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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having a weapon and carrying it with you is a subject danced around often on forums literally everywhere. In reality it is less about the weapon or caliber but strictly decided on local laws.

I carry 100% of the time here in Texas where it is legal and never where it isn't. That is plain and simple. I have tried various weapons that I like from an FN Fiveseven to an Kahr MK9 and an Springfield EMP 9mm. My rationale is that I own them and it is definitely situation based. At other moments, it can also include a Springfield M1A SOCOM 16 or Sig 556XI. This is based on judgement, legal issues, location, experience, and the situation. Add to this is how and where to carry spare magazines. Lastly to restate the obvious, these weapons are what I do and can shoot very well.

My 100% backup pistol is a CZ 83 in .380 that lives in the console of my Jeep Cherokee and is always there for practical reasons. This is completely legal in Texas. The CZ 83 like my CZ PO1 is accurate and reliable. I picked up the CZ 83 when iAmmo got some surplus from a foreign police agency for about $200.

Other issues based on combat experience is the ability to "shoot, move, and communicate".


This translates as knowing and training with your weapons and knowing when to or not to use it where you are located. It also means a careful and intelligent ammo selection.

Add to this is how and where to carry on your person concealed. Despite the many choices and methods available, it is based on what works for you. This now varies a lot with me. I love the FN Fiveseven but it is just to large for everyday concealed carry here in Austin, Texas. Now I carry the Springfield EMP in a Maxpedition bag that is a great utility bag with two spare magazines. For other situations, I carry the Kahr MK9 in a concealed holster. As stated the CZ 83 is always close by. Add to this all are well maintained and I can shoot well.


This means that you must have the ability to get out of or into a situation physically on foot or in a vehicle. My vehicle is a Jeep Cherokee 4X4 and serves my need.

As a former cavalry officer, I learned not every situation means that you should stay but have rapid ability to go somewhere and with a hasty plan.

Despite being 68, I workout 5-6 times a week. This should give me the ability to move where I need to. Being obese and slow is deadly along with that poor situation awareness. Situation Awareness is in itself a whole different matter. I will discuss that some other time.


I learned that as a cavalry officer and later an infantry company commander (among other ground combat roles) that communications is a matter of life or death and at times more critical than your basic weapon with you. In Austin, Texas, this means a working cellphone with me. Through experience, I learned that Travis County 911 (Austin, Texas) cannot and won't use the GPS on your phone. One absolutely must know where you are at anytime when in a strange or even local area with a street address, or intersection, or mile marker on the Interstate. Add to this you must be in range of a cell tower for your phone to work. I am also an amateur radio operator so that is another option that can work albeit much slower.


In Vietnam in the City of Danang I was stopped on a main road by a gang of bandits/local militia. They wanted our jeep, our money, weapons, and probably our lives. Foolishly I decided that I didn't need a personal weapon but my driver had a 1911. When the bandit leader told us to get out of the Jeep in good English, I said no! We were surrounded by many enemy all armed with M-16's. I cocked the 1911 with the safety off and ready for immediate use (so to speak). I got on my Jeep radio and called for assistance. I had two gun Jeeps with M-60 Machine-guns and three good infantrymen within an unknown distance. I had a plan to fight after the call. Nowhere to escape to. I put the 1911 directly in the bandit leader's face. I told him if there was trouble, he would die first. He took a breath and spoke to his gang. It looked ugly, but Thank God both gun Jeeps from my unit showed up with gunners and two other trained infantrymen ready and willing to fire. This ended up well and the bandits departed the area hastily in true ARVN Army of South Vietnam) Methodology with their tails between their legs.

The application in Austin, Texas is this.

1. Carry a weapon that you can use
2. Carry a cellphone that works reliably
3. Know where you are located
4. Realize that local law enforcement may be from minutes to many minutes away based on where you are. A plan with the ability to leave is an appropriate choice, not staying to fight it out. If you cannot say where you are, than you simply will not get help.

I won't extend the lessons learned but situations have occurred to me here in safe and affluent areas that were never expected. I haven't regretted the ability to:


In closing your comments and experience are very welcome on this situation. Urban and rural areas can be problem anywhere and anytime. Realize that no one around may help and YOU end up being the best and only individual to deal with a situation.
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