In the winter of 2013, without reason, something clicked and I realized that I needed to start taking steps towards being able to effectively defend my life and the lives of those I love. Even-though my father has carried a pistol my entire life, I did not really grow up around firearms. He always kept it on his person or hidden away. Up until now, my only experience with firearms was through Boy Scouts shooting rifles at our annual Jamboree.
Because I do not like to go into anything completely dumbfounded, I first began to search the web for information on the different types of handguns and concealed carry. My research led me to the 4 Universal Safety Rules as well as opened my eyes to the world of gun owners and concealed carriers that I frankly did not know existed. I also found my way to the USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association), which after reading their FREE Concealed Carry Guide and a complimentary copy of Concealed Carry Magazine I was hooked. So I subscribed to the magazine and purchased their Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals book written by Michael Martin.
Because my father is a security instructor, he has a ASP Glock 19 Training Orange Gun at the house that I was able to stick inside my waistband around the house to get a feel for what it was possibly like to have a firearm on my person during normal everyday activities.
This also helped me in determining the size firearms I wanted to consider. After months of self-education, I began to develop a list of the firearms I was interested in based on criteria I set forth for myself (which I will share in a later post). Once my list was compiled, I quickly narrowed it down to the top 3 firearms I was interested in, but I knew that I first had to shoot them before making the decision. But before shooting, I wanted to ensure that I was prepared to be a responsible gun owner; therefore, I attended a NRA Basic Pistol Course and a course dealing with the laws of self-defense.
Once I was confident that I was mentally prepared to be a gun owner, I began to shop for my handgun. By now I had narrowed my list down to the top two: Springfield Armory XDS 3.3” 9mm or the newer 4.0″ model. I left the gun store with the XDS 4.0; which at the time was the same price as the 3.3” model and I remembered reading about Rob Pincus creating the G26L for the benefits of the longer slide.
By this time I was already convinced that I wanted to appendix carry, but I still was a little concerned so I purchased a 5.11 Tactical Apex Gunner’s Belt and a Desantis Pro Stealth IWB holster that was actually designed for the 3.3” model, but I knew the only difference was the slide length and just wanted to get a feel for the appendix carry with this gun while waiting on my Crossbreed Appendix Carry and Gun Belt, which I will review in another post. In order to get comfortable before going out in public, I first wore the holster with the gun, unloaded of course, around the house. Next I decided I would actually carry the gun to work, but I was still a little weary of the appendix carry so I opted to carry the gun without a chambered round. After going through an entire day out of the house with the gun and noticing that the trigger had not pulled itself, I was comfortable with carrying the firearm with a live round in the chamber. I have now been appendix carrying a loaded firearm, and 2 additional extended magazines, comfortably for 7 months without any problems.