Friday, September 3, 2010

Guns, Preferences, And Necessity

I'm a little girl that likes big guns. As my rather large friend MattG put it last year after fondling my Firestar (and then pondering the mechanics of having bitty hands, a phenomenon that he is decidedly unfamiliar with) a heavy gun can absorb a lot of recoil, making larger calibers more fun to shoot.

I like the way they feel in my hands, as well. I'm not talking about any of the truly large frame guns, even some 1911's are not entirely comfortable for me to grip, but the smaller framed pistols, like the Firestar, and the Walther, fit my hands in a way that is comfortable for me. I feel like I've got something to hold on to when I pull the bang switch.

I've never been much of a fan of pocket pistols, frankly. It's not that I don't see the utility or that I won't shoot them or anything, I'm just not jumping up and down with glee when I see one. I've never really felt that I had a need for one.

Until this job, and all the nights.

Don't get me wrong, with the only true weapon (the brain, dur) and my pocket knife, I'm reasonably confident that I could hold off crazy axe rapists for long enough to push the panic button (which you have to hold for three long-ass seconds to activate) and either finally have a reason to use that blood and body fluid cleanup kit that gets in the way in the back room, or maintain a standoff until the cops could arrive. More likely the former.

But.

The bad thing about the pocket knife (and most other useful tools and or objects that I can generally reach in the course of my daily duties, not counting a mop handle or broom) is that you have to be within arms reach to use it. Don't start jabbering at me about throwing knives, please. I understand that there are people out there with the skill to put a blade through a person's eye at ten paces. I am not one of those people, nor is a Gerber particularly balanced for throwing, totally aside from what seems to me to be the very misguided notion of throwing away a perfectly good weapon.

Over Blogorado most of the guests, particularly MattG, LawDog, and Bayou Renaissance Man, expressed... ahem... concern. Since I'm working at a place that practically screams "ROB ME!" and working late at night, alone, on a reasonably major north-south highway, they felt that I should have more protection than my knife.

Well, so did I, but I couldn't figure out how to conceal any of my guns effectively enough to keep from losing my job, thanks to the company's no-weapons policy.

Matt, at one point, pulled out his pocket pistol and practically shook it in my face (in a manner not violating any of the four rules for any of you paranoid people out there) and extolled it's virtues. Patiently I told him "Yes, it's very nice, and I can see the utility and its applications in my situation, but fiscal responsibility prevents me from making such a purchase at this moment."

Ok, so maybe it was more like "Yeah, I would, but damnit I can't afford it!"

Anyway, Matt sat for a moment in contemplation of the gun in his hand (he was the only one who could see it at that point, to the rest of us it looked like he was staring intently at his palm) and muttered "I'm not going to give you this one, but I'm tempted."
Ankle holsters were another suggestion, with the same response from me. I simply couldn't afford it.

Coming through the Springs today on the way home, we stopped in at Sal's workplace, with me intending to have a look-see and coonfinger any pocket pistols they happened to have on hand, so that I could get an idea of my preferences and what price range I was looking at.

Well, that was the *plan* anyway.

Yes, I bought a new toy at the funstore. This isn't an epic romance or anything, at least not yet. It's more a marriage of convenience. I happened to be in need of a reasonably priced, itty bitty gun. They happened to have a used KelTec P-32 for a hair under two hundred dollars. By the time I got ammo, and the superduper clip that I'm assured is de rigueur, plus taxes, I wound up spending a good chunk of change today, but it's still less than I really expected to.

Unfortunately they didn't have a right-handed ankle holster for it, only the left. Before I decided to buy the gun, I tried the holster, with Farmdad's P3AT, strapped backwards on my left leg, just to get a feel for the holster and gun and if it was something that was doable.

Protip for anyone concerned about whether something will conceal in a specific type of clothing or a specific outfit... wear it to the gun store. I did. I packed a pair of the slacks I wear to work (for the sake of convenience I simply got two pairs of the same style when I found the ones that fit, then ordered three more when I got some breathing room on the money situation... so if it conceals in one pair, it'll conceal in 'em all) and wore them today specifically so that I could try out concealment methods while I was shopping.

