My Gun Lineup

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ray-gano-medBy Ray Gano

Luke 11:21  When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

Luke 22:36  Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Life in the US is getting pretty crazy. Cops are being hunted down and shot by black terror groups. Innocent people are being attacked and killed by radical Muslims. More and more people are buying guns to protect themselves and their families.

A lot of people have asked me my opinion on my choices for firearms and I often get asked what one gun would I choose.

I am one who has learned that situation dictates what weapon should be used. So when I get asked what “one gun” would I have, I usually come back and ask them what is the situation that I am using the firearm.

So I wanted to take the time to share with you my gun lineup.

The situations that I look at are:

  • Carry & Conceal / B.U.G.
  • Close quarters / home defense
  • Short range
  • Mid-range to long range
  • Long range

Carry & Conceal / B.U.G

With all that is going on in the US, more people are getting their carry and conceal permit.

This leads to the question, what sort of gun should one carry?

There are many handguns out there to choose from. But for carry & conceal, you want to look at a compact or sub-compact handgun. These handguns are smaller than standard sized and they are made to be carried in a concealed manner.

Ray-Glock-26-mag-extention
Ray Gano’s Glock 26 with both a standard magazine (10 rd) and the modified 15 round G19 magazine

My favorite setup that I carry is a Glock 26 with a Glock 19 magazine using the XGrip magazine adapter.  The Glock 26 is a sub-compact 9mm handgun. Mine also has tritium night sites which aid in aquiring the target in a low light / night time situation.

xgrip-mag-extender-g26
Click to order the XGrip magazine extention

Using the XGrip magazine extender I could use the Glock 19 magazines in my Glock 26.

See, the Glock 26 only has a 10 round mag where the Glock19 has a 15 round mag. That is five extra rounds that you have and if you +1 carry (one in the chamber) that gives you 16 rounds total.

What is great about this set up is that you get a sub-compact handgun that is made to be concealed that has 15 +1 instead of 10+1.

Those five extra rounds may be what makes it for you in a fire fight, and you going home.

Next one hast to look into a holster. Folks this is one that you will go through several if not a lot of holsters before you find the right one that fits you and for your carry style.

There are multiple ways to carry concealed, but my preferred method is Inside The Waist Band (IWB).

The holster that I use is a custom Crossbreed IWB right hand carry.  Since I live in a hot environment, I had one built in horse leather verses cow leather. The horse leather holds up to sweat and moisture more than cow.

Ray-EDC
Ray Gano’s EDC V1 – Note the Crossbreed IWB holster and the Glock 26 with the G19 extension.

Each holster is a custom made holster for that client. So you can not go their website and just order one. Mine took about 6 weeks to make and get back to me. These are truly one of the best holsters out there.

You can visit the website at – http://www.crossbreedholsters.com

They have IWB where you can carry from the 3 o’clock to 5 o’clock position and also abdominal carry.

When I ordered mine several years ago, they did not offer the abdominal carry, if they had, I would have purchased one as well.

I have owned it now for a number of years and it still serves me when I am wanting to hip carry IWB.

I want to share other holsters that I like a lot.

First I want to start with a really great holster for women that more men have been adapting to as well. This is the Ultimate Belly Band Holster. There are so many ways that you can carry using this holster.

Here is a picture showing all the different ways this can be used.

g-26-belly-band-2

This is a great holster and give women multiple ways that they can carry. For $39.00 and some change this isn’t a bad holster to try out.

Next type are kydex / nylon IWB holsters. This is one that you might have to try a few before you find one that really fits you.

One that I would like to recommend is a polymer IWB holster by BladeTech. They have a great holster where they have really reduced the plastics that the holster is made with and made carrying inside the waist band not so cumbersome. What people need to think about when carrying IWB is once they withdraw the weapon from the holster, then reholstering the weapon. Having a polymer / kydex holster will hold the shape while the weapon is out of the holster and making reholstering easier.

gearcraft-kydex-g26A kydex holster that I have had the chance to look at is the Gearcraft kydex holster. What I like about this is that there is a slight cant to the belt clip which will help you once you find that sweet spot on your hip. There is a pressure screw where you can tighten or loosen the pressure that the holster holds your Glock 26. This way you are able to dial in the right amount of force needed to release your weapon but tight enough where it will not come out or dislodge the weapon.

