I am a firm believer in having a self-defense type weapon as a part of your EDC. (Every Day Carry). And I also advocate carrying that weapon concealed. While I carry a Glock 23 with a Streamlight Tactlite on duty, off duty I prefer something that is much easier to conceal. I carry a Sig Sauer P238.
The P238 comes with its own carry/conceal holster, a nice touch by Sig. But it rode too high on my waist for my liking. And it did not feel like it was completely secure.
So when the good folks at Osborn Holster offered to make me a carry/conceal leather holster for my Sig, and make it large enough to also carry a spare magazine, I said “Hell Yeah!”
For those of you who are not familiar with Osborn Holsters, they have been in the market for the past 3 to 4 years. They specialize in making custom holsters for almost any style of pistol. Osborn holsters are made right here in the USA, headquartered in Texas.
I ordered the IWB (Inside Waist Band) Tact rig for my Sig, and was surprised when it arrived less than a week later. I order firearm parts all the time. Many times it takes a week just to process the order and then ship the parts. So to have my holster fabricated and sent to me in that amount of time left me pleasantly surprised.
The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was how durable, yet flexible the leather was. I also noticed that the holes for the magazine attachments and the kydex had been reinforced with eyelets, which should help with the holster’s durability. I’m a big fan of buying products that are durable and long lasting. So I give bonus points for things like that.
The P238 fit securely in the Kydex molding. It was a bit snug, and took some effort to pull out. But the holster uses screws with rubber spacers to attach it to the leather. This means that the amount of retention can be adjusted. So between adjusting the screws, and normal use (break in period), the tight retention should not be an issue.
A few months back, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my EDC off-duty carry pistol. At the time, I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard. And while it was a decent, quality firearm, I did not like the LONG trigger pull. So I decided I wanted to make a change. Off to my favorite gun store I went.
After looking at a few, I picked up the Sig Sauer P238, and immediately fell in love. The P238 is a metal framed 1911 in miniature, (minus the grip safety), chambered in .380. It fit perfectly into my hand (with the flared 7 round mag…see picture) with an overall width of about 1’1” with a 2.7’’ barrel. As for weight, it is about 15 oz. unloaded.
The pistol comes with a 6 round magazine, but I purchased an additional 7 rounder with a flared bottom plate. (I would recommend this mag to anyone buying this firearm.)
I went to a local gun range, where I was able to rent the P238. The guy behind the counter lent me a 7 round, flared mag. From the very first trigger pull, I knew this gun was for me. The trigger was fluid and so SMOOTH, at maybe 5 lb pull.
The P238 is single action, meaning that the hammer must be cocked in the rear position. The safety is a bit strong, but that means it won’t accidentally be flipped off. There is a noticeable “click” when engaging the safety on and off. You will also notice the feel when doing so. Hence there won’t be any confusion when flipping the safety on and off. You WILL hear it and feel it!
I practiced quite a bit, drawing from a holstered position while disengaging the safety. The safety flips off easily, though flipping the safety back on takes a bit of practice as it was a little stiff at first.
Speaking of holsters, the P238 does come with a Sig hard case OWB concealment holster. I thought it was a nice touch, but ended up not using it. It rode a bit high on my waist for my liking. I also felt like I wanted a concealment holster that was a bit more secure and stable.
If you are new to prepping, or have been at it for a short time, congrats! The fact that you have the mindset to be prepared ahead of time puts you at an advantage if/when the SHTF! But I want to caution you against certain mistakes I see new and/or inexperienced preppers make. If you find yourself doing any of these, stop and reassess your preps and your priorities.
Stockpiling guns and ammo and believing you are all set
I would never downplay the important of protecting you and your loved ones in a disaster. I have many guns and plenty of ammo. But I caution people to not focus solely on that. Many people confuse their love and collection of firearms with being prepared. It is NOT the same! There are other things that are more important in my opinion.
To those who think that skill and ability with (and possession of) firearms top all other skills in an emergency (even more important than the ability to find and purify water or more important than finding/making shelter from the elements for example), then let me say this:
I have been in numerous disaster situations. I lost an apartment to a tornado a few years back. The next year I worked in Moore, Oklahoma where a tornado killed 24 people and did over $2 billion dollars’ worth of damage. I experienced an ice storm several years ago where I lost power for two days and was snowed in. My brother lost his job last year, and lived on his food storage for about 8 weeks until he found a new job.
Never once did firearms come into play. Food did. Water did. Shelter did. My family and group helping me out did. But not firearms.
Prepping isn’t just about collecting guns for long term, grid down survival. It’s about keeping you and your loved ones prepared for ALL disaster situations. Click here to read a great article on why you should NOT prep for just TEOTWAWKI.
Even if we lose the grid for an extended period of time, you will need food, water, and shelter WAY more often than you will need a gun! So balance your prepping! Spend some of that firearm money on other gear and preps!
