Micro Carry

Mini-Carry Medium-Carry & Mondo-Carry

First of all, this isn’t my fault. Editorial Director and fellow conspirator here, Mike Humphries, sent me a photo of a tiny NAA revolver in a pocket holster, along with a teeny knife and light with a note, “Check-out my micro-carry rig.” I detected a certain amount of gloat in his tone — so it got me to thinking. I thought it was a fun idea — and even a little cool — but wouldn’t admit it to him. Time to fight back, though.

Does any of it even make any sense? And if not, should that stop me? Might it still lead to an interesting set of ideas or a conclusion I might not otherwise have arrived at? Who cares — let’s do it anyway.

Nosing around, I discovered there’s a big community of people who share photos of what’s called their “Pocket Dump.” That’s a photo of a set of goodies they carry with them as part and parcel of their Every Day Carry gear load. Google it and you’ll find thousands of pictures loaded with some pretty amazing ideas. The experience made me think maybe Mike was onto something. I know, I know … I was surprised too.

To keep it simple, I invented four categories. We’ll call ’em “Micro, Mini, Medium and Mondo” — the last is a sort of no-holds barred division, including .50 AE Desert Eagles if you like.

The Results

This all caused me to take a hard look at what I carry regularly — and evaluate it. Even if I wouldn’t actually carry a “Micro” rig alone, it did make me think hard about what was in all the categories.

Micro-Carry: Anchored with two NAA mini-revolvers.


The NAA small revolvers are a natural here. Streamlight’s MicroStream, the Tuff Writer “Micro” Clicky pen, Spyderco Dog Tag folder and Kirk Rexroat neck knife make up a pretty tidy bit of pocket punch. The holsters are made by Thad Rybka and each has a pouch holding six rounds. Some things, like the MicroStream, stay in my pocket regardless of the category.

Mini-Carry: Ruger’s LCPII .380 ACP is the foundation.


Now we’re edging into practical things. The Ruger LCPII (and spare mag), SureFire 650 Lumen Stiletto, Swiss Army Executive folder, a keychain light, bigger pen (Tuff Writer again), a folding knife (Kershaw) and a cheap magnifying glass (Handy, try it!), handles the “Mini” chores. In all honesty, this is literally my “Pocket Dump” I actually took out of my pockets to use in this picture.

Medium-Carry: Roy tends toward a Solo or this S&W Shield in 9mm.


This one gets pretty fluid for me. Chances are good I’ll have a coat on so would put another light in my pocket like this newish Streamlight ProTac. I might change the knife out depending on my mood (I like the prying end on this Kershaw), the pen is by Hinderer and the gun is a S&W Shield 9mm. Or it might be a Kimber Solo if I’ll be pocket carrying. The holster is a Bianchi model 101 Foldaway handling just about any semi-auto you can imagine. Keep in mind, I likely have the Swiss knife, magnifying glass, etc. along for the ride too.

Mondo-Carry: A lightweight Les Baer 5" 1911 builds the footing here.


I’d call this my “serious” winter outfit. A coat or outer garment covers the goods here. My “most-reached-for” Mondo-gun is this lightweight (aluminum-framed) 5" .45 from Les Baer. He only made a few about 25 years ago and I snapped one up. It handles and shoots like a steel gun but it’s a delight to carry. The holster is a bit of sublime enjoyment from Red Nichols in Australia. Truly one of the finest bits of holster-work I’ve ever seen or used.

The folder is by Kershaw (I really like their affordable line-up lately), the LCPII is along, a bigger Swiss knife (or some sort of pocket tool), a heavy duty pen by Tuff Writer (nice people there), a magnifying glass, that SureFire Stiletto light, and I’ve taken to carrying a classy small fixed blade by Spartan. It tucks in right at the waist and you don’t know it’s there. Loaded for bear here? That’s the whole idea.

Common Threads

The “gun/light/knife” combo is always there, usually augmented with some other goodies. Some things carry over into each category, some just live in one. Some version of the “Mini” gear is honestly on me all the time, regardless of what I’m wearing. The guns may get bigger, and I might add a light or tool of some sort, but I think I’d consider the “Mini” category as the benchmark and build up or down from there.

There’s always a pen too. It’s not necessarily because it’s “tactical” (at times I carry a collectible art pen simply because we can’t live by bread alone) but because my dad always told me: “A gentleman should always have something to write with, a pocket knife and a clean hanky to loan to a lady.” I added some sort of gun to the equation as time passed — and dad approved.

I always have one from each category with me, every day. And you should too.

Send us a picture of your own “Pocket Dump” and we’ll publish it on our facebook page! Send ’em to: [email protected]

Henry Rifle

Henry’s Single Shot Rifle

What caught my eye here is this single shot from Henry is chambered in .357/.38 Special — goes great with your revolvers! — and comes pretty much ready to assure you have plenty of fun afield or at the range. It’s a nearly perfect “first” centerfire rifle for a kid or new shooter, and you can scope it or put a dot sight on it if you like. A heavy .357 is fine for 100 yard deer, and the single shot, break open hammer action is about as safe as you can get for a novice. The action won’t open if the hammer is cocked, and you can move the lever right or left to open the action so it’s ambi. MSRP is about $448. I got one in .30-30 for another project (they’re offered in multiple calibers) and so far, I’m very impressed with the design. www.henryusa.com

Blue Book

Blue Book Time!

