Firearm: Savage Stance (MSRP: $479)
The introduction of the Savage Stance handgun at the very end of 2021 was an interesting thing to watch. Some couldn’t help but call attention to other handguns they felt the Stance resembled. Others snickered at the single-stack design, whining that Savage was about a decade late to that particular setup. Still others brought up the fair point that, in a world of the SIG Sauer P365, Springfield Armory Hellcat and others, the Stance’s capacity is rather lacking. As my kids are fond of saying, “Well, yes, but actually no.”
Most missed the significance of the Stance, if anything merely noting the considerable amount of time that had elapsed since Savage last offered a handgun (hint: Think Prohibition). That a company like Savage known for rifles and shotguns all of a sudden jumped back into the handgun market after a long absence? Hey, wait, are we talking about Savage… or Mossberg? For the second time in as many years, a manufacturer that had abandoned the concealed-carry market many decades prior was back in that game. That’s of major significance, and points to the ubiquity of concealed carry in the U.S. market in the 2020s.
Savage’s Stance offers striker-fired operation, 7- and 8-round magazines, 9 mm chambering, three color options and two front- and rear-sight options. With a 6.2-inch overall length, 4.6-inch height, .96-inch width and 22-ounce weight, the Stance is similar in dimension to most other single-stack pistols. Two backstraps help fit the Stance to the shooter’s hand, and it uses a steel chassis fire-control system like the Beretta APX or SIG Sauer P320 that will allow interchangeable grip modules.
While yes, coming out with a single-stack subcompact in the age of the micro-9 mm double-stack might at first seem a little odd, it’s important to remember that Savage is just getting back into the game after a pretty significant absence. It’s a pretty safe bet that the Stance line will evolve to include other more capacious models, very much like Mossberg has done with its MC line of pistols (which, again, also started with a subcompact, single-stack design). Rather than complain about what we think the company should have done, I’d say we should be happy for more options, and thankful for the amazing growth and expansion of concealed-carry that brought the Stance to fruition.
Holster: Clinger Holsters Comfort Cling Pocket Holster (MSRP: $27.97)
We’ve gone with the Clinger Holsters Comfort Cling pocket holster for the Savage Stance for two reasons. First, the Stance is pretty new in the handgun world, and a lot of manufacturers haven’t gotten around to offering a fit for Savage’s new handgun yet. Second, it highlights one of the advantages of the single-stack design of the Stance, in that the pistol is still slim enough to be carried in a pocket for deep concealment needs.
Constructed of a grippy outer material intended to anchor the holster in the pocket, the Comfort Cling offers a gel-like interior designed to cushion the body from the pistol when carried in a pocket. Robust construction fully covers the pistol, keeping debris and dust to a minimum. Of course, if you’re carrying a firearm in a pocket, there should never been anything other than the pistol and the holster inside that pocket, but Mr. Murphy has a way of making himself known.
Flashlight: Fenix PD40R (MSRP: $119.95)
While we’ve chosen the Savage Stance for its small size and portability, we’ve opted for a more or less full-size flashlight in today’s kit with the Fenix PD40R V2.0 rechargeable flashlight. While many circumstances might dictate deep concealment for a defensive handgun, or even a pocketknife, a powerful flashlight is an indispensable tool that is pretty much universally accepted. Handheld lights can be used to see your way to your car in a dark parking lot, locate a lost item under a desk or even identify potential threats in your backyard.
Fenix’s PD40R offers five settings activated by a rotating ring around the head of the flashlight. At first, this may seem more cumbersome than a tailcap switch, which in certain cases it is. However, for the overwhelming majority of uses, where you only need low or medium setting it is perfectly fine. In a threat scenario, a super powerful strobe setting sits at the opposite end of the ring, meaning a full twist and a disorienting 2,500-lumen pulsating strobe light is available. All this in a flashlight that fits in the palm of your hand and recharges using a standard USB-C cable.