Web Blast: Alternative Pistol-Packers

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By John Connor

From The July/August 2008 Issue Of American Handgunner

There’s More! If you didn’t get enough in the pages of
American Handgunner
feast your eyes here for more!

Packin 1

Steppin’ out for the evening, Little Red’s got her little black frock, a big black Glock,
and a matching pistol-plus purse from Hoffner’s Holsters

Packin 2

Maxpedition’s ambidextrous Malaga Gearslinger may be
their most adaptable and comfortable “pistol-packer-plus”to date.

Packin 4

Light but surprisingly sturdy, HawkePak’s E&E BugOut Bag will organize
your ordnance, hide your holstered handgun, and morph into multiple carry modes.

Packin 3

Hoffner’s little leather “camera case” pistol-packer will go
on a belt, drop into a larger bag, or masquerade as a small evening purse.

Before Maxpedition Hard-Use Gear introduced their original and now famed Fat Boy Versipack, my backup blasters got stuffed into a drab array of sad sacks and clumsy carry-alls. The Fat Boy changed all that, providing a concealment platform I even felt comfortable using as a “primary packer” in situations where conventional holsters weren’t “situationally appropriate.” Then fortunately, some other smart makers got serious about stealthy alternatives, and now we enjoy lots of great choices.

That’s the upside of my alternative pistol-packin’ experience. The downside is, every time I acquire concealed-carry-friendly products, they’re rapidly “re-distributed” by and amongst a buncha renegade redheads and other relations.

But all was not lost. Ambidextrous and endowed with enough pockets to mystify Walter Mitty and supply a squad, the new Malaga Gearslinger might be the best, most comfortable-carryin’ all-around Maxpedition design yet. Features and capabilities are too numerous to list, but among them, the secure — and fast — rear-compartment pistol access tops my list. I’m zero for two on Malaga’s now, but Helena and Aunt C are happy campers…

Packin 5

Dillon’s “Plan B” looks like an ordinary day-planner,
but open it up and it’s a stealth “day-saver.”

Packin 6

My battered, abused but enduring Blackhawk!“Battle Bag” has
proven its worth, and hardly drawn a glance from the wrong kind of observers.

Packin 8

The Ambush Jacket’s zipper-split sides give easy access to belt
holsters, and interior pistol pockets provide even more concealment options.

Packin 7

Safe Direction’s bullet-defeating handgun-concealing
fanny pack looks like any old belt-pouch from the front.


BlackHawk’s Battle Bag works for handgunners and long-gunners, with three flapped front pouches for AR magazines. The rear compartment holds a universal holster and mag pouch, and a shoulder strap, stowable waist belt and handgrip give multiple carry options. This bag’s a favorite, and it shrugs off abuse.

The HawkePaks E&E BugOut Bag is a morphing mutant that’ll conceal your cannon and organize your ordnance. A moveable, pocketed partition customizes the deep interior, and its shoulder and leg straps keep it from flappin’ when you’re on the fly. A universal holster is included. Good gear!

Best known for hard-core tac gear, Hoffner’s Holsters also makes fine leather holster-purses and a neat little “camera case” for pocket-rocket-size guns.

Our favorite “fanny packs” are made by Safe Direction, and include an NIJ-IIIA rated ballistic containment panel to capture possible accidental discharges while charging or clearing a handgun.

From Dillon Precision, the Plan B “day-planner” is a day-saver in disguise, and with Dillon’s Concealed Carry Tote you can look like you’re a geek on your way to fix somebody’s copy machine. Cool, huh?

There’s lots more, so check out our Web blast on the Handgunner Web site for more pics of packs and other goodies. Pack plenty, pack wisely, and stay safe!


Packin 3a

Do not suggest that retired Marine Sergeant Major Chris Gagliano’s Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack
is a “man-purse,” okay? The Memsaab Helena can get away with it; nobody else.

Packin 2a

My battered, abused but enduring Blackhawk “Battle Bag” has been dragged, dropped, stuffed
and tossed, yet repeatedlyproven its worth, and hardly drawn a glance from the wrong
kind of observers. Here’s what it looks like open.

Packin 1a

Dillon’s Concealed Carry Tote makes the user look like a
mild-mannered computer technician, which can be “tactically convenient.”

Packin 9a

This ain’t about clothes, but the Bullet50 Ambush Jacket from TAG – Tactical Assault Gear –
is just too cool not to include. Designed by and for cops, its features accommodate easy
access to belt holsters and secured interior weapons pockets, and rear “fighting strips”
attach the jacket to your belt so your jacket can’t be yanked up to trap your arms –
one of my own favorite fightin’ tricks.

packin 5a

Maxpedition’s original — and still popular — Fat Boy pistol-pouch
started two trends: a series of greatgun-bags from Maxpedition,
and the Connor girls rippin’ off my favorite alternative pistol-packers.

packin 6a

The Malaga offers two dedicated pistol-packing points – one
inside the main compartment, and a flap-protected yet fast-access
pouch on the backside. A universal holster attaches firmly with Velcro.

Packin 7a

Packin 8a

Elite Survival’s Tailgunner GunPack and Walkabout Briefcase are both low-profile ways
that allow you to never break rule one: “Have a gun.”

Packin 4a

Uncle John’s “Field Editor Travel Trio”: Maxpedition’s Tactical Attache with separate
compartments for laptopand a large Roscoe, a slug-stopping Safe Direction Academy
Pad to mitigate any motel-room AD’s, and… those side pouches are made to fit
Nalgene bottles, but he prefers “adult beverages.”

For more info:


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