At least once in your life, buy a Blue Book of Guns Values for a real treat. It’s not just a compendium of values from about every company — ever, it’s also chock full of great pics showing how to rate condition, values and lots more. The company histories are always interesting and the book is loaded with info sure to keep you busy. It’s got 2,512 pages, 30,000 gun model descriptions, 1,700 manufacturer/trademarks and 180,000 values! I especially use the 45 pages of serial number info to help determine year of manufacture of many models. It’s $59.95 and has a flash drive or online subscription (with thousands of color images) option available. www.bluebookofgunvalues.com, Ph: (800) 877-4867 Ext. 3

Smith & Wesson

S&W Model 442

We’re in a renaissance of revolvers these days and I’m glad to see it. From what you tell me, so are you, so this should please you too. S&W’s latest from the Performance Center, the 442, has an aluminum alloy frame and stainless cylinder — but with those cool polished cylinder flutes. The concealed hammer and 15 ounce weight makes it pocket-friendly, and the P+ rated .38 Special chambering keeps things simple and effective. The icing is the supplied Crimson Trace Lasergrips and Performance Center tuned action. Call it about $740 MSRP. www.smith-wesson.com

Charter Arms handgun

Charter Professional

This makes so much perfect sense I’m glad to see it. The .32 H&R Magnum is a serious “little” cartridge and anyone armed with it is adequately heeled. Factor in a reliable 7-shot revolver, 3" barrel, good stocks, stainless steel frame and a neon-green front sight and you have a ground-breaking package. At 22 oz. (less than a Walther PPKS), holster by Galco and an MSRP around $430, this is an answer we boomers have needed for a lightweight, light-recoiling, simple-to-use defensive gun. Well done Charter! www.charterfirearms.com

Taurus Handgun

Taurus Ultra-Lite

Ithought this color combo was eye-catching. I know, I know, we have guns in about every color possible these days, but I tend toward favoring the more “normal” colors like dirt, grass, rocks and rusty cars. The Ultra-Lite comes in lots of colors but this one comes pretty close to the “dirt/rocks/rusty car” concept. It’s a 6-shot, .38 Special +P, weighs only 16 oz. and has really good grips. Think J-Frame but a tiny tad bigger here and there. But you earn another round for that bit of growth spurt. I’d call this a great personal protection “have it around all the time” sort of a gun. At $378 MSRP it’s affordable for we mere mortals, and you get the Taurus limited lifetime warranty. www.taurususa.com

Walther PPK

Walther PPK

I always get a big kick out of sharing the latest one of these superior miniatures with you. This one is the classic Walther PPK, featuring lettering on the slide original to the 1930 design. While the original is about 6.1" in length, this “biggish” model is 3" and there’s plenty of heft in the hard zinc casting (silver electroplated). That’s a .32 ACP round in the photo so you can judge the relative size. It all comes in a nice box and is packaged well when shipped. At only $19.95 they’re amazing deals. Get the rest of the set while you can, then keep adding as they come out. The Python, Hi-Power and even the Automag, among others, are future models! www.firearmsassurefreedom.com

AR Book

AR-15 Skills & Drills

Our own Tiger McKee, who writes the Tactics & Training column in Handgunner, finished up a solid how-to book covering all-things AR-related. It’s all vintage Tiger in its simplicity and clear writing. This is the single book you need to buy to, as the title says, “Learn to run your AR like a Pro.” It’s only $30 (cheap!) and Tiger sells it on his school’s website. If you don’t own a good AR book and you have the guns, you should get this book. I think you’ll keep finding yourself going, “Hmm ... I didn’t know that,” over and over again. www.shootrite.org, Ph: (256) 582-4777


Don’t Be A Dick’s?

Seems our friends at Dick’s Sporting Goods have elected to remove firearms from another 125 stores beginning August 1st. That’s 17 percent of the company’s stores if you’re keeping track. Their CEO, Ed Stack, said if the move “goes well” they’ll remove “hunting gear” from even more stores next year. So far their stock prices continue to take a hit from this anti-gun decision. Everyone’s allowed to do what they like in business, but we don’t have to support them, eh?

Colt 1862

Cimarron Colt 1862 Conversion

I think these have always been one of the underrated designs in black powder revolvers. They are light, slim and graceful in the extreme. Cimarron’s rendition shows their penchant for quality and attention to detail. The proper name is the Colt 1862 Pocket Navy Conversion, and this one is chambered in .380 ACP! This updates the concept, and while its Victorian elegance remains, the caliber makes it appropriate even for personal protection today if you need it. At $570 this is a wonderful way to add smiles to your shooting day! www.cimarron-firearms.com


Norris “Terry” Turnbull Passes

Iwas saddened to hear of the passing of old friend Doug Turnbull’s dad in January this year. He was 84. Terry and his wife, Joan, started Creekside Gun Shop in Holcomb, NY in 1957 and grew it to be the largest firearms retailer in NY state, if not the entire Northeast! Terry’s expertise helped him and Doug to “re-discover” the magic of color case hardening and charcoal bluing, allowing Doug’s famous Turnbull Restorations to grow into the company we know today. Our hearts go out to you and your family Doug.

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