It’s In the Bag

| August 3, 2015 | 4 Comments

This year I’ve carried my everyday carry (EDC) bag and equipment to every class, whether the class called for that gear or not. The only exception was the Shivworks ECQC class, because I knew I would spend a significant amount of time on the ground.

I also wear my usual attire, or clothes that mimic my usual attire as closely as possible.

I do this because I want to expose any weaknesses in my setup, and also to learn how my bag and other gear effects my shooting.

For example, my EDC bag weighs about 17 pounds.

Contents include:

  • AR15 pistol in 300 Blackout with a 20 round magazine
  • 2 spare 30 round magazines
  • Trauma kit
  • Point and shoot camera (I like taking pictures of stuff)
  • Various electronic accessories, including a power brick for recharging things, spare CR 123 batteries, etc

I use an Adidas Rydell sling bag. Most of the time the bag stays put, due to its design and the weight. However, when I move to an urban prone it may move when I don’t want it to.

After carrying my EDC bag (and especially after carrying a knife on my body midline) I stopped carrying a backup gun. I also stopped carrying a second spare magazine behind my left hip. Accessing the single spare magazine while carrying the bag requires a hip movement and a shoulder tilt.

I keep a spare Glock 17 mag in a mobile phone pouch on the front of the Rydell bag. I used this magazine a lot during recent advanced handgun and close quarters handgun classes. I took a basic handgun class with QSI Training last Saturday, and used it a few times.

basic handgun 2015 08 01

It’s one thing to practice drawing either spare at home, and another to do so while running around with a loaded gun in your hand and the instructors screaming at you.

My point is that if you’re going to EDC a point / personal defense weapon (PDW) in a bag you need to train with it as much as possible. I am not aware of any dedicated bag gun classes, so it’s on you as a student to figure out how to integrate it into your normal training.

Here are things you may discover when training with your EDC bag, even if you don’t use its primary contents:

  • Wow this thing is heavy after 8+ hours
  • How the bag shifts with rapid, explosive movement
  • How it interferes with your spare magazines, and possibly your handgun if you still carry behind the hips
  • That it may move when you shoot from certain positions
  • That it may effect your ability to get up from the ground or to transition from one position to the next
  • It will increase your “size,” and you may not realize this while you are behind cover and concealment
  • The effectiveness of the location and orientation of your bag-carried spare magazines

Have you worn your EDC bag during a fight-focused training class? What did you learn, and did you change anything?

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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4 Comments on "It’s In the Bag"

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  1. Robert says:

    While not a dedicated “bag” class, I know Matt Jacques of Victory First has explored–and allowed his students to explore–the bag concept in class. Paul Howe as well….He and his instructors sometimes carry PDWs in sling bags not unlike yours during classes to T&E (they did this during class I attended down at CSAT).

    I use the same sling bag as you for EDC, though I don’t carry a PDW in it. It’s a great bag for the price.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the comment, and the tip about Victory First and Paul Howe. I’ll look into them, as I intend to do more traveling next year for training.

  2. Wilson Hines says:

    This has been the biggest issue in my journey.

    I purchased a Drago Tracker which is the nearest thing to perfection, but it’s too short.
    I then purchased a Drago Assault backpack, but there is little to no stability of the weapon. It wants to go left and right.
    When you’re talking about the Rydell, Amazon is saying there is a newer version, the Capital Sling. It would seem to have 1″ larger dimensions, if that matters, and it’s half the money on Amazon.

    How are you securing the spare magazines?

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