Generally, I’m leery of a product that claims to perform multiple functions. My experience is that when something tries to be everything, it turns out to be marginal at doing a variety of things.
Take, for example, the multitools produced by a variety of companies. They contain a veritable cornucopia of tools for various functions – pliers, saws, screwdrivers (regular and Phillip’s head), knives and so on. Each tool performs its assigned task adequately but not to perfection. In other words, not as well as a stand-alone tool designed for that specific purpose would do.
A 2-inch saw blade attached to a multitool won’t function as well as an actual saw in any situation.
The same goes for tactical gear and accessories. I am willing to shell out the bucks for a well-designed product manufactured for a single purpose, or, if the need arises, pay for multiple products to meet multiple demands.
Take holsters, for example. For my everyday carry, I use more than one holster. My primary carry gun is a Glock 30, compact .45. I often carry it in an outside-the-waistband Kydex holster. It’s not the ideal configuration for concealed carry as it prints a bit, but, from a tactical standpoint, it is my go-to rig. I can draw the weapon easily from it and it has good retention.
When going for concealment, I do appendix carry. I have two holsters, one leather and one Kydex. I prefer the leather one for comfort reasons. It is also very aesthetically pleasing with a rich, soft, brown leather. The Kydex one has better retention since it is form-fitted to the exact weapon. It gets a little “pokey” after wearing it for a while, as well as sweaty. Despite the thickness of the gun, these holsters conceal it very well.
RECENTLY, MY WIFE made a big purchase. She bought three Alien Gear Core Carry Pack holster systems. One is for her Glock 26 9mm, another for her Glock 43 9mm, and the last for a Glock 27 I own. She also purchased a drop leg adapter for her Glock 26.
Yeah, I have a cool wife. The holster system is designed to be used inside the waistband, IWB appendix, outside-the-waistband slide, OWB paddle, and a holster mount for mounting it inside of a vehicle. It’s the multitool of holsters!
The user can change the holster into its various configurations by following the fairly simple enclosed instructions. My wife opted to use YouTube to learn how to go about adapting the holster.
Between the two of us we tested three of the variants with three types
of Glocks. The only ones we didn’t try were the vehicle mount and the regular IWB (not the appendix carry).
We opted to stay true to what we actually carry at work and when off-duty to give the most realistic evaluation of the products.
Appendix: The appendix carry configuration used one half of the holster shell, along with a neoprenetype material as backing. The holster was comfortable and easy to draw from. The one thing I didn’t like about
it was that it used the tension from the owner’s belt for retention. Since it was essentially half a holster, the holster shell itself didn’t do a lot to keep the gun in place.
Guns have a funny way of falling out of unsecured holsters, so I like a little more retention in my carry rig. The other appendix carry rigs I
use will hold the weapon in the holster, even when outside of the beltline. That being said, it was a decent setup.
OWB: The OWB rig performed pretty well. My wife used this with her Glock 43. It printed about as much as any other OWB holster would. The additional material above the belt is good for wearing for extended periods of time to preventing chaffing. The gun rides pretty high in the holster. Depending on your preference, this can be a good or bad thing. We felt it made the handle of the pistol print a little more than desired, but this is true of all rigs that ride high above the waistband.
OWB paddle: The paddle rig worked pretty well. The holster attaches to the paddle portion via a plastic knob that can be easily removed, presumably to switch it out with holsters for other guns. You can attach your Glock 27 holster and swap it out with your Glock 43 holster. There is a retention lever that keeps the firearm firmly locked in place when inside the holster. It was easy to manipulate and facilitated quick draws.
IWB: I’m personally not a huge fan of IWB, other than appendix carry. I didn’t test this variant. Drop leg rig: This item is purchased separately and was probably the coolest rig tested. It allows the user to switch from a concealed setup to a more tactically functional one.
My wife tested this and found it to be very functional. It has an adjustable strap to set how low the rig will hang. The two leg straps keep the holster firmly in place.
THIS TYPE OF modularity makes a lot of sense to me. As law enforcement officers, my wife and I both saw a need and application for this because specialized units often have to switch out their gear to meet mission requirements. An officer may be working undercover one minute, then have to participate in a tactical operation such as a raid or high-risk warrant service.
An officer in plain clothes can throw on the drop-down rig, attach his or her holster to it, throw on a raid vest and they are off to the races! Overall, we found the Alien Gear Core Carry Pack to be a good
purchase. Individual preferences notwithstanding, I found it to be a
pretty good system. High marks go to the paddle holster and drop leg
configurations. I prefer other options for appendix carry, but it is still a use able system. It would be a smart purchase for someone on a budget that required multiple holsters.
So, if you’re looking for a functional platform that can perform multiple functions well, the Core Carry Pack by Alien Gear is the way to go.
Editor’s note: Nick Perna is a sergeant with the Redwood City Police
Department in northern California. He has spent much of his career as a
gang and narcotics investigator. Perna previously served as a paratrooper in the US Army and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a frequent contributor to multiple print and online forums on topics related to law enforcement, firearms, tactics and issues related to veterans.
