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Personal Security and Security Cameras

Personal Security and Security Cameras

Security cameras have never been high on my list of priorities for our home. I simply never saw the need for them. We live in a low-crime area, there is someone at our home a vast majority of the time and security cameras are expensive. They are a pain. They are unnecessary.

Right?

Well, now we have them. And I can’t see myself going back to not having them any time soon.

The decision to get cameras was mine and mine alone. I have been traveling a lot of late and my children are spending more time with sitters. Not more time than what they spend with me or their father but more time in general. I am uncomfortable being away from my children and not being able to see or hear them or even know if something is happening to them.

I’ve also watched way too many videos of people finding out their pets or children are being abused via security camera to dismiss the idea that people can seem perfectly reasonable and trustworthy until they think you aren’t watching them.

I have trust issues.

So, I bought and installed security cameras in our home primarily for the purpose of being able to check in on my children and home at any time, day or night, when I’m not there.

When I started looking for cameras I was both unsurprised but amazed at how far the technology has come. Of course, like anything else, I could have gone super cheap and limited such as limited, low-quality video only to super expensive and sophisticated with pan and zoom, HD video with sound and recording capabilities. For less than $100 I got two cameras that have the capability of taking video and sound, day or night (via IR) that transmits via our wireless network in our home.

I got the cameras on a Friday and had them set up in a few hours. I also learned these puppies have some cool features I wasn’t expecting such as motion and sound detection that can be set by sensitivity and location. I also learned that with an app on my cell phone I could get notifications of movement and sound anywhere I had a cell signal.

Figuring out where to put the cameras was an interesting chore.

My poor husband had exceptional patience with me as I took each camera, connected to an extra-long extension cord and had him follow me around the house with my laptop so I could see at what angles I had the most coverage of the most lived rooms in the house.

We got them set and I started fiddling with the features.

Since we have pets, motion detection, I thought, was going to be a drag. Until I learned that I could narrow the scope of the area to report motion detection to select areas of the camera’s view including up, off the floor. I narrowed in the motion to areas of entrance to our house so that I wouldn’t get notifications for my cat jumping on the couch or the kids watching tv. For the most part it works very well.

I do get false motion detection notifications from time to time but not on such a regular basis that it keeps me from checking them.

For sound detection, I was able to set the decibel level to be alerted to for each camera but I eventually turned that off because, with kids, the decibels are all over the place. I can remotely turn it on and off if we are out of the house or schedule it for certain hours.

Which leads me to the moment I realized that these camera things have a lot more potential for home and personal security than just checking in on my kids and home while I’m away.

It all started while I was at swimming lessons with my kids. My phone alerted me that one of the cameras had detected movement. I touched the notification while sitting beside the pool and was immediately shown live video feed of my home where I saw the figure of a man entering my house. I looked at the time and noticed it was early to be my husband but within moments the man came into view and I saw that it was, indeed, my husband.

“How cool!” I thought. I sent my husband a text message, “Welcome home!” to which he responded by telling me how creepy it was to know I was watching him.

Knowing that I would be alerted to anyone being in my home before they could even get through my door was a pretty cool feeling which led me to my next big personal security revelation.

A few days later, after parking in the garage, I picked up my phone and did a quick remote scan of the house before deciding to go in. While there are certainly blind spots that the cameras don’t see I liked the idea of being able to visually check where I was going before I went there, a luxury we rarely get.

When the time came to leave our children with a sitter, with the help of the sound and motion alerts I was able to check in from time to time and see them being played with, fed and kindly cared for in my absence. Everything a concerned parent wants.

I admit to being a total feed-viewing junkie for the first few days which lead to my husband’s sigh and a hopeful, “When the novelty wears off, I hope you stop going all NSA on us.”

My remote viewing has certainly died down quite a bit, but I still enjoy watching him scurry around the house to clean when I message him to tell him I’m on my way home (not that it’s required of him, but that he does that out of love for me) or even getting short bursts of play that I’m missing while at a class or an event.

I go back and forth between feeling paranoid and relieved and even though my husband doesn’t particularly like the cameras he’s been happy with my reports of feeling positive for buying them.

“$100 is a small price to pay for peace of mind,” he tells me and he’s right. There is a certain amount of peace-of-mind that comes with them where a big question mark was before.