Buying premade survival bags, gear and/or not testing them out beforehand.
First, let me say that buying a ready-made survival kit/bug out bag is better than having nothing at all. Many ready-made kits have a lot of handy and useful items that could save your life.
But in my experience, I see many people buy a pre-made bag, toss it in the closet, and not think about it again. Hence the items in the bag do NOT get tested or used before they are truly needed. Some folks may not even know what all is in their bag or how to really use it. Or they may know what’s in the bag, but not where certain gear is located.
In the middle of a disaster is NOT the time to try and figure out how to use your emergency radio. Or find out that the batteries for your flashlight don’t work. Or that your bag only has one poncho and you need 4.
Will you waste valuable time digging through your bag looking for flashlight? Sure hope it isn’t completely dark when you need that flashlight and can’t find it!
By building your own bag and acquiring the gear separately, you will know exactly what and where your gear is. You will be more inclined to test it and become familiar with it ahead of time. And you will most likely save yourself a little money.
I see the question all the time, “I’m new to prepping and am looking for tips on getting started.” Enviably, that is answered by others with tips on creating bug out bags, storing food and water, purchasing firearms, etc. And while those are certainly very important, many times I see simple, everyday tasks that get overlooked.
And these tasks are not hard. They are easy. Easy enough that everyone should do them. These tips will help you not just in a disaster setting, but also in everyday life.
Always keep your phone charged.
In my 8 Lessons Learned from Disaster article, I mentioned an officer whose battery died while working in Moore, Oklahoma after a tornado, and was unable to communicate with anyone.
Imagine if you are caught in a quickly developing emergency, and your primary source of up to the minute information is dying because your battery is not charged. Not smart!
Having knowledge about what is going on around you is vital to your ability to survive a disaster. Being able to communicate is equally important. With today’s technology, a smart phone allows you to do both.
When a tornado recently hit my area, I used my cell phone to live stream the weather, and to text my family to keep them apprised of the situation. During that storm, my phone battery had plenty of life in it should I have had to make a speedy exit. I stayed up to the minute with news and information during the entire storm.
As the popularity of the AR platform increases, so have the number of manufacturers. For those who are new to prepping or firearms, trying to find a decent quality AR on a budget can be tricky. And to those people, Smith and Wesson introduced the M&P 15 Sport model rifle.
The first things to note on this rifle is that it lacks a dust cover or a forward assist. (The dust cover is the metal plate covering your rifle’s ejection port when the rifle is not in use. See the picture below.) Smith and Wesson, in an effort to make the rifle more affordable, left these items off of the Sport model.
For the AR enthusiast, this might immediately turn them off from this gun. But realistically, unless you plan on crawling around on your belly, the dust cover really isn’t essential. As long as you store your rifle in a cool, dry place and keep it clean, you should be fine without one.
As for the forward assist, I put anywhere from 700-900 rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Never once did I have a “failure to feed” or a “failure to extract” problem with the Sport model.
There are mixed emotions about the need of the forward assist. Personally, I like having one, but to be honest I have never used it. Considering that I owned the Sport model and put well over 700 rounds through it without a problem, I’d say not having a forward assist was a “non-issue.”
If you are like me, you probably have people in your life that you love and care for who are not “prepared”. Either they do not believe in it, or they simply don’t do it. But for a multitude of reasons, you cannot simply write them out of your life. It might be a spouse, or a sister, or an adult child. So in some ways, maybe you are like me and prep for them “on the side”.
I have a girlfriend who seemingly understands the importance of being prepared for an emergency or disaster, but just cannot put it into practice. (I’m teaching her…so that’s a start.)
I decided, over the past year or two, that she and her son would be a part of my plans should we have a disaster, big or small. I began helping her become more prepared. In some ways, I started prepping for her.
When we sometimes go grocery shopping together, I have her buy a few extra cans of food, and a gallon of water. At the moment she has a 2-3 day supply of food and water. She also has an incredibly warm Teton sleeping bag. (I have this bag and love it!) I gave her a hand cranked flashlight. As I mentioned in a previous article, for a beginner that’s a good start.
But I knew a good start wasn’t enough. If she was to be a part of my “long term” plans, I knew that I would have to help keep her going.
Began with a Plan
To start off with, the girlfriend and I sat down for a few minutes. We came up with a plan should she find herself in an emergency situation. If the situation was bad enough that calling 911 would be pointless, I told her the plan was simple, she and her son were to come to my house. (We also discussed a few different routes to take.) I have more than enough supplies to take care of her and her son, so if she could drive, she was not to worry about packing food or water.
I told her to grab warm, rugged clothing/blankets for her and her son. I have enough of everything else. But petite women’s’ clothing or clothing for a small child I do not have.