Every week, there are a few individuals who reach out to talk about certain aspects of carrying a concealed firearm. Whether it’s a question regarding holsters, guns or accessories, I get asked a fair bit about my personal carry options. So since you guys have asked repeatedly, I have decided to help out and break down three of my favorite carry options. It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree with me and I expect a few of you to completely disagree with everything I say, which is good for conversation. Let’s take a deeper dive into the top 3 carry options I use on a daily basis.
Summer Carry – SIG Sauer P365 XL
With summer in full swing, the questions lately have centered around what I like to carry in the hot Michigan sun if I could carry anything. As of lately, I have grabbed my P365XL over pretty much everything that I carry inside an ANR Designs IWB Claw holster. In addition to the gun, I will typically carry a folding knife of various brands and a spare magazine inside a NeoMag mag carrier.
In past years, I would oftentimes either grab a Glock 43 or standard P365, but I have started favoriting the P365 XL for its slightly larger grip for my fat bear hands. If I had to pick an alternative option, the Glock 43X is another great summer carry option with the extended grip. Having a slightly larger grip when carrying such a small gun helps with recoil management and just improves comfort when shooting. For carry methods, I prefer Inside The Waistband carry over pocket carry since it’s a faster draw from the holster than it is from the pocket. When it comes to summer carry, being able to carry comfortably in the hot muggy days of summer is the biggest factor for me. There are a ton of options out there but for sheer comfort and shootability, I have to go with either the P365 XL or G43X.
All Seasons Carry – Glock 19
When it comes to a fantastic “do all” handgun, it’s hard to beat the Glock 19. Whether it’s Glock’s simplicity or the amount of aftermarket support, you can really turn a G19 into any style gun you want it to be. I tend to carry mine with a Surefire X300 Ultra on it with an Inside The Waistband holster for most of the year. If it’s the hot summer days, I will usually ditch the light just to carry it slick with less bulk on it to keep things comfortable. Really it depends on what you’re doing, but I like to run my 19 fairly stock for the most part. If I decide to take it as my hunting sidearm, I will often take my upgraded Glock 19 since it has a red dot and better trigger.
Having a firearm you can carry all the time that does well regardless of the weather is a huge advantage. The Glock 19 is one of those guns that doesn’t take much effort to carry and offers a solid amount of firepower for its size. For people who only want to buy one firearm and carry it no matter the conditions, I would definitely say this gun is for you. It’s easy to maintain, and doesn’t require a ton of maintenance over time to keep running so I always say the Glock 19 is one of those go-to handguns that will take care of you when you need it most.
Winter Carry – SIG Sauer P226 Elite
When the weather starts to get colder up here in the north, I will typically put my summer carry away and either go with my all-around choice or decide to throw on my trusty P226. This may not be the lightest option or even the newest option but my P226 is one of those guns I have carried since the beginning and still will hold onto it despite the extra weight and DA/SA trigger. The double to single action trigger scares newer shooters away from carrying because it’s not the easiest trigger to shoot effectively but growing up that’s all I typically shot so it’s what I prefer.
On real cold days where I layer up with vests and my winter jacket, it’s easier to carry in an Outside The Waistband holster where I can throw it on my belt and go on with my day without having something in my waistband. Since I’m a bigger framed guy, I choose to not carry appendix since strong side is more comfortable for my lifestyle. Carrying strong side all the time whether it’s an inside or outside the waistband holster doesn’t really make all the big of a difference. Having the ability to carry on your hip in an Outside The Waistband holster is a definite plus when it comes to comfort, you tend to have a lot less friction on your body and the firearm which makes for easy carry sessions over a longer period of time.
At the end of the day, it’s all about doing what best fits your day to day life. The number one thing to be successful as a concealed carrier is to find your best option and consistently learn with that choice. Between testing firearms at the range and just going to the range on a regular basis, I can take all three of these guns out and train with them enough where I feel fully confident in using them to protect my life. If you don’t have enough time to hit the range often, it’s never a bad idea to find one consistent firearm to use and train with it until you are confident in your abilities.
Different folks will have different preferences and that’s totally fine. I get enough questions I felt it was a good idea to go through three different setups I use so other people can get a general idea of what to look for when building or tweaking their own carry system. Let me know what you prefer to carry in the comments below. Does it look dramatically different from me or is it relatively the same? I’d love to hear about it! If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.