Scores of ﬁrearms-related businesses have come and gone, but family-owned Triple K has produced their American-made core product line for more than 50 years.
Many shooters know the California-based company for their popular civilian and police holsters and leather equipment, and gun collectors worldwide know them as the ﬁrst, best and often only source of replacement magazines for vintage autoloading pistols and riﬂes.
More recently, they’ve developed an equally solid reputation for reproduction rubber and wood grips and buttplates for all manner of historic handguns and shotguns. The company’s slogan is “If it’s rare, obscure or collectable, Triple K has you covered,” and they truly do. I called them once for magazine for a century-old Belgian Bayard pocket auto. Not only did they have it in stock, company president Kurt Krasne knew the part number by heart.
HIS FATHER, JERRY KRASNE, CREATED Triple K in 1963, and named it after his children – Kim, Kurt and Karen. In 1946, Jerry’s father and grandfather had started a family department store that sold inexpensive men’s clothing and World War II military surplus, and Triple K was originally an offshoot of that business. Jerry graduated from Stanford with a BA in economics and joined the business in 1952. He expanded the store to include ﬁrearms and sporting goods. They were increasingly successful, but Jerry recognized there were bigger business opportunities outside their local retail market in manufacturing.
The early 1960s were the heyday for the importation of collectible firearms, and Jerry saw barrels of otherwise great World War I-era Spanish Ruby automatic pistols coming into the country that were virtually unmarketable for lack of magazines. He decided to get into the magazine manufacturing business and sought out the skilled workmen and machinery he needed to do it.
The ﬁrst magazines he manufactured included models for Beretta 1934, Browning 1910, and Walther Model 4, and he sold them from a one-page catalog sheet. Today, Triple K makes and stocks about 1,100 different magazines, and continues to seek out vintage pistols so they can reverse engineer the magazine and add it to their line. They have produced over a million magazines and are the largest maker of obsolete magazines in the world.
Triple K’s next major product line was leather cowboy holsters and gunbelts. At the time, the Western was the most popular ﬁlm genre in America and it seemed like a good idea to feed the market Hollywood had created for buscadero rigs. Jerry bought a single sewing machine and hired a man to run it, and gradually acquired more equipment and know-how by buying out closing businesses. The family department store also had a lot of police customers from the local station on their street, and soon Triple K was manufacturing all types of leather duty holsters and equipment for law enforcement.
ALL OF TRIPLE K’S LEATHER PRODUCTS begin as 100-percent American vegetable-tanned leather hides, which are inspected and laid out by hand on pneumatic presses for die cutting, then dyed, and sewn into holsters, belts, slings, saddle bags, cartridge belts, ammo pouches, shooting bags, concealed carry purses, riﬂe scabbards, handcuff cases, baton carriers, and dozens of other ﬁnished leather products for shipment to distributors worldwide. They offer most leather products in walnut oil (brown), plain (natural), and black ﬁnishes, and in plain or basket-weave pattern.
Not only do they still make those low-slung cowboy-movie buscadero rigs, but they also make a replica of the holster worn by Han Solo in the Star Wars movie franchise. You won’t ﬁnd that one in their catalog, though; it’s one of many private-label leather products they manufacture for many other retailers, including Cabela’s.
In 2013, Triple K acquired Vintage Gun Grip Industries Inc., a Florida company that specialized in reproduction grips for collectible ﬁrearms. Vintage had even more grips products than Triple K had magazines. Each grip set is hand-poured and cast from precise molds made from the thousands of original historic grips in their reference collection. Need a set of black hard-rubber grips for your 1892 Colt New Army Revolver, Frommer Liliput, M1934 Beretta, or Remington .41 rimﬁre double derringer? Triple K will make them for you, and if you need the screw hardware, they can sell you that too. Screw hardware cost between $5 and $16.
Most grip sets cost $34, which represents the labor to make them more than the material. Many are in stock, but if they have to pull out the molds, it will take a couple days to get them poured, cured, sanded, cleaned and shipped to you. Be patient. You could not do it yourself for less or any faster.
MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES don’t typically run three distinctly different operations, but Triple K is far from typical. For founder Jerry Krasne, the business was simply an extension of his hobby, and to this day the company mirrors his passion for gun collecting, shooting and hunting. In order to make a magazine properly, you need to have the gun it ﬁts into, so Jerry sought out examples of every vintage autoloading pistol in existence and created one of the largest and most varied reference gun collections in private hands.
Eventually, he started recording information on the weapons, along with excellent line drawing, and published them in The Triple K Encyclopedia & Reference Guide For Auto Loading Guns. Now in its 16th edition, it remains a key reference guide for collectors. Looking through the book, it is nothing short of astonishing to realize that Triple-K makes magazines for virtually every pistol and riﬂe in it.
Magazines vary in cost but generally run around $38 to $44 for the rarer vintage guns. These are usually made up in runs of 40 to 50 magazines and stamped from laser-cut blanks, which are then hand-welded. I asked how many years it would take to sell 50 1910 Izarra magazines, and Kurt informed me that sometimes he is quite surprised at how quickly what seems like a lifetime supply is depleted. They will sell one or two now and then, and out of the blue collectors can start ordering ﬁve at a time and then the company has to make more. Fortunately, their manufacturing process is now so reﬁned they can quickly set up the tooling to efficiently make small runs.