We’ve even decided to add a few more and to enable recording to eliminate the few blind spots we have.

So far, all we’ve caught is a lot of play, love, some jumping on the couches and cat baths. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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Dear Gun Manufacturers: Make Me A Gun!

Dear Gun Manufacturers: Make Me A Gun!

I love that gun manufacturers are starting to really give us little people what we need.

With concealed carry booming and available in all fifty states of our union, with national reciprocity of some sorts on the horizon (it’s going to happen, people!) and the continued surge of female carriers and shooters the need for full-size, double-stack combat pistols is going to be met by the need of compact pistols that people can carry concealed but also shoot well.

Ahh.. shoot well.

There it is. The operative phrase.

Shoot. Well.

Let’s not mince words, there are hundreds of compact carry pistols on the market. I could go to a gun store today and pick up a P3AT or an LCP or a S&W Shield or Bodyguard or a Kahr PM9. I could go even smaller if I wanted to cut caliber or more capacity and potentially increasing my displeasure at the range. I could also go slightly larger and find a far more comfortable shooting gun and struggle with concealment.

The problem is (and well known) that many of the best carry guns are notoriously hard to shoot. Okay, the Shield isn’t bad (it’s actually quite good), but there are still people who do not find it easy to shoot.

We NEED a missing link. I’m stressing need here because I’m going to be addressing the needs of many people (men and women) all over the industry.

I am a small female and I’m not the only one. I’m also not the only one who has small hands or prefers single stack firearms. There are thousands upon thousands of women and men, like me, who have been begging and pleading for smaller-framed firearms that fit better in the grip and hand. You have answered the call by making single-stack 9mms! Thank you!

But for some reason you’ve assumed that means we have to have short barrels, too. That’s not necessarily so.

We all know that the lighter and more compact the firearm the more recoil the shooter needs to control and absorb. For individuals who already have lesser upper body strength, small hands or disabilities like arthritis this makes compact pistols intimidating and hard to control. Even if they love the gun for its size they shy away from shooting it or muscle through it for the sake of training to end up with sore elbows and wrists and arms. Not to mention we all know that longer sight radii help with accuracy.

Where are the small-frame, single stack, long-slide firearms that don’t come in the form of 1911s or also have long grips?

Glock 43 vs a S&W Shield

Glock 43 vs a S&W Shield

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my Shield. It’s a great carry gun and the best compact 9mm I’ve ever shot. I will likely end up with a Glock 43 in my arsenal as well. I might even carry both. At the same time!

But I (and others) would pay good money for a S&W M&P 9mm Shield with a 4″ barrel (particularly threaded so that I might be able to add weight to the end for better recoil management, but I’ll start with a standard barrel, thankyouverymuch). I would also love for the grip to remain the same length but with options for larger/longer magazines. This way I could still carry the 4″ model if I wanted to (because it’s the grip that is hardest to conceal, not the barrel) but I could still compete and practice with a 9 or 10 round magazine.

Glock, if you’re listening, how about a 44? Please? A G19 length barrel with a G43 frame… that’s all I’m asking (oh, and larger capacity magazines with sleeves but baby steps).

Pretty Please? I would rock that.

Forever Yours,
Melody Lauer

The AIWB Holster Hack

The AIWB Holster Hack

I’ve been carrying Appendix Inside-the-Waistband (AIWB) for almost six months now. The only holster I’ve used has been the Keeper Errand which I reviewed some time ago. I have found no reason to go away from Keeper’s fine holster.

My much abused foam wedge compared to the gel insert.

My much abused foam wedge compared to the gel insert.

One of the awesome things about Spencer’s holster is the foam wedge that helps pad the holster, cushion it for comfort and support an ideal carry position. For the most part, his foam holster wedges did a really good job of making AIWB carry that much more comfortable and convinced me they were a great addition to the AIWB way of carry.

However, after losing 10 lbs in the last few months I found the foam wedge not doing much to pad the holster. Not to mention the foam wedge only covered the tip of the holster, not the rest of the back where I needed more padding against my pelvic bone. The first wedge wore out (foam does that) and I was just about to change it to the next wedge when I went to the range. That trip changed my AIWB carry forever!

