Switching focus: Situational awareness and weapon access

For most of the last year I’ve shot one of my guns at least once a week. I bought a gold membership at PDHSC and while that was in effect, it was an easy decision to go to the range and shoot. I’d limit myself to 100 rounds most visits and I’d be there about an hour.For some months I had a shooting partner and we would discuss drills and ideas, but most of those trips were solo.

During that time I’ve come along way with my gun handling skills and safety awareness. I remember early on when I’d pick up a magazine and I’d have to puzzle out which direction it should face when I put it in the gun. That is now something I don’t question.

I’ve shot competitions and I’m past the point of nerves and adrenaline. I’m reasonably competent but I’m not a competitive shooter. But that isn’t improving.

With the expiration of my gold membership, I’ve decided to rethink how I’m spending my “gun time”. Continuing to put lead downrange is fun, but I’m not convinced I’m structuring my range time to be productive.

Also, with the purchase of the XDS, I want to get comfortable with carrying a gun other than at the range and at a competition. That is what prompted the last post in carrying in the car — and I appreciate all the feedback on why I should not leave the gun in the car permanently.


I bought a Remora Concealment Holster and intend to start carrying it around the house with the gun unloaded at first just to see how this works. It has a rigid opening and doesn’t collapse when the gun is drawn, it has a flap to make it “tuckable”, there is a clip but it can be removed (it snaps on), and it’s a “sticky” holster. I tried it on in the store at 9Forward and it felt comfortable.

However, I’ve drawn from it and it’s very different from the dropped, offset holsters I’ve been using for competition. It was at this point that I realized that I might want to switch my focus from “getting better at competition” to “getting better at self-defense”. I’m not going to be able to conceal a dropped offset holster unless it’s a very cold day and I have no plans to remove my coat, so I think I need to suck it up and start working with the equipment that is practical for everyday carry — even if it’s not designed with the easy access of a competition holster.


Buying the Springfield XDS (in 9mm)

Brand new Springfield XDS in 9mm -- still in the "box"

Brand new Springfield XDS in 9mm — still in the “box”

The evolution of buying a gun:

  • I saw this post Tuesday morning,
  • exchanged a few emails with Luke in which he said “a little bird told him they would have another XDS in 9mm on Thursday,
  • called Carolina Gunrunners Tuesday afternoon and asked about availability,
  • drove over after work and paid for the gun with a credit card (note that they do not take credit cards over the phone for liability reasons but they charge the same price for cash or credit)
  • got a call Thursday morning to let me know the gun was in and would be ready for pick up at my convenience, and
  • drove back to Carolina Gunrunners last night after work, filled out the paperwork and brought home my purchase.

Luke at Triangle Tactical has also written a review of his first experience shooting the gun. Read that here.

I’m excited about this purchase and will have much more to say about it. I have plans to shoot it tomorrow. But for now this odd tidbit: it’s the smallest gun I’ve purchased to date and it came in the biggest box. I like that it’s rugged but it’s going to take up lots of space to store it.

In the photo above, you’ll see the gun comes with: a paddle holster, a smaller backstrap, a double mag pouch, a gun lock, the XDS, two 7 round magazines, and replacement red dot and green dot site rods.

The red dot/green dot rods are completely new to me so I asked about them. The fellow at Carolina Gunrunners told me that if the existing red dot site broke, I could slide a replacement rod into the site, cut it then take a cigarette lighter and melt the ends. This gun will clearly jump start me into learning new things.

If you want to purchase the XDS in 9mm, Carolina Gunrunners in north Raleigh will have more being shipped to the store. I found them very easy to work with and would not hesitate to do business with them again in the future.

I also got a call from Rachel at 9Forward on Wednesday. She remembered that I had asked about the XDS when I was in the store for their opening and she called to let me know they had started receiving shipments. So if you are closer to Oxford and Raleigh is a long drive for you, this is another place locally that you can buy this gun now.