The Gearcraft also runs around $39.00 and some change on Amazon. Again, this is not a bad price for a decent off the shelf holster.

B.U.G.  = Back Up Weapon

I know that I am going to catch some flack here with many gun enthusiasts with this next recommendation.

Walther-P22-ThreadedI am a HUGE fan of the Walter P-22. Yes, it is a .22, but over the years I have seen this handgun evolve into its own and I have to say that I really like this gun a lot.

High Points –

.22 equals cheap ammo, thus more time at the range and more lead down range at practice.

It comes in a lot of styles and colors. My wife used one of these as her C&C and she could shoot flies all day long with a 25 cent grouping at 15 yards.

Now something that a lot of people do not know about this gun is that many of these guns that are out there are already equipped to accept a suppressor… aka silencer. The model number is the P22Q, you can unscrew the tip of the barrel and it is already threaded

Check your box and if the one you own came with a little wrench, you can unscrew the end and it will expose the threads where you can screw on a suppressor.

Another thing that I like about the Walther P-22 is that there are a lot of third party accessories that you can add to the gun from upper rails that will hold a red dot scope to laser dot that can help assist in aiming.

Because there are so many different brands of .22, I found that for the best performance I shot CCI Stingers or any sort of “hot” load .22. The reason is that the recoil spring on the Walther P-22 is pretty stiff and it needs a round that will fully cycle the weapon. Using cheap ammo at the range is ok, but I would load it with some CCI Stingers or another hot load if you are going to carry it for personal protection and as a Back Up Weapon.

Now a negative is that if you “limp wrist” this .22 and you are using cheap ammo, you will most likely get a stove pipe or jam the weapon. Thjs again falls back to the stiff recoil spring. I have heard that you can purchase from third party an easier going spring, but then you might also get jams because the gun is not cycling properly. This really is the only negative that I have about this gun. We have shot thousands of rounds through my wife’s P-22 and it just gets better and better every time we shoot.

Other Handguns That I Recommend For a B.U.G.


The Ruger LCP & LC9

RugerLCPThe Ruger LCP is a great Back Up Weapon. The bullet that it shoots is a .380. There is also the Ruger LC9 which is a little bigger than the LCP and it shoots a 9mm. Both of these will fill the need of a B.U.G.

Ruger is a great company and their firearms are very reliable. I have owned several Ruger firearms and have been very pleased with them.

The Sig Sauer .380

This is another weapon that we personally own and it is a great Back Up Gun as well as using it as a primary for Carry & Conceal for women. In fact sig Sauer makes what is called “The Lady .380”. This version has has engraving and also gold inlay. It is a gun that any woman would be proud to carry.

SIG_Sauer_P238_Lady

Now with these recommendations for a B.U.G. many women would probably prefer the smaller gun as a carry and conceal. Match these up with the Ultimate Belly Band Holster and you have a great set up for women.

Carry & Conceal Links

XGrip Glock 26 Magazine Adapter – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-XGrip-Glock-26

Ultimate Belly Band Holster – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Ultimate-Belly-Band-Holster

BladeTech IWB Holster – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-BladeTech-IWB-Holster

Gearcraft Kydex IWB Holster – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Gearcraft-IWB-Holster

Desantis Softuck For Glock 26 – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Desantis-Softuck-Holster

 

Close Quarters / Home Defense

The next area that I want to cover is home defense  and close quarter combat. The two can phase into the other very quickly, so you need a weapon that will be good for both defense and offense.

For this I recommend the Glock 19, second I recommend the Glock 17

Yep, both 9mm Glocks.

I am a huge fan of the Glock for many reasons.

