For those errands that require you to be disarmed for part of the trip, a small gun may be the only choice. This option is the Ruger LC9, a Blackhawk! Tecgrip holster and Hornady ammunition. Some find the Critical Defense Lite to be easier to handle in small 9mm pistols.
It struck me recently that there are times we have to go less-well armed than we'd like. It's something I prefer not to get in the habit of, but I've accumulated some gear to allow that eventuality when it became necessary.
Like paying taxes, it will become necessary at one time or another for everyone. Instead of lacking the ability to launch an armed self-defense, it's better to have something rather than nothing. There are a variety of times that can become necessary. I'm legal to carry nearly everywhere in my state short of penal institutions. There are times I have to enter "safety" zones – rarely – such as a medical appointment out of state or entering into an airport terminal.
I'm not leaving large amounts of hardware around to be stolen in my absence. There are locking containers you can physically attach to your vehicle – and I recommend them. The weakest of them hidden is better than nothing at all.
In the current heatwave, having a cover garment on compounds the problem. I've taken to using pocket carry or an IWB pouch – not a conventional holster. For one thing, that gives a potential thief something else to take. For another, discretion can be critically important on such errands.
Recently, I took a Ruger LC9 out of the safe and checked it over. This is a double-action, hammer-fired gun – not the LC9s. This particular heater has XS Sights. I used it to outshoot a stock LC9s last year. I know the gun works and I'm accustomed to trigger cocking guns.
Having a gun is fine but you need to feed it. The magazine in the gun has the flat floor plate to better be concealed. The spare magazine has the extended base plate for the reload.
In this particular situation, I used the factory 7-round magazine with a flat base plate in the gun, trimming its size just a bit more and backed it with a spare factory magazine with the extended floor plate. I put the gun in the new Blackhawk! Tecgrip "Inside-the-Pocket" holster. This gizmo of a weird grippy but not 'tacky' exterior with a slick exterior. I'd used a bigger one AIWB with a Glock 19 and was impressed with it – as far as it goes.
The Tecgrip line doesn't take the place of conventional holsters. It's for use when conventional holsters are out of the equation for whatever reason. When I was on the property but lightly dressed, the Tecgrip kept the 15-shot autoloader in place. Once the gun is drawn, the holster has to be removed from the waist and the gun replaced – a two-handed job. That's not optimum, but it's something you must do with a great many pocket holsters anyway.
The Tecgrip Size 4 fit the LC9 perfectly. In the pocket of a pair of jeans, the gun virtually disappears. When I had to be away from the vehicle without the gun for one of those "non-permissive environment" type events, I locked the Ruger LC9 with the provided key, then locked the gun in a metal lock box hidden away. On my return, it was a simple matter to get access to the lock box, unlock it, unlock the gun, holster it and be on my way – with no one the wiser.
Optimum? No. It does take some worry out of those rare trips that require some thought to remain legal.
-- Rich Grassi