After all, a reasonably priced gun that I feel comfortable holding isn't going to do me a damn bit of good if I can't conceal it well enough to keep from drawing attention... it'd just get me fired.

So, I bought the P32, coincidentally the first time I've ever purchased a gun for myself. The Walther and the Firestar were both gifts, so I've never had to fill out that silly form before.

Sal is going to check for me whether it would be better to order in the ankle holster there and just pick it up when we go back up next week, or order it myself and have it shipped to me. It really depends on shipping times and whether they got one in the shipment they received today or not.

Anyway, without further ado, I give you the obligatory Gun-Pr0n, which you'll have to forgive me for. The lighting sucks and I'm tired so you get a quick snapshot instead of something tastefully laid out, well lit and composed.


Since I name all of my weapons, I'll have to think of something suitable for this one. Maybe Bruinhilde. She's not so bad, really, and she's gonna be nice to have around, but she's not the girl that sets my heart aflutter.

(Why she, you ask? Because as I was doing the paperwork for the background check, I was sagely informed by the older gentleman who was leaning against the counter, sending one of the poor floor people hither and yon in search of various and sundry things, that the P32 is a "good girl gun"... I've just knocked the last word off and decided that she's a good girl, and we'll leave it at that.)

Disclaimer: this post is not intended to encourage anyone to break their employer's policies regarding firearms or weapons. Regardless of whether I believe that the Second Amendment trumps corporate policy, they do have the right to fire an employee for disregarding any policy made clear in the hiring packet. I have not carried this gun at work and I will make no admissions about whether or not I carry it at work in the future. So Legal Eagles can just go piss up a rope.

24 comments:

JRebel said...

Nice little gun, been thinking about the P11 (if I remember the model numbers right) myself. Also, I wouldn't worry about it being too small, or too light (features not bugs). Just as long as you will be comfortable practicing with it, that's the main thing. It is there to give you a fighting chance. That's all you can ask of any handgun, cause a rifle or shotgun just wouldn't be practical (effective but not practical).

Ambulance Driver said...

'Tis better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

phlegmfatale said...

LawDog will be so proud of you! I've been thinking of getting one of those, too. :)

Well done!

tanksoldier said...

Might want to look at the Smartcarry type holsters.

I carry a PPS in one myself, off to the side at 3:30, with my shirt tucked in over it.

In front where it's designed to be worn, even if it IS slightly noticeable and it usually isn't, nobody looks there too closely.

Skip said...

Good on you!
Practice, practice, dry fire, dry fire.
I/we pray you will never need to use it.

Alan said...

Open end toward bad guy, pull trigger repeatedly.

Training over, have a nice day.

Earl said...

I don't think much of throwing a knife at something, although I did spend a lot of boredom time throwing them once. Nice choice of concealed pistol - although I can't see myself liking an ankle holster. Good luck and remember that knives don't demand a reload, just a bit of sharpening.

Old NFO said...

AD beat me to it... Good on ya FG :-)

TXGunGeek said...

Wear Boots! I clip mine inside the left boot when I carry it. I made a mag carrier for the right boot.

Funny story, misbeHaven "borrowed" mine for a professional conference she went to since she didn't want to try and conceal her 1911 in a formal dress. WHen she got back, she informed me I had to buy another since she wasn't giving mine back. So, now we own two P32's and my original P11.

TOTWTYTR said...

Even in this economy, you can get another job if they fire you. Your family can't get another you if you're murdered.

Anti survival policies just beg to be ignored.

Chas S. Clifton said...

It's a very concealable little pistol, and you will find some arrangement that works.

I have one -- I don't enjoy shooting it -- but it goes well so many places inside a pocket holster.

gator said...

Mrs. Gator starts work soon at one of our local Stab-n-Grab stores. It, too, is a "sitting duck" zone, conveniently located next to I-10. I'm quite concerned for her safety and will try my best to convince her to screw the company policy and carry a gun.

Farmgirl said...

Gator-

Tell Mrs. Gator that I feel much better, now. Especially working nights, having a little extra oomph can drop the stress levels dramatically. If she's not used to carrying, I recommend she practice... a LOT. I.E. carry everywhere until she's comfortable with it at the very least.

