Shooting Myth: A Laser Will Only Give Away Your Position!

The benefits of surefire aim in low-light conditions and flexibility for shooting from unconventional positions far outweigh any realistic risk of "giving away your position" when using a firearm-mounted laser.

The benefits of surefire aim in low-light conditions and flexibility for shooting from unconventional positions far outweigh any realistic risk of “giving away your position” when using a firearm-mounted laser.

I’ve been a big fan of lasers on handguns for years. At first, this was because they sounded great on paper. After actually running around shooting in the dark at various training events and nocturnal competitions, my “fanboy” meter has maxed out.

But to be really clear, I want to stress that I am talking about gun laser applications for home defense and self-defense. Not door kicking in Afghanistan. Or serving no-knock warrants with the Department of Education’s new SWAT Team. Or anything else “offensive.” See what I did there?

I’ve had all sorts of responses to my discussion on lasers for home defense. One commenter informed me that a laser would clearly show my position and a sniper positioned 600 yards away, who would subsequently easily take me out. I don’t know about you, but I don’t anticipate this event in my home defense scenario—at least until civilization breaks down into a post-apocalyptic battle zone. I’ll take the risk that my burglar has not had the foresight to set up sniper overwatch in the nearest cell tower.

To put the discussion in perspective, let’s walk through a potential home defense scenario. It’s the middle of the night. It’s pitch-dark. You are sound asleep in your bedroom. You are awakened by the sound of crashing glass, which indicates someone has just entered your house. By the time you wake up and figure this out, they are probably already in your house. This is a defensive, not offensive, situation.

Now what? I don’t know about you, but my goal is simple. Get that person and/or their friends out of my house before they cause harm to me and/or my family. If that person happens to get hurt in the process of achieving the goal, then that’s an occupational hazard of breaking into peoples’ homes in the middle of the night. But that’s not my primary goal. Encouraging them to turn tail and leave is far easier for all involved than splashing them all over my new duvet cover.

Pretty simple goal right?

In order to think through my best plan for home defense, I’ll take this goal into consideration first, then apply the most likely scenarios I might encounter. Most likely scenarios. This is where folks get all wrapped around the axle when it comes to using gun-mounted lasers.

Stop and think for minute about the most likely scenario you could encounter in your home. Who is that person that just broke into your house? Is it a team of trained ninja marksman who intend to engage in a cat-and-mouse running shootout in your home, just like on TV? Were you waiting in your laundry room sniper hide anticipating their arrival? Maybe, but not likely. The more likely scenario is that some crackhead is looking to steal your Xbox to fund their next fix. And they woke you up. And they’re already in your house by the time you get your wits about you and get moving.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

Finding Holsters For Light And Laser Equipped Handguns: The Impossible Dream?

Just a few holster options for light and laser equipped handguns.

Just a few holster options for light and laser equipped handguns.

If you’ve been around here before, you know I’m a big fan of lasers for home defense and carry guns. I’m also a fanatical, raving, and kind of creepy bit of a holster geek. But, until recently, I’ve been hard-pressed to equip all my carry guns with lights and/or lasers.

Finding holsters for light / laser carry guns can make you as frustrated as Mike Bloomberg at a Colorado recall rally.

Why? Finding holsters for laser-equipped guns has been quite the challenge. Of course I’m talking lights and lasers that are mounted up front, usually under the barrel. Lasergrip offerings from Crimson Trace and guide rod lasers from LaserMax can use standard holsters without modification.

There’s no blame in this. It’s simply a math problem.

Holster makes already have to account for 13,786,667.43 different models of handguns, with new shapes and sizes hitting the market hourly.Add a half-dozen laser companies to the mix, each offering several different models, and then what?

There are more possible gun / laser / holster combinations than the number of White House excuses for the Obamacare  performance. (Tweet This)

But hope glimmers on the horizon. Recently, I have working with some most excellent holster options for laser-equipped guns. Each of the manufacturers below make different products for different guns, so the examples here are just that – examples.

Oh, and if you’re a Crimson Trace user, check out their new holster guide. It’s updated constantly with new products from Galco, DeSantis, CrossBreed, Fobus, Blackhawk!, Mitch Rosen, Blade-Tech and more.