I have awesome ear pro! The muffs aren’t foam padded they are gel padded and even wearing glasses underneath of them is no problem. The gel forms a perfect seal around my ear and doesn’t leave pressure points or hot spots. That got me thinking. Could there be something similar for an AIWB holster?

So, off I went to walmart to look at shoe inserts. And there, descended from the heavens of the AIWB gods, were Dr Scholl’s Massaging Heel Cushions.

At $5.50, there was no reason not to try them.

Men's and women's heel cushions and Industrial strength Velcro. Less than $10 at you're local walmart.

Men’s and women’s heel cushions and Industrial strength Velcro. Less than $10 at you’re local walmart.

Not wanting to whip out my holster to check which size I would need, men’s or women’s, I bought both along with a box of industrial-strength Velcro.

If you carry an AIWB holster, this is pretty much the best thing you can ever do in the way of comfort and cushioning.

The women's size 6-10 is the perfect fit for the Keeper Errand.

The women’s size 6-10 is the perfect fit for the Keeper Errand.

The women’s size 6-10 might as well have been custom fit for the Keeper Errand holster. It fits like a glove.

Not only do they have the wedge shape that is great for AIWB that keeps it in ideal place for carry but they also have a wrap-around support meant for a heel that is perfect for protecting a wearer’s skin from the rough and pinching edges of kydex.

The back of the Keeper Errand is already covered in soft Velcro for the foam wedges so all I needed to do was carefully place the hook-side of the Velcro to the inside of the gel heel cushions and stick it to the holster.

Not only is it far softer and cushier, the increase in surface area of the heel cushions to the holster vs the foam wedge significantly increases the overall comfort all the way up the back of the holster vs one spot.

Men's size 8-10 fits perfect on the JM Custom Kydex.

Men’s size 8-10 fits perfect on the JM Custom Kydex.

That evening, when my husband got home from work, I asked him to try it. He was amazed by how much more comfortable it was and asked me to do the same mod to his JM Custom Kydex AIWB holster. His holster has a larger footprint and, as fate would have it, the men’s heel cushion was the perfect size for his holster.

A quick application of Velcro to the cushion and the holster and he was rocking his own AIWB Lima-mod. another thing he noticed was the stickiness of the gel keeps the holster form shifting and even helps keep undershirts tucked in. Another added benefit.

Because it’s attached with Velcro its easily customizable to your needs to cover any hot spots and being a sturdy gel it will far out-last any other cushions you could hope to add to something so well-used as a holster.

If you carry AIWB, this might be something to check out.

Oh, by the way, you’re welcome!

A little added Velcro and ready to install.

A little added Velcro and ready to install.

Pressure on the holster wraps the gel around the holster for more cushioning around the sides.

Pressure on the holster wraps the gel around the holster for more cushioning around the sides.

Look at all that padding!

Look at all that padding!

Carrying It All

Carrying It All

At least once a month I get asked how I carry everything. I also get asked exactly what I carry.

I have never done a post about everything I carry or how because that fluctuates rather frequently and I get sick of people who try to tell me what I should and should not carry and how based upon not knowing me, my lifestyle, my needs or my priorities. But I get to ignore those people!

I drop hints here and there which inevitably ends with someone asking, “How do you carry it all?”

For those who are genuinely interested, here it is!

The things I carry can be broken down into four categories: defensive, medical, baby, and chapstick. Each category has its own rules, rolls and priorities, and by those rules and priorities they are organized and carried.

wpid-20150104_232957.jpgDefensive

The rules: Defensive, lethal tools are carried on body with minimal exceptions. This is to maximize my access and minimize unauthorized access.

My gun, a S&W M&P Shield, is the primary defensive lethal tool that I carry on a daily basis. It is carried Appendix Inside the Waistband (AIWB) pretty much from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed with very few exceptions.

My secondary defensive tools are any number of knives (the TDI LEO, Benchmade Mini Griptillian or Benchmade Triage) or a collapsible baton (an ASP Agent P12). If I have a pocket it more than likely has a knife in it. The other pocket might have my baton or chapstick or my flashlight (A Streamlight PT 1L) depending on foreseen.

ASP kubaton and pepper spray is carried in hand.

