Denver, Colorado, USA 12 July 2017 0654 Hours MDT I woke up to the smell of sausage, eggs and fried potatoes. Inhaling deeply, I opened my eyes to find myself alone on my cot in the back room.
I rose and shimmied into a pair of comfortable jeans and soft leather boots that I knew from experience would cradle my feet and hug my calves.
I pulled an azure blue t-shirt over my head, and turned to my weapons.
I threaded a heavy leather gun belt with a silver and turquoise buckle through my belt loops and the loops of my holster and mag carrier.
I tightened the buckle and adjusted both of the kydex carriers to rest comfortably on my hips.
Many holsters that I’ve had down through the years were designed for men, and dug painfully into my hips and sides,
but I custom fitted and made this pair myself and they nestled against me like a dear friend.
I double checked the two seventeen round magazines that would be my backups today, carefully checking each round for corrosion, improper bullet seating and primer desensitization.
Satisfied, I reloaded the thirty-four rounds back into their magazines, testing the magazine springs as I did so, before seating each magazine into the magazine carrier on my left hip.
I drew my Glock 19 from under my pillow and repeated my previous checks on both the ammunition and the fifteen round magazine.
Again satisfied, I double checked the Glock’s chamber, and finding it empty, pulled the trigger.
I quickly depressed the slide an eighth of an inch while pulling down on the double takedown levers, allowing me to pull the entire slide assembly off of the frame.
I did a quick visual check of the frame before removing the recoil spring and the barrel and checking each.
Content that everything was in order, I quickly reassembled the pistol and function tested it, ensuring that the trigger broke cleanly and that the sear reset with an audible click.
I locked the slide to the rear, inserted a single round and dropped the slide before replacing the magazine in the pistol’s grip and slipping it into the holster on my right hip.
Handguns are an intensely personal piece of kit for people in my line of work. You don’t go into a fight with a handgun if you can avoid it.
Despite what the media tells the masses, handguns aren’t terribly good at stopping a person who’s trying to kill you.
They just happen to be small and concealable enough that it’s what you end up having on you when someone tries to kill you. As such, the pistol is my absolute last line of defense.
If I draw my pistol it means that either 1) someone tried to kill me when I wasn’t planning on a firefight or 2) my rifle malfunctioned badly enough during a firefight that I had to draw my pistol.
My pistols are lovingly maintained, and I attend them with near religious diligence and care before an op.
I grabbed the last piece of my outfit from my duffel bag and slung the southwestern style shawl over my shoulders as I walked out into the main office.
Frank was sitting on a leather armchair with his AR-10 and a Glock lying field stripped on the coffee table in front of him.
He was wearing a navy blue t-shirt and a pair of dark khaki cargo pants, though they looked more like hiking garb than tactical.
Michael was standing behind the desk buckling some sort of vest contraption over blue jeans and a red, white and blue button down shirt. “Very patriotic” I observed. “What’s with the vest?”
Michael looked up at me and smiled. “Custom load bearing vest. Basically just a pair of MOLLE panels sewn onto a pair of suspenders.
Let’s me carry extra gear under a jacket without tying up too much belt space.” He slipped a quartet of thirty round AR-15 magazines into pockets on both sides of his vest as he spoke.
“Breakfast burritos on top of the filing cabinet” he said as he turned back to his weapons.
Michael, unlike Frank and I, appeared to prefer Smith and Wesson’s M&P line of pistols, with two sitting on the desk in front of him.
He slipped the larger pistol into a kydex holster very much like my own, and tucked the second,
smaller pistol into an inside the waistband holster sitting behind his left hip and the double magazine carrier riding there.
I grabbed a burrito as Michael threw a lightweight brown wool sport jacket over his shoulders, hiding the accumulated firepower strapped to his torso.
I curled myself into the second armchair and bit into my burrito as I watched Frank reassemble his weapons.
His hands flew over the pieces, and it seemed as if his hands caressed the parts together.
Frank, like me, had a Glock 19, which also rode on his right hip, though his left hip sported a monstrosity of a mag carrier.
He slipped a twenty-seven round PMag into the first and narrowest gap in the mag carrier, and grabbed a pair of massive AR-10 magazines to fill the dual pockets at and behind his left hip.
I noticed an SOFT-TW tourniquet strapped to his belt just to the right of the buckle.
Frank stood and shrugged into a blue denim button down which draped itself over his weapons, making them vanish.
I was very happy to have these two watching my back today.