CrossBreed SnapSlide

The SnapSlide is a great solution for this Springfield Armory XD-S with Crimson Trace Laserguard.

The SnapSlide is a great solution for this Springfield Armory XD-S with Crimson Trace Laserguard.

I’ve been testing one for the Springfield Armory XD-S equipped with a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and I find it neat-o. The belt loops are spread apart enough to offer great stability. The Kydex holster shell keeps the whole thing slim, which aids concealment. The best part? The rig is designed to ride very high so it’s much easier to conceal with a shirt or jacket that most other outside the waistband holsters.

Check the CrossBreed website for all available light / laser options.

DeSantis Speed Scabbard

An open top design, The DeSantis Speed Scabbard is all-leather holster is made for a number of light / laser options like the Crimson Trace Lightguard or Laserguard for Glocks.

I really like the holster. It’s an outside the waistband model without a rigid mouth. I don’t have trouble re-holstering it as the leather is sturdy enough to keep the mouth open. It shapes well to the body and offers great gun security – in fact you’ll want to break it in to smooth out the draw.

I used one at the 2013 Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational with a Glock 17, Crimson Trace Lasergrips and a Crimson Trace Lightguard.

Galco Meridian Concealed Carry Purse (or most other models)

Ladies, this one is specifically for you. If you choose to carry in your purse, be sure to do it safely.

Don’t let your gun flop around in a main purse compartment along with all sorts of other daily paraphernalia. (Tweet This)

That’s asking for trouble. Not only will it be hard to find your gun during an emergency, you run the risk of something getting caught up in the trigger – with potentially disastrous consequences.

Got a laser on your Smith & Wesson Shield? No problem!

Got a laser on your Smith & Wesson Shield? No problem!

If you choose purse carry, be sure to keep your gun in a dedicated compartment. That’s where a quality holster handbag like the Galco Meridian shines.

The Meridian is a fine-looking and functional handbag with a magnetically closing outside compartment, main interior compartment and separate interior compartment. Most importantly, it features a dedicated gun holster compartment accessible via a lockable vertical zipper on the exterior. Inside this compartment is a sewn-in holster pouch with a Velcro retention strap which can be removed if you prefer. We found that the retention strap is unnecessary with the medium size guns in this purse – it will stay in the holster pocket just fine.

The Galco Meridian is available in black or chocolate-brown. Galco makes a variety of styles with similar concealed carry functionality.

Comp-Tac MERC

Comp-Tac makes an excellent and insanely adjustable hybrid holster. That means it has a large leather back for stability and comfort and a Kydex molded gun pocket.

Now, Comp-Tac offers their MERC holster - MERC stands for Most Economical, Reliable, Comfortable by the way – in models ready to go for mounted lasers and lights. The list of supported models will almost certainly change, but at time of publication, Comp-Tac offers Crimson Trace and LaserMax for guns including the Springfield Armory XD-S, Smith & Wesson Shield and Kahr P9. One of the neat-o things about the Comp-Tac offerings is the flexibility. Everything is adjustable including retention, depth, cant and even the color of the belt clips to help it blend in to your existing wardrobe. Check out the Comp-Tac web site for more information.

Galco Stow-N-Go

The Galco Stow-N-Go is intended for simple, deep concealment. It features an open-top design for quick access, a reinforced mouth for one-handed reholstering and open bottoms to let dirt fall out. A vertical orientation allows for different carry options. You can use it behind the hip bone or in an appendix position. The exterior of the leather is a bit rough to help keep the holster in place via friction with your clothes.

CrossBreed SuperTuck

I love the hybrid inside the waistband holster design. The big leather backing provides comfort and stability, while the kydex gun pouch offers great security without adding thickness to the holster. Now that CrossBreed is making models compatible with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Laserguards, you can easily carry a pistol equipped with both laser and light. It’s a great solution.

N82 Tactical

The N82 holsters have some interesting innovations.

Spurred on to entrepreneurial enterprise by the belief that holsters should be both comfortable and comforting, the dynamic Nate duo and a rental squad of Oompa Loompas created a basic design that makes for an inherently wearable, yet solid and secure inside the waistband holster.
N82 Tactical Original Models allow lots of inside the waistband options for laser and light equipped guns.

