The Things We Carry

As a private investigator who does criminal defense and ends up going to rough parts of town to conduct surveillance, undercover work or field interviews, it’s advisable to have a LTC/CHL (License to Carry/Concealed Handgun License). I carry a Ruger SR9c loaded with Barnes TAC-XPD 9mm Luger +P Hollow Point ammo, and a pocket knife with a glass breaker tip on the handle and seat belt cutter.

I prefer this type of pistol because it’s light overall and has a light trigger pull. The frame is also relatively thinner than a Glock 22 and other similar models, so there’s minimal to no printing when it’s holstered. I prefer to use an IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster for extra concealment, tucked in my jeans usually at the 1 o’clock or 4 o’clock positions.

I also prefer to use hollow points for self-defense and exclusively use full metal jackets for the shooting range. Law enforcement agents will agree with me on this one, because hollow points have more stopping power than a FMJ, especially if you’re shooting a 9mm.

This means I can stop a bad guy with a single shot at center mass (torso) because the expanding bullet will tear up his vital organs pretty badly. A full metal jacket could go through his body, leave a narrow hole through him, and probably won’t kill him or even stop him immediately. In that case you will have to keep firing, which could escalate the situation and the last thing you want is a full-blown shootout. You want to stop your target ASAP and secure the scene until the police arrive.

Additionally, if you’re shooting indoors, a full metal jacket could theoretically go through the bad guy’s body and through the thin walls of a home, and potentially hurt innocent people behind those walls. So hollow points are recommended for self-defense.



It’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a life-threatening situation on this job, but it never hurts to always be prepared, because life can come at you fast like a bullet.