Magazines for more common guns generally cost less because they make a lot more of them and use more efficient production methods, like ﬁne blanking and automatic welding. For example, a standard magazine for the 1911 Colt is $16 and $30 for the German P08 Luger. Triple K also has magazines for weapons still in current production (for example, Glock, SIG, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, AR-15 and AK-47). They stock no fewer than 17 different magazines for .45 ACP Colt 1911s.
For more information, visit triplek.com, or call (619) 232-2066. ASJ
Car jacking happens almost everywhere and one of the question that comes up is where are you packing your firearm for easy access. Here’s a conversation excerpt from 1911 Forum on the subject.
mikesheating: my question to you is, if work has me driving all day, should I do as normal and keep my EDC on my right hip, or would a pistol be better used in a briefcase on the seat next to me? My thoughts on this are
1) I could keep a second full size duty pistol in the open top briefcase along with as many mags as I feel are needed. Of course I’d still have my normal CCW on my hip.
2) If I start seeing condition orange ( I could have my hand in the briefcase, on the pistol, free from the holster, without brandishing it.
3) I could even shoot through the briefcase, “please don’t murder me, take my briefcase, BANG!” and never see it coming. As far as they know I’m following orders up till the first shot.
4) I could load out a little heaver with a second bigger pistol with more mags ready to go.
Or am I over thinking this? should keep to my normal EDC, on the hip. These things happen fast and as soon as a gun is seen by ether party, the fight is going to be on. So it’s a little slower to draw from concealment seated in a car.
boatdoc: many of my friends are appendix carrying for access while driving seems to me that an extra gun could be placed in an ankle holster( a revolver maybe?) for your protection. A purse or briefcase might give the perps a gun they did not have why isn’t the media covering this. I used to live in Chicago and it wa s very safe and the cops were very tough( maybe that is why crimes wa s low back in the ’80s?)
the agenda today seems to viilfy cops for doing their jobs and praise thugs when they commit crimes and hide the ghettto thugs crimes as well(chicago is th e prime example with all the weekend shootings going on and very few are reported int he mainstream media)–it is Obamas and loonbergs agenda against us as well. They ignore the criminals and go after us– brilliant!
lhawkins: +1 for appendix carry for vehicle. Also, I mounted a plastic coated magnet on the side of the console (designed for firearms). Holds the gun nicely. It will even hold a gun through a pocket hoslter.
FYI, some states have goofy laws with respect to how the gun is carried in vehicle even with a CHL. Ohio did, but rescinded most of them. You may want to know the laws in the states you travel. It would be silly to be a felon just because you put the firearm on the seat instead of your holster.
monadh: When I’m in my car, I always have two pistols. I generally carry a Springfield 1911 wherever I go, so that is in the holster on my hip. The second is a CZ 9mm of some sort, usually my CZ 75 PCR with a 16 round magazine, 1 chambered for a total of 17 rounds, in an unzipped pistol blanket right next to me. I am too large to gracefully pull a pistol out of the holster, and I can deploy the other pistol much faster.
I also always carry two extra magazines for each. The 1911 has one mag with hollowpoints and one with ball ammo. The CZ has two extra mags of 147 gr subsonic hollowpoints.
Plantar5: I know 2 people who were carjacked at gunpoint.
One gave up his car, as would I or suggest, it’s just a car.
The other was a LE detective who shot and killed one and paralyzed the other.
Now he is involved in a civil matter, that even probably will be cleared, you can draw your own conclusions.
azguy1911: Obviously keep your doors locked as that gives you some protection and extra time and I keep mine between the seat and console while in the car, easily accessible there.
WobbleZone: In my truck, tucked into the tight space between driver’s seat and middle seat, canted, butt up. Instant access. Dan Wesson CCO or Glock 20.
evets5321: I hope you never get car jacked and especially not shoot thru your brief case, ’cause the attorneys will find this post and say that you PLANNED it….sticks and stone may break my bones but my words will get life in jail. Just do what you need to do and don’t talk about it. IMHO
MegaGlide: Just MHO, of course, but if you are worried about carjacking, you need to have a gun on your person, not on the seat, etc. You get distracted, door flies open and you are dragged from car, you don’t have a gun.
In retrospect, there are many ways to quarterback this but what it comes down to is always remain alert and have a plan. All the tactics that you learned and practice comes into play lies in the planning for such contingency. What are your thoughts on this?
We have been in business for nearly 25 years in the state of Alaska, owned and operated by David Johnston. All of our products are hand made by our great team of 12 invaluable employees at our leather shop in Wasilla, Alaska. Our leather comes from Hermann Oak Leather in St. Louis, MO and we have found it to be the finest available on the market. All of our other parts and pieces are the highest quality, up to military-grade quality and strength.
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We have grown on those two principles of quality and customer service, and it has brought us to where we are today: producing the best product with the best people, and never forgetting that our customers are the reason we are here.
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