Few handguns rival the legacy of the Colt 1911, a handgun design with over 100 years of proven history behind it. Today, amidst a proliferation of new concealed carry handguns—many of them smaller and lighter than most 1911s—Colt continues to offer the Defender, its three-inch barreled, aluminum alloy framed 1911. Lightweight, durable, and reliable, the Colt Defender is available in .45 ACP and 9mm variants and ships with Novak low-mount carry sights—basically three-dot sights—and rubber Hogue Wraparound Grips with finger grooves. While the sights are good and the wraparound grip is excellent, upgrading these two features can turn this very good carry gun into a great one.
After three deployments overseas, Staff Sergeant Jennifer Lyles, a member of Louisiana’s 1086th Transportation Company and attached to the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion,
knows how to handle herself behind the wheel. Despite the long hours, she gets fulfillment knowing her job helps comrades accomplish theirs… (Click page image above for .pdf.)
For many, concealed carry means the concealed carry of a handgun. But it can also mean the carry of other weaponry or tools, such as a simple folding knife. Over the past 20 years or so, the not-totally-concealed carry of a folding knife clipped to the inside of a pocket has become ubiquitous. Moreover, folding knives continue to evolve, with many using assisted-opening technology, high-quality steel in well-designed blades, and additional safety features. Gerber combines these three features—swift, sharp, and safe—into its Propel AO knife.
While inside-the-waistband holster designs continue to evolve, employing innovative materials and unique means of attachment, some more traditional holster designs remain in the lineups of a few holster manufacturers. The Galco Royal Guard holster offers a variation on the simple but popular holster style of high-quality leather with two robust belt loop snaps—a holster style that has been around a long time and shows no signs of going away. Sporting a reinforced mouth and mold lines that fit particular handguns, the Royal Guard is sturdy and protective and retails for $129.95.
While the retail price may seem out of line for such a simple holster, I’ve chosen the traditionally-minded Royal Guard more often than not when carrying the Kimber Super Carry Pro you see here. Here’s why…
Belly bands serve a unique need in the concealed carry world. Generally regarded as “deep cover”—i.e., favoring concealment over accessibility—a belly band usually consists of a wide strap of some kind of elastic material with a carrier or holster for a gun built into it. Affixing around the user with hook and loop straps, a belly band can rest right on the skin and can be worn high on the torso or low, more around the hips.
If you want deep concealment and want to be able to carry more than just a gun and a reload, that’s where the DeSantis Sky Band you see here comes in. Intended for law enforcement officers, the Sky Band offers pouches for magazines as well as a knife, a flashlight, handcuffs, and an expandable baton. For civilian concealed carry, the Sky Band hides decently, rides comfortably, but only makes sense if you really need to carry all that gear or want to be armed to the teeth.