N82 Tactical Original Models allow lots of inside the waistband options for laser and light equipped guns.

The N82 is a multi-layer affair. A large backing panel goes between the gun and your tender midsection skin areas. The panel is large enough to completely cover the gun and all or most of the grip — depending on the specific model. This keeps sharp and abrasive metal and wood stuff away from your belly. A belt clip is affixed to the gun pocket so the whole mess is tucked inside the waistband with the clip securing to your belt. Pretty simple.

Here’s where the layering comes in.

The body side of the panel is made from soft suede. N82 Tactical chose suede for several reasons. It’s a natural material, so it allows your skin to breathe and feel cool — even in hot and humid climates. Another reason for the suede lining is that it has a friction coefficient. Yeah, I told you we wouldn’t get into quantum physics and material dynamics in this book, but hang in there for a second. Since the whole suede area has some “grip” it serves to spread the weight of the gun over a broader area. Not that we’re calling your area broad or anything. OK, enough of the fancy science.

Sandwiched in the middle is a layer of neoprene. If you saw the movie Jaws, or have been to Sea World, you’ll know that this is the stuff that diver’s wetsuits are made of. It’s waterproof. While you probably won’t be diving with your N82 Tactical holster, the neoprene barrier does in fact create a moisture barrier between your sweaty broad area and your expensive gun. Even if you sweat, your gun stays dry. Within reason of course. The other reason behind the neoprene moisture barrier is to prevent the leather portion of the holster from becoming mushier and mushier over time. Three out of four Nate’s believe that leather doesn’t ever stop breaking in. It continues to get softer and softer over time, especially with exposure to moisture. We’re not sure what doctors and dentists believe.

The outer layer is leather. This provides structure and stability and a safe backing for your gun whether it be steel or polymer.

The original model, or Standard Series, utilizes a stretchy material to secure the gun to the leather holster panel. N82 got a lot of feedback from law enforcement customers that they loved the comfort of the tuckable design with its stretch band holster pocket, but needed additional positive retention for more active situations. Like the ones you see on every episode of CSI Las Vegas.

N82 makes a the original series holster for a number of guns with trigger guard lasers. When you go to order one for your specific gun, you’ll see laser options if available for that model. I’ve used one with a Springfield Armory XD-S and Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard with great success.

Recluse

Here’s a new, and patented, design worth a look. There are two basic models of the Recluse Holster. The OS models are open-sided while the TS models, as you can probably guess, are two-sided. The common element between the designs is the forward-facing solid leather flap that entirely hides the outline of your pocket gun.

The OS models feature a concealment panel on the outside. This completely breaks up the outline of the gun. The inside half of the holster is technically, kinda-sorta open. That’s where the patent comes in to play. Affixed to the leather holster is a molded plastic trigger block. This block is shaped to match the inside of the trigger guard of a specific gun. Molded into the block is a cutout that exactly matches the profile of the trigger.
To holster your gun, insert the muzzle into the bottom pouch, then shift the gun sideways so that the trigger block moves into position and the trigger is locked exactly in place per the trigger cutout. Once in place, the trigger is protected and secure.

To draw, you insert your fingers between your gun and the solid front panel to achieve a firing grip. The gun will come away from the trigger block sideways and can be withdrawn from your pocket.

The TS model is a little different. Rather than relying on a trigger block, this model features an interior leather panel. The interior leather flap is only attached at the bottom of the holster. To draw your gun, you shove your fingers between the leather flap and the gun, thereby creating space for a solid grip.

When you order direct from Recluse, you’ll see laser options on the product page where available.

I’m just scratching the surface here – and that’s a good thing. The holster market is exploding with options for lights and lasers on concealed carry guns.

A Light and Laser Combo For (Almost) Any Gun

The new Crimson Trace CMR-204 (green) light and laser combo.

The new Crimson Trace CMR-204 (green) light and laser combo.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a couple of “problem” guns in my safe at the moment.

Actually, the only “problem” is that they don’t lend themselves to integrated Lasergrip or trigger guard installations. My examples are the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40. Both are excellent guns and I really like them. The “problem” is putting integrated lasers and lights on them. Right now, I’ve got a Crimson Trace Rail Master light on the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40 sits naked and unlit.

