Updated: Aug 25
When you choose to carry a weapon in public, you have the responsibility to choose the right equipment that will keep you and others safe. There is no room for the coolness factor, sentimentality, or "expressing my individuality." Choose the gear that allows you to operate at your highest performance level. Your life may depend on it. Below are my Every Day Carry (EDC) recommendations for new CCW holders:
Carry a 9mm Glock. The Glock 19 is the baseline model. If you are a large human being with large hands, then you can move up to the Glock 17; if you are a small human being or need deep concealment, get a Glock 26 or 43.
In my decades as a firearms instructor, new shooters do better with Glocks. Accuracy aside, most can run the gun better because it's the least complicated system to employ: There are no safeties and decocking levers which add layers of complexity to the operation. One downside of the Glock is that some people have difficulty depressing the magazine release on Gen 3 Glocks. This can be fixed with additional training or replacing the stock part with an extended magazine release. For Gen 3 Glocks, try the Vickers Tactical Extended Magazine Release. Find a certified Glock armorer to install the part.
Some of those who follow the gun culture will parrot others that say they don't like the Glock's "grip angle." The difference in grip angle between to the Glock and other pistols is minimal (18 vs 22 degrees). If you find that there is a noticeable difference, it's in your head.
The Glock is the place to start for many. Once you've mastered the Glock, then you can start to explore other types of handguns. That said, after carrying a Glock for most of my law enforcement career, I still choose the Glock 19 as one of my carry pistols. When you get enough money to buy another gun, you should buy a second identical Glock. One of those pistols will become your primary carry gun, the second will be your training pistol. Run your training pistol hard on the range and keep it unloaded and ready to use for dry-firing when opportunities arise. Periodically train with your carry pistol to ensure that it functions reliably, but for intermediate and advanced Paladin classes, you will want to use that training pistol for hard use.
Don't modify your carry gun. The stock trigger and slide are fine. You may want to upgrade the iron sights for greater visibility, but the stock sights will do. For new users, I don't recommend installing optics, lasers, and lights. Keep it simple. If you must install a weapon light, then I recommend the Streamlight TRL-7a for concealed carry pistols.
Choose ammunition that has been selected by the FBI for use in their weapons. Their Ballistics Research Facility tests and evaluates pistol ammunition on a regular cycle to ensure proper reliability and performance in their Glock pistols.
The current round selected by the FBI is Hornady 9mm+P 124 grain Flexlock Critical Duty (not Critical Defense). Examine each round thoroughly as you place it into your magazine. Check the primer, the casing for deformation, and bullet for proper set-back. Be sure to swap out your "duty" ammunition annually.
For your Glock, purchase holsters from L.A.G. Tactical. Buy both an outside-the-waistband (OWB) for training and an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster for everyday carry. For the OWB, get the Defender model, set up for primary use as an OWB. For an IWB, purchase the Liberator model. Use Discount Code "Paladin10" at checkout for at 10% discount.
Another option for holsters is Safariland. They make holsters for most pistols and have a variety of options for carry.
KORE Essentials is an excellent choice for an EDC belt. The stiff 1.5" inch wide belt will support your pistol. Common leather dress belts are not appropriate for carrying a pistol; they are not stiff enough or wide enough to support the pistol at your waistband. We have KORE belts available for purchase in the Paladin Shop or at our CCW classes.
You should have an extra magazine with you when you carry. You can use a traditional magazine pouch or you can place the magazine directly into your pocket. With pocket carry, you may not be able to access the magazine quickly and in the correct orientation for quick reloading. Neomag offers a good solution with their Magnetic Pocket Magazine Holder. We have the NeoMag and NeoMag - G (for Glock magazines) for sale in the Paladin Shop or at our CCW classes.
I carry two models of Streamlight flashlights. When wearing a jacket in cooler weather, I will carry the larger ProTac version in my left jacket pocket. In warmer months, I will slip the Macrostream into my left pants pocket next to the Neomag/magazine. The smaller size comes with a decrease in power from 1000 lumens to 500 lumens. In our CCW 4 and CCW 7 classes, we explore low-light application of the flashlight for searching and shooting. Come join us for those classes.
ProTac HL-X-USB for 1000 lumens at LA Police Gear
Macrostream USB 500 lumens at LA Police Gear
I carry the Spyderco Emerson Wave. The wave feature allows a rapid deployment of the blade as you draw if from your front pocket. Be careful - practice very slowly as you are learning how to use it. You can purchase this model at BladeHQ.