Near the top of my list of Unsung Handgun Heroes resides a Taurus PT 1911 AL-R, a great house gun or car gun with a long list of standard features and, before it was discontinued by Taurus, a decent price tag. At first glance, you might not like it, but I’ll declare that after a few years of use, Taurus’ take on the 1911 makes this classic fighting pistol more useful than ever. If you can find one, you should buy it.
Part of what makes America great is not only the Second Amendment but also the free market in which the firearms industry exists. You think you can build a better holster and market it to the American people? Then do it. That’s what Michigan resident Bill Tait did, starting Detroit Concealment (http://detroitconcealment.com) and offering custom thermoplastic holsters and scabbards. The holster you see pictured here is called the “ExFil.” Tucked neatly inside of it is a Glock 19 with a custom slide color treatment and stippling. This gun and this holster (which starts at $55) proved a great combination for concealed carry and offered a solid hold, comfortable ride, good concealment, and easy draw.
Carrying a handgun concealed in a pocket offers a few advantages over other methods of concealed carry. Pocket carry can be more comfortable than, say, carrying inside the waistband; pocket carry can allow a hand on the gun but still keeps the gun undrawn, hidden from view; and pocket carry may be the best place to carry not only a traditional revolver but also many of the new, small pistols available today. Pocket carry isn’t perfect, however. It’s difficult to access a gun in a pocket while seated and there’s always the risk of some printing. Of course, pocket holster systems abound that attempt to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages. One pocket holster worth looking at is the aptly named Recluse, in this version a well-designed one-sided holster that keeps a safe hold of the gun—especially guarding the trigger—while helping hide the gun under a wide swath of leather. The Recluse retails for $59.95.
Revolvers, especially snubbies, remain as popular as ever as first choices for concealed carry handguns. Noted for their excellent reliability and concealability, snub-nosed revolvers sometimes get a bad rap for their relatively low ammunition capacity and longer length of time needed to reload. As such, gear to help reload quickly—whether moon clips, cylinder-shaped speedloaders, or plastic strips that hold several rounds in a single line—can be a useful accessory choice.
Lasers for handguns have come a long way and are becoming ubiquitous. In fact, many handgun manufacturers are teaming up with laser manufacturers to offer integrated or built-in laser aiming systems. While the number of handguns with integrated lasers will continue to grow, many handgunners who desire a laser for their current weapons will have to use an aftermarket or add-on laser sighting system. Enter the LaserMax UNI-MAX Micro, a rail-mounted laser that retails for $129 and offers an unobtrusive, durable design that suits right- or left-handed shooters. Added to the Springfield Armory XD-M Compact .45—a great carry gun already laden with features—the LaserMax Micro made it even better.