Pick the one right tool – Buying and using the right gear for the job

One of my favorite movies of all time is No Country For Old Men.  I’m not a critic and I’m not going to try to be one by describing the movie with nerdy terms that I don’t understand.  I just really love the movie.  Javier Bardem plays Anton Chigurh, a murderous psychopath with a very protestant work ethic.  He will not stop until he feels the job is done, which basically means killing just about every one on the cast list.  There is one scene where Chigurh is questioning the management decisions of his employer and he says something that has stuck with me ever since the first time I saw this movie. “You pick the one right tool.”

You pick the one right tool for the job, and the job will get done right.  Now I am all about improvisation.  Under pressure I’ve put together some truly imaginative solutions to problems that I probably wouldn’t believe if someone told me.  But improvisation should only ever arise from necessity, from shit actually hitting the fan, from the moment at 2am on the side of a remote highway when your radiator hose has split open and all you have is a sock, some bubblegum and a condom.  Masters do not rely on improvisation.  Masters pick the one right tool for the job.

How does this apply to guns?  Well there are many directions this could go from whether my .308 is suitable for home defense to whether or not I need the best powder measuring system for reloading my target 9mm loads.  But what I want to talk about is choosing the right gun for defensive carry and choosing the right holster for that gun.   I have counseled more people than I can count on buying a defensive pistol and usually a holster to go with it.  These are some of the common scenarios that I encounter.

I want a gun that I can carry concealed but that I can also take backpacking in case I run into a bear. Unless you are planning on carrying an 8 inch .44 magnum in a shoulder rig, this is just not going to work.  You’re going to have to make a choice about which is more important to you, carrying a gun designed for four legged predators or carrying a gun designed for two legged predators.  There really isn’t an in between.  The amount of power required to stop a bear is quite a bit different from the power you are going to get from a gun that is designed to hide inside your waistband.  That is to say nothing of the significant weight of the hand cannon you are taking with you “backpacking”.  If you are buying a gun to carry every day, you are not going to be using it for everything else.  It’s a tool with a specific purpose.  Pick the one right tool.

I bought this holster at the gun show.  It doesn’t exactly fit my gun but it was a great price.  Most gun owners I know have a drawer full of unused holsters, most of which were a “great deal”.  I have coached/instructed my fair share of new shooters on the range and one of the primary impediments to them learning how to draw from concealment and shoot effectively is a crappy holster.  A bad holster will affect retention, comfort, practicality, and ease of draw.  A good holster isn’t cheap.  But neither is buying 5 holsters that you won’t end up using or that don’t work well enough to deserve to be used.  If you are serious about your personal protection, then buy a serious holster.

One of two drawers of holsters I have.

One of two drawers of holsters I have.

After buying and using more than 20 holsters, I now use the Incog holster by g-code.  I was fortunate to get to try this holster for a week before I bought my own.  It’s not the only option out there, but it is a good one and I can say after carrying with it almost exclusively for the last 2 and a half years I have no plans to replace it.  Pick the one right tool.

I don’t really need a training class, I get plenty of good information on Youtube.  I love youtube.  I have learned a lot of great things from guys who really know what they are talking about.  I even have my own channel that I’m working on producing content that will help people with basic firearm skills for carrying defensively.  But there is no substitute for getting face time on the range with someone who knows what they are doing, and also knows how to relate that knowledge and those skills to you.  Youtube cannot take you to the range, watch you work and correct your mistakes.  Youtube cannot see your limitations and give you valuable pointers on how to compensate for them.

The two biggest barriers that people say get in the way of them and training is cost and time.  I get that.  The two things that there are never enough of.  But people put their money and their time where they see value.  If you are serious about carrying and using a gun for the defense of yourself and your loved ones, then there is serious value in getting good training.  Even one class a year will make you a better shooter and better prepared to use your gun to save your life.  Pick the one right tool.

There are more ways that this rule applies, but these basic areas are a great foundation for learning the importance of this principle when it comes to carrying a gun.  Pick the one right tool, it will save you many headaches, probably a lot of money and possibly even your life.

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