ASP kubaton and pepper spray is carried in hand.

My other defensive tool of utmost importance to me is my kubaton and pepper spray combo, the ASP key defender. It looks like any black, cylindrical key chain but it has a small safety catch that can be flicked off that allows you to push a button on the back end of the device and eject a blast of pepper spray. Because it is small it is discreet but it’s still big enough to be a formidable little weapon. Because it’s attached to my keys it spends a fair amount of time in my hand. I carry it in my hand when walking to and from my car and or it is loosely hooked to my person in some way for easy access at any other time.

Because I have so many knives that can be used for utilitarian or defensive purposes my knives often move from pocket to pocket and to my bag and back again.

My baton also seems to do that. I don’t concern myself with my baton too often, however, because any one of my knives or my flashlight or even my kubaton and pepper spray combo key chain can be used as impact weapons. Though there has been one particular time I deliberately prepared myself to use my baton over all of my other defensive tools. (Another story for another day.)

wpid-2015-01-05-00.08.44.png.png

Med Pocket

Medical

The rules: All medical supplies are carried in my Maxpedition Lunada in a single compartment where they can be immediately accessed, one-handed if need be. No other, non-medical equipment is kept in that compartment to limit disorganizing the contents thereof.

My EDC bag is a roving medical kit. It includes quikclot combat gauze, a C.A.T tourniquet, an Israeli pressure bandage, a pair of trauma sheers (bad ones, actually), co-flex, paper medical tape, more bandaids than should reasonably be in a bag, an Epi pen, nitrile gloves, four triangular bandages, some 2×2 and 4×4 gauze pads, petroleum gauze and a tension pneumothorax needle.

In other locations in my bag I also have two bandanas, an EMS field guide book and a small pouch on the side of my bag filled with paper tape and 2×2 gauze pads for my son who is allergic to the adhesive in bandaids.

Lots of people have assumed I leave this bag in the car. They are mistaken. My EDC bag goes with me. Everywhere. If I need medical equipment I likely don’t want to have to go out to my car to get it. If my husband or son is having a severe allergic reaction to a sting or my daughter pulls a shopping cart on top of herself and smashes her face in (true story), I don’t want to have to go to the car. I like being able to unzip my bag, pull out what I need (one-handed, because the other hand is usually cradling a baby) and do what needs to be done. Which would also be helpful if there were any other serious trauma going on.

Baby

The rules: Baby gear goes with baby and is limited to what can reasonably be expected to be needed in the given time frame.

If I’m running in and out of a store, I don’t carry anything baby related. If I’m going to be somewhere for a couple of hours I might throw a diaper into my bag. If I’m going somewhere over night, I will add wipes, a change of clothes and a couple more diapers. Baby carriers are usually left in the car and depending on where I’m going, when and for how long I might choose to wrap my baby, put him in a stroller or in a shopping cart.

As in the picture above, a hip wrap allows me to carry baby and my bag and still have access to my gun. A win all around.

wpid-20150104_234445.jpgChapstick

The rules: Everything else is up for grabs!

Everything else is my bag is filed under “chapstick” because it’s not necessary to my survival but it’s really nice to have. There are important things in that category like my wallet, my cell phone, my flashlight (when it’s not in my pocket) and chapstick. There are some convenience items, too, like hair ties, feminine products, a comb, a lens cleaning cloth, a small pouch of essential oils, a couple multi-tools, some rubber bands, a gift card for starbucks and other junk that I’m too lazy to claw out just to list for you.

If, for whatever reason, I was expected to leave my bag behind I would make sure to take my ID, carry permit and money out of my wallet and find a way to carry them on my body or in hand along with my phone and my flashlight. There are those who adamantly believe those items should be carried on body and prioritized along with guns and other defensive tools. I don’t disagree that they are important but when you are as little as I am you have to pick your space pretty carefully. When I carry that stuff on my body or in hand I find myself putting it down too often or fiddling with it which is why I carry a bag in the first place. No fiddling!

Priorities

I prioritize what I carry and organize it by what I deem to be most necessary to save a life in any particular emergency.

Because a fight for my life will likely be immediate, I carry my lethal defensive tools on my body.