Fortunately, Crimson Trace just announced a solution. While I’ve heard rumblings about the Crimson Trace CMR-204 and CMR-205 Rail Master Pros for a while, I had not yet seen a formal release. As part of the SHOT Show 2014 product announcement deluge, they’re here.

Both units are rail mounted units that contain both tactical light and laser. The difference between the CMR-204 and CMR-205 models are the color of laser light. The CMR-204 is green while the CMR-205 is red. Both models allow you to set the operating mode to laser and light, laser only, light only or strobe light and laser. Both units also feature a 100 lumen light – like the Crimson Trace Lightguard and operate for about 4 hours in a single CR2 battery.

An aluminum body provides strength and water resistance to one meter, so no worries about rain. Remember, if it ain’t raining’ you ain’t trainin’ right?

More to follow when I get my hands on one of these…

Wanna Win This Fobus 1911 Rail Paddle Holster Crimson Trace Edition?

Leave your thoughts and ideas on the Facebook post below and we’ll randomly pick a winning commenter Wednesday 12/11/13 at 8pm EST!

Win this Crimson Trace Edition Fobus Paddle Holster!

Win this Crimson Trace Edition Fobus Paddle Holster!

Remember, comments here won’t count, just comments on this Facebook post!

A Slim, Yet Effective, Concealed Carry Combo

Researching my forthcoming book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S, I’ve been doing quite a bit of experimenting. As a result, I’ve stumbled on some pretty fantastic concealed carry combinations, one of which is the Springfield Armory XD-S, a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and the CrossBreed SnapSlide outside-the-waistband holster.

One of the really nice things about the Springfield Armory XD-S is that it’s thin and “short” enough to easily conceal using an outside the waistband holster. And it doesn’t matter if you prefer fewer (5+1) big and fat .45 ACP rounds or more (7+1) slimmer yet faster 9mm rounds. The exterior dimensions of the gun and laser combination are exactly the same.

For OWB carry, I particularly like the CrossBreed SnapSlide holster for a few of different reasons.

The CrossBreed SnapSlide shown here with a .45 ACP Springfield Armory XD-S with a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and CrossBreed SnapSlide holster.

The CrossBreed SnapSlide shown here with a .45 ACP Springfield Armory XD-S with a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and CrossBreed SnapSlide holster.

Like the IWB counterparts, the leather back and kydex holster pouch give a great combination of “thin” yet comfortable. The portion of the holster on the outside of the gun simply cannot be thinner with any other material than Kydex.

The generous leather panel and widely-spaced belt loops offer great comfort and stability with a 1 ½ inch or 1 ¼ inch gun belt. I had no problem adjusting the carry position from anywhere between 3 and  5:30 positions, assuming a right-handed configuration.

Note how high the gun rides with the CrossBreed SnapSlide holsters. Hardly anything extends below your belt.

Note how high the gun rides with the CrossBreed SnapSlide holsters. Hardly anything extends below your belt.

The SnapSlide holds the XD-S high relative to the belt level which aids in concealment. This high positioning and short barrel of the Springfield Armory XD-S mean that hardly any of the gun extends below belt level, so an untucked shirt or blouse easily covers your gun.

The three together make an outstanding concealed carry package that’s light, trim, comfortable and functional.

10 Reasons To Consider A Light On Your Concealed Carry Gun

I’m a fanboi.

Of lights on guns.

I used to be a super fan of lasers on handguns. Then I shot the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. After what I learned there, I’m a fan of lights AND lasers on guns – like the Crimson Trace Lasergrip / Lightguard setup. To me, having a light and laser combo on a home defense gun is kind of a no-brainer. Of course you’ll also want a quality flashlight like this one on the nightstand strictly for looking. Having one mounted on the gun also speeds and simplifies target confirmation and aiming.

In fact, with today’s weapon-mounted light offerings, there is no reason not to have a light on your carry pistol as well. The only real drawback is holster availability and/or not being able to use holster you already own.

My daily carry setup: Springfield Armory TRP with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace green Lasergrips. Shown with a White Dog IWB holster.

