Temperatures in the DC area have been pushing past 80 this past week, often with high humidity. Summer in the swamp is beginning, bringing with it a sartorial dilemma, namely, balancing comfort, storage, and style.
I tend to carry quite a bit on me. At the minimum I'll have my wallet, phone, keys, and a pocket knife. Usually I'll also have sunglasses, a handkerchief, a pocket watch, earbud headphones and, when I'm in Virginia, a 380 pistol with a spare clip. When I'm wearing a jacket or coat there's little trouble, as the jacket plus my pants provide enough pockets. The wide variety of jackets available makes it easy to dress up or down in combination with various shirts, pants, sweaters, etc... The problem comes when the climate makes wearing a jacket miserable even when I do what I can with light-weight fabrics. This makes it hard to dress well, because if I leave the jacket at home I lose most of my pockets, but if I keep it on I'm unhappy except in air conditioning. This can be remedied by wearing cargo shorts or pants (and if I'm wearing cargo anything I might as well go all the way to shorts when it's summer), but that results in a more casual look than I often want when going out. However, the jacket-less slacks + dress shirt + tie look doesn't work when every pocket is bulging. Is there anything that will enable me to dress in that gap between cargo shorts and a jacket while also providing plenty of pocket space? The solutions I'm aware of are to carry less stuff or put things in a separate bag; but I don't like doing either. Nor does it help that I hate putting my wallet in a back pocket.
Any suggestions? Or will I have to choose between being overheated but dressy in a jacket or cooler but casual in cargo shorts?
@ Jamie Q. I didn't see your original reply. Nice one!
However, for those that don't get it, I can assure you that pack mules were definitely not an accoutrement of my male forebears from roughly 1880 onwards.
The photos I cite are roughly 1920 through about 1950. No A/C, and unless the fellows are in a family setting, they are virtually always wearing long sleeved shirts, and suits. Well there is a photo of a great uncle on a job site...and he's wearing coveralls over a shirt and trousers, in late August, Northern California.
@ Nick H.
I'm guessing by your post that you're not a "Gun Guy." Nothing wrong with that, to each his own, ya know?
In answer to your question about carrying extra ammo, there are a few reasons. You are quite correct in that police officers are acountable for every shot they fire. Infact, everyone who carries a gun is acountable for every bullet that leaves the barrel.
Cops tend to carry larger, higher calliber firearms in 9mm, 40S&W, or 45ACP. Those are some pretty big bullets, and the magazines tend to hold quite a few rounds, anywheres from 8 to 18. The .380 that the OP is carrying is smaller and less powerfull than any of those. It will also usually only hold about 6 bullets. Keep in mind also, Police Officers also carry not just extra ammo, but an extra (or backup) gun.
Furthermore, guns can jam for several reasons, and its not allways the guns fault. Sometimes the magazine (clip) can prevent the gun from working. If that happens, the only solution is to either draw another gun, or change the magazine. its also possible that if an attacker gets to close and tries to gain control of the gun, the magazine could be inadvertantly released in the ensuing scuffle, and another magazine would need to be inserted.
Thats probably more than anyone reading this ever wanted to know on the subject, so I'll just sum up my thoughts on it quite briefly. If possible, I will de-escalate, avoid, and evade a situation rather than draw a gun. If I draw my gun, things have already gone so unbelievably wrong, why should I expect good fortune in regards to the amount of ammo?
I have yet to meet someone who has been in a gunfight and wished that they had a smaller gun, or less amunition.
In a more general and widely aplicable sense, I believe that bad luck can be overcome by preparation.
Hope that answers your questions,
@ David F.
Obviously, there is nothing to worry about in Virginia. If there was, the .380 would have been replaced by a .357 magnum a long time ago.........
Sorry, couldn't resist.
I never expected this thread to be subjected to such postmortem communication. Since it's back though, I guess I'll address a couple points.
1. On the extra ammo, Chris put it well. My main carry gun has 6+1 rounds, for a total of 13 with a spare clip. As these .380 rounds lack the stopping power of larger slugs, I prefer the extra clip. As was noted, if something happens that's bad enough that I have to pull my gun and fire it, I want all the firepower I can get, including a few extra bullets. This is especially pertinent in the summer, when I'm most likely to carry the smaller gun instead of a larger one (as I'm sure everyone who's been through a concealed carry class has heard, the best gun is the one that's with you when you need it). For a further discussion of guns, concealed carry, self-defense, etc... I'd suggest the Great Debate.
2. With summer ending, I suppose it isn't amiss to report what I did to bear the heat, which was a combination of most of the above at various points. I wore lighter fabrics, left stuff at home, dressed down, wore a jacket with shorts and short-sleeved button-down (not as bad a look as it sounds), and sometimes just sucked it up and sweated more.