I have two sincere beliefs about off-duty carry. One, the day you or I needs an off-duty firearm will not be decided by you or I, it will be decided by a felon. Two, when the day comes that a felon needs my undivided attention and deadly serious personal guidance, I don't want to depend upon some itty-bitty, sub-caliber pistol. Yes, I know that even a small gun is better than no gun, but if I'm in a fight for my life and limited to a pistol, I want a fist-full of pistol.
This is no problem during the cool months. You can slide your full-size thunder blaster into a custom kydex holster, tastefully hidden but quickly accessible under your jacket. But in summer, this can prove challenging. Once warm weather hits, you either wear too many clothes or carry a mouse gun.
A third option is to carry your pistol in one of the oversized fanny packs, but those just scream "gun" to too many people now.
Or maybe not. John Benner at TDI and KA-BAR have teamed up to produce the KA-BAR TDI Fanny Pack, a marvel of optical illusions. When compared to the fanny packs I've worn in the past, it looks too small to conceal a serious firearm, let alone a full-size service weapon.The secret: The gun's barrel actually fits up into what appears to be the straps. Thus, you can carry your full-size weapon concealed in a space that would otherwise be too small. Check it out in the accompanying photo. That's a full-size SIG 226 .40 inside.
Of course, there are trade-offs. The fanny pack is by no means a quick-draw apparatus. But Colonel Cooper's Condition Yellow level of awareness should allow you to see most situations coming. By the time a situation reaches the imminent-threat stage, you should already have your hand wrapped around the grip. Awareness, even off duty, remains your first level of defense.
Constructed of 100-percent heavy-duty polyester and designed to serve right- or left-handed officers, the TDI fanny pack should give you several years of uncompromising service.
Sergeant Charles E. Humes, Jr. is recognized internationally as one of the pioneers of modern, realistic, police defensive tactics training. He's taught seminars and instructor certification schools from Alaska to North Carolina, and has trained police instructors at the IALEFI and ILEETA conferences. Humes is also the author, director, editor and producer of a top-selling police video training tape entitled "Dynamic Striking Techniques." Visit his Web site at www.charleshumes.com.
The KA-BAR TDI Fanny Pack
KA-BAR Knives, Inc.