My daily carry setup: Springfield Armory TRP with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace green Lasergrips. Shown with a White Dog IWB holster.

I got to thinking of reasons to mount a weapon-light on your carry gun, and here’s what I came up with:

1. According to the FBI, the busiest hour for crime is midnight to 1am. Remember what Mom used to say – nothing good ever happens after midnight! Need proof? 93.72% of Lindsay Lohan’s arrests were after midnight.

2. Daylight savings. Or maybe you’re just burning the midnight oil at work. What time do you get home from work? Yeah, I know, later than you want. But is it dark when you get home? At least during the winter months? Might be nice if the gun you have has a light. If Sasquatch is hiding in your dark garage, you want to be ready with more than a Jack Links jerky stick.

3. If you have to use your light-equipped gun in the daytime, who cares? Worst case, you burn some battery, and batteries are cheap when doing a spreadsheet on life and death cost / benefit considerations. If you’re just practicing, the Crimson Trace Lightguard has an on / off switch so you can save your battery.

4. Powerful lights are now really, really small. I’ve got a number of Crimson Trace Lightguards on Glocks and 1911s. They add no width or length to your pistol. The placement just in front of the trigger guard means that there is no real impact on my ability to conceal a Lightguard-equipped gun – even using an inside the waistband holster. You get 100 lumens of light with no additional storage requirement. Why not?

5. Theaters. Remember Aurora? Enough said.

6. Restaurants (where legal) for the same reason. The good ones tend to be all romantic and dark. That’s great for foreplay, but no so good for gunplay.

7. Adding a light to your gun gives you an excuse to buy a cool new holster. Like this one. Or this one.

8. Light over 60 lumens has the possibility of temporarily distracting or disorienting an attacker. Don’t count on it, but a surprise flash in the eyeballs just might buy you a couple of seconds of much-needed time. Of course, since the light is mounted on your gun, this scenario only applies if you are in a position where pointing your gun at someone or something is warranted.

9. Even in reasonably well-lit indoor environments, a weapon mounted light will dramatically clarify both your target and your gun sights. Try it.

10. Your carry gun is also your home defense gun. Hey, if your carry gun lives on or near your nightstand while you’re sleeping, you definitely want a light on it. Yes, you want a separate flashlight nearby too for pure “looking” purposes. If you find any bad surprises, you’ll want that light on your gun.

An alternate carry setup: Glock 31 with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Lasergrips. Too big? The same configuration works on a Glock compact like the 19, 32 and 23.

An alternate carry setup: Glock 31 with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Lasergrips. Too big? The same configuration works on a Glock compact like the 19, 32 and 23.

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

11 Ways To Be A Better Shooting Range Neighbor

Open shooting ranges especially can benefit from good neighborly conduct.

Open shooting ranges especially can benefit from good neighborly conduct.

One of the biggest problems with the shooting sports is that there is no be-all, end-all, definitive guide to etiquette. Miss Manners never published a Sooper Dooper Guide to Shooting Etiquette, and I never recall going to the range for any of my charm and finishing school field trips.

Seeing this glaring omission from the shooting community training curriculum, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of tips on how to be a nice shooting range neighbor. If I missed anything, please feel free to comment with your suggestions!

1. Case Your Guns.
No matter where you shoot, you have to get your guns from your home to the range. How you move them up to the range parking lot is your business. How you move them from the car to the shooting table involves your shooting range neighbors. Wandering through the parking lot and into the front door of a secure business waving a few guns around is a great way to have a really bad day. The very best way to do this is to case your guns and move them to all the way to the shooting table fully encased, unloaded and with actions open.

2. Check to make sure everyone has ear protection before you start shooting.
Yes, a verbal “Range Hot” command should, in theory, ensure that folks have their ears on. Just in case, I like to be considerate and look around to make sure everyone is hearing protected before torching off my .890 Glock Magnus ++P++P+++.

3. Don’t booger hook your trigger unless you’re in the act of shooting.

The Media Day range at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational displayed especially good manners. Note all guns pointed down range, tabled, with chambers open and chamber flags in place.

The Media Day range at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational displayed especially good manners. Note all guns pointed down range, tabled, with chambers open and chamber flags in place.