I'm not *entirely* happy with my current method, it has some drawbacks, but it's working. And, the drawbacks will likely be addressed by other methods once I get the equipment to start using them. As it is, I'm just really glad I have a few larger uniform shirts.

If Mrs. Gator wants to talk about the pros and cons and my experiences so far (in working at the stop-n-rob in general, even) tell her to feel free to email me.

Matt G said...

I like it. I'm glad.

I will say that my P3AT (same size and make, just .380) completely lives in its Desantes pocket holster, and tends to ride vertically-oriented in my front right pocket. Being .75" thick, it disapears pretty well there. While not a super-fast draw, admittedly, it seems more natural to casually drop my right hand's four fingers into my pocket upon seeing something odd, than to drop to my ankle to pull it. I've carried it a few miles IWB, with only the belt clip showing over the top of the waistband, with the belt covering most of that, too. With an untucked shirt, it disappears.

While the elastic belly bands work, and would absolutely disappear on you if you wore one over an undershirt, under your work shirt, it's hard to make yourself put one one every day. I've worn mine even with a 1911 while carrying deep cover, and never got made, even with a dress shirt tucked in smartly. With that bitty light P32, you could literally find yourself patting yourself down to double check that you're still wearing it. (the gun-- you never forget that the belly band is on. It's not uncomfortable, but it's undeniably there, to you.)

Just things I've done-- I know that you'll feel out your best and most practical method.

And, truthfully, you didn't ask my opinion, then or now, did you? ;)

Thanks for taking your safety seriously, dear lady.

Marko said...

Good for you. If you ever have to use it, the possibility of getting fired will be very low on your list of worries right then.

I carried a P32 for over a year when I went back to school. It's a handy little gun that has sufficient punch to end a fight. Don't listen to the "girl gun" nonsense.

Marko said...

Oh, yeah...I currently carry a Ruger LCP, which is much the same size. In a pocket holster, it looks like a wallet in front or back pocket, and it's pretty much undetectable.

Shrimp said...

Found you via Matt G. I am also in the "good choice" camp, not so much for the gun, but for the choice to carry. I've had several jobs. I've taken new jobs. I've never tried replacing my life.

What kind of Firestar? I own about six of the M45s and I used to have an M40 (which I stupidly sold), all of which I got because my brother let me shoot his M9 Plus. Sure they're small, but accurate.

Farmgirl said...

Matt... I took your opinion under consideration then and now both, dear. Remember, my response wasn't "I don't want to" but "I can't afford one".. I really couldn't afford this one now either, but at the price I couldn't afford to put it off.

If I sounded exasperated at the time it wasn't with you, but with the situation and the dumbass policy.

The problem with those wallet holsters for me though, dear extremely large man, is that my pockets are not big enough for them. I *might* be able to find one that would allow me to stuff both the wallet and the gun in my pocket... but it would look like I had a brick in there. Concealment fail.

Tam said...

As the po-po once said to me (working 3rd shift in a convenience store) "I'd rather see you alive and unemployed than a dead good employee."

:)

(WV: inaring. "When the ninjas attack me, they always form up inaring.")

aczarnowski said...

Good for you.

I'm frankly astonished when I meet people that carry regularly but don't own a KelTec or LCP. They are so handy. The blades make up 80% or more of the cost of shooting; having a few different razors around is mostly noise in my calculations.

mustanger said...

I don't personally own a P32, but I've made a couple of pancake holsters for 'em. They struck me as being a well-made peice. Made in America is good too.

Farmgirl, Have you fired your's yet? How'd it do?

John B said...

I have the P9, enough gun unless they're on meth, then the head shot comes in. I have a friend who works in those situations, that time of night, I take her shooting, and I've loaned her my PA-63, until she gets sheckels for her own, or a Kel-Tec.

Y'know the amount of business I've sent them, I wish they were more responsive to my request for a carbine in 7.62X25 Tokarev. :D

montieth said...

Sgain Dbhu. It's appropriate considering the firearm is "Keltic".

Jennifer said...

Good for you! My employer has a similar no guns policy. I will refrain from admitting how strictly I adhere to it. My place of work is in an office in daylight hours with badge access only, however. So there is a different risk analysis going on.