Why You Need a Get-Home Gun

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My Kel-Tec P3AT

Here’s what I’m carrying today. As I am writing this, it is 97 degrees. I’m wearing shorts that don’t even have belt loops, and this little mouse gun is tucked in my front pocket.

When I’m home, I always have a small arsenal close at hand. My shotgun, though, has a barrel that the ATF considers to be “short.” It doesn’t typically travel with me. My AR-15, too, requires a tax stamp. Right now, chilling at the coffeehouse with my Mac, all I’ve got is a .380.

I’m not  a prepper, not by a long shot. I know full well that I should be more prepared than I am now, but I’m not. Yet I do have a strategy in place that guides how I think about guns. There, I’m prepared.

It begins with concealed carry. When it is legal to carry a firearm, I do. Even when it isn’t, I often carry a knife. But my gun is my go-to. When I’m kicking around in shorts and a t-shirt, I carry the Kel-Tec. When it is colder, and I am wearing more clothes, I carry a single-stack 9mm. These are givens.

My get home gun.

Even now, though, I’ve got another gun close at hand. That’s the focus of this piece. I keep a gun case with me. The case holds a GLOCK 19 and everything I need to carry it. Should some sort of more serious emergency hit, this might be all I had with me to get back home.

Here’s what’s inside. The GLOCK 19 is there. The 19 is big enough and I run it well. When I train with a handgun, this is the one I take. It isn’t my favorite 9mm, but the damn thing runs well, and I can shoot it well. I’ve got complete confidence in this gun.

I also carry a bunch of magazines. The case holds 9 or 10, depending on how much other junk I’ve got stuck inside. In these magazines, I keep different types of ammunition organized. That’s one benefit, for sure, but it also helps my head to know that I could, at any point, walk away with one mag in the gun, two on my belt, and a couple of others in a pocket.

I keep a functional belt in the case, too. It is nylon, basic, and it folds up. If nothing else, it would work in a pinch. I typically wear a nicer leather belt that works better, but this is a back-up.

I’ve also got a good holster. This one is by MultiHolsters. I love it.  It is kydex, of course, and an outside the waistband holster that is still easily hidden with an untucked shirt.  The holster is also built for a light.

The light here is an Inforce light. I’m not in love with it. I was when I bought it. It has simple controls and is easy to turn on with a trigger finger. Now, I have discovered that I can accidentally turn it on without knowing it. I’ve killed more batteries in this light than in any other I own. Yet my holster is built for it, so I keep carrying it. When it dies, I’ll replace it with another and get a new holster, too. Until then, and forever, I carry spare batteries.

The case is compact and easy to hide in a car.

The case is meant to carry other flashlights, too. I believe in being threatening when I need to be, and nonthreatening when that is appropriate. To that end, I like to have the ability to use a handheld light. So I keep batteries in there for a couple of those, too.

On the right side of the case, I keep a open slot with some extras. There’s typically a lighter. I keep a modestly big fixed blade there, which would compliment whatever pocket knife I am carrying.

There’s another blade in there, too. It isn’t made of steel, or any metal. It is a later addition, and I don’t know just what I’d use it for at this point. But it doesn’t weigh anything. And for a small piece of fiberglass, it is razor sharp.

The case is basic, and has been taking a beating for years. I think I’ve had this one in circulation for more than 4 years. During that time, it has gone on every road trip, every range trip, multiple plane trips, and every trip to the grocery store.

Not much to look at, but hardly obvious, either.

It is a Seahorse case, and it works. There are much more expensive cases on the market, and some of those might be more trendy, but the Seahorse has performed flawlessly for me. And it doesn’t show the wear too badly either.

The best part of the case is that it is not something that screams “gun.” I’ve been around many gun-shy family and friends with my case in hand, and they never knew what I was carrying. As it is lockable, it is easy enough to secure. Even locked up, though, the case is not a safe. Don’t mistake it for one.

The foam inside I had built by MyCaseBuilder.com. These cats have cut numerous cases for me. I used them for a review years ago and fell in love with their service. You design your case’s with a simple-to-use program on site. They will then cut the foam to your specifications and ship it to you. And if you don’t have a case, they sell those, too.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife’s tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.