As much as we all talk about trigger finger discipline, it’s never too much. With perfect trigger finger etiquette, we will all have a perfect safety record. In the context of this list of “polite” actions, think of keeping your trigger finger visibly out of the trigger as a courteous visual cue to your neighbors. If they see you always handling your gun with the trigger finger out, they’ll feel safer and more comfortable with you as a range neighbor.

4. Be visibly cold to your range neighbors.

Not in social demeanor, but in behavior. When the range is “cold” for target changes and such, make a physical show of acting cold. By this I mean put your guns on the table. Don’t touch them, even if they’re unloaded. Because guns are always loaded right? Again, considering the good range neighbor angle, if you aren’t touching your guns, folks can easily see that you’re not touching your guns. And they feel safe and secure based on your visible behavior. So, looking at it this way, being visibly cold at the range is actually polite.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

10 Things I Like About the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield

Less than one inch wide, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield packs up to 8+1 rounds of 9mm.

Less than one inch wide, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield packs up to 8+1 rounds of 9mm.

Much has been said about the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Shield. A true pocket-sized 9mm, it’s smaller in almost all dimensions (except height) than a Glock 26 and can easily be concealed in a milliondy-seven different ways. Pocket, inside the waistband or outside the waistband holster, ankle, purse, fanny pack, crotch carry holster, you name it. The less-than-one-inch width goes a long way to making this handgun exceptionally portable.

Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm Galco 1963 Even with the Crimson Trace LG-489 Laser installed, it weighs almost exactly the same as my morning cup of coffee. Coincidence? I think not. Both are life-saving devices and daily necessities.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1935 I like that it’s a 9mm. Of course you can now get the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in .40 Smith & Wesson. Although 9mm and .380 ACP have lot’s of similarities on paper, I see a noticeable performance difference when each load is shot through tough clothing barriers. The extra velocity of the 9mm helps it expand more reliably than most of the .380 loads I’ve tested. I’ve found the Shield to be a very controllable gun, even with its small size and light weight. It’s a gun that’s enjoyable to shoot just for fun, unlike many other pocket cannons.
Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm Galco 1960 The Shield has a positive safety. Without getting into the debate of whether or not you need one on a striker-fired pistol, I will say that it’s comforting on a gun that may be carried in a pocket holster. The safety lever is inset to the frame and unlikely to move without deliberate action, so you can choose to carry with the safety engaged or not. Moving from safe to fire position is very easy with the shooting hand thumb, assuming you’re right handed. The safety is not ambidextrous, so lefties have a little more work to do.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1933 I like that the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield will fire with its magazine removed. I don’t really appreciate that the lawyers at Smith & Wesson chose to print “CAUTION – CAPABLE OF FIRING WITH MAGAZINE REMOVED” right on the slide of an otherwise very attractive pistol. Can someone please put the lawyers back in their aquarium?
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1928 I like the capacity options. The more concealable standard magazine gives the Shield 8 (7+1) rounds of 9mm while the extended magazine adds one more for a total of 9 rounds. This is a great compromise of capacity versus size.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1940 Both front and rear sights are dovetail mounted and easily adjustable for windage. I found elevation on the test gun to be right on target. Notice how the rear sight surface is grooved to reduce glare around the sighting dots.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1937 The trigger on the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield simply rocks. For a striker-fired pistol, it’s exceptionally smooth and crisp. It’s got just about 1/4 inch of take-up prior to a 6.5 pound crisp break. If you like to keep your finger in place until reset, you can count on just about 1/4 inch forward travel before a positive reset click. The Shield has one of the best striker design triggers on the market.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1936 The flush magazine configuration with 7+1 capacity makes this a true pocket gun. Try it with a Galco Pocket Pro holster! I like this configuration with the extended magazine stowed elsewhere as a backup.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 1931 I dig the grip texture. It’s sure, even with sweaty hands, but you don’t lose traction during shots. Even more importantly, when using an Inside the waistband holster like the Galco Stow-N-Go, it won’t abrade your insides nearly as much as Gilbert Godfried’s voice abrades your ears.
Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm Galco 1962 How about a grip-activated laser? The Crimson Trace LG-489 Laser for the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield mounts just in front of the trigger guard. Just grip the pistol and the laser is on. Couldn’t be simpler.