First of all they are pretty much indestructible. There are a number of video on You Tube showing the Glock being dropped from a plane, a barn roof, frozen in ice for a year, buried in the dirt for a year, rolled over by a car, a truck and a semi.

ray-Glock-19-Crossbreed
Ray Gano’s Glock 19 in the Crossbreed IWB holster

Here is a great video where they fired 40 – 30 round magazines until there was a malfunction. In other words, they worked to literally melt the gun.  1272 rounds later there was a malfunction but after they pulled the gun apart, it was found that there was some polymer still in the gun from the melted polymer guide rod; which they knew would give out and had a metal guide rod ready to replace.

The heat also became so great that the trigger started to melt. But the shooter stated that had he known, he would have used a work around to continue to fire the Glock.

What the shooter performing the test concluded that you would not have been able to carry enough rounds on your person and shoot the Glock so much to cause it to malfunction in this manner.

In other words, the Glock is a great weapon to use even in adverse conditions that this shooter put the Glock through.

You can watch the entire video here – https://youtu.be/ub4OswUhLwo

Another point that I like about the Glock family of 9mm is that you can cannibalize parts from one Glock to another. That is if you are staying within the same generation. Now Gen 1 thru Gen 3 pretty much used the same parts and a lot of them are interchangeable. It is the Gen 4 where Glock started to make changes. But even then there are still parts that are interchangeable.

One cool modification that you can do is pull your Glock 19 barrel and drop it into the Glock 26. The barrel extends from the receivers and it looks pretty cool. I would not carry this way, but it is a lot of fun to shoot at the range. You will draw some attention and people will wonder what sort of Glock are you shooting.

Probably the main reason I like Glocks is that I have a lot of lead going down range. A Glock 19 magazine holds 15 rounds, a Glock 17 which is the largest in the Glock 9mm family holds 17 in the magazine. You can also interchange the larger magazines in the smaller guns.

Example, you can use the Glock 17 mag in the Glock 26 and Glock 19.

There are a lot third party items that you can add to your Glock, probably the wildest looking conversion is slipping your Glock into a RONI carbine housing. I know that I am going down a rabbit trail with this but it is just too cool.

micro-RONI-Glock

Here is what Tactical Life said about this Glock conversion…

The Micro RONI requires no pistol disassembly at all. Simply drop the pistol in the kit and it locks within seconds.

The right-folding stock allows for easy concealment and carry and the pistol can be operated with the stock folded (grip, cock and shoot).

Many of the features on Micro are ambidextrous, including the trigger-guard safety, a super-fast cocking handle and right and left serrated thumb rests for better recoil control and muzzle rise.

Source – http://www.tactical-life.com/gear/caa-micro-roni-glock-17-19/

A great modification that a lot of Glock shooters have been adding to their Glocks for the past several years is  adding a “Modular Optics System” on the Glock. What this does is allow for quicker acquirement of the target and you don’t have to have one eye closed to aim and shoot.

Glock-MOS

This set up is great for the Glock 17 and the Glock 19. This has become so popular that now Glock manufacturing is offering a modified upper receiver so that you can put your favorite optic on your Glock.

BUT.. if this is the direction that you are wanting to go, be prepared to get a good red dot optic like the those that Trijicon offers.

Trijicon is military grade optics and it is something that I would spend the money for. I have shot a friend of mine’s Glock 19 that has a Trijicon MOS on his and I have to say that my acquiring of the target was a lot faster and once you get used to it, you shoot with both eyes open.

This is a critical asset to have on your Glock and it could mean shaving milliseconds off your target acquisition. Those milliseconds might also be what you need to save you and your families life.

The Glock 19 & 17 have a lower rail so that you can put a laser site to flashlight or both.

Streamlight’s TLR-1 Rail-Mounted Tactical Light is already equipped to be fitted to any Glock that has a lower rail.

Ray-Glock19-TLR1

Here is my Glock 19 with a TLR-1 flashlight.

This flashlight has both left and right buttons so that you can easily turn the light on and off. The TLR-1 is police / military grade and will stand up to the abuse. It will also light up any area that you need and the light is bright enough that it can temporarily blind an intruder and give you valuable seconds to take action.

