Personally, I prefer to be unarmed and I am 90% of the time (while working, I carry CCW everyday) but when I do carry it is a Glock 19 or a Kahr P9 with a Precision Holsters Ultra Carry Elite at 4 o’clock.
4 o’clock is more comfortable for me and also allows me to conceal slightly better as an iwb holster at 3 o’clock with a 34″ waist makes me look thicker on that side. 4 o’clock puts it just back enough to avoid some of the bulk from a straight on view. Also I find it no harder to reach or guard than 3 o’clock. Give it a shot and see if it works, if not use what works for you.
I strongly prefer “passive retention” systems. Meaning the weapon is secured by friction/resistance and will not fall out but no mechanical deactivation is necessary. The reason for this is the same as why I will never own a pistol (other than a 1911 for fun) with a mechanical safety – I don’t want to deactivate anything to draw/use a pistol as the draw and presentation from concealed is complicated enough. I do understand that some policies may require some type of specific retention or safety, and in that case you will have just have to train under stress with that system in order to ensure success.
Caliber is another discussion – I agree with the FBI’s and Special Operation’s recent findings that modern 9mm ammo when compared to 40 or 45 is so close in capability that it does not justify the added recoil and reduced capacity.
But for holsters, carry methods, placement, weapon/ammo selection, etc. – same as I told my Marines about their gear – that selection is yours to make as this equipment is intended for you to save your own life or someone else’s; I will only tell you what I find that works for me, whatever you do is fine with me as long as you can justify/demonstrate that it works. (That is if I am going to be working with you)
I also consider what other people do and use and constantly test my own methods against new ones. That is why I brought up the discussion, so please – for everyone’s benefit – weigh in and let us know what works for you.
Discussions on gear seem to be quite popular: here are my recommendations.
-Smartphone: w/ GPS, Internet, Voice, Facetime, MMS/SMS
-A notebook and pencil: Rite in the Rain
-Glasses: Z87+, polarized
-Knife: Reasonable size with partial serrations, glass break, seat belt cutter – CRKT 13ZLEK is a good option
-Radio for instant PTT augmented with Voxer for long distance
-Small on body medkit (IPAK)
In the Car:
-Tire Puncture Kit
-Mini Air Compressor
-Rain Jackets (Disposable)
-Small Drink Cooler w/ water
-Small Traffic Cones
-First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit:
-Adventure Medical Kits – Comprehensive Kit
-Add to it: 2 x CAT, 2 x SWAT-T, 2 x QuickClot, 4 x Hyfin Chest Seals, 2 x ETD, 2 x NPA, 2 x ARS
Recommended Reading: EDC: Gear That is Worth the Weight