While certainly emergent, a medical or trauma emergency will likely be after the fight for my life is over or in a setting where taking the second or two to open my bag isn’t going to make a huge difference in the outcome. Even within the pockets of my bag my items are organized for quick access and order of emergency. My tourniquet and Epi pen are probably two of the most immediately accessible items in my bag. My trauma shears aren’t even in my bag, they are on the outside. If one of my family is having a severe allergic reaction or bleeding to death in front of me I don’t want to be fumbling for the right gear.

Baby and Chapstick items are not emergent. When I need those items I have time to look in my bag for them. Thanks to the organization of my bag, however, I usually don’t have to search long.

The Maxpedition Lunada

The Maxpedition Lunada

The Bag

It stands to reason that in my discussion about what I carry I should talk about the bag itself. I didn’t just grab any old bag off the shelf and expect it to fit my needs. I tried a few different ones, too, and took quite a bit of time decided what would work best for me.

I wanted something small–well, smaller. I knew that whatever bag I got I would fill and more stuff means heavier bag and there would be a point where it would be so heavy I would start leaving it behind. That had happened with my last bag and I wanted to avoid it.

I also wanted something that would carry on my back and be ambidextrous to keep my hands and hips free for baby. I needed something I could organize into specific pockets for med gear and MOLLE is always a nice touch.

The Maxpedition Lunada fits all of those needs and then some. I have plenty of room for what I need and some left over. There’s a quick release on the front strap in case I need to ditch the bag completely. I wrote a more comprehensive review of the bag a while ago which you can read here.

My carry system allows me to carry everything I believe I might need to save my own life or the life of someone I love in a pretty wide variety of emergencies. The way I organize it makes sense to me as far as access, safety and time concerns. It keeps me fairly unencumbered and hands-free but within arms reach of whatever I might need.wpid-20150104_235201.jpg

Keeper Concealment Errand – My First AIWB Holster Review

Keeper Concealment Errand – My First AIWB Holster Review

Let me tell you a tale. A tale of a holster and a gun.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a young princess heard about Appendix Inside the WaistBand (AIWB) carry. Little did she know about this carry system and even when her handsome prince switched to AIWB she considered herself unable to acquaint herself to such a new and awkward mode of carry.

The years rolled on and fondly did she look upon this means of carry with desire. But it was not to be.

Then, one day, a knight shared his secret of the mystical weapon called, The Shield. It was concealable! She purchased one but still had no holster.

Another knight sent her an Errand to try. The match was made. The relationship was forged out of mutual respect, superior concealment, comfort and ease of use. The kingdom rejoiced and they lived happily ever after.

That’s the truncated version.

It’s also the true version.

When I got my safety-less S&W Shield and was considering my first AIWB holster Spencer Keeper’s Keeper was on my list of potential holsters, but not at the top. I feared his holster would be too thick and I wouldn’t be able to conceal the firearm well. I am, after all, a pretty petite female.

Knowing I was searching for a holster, Spencer contacted me and asked me if I wanted to try his new holster he dubbed The Errand. It wasn’t out on the market yet and he wanted to see what I thought. He told me he wasn’t expecting miracles with concealment because I am so small but I could try it.

I immediately accepted. I had nothing to lose. It was a chance to try one of his holsters without being out a lot of money and if it didn’t work out I could go back to my long list of holsters to start working through.

I got it in the mail a few days after our conversation (November 8th, to be exact) and I don’t really remember my first day carrying with it. Or my second. Or my third. Or my first time going to town. Or the first time to sit down and nurse my baby while wearing it. Or the first time I fell asleep wearing it. In other words, the holster system immediately melded into my daily life and practices.

It entirely surpassed all of my expectations for a concealed carry holster and even a way of carry. More importantly, however, was the fact that I could carry my Shield from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed in total comfort and concealment (if I chose) and even in unconventional clothing.

The Errand in draw-sting sweats.

The Errand in draw-sting sweats.

At first glances it looks like any other kydex holster with a few oddities. If you’re curious, like me, you call Spencer and drill him for an hour as to what those oddities mean. In the true form of someone who understands guns and long-term carry, Spencer designed a purpose-built holster with a specific reason for pretty much every nook and cranny of the design.