Now one of the negatives about having a TLR-1 on your Glock is finding a holster that will fit with the flashlight attached.

Safariland has designed a great holster that will fit the Glock with the TLR-1 attached and sports Safariland’s  ALS – Automatic Locking System which once the gun is seated, it is locked in. To unlock the weapon, it is pretty easy and the thumb naturally will unlock it. Spend a few minutes training and you will get the feel of it.

NOTE – there is a small disc at the bottom of this holster that you need to remove so that both the light and the weapon seats properly. Once you remove it, both gun and light will fit like a glove.

You can also carry this holster using the paddle or the included belt loops, which ever you prefer.

Condor-Tactical-VestNow another way you can go since we are talking home defense is the Condor Cross Draw Tactical Vest.

Condor is a company that puts out some pretty good gear. It isn’t totally military grade, but it is pretty good gear for the price.

I have talked about this vest in the past and with all the pouches and pockets, you can carry pepper spray, a stun gun, strap a first aid pack on the back and also put a water bladder inside the back compartment.

This is a great vest and the holster you can adjust it to hold the Glock with the TLR-1 flashlight attached.

Here are specs for the vest…

– Right side features 3 ammo pouches, large shell carrying pouch, and a shooting pad. – Left side features a pistol holster for most medium-framed pistols, 3 pistol mag pouches that are adjustable to the height of most normal-sized mag.

– Vest is mounted on tough nylon mesh material which aids ventilation. – Shoulders on vest can be adjusted with long velcro strips, and also have 2 mental D-rings for the attachment of carabiners or other material.

– Vest zips up in front and can be secured additionally with a pistol belt (included) threaded through the loops on the bottom. – Interior of vest has two zip-up document pockets left and right.

– Rear of vest is double-ply mesh which allows for the addition of a hydration bladder. – A carrying handle is provided as well as strips across the back for the addition of camouflage material or other pouches.

– Left and right sides can be adjusted for width via drawstrings

This is the vest that I have ordered and what I am gearing up.

I like that there are many pockets, pouches. I also REALLY like the fact that I can put my camel back water bladder in the back and will help me stay hydrated.

Again this is not military grade, but for civilian use and being prepared it is an excellent vest.

The added belt with two mag pouches are good to keep pepper spray, stun gun or even another tactical folding knife like the Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL.

MOLLE strips on the back also allow you to clip on dump bag to hold spent magazines as well as a small pack of sorts that might carry a day’s rations and a first aid pack.

Links For Home Defense / Close Quarter Combat

Trijicon Optic – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Trijicon-Optic-Sight

Streamlight TLR-1 – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-TLR-1-Flashlight

Safariland G19-TLR-1 Holster – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Safari-TLR-1-G19-Holster

Condor Tactical Cross Draw Vest – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Condor-Tactical-Vest

In my next installment in this series I will discuss the remaining weapon choices.

 

  • Short range
  • Mid-range to long range
  • Long range

In this followup I am very excited to share with you a new rifle company that is working to ensure that everyone can afford an AR-15 (M4). This company is pushing the technology and has truly come up with a very affordable solution.

If You Liked This Article – You Might Appreciate This One As Well…

Always Keep A First Aid Kit / Blow Out Kit in Your Car

blow-out-kit-webIn case you are assaulted, it is good to have the means to administer first aid to yourself or a passenger. Having a blowout kit ( a kit specifically for treating gun and knife wounds) is also a very good idea.

Here is a little personal story about the importance of having a blowout kit in your car.

One day Tracye and I were at the park and I had a brand new knife that I was working with, learning how to deploy it and close it up with one hand. Well, in the process of practicing, I closed the knife on my right index finger and sliced it pretty bad. Luckily enough, I had a first aid / blow out kit in the car and I was able to administer first aid to myself and stop the bleeding. From lessons past, I have also keep multiple bottles of super glue in my blow out kit as well. These are great and have come in handy many times. If you like to collect and work with knives, you will eventually get cut. Super glue is basically what the hospitals use to close up cuts like this.

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