White Dog Holsters for Lightguard and Laserguard Equipped Handguns

While testing my shooting in the dark skills, or more accurately lack thereof, at the recent Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational, I became sold on the concept of using a light on my carry gun. While I’ve used lasers on carry guns for years, I found the combination of light, laser and pistol fast and intuitive.

Here's a Springfield Armory TRP Government size 1911 with a Crimson Trace Lightguard. A great carry combination if you can find the right holster.

Here’s a Springfield Armory TRP Government size 1911 with a Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace Lasergrips. A great carry combination if you can find the right holster.

While there are lots of tactical gun-mounted lights on the market, the introduction of the Crimson Trace Lightguard was a game changer for concealed carry. The Crimson Trace Lightguard is slimmer than the frame of the gun, does not protrude in front of the muzzle, features instinctive activation, yet still manages to throw 100 lumens of light towards your target.

In short, it adds hardly any weight or bulk to a carry gun.

But there’s always a “but” right?

In this case, the “but” is that you need to find a holster that is molded to accept the Lightguard. Yes, you can use a general purpose “pouch” holster, but if you want good retention and security resulting from a perfectly form-fitted holster, you need to find one that is made specifically for your pistol with a Crimson Trace Lightguard mounted.

Why look at that! It's a custom holster that's Lightguard ready!

Why look at that! It’s a custom holster that’s Lightguard ready!

Sounds simple enough, but here’s where exponential math gets in the way. If you multiple the number of lights on the market times the number of gun models on the market, you get a number even larger than Michael Moore’s waist size. It’s somewhere around half the diameter of the moon as measured in inches. This presents a near impossible situation for holster makers as they would have to produce 43 gajillion models to meet all the desired combinations.

Here’s where White Dog Holsters steps in.

You can tell Devin is a military guy as the attention to detail is great. Note the raised opening for the Lasergrip!

You can tell Devin is a military guy as the attention to detail is great. Note the raised opening for the Lasergrip!

Devin is one of those guys who saw opportunity and did the American thing – started a business to address said opportunity. While he makes standard holsters out of kydex and/or leather, he seems to be developing a niche of holsters designed for Crimson Trace Lightguards, Laserguards and Rail Masters.

I just ordered the holster shown here. It’s the White Dog Mutt design which is a tuckable inside-the-waistband holster with a kydex gun pocket and leather backing. it’s similar to the Galco King Tuk. The difference is that this one is molded to be Lightguard and Lasergrip friendly.

I just started using this, but can already tell it’s a winner. The leather backing is solid and well-finished. The kydex is perfectly molded with all the right detail touches. The clips are adjustable for desired cant angle and comfort.

The bottom is open to let debris fall out, but note how the kydex is curved over the muzzle to aid retention and support.

The bottom is open to let debris fall out, but note how the kydex is curved over the muzzle to aid retention and support.

But again, there’s always a “but” to the story. Devin is also a guy who serves our country and has just been called to a deployment for a couple of months. This means you’ll have to wait a bit to order a holster from him. Keep checking the web site, he’ll be back making holsters before you know it.

 

Shooting At Night Photos From The Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational

The Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational was a dual purpose event. The first two nights provided shooting industry media an opportunity to shoot the match before the pro 3 Gunners arrived for the Friday and Saturday night competition. Sponsoring vendors also set up demonstrations at the range during daylight hours to test out some of their latest gear.

Here’s a look:

Why not hold a 3 Gun match in the middle of the night? It works for match sponsor Crimson Trace!

Why not hold a 3 Gun match in the middle of the night? It works for match sponsor Crimson Trace!

It looks so easy in the daytime, doesn't it?

It looks so easy in the daytime, doesn’t it?

These targets are about to get perforated by a full-auto FN SCAR.

These targets are about to get perforated by a full-auto FN SCAR.

Getting ready to shoot! Note the LED shoes!

Getting ready to shoot! Note the LED shoes!

A horde of targets...

A horde of targets…

The Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association range facility was fantastic.

The Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association range facility was fantastic.

The business end of a Colt Competition Rifle.

The business end of a Colt Competition Rifle.

