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 SIG Sauer P226 carried in a Mitch Rosen holster. We're also carrying a Galco Gunleather SB3 gun belt, a SureFire flashlight, a Hogue EX02 knife and a Galco magazine carrier.
SIG Sauer P226 (MSRP: $1,087)
While the SIG Sauer P226 is a tad on the larger side for an everyday-carry pistol, it’s a classic double-/single-action design with a generous capacity. Current iterations of this design feature an accessory rail for lights, lasers or combination light/laser units, but functionally the P226 has remained the same since its introduction in the 1980s, ironically in response to the U.S. Army’s solicitation for a new handgun to replace the 1911.
The double-/single-action design allows the P226, like all DA/SA handguns, to be safely carried with a round in the chamber. Unlike the Beretta 92 or Smith & Wesson 39/59, though, the P226 does not offer a safety; the lever on the side only decocks the pistol when employed. A heavy double-action pull, much like that of a standard double-action revolver, is followed by a lighter single-action pull. Fifteen more, in the case of the standard P226, to be precise; although 18-round, flush-fit magazines are available in the aftermarket. One important note regarding the double-/single-action design: remember to decock the pistol before starting the reholster procedure; in fact, as our Skills Check editor Ed Head recommends, take a brief pause to reset, decock the pistol, then reholster slowly.
At first glance, a heavy, all-metal pistol like the P226 (it tips the scales at 34 ounces) might appear to be overshadowed by other, lighter polymer offerings. Much like the 1911, though, one of the big attractions of a popular pistol like the P226 is the wide availability of aftermarket upgrades and accessories. Stocks, magazines and even replacement slides and barrels are available from a wide variety of manufacturers—like the Trijicon HD night sights that have replaced the standard sights on this particular pistol. There are even kits to turn your 9 mm, .40 S&W or .357 SIG P226 into a .22 Long Rifle variant for inexpensive practice or plinking. If you plan on lots of trigger time with your everyday carry pistol, always a good idea, the P226 is worth consideration.
Mitch Rosen/SIG branded Premier Express Holster (MSRP: $90)
Co-branded with SIG Sauer, the Mitch Rosen Premier Express holster offers an aggressive forward cant for rapid presentation, quality cowhide construction and two straps that snap over a belt for rapid attachment or removal without taking off the belt. The Premier Express holster is available for right- or left-hand shooters and is also available in Havana Brown.
Galco SB3 Dress Belt (MSRP: $93)
With fully lined, premium steerhide construction and a feathered edge, Galco’s SB3 dress belt both looks good and will carry your gear with ease. One and a half inches wide, with solid brass or nickel plated buckles, the SB3 is available in brown or black to match your gear or your daily apparel.
Galco Concealable Magazine Case (MSRP: $52)
Constructed of premium steerhide saddle leather, Galco’s Concealable Magazine case keeps a spare magazine tucked close to the body for optimal concealment. A single tunnel loop fits belts up to one and three-quarter inches wide, and the magazine case is available in black, tan and the Havana brown shown.
Hogue/SIG branded EX02 Folding Knife (MSRP: $219.95)
Designed to complement the SIG Sauer line of pistols, the Hogue EX02 folding knife offers a spear-point blade constructed of 154CM stainless steel that employs a flipper opening system. Scales are G10 construction and Hogue’s proprietary G-Mascus black/gray color scheme with inset SIG logo. Blade length is 3.75 inches, overall length is 8.75 inches and the weight is a decent 7.1 ounces. The EX02 also features a stainless steel liner locking mechanism and a reversible pocket clip.
SureFire G2X LE ($70)
When it comes to EDC gear, it’s good to keep things simple, like the operation of SureFire’s G2X LE flashlight. Powered by two CR123A batteries, the G2X LE has two settings: High and low. You can cycle between the two either by clicking or simply pushing the button and it returns to the “high” setting as a default. Clicking will leave the light on; pushing is momentary-on only. 600 lumens are available on high, for a run-time of an hour and a half, while the low setting of 15 lumens can go for 52 hours.