The first time I heard about PHLster I was skeptical.

6 months and 4 purchases later I wouldn’t carry appendix inside waistband or IWB in general in anything but a PHLster. All their products have an unheard of amount of adjustability and fantastic retention. All their gear is optimized for appendix carry but with some time, a screwdriver, and their very helpful YouTube channel (PhillyEDC) you can carry your PHLster holster just about any way you want. 

My first purchase was their City Special holster for the Smith & Wesson J Frame. It is, by far, the most comfortable holster, appendix or otherwise, I’ve ever worn even with the Hogue grips on my 642. It absolutely disappears under a T Shirt and the single belt loop attachment helps the holster move with your body when worn appendix. I live in a climate with high heat and brutal humidity in the summer and this holster stands up to it. PHLster recommends a good stiff gun belt but I’ve found this holster works with just about any decent belt, which is a big selling point. 

Next I purchased their ACCESS holster for the S&W Shield. This holster conceals just as well as the City Special but wasn’t quite as comfortable for me in the appendix position. After the purchase and installization of their dual loop adapter it’s become a great 3-5 o’clock EDC holster. I tried to use it with a Galco belt and couldn’t get the gun out but once combined with a Ares Ranger belt the holster really shines. Once again, PHLster does recommend using a sturdy gun belt. 

Last is their IWB magazine carrier. It claims to fit most double stack 9mm/.40 magazines from major manufacturers. After testing it on various Glock, S&W, SIG, and Springfield mags I can say they aren’t lying! 

In conclusion, PHLster is changing the game. Everyone else is just playing catchup. Plus they’re based in my home state of Pennsylvania which is just another plus for me.


New Gun

Recently picked up a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm. The M&Pc was on my wish list but the Shield with the extended mag feels like a 1911. So far I really like it. The build quality is impressive. 

The PHLster appendix holster is already ordered. 

Speaking of PHLster, keep your eyes out for an in depth review of 3 of their products. 3 products I spent my own money on. My name isn’t hickock45, I buy my own gear. 

Spoiler: I like them, I tried to destroy them. 

Double spoiler: it will be the only PHLster review worth reading. 

Wish List

It’s been awhile homeboys and homegirls, that’s for sure. But I’m back with a quick wish list of guns I want. Here they are in no particular order. 

Smith & Wesson 686P: 7 rounds of .357magnum goodness. I’ll take the 2.5 or 3 inch. Thank you very much. 

Chiappa Rhino 200DS: .357 carry revolver in a design that shoots like a .38. 

Ruger American: Haven’t fired one yet but I hear great things. 

Browning A5: I’ve always wanted one of these but just can’t pull the trigger, excuse the pun. Semi auto 12 gauge. 

Smith & Wesson M&Pc: I have and love the full size M&P but would love a version to carry. Might get a grip reduction done and take advantage of that sight radius. 

If you guys have any topics or products you’d like me to blog about shoot me an email. 

Thanks for reading. 

Follow your Gut

There’s a quote, I believe it’s by Marcus Wynne, that goes something like “The most important part of fighting is recognizing you’re in a fight.”

Every human has a fight or flight instinct. Listening to your gut brings these two choices into play. Sometimes fighting is the right choice. Sometimes flight is the right move, no matter who you are. 

The courage to fight or flight is what prolongs life. Fighting a losing battle looks nice on commendations or in the press but if that fight costs you your life, who the fuck cares? You’re dead. Your family and friends without you. Was it worth it?

Carry Positions 

These days there are many different ways to carry a gun. I’ll be focusing on some of the ways to carry concealed. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. 

IWB between 3-6oclock is by far the most common. Many civilians who concealed carry either start or end up this way. The drawbacks include draw speed and reholstering. Draw speed isn’t a huge issue in most cases. Reholstering wrong can be dangerous and leave you in danger of negligent discharges. 

Appendix IWB isn’t as new as people might think. I personally know some old gunfighters who were AIWB carrying revolvers and 1911’s in the seventies. This method is great for concealment and fast drawing but literally leaves your genetalia in the line of fire. 

OWB is the second most common and is fantastic for draw speed but can lead to concealment issues. Most undercover LEOs carry this way. The drawback is retention but a high quality holster either retentive or not usually solves this issue. 

Ankle carry is mostly used for back up guns. I’ve honestly never carried this way but I’ve heard from reliable sources the holster feels bulky on your leg and is obviously slower to draw from. Concealment is a big plus though. 

I have a love hate relationship with shoulder holsters. My back is fairly wrecked from a youth of heavy packs and hard work and shoulder holsters only multiple this issue. They are however great for drawing from and when wearing heavier clothing that might make accessing a belt holster harder. 

If I could give any advice to a new concealed carrier it would be to buy a good belt and holster for whatever gun you’re choosing to carry and learn the law in your state/country. 

Top Regrets

Hey! I’m still around ya know. The Commies haven’t got me yet. Family issues have popped up recently and while handling those the olde blog here has been put on the back burner. 

The point of this post, with death on my mind, is to point out the Top regrets I have. Now admittedly I’m still fairly young so they will be limited to things I have no hope of accomplishing. 

Here they are, in no particular order:

Attend a show at CBGBs. CBGBs was a punk and New York institution for many years. The list of bands that played there could easily be the greatest ever at any venue outside NYC. Inside NYC only Madison Square Garden could compete. Odds are someone will try to reopen it eventually but there’s nothing like the original. 

See The Ramones live. The band that started it all. In my opinion, no band has been more influential. None of the original members are still alive but their music really does stand the test of time. Bands today still make a good living playing a sound directly influenced by the Ramones. 

Serve in WWII. Now I never had a chance of this happening. Whether storming the beaches in the Pacific, climbing Pointe Du Hoc on D-Day, or rolling through Germany to victory the Greatest Generation proved their worth. 

Explore the West. I don’t mean in a car on the highway. I don’t mean the Wild West. I mean earlier, Louis and Clark style. The idea of exploring wild, new, unforgiving terrain appeals to me greatly. 

Attend a Mike Tyson fight. The concept of utter domination fascinates me. In sports it takes a truly special talent to dominate a professional opponent. There are is a modern day equivalent, Ronda Rousey. Now no disrespect to Miss Rousey but nobody compares to Iron Mike, at least not yet. 

Watch Wayne Gretzky play hockey. I’ve actually met The Great One. He was an amazingly humble, nice man. I would’ve love to watch him in person, in his prime. 

Meet John M. Browning. Very few inventions stand the test of time. Browning’s guns are some of the things that have. 

This post is dedicated to my Mom who passed away on July 31 2015. A Mother’s influence, good or bad, cannot be matched. My Mom took me to get my first tattoo, my dad is still pissed. Bought me my first gun, he got over that eventually. Drove me to countless shows as a young punk rocker and never questioned why I came home bloody, sweaty, and stinking of stale beer. She was working class all the way and would never hesitate to help a person in need. If I strive to be half the person she was. 

Getting old, while you’re young

I’ve noticed a trend lately that older shooters, we’ll say 45 years and older, are moving back towards the guns of their youth. Mainly revolvers, Hi-Powers, and 1911s. I can’t exactly pin down the reasoning behind it because I’m still young, dumb, and full of…vigor. Could it be nostalgia? Could it be an increase in capital? It’s no secret those guns cost more. Maybe an older shooter recognizes most self defense encounters don’t require 17 rounds, the real number is 2 or 3. Maybe they just miss the guns they learned to shoot with. Maybe theyre looking to set themselves apart from the younger guys/gals. 

Hell maybe I’m just looking too much into this whole issue. 

Let me know what you think in the comments.