Jawin' with Ryan from GunTalk Television.

Jawin’ with Ryan from GunTalk Television.

Colt Competition shooters providing some spotting assistance. Wyatt Gibson, with the binocs, toop top Junior honors.

Colt Competition shooters providing some spotting assistance. Wyatt Gibson, with the binocs, took top Junior honors.

Lot's of really sweet rifles were on hand at Media Range Day.

Lot’s of really sweet rifles were on hand at Media Range Day.

Will you see Ryan Gresham working the MGM spinner target on a future episode of GunTalk Television? I guess we'll see.

Will you see Ryan Gresham working the MGM spinner target on a future episode of GunTalk Television? I guess we’ll see.

Caleb Giddings and Chris Cerino in a little long-range snubby revolver shooting challenge.

Caleb Giddings and Chris Cerino in a little long-range snubby revolver shooting challenge.

Just a little bit of muzzle blast...

Just a little bit of muzzle blast…

Jerry Miculek waiting for the match to start.

Jerry Miculek waiting for the match to start.

The Nosler stage had a variety of short range targets and some long range rifle plates in the distance.

The Nosler stage had a variety of short-range targets and some long-range rifle plates in the distance.

Kay Miculek tries to break daughter Lena's concentration prior to the start...

Kay Miculek tries to break daughter Lena’s concentration prior to the start…

A good pre-match omen! The weather was perfect throughout.

A good pre-match omen! The weather was perfect throughout.

A pre-match stage briefing. No, it's not dark enough yet!

A pre-match stage briefing. No, it’s not dark enough yet!

Kind of creepy?

Kind of creepy?

Belt-mounted chem lights were used to identify competitors and range officers. A brilliant safety precaution!

Belt-mounted chem lights were used to identify competitors and range officers. A brilliant safety precaution!

Note the last two popper targets falling to a barrage of 12 gauge shot from a box-magazine Saiga.

Note the last two popper targets falling to a barrage of 12 gauge shot from a box-magazine Saiga.

The Stage planners had a great time hiding shotgun targets behind barrels. Twice as hard to find in the dark!

The Stage planners had a great time hiding shotgun targets behind barrels. Twice as hard to find in the dark!

Stage walk through.

Stage walk through.

House clearing with a light and laser-equipped AR-15.

House clearing with a light and laser-equipped AR-15.

Highly-visible green lasers were popular.

Highly-visible green lasers were popular.

Note all the brass in the air from the full auto PWS Diablo. This side match was during daylight hours.

Note all the brass in the air from the full auto PWS Diablo. This side match was during daylight hours.

This car got pretty beat up by by four straight nights of grenade catching.

This car got pretty beat up by four straight nights of grenade catching.

Nope. Not quite dark enough to start the evening events.

Nope. Not quite dark enough to start the evening events.

Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek gearing up.

Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek gearing up.

A Primary Weapons System Diablo and an AAC suppressed Glock - some of the required gear for a house clearing stage.

A Primary Weapons System Diablo and an AAC suppressed Glock – some of the required gear for a house clearing stage.

Gearing up before sunset.

Gearing up before sunset.

Top Shot winner Chris Cheng strategizing for his first stage of the night.

Top Shot winner Chris Cheng strategizing for his first stage of the night.

Taking aim at some handgun targets in the dark.

Taking aim at some handgun targets in the dark.

Note the path of the light and laser. The green one at left shows the path of the shotgun laser.

Note the path of the light and laser. The green one at left shows the path of the shotgun laser.

Nothing quite like a little machine-gunning in the dark!

Nothing quite like a little machine-gunning in the dark!

Getting ready to unleash the SAW, which of course was equipped with night vision optics!

Getting ready to unleash the SAW, which of course was equipped with night vision optics!

A time lapse view of a stage in the event.

A time-lapse view of a stage in the event.

Top Junior Shooter Wyatt Gibson of Team Colt Competition receives his award.

Top Junior Shooter Wyatt Gibson of Team Colt Competition receives his award.

Lena Miculek took the Top Ladies Prize.

Lena Miculek took the Top Ladies Prize.

Once again, US Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Daniel Horner took top overall honors.

Once again, US Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Daniel Horner took top overall honors.

 

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