|The Holster and Magazine Section of the Gear Chest|
I learned how important good gear could be to the carry experience and how bad gear can ruin everything or at least make you want to leave your gun at home or seriously compromise the security of your concealment and carry. So much has changed since that day and now I'm happy to say it's been a LONG time since I've experienced a bad carry day. I have a very good working system for myself that I can count on in a pinch and that is important to everyone who decides to carry a gun.
We all have those moments when we need to get out the door post hast. We're running late, we got a last minute appointment, there's an emergency and we need to gear up.
Finding good gear is a process that often varies by individual, gun, body type, etc, and may take some time to get perfect but eventually we should all get to a point where we have FAST gear that we can count on in a rush.
The holster should fit the gun. Spare magazine pouches should fit the spare magazine. I know I'm preaching to the choir here but I've seen (and sold) many holster that "could" fit the gun if these few stitches were let out or if you cut this strap or cut a hole in the bottom for the sight. Ill-fit holsters will cause you nothing but trouble in the long run. Spend the extra money, get yourself a quality, well-fitting holster and spare magazine pouch.
Your belt should be fit to your body and your gear (if applicable). If you commonly wear IWB holsters with your gun you might have to have a belt with a wider range of adjustability. If OWB is your primary carry method you may need a tighter fitting belt. If you carry a heavier gun, knife and spare magazine you may need a more robust belt to support the weight of your equipment. Choose your belt carefully to support you and your needs.
Pocket knives should fit in your pockets or on body in such a way that they are comfortable and you won't be tempted to take them off. The same could also be said of flashlights and other pocket tools. If these things do not fit well into pockets or your clothing doesn't have good pockets (like a lot of female clothing) consider purchasing only those tools with clips that can attack to waistbands or belts. Most flashlights and pocket knives and even many fixed-blade knives have belt or clip attachments available.
It should also be accessible on body. Your tools are only as good as their accessibility in a fight and if you have to get through several layers or into bags, etc, you might be forfeiting your use of that tool in the fight. Yes, some of us have to have deeper concealment than others but make it as accessible as possible.
Belt loops should be strong. Belts should be sturdy. Holsters should be in good repair. Snaps should be solid. Clips should be well-formed. Locking mechanisms should be fastened. Your gear should be secure on your body.
And it's always a good idea to do a quick test while gearing up. Test that flashlight and make sure it still works. Drop that magazine and make sure it's fully loaded. Check the chamber and make sure it's loaded. Pull on your holster and make sure nothing has broken or ripped. Deploy your knife to make sure the blade comes out smoothly and nothing has broken. Make sure you have disabled any major locking devises like the key-lock on your S&W revolvers or Taurus 1911s.
Having a system of FAST gear will insure you are equipped in those moments of hast.