This article will help you prepare for an upcoming handgun class. Here I’ll be talking about the pros/cons of different gear and a good cost/benefit ratio for your investment.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE gun, training or gear?
- The most expensive gun is the one you do NOT have and it costs you your life and/or the life of a loved one.
- The most expensive training is the training you did NOT have. It is expensive because you FAILED to protect yourself, or you did not understand the moral, legal, ethical “likely outcomes” of your actions (and you continue to pay the price the rest of your life).
- The most expensive gear is the gear you do not have, when you need it to save your life or the life of a loved one!
CHECKLIST and LINKS
- EYEs (eye protection, clear & dark recommended, must meet safety specifications –something like this: (Wiley X Guard Sunglasses, Smoke Grey Clear, Matte Black . If you are on a budget, Lowe’s Home Improvement has some good sunglasses that are safety rated for $20.
- Ears (ear protection, Howard Leights are what I recommend. Being able to hear range commands is a safety issue & you can use these for home-defense with a tactical advantage of hearing better than a dog). Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff
- AMMO (most schools require FMJ NEW ammunition).
- hydration/water – about 1 gallon per day in extreme heat or dry climate.
- QUALITY external holster. I recommend Blade Tech OWB Holster for Springfield XDM 9/40 Shield with Tek-Lok Attachment (Black). Make sure you get YOUR pistol’s model. The link is for an xdm 9/40 4.5″
- Magazine pouch. You’ll want two mag pouches. I recommend BLACKHAWK! Single Stack Mag Case Matte Finish for 9 mm, 10mm, .40 Cal, and .45 Cal, Black
- 3-4 magazines.
- Snacks/lunch. Remember wet wipes, you do NOT want lead remnants going into your mouth and body!
- Most schools require a “concealment garment”, this can be a surplus bdu “shirt/jacket” with the arms cut out for a “vest” or if you can afford it, I recommend 5.11 #80008 Poly/Cotton TacLite Pro Vest (TDU Khaki, X-Large). It has the right amount of stiffness for swiping the vest out of the way and driving down to the pistol.
- HAT. I recommend BOONIE HAT–Tan/Khaki
- azoom dummy rounds. There are cheapo dummy rounds, do NOT buy the cheapo ones. I recommend you buy the: A-Zoom 9Mm Luger Precision Snap Caps (5 Pack)
- layered clothing–expect wild fluctuations in weather and be prepared for rain, wind, hot/cold depending on season. After I froze a few times in snow/wind, I got the proper gear. What is the most expensive weather gear? The one you do NOT have, and you get sick or you fail to train properly. I recommend a gore-tex shell for your jacket, water proof pants, boots, gloves and hat.
- Sunblock for neck and lips/face. A long sleeve shirt is priceless in the sun, but NOT cotton and it should be loose.
- chapstick – I think this should be REQUIRED!
- Camera to document your adventure and show-off to your friends/family 🙂
- Gatorade packets or bottles
- Gloves. Depending on your weapon system, you may or may not need gloves. On your first class, your hands will need to tough’n up. So, for your first class or two, WEAR GLOVES. I recommend Mechanix Wear M-Pact Covert Work / Duty Gloves MPT-55 – LARGE Size I’d get the size so they are a bit tight, but not uncomfortable. You can check these out at Walmart too.
- Tools/cleaning kit.
- BACKUP gun/system. What if the unexpected happens? Having a spare is a good idea IMO.
- FIRST AID KIT – major trauma bandages…not just bandaids!
- Knee pads, depending on school and instructor
- Tactical Pants. My fav are the Blackhawk. Blackhawk Men’s Ultra Light Tactical Pant (Khaki, 38×36) These are cooler than shorts in the hot sun!!! Get that SUN off your skin!
- Multi-tool. I can’t tell you how many times my multi-tool has saved me! This is my fav: SOG Specialty Knives & Tools B66-N Power Assist Knife, Black Oxide
- Depending on the school, you may want a folding chair.
- GUN BELT, like a 5.11 TDU 5.11 TDU 1.75-Inch Belt, Black, Large. Make sure your pants will work with the wider belt. The wider belt aids in stabilizing the holster. The 5.11 TDU is OK, but even better is the Uncle Mike’s Tactical Two-Layer Nylon Reinforced Instructor’s Belt.