Firearm: Walther WMP (MSRP: $549)
One of the favorite guns in my collection is a 22 caliber revolver that was previously owned by my father in law. He carried it on his hip as he traveled through the pine forests of northern Arizona, and it’s a great example of what’s called a “kit gun,” A kit gun can be best thought of as something you carry in addition to your long gun when you’re out hunting, camping or hiking. It’s not meant to be a backup to your main rifle or shotgun. Rather, it’s there to take small game, plink at targets in the campsite or serve as a self-defense gun if necessary.
The new WMP (Walther Magnum Pistol) from Walther Arms is a modern take on the classic kit gun. It’s chambered in 22 Magnum, which is ideal for varmints and can serve as a self-defense round if needed. 22 Magnum gives you significantly more power than 22LR, yet it is still ridiculously easy to shoot with essentially no recoil in a gun the size of the WMP.
And let’s talk about the size of the WMP for a minute. This is not a small gun. It’s bigger than a Government model 1911, which means it’s going to take some effort to conceal it when needed. However, at a weight slightly less than 28 ounces unloaded, it’s not a burden to carry. One of the reasons for the size of the WMP is the length of the 22 Magnum cartridge. Also, it’s a rimfire round, which means the lip at the end of the case can play havoc with double-stack magazines and has the potential to cause misfeeds. The WMP gets around this problem by making the magazine similar to a single stack pistol, reducing the possibility of malfunctions but lowering the capacity compared to other 22 Magnum semi-automatics on the market.
The WMP is a hammer-fired, blowback action gun, with a trigger pull of right around 4 pounds. The pistol is optics-ready and comes with two plates for mounting an optic as well as a fiber optic front sight and a blacked-out rear sight. There is a short section of Picatinny rail under the frame to mount your choice of light, laser or other accessory, and we’ve chosen to use that rail to attach a Surefire X300 weapon-mounted light or WML, to the WMP.
The X300 serves two purposes. First, it allows the use of a PHLster Floodlight holster (more on that in a little bit). In addition to this, I consider a WML to be an essential part of any home defense gun, and considering that your campsite is your home when you are out and about in the great outdoors, it’s a good idea to have one there as well.
The last feature I’ll mention on the WMP is probably its unique magazine releases. That’s right, I said “releases,” not release. The WMP has four of them: Two on each side of the grip of the gun for use by either the right or left hand, and two more on the trigger guard itself. At first glance, I thought this would mean three more chances to accidentally drop the magazine while holding the gun, but in reality, they’re all well-placed and easy to use.
PHLster Floodlight Holster (MSRP: $127.74)
The Floodlight is ideal for guns like the Walther WMP, which have a more selective audience and aren’t as in-demand as other pistols. The Floodlight retains your pistol by holding the WML, not the gun, so as long as you order the correct model holster for your light, your gun will always have a holster available.
The Floodlight has all the quality we’ve come to expect from PHLster, with clean, crisp mold lines, high-quality hardware and a sturdy, no-nonsense feel to it. We’re using the inside-the-waistband version, which works at either the appendix or hip positions, and there is also an outside-the-waistband version available. The Floodlight ships in a right-handed configuration but can be switched over to left-handed use with a screwdriver in just a few minutes. The holster also has pull-the-dot loops as standard, with DCC clips also inside the package if you prefer those to attach your holster to your belt.
SOG Power Access Deluxe Multi-Tool (MSRP: $79.95)
No trip into the American wilderness is complete without a multitool of some kind, be it a multi-bladed pocket knife or something with more options like the SOG Power Access Deluxe. The handle connects to the pliers via interlocking gears, which allows for greater leverage and more power. A side effect of this setup is that all the tools in the Power Access line are easy to grip and easy to hold onto when using the pliers.
In addition to this, the SOG Power Access Deluxe has a straight edge blade, a saw edge blade and a serrated blade, as well as 18 other tools including a wire cutter and wire crimper, 3-sided file and the ubiquitous (and very useful) bottle opener.
The SOG Power Access Deluxe also accepts ¼ inch hex bits, and comes with 12 bits of various sizes and shapes, allowing you to mend just about anything out in the field. The multitool and bits all bit into a MOLLE-compatible nylon pouch which ships with the tool and bits.