control a small 9 mm, but this gun shoots nicer than some polymer.380s that I own. The texturing on the grips and frame are well done. The beavertail flares out perfectly—for my hands, at least—and that also adds a bit of help fighting the gun’s flip, in addition to protecting your hand from the slide.
The beavertail does lead me to my one complaint about this gun—the ambidextrous safety. Now, I think it’s great to make a gun ambidextrous, but in this case, I’ve found that it catches my skin when I have my hand up as high under the beavertail as it can go, which is my natural way to grip. This is something that can be overcome with familiarity, but it’s something to be aware of when you first get the gun.
The Kimber Micro 9 Rapide comes standard with TRUGLO TFX Pro day/night sights. The tritium green dots on the rear and front glow in the dark, but tritium can be hard to see in daylight. Here, the front sight is also outlined in a high-contrast orange, making it really pop. The rear sight is a U-notch and slightly angled on the front so you can rack the slide one-handed (using a hard edge) if necessary.
Swapping magazines is a smooth process, thanks to the magazine well’s beveled, funnel-like design. Unfortunately, only one seven-round magazine comes with the gun, and, if you have a different Micro 9, its magazines will not fit. (Kimber assures me they’re working on an adapter that would let you use the other Micro 9 magazines, but I like the pinkie rest on this one, so I would spring for the extra mags.) These magazines are high-quality stainless steel, and like all of Kimber’s products, are made in the U.S.
Holster: DeSantis Slim-Tuk (MSRP: $34.99)
As much as I liked it, I didn’t think I could carry the Kimber Micro 9 Rapide concealed on my body until I tried it in the DeSantis Slim-Tuk. This is a minimalist Kydex holster with a nylon clip, which, like the gun, is ambidextrous—just switch the clip to the other side. Both the tension and the carry angle are easy to adjust with a screwdriver. I prefer Kydex holsters so I don’t have to shape them like leather, the holster mouth is naturally always fully open for re-holstering, and they have a very satisfying locking feel when the gun is holstered. DeSantis makes quality products here in the U.S., and I trust them.
Knife: Benchmade Mini-Griptilion (MSRP: $135)
The last item I’ll mention that I carry nearly every day is my Benchmade Mini-Griptilion. The handle is made with glass-filled nylon, which is strong but light, and I really like Benchmade’s AXIS lock because it feels natural to me. My Mini Griptilion is a numbered Mel Pardue version with a 2.9-inch, black half-serrated drop-point steel blade. These come in plain drop-points or plain sheepsfoot styles as well. But the half-serrated blade makes this the perfect knife for everything, as far as I’m concerned, and you can see I’ve given it quite a workout. This is my second Mini-Griptilion, by the way—I lost my first one on a hiking trail somewhere in Colorado. I mourned its loss so much that a friend finally bought me another, probably just to hush me up! One last thought—though I didn’t intend this to be a theme for this video, Benchmade knives are also made in the U.S.A., which is just one more thing to love about them.