The Errand doesn’t rely on belt loops like a lot of conventional holsters. Instead it has a wide, stiff belt clip that is stippled on the tooth for better grip on casual wear like sweat pants or shorts. The whole point of the holster is that it’s meant to be something you could wear at one o’clock in the morning for a trip to the convenience store in your pjs, or bumming around the house in your sweats, or to and from the gym in shorts. No one wears jeans and a belt 100% of the time and the Errand is meant to fill that gap.

Despite being designed to be easily worn in the comfort of sweat pants and belt-less shorts, it still fits snug with a belt and, of course, has more stability and perhaps a little more concealment when one is used. More on that, later.

Belt or not, the clip makes for comfortable, stable carry.

Belt or not, the clip makes for comfortable, stable carry.

Spencer’s goal was to make the Errand as thin as possible. I asked him why he then chose to put the loop directly on the thickest part of the holster vs by the trigger guard where a lot of other AIWB holster makers put their loops or clips for a thinner overall profile. He said he’d considered doing that but without the stability of a belt, one of the heaviest parts of the gun, the slide, would be forward of the clip and could cause the gun to start tipping in.

Having experienced that with another AIWB holster that was not fit well to my belt I understood how that could be a concern. The centrally located clip does leave the gun more stable on not-so-stable clothing.

When I got the holster, at first I was a bit confused as to why it is so long. The length of the holster is about an inch longer than the gun itself. The tip tappers down on both sides to a comfortably rounded point that is open. I didn’t even get around to asking Spencer why this was before he started explaining that small guns like the Shield are heaviest in the rear and many holster makers leave their holsters so short that the gun can roll out over top of the waistband. Particularly those with generous midsections. The extra length of the holster keeps the gun from rolling out and the tapered, rounded tip eliminates pinching in the soft tissue of the thigh or groin but also allows air to circulate to cool hot muzzles while attending classes or having high round count range sessions.

The entire rear and tip of the holster is covered with soft Velcro and this is for the application of Spencer’s unique foam wedges. I’ll admit that I thought the wedges were dumb, or at least unnecessary. Most importantly, they were ugly. Why that mattered to something you stuck in the pants? I don’t know. But I’m a chick. We chicks are funny about those things. I also didn’t feel like I needed them. The point is to cushion the bottom of the holster and press the muzzle out so that the grip will be held more snugly to the body. The holster was very snug to my tiny little body. So for the first month I didn’t put them on the holster.

When I called Spencer to talk to him about the holster one of the first things he asked me was if I used the wedges. The holster comes with two but replacements can be purchased from his website. I confessed that I had not. “You should try them,” he chirped, and left it at that.

I felt guilty. I also felt like if I were to do a thorough review I should at least try so I could explain why I chose to leave them off. I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to put one because I really didn’t feel like I needed it. Then I remembered that in one pair of my jeans when I wore the errand I would get the slightest bit of chaffing on the inside of my right thigh. I figured that was a good place to start.

The foam wedge makes the holster that much more comfortable and concealable.

The foam wedge makes the holster that much more comfortable and concealable.

I put the wedge on the bottom of the holster so that it wraps around that area and it has stayed there ever since.

My only complaint is that I didn’t do it sooner.

I didn’t see a noticeable difference in my concealment (because, well, I really am tiny) but it does help push the grip into the belly more.

It’s ugly. But it works!

The Errand has a pretty generous sweat guard. In general, I am anti sweat guard. All of my favorite holsters have the sweat guards removed or I asked holster makers to cut them down. The first AIWB holster I ever used also did not have a sweat guard. I thought I would eventually want to take a Dremel cutting tool to it but I no longer see that happening.

AIWB carry is different in that you are going to be to bending your body around your gun. If you squat, sit, reach for anything or move you are going to have your belly moving around your gun. With no sweat shield or undershirt that is going to mean, A: that you will get sweat on your gun and B: that you will end up with a nice little imprint of the side of your gun in the skin of your belly.

It’s also probable that you will end up with a nice little hot spot where the rear sight and slide have been stabbing you.

A well formed sweat shield keeps the rear sight and slide from poking and pinching.

A well formed sweat shield keeps the rear sight and slide from poking and pinching.

