Shooters do not live by firearms alone. Find out the great new must-have gear that will make carrying, shooting and caring for your firearms easy as pie.
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I’ve been using the Safariland 575 Pro-Fit for some time. As I’ve had to move my concealed carry pistol to the front at times, the 575 Pro-Fit is a good IWB alternative for so-called AIWB carry (say, at 12:30 – 1 o’clock or so). The Pro-Fit accepts takes a wide variety of handguns with minor adjustments. I’ve used this for the Glock 19 Gen4 and Gen5, and the Glock 19X — as well as the S&W M&P9 M2.0 Compact and the new Ruger Security-9. The holster features the “GLS” Grip-Locking System. Seat the gun into the holster and it snaps into place. When you take a firing grip, the middle finger of the shooting hand has to occupy the same space as the lever, releasing the gun. Foam pads are included and can be located in one of two places to force the muzzle out and the grip back into your body, hiding the gun under a shirt.
The same maker offers the Model 7371 7TS ALS holster, which is a compact paddle design. A secure rig, the automatic locking system (pistol locked into the holster simply by seating the gun fully) is as fast and as simple as any open-top holster can be. Closing your hand into a firing grip causes the thumb to draw the ALS latch back, freeing the gun. Like other 7TS holsters, the 7371 is durable, weather- and temperature-resistant. Made for the Shield, Glock 42, 43, Ruger LC380, LC9 and LC9s, the 7371 comes with the 571BL Paddle.
I found that my front IWB holster for the Glock pistol line, the Eidolon by RCS, didn’t work for Gen5 Glocks. Enter the Perun. It’s a modular rig that works on either side of the shooter and for southpaws. It’s a “pancake” style rig with the mounting attachments fore-and aft, not behind the holster pouch. The holster is supplied with three pair of 1.5-inch belt loops to allow different modes of carry. The Perun uses a retention slider to adjust the holster to the gun, and it features both inboard and outboard full-height body shields, an open muzzle and will accommodate suppressor-height sights and red-dot optics. You can get it to fit the Glock 17 (22), Glock 19 (23) or Glock 43. For less than $40, there may not be a better modular synthetic OWB available.
Carry For Larger Guns
I’ve recently come to use discreet gun bags, one for an AR pistol and the other for the Ruger Pistol Caliber Carbine. The first was for the Springfield Armory Saint AR pistol. I found the gun fits into the large but “non-gun” looking Elite Survival Systems 7725-B Stealth Covert Operations Backpack without being disassembled. There’s room for magazines and other gear — but consider weight — and the Saint-P just barely fits, which is perfect. Padded sides and bottom keep the gun from unnecessary dings. As the Saint I have is configured with Troy Industries flip-up Battle Sights and the Aimpoint Micro T-2 red-dot sight — and still fits — I’ll be interested in seeing what happens when a light gets attached.
For the Ruger PC Carbine, I found the Copper Basin, LLC Gen 3 Takedown Firearm Backpack. An attractive pack with modern sport styling, it doesn’t scream “GUN!”. Originally designed for the Ruger 10/22 Take Down models and other takedown guns, I’d wondered if it’d fit the new Ruger centerfire take down. The website now shows it does accept the PCC — and I’ve confirmed it. If you’re trying to be discreet about being a gun owner — think burglary prevention — having a run-of-the-mill, nondescript bag to throw into the car is a big help to maintain a low profile.
I always keep a lookout to find easier ways to get maintenance done. Lyman now offers Pachmayr Master Gunsmith Screwdrivers. The Master Gunsmith 10-Piece Screwdriver Set includes a “3-wing” handle design to enhancing turning force while preventing the screwdriver from rolling off the bench. Tips are magnetized and parallel-ground, and included are T-10 and T-15 size six-lobe drivers as well as a 5/32-inch hex driver.
In addition, I received some tools from Real Avid. These included their Accu-Punch Hammer and Punches kit. The hammer face can be brass, steel, rubber and nylon, which is a handy touch. The 10 steel pin punches are labeled for size and feature rubber gripping rings. Made from non-scratching, non-marring materials, the Accu-Grip Picks and Brushes really get into the crevices and recesses of the gun.
I also just received the HolsterOps Rogers Enhanced LCR Grip. Adding support for the full hand, the stock moves the hand higher on the back strap of the revolver to substantially reduce muzzle flip. The material allows a smoother draw from pocket holsters and prevents the grip from grabbing clothing while drawing, and the aggressive textured pads increase control of the revolver while firing. Tabs protrude on either side of the trigger guard allow it to catch and sit on top of the belt so it can be worn as an IWB without a holster. I found out a few things: The hammer can’t reach the distance needed for the single action notch to catch, but the gun can be fired double action. Also, the nice high horns on the stock deliver a resounding blow to the thumb. I imagine these would be just the thing for the .22 caliber LCR lines, but it can get dicey for 38s.
Hearing and Eye Protection
I saw the news about Safariland’s U.S.-designed and manufactured Liberator HP advanced hearing protection headset. The Liberator HP headset offers dual-mode electronic noise compression and active noise cancellation with sound localization for maximum situational awareness and sound detection. Some would consider it pricey at nearly $260, but what’s your hearing worth? You can’t find this kind of quality cheaper with a comparable feature set.
I recently discovered Specialized Safety Products. Makers of SSP Eyewear, I found their “Top Focal” shooting glasses. Featuring a magnifying segment atop the lens (unlike bifocals with the near vision enhancement at the bottom), they sharpen the view of the front sight — not so much for me with handguns, but definitely when shooting carbines with iron sights. Kits are available with amber, clear and smoked anti-fog lenses, and a zippered pouch.
Since I’d had several trips to Wyoming on rodent-strafing safaris, my inability to effectively estimate range has bothered me. I also used it on the club range on some of the range bays. During a recent trip, I took the Vortex Optics Impact 850 rangefinder to our second pistol bay – which is unmarked. I was working out with new pistols and wanted to nail down distances. The Impact 850 quickly sorted through those chores, but I also checked distances to various other locations. Use of the device was quick and easy, the controls intuitive. I had to do nothing to set it up beyond installing the battery. It’s a steal at the mid-$200 price range.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Great Gear 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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