Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Passed a Couple of Milestones Today

So today I did two things I've never done before.

First, I made my first solo visit to the range. Usually Chris or John is with me, because it took a little time for me to become comfortable clearing my own jams and dealing with malfunctions.

Today, I went by myself.

Second, I carried concealed in public for the first time.

My permit arrived in the mail yesterday. For those of you counting, it only took DPS 5 business days to process the application, including mailing time. Yes, that's damn fast.

I love AZ.

However my fingerprints would not read correctly, so along with the permit DPS sent me another fingerprint card to send back to them. Failure to do so would result in the permit being suspended.

So I pack up the fingerprint card, my range bag, and my carry gun...

Oh, did I forget to mention I bought a carry gun just for me? For a long time I've mostly been shooting Chris's guns, and I wanted a carry gun that was 100% mine.

So, after babes with bullets, I bought a Kimber Aegis.

While I love my PF9, when I decided to finally get my CCW permit I knew I needed a carry gun that I could train with every week; without putting my hand on ice afterwards. I'm of the opinion that if I'm going to carry a gun, day in and day out, I need to shoot it at least once a week, and the PF9 wasn't going to do it for me (Chris loves it. He must have no nerves left in his hands).

Bear Arms carries almost every compact 9mm on the market so I figured I would go fingerprint and dry fire everything they had. After going through 10 individual models of handgun I settled on either the Aegis or the H&K P30, both of which fit me well and had triggers I liked.

I called Chris up and he pointed out (quite rightly) that H&K's customer service sucks, and the Aegis was a better choice. So in the course of half an hour, I spent 4 months of the money I had been saving up to buy new gun stuff.

As far as I'm concerned, it was money very well spent.

I love the Aegis; it was accurate out of the box and 400 rounds later I have no complaints. It's quite light, yet I can fire the super hot Cor-Bon through it without a problem, because it fits my hands that well. Plus it's just plain more attractive than the other compact 9mm handguns on the market (the EMP comes close but Bear Arms has yet to get one in stock, and I'm not attached to black polymer at all). And of course it's basically Officer's Model 1911 (just in 9mm) so finding holsters and accessories isn't exactly difficult.

So today, I grabbed my Aegis, my range bag, and the fingerprint card and paid a little visit to Scottsdale Gun Club to get my fingerprints done and break in the Aegis a bit more.

I also tested several different defensive loads, to see what it liked. So far likes everything I've fed it; grouping well with several different 124gr loads, and the 147gr Hornady TAP.

My personal preference was the Hydra-Shoks; but it also shot very well with the Hornadys. I'm going to try it out with the 124gr hornady as well, because Chris can load that for us quite cheaply, so I can practice with the equivalent of my carry ammo.

So I have the permit, the gun, and the ammo. What am I missing?

Oh yeah, a way to actually CARRY all of it.

I'm female, I live in the desert, and I have curves. During the 9 months of the year where wearing jackets and/or loose shirts is nearly impossible, I need to carry off-body. Unfortunately this means a concealment purse. I'd much rather carry in a holster, but in my situation that wouldn't exactly be concealed.

SGC didn't have any carry purses I liked for the price ($289 for a Galco purse? I don't think so) so I headed to Shooter's World. I picked up a couple carry purses (under $100 each), and an open carry holster I particularly liked (a Fobus paddle)

So now I have a concealed carry kit I can live with:

I didn't even get out of Shooter's World's parking lot before I stuffed everything I needed into one of my new purses. I had more errands to run after all, that is kind of what I do.

So fully kitted out, I headed to the grocery store. I did all of my normal shopping in one of my normal stores, while carrying.

Needless to say, no one noticed. That is the point, after all.

So today I officially joined the millions of armed citizens that carry concealed every day. I'm a stay-at-home mom, I blend in completely, and I'm armed.

I hope that gives the local goblins something to think about.