This has not happened with the Errand. The sweat guard comes off the body of the holster strong, tapers in slightly and then flares out again before curving around the back of the slide and rear sights. This added curve protects the body from any pinching or poking of the rear sight and slide and leaves the wearer very comfortable.

Even with the large sweat shield, the magazine release is still accessible. Something I am fond of seeing in any holster. Neither does the sweat guard prohibit the shooter from getting a high, sure grip on the firearm as many sweat guards in the holster industry over are wont to do.

It’s well known that re-holstering is the most dangerous time for any kind of carry. Those who carry appendix appreciate the re-holster even more because of the sensitive nature of the pelvic area over which the gun rests. Looking and carefully placing the gun in the holster are paramount when carrying AIWB and the Errand assists to that end. The large sweat shield and generous open mouth act as a sort of funnel that is very easy to slide the firearm into with a solid, audible snap once the gun is fully seated.

The hardware is metal. The main retention screw is a nylon lock nut so one does not have to worry about it loosening over time. While the retention can be adjusted by removing a thin metal washer or adding another I have found the retention (which comes from the molding around the trigger guard) to be pretty ideal. Tight enough to retain the gun, loose enough to not have to fight to get your gun out of the holster.

A high, complete grip while in the holster is paramount!

A high, complete grip while in the holster is paramount!

AIWB carry by its nature allows for better access than many other forms of carry but the holster can have a fair bit to do with it as well. The Errand carried the gun high enough off the belt to allow for a full firing grip on the gun while still in the holster but not so high that it is not concealable.

The overall molding of the holster is good. There is no over molding around the ejection port or front sight which prevents those parts from snagging on the holster during the draw (a problem I’ve encountered with other kydex holsters). If you’re into changing your sights there’s plenty of room around the top of the slide/slight area for new, larger sights. You can even order the Errand to accommodate a Red Dot Sight (RDS) equipped handgun.

Spencer doesn’t make the Errand to accommodate lights or other laser mounts but any grip-activated lasers like crimson trace will likely find no interference.

I saved concealment for last because it was where I was most skeptical. I am not exaggerating when I talk about my size. The reason I had to go to a S&W Shield at all was because concealing a Glock in the AIWB position looked like a tumor on me. Going down to a single-stack firearm was my only option if I was going to go AIWB and even then it is not as concealable as I would have hoped. That is no fault of the holster, it’s simply my body size and type. On larger frames I have seen this gun and holster combination virtually vanish. To illustrate that I asked my friend and trainer, Greg Ellifritz, to send me some pictures of him carrying the Errand. It’s remarkable to note the difference that body type can make in concealment.

Even as small as I am, however, the holster does a very good job of concealing something so large relative to my body size. It conceals well enough without wearing a belt but with a belt it seems to tug the gun into my abdomen and conceal itself nicely behind any belt buckle I’m wearing.

The Errand allows for full access and grip even while holstered.

The Errand allows for full access and grip even while holstered.

Conceals fairly well for such a small-framed individual.

Conceals fairly well for such a small-framed individual.

Greg Ellifritz wearing the Keeper Errand with his Shield.

Greg Ellifritz wearing the Keeper Errand with his Shield.

Far more concealable on larger-framed bodies. Even in fairly fitted clothing.

Far more concealable on larger-framed bodies. Even in fairly fitted clothing.

I’ve had this holster for just about two months now and have lost count of how many draw strokes I’ve put it through. I’ve run it through a two-day defensive handgun class and done a little rolling around in it. It’s been spit up on, had sweet potatoes down it and a whole other slew of madness. It’s still going strong and I anticipate it will for a very long time to come.

Spencer knew what he was doing when he designed this holster and from one end to the other it is packed with features only a seasoned shooter would appreciate. To say it’s a good investment is an understatement. Right now the Errand is going for $90 on the Keeper Concealment website and is available for the S&W Shield, the Glock 42, the Walther PPS and the Springfield XDs though I know Spencer is actively looking at adding more firearms to that list. If I were rating holsters on a 1-5 star rating system, the Errand would get a blazing 5. It fits every one of my needs. It is far more comfortable than I could have imagined possible. It is accessible and concealable but also stable. Rarely does a holster fill all of those criteria without compromise.

If you’re looking for a good holster for a compact gun, check out the Errand.

Melody Lauer

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